Valentine’s Day 2023: Where to Eat, Play and Stay in Austin
Couples, friends and singles can indulge in decadent meals, luxurious spa treatments, sweet treats and more this Feb. 14
By Avery Matschek
February is here, and you know what that means — it’s officially the season of romance! Although Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, local businesses have come up with creative and festive ways to honor Feb. 14, no matter your relationship status. Below, we’ve rounded up the top options in town for celebrating the day of love in 2023.
For the Foodies
It’s time to make those reservations! Several local restaurants have announced prix-fixe menus that are perfect for the occasion. Recently opened J-Prime Steakhouse is offering a multi-course meal of steakhouse favorites with dishes like Prime Beef Carpaccio, Chargrilled Sea Scallops and Truffle Mac & Cheese, while South Lamar favorite Aviary Wine & Kitchen will present Small Plates & Heart Breaks, a four-course supper with wine pairings for $120. For a decadent dinner, visit Honey Moon Spirit Lounge, where seafood and caviar will be served throughout the evening. Hestia, a contemporary eatery focused on hearth cooking, has curated a Valentine’s Day menu full of surprises and flavor for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Additional options include a four-course dinner at Summer House on Music Lane, special menu items at Pecan Square Café and a truly upscale experience at the ultra-romantic Jeffrey’s, where guests can take in a finely curated and luxurious meal.
For the Galentines
As fun as Valentine’s Day is, Galentine’s Day might just take the cake for our favorite February holiday. The Fourth Annual Valentine Shmalentine Bash will be held for free at Lamar Union Plaza from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 14 with bites from Shake Shack, Tiny Pies, Mandala and more. Throw in drinks from Epic Western, Goodnight Loving Vodka and Landry Distillery, plus braiding with The Collective ATX and a brow bar from EWC, and you’ve got an epic lineup for girls’ night out. For something more interactive, attend a Valentine’s Day floral class with Earl Grey Floral on Feb. 13 or 14. Attendees will learn how to make stunning arrangements and leave with their very own flower creation to enjoy at home. Wine lovers can also visit Rosie’s Wine Bar, where the rosé will be flowing all night long and no reservations are required.
For the Adventurers
The Rowing Dock is giving Austinites a chance to spend Valentine’s Day on the water with their Lovebirds Package. For $75, duos can get a double kayak or canoe reservation for two hours, a blanket rental, chocolates and a bouquet of flowers. Couples or friends can also spend the night playing a round of mini golf at The Dirdie Birdie, an innovative indoor golf course and restaurant at The Domain, or trying their hand at shuffleboard at Electric Shuffle, a venue featuring a high-tech take on the classic bar game.
For the Low-Key Couple
Looking to keep it relaxed this year? Hiatus Spa + Retreat can make that possible with The Love Birds experience, which includes a crushed rose petal and organic sugar foot soak, hot stone shoulder massage and side-by-side couple’s massage. Also a partnership with Earlybird CBD, spa-goers are invited to unwind with the brand’s full-spectrum CBD gummies. Moving on to dinner, it’s hard to beat a delicious take-out experience. Osome’s Valentine’s Day Sushi boxes come with 18 pieces of nigiri sushi, two maki sushi rolls, poke, a block of A5 Wagyu, two Japanese Curry Pan, dessert and a bottle of Freixenet Prosecco from Praxis Coffee Roasters.
For the Sweet Tooth
There’s no shortage of places to indulge in sweet treats during the Valentine season. If you’re an ice cream lover, Lick Honest Ice Creams has you covered with their Sweetheart Bars, available starting Feb. 3. The decadent ice cream sandwiches come in Chocolate Strawberry and Chocolate Chocolate — both flavors adorable and delicious as can be. Swedish Hill will have several treats starting Feb. 12, including a precious heart-shaped cake and themed macaron boxes. For both a dessert and a bouquet, Bakery Lorraine has partnered with Emma Lily Flowers to offer flower bundles paired with macarons, with pre-orders open through Feb. 10. Last but not least, Cookie Rich, a cookie company from former The French Laundry chef Lorin Peters, has brand-new flavors in honor of the holiday — Chocolate + Chocolate Cherry and Oatmeal Cream Pie.
For the Solo Celebrators
Treat yourself! Although traditionally a couple-focused day, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to honor self-love as well. Hotel Viata, formerly Hotel Granduca, will give singles a chance to celebrate with the Self-Love Sweet Retreat, which includes overnight accommodations in a Robin Suite, 50-minute Pennybacker Massage, 50-minute Keep Austin Glam Facial and more. Another option is to indulge in a Pure Love Mani-Pedi at Viva Day Spa, which comes with hot spiced tea or wine and chocolates, on top of a cocoa butter treatment for your hands and feet.
For the Music Lovers
You can always find good music on any given night in Austin, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Talking Heads tribute band HeartByrne will bring the funky vibes to Antone’s Nightclub with a show at 8 p.m., while longtime local Rosie Flores will serenade the audience at the Continental Club. Other notable performances include the White Reaper at the Historic Scoot Inn and Aladdin at Bass Performance Hall.
For the Travelers
What’s more romantic than a weekend getaway? Take your sweetheart to one of our favorite unique locales around the state and take in the romance. Cypress Valley gives guests a chance to escape to the woods and spend the weekend in a charming treehouse, or lovers can head to The Retreat on the Hill, which is just an hour from Austin, for stunning views of the Texas Hill Country in a secluded setting. We also recommend a stay at Salado’s Shady Villa Hotel, which will host their annual Valentine’s Day Dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14.
For the Health Nuts
In the season of sugary treats and extra drinks, you may be looking for some better-for-you fare. Known for their focus on conscious ingredients and accommodating all diets and lifestyles, Picnik will be serving two specials from Feb. 13 to 19. The Strawberry Royal cocktail is complete with scratch strawberry cordial, fresh lime, gin, St. Germain and cava, and the Dark Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake is gluten free and refined sugar free, as is all of Picnik’s menu. Known for their nutritious and sustainable food offerings, The Well is a highlight of the busy 2ND Street District. The restaurant will feature a Lobster Coconut Curry Bisque, Filet Mignon with Mushroom Bourbon Sauce and a Chocolate Beaned Brownie for the love-filled holiday.
For the Moviegoers
A date night mainstay, new couples and longtime partners alike can enjoy a night at the movies thanks to one of the many venues around town. Throughout the week of Valentine’s Day, Blue Starlite Drive-in will show movies like The Wedding Singer, Dirty Dancing and The Princess Bride at their multiple locations, where guests can feel free to get cozy in the comfort of their own cards. Plus, Austin Film Society is celebrating February with their Love Month Series, which includes showings of Casablanca, Love Jones and other romantic features. For more options, check out the special showings at Violet Crown and Alamo Drafthouse as well.