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Date night ideas for every type of Raleighite

Got a hot new fling? Hoping to spice things up with your longtime partner? We’re here to help plan your next date night in the 919.

A table against a wall of board games at Kitchen Table.

Share your competitive side with your date over a board game.

Photo provided by Kitchen Table at Relish.

Kids, this is the story of how I met your mother, and it was all thanks to RALtoday.

OK, so maybe that’s not exactly how the 2000s sitcom went, but if Ted Mosby had consulted us for date night ideas, we could’ve shaved the show down to two seasons (and saved his kids a lot of time).

Regardless, whether you’ve met “the one” or are hoping to impress someone new, we’ve got 30+ local date night ideas that are legen — wait for it — dary.

A comedy club.

Laugh with your partner or date at a local stand-up show.

Photo by RALtoday

For the ones who want a night out on the town

  • Prove your sense of humor with a trip to Goodnights Comedy Club for a stand-up show from local and national comedians.
  • During hockey season, head to PNC Arena for a Carolina Hurricanes game + enjoy local food options from your seat.
  • For a more upscale occasion, get dressed up to visit the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts for a show by NC Opera.
  • Red Hat Amphitheater offers concerts + events in the warmer months and an ice skating experience in winter.
  • Cozy up with drinks and desserts at Bittersweet‘s bar. Plus, this cocktail + dessert lounge earned a semifinalist spot in the 2024 James Beard Awards.
A spread of oysters at St. Roch.

St. Roch’s daily oyster happy hour is from 4-6 p.m. (and all day Tuesday).

Photo courtesy of St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar

If the way to their heart is through their stomach

  • Impress your beau with a classic Angus Barn steak dinner. Don’t forget to make a holiday reservation in advance to enjoy the cozy, festive ambiance.
  • Chef Cheetie Kumar’s hip new Five Points joint Ajja is a perfect place to bond over new food together — plus, it’s a 2024 James Beard semifinalist.
  • Try a more plant-based menu at Irregardless, and enjoy local live music while you eat.
  • You can’t go wrong with a pizza date. With nearly 40 pie places waiting for you, we’re sure you can find one with toppings you both agree on.
  • Want an excuse to sit and talk? Grab a drink + app while waiting for a table at the reservation-free Stanbury. This menu is ever-changing, so make it a regular spot for a variety of food.
  • Make a reservation at Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern for a fine dining experience downtown.
  • If seafood is more your speed, try St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar for a cool evening vibe.
  • Picture this: You’re a bit picky, but you don’t want your date to know — head to Transfer Co. Food Hall for a variety of options.
  • Gaze at the skyline + stars from The Willard Rooftop Lounge while grabbing a bite and cocktail.
  • For a more hands-on date, try a cooking class at Wynton’s World Cooking School or learn more about wines at Vitis House.
Flowers Field in Dorothea Dix Park in June 2022.

Dix Park also offers gorgeous skyline views of Raleigh.

Photo by RALtoday

If you love the great outdoors

For the ones who like to play games (just not with your heart)

If you’re really hoping that it works out

Three cocktails on a platter.

Get an upscale vintage cocktail bar experience at Aunty Betty’s.

Photo provided by Aunty Betty’s Gin & Absinthe Bar.

If you want an “old fashioned”-style date

  • Look for the hidden moody bar at Morgan Street Food Hall to find Aunty Betty’s Gin and Absinthe Bar with thousands of combinations to make your perfect negroni.
  • Wear your best to Death and Taxes, a wood-fired kitchen run by Raleigh Chef Ashley Christensen. Pro tip: Sit at the bar to watch the chefs at work.
  • Love a speakeasy? Visit The Green Light‘s hidden bar for classic + inventive cocktails.
  • Tell your date to get all gussied up when you visit this neighborhood spot. We loved everything Gussie’s had to offer, especially specialty cocktails and great bites — we hope your date will too.
  • Try a Heights House event like afternoon tea, supper club, or visit The Parlor for drinks during a luxurious historical staycation.
  • Walk through Historic Oakwood for a glance at some of Raleigh’s oldest homes.
  • See world class art at no price at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Explore the Museum Park, take photos together, and enjoy pieces from Picasso, Monet, and other influential artists.
  • Watts & Ward is a 1920s-style speakeasy located underneath Hargett Street — have a drink or two with your date in your roaring ‘20s finest.

If you wanna show off by knowing all the hottest events in town...

  • Shameless plug: Sign up for our daily newsletter, where we call out our top picks of things to do around town. Your date doesn’t have to know we’re behind it — you can take all the credit.
  • Stay up-to-date on the coolest local events around Raleigh with our events page (and check out this guide for our tips on navigating the page).

What did we miss? If you know a perfect date spot that’s not on the list, guide us in the right direction using this survey.

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