Food Blogger Jane Ko Will Solve Your Date Night Dining Dilemmas

The brains behind A Taste of Koko has a new guide to Austin’s dining scene

by Vanessa Blankenship
Koko’s Guide to Austin

Picking the perfect spot for a romantic meal can be a difficult decision in a town teeming with amazing eateries.

Luckily, Austin food and travel blogger Jane Ko makes it her business to help locals and visitors find the right restaurant to impress your date – and avoid vibe-killing food allergies or budget-busting bar tabs.

A Taste of Koko has more than 100,000 monthly visitors and Ko’s Instagram account has more than 68,000 followers.

“Whenever I do get a restaurant invite, I think, ‘Okay, is this a place I feel is going to be worthy of sharing,’ ” says Ko of curating Austin’s dining scene.

Ko recently turned her digital success into a publishing deal. Her book, Koko’s Guide to Austin, is out now and should take some pressure off of Ko, who responds to readers through a texting service that lights up her phone with a stream of requests – mostly from men – asking where they should take someone to eat on date night.

“It’s been very interesting to see that it’s actually 80 percent of men who use that,” Ko says of the texting service. “Men don’t like asking for directions, but they actually ask me so many questions on there.”

Whether it’s a weekend getaway, birthday celebration, an anniversary or a planned proposal, Ko says the occasion will determine the right fit when picking a place to enjoy a meal with someone you like or love.

“I’m just really here to help people,” Ko says. “I would not be around if it wasn’t for helping people decide where they’re going to eat or where they’re going to travel to or what they’re going to do this weekend.”

Price range and dietary restrictions should also be considered when planning a date. Ko says couples on weekend trips usually want to spend less money than those who are celebrating a special occasion.

Ko’s first date with her current, long-distance boyfriend was at Contigo. She also recommends grabbing a burger during happy hour at Clark’s Oyster Bar or sipping cocktails at Justine’s Brasserie.

Frequent daters who need more recommendations should check out Koko’s Guide to Austin. With over 330 local restaurants and businesses, the 144-page guide divides top picks from A Taste of Koko by neighborhood and cuisine and has a handy dollar sign guide to prices. Readers can browse Ko’s recommendations for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert … and even queso. She also included suggestions for date nights, group dinners, coffee, shopping and more.

Time-honored favorite, Clark’s Oyster Bar, makes in appearance in Ko’s guide.

Cheerful, yellow and pocket-sized, Koko’s Guide to Austin was written, printed and illustrated locally. The insider’s guide overflows with mouth-watering photos and snippets about the best restaurants in Austin’s buzzed-about food scene. Order it on Amazon or pick up a copy at BookPeople or coffee shops like Caffé Medici, Merit Coffee and Cosmic Coffee and find your next perfect meal for any occasion.


Read More From the Food Issue | July 2018


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