Support Us Button Widget

Go to dinner with strangers in Austin with Timeleft

Ditch the phone screen for an evening and meet up with locals like you for a fun-filled social experience.

a hand holding a phone with timeleft's app open, which shows the seat confirmation, the group and the restaurant

Timeleft emails you all of the information you need to prepare for your evening.

Photo by ATXtoday

Did you know that every Wednesday night at 7 p.m., strangers have dinner together at several restaurants across Austin? Well, that’s exactly what city editors Morgan and Figi did last week — and we’re here to give you the 411 on our experience.

How it works

Timeleft, an app on a mission to curb modern-day loneliness, launched in Austin at the end of May. Users start by creating an account and completing a short questionnaire, where they share their age, career field, interests, diet, religious beliefs, and more. Based on their answers, Timeleft’s algorithm chooses five locals who they’re most likely to enjoy conversations with.

The day before dinner, participants find out more about your mystery guests broken down by percentages (i.e. 33% of the table works in the medical field) and receive safety tips for their excursion.

The morning of, at least one secret is out — where the group will be eating. Timeleft chooses the restaurant based on the area the user has chosen and how much they normally spend on nights out.

Participants arrive at the restaurant at 7 p.m. + meet their new potential besties. During the meal, Timeleft releases an icebreaker game via the app for the group to play if they choose. At 8 p.m., the app reveals the location of the Last Drink, an optional meet-up point for every Timeleft group in your area to intersect.

Morgan’s experience

three men and two women sit and smile at a wooden table with silverware and flowers in the middle

Austin, Aaron, Tyler, Morgan, and Gabby left the dinner with memories and a new group message.

Photo by ATXtoday

I chose a glass of wine as my getting-ready drink to calm any nerves related to dining with five strangers. I mean, this could turn out like “The Menu,” right?

Lucky for me, I live within walking distance from the restaurant of Timeleft’s choosing, The Well. The combination of Wednesday night’s rain showers + my refusal to purchase an umbrella meant I showed up a bit damp.

But all of my fears melted away over drinks and appetizers with Gabby, Tyler, Aaron, and Austin (our sixth seat was a no-show). Our ages ranged from 23-29, our time in Austin varied from 3 weeks to 3 years, and no two people had a similar career. Our similarities included a shared love for animals, cocktails, laughing, and living in ATX.

Four of us said yes to the Last Drink at The Tipsy Alchemist, where I met even more wonderful people who were brave enough to dive into this social experiment. All said, I went home feeling grateful for the out-of-the-box experience.

Figi’s experience

five women and one man stand for a photo with their arms around one another in a bar with green booths and twinkling lights

Nicole, Moriah, Vivian, Figi, Kevin, and Amy passed their phones around and followed each other on Instagram.

Photo by ATXtoday

City Editor Figi here — I met up with a group of five people aged 23-27 at The Peached Tortilla in north Austin. I was the first one there so I was nervous at first.

With each person’s arrival, the conversation continued to flow. Although it was the first time using Timeleft for most people there, I was surprised to learn that two people were on their second dinner. Most of us worked in different industries, with the exception of two engineers working with artificial intelligence.

We started chatting through some icebreaker questions provided by Timeleft (ours included “Explain your job to the table as if you were talking to a 5-year-old,” and “Tell the table about your hobbies.”). However, we honestly didn’t need them. We had no shortage of topics to chat about, from interesting aspects of people’s jobs, to learning how to skateboard to the likelihood of AI being sentient.

After sharing a few desserts, we all headed to The Aristocrat Lounge for one final drink. After meeting with another group of Timeleft folks, we chatted for another hour. In the three hours we spent together, there was never an awkward silence, and we all followed each other on social media.

More from ATXtoday
The new park area has something for all Austinites — young and old — with play areas, seating, a dock, and access to the rest of the trail.
We’ve got details and a map full of drink deals: We’ll be highlighting the vibrant beverage scene across Austin, TX from July 22 to July 26, 2024.
The New York-based bar’s debut is a sneak peek into 6th Street’s future.
Here’s a timeline chronicling decades of the nonprofit organization entertaining Austin at no cost.
The high-profile restaurant will bring in A-list football players to serve and socialize in support of the Fair Catch Foundation.
With construction for The Confluence continuing along Waller Creek, trail users should expect route disruptions for the next several months.
We asked ChatGPT which travel destinations in the US are most similar to Bat City. See what the artificial intelligence program said.
Ready for your lunch break? Check out these 33 lunches from north to south Austin.
Located in the heart of Old West Austin, Lou Lambert’s luxurious two-bedroom Castle Hill home is on the market for $1,650,000 now.
Make the most of good weather by taking your meals al fresco on one of Austin’s many beautiful patios.