The Best Date Spots in the U.S.
Yelp and OkCupid offer the most romantic date spots across eight popular cities.
A setting can be just as important as the company you keep when it comes to having a good date.
Whether you’re looking to have brunch or try a themed bar, OkCupid and Yelp have put together a collection of the top spots to try across nine different categories in eight popular U.S. cities, with each spot chosen based on over 200,000 votes from OkCupid's users.
Some cities, like Boston, incorporate the larger metro area to include places like Cambridge, since a large majority of OkCupid's users are based there.
Below, you'll find a breakdown of the top date spots across each city as part of OkCupid's 2018 Dater’s Choice Awards.
- Best Morning After Brunch—Snooze an Am Eatery: Originally started in Denver, this breakfast-focused spot puts a twist on American staples, offering dishes like a chile verde benny made with green chili topped tortillas, pulled pork or barbacoa style beef, eggs, and a green chili hollandaise.
- No Judgment Make-out Spot—Cheer Up Charlie’s: This lively bar offers vegan eats, a colorful interior, and a large outdoor music venue in the back for dancing the night away.
- Fitness and Wellness Date—EpicSup Paddle Boarding: Take your date paddle boarding or kayaking along Lady Bird Lake, where you’ll get views over the boardwalk and can explore nearby islands and coves.
- Best Hotel Bar—The Driskill Bar: This bar at the Driskill Hotel is modeled to take you back to the olden days of Texas, with cozy leather sofas and drinks that include everything from housemade jalapeño-blackberry juice to barrel-aged maple syrup.
- Cheap Eats—Torchy’s Tacos: Grab one of these large tacos, whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, without breaking the bank. Tacos come with intriguing ingredients that range from ahi tuna to jerk chicken topped with mango and sour cream.
- Photo Friendly Spot—Jo’s Coffee: This pastel green coffee shop started in 1999 has “I love you so much” written on its colorful walls outdoors to make for a romantic photo op.
- Spot that Sparks Conversation—Blanton Museum of Art: Spend some time chatting over the close to 18,000 works that line the walls of Austin’s primary art collection hub, whether you’re into Greek pottery or abstract expressionism.
- Spots Where Drinks Could Turn Into Dinner—Whistler’s: This spot is located in a 100-year-old building and houses a Mezcal bar where you’ll find more than 100 bottles and rare varieties. Grab some Thai street food specialties when it comes time for dinner.
- Best Themed Bar—Midnight Cowboy: This lustrous speakeasy includes a menu of rotating seasonal drinks that incorporate innovative ingredients like ricotta honey.
- Best Morning After Brunch—Lulu’s Allston: Whether you like sweet or savory bites in the morning, this spot offers selections that range from mini donuts and Cajun tater tots to drinks like a pineapple coconut mimosa. The best part is their full menu is served until 1 a.m.
- No Judgment Make-out Spot—Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar: This might be a cantina, but your décor here comes with a dark twist. Think red glass chandeliers, candle-lit tables, and plush couches.
- Fitness and Wellness Date—Lawn on D: At this outdoor interactive space, you’ll find an array of rotating events throughout the year, from art exhibits to games like ping pong, plus walkways you can explore year-round.
- Best Hotel Bar—Noir: Watch a noir film while sipping on cocktails, wine, or beer at this bar located inside the Charles Hotel.
- Cheap Eats—Charlie’s Kitchen: This multi-floor space offers '50s-style treats on its ground floor, burgers to enjoy outdoors, and a playful jukebox upstairs.
- Photo Friendly Spot—Top of the Hub: Take in the views of Boston’s skyline from 52 feet up in the air.
- Spot that Sparks Conversation—Museum of Fine Arts: You’ll find close to 500,000 works of art in this museum.
- Spot Where Drinks Could Turn Into Dinner—Eastern Standard: Indulge in drinks made with fennel and strawberry Campari and stick around for late-night bites like short rib sandwiches.
- Best Themed Bar—A4cade: Bring out your inner child at this arcade-themed bar offering grilled cheeses in the front, and plenty of games in the back.
- Best Morning After Brunch—Lula Café: This breakfast and brunch spot focuses on seasonal ingredients, giving you dishes like almond corn cake with yogurt or potato crepes topped with short ribs.
- No Judgment Make-out Spot—Slippery Slope: Enjoy drinks, music, dancing, and skeeball all in one place at this bar.
- Fitness & Wellness Date—Urban Kayaks: See Chicago through its historic river onboard these kayak cruises.
- Best Hotel Bar—Cindy’s: Located in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cindy’s offers you seasonal drinks and punches to enjoy while overlooking views of Millennium Park from its vaulted glass and steel rooftop setting.
- Cheap Eats—90 Miles Cuban Café: This B.Y.O.B. spot also incorporates a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, flamenco and paella nights each Tuesday, and an all-you-can-eat pig roast every Thursday.
- Photo Friendly Spot—Punch House: Punches are the specialty here, and they’re available by the cup, carafe, or bowl.
- Spot that Sparks Conversation—Adler Planetarium: Learn all about the universe at this date destination dedicated to space.
- Spot Where Drinks Could Turn Into Dinner—The Violet Hour: To find this spot, look for a mural on the outside that has a light bulb indicating the entrance. Inside, you’ll find three different salons outlined with leather chairs and candlelit tables.
- Best Themed Bar—Three Dots and a Dash: This tropical tiki lounge is a hidden retreat offering concoctions made with fruity ingredients like passion fruit, watermelon, and starfuit.
In Los Angeles:
- Best Morning After Brunch—Nighthawk Breakfast Bar: Breakfast for dinner is the motto here, with elevated breakfast foods like benedict fries and cocktails like a Spiked Cereal Milk made with Cinnamon Toast Crunch-spiced rum taking the stage.
- No Judgment Make-out Spot—The Varnish: Located in a refurbished storage room, this bar offers a mix of both classic and modern cocktails and live jazz Sundays through Wednesdays.
- Fitness and Wellness Date: Moonlight Rollerway Skating Rink: Head to this historic building once used to make parts for planes during the 1940s and enjoy rollerblading throughout the night.
- Best Hotel Bar—Skybar: Located at The Mondrian, this open-air bar offers mesmerizing views over the city.
- Cheap Eats—Smorgasburg: Head to this weekly outdoor market on Sundays to taste an array of sweet and savory delicacies from a range of food vendors.
- Photo Friendly Spot—Griffith Observatory: Take in the city views outside or head inside to explore telescopes, exhibits, and live shows at the space’s planetarium.
- Spot That Sparks Conversation—The Broad: This contemporary art museum is home to two floors of exhibits that include Yayoi Kusama’s famed Infinity Mirror Rooms.
- Spot Where Drinks Could Turn Into Dinner—The Edison: Take a step back in time at The Edison, which was made out of architectural artifacts pulled from the city’s first private power plant.
- Best Themed Bar—Tiki-ti: With only 12 stools and a few tables, this small bar offers you a tiki space dating back to 1961 that's tiny but lively all at once.
In New York City:
- Best Morning After Brunch—Sweet Chick: Weekend brunches here include indulgent dishes like smoked pork hash and black bean cake scramble.
- No Judgment Make-out Spot—House of Yes: This venue hosts themed events throughout the week that range from '70s rollerway parties to '80s-themed summer parties.
- Fitness and Wellness Date—Chelsea Piers: Choose from over 25 different sports, from rock climbing to golf.
- Best Hotel Bar—Standard Beer Garden: Underneath the High Line, this outdoor drinking spot offers plenty of beer, ping-pong tables, and taps that you can pour your own beer from right at your table in the summer.
- Cheap Eats—Ramen-Ya: Whether you’re looking for thin noodles, thick varieties, or ones made out of kale, you’ll find them here.
- Photo Friendly Spot—Mother of Pearl: This Polynesian restaurant and cocktail bar offers island-like white décor and colorful cocktails that add brightness to your evening.
- Spot That Sparks Conversation—Museum of the Moving Image: Learn everything there is to know about film, television, and digital media at this space housing exhibitions, programs, moving-image works, and artifacts.
- Spot Where Drinks Could Turn Into Dinner—The Happiest Hour: This cocktail bar and restaurant is known for elevated dishes and cocktails that include sweet concoctions like strawberry and tequila drinks and savory sips like a red pepper and habanero mix served with your choice of mezcal, tequila, or gin.
- Best Themed Bar—Otto’s Shrunken Head: This funky tiki-themed bar and lounge features live bands and DJs for whatever kind of night you’re in the mood for, and you’ll also find nights that feature spoken poetry, literary readings, film screenings, and karaoke.
- Best Morning After Brunch—Sabrina’s Café: Sample bites like the Scooby Snacks — buttered potato rolls stuffed with caramelized onion hash browns and pork scrapple — or the Courage the Cowardly Dog Sandwich — a Po’ Boy served with cornflake-crusted shrimp — at this B.Y.O.B. spot.
- No Judgment Make-out Spot—Tattooed Mom: Grab local beers, food, craft cocktails, or late-night snacks at this 20-year-old watering hole.
- Fitness and Wellness Date—Schuylkill River Trail: At almost 130 miles long, this trail offers plenty to enjoy, whether you want to walk or cycle.
- Best Hotel Bar—Stratus Rooftop Lounge: Have a drink 11 stories above the city’s historic quarters while you sit surrounded by maple trees and a cozy fireplace.
- Cheap Eats—Loco Pez: This cash-only spot inspired by Los Angeles’ food trucks serves tacos, burritos, and quesadillas as well as local beers, more than 25 tequilas, and tequila cocktails.
- Photo Friendly Spot—Spruce Street Harbour Park: At this outdoor playground, you can swing on hammocks, check out floating gardens, sip on craft beers, or try out foods from some of the city’s most popular restaurants.
- Spot That Sparks Conversation—Franklin Institute After Dark: Head here for its after-hours programs and you can catch games and events, from cocktail-making sessions to time-traveling workshops.
- Spot Where Drinks Could Turn Into Dinner—Friday Saturday Sunday: At this elegant space, you can start your night with cocktails like the Cheap Suit, blending gin, lemon-coriander shrub, and Cocchi Americano and continue the night with oysters and caviar.
- Best Themed Bar—Garage: Cans are all the rage at this bar, which allows you to bring your own food. You’ll find cold beers and whiskey and pickle backs.
In San Francisco:
- Best Morning After Brunch—Nopa: This restaurant focuses on organic wood-fired cuisine, with its weekend brunch offering dishes like coconut pecan granola served with roasted peaches and a wood-grilled hamburger served with a basil aoli.
- No Judgment Make-out Spot—El Rio: Started back in 1978, this space serves up fun margaritas alongside a Bloody Barry bar with infused vodkas and hosts events throughout the month.
- Fitness and Wellness Date—Dogpatch Boulders: This indoor bouldering venue offers 17-foot-high walls you can climb and a total of 17,000 square feet of climbing terrain.
- Best Hotel Bar—The View Lounge: Located in the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, this lounge incorporates small bites with dreamy views over the city to make for an unforgettable date.
- Cheap Eats—La Taqueria: Expect long lines at this eatery that serves burritos and tacos. A live mariachi band is on-site to accompany you while you wait for your meal.
- Photo Friendly Spot—Foreign Cinema: From fresh seafood selections like oyster and shellfish to meat dishes like a sirloin carpaccio and vegetarian plates incorporating seasonal ingredients, this eatery offers a dish for every palette.
- Spot That Sparks Conversation—California Academy of Sciences: Whether you’re looking to spend your day in an aquarium, planetarium, or a natural history museum, you can do it all in once place at the California Academy of Sciences.
- Spot Where Drinks Could Turn Into Dinner—Trick Dog: This venue’s award-winning cocktail menu is filled with drinks that look as good as they taste, whether you’re in the mood for a whiskey drink infused with coffee, beets, and cherry, or a rum cocktail made with pepper jam and thyme. Light bites include guacamole, roasted vegetables, seafood ceviche, and more.
- Best Themed Bar—Smuggler’s Cove: With the largest rum selection in the U.S., this rum-centered bar even incorporates the drink into its décor, with nautical touches that make for a playful setting.
- Best Morning After Brunch—5 Spot: Pair a Bloody Mary or mimosa with choices like a biscuit split and stuffed with sausage gravy and eggs or scrambled eggs topped with avocado, scallions, cheese, and red potatoes.
- No Judgment Make-out Spot—Lava Lounge: This casual spot hosts shuffleboards, arcade games, and tropical drinks.
- Fitness and Wellness Date—Seattle Bouldering Project: Another bouldering space, this venue offers climbing classes and activities like yoga and weights to get you active.
- Best Hotel Bar—Stoneburner: Located on the ground floor of Hotel Ballard, this restaurant and bar will get your evening off to a fresh start with cocktails ranging from sweet choices like cinnamon bark syrup and bourbon, to zesty selections like gin served with absinthe, orange bitter, and lemon.
- Cheap Eats—Katsu Burger: Japanese fusion means you can expect burgers with a twist here, whether you order a curry-powered pork loin burger or a miso-marinated tofu burger.
- Photo Friendly Spot—The London Plane: With a café, a specialty foods grocery, and a floral workshop all in one, there’s plenty to keep you entertained at this multi-use venue.
- Spot That Sparks Conversation—Seattle Art Museum: Explore a series of rotating visual exhibits and programs that feature art from across the globe.
- Spot Where Drinks Could Turn Into Dinner—The Pink Door: This Italian-American restaurant boasts a hefty wine list that pairs perfectly with its classic Italian dishes made with seasonal ingredients.
- Best Themed Bar—Unicorn: A carnival-themed bar means whimsical fun awaits, whether you’re looking to play on its claw machine, engage in a mimosa cabaret, or snack on your favorite carnival-themed staples.
This Story Originally Appeared On Travel + Leisure