I’m a huge foodie at heart, be it experimenting with new recipes at home, or trying a new restaurant. But I also love going to my favorite local spots again and again, and finding comfort in the familiar. I think that spending quality time and having date night is super important in a relationship (more on that another day), but whether you’ve been dating someone for 7 years or 7 days, here are some of my favorite date night spots in the city. From cheap takeout, to when you’re feeling spendy, and everything in between – enjoy!
Takeout – date night in:
Pagliacci – hands down my favorite pizza in the city. Get any of their pizzas with sausage, goat cheese, or artichokes. Their pesto pea pasta salad is also uhhhhhmazing.
Thai Greenwood – Since moving up north, we’ve needed to find a new Thai place and Thai Greenwood is our favorite for takeout. We probably go here at least once a month, and always love to get their Panang Curry, Pineapple Fried Rice and Pad See Ew.
Teriyaki Madness – A classic takeout teriyaki joint that is super friendly, fresh, and fast. Their chicken and gyozas, or yakisoba noodles are two of my favs.
Redmill Burgers – There is nothing I love more on a sunny Saturday in Ballard than picking up a bacon cheeseburger, onion rings, and a milkshake (don’t judge), and taking it to eat at The Ballard Locks or Golden Gardens park. Holy holy holy lord Redmill is so freaking good. They only take cash, so come prepared so you don’t have to pay an ATM fee onsite.
– While their classes are a bit pricy (between $75-$90 per person), they’re highly worth it in my opinion. Each class is between 3-4 hours long, and while you’re making each portion of the meal you get to snack and drink wine. What more could you want?! You also get to take all of the printed recipes home with you from the class. I’ve taken the Date Night In with my best friend, and a BBQ Masters class last summer with my boyfriend. My mom, Aunt and I are taking a pasta making class this summer! They have a variety of classes: from wine 101 or homemade pizza, to knife skills, french macaroons or summer farmers market meals. I personally love gifting experiences rather than items, so if you’re looking to give your best friend, mom, or significant other something you can do together this is a great option!
Cute & Affordable:
– A super cute atmosphere and delicious food, it’s a great spot for solo date night or with friends. They have a variety of roasted veggies, salads, pastas, pizzas, and desserts.
Din Thai Fung
– If you haven’t heard of Din Thai Fung, you’re probably not alone; up until a few years ago, there were only two locations in the Western Hemisphere – in Bellevue, and Los Angeles. But now they have 3 locations in the Puget Sound area (Bellevue, University Village and Downtown Seattle) and this is one of my boyfriend’s favorite restaurants in the city (we’ve probably been here for 5 birthdays alone). We love to bring friends who are visiting from out-of-town here as their dishes are relatively inexpensive, easy to share, and utterly tasty. Get their Shrimp & Pork Shao Mai dumplings, and their green beans. You won’t be disappointed.
– I personally love the atmosphere of this restaurant, it feels like you’re in Italy. Most people working there are Italian, there is usually a accordion player going around to tables playing music during dinner, and their decor is on point. The tagliatelle bolognese with meat sauce is soooo good, and my BF really enjoyed the berry crisp dessert last time we went!
– my go-to happy hour spot downtown is also the perfect date night dinner place. It’s a really hip atmosphere with amazing flatbreads, lamb meatballs, and blasted broccoli (their signature vegetable side).
– I’m basically obsessed with anything Four Seasons, and their hotel restaurant is no exception. Usually when you hear the words “hotel restaurant”, you run in the other direction, but DON’T! It’s owned by Ethan Stowell (a famous chef here in the city) and the food is exceptional – the view isn’t too shabby either. The menu changes seasonally, but this time of year you can’t go wrong with seafood (uhhhh king crab pasta anyone?!) or any of their sides.
Staple & Fancy
– Another Ethan Stowell restaurant, but a completely different vibe. It’s very dark, moody, and industrial feeling in here. Any of their pastas are phenomenal, as are the asparagus with goat cheese and hazelnuts!
– A lot of people know about the observation deck on top of the space needle, but not as many people know about the restaurant at the top! The needle moves so you get a 360 degree view of the city during dinner (it takes about 45 minutes to make a full rotation) which is so unique and fun. I highly recommend going when they have a date-night special. You can get Buy 1 Get 1 free entrees, complimentary valet, complimentary champagne, and a complimentary trip to the observation deck. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Salty’s on Alki
– This is one of G and I’s go-to spots for a nice dinner, be it to celebrate a birthday, a promotion at work, or just as a way to treat ourselves! There is something about being in West Seattle that makes you feel like you’re in another world, and the views here are unreal.
– In terms of ambiance, Palisade is hard to beat. When you first walk in you see that the building is over water, and there are paths you have to take to ensure you don’t fall in! The view is absolutely breathtaking with the marina and shots of downtown and the water. Lastly, they seem to always have someone playing the piano whenever we go which makes the mood romantic and special. Their seafood trio with sea scallops is my faaaaavorite!
– Named one of the best restaurants in the world for a reason, Canlis is unlike any other I’ve ever been to. Their customer service is on another level – they know your name as soon as you walk up, know which car is yours when you leave without a claim ticket, and they seem to attend to every need you could ever want. They’re friendly, polite, and make every guest feel special. I’ve been there for my 25th birthday, and Gerard’s 28th birthday. The Canlis salad is a must, as is saving room for macaroons AND dessert at the end of the meal.
– Similar to Canlis, El Gaucho knows how to treat their customers. The downtown one has no windows so it’s extremely dark, and it makes you feel like you’re in a jazz club at a different point in time. The waiters escort you to the bathroom, which makes you feel super fancy, and carts pull up to your table to either make your food table-side, or drop off your entrees. The table side bananas foster flambé is out of this world!