Juniper Duck

Photo courtesy of Juniper

We're all a little spoiled by the food scene here in Austin.  With so many incredible options, choosing the perfect Valentine's dinner spot can be overwhelming.  Here are our favorites; locally owned and operated proprietors of good food who are also thinking about and supporting local food systems, heirloom varieties of produce and grains, and stewardship of the planet.  We are truly in love with thoughtfulness that each of these establishments puts into what they serve.  

Nestled above the courtyard at the South Congress Hotel, Otoko is one of the most intimate dining experiences in Austin. Seating only twelve at a time, the multi-course tasting menu is inspired by Tokyo-style sushi and Kyoto-style kaiseki, featuring seasonally and locally available ingredients.  Reservations here  

Emmer & Rye  
Dim Sum carts alongside a wide variety of small plates makes Emmer & Rye the perfect place to share a unique meal your special foodie. They are committed to farm-to-table sourcing and their menu items incorporate unique grains in a variety of unexpected ways. Their Valentine’s Day special is a five course pre-fixe menu for $75. Call 512-366-5530 or email for reservations.

Fabi + Rosi Salad

Photo courtesy of Fabi + Rosi

Fabi + Rosi 
You and your Valentine can feel good about choosing a restaurant that loves food as much as they love Mother Earth. Their modern European menu is sourced from Texas farmers and ranchers, or is grown in the backyard garden where they also maintain a chicken coop from which they source their eggs. Their eco-conscious model seeks to recycle and compost as much as possible. Click here to reserve your space for their three-course Chef’s Table on Valentine’s Day.

Juniper’s beautifully fresh menu is built from Chef Nicholas Yanes’ experience in Northern Italy, seeking to utilize old-world techniques to create innovate modern flavors. For $60 per person Juniper is offering an exclusive six-course tasting menu for reservations.

Eden East 
The farm-to-table experience cannot be more authentic than when dining at Eden East. Located on the grounds of Springdale Farm in East Austin, their unique monthly features are developed based on what’s available from local farms and ranches and served as a pre-fixe menu. Special Valentine’s menu will be served February 10th, 11th, and 14th. Call 512-428-6500 to reserve your space.

Foreign & Domestic 
Foreign & Domestic is a neighborhood favorite in a laid back casual setting. With 47 seats and an open kitchen, you’ll get cozy with your date and the service and kitchen staff over the course of a meal. Their meat heavy menu offers unique interpretations of classic flavors in portions perfect for sharing. Walk-ins are welcome, and a limited number of reservations are available daily by clicking here

Based on vintage Southern Food cookbooks, Olamaie’s menu features the familiar comforts and indulgent treats while highlighting local meat and produce. Think hush puppies and angel food cake with contemporary interpretations. There are still reservations available for February 14th. Book today by clicking here.

Olive & June
What’s more romantic slurping Lady-and-the-Tramp-style on a dreamy patio? At Olive & June you will enjoy handmade pastas and one of the most extensive selections of Italian wine in Austin. Their four course Valentine’s Day menu will be served from February 10th - 14th. Click here for reservations.

Central Standard
Treat your Valentine to a tasty cocktail at the bar and yourself to complimentary valet before you sit down to your meal at this upscale American bar and grill. Central Standard’s menu is built around classics like (award-winning) burgers, lobster mac and cheese, and bright flavorful salads. A new favorite in the SoCo district, Central Standard is sure to be at the top of many peoples’ date lists on February 14th. Make sure to reserve a spot

Counter 3. Five. VII

Photo courtesy Counter 3. Five. VII

Counter 3. Five. VII 
At Counter 3. Five. VII, each diner enjoys the immersive experience of watching their meal’s preparation and interactions with the chefs at this small downtown eatery. A reference to its name, diners choose from a three, five, or seven course tasting menu made fresh behind their counter where everyone experiences “front row dining”. Emphasizing locally sourced, seasonal foods, Counter 3. Five. VII is indeed unique. Complimentary valet available, for reservations click here.

Barley Swine
With a commitment to supporting the local food community, Barley Swine is the self-proclaimed place to celebrate the love of food and drink. An ever-changing tasting menu and seasonal share plates make this a date-worthy destination for Valentine’s day. For reservations, call 512-394-8150 between 2pm and 5pm. (online reservations are not accepted for Valentine’s Day).