Whether you’re planning a first date with a recent swipe or a five-hundredth date with your spouse, the city is packed with hundreds of romantic hideaways for all ages, styles, interests, and budgets. Here are some of the freshest Minneapolis date night ideas—from dinner-and-a-movie with a twist to totally new experiences (axe throwing, anyone?)—that will charm your sweetheart and give you both a night to remember.
Food and Drink
Best for Pre-Dinner Drinks
- Tullibee Bar at the Hewing Hotel: This North Loop lobby bar and restaurant serves up a killer Old Fashioned in a century-old warehouse space reimagined with seriously hyyge-forward Scandinavian design: think hefty original pine timber beams, luscious leather furniture, and a fireplace worth lingering around. Grab a few cocktails and a house-cured ham board to split in the main bar area, or head upstairs to the Rooftop Bar and Lounge for incredible views. (Only in Minnesota date night add-on: get “steamy” together with a rooftop day pass to access the hotel’s traditional Nordic sauna!)
- Tattersall Distilling: Into craft spirits? Head to the local source and dive into one of the essential elements of Minneapolis cocktail culture with a distillery tour or tasting, then relax with a cocktail in the sprawling industrial Northeast Minneapolis space. Don’t want to leave for dinner? Stick around for some nosh with a rotating calendar of visiting food trucks, from The Big Red Wagon’s pulled pork sandwiches to Simply Steve’s carnitas tacos.
- Sonder Shaker: Craft cocktails don’t need to be pretentious, as proven by the silly names and creative combos on the drink menu at this cozy Northeast Minneapolis date night gem. The seasonally shifting, extra-clever cocktails are loaded up with house-made bitters and infusions that capture the taste of the place with a sense of humor. (Local tip: head in on a Wednesday for all-day happy hour—and be sure to try the fried cauliflower.)
Best for a Post-Dinner Outing
- Nightingale: Keep the conversation flowing after the plates have been cleared by sauntering over to this husband-and-wife owned, local-ingredient focused Uptown gastropub. You’ll find happy hour specials every day from 11pm-1am, including $20 bottles of wine and unexpectedly upscale treats like Duck Pastrami Reubens and Smoked Chicken Liver Pate with Bacon Marmalade. Mocktails are also a steal at $4, including the sunset-hued Panama Red with orange juice, rose, and hibiscus. (This spot is also ideal for casual late-night first dates, as the full kitchen menu is available until 1am!)
- Troubadour Wine Bar: If you fancy a glass of wine over a highball, this cozy, romantic bar serves up an incredibly well curated selection of unique wines from around the world paired with comfortable chairs and couches, plus live music every single night. It’s the kind of intimate, friendly place you’ll never want to leave. Local tip: check out the outdoor patio in the warmer months.
- Edwards Dessert Kitchen: Have a sweet tooth and believe there’s nothing more romantic than sharing a hot fudge sundae? This dessert-centric North Loop spot puts the best part of the meal at the forefront. Pair a house cocktail, pint, or glass of wine with Caramel and Chinese Five Spice Snickerdoodle cookies, Riesling Pear Sorbet ice cream pies, or Chocolate Oat Pudding verrines. (P.S. There are plenty of gluten-free and vegan options, so it’s a safe bet for most dessert-loving folks!)
- Spyhouse Coffee: Several locations of this local independent favorite stay open until 11pm—including Uptown, Whittier, and Northeast—and all offer their own modern take on coffee-shop chic for a nightcap on the caffeinated side. From 3000 feet of reclaimed barn wood in Northeast to a veritable jungle of lush green plants and stately marble inside the Emery Hotel in Downtown Minneapolis, there’s a Spyhouse for every date night vibe.
- The Library Lounge at Mercy: This underground, speakeasy-style bar beneath Le Méridien hotel is a setting straight out of central casting for the romantic indie film starring you and your date. Warmly lit bookshelves, cozy leather couches, vintage rugs, and a full “library” of wines gorgeously displayed will have you cozying up and ordering another round.
- Barbette, then Trapeze: When you feel like a two-location date but don't want to walk too far, this cozy French duo is a sure-bet. Begin with oysters and hearty Gallic fare at the ultra-romantic main brasserie, then head next door to Trapeze champagne bar for some candle-lit bubbles (you can even access it via Barbette in case the weather outside is frightful).
- Sencha Tea Bar: Not all late-night canoodling need happen over cocktails! This top-shelf tea bar’s Uptown location is open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays (and 10pm every other night), and the baristas are legendarily knowledgeable, so you can turn a casual night out into a lesson in great tea. Once you get the intel, you can find your own corner to cozy up and linger with your sweetie over bubble tea or a shared pot of tropical coconut oolong and cookies.
Best for Date Night Deals
- Day Block Brewing: If first dates call for beer and pizza in your world, Day Block is your destination. Situated on the site of some of Minneapolis’s early flour mills, you’ll enjoy what the kitchen does with flour in the modern era: a very special secret blend of fermentation techniques to make a house pizza dough unlike any other. Enjoy Wednesday’s Date Night special ($35 for a six-beer flight or bottle of wine, large salad to share, and any large pizza) shake things up with a brunch date and enjoy Sunday-only specials like the ‘Merica Pizza topped with breakfast sausage, bacon, and eggs or one fine example of a breakfast sandwich.
- Tracy’s Saloon: Looking for a full-meal deal? Head to this laid-back neighborhood hub with an eclectic menu (think curries, gyro burgers, quesadillas, and legendary chicken wings) where every Friday from 4pm to midnight, a mere $46 gets you a pitcher of beer or a bottle of wine, soup or salad, two entrees, and dessert.
- Broder’s Pasta Bar: A Minneapolis institution, Broder’s serves up housemade pastas, slow-stirred risottos, and a cozy patio with its own menu come Memorial Day through Labor Day. The house Date Night special is served up every Sunday through Thursday from 8-9:30pm for $45: you’ll share marinated olives, Caesar or seasonal salad, a half bottle of house red or white wine, and two pastas for a taste of Italy, Lady & the Tramp-style.
Best for Classy Dates
- Eastside Eat and Drink: Luxe and romantic, this downtown restaurant helmed by James Beard Award finalist chef Jamie Malone is walking distance from the Guthrie Theater for a perfect dinner-and-a-show evening (they even have a special Pre-Theater Menu to make sure you get to your seats in time).
- Spoon and Stable: Rustic brasserie gets meets cosmopolitan urban hotspot at chef Gavin Kaysen’s North Loop institution that tops many Best Of lists in Minneapolis. Any date here is sure to impress. (Local tip: Make a reservation well in advance—we’re talking weeks, not days—if you want to sit in the main dining room, otherwise, there is room at the bar and surrounding small tables.)
- Bar La Grassa: Dark, cozy, and perfect for a romantic night out, this brick-walled Italian destination offers a storied menu of pasta dishes and a great wine selection. Yes, it gets busy most nights, but you can make a reservation to ensure you grab a table at a reasonable hour. Not sure what to order? The servers are known for being both friendly and extra-knowledgeable about Italian fare, so feel free to ask for recommendations.
- Restaurant Alma: This romantic three-course, fixed price dinner destination (which shares space with a casual cafe and seven-room hotel) offers a tight selection of seasonally shifting plates—simply choose a first, second, and third course and feel pampered through the whole meal. Though the James Beard Awarmenu is prix-fixe, the kitchen is happy to accommodate gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan diners.
- Kado no Mise: Sushi meets fine dining at this chic and modern, light-filled North Loop space. Sit at the sushi counter in the main restaurant for a curated chef’s choice omakase meal filled with seemingly never ending exquisite bites, or head upstairs to Gori Gori Peku, a Japanese Whisky Bar, or the reservation-only Kaiseki Furikawa ($125 per person set menu). Whatever you choose in this Japanese wonderland, chef/owner Shige Furukawa will ensure your night is romantic and memorable.
Best for Casual Dates
- Bryant Lake Bowl: This happening spot is a true 3-in-1 deal—part late-night bar and eatery (open until 2am daily) part theater, part bowling alley. You could truly spend all night here, and they’ll make it easy with a $28 Date Night special including two entrees, a bottle of wine or beers, and a round of bowling. Now that’s a strike.
- Momo Sushi: “Sushi” and “affordable” aren’t often used in the same sentence, but Momo’s Japan-meets-Tibet menu in Northeast certainly delivers. At this casual neighborhood haunt with a great patio in warmer months, you’ll find sushi, fried rice, noodles, lobster hibachi dinners, and momo (Tibetan dumplings) that’ll go easy on your wallet—which means more to share.
- Revival: Fried chicken is a great second date litmus test. If you’re both comfortable getting a little greasy and eating with your hands, odds are you’ll be able to get comfortable talking about things that matter, too. Cozy up at this Southern staple serving fried green tomatoes, beer battered cheese curds, shrimp and grits, and chicken & waffle breakfast sandwiches.
- Up-Down Arcade: Throwback arcade, meet neighborhood bar. The dream date of your Pinball Wizard-listening teens is in Uptown, complete with more than 50 vintage arcade games from the 80s and 90s, pinball machines, classic skee-ball, Nintendo 64 console gaming, plus life-size Jenga and Connect Four. Games typically cost a quarter, but head in on Thursday for 10 cent games and some friendly date night competition.
Romantic Activities & Date Night Fun
- The Dakota: Minneapolis’ foremost jazz club is perfect for a date night at any budget, as cover prices vary widely depending on the band playing and the intimate stage is front and center if the conversation ever stalls. The Nicollet Mall space is easily accessed via public transit, so leave your car behind and meet up for some great jazz, blues, and more.
- Memory Lanes: Two words: cosmic bowling. Head in after 10pm for a 21+ bowl-off under the blacklight. If bowling isn’t your strong suit, you can also impress with your music trivia knowledge each Wednesday night at Jukebox Bingo. (Student? Bring some friends for a group date and catch some great College ID deals!)
- Upstairs Circus: Put a little DIY into your date night at this crafty North Loop bar with a Project Menu packed with 25+ crafts, from concrete coasters and wine bottle tumblers to beaded jewelry and nail-and-string art. Yes, there’s a cocktail menu, too. (And if you catch the crafting bug, second projects are half price).
- Bad Axe Throwing: followed by Norseman Distillery: While the name doesn’t necessarily instill a lot of confidence, you can still learn a new—and definitely edgy—skill together at “the world’s largest axe throwing company” (because that’s a thing). Grab some friends and make a group date reservation, and you’ll get a dedicated axe throwing coach to teach you the technique, and two hours of tossing time in a reserved lane. Afterward, head over to Norseman Distillery’s cocktail room for a post-throw Jungle Juice (rum, pineapple, lime, hibiscus, cranberry soda).
- Vertical Endeavors: The sky’s the limit on a rock climbing date, where you can build trust, show off your strength and problem-solving skills, and learn to laugh at yourself. With three bouldering areas, climbing walls up to 58 feet, and over 150 routes, this spot is great for seasoned climbers and first-timers alike. (Plan for a short orientation if you’ve never climbed before, but the space is super welcoming to newbies).
- Comedy Corner Underground: If laughter is the key to your heart, this standup comedy club hosts an open mic night every Friday at 10pm. Attend as an audience member, or head on up with your own set and show off your stuff.
- See Some Art!: Get some culture and learn more about each other’s taste at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the city’s incredible (and free) fine art museum, or get your modern art fix at Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden. Both offer plenty of quiet corners to quietly trade opinions about a particularly inspiring work—or to sneak a kiss.
- Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary: This 15-acre garden just north of Cedar Lake features hundreds of wildlife-enticing plant species with something new to appreciate around every corner, spring through fall. Bring along a bird watching book, enjoy a guided tour, or simply get lost amidst the blooms and butterflies.
- Take a walk along the river and across the Stone Arch Bridge: If you’re in the mood to walk and talk, Minneapolis offers some of the best riverfront walking paths anywhere. From the tree-lined Lower Trail of St Anthony Main’s Father Hennepin Bluff Park to the picturesque banks of Nicollet Island to the Stone Arch bridge—one of the best photo ops in the city—you could walk for hours and never need to retrace your steps. (Best part about an outdoor date? Dog loving sweethearts can bring along the four-legged family members, too).
- Lyndale Park Rose Garden: Free, beautiful, and serene—that’s a recipe for a romantic budget date night amidst the roses. Stop and smell the flowers at this 1.5 acre floral haven, take some pictures in front of the fountains, then stroll around Lake Harriet while planning your future garden together. Or bring along a blanket, some snacks, and a few books for a dreamy afternoon date in the garden.