The Best First Date Ideas in Los Angeles

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You met either the old-fashioned way — in person — or by swiping on any one of the myriad of dating apps. You’ve found someone worth going out with, but now the question becomes, what should you do?

The first date sets the tone for your budding relationship, so it’s fortunate that Los Angeles has options for any type of dater. If you’re looking to impress with your choice of a unique and fun first outing, here are some of the best first-date ideas in L.A.


Hope they help!

Highland Park Bowl
Highland Park Bowl bar and bowling lanes. Photo credits: Christina Minh / We Like L.A.

For those who want to feel like a kid again, go bowling at Highland Park Bowl

Bowling encourages laughter and high fives, allowing both you and your date to feel like a kid again while engaging in some playful competition. There is no place in LA that’s better for a bowling first date than Highland Park Bowl. First opened in 1927 and recently renovated and restored, it offers elevated bowling fare and drink and is the oldest operating bowling alley in Los Angeles. With its three bars and unique refurbished pieces, including a mural painted in the 1930s and chandeliers made of vintage pinsetters, this space is both fun and eye-catching.

 For those who enjoy a view, head to a rooftop bar

We Angelenos are lucky to have nearly perfect weather year-round that allows daters to take advantage of rooftop bars around town. These rooftop perches offer sweeping skyline views and inventive cocktails that allow for great conversation and provide a wonderful backdrop to any date. West Hollywood hotspots such as Catch and E.P. & L.P., along with Downtown L.A.’s Perch and The Standard, are a few of the many great options to impress your date. For more information check out We Like L.A.’s rundown of the best rooftop bars in Los Angeles.

Rooftop Bar The Standard Hotel
Rooftop bar at The Standard in DTLA. Credit: Prayitno via flickr cc

For foodies, head out on a food truck adventure

The first Friday of each month, Abbot Kinney Boulevard welcomes visitors to check out a slew of food trucks in the heart of Venice. The exciting food truck-focused event with a community-oriented atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for a date, as you can walk around, try several different cuisines, and peek into local shops and unique pop-ups from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. Another option, on Tuesdays in Santa Monica, goes from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Located outside the California Heritage Museum, a diverse, ever-changing array of gourmet food trucks gives daters a perfect reason to bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic under the stars.

[RELATED16 Delicious L.A. Food Trucks That Will Transport Your Tastebuds to Another Country]

 For the dinner and a movie crowd

The Tuck Room Tavern provides an ideal dinner date atmosphere, with whimsical decor and delectable dishes from James Beard Award-winning Chef Sherry Yard. Some of the restaurant’s popular dishes perfect for sharing are the Brioche Crusted Crab Cakes and Spiced + Sweet Pork Belly Wraps, all paired with master barman Adam Seger’s signature cocktails. After enjoying a delicious meal, guests can pop over to the adjacent iPic Theaters to complete the ‘dinner and a movie’ date night experience. iPic offers plush reclining chairs and on-demand service at the touch of a button while guests enjoy the latest Hollywood blockbusters.

Tuck Room Tavern
Interior of the Tuck Room Tavern. Photo by Alen Lin Photography

For the culinary masters, take a cooking class

A cooking class can be a great way for you and your date to connect on an intimate level while working together to create a meal from start to finish. A great setting for getting to know a guy or gal, it’s a unique activity tied to a shared desire to be creative and enjoy food together. Date night classes allow couples to be creative, work together, connect, and ultimately have fun. Two companies in LA that offer such classes are Cozymeal and Spork Foods. At Cozymeal, daters can choose from a variety of chefs and cuisines. Chefs will guide their students through the cooking process while sharing their knowledge and passion for cooking and teaching new skills. Sisters Heather Bell and Jenny Engel of Spork Foods offer vegan organic cooking classes, chef training, recipe development, and private chef work in their cozy and fun kitchen in West Hollywood.

For mixologists and drink lovers

The chic and modern Mixing Room at JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE offers complimentary interactive mixology classes the first Wednesday of each month. Aptly named Liquid Intelligence, these classes allow daters to enjoy the hands-on experience of crafting cocktails, along with a signature tasting based on the class offered. In addition, you can indulge in wine tastings the second Wednesday of every month and beer tastings the third Wednesday of each month, all led by local experts.


Liquid Intellgience
Liquid Intelligence. Photo by Connor Hansen

For the creatives, drink and paint

Every Sunday Night, Angel City Brewery in Downtown Los Angeles hosts Paint Nite. During this two-hour event, an artist leads participants step-by-step through the creation of a masterpiece, all while sipping on their original craft beer. Bring your date and enjoy brews like Angel City’s IPA and Berliner Weisse to keep the spirits high and inhibitions to a minimum as you unleash your inner Picasso via your skills on the canvas. Tickets are available here.

For those with a sense of exploration, visit the Griffith Observatory

If you have a sense of adventure, or know that your date may, going to the Griffith Observatory, whether by hiking to it during the day or driving up at night, is a fun, romantic location for a first date. Enjoy a fun and romantic outing as you take in the stars and the picturesque views of the city below, or check out All Space Considered, a free public program the first Friday of each month where you can learn about the most-talked-about subjects in astronomy and space science.

Griffith Observatory at Night
Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

For those with a sense of culture, check out a museum

Museums offer daters a perfect backdrop for a first date, and with walls adorned with all types of art, conversation should never be at a standstill. Whether you go to The Getty, the Hammer Museum, The Broad, LACMA or many of the others around town, taking your date to one shows that you have some class and enjoy a bit of culture. Instead of your typical resume-like first date where you learn about initial likes and dislikes, taking a date to a museum gives daters a refreshing list of topics to discuss.

[RELATED: Here’s a Handy List of all the Free Museum Days in L.A.]


For book lovers, get lost in The Last Bookstore

Located in DTLA, The Last Bookstore is California’s largest used and new book and record store and is the ideal place to browse, chat and get to know your date. With options for everyone, this shop houses more than 250,000 new and used books, graphic novels, vinyl records and a new Arts & Rare Book Annex. Although this might seem a bit nerdy to some, spending time walking around, looking through bookstacks and talking about books can be a lot of fun. Bookstore exploration can allow for great conversation, as daters can share memories of classics or favorites they enjoy and get stimulated by new ideas.

The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

For the vino lovers, go wine tasting and safari

Wine-tasting is a romantic and extremely fun first date, and when you mix in a Safari Tour, what could be better? Located in the Malibu mountains, Malibu Wines offer the grand adventure of making your way around the 1,000 acre vineyard in a custom safari vehicle, feeding exotic animals like alpacas, llamas, zebras and more. In addition, guests get to enjoy wine pairings along the way. And if a safari isn’t really your thing and you want to head straight to the vino, visitors can also go to the beautiful outdoor tasting ‘room’, bring picnic materials, and purchase wine by the bottle, all while taking in the breathtaking views.

Now of other great date ideas in L.A. you think we should write about? Shoot us an email at [email protected].


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