Friday Question of the Day – Favorite First Date Spots?


I’m taking this one from the rant/revel where someone was looking for first date options without drinking but I wanna open it up to favorite first dates spots in general. Where are your favorites? Weekday vs Weekend? Night vs. Daytime? Indoor vs. Outdoor?

52 Comment

  • Don Tito’s or Atown. Then I bring them to my condo, where we can get to know each other better

  • too much pressure to do first dates on the weekend! plus everything is too crowded. curmudgeon rant. anyway. dodge city is one of my favorite date spots. petworth citizen, patio at DC reynolds if it’s nice out. busboys is good for food because there’s something for everyone. brunch at boundary stone. a couple I went on recently – david mccollough at sixth & I followed by shakes at shake shack. food at the greek spot followed by drinks and a show at black cat.

  • I Dont Get It

    2005. ๐Ÿ™

  • Annies

  • It WAS Bistro La Bonne…. great quality food and good beer / wine selection for decent price. Nice ambiance and location for an easy after dinner drink, walk, people watching.

  • Art galleries on the Mall are the best. It’s a little more creative than drinks or dinner and It can be completely free (if the date is going bad). You can breeze through a museum fairly quickly if the date isn’t going well, or linger for hours and get a drink or dinner Penn Quarter if you hit it off. And if you do enough dates there you may actually gain a new appreciation for art (like I did).

  • binpetworth

    Bedrock Billiards, The Board Room, or similar places where you can have a drink and do something interactive like darts or trivia. Unless I know the person well, I prefer something shorter than dinner, and museum-going has always been a bit awkward (I hate the feeling that everyone in the room will know you’re on a first date, and museums are quiet enough to figure that out).

  • Tsar of Truxton

    Two Birds One Stone, Dickson, Proof, Sotto, etc. (basically, any nice cocktail or wine bar/restaurant that is quiet enough to hold a conversation and spacious enough to have some space). I prefer weekdays because the places are less crowded, but I am not opposed to first dates on weekends (going on one tonight!). Rarely would I do a daytime first date.

  • Tabard Inn – drinks by the fireplace.

    • For a first date?

    • That just reminded me that I met up with the first online date I ever went on at Tabard Inn. I had just moved to the area in 2003. First, he shows up to the date with his boss (?!) Then he starts going on homophobic rants. Finally, it had been snowing that night, and he had gotten a room at the inn, and said “you don’t want to go back in the snow, why don’t you just stay in my room?” Uh huh. That was the point I hightailed it out of there, entertainment value aside. His boss was actually really cool. Unfortunately, his boss was married.

  • My last first date with my current partner (going on 1.5 years now) was playing board games over pupusas and hotdogs at Bravo Bar on Georgia Ave. I figured if he couldn’t hang there and enjoy himself he wasn’t my kind of dude. But I sure as hell expected a nicer venue for our second date.

    Every time I go to Right Proper I see at least a half dozen first dates there so that’s probably a good meeting spot too. Good food, cheap drinks, transit accessible.

    • +1 Right Proper is great for first dates. The place is very relaxed and the beer is good. Also, I was on the kickstarter so I can point out my name on the wall (My girlfriend continues to make fun of me for that). My last first date there (over a year ago) was great!

    • Interesting that you did pupusas for the first date. In El Salvador that word is also a slang term for vagina (more like the equivalent of pussy in English). So that could either be a good thing or a bad thing for a first date, depending what your style is.

  • Blackjack if I’m in DC, and Galaxy hut if I’m in Arlington. Always on a weeknight. The weekends are reserved for meeting my next date!

    • Blackjack weeknight happy hour is my roommate’s go-to first date spot. I think he’s taken at least 10 to 15 women there for a first data, haha. The prices are dirt cheap for really good quality food and beer, usually not crazy crowded, nicer atmosphere than a dive bar, and you can easily extricate yourself if the date is terrible.

    • Per my comment below, I fully agree with Blackjack weeknights. One of my best first dates was there.

  • Mug of Glop

    When I was in Columbia Heights, it was always Room 11. Now that I’m in Logan Circle, though, Slipstream is pretty good. A&D in Shaw works pretty well, too, but it’s a little bit too much of a specific taste, and doesn’t work for quite as well for a general audience.

  • Seriously, every first date I am on is at Shaw’s Tavern or Right Proper and we are surrounded by other first dates. It’s almost comical. I’d say the greatest second date (after a first date at Right Proper) was heading to H Street (we both live in Shaw) and sitting at Granville Moore (I think that is the one) on the second floor in the windows watching the empty streetcars run by. Change of scenery, something to chat about, etc.

  • palisades

    Saint-Ex: For when you want to have a first, and only first date. (joke about the bricks knocking your date out)

  • Jazz at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden. This June will mark the 6th anniversary of my first date there with my now-wife.

  • Ah the memories! I’m two years out of the scene now (thank g), but I was a seasoned dater back in the day.
    Can’t go wrong with weeknight drinks at Blue Duck Tavern bar if you are super classy, or drinks at Firefly, Bar Pilar, or Blackjack. Definitely too crowded on the weekends, and what a fun reason to wear makeup and non-frumpy work clothes during the week. Dates where we were sitting on stools next to each other were generally better than ones where we sat facing each other separated by a table.

    • “Dates where we were sitting on stools next to each other were generally better than ones where we sat facing each other separated by a table.”
      Leads to a greater sense of intimacy (not physical, but conversational). A table separating two people trying to learn about one another feels like a emotional Great Wall of China. Conversation flows more easily on a bar stool, for whatever reason!

  • As a girl, I feel uber guilty if he pays for a nice dinner/drinks and the date didn’t go well. I am much more relaxed at coffee first dates. Grab some afternoon coffee/tea and go for a stroll or sit on a bench. Treat me to something nice once we’re dating. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • @anon, I completely agree! If we go someplace modest, I don’t feel bad about you paying, I don’t feel obligated to coo about the place, and I can focus on getting to know you.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      +1 Agree. One fave is the Phillips Gallery. You can get coffee or tea at Tryst

      • anonymouse_dianne

        and the sandwiches are good if you are hungry. You don’t have to go into the gallery but I love the impressionists.

  • The Raven is my fav first date place. Get low to get down. And then somewhere swanky on date #2.

  • Bar Pilar. Good drinks, good atmosphere, good location

  • The Passenger (RIP).

  • You only get this opportunity once about every 7 years but if you’re lucky enough, seeing (and smelling) the corpse flower in bloom at the US Botanic Garden is a pretty fun date. Nothing says romance quite like the smell of rotting flesh…

  • Aglets

    i almost always default to Mr. Henry’s on Pennsylvania…maybe that’s why i rarely have a 2nd date.

  • I’ve taken a bunch of first dates to the Sheppard, I’m pretty sure the server judges me.

    • I had three first dates three nights in a row due to poor scheduling, and went to Jack Rose all for all 3. The second night the server gave me a face, but the third night it was a little laugh. Shockingly, ended up with the girl who randomly took me to a Clarendon bro bar happy hour.

  • When my wife and I lived in Petworth, we went to Kangaroo Boxing Club fairly often, and every time we’d be seated next to a table on either a first or second date. I imagine it’s pretty popular, and I can’t blame anyone for choosing it.

  • I’ve always liked Perry’s for first dates – on the roof if the weather is nice, downstairs bar if not. And definitely during the week. L’Enfant is good, too, though a little too close to my condo…

  • Another + for Right Proper!

  • anonymouse_dianne

    and depending on the date, the Zoo is fun and cheap. Some decent food in the Mane restaurant or go across the street to the dive-y Zoo bar.

  • National Gallery. Met my now-wife there for our first date. Walking through the galleries and passing by different paintings proved to be great conversation starters. Landscapes launched us into conversations of our hometowns and travel… modern art gave us many opportunities for snark. And since we had no set plans or a meal to wait for, it was the perfect set-up if either of us wanted an excuse to cut our losses and head out. Thankfully neither of us felt that way, and the date lasted 5 hours… and the rest is history!

  • Blue Duck Tavern ….. City TapHouse …. Mandu.

  • For my best first date he took me kayaking (we went to Fletcher’s, but any of the boathouses would be nice). To be fair, I had mentioned that I love kayaking and don’t go often enough, so he already knew I’d be up for it. Gives you an activity so you’re not just staring at each other, but quiet enough to talk. It went well, so we hung out by the river a bit afterwards and then found a place for lunch, but if hadn’t gone well we could have just gone our separate ways after an hour on the water. We did a tandem kayak, which is risky but I found it impressive that it worked out (99% of people in a tandem kayak fight within the first 20 minutes). I guess it was a good test, 3 years later we’re still going strong.
    Other than that, I don’t really have a favorite first date place. I’d definitely be in favor of coffee/drinks, and like when there’s some sort of activity (i.e. wandering around a gallery opening). I agree that I get really uncomfortable if he’s spending a lot of money.

  • figby

    I like first dates at Post Pub. If he can’t handle a cool dive bar, it’s good to know up-front it’s not going to work out.

  • The Portrait Gallery and then Teaism

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