Looking for ideas for a first date in Seattle? You’ve come to the right place. We asked our followers on Instagram and Facebook where they go in Seattle for a successful (or at least enjoyable) first date. Then we rounded up the most frequently-suggested recommendations and put them into the categories that you’ll see below: restaurants, bars, indoor activities such as museums, and outdoor activities such as scenic parks. Many Seattleites attested that they went on a first date at one of these places with their now-partner, so know that you’re in good hands with these recommendations!
Here are the top 40 places recommended by locals for a first date in Seattle:
1. House of Eve
House of Eve is a new restaurant located in the Denny Triangle neighborhood that serves brunch, happy hour, and dinner. It received the most recommendations from our Instagram followers, with one local calling it “the sexiest restaurant in Seattle.” Another Seattleite said that “the bathrooms are an ideal makeout spot,” so do what you will with that information.
Coming just behind House of Eve in number of nominations, The Pink Door was the other most popular restaurant recommendation for first dates. One Seattleite said this romantic Italian restaurant located at Pike Place Market has “excellent food and service with a great interior and view!”
Several locals suggested getting cocktails and a bite to eat on the 35th floor of the historic Smith Tower in Pioneer Square, with one Seattleite calling out the “nice food and a great view.” It’s true that you get a great view while you eat, and can even walk around the observatory deck for a 360-degree birds-eye view of the city. “My partner and I have seen a lot of couples on first dates there,” another local said.
4. Alibi Room
If you’re looking for casual ambiance in a central location, some locals suggested Alibi Room in Pike Place Market “for snacks and drinks!” As one person said: “This place is cool! Good pizzas too.” Another Seattleite suggested combining it with a stop at nearby Il Bistro “for the optimal dark/intimate experience.”
Toulouse Petit is an excellent Creole restaurant in Queen Anne that serves brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner. Here’s what one Seattleite had to say: “I love it there! Great ambience at night. So many candles.”
mbar in South Lake Union is a rooftop restaurant and bar with great views and delicious Mediterranean food. One Seattleite said, “That’s exactly where me and my husband went!” so it worked for at least one couple. It’s an indoor/outdoor space with fire pits and lots of covered seating so although it’s most popular (read: crowded) in the summer, we would take a date there year-round.
7. Hot Cakes
Do you know if your date has a sweet tooth? If so, multiple Seattleites recommend taking them to Hot Cakes. This dessert restaurant specializes in molten cakes with locations in Capitol Hill and Ballard. As one local put it, “as long as we go to Hot Cakes for dessert.”
It might seem strange to propose a first date at a hotel, but a few Seattleites recommended the historic Edgewater Hotel for its Six Seven Restaurant that has a gorgeous waterfront view and delicious seafood. They’re open for weekend brunch, happy hour, and dinner. If it’s nice out, you can eat on the waterfront patio. If the date goes well you can extend it by exploring the waterfront, with options ranging from the Olympic Sculpture Park to the Seattle Great Wheel.
Many, many Seattleites suggested Dick’s Drive-In. It would be impossible to say how many were joking, but we’re including it as a viable option because it’s casual, cheap, and easily accessible thanks to the many locations. All of those factors make for a low-effort first date (if you’re both down for that). Just try not to make a Dick’s joke; we’ve heard them all before.
Bars and breweries
10. Flatstick Pub
A bar with activities is perfect for smoothing out nerves and awkwardness on a first date, which is probably why so many Seattleites suggested Flatstick Pub. The South Lake Union location has mini golf plus their invented game Duffleboard, while the Pioneer Square location offers both of those in addition to free games of “Dufflepong” and “Pockets.” Both locations offer bingo, trivia, and happy hours every week. They also have locations in Kirkland, Spokane, Bellingham, and Redmond. If you and your date work up an appetite, Flatstick serves food as well.
11. Fog Room
Fog Room is a swanky rooftop bar located in downtown Seattle. You can sit inside if it’s chilly or warm up by a fire pit and take in the view. A few more Seattle rooftop bars suggested by locals for first dates were ALTITUDE Sky Lounge in South Lake Union, The Nest near Pike Place Market, and The Mountaineering Club in the U District.
Donna’s is a new-ish Italian cocktail bar in Capitol Hill that could do a lot of the heavy lifting for you on a first date. It has cool decor, mood lighting, fun cocktails, and under-$15 pasta.
Ocho is a cozy little tapas bar in Ballard. One local who recommended it has “been on a couple of dates here!” Happy hour and dinner are good options here, but you could also opt for their weekend brunch. Then if the date goes well, keep it going at the nearby National Nordic Museum or (on Sundays) the Ballard Farmers Market.
In the same vein as Flatstick Pub, Add-A-Ball in Fremont is a bar that’s fun on a first date thanks to their lineup of pinball machines as well as “the largest collection of vintage coin operated arcade machines in the city.” Time Warp in Capitol Hill is another arcade bar that you could use for a first date.
Bottlehouse in Madrona is a wine bar located in a cozy old house with a romantic outdoor space. It’s perfect for spring and summer dates in particular. One local had this suggestion: “Meet for wine; if it goes well, stay for food!”
16. Stoup Brewing
If you and your date both like beer, then a brewery is a great choice for a casual first date. You’re sure to find a good option in almost any Seattle neighborhood but Stoup Brewing in Capitol Hill is one recommended by locals. You should have no problem finding a place to sit and chat in the large, airy space. They also have a Ballard location, and both spots have a daily food truck schedule. One Seattleite had this sweet anecdote: “Took my beautiful lady to Optimism Brewery (now Stoup Brewing) and now she’s my wife!!”
17. Dog Yard Bar
If you and a fellow dog parent want to include your pups in your first date, meet up at Dog Yard Bar in Ballard! The two of you can enjoy pizza and drinks while your dogs get their energy out on the 2800-square-foot play field. Just keep in mind that you can’t just walk in with your dog; you have to first register your pet and purchase a pass.
Museums and indoor activities
You can’t go wrong with a date at the Seattle Art Museum and if you’re on a budget, the first Thursday of the month is always free (see our guide to free museum days here). One local recommended this museum for a first date because “it’s about a good 1-1.5 hour stroll inside and so many nearby attractions for food or scenery.” They suggested visiting the nearby Three Girls Bakery afterwards. You could also get fresh seafood at MARKET Fishmonger & Eatery which is conveniently located at the museum.
If you know your date is into pop culture of some form—whether it be music, horror movies, fantasy, or video games—you should suggest visiting Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture. “You gotta have some fandom in the mix to be a good match, and it’s a good way to spend a fun day out even if nothing comes of it,” one Seattleite said.
Located right by the Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly is a stunning glass art museum that makes for a memorable date. One local suggested adding on to the date afterwards by going “somewhere nearby for coffee and pastries.” Our recommendation would be the nearby Cafe Cosmos, since they have an extensive board game collection that you can use.
21. Seattle Aquarium
A few Seattleites suggested the aquarium for a first date. Be sure to check out their events page since they occasionally host After Hours events for ages 21 and up, so you can enjoy the aquarium without children running around.
Looking for an affordable and romantic first date with an art lover? The historic neighborhood Pioneer Square has brick streets, string lights, and a free art walk on the first Thursday of every month. Afterwards, get dinner and drinks at Damn the Weather, which has a great date night vibe. See our full guide to Seattle art walks.
It might be a tourist hot spot, but several locals recommended Pike Place Market for a first date due to its sheer variety of options. “You are bound to find something you both would enjoy,” one Seattleite said. For bonus points, you can buy your date a bouquet of flowers. Several locals also suggested restaurants at the market including Matt’s in the Market, Zig Zag Cafe, Il Bistro, Alibi Room, and Maximilien’s “if I was desperate to impress.”
Looking for a first date activity that’s a little outside of the box? A few locals suggested going on the virtual reality Wings Over Washington ride that is located on the waterfront. It’s a little goofy but surprisingly fun, and afterwards you have your pick of waterfront restaurants such as Six Seven Restaurant, Elliott’s Oyster House, AQUA by El Gaucho, and Aerlume.
One creative local suggested going to the Laser Dome at the Pacific Science Center for a first date. You can lay on the ground next to each other while watching an epic laser show set to artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Paramore, Daft Punk, Frank Ocean, SZA, and more.
26. NEKO Cat Cafe
Here’s a date idea for the cat lovers. NEKO Cat Cafe in Capitol Hill lets you play with adoptable cats while sipping on coffee, wine, or sake. Note that advance reservations are highly recommended.
For a chill date, several locals highly recommend Elliott Bay Books in Capitol Hill for “coffee and book browsing.” The onsite Little Oddfellows Cafe can provide the refreshments, or you can continue the date with a full meal next door at Oddfellows Cafe and Bar. Another great bookstore option is Third Place Books which has multiple locations in the Seattle area—all with food and drink options onsite.
28. Elm Candle Bar
Right by Elliott Bay Books is Elm Candle Bar. Here’s why one local likes this activity for first dates: “The stories people share when they’re doing smells are amazing and even if I don’t like the person, I made a cute personalized candle that I love.” A second option in another neighborhood is Noir Lux Candle Bar in Belltown.
29. A coffee shop
Unsurprisingly, a lot of Seattleites suggested going to a coffee shop for a first date. One reasoned, “When it’s a bad date, you don’t have to stay long!” Another person said: “First dates are supposed to be basic for feeling each other out. So just a park and/or coffee drinks. You can do something fancier on the second or third date.” Pictured above is the charming Volunteer Park Cafe, which is (as the name implies) conveniently close to Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park. You can also check out our roundup of locals’ favorite coffee shops in Seattle.
Parks and outdoor activities
30. Kerry Park
Kerry Park in Queen Anne was recommended by multiple Seattleites, especially if you go at sunset. It’s small but has the most iconic view of Seattle. Just be prepared for a near-constant crowd of tourists, although it thins out in the winter.
31. Green Lake
Green Lake is scenic year-round and the three-mile loop is just long enough for a first date stroll. One local suggested this itinerary: “Theater performance, a hot dog from the small shop, and a walk around the lake.”
32. Gas Works Park
Several Seattleites suggested going to Gas Work Parks for a walk, a picnic, or “to see the beautiful city lights” at night.
33. Alki Beach
West Seattle’s Alki Beach is such a scenic location it was even featured in the classic romcom Sleepless in Seattle (not as a date spot, to be fair, but still). One Seattleite’s suggestion was to “rent e-scooters and go down Alki.” Another said to “walk on Alki, then grab a bite.” Our recommendation would be Harry’s Beach House.
Some Seattleites suggested going to the Woodland Park Zoo for a fun and casual first date. Afterwards, walk around the adjacent rose garden which is free and beautiful year-round.
35. Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum is large, scenic, and full of winding paths that are perfect for first date strolls. Best of all, it’s free.
36. Olympic Sculpture Park
You and your date can enjoy waterfront views and a few conversation-starting artworks at the free Olympic Sculpture Park. It’s a nice add-on to a date at the nearby Seattle Art Museum when it’s nice out.
37. Lake Union
Kayaking, paddle boarding, or boating on Lake Union on a sunny day cannot be beat. One local had this suggestion: “Rent an electric boat and take a little tour on Lake Union with classy food.” Use your own discretion when it comes to determining what counts as “classy” food.
The Ballard Farmers Market is packed with people, cute dogs, and all sorts of vendors every Sunday, rain or shine. One local said it was the location for “my first date with my partner 12 years ago.” Buy your date fresh flowers and maybe even some sort of tasty treat, then choose from one of the many Ballard cafes and restaurants in walking distance if you’d like to keep the date going.
39. The Fremont Troll
The Fremont Troll might seem like an odd choice for a third wheel on a first date, but “have a coffee with the troll under the bridge” was a popular suggestion nevertheless. Another Seattleite had this fun idea: “Go on a Troll hunt (including the Fremont Troll) and see how many you can find in a day!” You’ll want to check out our guide to the Northwest Trolls in Seattle first. Seeing all the trolls in one day might be overly ambitious so you might have to spread them out over additional dates. You’ll know someone is a keeper when you’ve taken them to see every troll in Seattle.
40. The ferry to Bainbridge
Several Seattleites suggested taking the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge, which has “so many cafes, bars, [and] boutiques to enjoy.” The best part is that you don’t need a car; you can walk on to the ferry and from there walk around most of the island center.