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What to Wear & Where to Go: How to Eat & Drink in Style in Austin, Texas

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Robin Hancock's recommendations for designer fashion, unique jewelry, and chic places to dine in Austin, TX

Jewelry & Styling: Robin Hancock Fine Jewelry; Wardrobe: ByGeorge; Photography: Hannah Koehler; Art Direction & Styling: Tabitha Ford; Makeup: Angela Armstrong; Hair: Joshua Chastain

All dressed up and nowhere to go? It's time to dust off your jewelry box and put on your favorite lipstick. We’re excited to finally get back to enjoying time spent sipping and dining with our favorite people, at our favorite spots around Austin, Texas. Date night or coffee run, we’re finding ways to invite a lot of joy and a little sparkle into everyday moments. Your jewelry should compliment your unique sense of personal style, which is why we’ve partnered with ByGeorge to create looks that will help you to step out on the town looking, and feeling, your best.

Whether you just moved here, or you’re a longtime resident, we’re sure you’ll enjoy Robin’s top selections for where to eat and drink in Austin, in style. Here you’ll find recommendations for chic bars, restaurants, and cafés with curated menus, well designed atmospheres, and ultimate charm. Below you'll explore the best places for New Years Eve, sexy cocktails, lively brunch, cozy coffee spots, and more. Pair elegant pieces from ByGeorge with favorites from our antique, vintage, estate, and designer jewelry collections, and get ready to enjoy all that Austin, TX has to offer.

Best Places to Spend New Years Eve in Austin

What to Wear

When thinking about what you'll wear for New Years Eve in Austin, choose an outfit you can dance in rather than going for an elaborate ball gown. Austin fashion is laid back but put-together — keep it polished, but make sure a too-tight pair of heels isn't keeping you from having a good time. Let a fun, sparkling, top take the lead. Pair it with warm leather leggings as slick as your dance moves. When it comes to your jewelry, we say more is more. Complement your sparkle with diamond jewelry that moves and shakes like you do! The diamonds melt into the sparkle, making a subtle yet stunning statement. Choose diamond cocktail rings in unique shapes, then add a single pop of color in a fun and bright shade of green.

Olivia shown in: Art Deco, Onyx, Jade, Diamond & Platinum Drop Earrings $9,350; Art Deco, Platinum, Diamond & Onyx Necklace $16,750.

Where to Wear

Looking for a sexy evening filled with French charm and cold champagne? Head to Justine’s to sit under the Winter tent, eat escargot, and toast a glass of Möet. We haven’t heard any plans for Justine’s usual NYE Party this year, so this could be your move for a low-key, yet lively, evening with good company. You’ll want to keep an open mind and fluid plans when you head to Justine’s — you never know what the night might hold, or what interesting acquaintance you might make. Wear unique jewelry, it’s sure to be a conversation starter.

If you’re looking for a reason to wear Art Deco jewels, look no further than The Roosevelt Room’s Roaring 20’s New Years Eve Party. While the Roosevelt Room is a must-try cocktail destination on a regular evening, the NYE Party adds extra glamor to an already elevated experience. Bring out your best vintage looks and prepare for dazzling pre-prohibition era cocktails. Wear jewelry that makes you feel like you can let go of your inhibitions.

Prepare for an evening of top-notch entertainment, high-end delicacies, and an atmosphere of mischief and delight at Devil May Care. This New Years Eve, grace your ears with jazz from The Ephraim Owens Trio while you enjoy caviar in a decadent atmosphere. Then, stay for the black-tie, late-night party and toast tequila at midnight. Wear jewelry that shines and sparkles like the NYE ball drop.


Best Bars for a Secluded Cocktail in Austin

What to Wear

The beauty of dressing for a night out in Austin is that the focus is on wearing what makes you feel good. If you feel good grabbing a fancy cocktail in jeans and a t-shirt, by all means! If you feel your best in a little black dress and striking heels, strut on over! We love this updated take on The Little Black Dress from ByGeorge. It's all about creating a balance between classic and modern: a structured, cut-out slit shows just enough skin, yet remains elegant, with a structured silhouette working to accentuate your curves in all the right places. Warm yellow gold is a subtle but bold contrast against solid black and always a good choice for evening cocktails. We like to punch up the classics with over-sized jewelry elements that are both bubbly-fun and refined.

Tabitha shown in: 18k Yellow Gold Disco Ball Necklace $2,750; 18k Yellow Gold Link Bracelet, Italy $17,900; 18k Yellow Gold Dome Ring, signed Papini, Italy $2,590; 18k Yellow Gold Tubular Door-Knocker Earrings, signed Papini, Italy $4,470.

Where to Wear

If you appreciate attention to detail, personal service, and a touch of exclusivity (without being pretentious) then head to Here Nor There for craft cocktails like you’ve never had before. This speakeasy destination requires a reservation in advance, upon which you’ll receive a passcode to the secluded, gated entry (download the app and become a member for reservations). Wear jewelry that glimmers in low light.

Expect good stories and extraordinary cocktails when you go to Garage. True connoisseurs seek out this hard-to-spot bar and try to keep it hush-hush. Disguised and constructed in the space of an old parking garage, it’s a sultry and sophisticated, yet relaxed, atmosphere — made better by intriguing conversation and well-made drinks. Wear your most interesting piece, make friends with a stranger.

Small Victory is where tiki drink classics and speakeasy vibes come for their honeymoon. The low-lit, 70s-esque bar aims to revive the classic drinks that founded America’s cocktail culture. Come for the dark green velvet and mahogany, stay for the Artists' Classic, the house cocktail of the Artists Bar on Rue Pigalle in Paris in the early 20th century. While it’s far in distance from Tahiti or Paris, it’s a stylish destination for when you want to look and feel impressive. Wear jewelry that brings a pop of warm gold.


Best Restaurants for a Romantic Date Night in Austin

What to Wear

First date or five-hundredth date, dressing up for a night with your partner gives you a chance to relax together and stay connected. For an intimate evening, we recommend figure-forming lines and neutral colors that keep the focus on your best features. Choose silhouettes that elongate your figure, like this maxi zipper dress from ByGeorge. Then, pair with long earrings, like these golden twists, to frame your face and add effortless movement. Contrast flowing pieces with structure: the geometric lines in this tunic and vintage choker do just that. First date? Wear an antique ring or heirloom jewelry and you'll have an intriguing story on your finger (or neck, or ears), ready to go. Grab your heels, stack your rings, and you'll be all set for a hot, Winter's night out.

Olivia shown in: Victorian Rose Cut Diamond & Natural Pearl Ring, $2,200; Victorian 'Moi et Toi' Ring with rose cut diamonds & pearl, $995; Victorian Double Ring with old mine cut and rose cut diamonds and single pearl $3,075; Edwardian Granulated Gold Bangle, circa 1900 $2,500; Estate Tiffany Earrings & Antique Cartier Collar Necklace, sold.

Where to Wear

You can’t say you’re an Austinite without putting at least one Mexican restaurant in your date-night rotation. We appreciate things in life that harken back to the classics, but keep us on our toes with unique and unexpected twists. Enter, Comedor. Feeling more like a secluded, jungle hideaway in Tulum, Comedor’s smoky mezcal drinks and modern Mexican plates will warm you from the inside out. Wear jewelry reminiscent of a flame, turn up the heat.

Head to Jeffrey’s for an evening that feels classic, upscale, and highly considered. Munch on horderves that feel like mini works of art as you discuss Terry Allen’s MemWars (a new exhibition at The Blanton) or Luca Cambiaso’s group of seven paintings on display as a part of The Blanton’s permanent collection. With a passion for friendship, food and wine, Jeffrey’s connects friends and lovers alike in an intimate neighborhood atmosphere that will leave you feeling full on life. Wear your classic jewelry pieces, feel refined.

To dine at Lutie’s is to “​​revel in a convivial atmosphere surrounded by contemporary design.” Touted as a garden restaurant that places farm to table at the forefront, the menu inspires a fresh palette and fresh perspective as you discuss the bounties of life. While it is typically difficult to snag a reservation, Lutie’s is the perfect place to freshen your romance or old-friend connection. Wear Edwardian jewelry with garden-inspired motifs.


Best Restaurants to Take Clients in Austin

What to Wear

We resist the idea that professional attire should be boring. Modesty and professionalism need not be devoid of personality or interest. Pair these baby-soft cropped leather pants with a cinched waist, peplum flair top and you'll be as chic as you are comfortable. Neutral blacks and grays are the perfect backdrop for antique rubies, diamonds, and citrine. Jewel tones for work are both sophisticated and approachable.

Tabitha shown in: Renee Lewis Diamond Rimmed Yellow Gold Diamond "Shake" Necklace, $19,900

Retro Ruby & Gold Burst Ear Clips, $4,290.

Where to Wear

Have clients in town? Need to spend a couple of hours hunkered down for a business meeting or simply have a quiet conversation? If you want an impressive atmosphere, a semi-private environment, and a space with volume levels acceptable for detailed conversations, you can’t go wrong with Sammie’s Italian, Lamberts, Olamaie, or Fonda San Miguel. Lambert’s will satisfy the BBQ craving of any out-of-town client, while Fonda San Miguel is for those wanting authentic south-of-the-border flavors during their Austin visit. Both Olamaie and Sammie’s Italian are near-to-downtown locations that bring comforting, down-home offerings, excellent for getting deals done over dinner. Wear jewelry that compliments your structured look by getting playful with your jewels.


Charming and Casual Daytime Restaurants in Austin

What to Wear

With bright, 70-degree days, even in the middle of Winter, Austin practically begs you to perch yourself upon one if its many quaint porches for the afternoon. Choose attire that can quickly adapt to Austin's often unpredictable forecast. Try something like this long-sleeved tunic with thick-yet-breathable fabric you can layer up or down — thrown on a sweater and leggings when it gets chilly or a sun hat when those Winter skies are shining. We recommend jewelry that feels light and catches the light. Reflective, natural colored stones and delicate circle motifs are your easy-breezy throw-on pieces.

Olivia shown in: Renee Lewis 2-Part Green Topaz Earrings, $7,800; Renee Lewis 2-Chain Antique Diamonds Crescent Necklace, $11,000; 2.21 ct Oval Solitaire Ring, inquire for pricing; French, Art Nouveau Pearl & Etched Gold Bracelet, $4,250.

Where to Wear

If you enjoy people watching, then June’s will quickly become your daytime go-to. As the name suggests, this is an Austin restaurant where you could easily stay all day. Perfect for a café breakfast (have the cruller for a quick, sweet bite) or a smoked salmon nicoise salad for lunch. Linger on for their fantastic Happy Hour and choose bubbles from their adorable hand-drawn Wine Zine. Its neon lights and checker floor give this quintessential American cafe a modern twist — you won’t mind sitting at one of the stylish marble-and-brass tables, indoors or out. Wear jewelry that's subtle and cool.

Easily an anytime lunch spot, Swedish Hill is a delightfully buzzy bakery-deli great for getting some work done, taking the kids to lunch, or posting up with a copy of The Secrets We Kept (by Austin’s own Lara Prescott). It’s cheery, it’s easygoing, it smells like fresh baked bread and pastries. What’s not to love? Wear your most charming jewelry, be charming.

Situated conveniently next to our old Bryker Woods location, Tiny Boxwoods is near and dear to our hearts — and about as cute as they come. Bring the kiddos for a warm cookie treat at Tiny's walk-up window, or catch up with a girlfriend over chardonnay and charcuterie. The little potted trees found throughout the garden and fresh-as-can be plates will win your heart and elevate your mood. Wear pearls and glistening diamonds.


Best Cozy Coffee Shops in Austin

What to Wear

Give us an excuse to wear cashmere head-to-toe and we'll gladly take it. For the days when you'd rather curl up with a good book, or get cozy for a coffee-shop work day, throw on chic loungewear that lets you go from your couch to the neighborhood café in an instant. Sometimes good jewelry and a matching set are all you need to feel put-together. Delicate rings and weightless diamonds are just enough to add a stylish touch to casual and effortless outfits, but remain comfortable enough for even your most low-key days.

Tabitha shown in: Renee Lewis 2-Chain Large Round Pink & Cinnamon Diamonds "Shake" Necklace, $23,900; Vintage Tri-Tone Gold Bubble Ring, $3,300; Penny Preville Stacking Rings: 1) Plain Engravable Stack Band with Twist Edge, $1,245 2) 18k Yellow Gold Round and Square Diamond Eternity Band, $2,890 3) 18kg Plain Stack Band with Twist Center, $1,190 4) Mixed Shape Diamond Amulet Band, $2,310; Victorian Old Cut Diamond Earrings, $22,000.

Where to Wear

Clarksville is an Austin neighborhood where the history is as rich as the coffee. There's a reason why the folks in Clarksville call Caffe Medici, “the neighborhood living room.” Bring a book, order a cappuccino, and you’ll quickly understand why. The warm and comfortable bungalow is the perfect location for a good read and a hot drink on a chilly day. Catch up with friends or take some time just for yourself. Wear relaxed jewelry with lots of movement.

Feeling cozy yet considered, Hank’s serves casual-cool vibes that’ll make you want to grab a cafe au lait and stay a while. With coffee as delicious as their food offering, Hanks is a great spot to post up for some light laptop work in the morning and linger on for lunch in the afternoon (Day Boat Scallops, anyone?). The restaurant's bright and calm atmosphere doesn’t sacrifice stylish for cozy, and is a good spot to bring the kids when you all need an afternoon pick-me-up. Pop in on a Monday for half-off burgers and Tuesdays for half-off wine bottles. Wear jewelry that's modern and comfortable.

Tucked away in the South Congress Hotel, Mañana may not be considered “cozy” at first glance, but there's a little-known secret to making it one of the coziest coffee spots in town. Here’s what you do; grab a vanilla lavender latte or an iced matcha, then, head through the outdoor corridor into the SoCo Hotel lobby. Beyond the bookcases, you’ll find comfortable couches in their Lobby Bar area that will make your design-loving heart sing. Find a cozy corner and stay as long as you’d like. Browse the shelves for books on fashion, music, and culture, and wear vintage diamonds.


Best Places for a Chic Brunch in Austin

What to Wear

Is there a more perfect meal than brunch? It's the meal where you can go in whichever direction your heart desires — sweet, savory, pancakes, or pan-seared — the same applies to dressing for brunch in Austin. The anything-goes nature of this late-morning meal always lends itself to an afternoon of fun (of course, the mimosas certainly help). Make it even more fun with bright colors and feminine silhouettes, like this red-hued maxi, and pair with antique jewelry in playful forms. We can't get over this vintage perfume vial necklace — the vague scent of the original owner's Chanel N°5 still present upon twisting off the cap.

Olivia shown in: Retro 14k Yellow Gold Perfume Bottle Necklace decorated with turquoise and ruby beads with lapis top, signed John Rubel $3,890; 18k Yellow Gold Lapis Lazuli Bracelet by Sasportas, France, $12,000.

Where to Wear

If your brunch involves oysters and champagne, you know probably doing it right. Clark’s Oyster Bar feels like a chic seaside Cape Cod cafe landed in the middle of a cozy Austin neighborhood. Enjoy a fresh lobster roll at the marble countertop inside or grab a spot on the adorable patio dotted with yellow umbrellas. Soak up the sun (or perhaps revel in stories from your weekend adventures) on one of Austin’s famously sunny Winter afternoons. Wear chunks of gold that glitter in the sun.

The mingling of French and Vietnamese flavors at Elizabeth Street Cafe is an instant love affair. The fashionable interior, filled with bright colors and detailed patterns, make the perfect backdrop for a lively brunch with the girls or an afternoon of quaint conversations with the inlaws. Their vine-covered outdoor bistro area is absolutely perfect under any circumstance, as are their Ginger Chili Oil Dumplings and the House Baked Brioche French Toast. Wear jewelry with a fun pattern or illustrative motif.

Spending an early afternoon brunching at Josephine House is like receiving an invitation to dine at the cute bungalow of your most fashionable, put-together friend. A true American Dream brunch. Get smitten with the lemon ricotta pancakes or shrimp and grits and you’ll be quick to become a brunch regular. Wear jewelry in a deep blue hue, match the bungalow.


Shop these chic designer looks at ByGeorge’s N. Lamar location, then stop into our Austin, TX Westlake boutique to complete your ensemble with our one-of-a-kind selection of antique, vintage, and designer jewelry. We’d love to see you out on the town — share your fun date nights, girls brunches, and cocktail moments with us on Instagram, and make sure to tag us in your photos at @rhfine_jewelry.

Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments!

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