The 10 Best First Date Locations in Minnesota

If you have those first date jitters, we have you covered. Half of the stress of meeting someone new is figuring out the right place to go. Minnesota plays host to a wonderful variation of options. Whether you want to stroll through the zoo, enjoy a casual bite to eat or play a few games of bowling, Minnesota has it all. Here are the best first date options in the state. 

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul, MN

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is good, year-round bet for a first date. If the outside areas are too cold, you can always grab a coffee, tea or cocoa and stroll through the fragrant, tropical-feeling Conservatory and visit the indoor animal exhibits. The plants and animals will ensure that you’re entertained and have something to talk about. At the same time, the date can be as long (or as short) as you like.

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Domacin, Stillwater, MN

A perennial “best of” wine bar in local and national publications, Domacin is located in the beautiful town of Stillwater. The cozy atmosphere is romantic and the wine will certainly ensure that you feel all warm inside. Grab a glass and then stroll through the historic downtown area or along the St. Croix River. Or if you’re feeling more confident, commit to a wine-paired dinner.

W.A. Frost & Co., St. Paul, MN

W.A. Frost & Co. Is a wonderful place to impress a first date. Frost’s is perhaps the most beautiful (and romantic) restaurant in St. Paul. Meet for a drink in the cozy bar or on the gorgeous patio. If things click, stay for dinner on the patio or in one of the oil-painting-lined dining rooms, near the toasty fire.

WinterSkate, Minneapolis, MN

In the North Star State, ice skating is always an idea for a date. Head to Loring Park, where you can skate against the backdrop of the downtown Minneapolis skyline. If you end up sharing a cocoa and skating hand-in-hand, you can always duck into nearby Eli’s for a quick dinner or aprés skating beverage. 

Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis, MN

Looking for a fun first date with a low budget? Bryant Lake Bowl’s got your back! Every Monday, BLB offers up “Cheap Date Night,” which includes two entrees, a bottle of wine or a few beers, and a round of bowling for a very friendly price per couple. It’s fun, and bowling shoes can be damn sexy… especially after a few beers.

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Ledge Rock Grille, Two Harbors, MN

If you’re hoping to stun with scenery, Ledge Rock Grille—on the Larsmont Cottages property, off of Scenic Hwy. 61, between Duluth and Two Harbors—is a solid bet. Sweeping views of Lake Superior and a cozy fireplace will set the ambience for your dinner. Afterward, take a drink outside for a stroll along the lake or to enjoy one of the lakeside bonfires.

Bellecour, Wayzata, MN

If you’re the go-big-or-go-home type of first date person, Bellecour is your ticket. This French bistro and bakery is the brainchild of James Beard Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen—of Spoon and Stable fame—takes his amazing cuisine and ups the ante on romance. After, you can enjoy a post-prandial walk along Wayzata Bay and discuss the wonders of your meal.

Dakota, Minneapolis, MN

If you and your date clicked over music, Dakota is great location for a first date. Designed so you can enjoy dinner, drinks and live music—while conversing at the same time—Dakota allows for entertainment and intimacy. Check the calendar to see what top-tier local, regional, and national acts are coming up.

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New Scenic Café, Duluth, MN

New Scenic Café has been the gold standard for Duluth dining pretty much since it opened. Lovely outdoor spaces, a cozy, intimate dining room, innovative and delicious food, and never-dull Lake Superior views are sure to impress anyone on a first date. If you go on a weekend, be sure to call ahead.

The Port, Red Wing, MN

If you’re seeking a romantic setting in southeast Minnesota, suggest a trip over to the Mississippi River town of Red Wing to have dinner at The Port, in the historic St. James Hotel. Exposed stone, elevated New American cuisine, many intimate seating options, and an awesome bar program promises a fabulous first date.

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