Real first date spots, real bad date tips

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The upcoming fall semester brings more than just another four-year-graduation-rate slogan and a Dean of Students sponsored hashtag campaign – a crop of freshmen will soon be asking for directions all over the 40 Acres. While these students come from different places and have a diverse set of experiences and perspectives, at the core, they're all looking for one thing – love.

With limited time to explore our student body, more Longhorns should focus on getting a head start on marriage, parenthood and their 401k plan. Hitting the ground running in the first few weeks of your freshman year will ensure that you're sending a “I'm absolutely ready to commit, this isn't a mistake, let's have a baby” message.

Even if you aren't new on the Forty Acres, there's still time to catch up. Check out some of these great first date spots:

Homeslice Pizza
Situated in the heart of the South Congress culture district, Homeslice is the perfect first date dinner spot for a number of reasons. First and foremost – it's just good. Having a guaranteed good meal takes a lot of pressure off both parties, and instead of trying to impress her by ordering a duck confit, stick to the basics and grab something everyone loves. Splitting a medium pizza is more than enough food for two people, and allows for some flirty banter about the toppings. Put your name in and explore South Congress – Uncommon Objects or one of the many thrift stores are interesting and new every time.
(Freshman Tip: Your future spouse should like all the same things you do – consider walking out if they suggest something you hate. Also, call it SoCo – she'll love it!)


Halycon Coffee
After pizza, head over to Fourth Street for Halycon Coffee. Right on the corner, it offers a calm, intimate setting which contrasts well with the late-night activities of downtown Austin. The fantastic coffee is coupled with one of the most unique Austin desserts – indoor s'mores served with a hibachi grill. Dim lights and whispered conversation make for a great place to get to know each other a little better.
(Freshman Tip: Ask her about her family history, religion and her thoughts on Wendy Davis).

Auditorium Shores
At this point, make some value decisions on how the date's going. If it's going “really well” or above, take things up a notch by heading to Auditorium Shores. At night, it's nearly deserted, and the reflection of the Austin skyline on Town Lake is something you don't want to miss. Speaking of miss, don't when you go in for the kiss.
(Freshman Tip: Push her in Town Lake to show her you know how to have fun!)

Whole Foods
For those of you who like a little break from the dinner-and-a-movie script in your dating life, Whole Foods offers a multitude of fun and unique dating experiences. In the winter, Whole Foods installs a quaint ice-skating rink, certain to remind you of the days of old-fashioned courting, days before “an evening out” meant practicing your gymnastics routine in a dimly lit nighclub. Year round, the cooking classes at Whole Foods allow you and your date to have fun together and learn something new.
(Freshman Tip: When she's not looking, smear some red wine reduction on her dress – she'll appreciate that you know how to be “so cute”)

Regardless of your age, dating in college is a rewarding and enriching experience. In subsequent dates, take advantage of all Austin has to offer – don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. For those of you who are hesitant to make the first move, there are thousands of quotes about early birds and worms to read, but just remember – you've only got four years.

For the older crowd, Austin offers a number of great happy hours throughout the semester:
Trifecta on Third

  • M-F 5-8
  • $3 pizza, wells

Lamberts

  • 7 Days, 5-7
  • Half priced bar food ($9 steak, $6 burger)
  • $2 of all beverages

Sagra

  • T - All you can eat mussels 
  • M- F, $2 off drinks, 1/2 of pizza

Annie's

  • T - Steak Frites $15
  • W - Half off wine
  • Th - $6 martinis
  • T-F - 3-7
  • $5 bar food

Frank Hot Dogs

  • M-F, 4-6 
  • $4 wells
  • Half off waffle fries

Truluck

  • Everyday, 5-7
  • 1/2 price lounge menu, cocktails

Taverna

  • S-F, 4-7
  • $2 mimosa, $3 beer
  • 1/2 of appetizers and pizza

Imperia

  • M-F, 4-7
  • 2 for 1 sushi, $5 dim sum, $3 shiner

Driskill

  • M-F, 5-7
  • Half off Bar menu

La Condessa

  • M-F, 5-7 
  • Half off drinks

Uchi + Uchiko

  • Daily 5-6:30
  • Special menu ($3-$6)
  • $4 Sake

Walton's Fancy and Staple

  • 7-9 AM
  • 15% of Food

Z Tejas

  • MF 4-7
  • Dollar off drinks
  • $5-7 meals

Mulberry

  • MF 5-7
  • Food specials

Tacos-and-Tequila

  • M Quesadilla bar 4-630

Parkside

  • Daily, 5-7
  • 1/2 off beer, liquor and bar menu

Haddingtons

  • 4-7
  • Special cocktails

Malaga

  • Mon through Sat 5-7
  • Sunday 5-10
  • Drink specials

Fado's Pub

  • M-F 5-7
  • $4 Beer of Month
  • $4 dinner (mini-burgers, salad)

Roaring Fork

  • Daily, 4-7 in lounge
  • Food specials ($4 salad, $9 burger
  • Cocktail specials

Maria Maria

  • M-F 5-6 
  • Daily 10-12
  • $2 Corona
  • $5 Margs
  • $5-8 Dinner specials

Kenichi

  • Sunday, Monday - All night 
  • T-Th 4:30 - 7:00
  • Discounts on rolls, drinks

Cru

  • MF 4-7
  • $3 Pizza
  • $3 wine