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It’s twilight on the Motor City Wine patio and three tiki torches near the ivy-covered fence cast a light over the picnic tables and round patio tables filled with customers drinking wine and talking.
The patio at MotorCity Wine in Corktown.
Gerard + Belevender

17 Memorable Date Night Destinations in Metro Detroit

Ideal spots for romantic occasions and first dates

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The patio at MotorCity Wine in Corktown.
| Gerard + Belevender

A great date doesn’t need to be a candlelit dinner...but it could. Whether it’s a first date, first time out without the kids in six months, or trying a new-to-you place for Sweetest Day with your significant other, Detroit has the right spot.

This map includes both romantic restaurants and places with activities. Interested in just you and your date chatting it up at a secluded, kind of dark table? Maybe you need games or trivia to get the conversation going. These restaurants, bars, and cafes offer up so many ways to make it a night to remember.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Taystee's Burgers

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Taystee’s Burgers may seem a bit out of left field given that its a burger restaurant...in a gas station. But it actually makes a great casual date spot. Drop in and pick-up a burger and fries or maybe a hot dog (everything here is messily delicious and halal), and head across the street to a double feature at the Ford-Wyoming Drive-in.

A cheeseburger with beef bacon sits on half a bun and a piece of red and white checkered paper. Eater

El Barzon

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This romantic, white tablecloth establishment in Southwest Detroit specializes in impeccable Mexican and Italian cuisine complemented by a robust wine list. The ambiance here makes it a popular spot for celebrations and its patio is one of the loveliest in the city.

People sit outside at patio tables with white tablecloths surrounded by brick and plants. Bill Addison/Eater

Ladder 4 Wine Bar

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Fans of Detroit architecture, fire stations, and wine will find plenty to talk about at this expansive new natural wine bar in Southwest Detroit. Tucked away off Vinewood Street, Ladder 4 promises moody lighting and a thoughtful selection of wines housed inside a decommissioned fire house (complete with a fire pole) and a shop so couples can take a bottle home to share. In warmer weather, the venue will expand outdoors with terrace and garden seating.

Two James Spirits

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This Corktown cocktail bar and distillery is a favorite for dates. It’s quiet, but not too quiet. Nice, but not too fancy. And the drinks are consistently good. Order a classic Manhattan while your date tries a seasonal selection. Need a bite to eat? Two James regularly hosts pop-ups and is surrounded by excellent restaurants including scene-y Northern Thai favorite Takoi and sister restaurant, Supergeil.

Motor City Wine

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Conversation or dancing could be on the menu depending on when you stop by Motor City Wine. Share a bottle of Detroit Love with your love, sit back, and listen to the night’s live band. If it’s warm out, Motor City Wine has one of the best patios in the city. You and your date can share a charcuterie board or snack on bites from the guest chef.

Highlands

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Gaze at the Detroit (and Windsor!) skyline from the 71st floor of the Ren Cen. Appropriate for a special occasion or a classy night out, Highlands opened in 2019 with a steakhouse, bar, and event space. Need a conversation starter? A memorable scene with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight takes place in this location.

Offworld Arcade at Checker Bar

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Pizza (or Checker Bar burgers) with beers are on the table at this funky second-floor arcade bar. Smash keys on the vintage Ghostbusters pinball machine or try to set a high score on Super Monkey Ball. A little competition can be a good icebreaker.

The Siren Hotel

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The Siren Hotel has numerous ways to impress that special someone. Start at Candy Bar for the vintage decor and a nostalgic cocktail. Head upstairs and order pancakes for the table at Karl’s. Hang out with a glass of wine and records at Paramita Sound. Then, if you’re ready to show off your talents, take your brave companion to Sid Gold’s Request Room and serenade them during piano karaoke. For something splurgier, try the tasting menu at Albena.

Barcade

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For casual nights out, it’s hard to go wrong with games. Treat your date to a shared plate (wings, fries, nachos) and dial up the nostalgia with Ms. Pac Man, pinball, and Centipede. Barcade also has an extensive beer menu.

Willis Show Bar

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Classic cocktails, thrumming live music, and the potential for dancing make this painstakingly restored Art Moderne cabaret a worthy destination for an evening of drinks. Comfy upholstered booths and bar seats all face the stage, directly behind the bar, for maximum visibility.

La Feria

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The Spanish tapas options like tortilla Española, churros with chocolate, and sangria carafes at La Feria are a superb option for splitting on a casual date. Many of the options are vegetarian or gluten-free, and if things go well, you can always retire next door to Cata Vino for a sherry flight.

Hammer & Nail

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Live out a Mad Men fantasy at this mid-century-inspired cocktail lounge in Midtown. Located in the Hammer & Nail Building, the lounge has a chill vibe, a colorful selection of cocktails like the Nitro Russian with Stolichnaya House vodka, coffee liqueur, and optional cream.

Kresge Court

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Every new couple in Detroit has to wander through the DIA at some point. Meet at Kresge Court and chat over a glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or a coffee, then take some time strolling through the exhibits. If it goes well, have dinner across the street at Chartreuse.

Raven Lounge & Restaurant

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Dine and dance at Detroit’s oldest blues bar, which has live performances Thursday through Saturday. Those who aren’t dancing on their feet are usually sitting to enjoy the piping-hot fried fish (perch, salmon, catfish, shrimp) with hot-water cornbread and mac and cheese.

The Film Lab

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Call up a significant other for drinks and a movie you’re not likely to find anywhere else. The Film Lab has a laid back atmosphere, a full bar with themed drinks, and offbeat indie movies. For an extra special viewing, a private screening room for two is available for $25 per hour.

Detroit Axe

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If you’re going out with another couple or two, a group date at Detroit Axe will test your skills. Take aim at the target, choose some board games to play after, and snack on bar food like mac and cheese and sliders, or, in the case of the Corktown location, nachos and tacos. Detroit Axe also features a full bar.

Bowlero Lanes & Lounge

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It’s good to have some activity on a night out beyond the dinner and drinks. Why not bond over your strike skills (or lack thereof) at Bowlero Lanes & Lounge? The retro bowling alley has mid-century decor, some nods to The Big Lebowski, DJs, and a swanky cocktail lounge.

Taystee's Burgers

Taystee’s Burgers may seem a bit out of left field given that its a burger restaurant...in a gas station. But it actually makes a great casual date spot. Drop in and pick-up a burger and fries or maybe a hot dog (everything here is messily delicious and halal), and head across the street to a double feature at the Ford-Wyoming Drive-in.

A cheeseburger with beef bacon sits on half a bun and a piece of red and white checkered paper. Eater

El Barzon

This romantic, white tablecloth establishment in Southwest Detroit specializes in impeccable Mexican and Italian cuisine complemented by a robust wine list. The ambiance here makes it a popular spot for celebrations and its patio is one of the loveliest in the city.

People sit outside at patio tables with white tablecloths surrounded by brick and plants. Bill Addison/Eater

Ladder 4 Wine Bar

Fans of Detroit architecture, fire stations, and wine will find plenty to talk about at this expansive new natural wine bar in Southwest Detroit. Tucked away off Vinewood Street, Ladder 4 promises moody lighting and a thoughtful selection of wines housed inside a decommissioned fire house (complete with a fire pole) and a shop so couples can take a bottle home to share. In warmer weather, the venue will expand outdoors with terrace and garden seating.

Two James Spirits

This Corktown cocktail bar and distillery is a favorite for dates. It’s quiet, but not too quiet. Nice, but not too fancy. And the drinks are consistently good. Order a classic Manhattan while your date tries a seasonal selection. Need a bite to eat? Two James regularly hosts pop-ups and is surrounded by excellent restaurants including scene-y Northern Thai favorite Takoi and sister restaurant, Supergeil.

Motor City Wine

Conversation or dancing could be on the menu depending on when you stop by Motor City Wine. Share a bottle of Detroit Love with your love, sit back, and listen to the night’s live band. If it’s warm out, Motor City Wine has one of the best patios in the city. You and your date can share a charcuterie board or snack on bites from the guest chef.

Highlands

Gaze at the Detroit (and Windsor!) skyline from the 71st floor of the Ren Cen. Appropriate for a special occasion or a classy night out, Highlands opened in 2019 with a steakhouse, bar, and event space. Need a conversation starter? A memorable scene with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight takes place in this location.

Offworld Arcade at Checker Bar

Pizza (or Checker Bar burgers) with beers are on the table at this funky second-floor arcade bar. Smash keys on the vintage Ghostbusters pinball machine or try to set a high score on Super Monkey Ball. A little competition can be a good icebreaker.

The Siren Hotel

The Siren Hotel has numerous ways to impress that special someone. Start at Candy Bar for the vintage decor and a nostalgic cocktail. Head upstairs and order pancakes for the table at Karl’s. Hang out with a glass of wine and records at Paramita Sound. Then, if you’re ready to show off your talents, take your brave companion to Sid Gold’s Request Room and serenade them during piano karaoke. For something splurgier, try the tasting menu at Albena.

Barcade

For casual nights out, it’s hard to go wrong with games. Treat your date to a shared plate (wings, fries, nachos) and dial up the nostalgia with Ms. Pac Man, pinball, and Centipede. Barcade also has an extensive beer menu.

Willis Show Bar

Classic cocktails, thrumming live music, and the potential for dancing make this painstakingly restored Art Moderne cabaret a worthy destination for an evening of drinks. Comfy upholstered booths and bar seats all face the stage, directly behind the bar, for maximum visibility.

La Feria

The Spanish tapas options like tortilla Española, churros with chocolate, and sangria carafes at La Feria are a superb option for splitting on a casual date. Many of the options are vegetarian or gluten-free, and if things go well, you can always retire next door to Cata Vino for a sherry flight.

Hammer & Nail

Live out a Mad Men fantasy at this mid-century-inspired cocktail lounge in Midtown. Located in the Hammer & Nail Building, the lounge has a chill vibe, a colorful selection of cocktails like the Nitro Russian with Stolichnaya House vodka, coffee liqueur, and optional cream.

Kresge Court

Every new couple in Detroit has to wander through the DIA at some point. Meet at Kresge Court and chat over a glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or a coffee, then take some time strolling through the exhibits. If it goes well, have dinner across the street at Chartreuse.

Raven Lounge & Restaurant

Dine and dance at Detroit’s oldest blues bar, which has live performances Thursday through Saturday. Those who aren’t dancing on their feet are usually sitting to enjoy the piping-hot fried fish (perch, salmon, catfish, shrimp) with hot-water cornbread and mac and cheese.

The Film Lab

Call up a significant other for drinks and a movie you’re not likely to find anywhere else. The Film Lab has a laid back atmosphere, a full bar with themed drinks, and offbeat indie movies. For an extra special viewing, a private screening room for two is available for $25 per hour.

Related Maps

Detroit Axe

If you’re going out with another couple or two, a group date at Detroit Axe will test your skills. Take aim at the target, choose some board games to play after, and snack on bar food like mac and cheese and sliders, or, in the case of the Corktown location, nachos and tacos. Detroit Axe also features a full bar.

Bowlero Lanes & Lounge

It’s good to have some activity on a night out beyond the dinner and drinks. Why not bond over your strike skills (or lack thereof) at Bowlero Lanes & Lounge? The retro bowling alley has mid-century decor, some nods to The Big Lebowski, DJs, and a swanky cocktail lounge.

Related Maps