Wining and dining is obvs the best part of dating.
If it’s a blind date, you probably aren’t ready to make the commitment to a full dinner. You could find out he is intolerable during the appetizer, or be stuck with a $200 bill after he chose the fanciest place in town and then decided to be that guy on the first date.
If you have made it past date two, that’s when the real fun starts! From classics to trendy to casual, here are our favorite spots to stuff our faces and drink our body weight with our S.O’s. These spots are great for double dates too!
Each place is either rated casual for the nights you feel like getting out with your boo, but not getting dolled up; feeling fab for when you want to be cute but not over the top; and go all out for those nights you just feel like being extra.
Go all out
When’s the last time you treated yourself to dinner at Commander’s? Probably never since most people think of it for brunch and lunch. We went on a double date recently and had SO much fun. #WineNot
Alon Shaya’s new restaurant in the former Kenton’s location is one of the trendiest new places to grab dinner and delicious cocktails. It’s always buzzing so be prepared to run into one or several people you know. Don’t forget to make resos in advance!
We can’t get enough of this simple spot with Mediterranean fare in Bayou Saint John. One of our fave date nights is hitting up wine shop, Swirl, next door for their free wine tasting Wednesdays, followed by pigging out on pita and falafel next door. If you don’t make it to their original location, check out their new smaller Little Fig at Pythian Market downtown.
Go all out
Every good New Orleanian must make time for this French Quarter classic in their schedule at least three times per year. We never get bored of the energy there, and if you haven’t noticed are obsessed with their off menu wine dinners.
Always and forever. Yes, there is Spanish moss hanging from the chandeliers at DTB, but this is the swankiest Cajun restaurant you’ll ever visit. The cocktails, and really everything on the menu are drool worthy. Don’t miss the ice cream sandwich. Plus, we don’t give this little Oak Street area enough credit. Hit Oak Wine Bar, Ale, or Maple Leaf for drinks after.
You’ll feel totally chill at this Latin-inspired cafe in the Bywater. Sharing is caring when it comes to this menu. Split the yuca frita, mussels and don’t forget the churros (duh). There’s something so romantic about sharing plates in a dim lit cafe with your date. They also have amazing cocktails (currently crushing on the frozen paloma).
Go all out
Jack Rose is the fun version of The Caribbean Room. The ‘grandma chic’ dining room decked out in plants and colorful prints is Mexico City meets New Orleans. You can’t visit Jack Rose without doing a chambong (or three) so hopefully you don’t have too many obligations the next day 😉
Bywater American Bistro
I mean, we all knew, something coming from Nina Compton would be a winner. Borderline casual, Bywater American Bistro gets an A+ for cocktails and the menu for date night.
Paladar is really the only Cali style rustic Italian in Nola. The Warehouse chic atmosphere and delicious pizza and small plates are perfect for a casual date night.
Go all out
Our loyalty is Brigtsen’s is o so fierce for a reason. The charm, the food, the chef – this is a place that never lets you down.
Seaworthy can be a more “go all out” experience if you want it to be, but we prefer to sit at the bar share oysters and cocktails and munch on a few other goodies when we are feeling fab.
We love you Luvi. This is the perfect spot if you want to keep it light and casual. The inventive raw menu, and yummy cocktails paired with the charm of the tiny colorful space are perfect for a night out.
We know that’s what it’s meant to do, but this place really really does make us feel like we are in Havana. It’s nothing fancy at all, which is what makes it so adorbs, and the daquiris aren’t the sugary frozen ones you will taste everywhere else in town, but the way Ernest Hemingway would drink them, served up in a martini glass. The ceviche is unreal. This is a perfect spot if you aren’t too hungry and just want to enjoy a nice little adventure together.