Ah Sing Den
1100 E. 6th St., East Austin
Ah Sing Den is a newish discovery for us. The only appropriate descriptor for the Mickie Spencer–designed space is: beautiful. It is just beautiful. Nostalgic wooden shutters, round marble tables so small you can easily lean over to your date and whisper. Contrasting textures, like plush velvet, leather, and brass finishes, add to the elegant, romantic vibe. The kitchen serves up food—we’d like to suggest the dumplings—that you’ll want to pair with a cocktail and stay past…whenever o’clock.
2027 Anchor Ln., East Austin
Contigo is a bit removed from the center of Austin, which adds to the ranch-like quality of the restaurant. A spacious outdoor patio with picnic benches and umbrellas makes it a fun place for Sunday brunch, and also a pretty space at night when the strings of outdoor lights are illuminated. The menu, which changes regularly, has a few game-inspired dishes and Texan twists on American classics, plus really good drinks.
1912 E. 7th St., East Austin
Liquid nitrogen ice cream is taking off across the country, and two sisters have brought the trend to Austin: In addition to inventive flavors with the signature creamy liquid nitrogen texture, this shop is known for wacky toppings like earl grey confetti, brown butter powder, and chocolate shells.
Wright Bros. Brew & Brew
500 San Marcos St., East Austin
The guys at Brew & Brew are sort of the tech geeks of the coffee world—they'll make you your espresso on a super-sleek Modbar espresso machine, which gives the barista a lot of control to make the drink exactly to your specifications. The décor is hipster in the best possible way, with exposed brick walls that are decorated with painted stripes near the ceiling. Of course, as the name suggests, you can switch over from espresso to lager whenever you're so inclined.
Vintage Heart Coffee
1405 E. 7th St., East Austin
This homey, neighborhood spot offers simple, cozy décor and lots and lots of seating. They serve all of their cold drinks in a Mason jar (this is Texas, so all but the most hard-core coffee folks will be wanting their beverages iced); the go-to orders are definitely the vanilla and lavender lattes. Coffee is sourced from Third Coast Roasting company, a local outfit that uses fair-trade beans.
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