The Best Date Spots in San Francisco
Wondering where to have the perfect date night in San Francisco? Whether you’ve just swiped right, have been seeing each other for awhile, are celebrating an anniversary, or anything in between, I’ve got you covered.
For the hinge date
You swiped right hard all weekend and have dates lined up all week. Don’t be that guy that takes them all to the same cliché wine bar.
15 Romolo– 15 Romolo is up a tiny street off one of the shadier corners of North Beach, but once you’re inside it feels like you’ve stepped back in time to the roaring 20’s. It’s cozy, cool, dark, and a perfect spot for a first date. Great cocktails to get the night started, and the option of great food until 1:30am if things end up progressing.
Bar Crudo– If you really want to impress, take your date to after work drinks at Bar Crudo. This Nopa hot spot has $1 oysters, $1 herb and jalapeño marinated mussels, $6 seafood chowder, $4 beer and $6 wine from 5-6:30pm on weekdays.
For the first date
Off the Grid – I love the idea of Off the Grid for a perfect San Francisco first date. It’s fun, different, and guaranteed to make a great first impression. On a Friday night (from March through October), take your date to Fort Mason Center in the Marina, where you can listen to live music and have a casual outdoor dinner from the city’s best food trucks.
More of a day date person? Off the Grid’s Sundays at the Presidio are so much fun. Grab a blanket and lunch from one of the food trucks and set up an adorable casual first date picnic. If all goes well, you can stroll to Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge for some stellar views.
For the second date
Reed & Greenough – This upscale lounge, complete with jazzy live piano, makes for a perfect second date spot. Cuddle up with some amazing cocktails on the plushy leather couches, or see what your date is made of in a pool or shuffleboard competition in the back room.
Tonga Room– Looking to grab drinks after work in the Financial District? SF’s famous tiki-themed Tonga Room has one of the best happy hours in the city, complete with delicious mai tais and a killer $15 all-you-can-eat asian fusion buffet.
Del Popolo– Del Popolo, in Lower Nob Hill, is hands down the best pizza in the city. I love it for a casual, yet upscale date. It’s the perfect dinner for when you’re excited to hang out with your date but aren’t yet ready to pull out all the stops. And if your date doesn’t like pizza? Better to find out now! (dealbreaker).
For the coffee date
The Interval at Long Now – Hidden within Fort Mason, The Interval is one of the most unique coffeeshops in San Francisco that your date has probably never heard of. With sightglass coffee, great cocktails, and beautiful bay views, it’s a perfect coffee date spot.
For the lock-it-down date
Chambers SF – Full of swanky, seventies glamour, Chambers Eat + Drink, located in the Phoenix Hotel is a date night to impress. The red walls, velvety interiors, and elegant, ultra-cool ambiance are only made better by delicious food, and even better drinks. Finish the night snuggling on the couches in the back bar area, made insta-famous for it’s BE AMAZING lights.
For the everyday date
Nob Hill Cafe – It’s Wednesday night, you’re both stressed from the workweek and in dire need for a casual dinner date spot. Nob Hill Cafe is it. This adorable family-owned neighborhood gem, with its beautiful lights, delicious $25 house wine bottles and incredible Italian menu, will have you feeling like you’ve teleported to the streets of Rome in no time. Nobody does romance, (and relaxing, delicious, wine-filled dinners) like the Italians.
For the Valentines Day date
Top of the Mark – There’s no beating the traditional romantic setting of the top floor of the Mark Hopkins hotel. Sweeping views of the city in a elegant setting that feels straight out of a movie. A dinner here is a night to remember. And if you really want to impress her, get a room for the night.
Foreign Cinema– Screw the classic dinner-and-a-movie, this mission staple features romantic foreign movies projected in their chic outdoor courtyard. The menu is delectably Californian with an incredible Oyster selection.
For the double date
Isa– Isa’s romantic heated patio, sprinkled with Italian lights, is a hidden gem in San Francisco’s Marina district. The French/Californian food is great, not too expensive, and the modern and festive atmosphere make for a fun dinner out. And, given its proximity to the Marina’s neighborhood bars, it makes for a great starting point if you all choose to go out together afterward.
For the group date
Flores– When you have a bunch of couples looking to get together for a great dinner, Flores is the spot. Amazing Mexican food, killer margarita pitchers, and a large back room that can accommodate big parties. Order the carne asada and make sure you call ahead for a reservation, Flores is the Marina District’s newest hot spot and it does get very crowded.
For the anniversary date
Omakase– Omakase in Japanese translates to “Chef’s choice”. Here, you’ll be served up the very best sushi directly from the chef in front of you. The fish is flown fresh from Japan every other day and the menu has two Omakase options, for a price fix at either $150 or $200, as well as a Sake pairing option for $80. I said it in my review on Omakase and I’ll say it again- this is the best sushi in San Francisco. A perfect and memorable special occasion date.
Epic Steak – In this city, romance and bay views go hand-in-hand. Epic Steakhouse’s location is, well, pretty epic. With huge glass windows looking out onto the water, a background of the dancing Bay Bridge lights, delicious steaks and killer wine list, you’re going to score major points with this date idea.
Cliff House– This classic San Francisco institution has the awe-inspiring view of the water your romantic date dreams are made of. Their incredible windows looking out onto Sutro Baths will have you feeling like you’re on the edge of the world. This is the ultimate place for either a mimosa-filled day date or a romantic sunset date.
A weekend at Cavallo Point – If you really want to make it an anni to remember, book a staycation weekend at Cavallo Point – tucked just enough away from the city in Sausalito, without being too far. Famous for their luxury lodge and world-famous spa, this is the ultimate in anniversary getaways.
A night at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay – If you want to get a little further out of town, head down to the Ritz Half Moon Bay, where you can spend your days at the beach and your nights melting s’mores by the outdoor fireplaces. This hotel is a dream!
For the birthday date
There’s a reason Kokkari is one of the hardest to get reservations in the City. It’s just that good. Anytime anyone asks me for San Francisco restaurant recommendations, I steer them directly to Kokkari. Just thinking about the wood-fired Greek food, the chilled Santorini white wine, and the amazing time I always have at this financial district staple is enough to make my mouth start watering writing this. It’s definitely a special occasion restaurant and the perfect night doesn’t come cheap, but it’s one hell of a date.
Plus- A pile of honey-glazed greek doughnuts with an adorable candle at the top is served to you on your birthday. It’s the best.
Bix – Live jazz in a swanky supper club setting and a stealth entrance from an alley make for a perfect birthday celebration date. Bix’s contemporary American menu, hip bar, and impressive whiskey collection is guaranteed to impress. Don’t miss the truffle fries. They’re to die for.
What are your favorite date night spots in SF? Let me know in the comments!