With the weekend approaching (thank God) and summer romance in the air, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from my guy friends asking me where they should bring their dates. I always have a few suggestions but maybe a nice concrete guide will stop them from blowing up my phone Friday night at 6.
Well guys and gals, here are some great places that you should check out. Some are pricey, some are cheap, some are romantic, some are chill, either way, you’re going to impress with these selections.
If you are feeling Chill:
It’s the first date, or a dreaded blind date, or the “not sure if I’m into you yet but I wouldn’t mind being seen with you in public” date, here’s some cool places that will keep conversation flowing and has easy to find exits if you need to make a quick escape.
1. The Delachaise
I’ve mentioned this place before and I enjoyed it so much that I’m mentioning it again. Located on St. Charles, The Delachaise is a great spot for a mellow date night but it’s intimate enough that you can have a real conversation. They have outdoor seating on St. Charles and a casual vibe indoors. Great wine, small but tasty menu items, all in all, a great first date choice.
2. Sante Fe
Santa Fe is one of my favorite choices for brunch but it’s also an awesome place for a relaxing dinner. They have outdoor seating underneath beautiful string lights looking right out at Esplanade Avenue. With really delicious Latin and Spanish dishes, you can discuss books, movies and art while you fill up on yummy goodness. Usually a busy place, you might have to wait a short while for a reservation but it’s definitely worth it. Ask for the server Martha and tell her Morgan sent you.
3. The Prytania Theater
Instead of going to the Westbank or Metairie for a night at the movies, you should head to Prytania Theater. Opened in 1914, it’s a one-screen movie theater and the oldest one in the whole state. Really makes you feel like you’re going on that classic movie & dinner date that never gets old. Currently they’re showing Jersey Boys but they show other movies on the weekends too, so feel free to go any night.
4. Gondola Ride through City Park
I mean, who can resist this ultra-romantic idea? The Big Lake right at the front of the City Park is where you can rent a gondola and circle the lake. Bring some glasses of wine and a blanket and you’ll find yourself having a memorable date (hopefully, I mean c’mon, I can only do so much).
If You’re Feeling Classic
So you definitely like this person or you at least definitely want to impress them, these are some places that are a bit more intimate and are definite “This is a date” spots. Guys, buying dinner goes a long way. Ladies, free dinner is rarity in this day and age, take advantage.
Salu on Magazine Street is a really cool place that I wish more people would check out. Right next to Rum House, if you want something less crowded and more serious than happy hour, head over to Salu. On Thursdays, they have live Latin music, so if you feel like stirring up some passion, think about coming here. Also on Thursday, get an order of their Seafood Paella and get a complimentary bottle of wine! Talk about a deal! Really delicious entrees and great sharing plates, great for that 2nd or 3rd date.
2. Superior Seafood
So we’ve all heard of Superior Grill (or have at least used their facilities during Mardi Gras) and I love a good frozen margarita as much as the next gal but maybe it’s not the best date spot. No worries, Superior Seafood is just down the street at St. Charles and Napoleon. White tablecloths, booths, outdoor seating, the old tile floors of some of the classier restaurants. It just feels very old New Orleans along with being reasonable priced. Great place for splitting a bottle of wine and getting to know someone. Definitely recommend the pomegranate mojito.
I love Domenica because they have one of the best happy hours in the city and because the food is just top notch. The interior is classy without being intimidating and they have an awesome wine and cocktail list, not to mention the amazing dessert menu. You can enjoy a delicious, full course meal and even coffee afterwards without breaking the bank. Ask if you can sit next to the window and look out on Barrone Street.
4. Bacchanal Wine Bar
This has to be one of my favorite places in the whole city. You can walk in with your date, select a bottle of wine together, then head outside to enjoy the music, ambiance and beauty of their outdoor courtyard. It’s so romantic, you’ll probably run into a few friends and if your date isn’t a wine drinker, they have cocktails available as well. Definitely check this place out if you haven’t gone yet.
If you’re feeling FUN!
1. Marigny Brasserie
Located right at the corner of Royal Street and Frenchmen, Marigny is some nice digs without the stuffiness of a formal atmosphere. They have outdoor seating if you want to see all the people on Frenchmen street or listen to the music. There couches for relaxing, white tablecloths, glassware and there’s always a great band playing. The food is a little pricier side but definitely a great date spot. And afterwards, you can walk through the Frenchmen spots and get your dance on!
Considered “boutique bowling” Fulton Alley is where you can have a some good old fashion fun but still feel classy about it. With lovely chandeliers, a fully stocked bar, plus craft beers and yummy food, any date here would be fun. After you let the other win, you can stroll through the Alley or head to the Quarter, the night is yours!
3. Ogden After Hours
I actually just found out about this recently and I’m so bummed that I didn’t know sooner. At the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, every Thursday evening from 6-8, there is live music inside the museum for only $10! That’s so wonderful. You can enjoy the beautiful art and music before heading to dinner. If you’re dating someone who considers themselves an intellectual, this one will be sure to impress.
4. The Jean Lafitte Nature Walk
Sick of the usual bar and restaurant scene? Try a nature walk! You can go through the City Park nature trail or you could go through the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. They have amazing trails, hiking, canoeing, and tours. Bring a nice picnic and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Go at dusk and you see the fireflies lighting up the night air. Two warnings: bring bug spray and be sure to tell your date to dress appropriately.
If you are feeling Romantic:
Okay so you for real like this person and but you don’t want to overdo it with candles and flowers (advice to guys: flowers never go out of style), a really romantic date setting could be just the trick to get you that goodnight kiss.
The wine bar on Oak Street is a super romantic, slightly fancier spot to head to but it can be so much fun there. There is always a great crowd in there and live music too! They have great wine, fancy cocktails and some delicious small plates and AMAZING desserts. See if you can get a more secluded booth in the corner or a table by the window so you can stare into your date’s eyes.
2. Cafe Amelie
Located on Royal Street, Cafe Amelie is another famous brunch spots but their dinner option should not be overlooked either. The restaurant is gorgeous with outdoor seating next to their beautiful fountains. The best part is that you are far enough away from the traffic and noise of the French Quarter. But after dinner, take a nice stroll through Royal Street and see the galleries, shops and boutiques.
3. Bouligny Tavern
Another Magazine haunt, Bouligny is a “gastropub specializing in upscale small sharing plates.” Their liquor and wine selection is really top-notch and they even have a heated patio for those winter dates. This place is favorite among many so the next time you are going out for that anniversary dinner, head here and you won’t be disappointed.
4. The Carousel Bar
Inside the Hotel Monteleone, the Carousel Bar is a New Orleans institution. With a gorgeous rotating carousel bar and great classic cocktails, this place just reminds you of old New Orleans. Enjoy drinks or dinner at the hotel’s restaurant Criollo and then for a nice stroll through the Quarter or along the river. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Well these are a few of our favorite spots to enjoy that someone special, where do you like to go on date night? Tell us in our Comments Section!
For first dates, I’d definitely add Bayou Beer Garden. Relaxed, casual tone, and surprisingly decent food.
As for romantic – can’t have a New Orleans date night list without Commanders. Just make sure you know whose covering the bill before you go, or it could be the last date you ever go on 🙂
Morgan, these are amazing suggestions.
Ogden offers “free” live music for only $10?
Yes, I believe it is $10 to enter the museum but the music is free. Enjoy!
Casa Borrega in Central City! Live music, beautiful interior design from Mexico City, great food and cocktails.
Visiting for first time next week from Los Angeles. Anniversary trip. Thank you for s great guide!!