Here’s how to take out your boo without breaking the bank.
Founded in 1984 by Silvia Orozco, Sam Coronado, and Pio Pulido, Mexic-Arte is a historic museum displaying Chicano and Latino art. Though the museum is fairly small, it’ll make you appreciate the Austin that used to be. Mexic-Arte spotlights the communities that have slowly been erased and youth talent. After you’re done exploring the museum, pop into the shop, which has cute little trinkets you’ll want to take home.
Admission is $5 for adult, and free on Sundays.
419 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
This late-night spot is serving up tacos, micheladas, and queso fundido at affordable prices. With its orange and green walls, the inside is bright and vibrant, lending to the restaurant’s casual mood. But if you want something a little more romantic, step outside and dine underneath the stars.
1713 E. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741
Spend your night listening to rancheras, norteño, and tejano music at one of the oldest Tejano bars on East 6th Street. La Perla – home of the famous armodelos (a spicy and tangy boozy beverage). If you’re looking for a low-key evening and a chance to flex your pool skills, then La Perla is the spot for you.
Heads up, La Perla only accepts cash, but everything is so cheap that you won’t need to carry that much money on you.
1512 E 6th St., Austin, TX 78702
Hay Elotes is the perfect date location for the snack minded. Whether you want a pineapple filled with sour belt candy and strawberries, Hot Cheetos smothered in lime and hot sauce, or any of the other endless possibilities, this dessert and juice bar will satisfy your sweet and savory tooth. Though it’s kind of cramped inside, there is plenty of outdoor seating.
2214 E 7th Austin, TX 78702
MASS Gallery is dedicated to showing off the Austin artists, writers, and musicians who make the city richer. Currently, the gallery is exhibiting Proxemics, which features artists “who wield the human body as a tool for communication through character creation distortion, and documentation.” This exhibit includes Felipe Baeza, a Mexican artist who works with collage and paint to create political messages about migration, displacement, and memory. Proxemics is on view until February 24.
507 Calles St., Suite 108, Austin, TX 78702
Lady Bird Lake
For the outdoorsy boos, look no further than Lady Bird for kayaking. With Austin’s temperate winter, an outdoor date is not an issue. But even if you and your date aren’t keen on water or kayaks, you can chill on the lake with ducks by your side while you take in the city’s views. Or you can take a leisurely stroll around the boardwalk. Either way, it’s a romantic date that lets you enjoy Mother Nature.
1820 S. Lakeshore Blvd., Austin, TX 78741
Treasure City Thrift
Part of the magic of thrift stores is rifling through racks of clothes for treasures. Treasure City Thrift promises exactly that at low prices. Every month, it has a 25-cent sale and serves as a community and event space. Treasure City Thrift “supports groups working for grassroots change using a sustainable and democratic economic model,” so it’s the kind of place where you’ll also feel good shopping.
2142 E. 7th St., Austin, TX 78702
Though Mexican food gets most of the shine in Texas, you shouldn’t sleep on El Sunzal, a spot with delicious pupusas, plátanos maduros, frijoles fritos, and other Salvadoran fare. The restaurant also features beers from all across Latin America. This date spot is cozy and affordable, and the friendly service will make you want to return.
642 Calles St., Austin, TX 78702
Fresa’s is a mix of modern (pollo al carbón) and authentic (salsas, rice, and beans). The meals are big enough to share and the menu is varied enough to hit the spot for anyone.
915 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78703
1703 S. First, Austin, TX 78704