We’ve given you a whole bunch of ideas for seriously great dates, dates for less than $20, and even first dates. Honestly, by now you should have been married, like, twice at least. But there’s a lot to be said for dating somewhere you can Uber to and from your house. So here are Houston’s very best date spots, ‘hood by ‘hood.
Tiger Den (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: Tantalizingly good pork broth, scratch-made noodles, and a veering on stalkerish cult following mean this modern and sultry izakaya will be packed on the weekends. But that’s all the more time to get to know each other while you work up your ramen appetites.
Market Square Park (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: This quaint, historic park is pretty much the epicenter of Downtown’s revival. Start there and see where you end up. You can A) get cozy at the candelabra-lit La Carafe, B) grab a B-Cycle and explore Downtown, C) sip fancy-pants cocktails at Hearsay Gastro Lounge, or D) do all of the above, plus share tapas at Batanga, tacos at Fusion Taco, and falafel at Niko Niko’s.
Cafe TH (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: Not only does this neighborhood spot check off the ultimate date night goal of being BYOB, but chef and owner Minh Nguyen creates some truly spectacular multi-course dinner specials alongside his fresh take on Vietnamese classics. Critical info: dinner service is Thursday & Friday only (though no one ever said you couldn’t also enjoy a BYOB date for lunch).
Garden Oaks/Oak Forest
Cottonwood (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: There are 40+ craft taps and a serious selection of whiskey for you; bourbon cocktails and a cherry-picked list of wine for her. And country riffs, fireside tables, games of corn hole, and BBQ oysters for all.
Caracol (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: Is there anything more romantic than starting your meal throwing back Gulf Coast oysters, then finishing it by cracking open a chocolate coconut dome filled with coconut buttercream and ganache while using a tiny wooden mallet? We didn’t think so.
Coltivare (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: With a prime location on White Oak, impressive cocktails, and an even more impressive menu of Italian-inspired eats featuring herbs and produce straight from the urban garden, this bustling eatery takes the cake for terrific date spots. Share a few plates, and then head down the street for more drinks and live music.
CityCentre (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: This mixed-use community is packed with places to shop, wine, and dine, which we heard is the kind of stuff girlfriends love. Stop by Olive & Vine to sample 30+ specialty oils and vinegars, catch a blockbuster at Studio Movie Grill, get modern Italian at the sexy Radio Milano, and sip cocktails by the fireplace at the starlit Monnalisa.
13 Celsius (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: It doesn’t get sexier than a dimly lit wine bar with a dynamic wine list and antique, Old-World vibes. Except when you add impeccable cheese and charcuterie, tableside s’mores, and specials like half-price open bottles on Sundays. Date night FTW!
Dolce Vita (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: Sharing a killer wood-fired pizza and pasta a la Lady and the Tramp in this intimate space is über romantic -- plus with pies and plates starting at $9 to $12, dinner won’t hurt your wallet too badly. Bonus: if that spaghetti trick actually worked, you can walk over to the sexy Rosemont Social Club for a nightcap.
Miller Outdoor Theatre (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: FREE live performances of musicals and plays. Check. Ability to pack a picnic to show off your wine-and-cheese-pairing skills. Check. Ability to also pack a blanket and then make out on said blanket under the stars like you’re back in high school. Check. Annnnd check.
Cloud 10 Creamery (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: Hear this: there is no date better than an ice cream date. Walk around the Village before making your way over to this popular creamery for legitimately excellent ice cream in flavors like Hazelnut-Miso, Smoked Corn, and Spicy Dark Chocolate.
River Oaks Theatre (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: Built in 1939, this Art Deco theatre evokes that classical charm of days past. Hit it for indie flick dates, foreign film dates, and dates where you dress up like an insane person for the monthly viewings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Guru Burgers & Crepes (address and info)
Why it's a great date spot: Smack in the heart of Town Square Plaza, this burger haven is the perfect spot to grab a cold pint and escape the crowd (read: screaming children with a-hole parents). Enjoy a casual date over scratch-made Akaushi burgers, fresh-cut fries, and dulce de leche crepes before rejoining the madness.
Kata Robata (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: Getting cozy at the sushi counter as Chef Manabu Horiuchi (aka Hori-san) amazes with razor-edge cuts and brilliantly balanced flavors is one way to go; slurping mind-numblingly good ramen and Japanese whisky flights in the sultry dining room is another.
Julep (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: This bourbon-centric cocktail bar with legit game gives you the chance to show off your inner Southern gent. Dust off the bow tie and sip on mint juleps and Mississippi punch while you share stories of Derby Days past.
Hubbell & Hudson (address and info)
Why it’s a great date spot: Whether you’re looking to dine on burgers and fries at the Kitchen, sip wine over truffle risotto at the Bistro, or experience an intensely delicious eight-course chef’s tasting menu at the newly opened and already notorious Cureight, these guys have exactly what your date night needs. Now if only you could find matching socks...
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