By Devan Grimsrud
Updated February 24, 2016
Hola Arepa

It’s important to choose carefully when planning a date, whether you’re wooing someone new or re-kindling an old flame. The best places for a romantic evening combine amazing food with an effortlessly dynamic atmosphere that entices you and fosters conversation. If you’re in the upper Midwest we’ve got you covered. Here, the best date restaurants in Minneapolis.

Bar la Grassa

Start your romantic evening with the luxurious soft eggs and lobster bruschetta, a perfect appetizer for two. In our experience, sharing a meal can definitely bring you closer, so get a selection of small pastas to share—make sure to include the gnocchi with cauliflower and orange. Reservations are recommended, but if you’re going on a whim, try and slip in for seats at the bar where the bartender can match your meal with a selection from the extensive wine list.

800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Spoon and Stable

Getting a reservation at the hottest spot in town is likely to impress your date, fortunately the food more than lives up to the hype. James Beard Award-winning chef and owner, Gavin Kaysen, creates stunning dishes inspired by classic French technique, but still incorporates local ingredients into his seasonal menu. Although the atmosphere is modern and sleek, the open kitchen, rustic accents and warehouse vibe make it inviting and menu items like Dorothy’s Pot Roast channel comfort and nostalgia.

211 N 1st St, Minneapolis, MN 55401


A cute and cozy neighborhood spot in Linden Hills, Tilia is serving its take of New American. The food is creative, but approachable; reasonably priced, but super high-quality. With a beautiful list of wines, warm atmosphere and delicious food, almost can't lose ("almost" because the wait can get long on weekend nights). If you’re struggling with what to order, get the fish taco torta. And don’t you dare miss the Brussels sprouts with ham and walnuts.

2726 W 43rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55410

Broders’ Pasta Bar

Family-owned and operated since 1994, Broders’ Pasta Bar is known for sumptuous handmade pastas and risottos. Focusing on simple food using the freshest ingredients, the pasta is always lovingly sheathed in rich olive oil or house-made sauces. With daily specials and over 20 different pasta dishes to choose from, it’s hard to make a mistake here. Unfortunately, they don’t take reservations, but the wait is worth it. Pro-tip: they have great date-night deals from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday – you and your date can split two pastas, choice of salad, marinated olives, a half bottle of wine, and a basket of bread for just $35.

5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

Hola Arepa

The drinks at this South Minneapolis food-truck-turned-restaurant are hand crafted and the food is ridiculous. An arepa is a Venezuelan sandwich of sorts – composed of a thin, griddled masa patty, filled with all sorts of goodies from juicy meats and fresh salsas to roasted vegetables and crumbly cotija cheese. They may look small, but they pack an incredible punch of flavor and make a messy delight of a date-night meal.

3501 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Burch Steak and Pizza Bar

Considered one of the best restaurants in Minneapolis, Burch has two different experiences to offer and either one would make an excellent choice for a romantic evening. A sleek pizza bar and small dining room are located downstairs, where you can indulge in beautifully charred pizzas with refined toppings like spicy raw ahi, endive, or creamed leeks. In the modern dining room upstairs, beset with large mirrors and rustic brick walls, steak is the main attraction, but not the only item worth ordering. The dumplings perfect, the salads are as attractive to the eyes as to the mouth, as are a variety of raw dishes (think oysters, crudo and tartare).

1933 Colfax Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55403


Since opening, this tiny restaurant has been one of the busiest in Minneapolis. Serving Southern-inspired comfort food like fried chicken, pimento grilled cheese, collard greens and johnnycakes, the food will put a smile on your face as you take in the vibrant atmosphere. Even thought the line sometimes stretches out the door, it’s hard not to have a great night.

4257 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409

Smack Shack

Lively as can be, Smack Shack has been satisfying lobster cravings since launching as a food truck in 2010. The brick-and-mortar came three years later to the North Loop neighborhood and gained traction with the seafood-loving crowd ever since. With exposed rafters, red and white checkered accents and huge doors that open to the patio in the summer, Smack Shack isn’t your typical date-night atmosphere – but it’s a ton of fun. Go for the lobster boil if you're feeling adventurous; otherwise, try the rich lobster mac and cheese with taleggio and sweet corn, or the Smack Shack Original lobster roll.

603 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401