5 hot date night ideas for couples looking to explore new restaurants and bars

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I bet you’ve asked your significant other this question: “Where should we go tonight? I want to try something new.”

Good news, the Agenda’s got your back on hot date night ideas for couples looking to try new concepts.


For the couple that’s not afraid to do pizza and cocktails, as long as they’re both hand-crafted…

  • Neighborhoods: Dilworth and Montford Park
  • Combo: Inizio Pizza and Dot Dot Dot.
  • Instructions: Go to Inizio Pizza in Dilworth. Order a small Raffaile and Pistachio pizza and split their Italian Chopped Salad (underrated). Drink the Peroni on draft, served in the huge glass. Drive 4 minutes to the Backlot at Park Road Shopping Center. Enter Dot Dot Dot (guys, don’t forget they don’t allow shorts). Don’t bring out your phone, and talk to owner/bartender Stefan about your tastes before ordering a cocktail.
  • Agenda Pro Tip: The Manhattan at Dot Dot Dot is excellent (Kentucky Bourbon, House Blend Sweet Vermouth, Bitters, served up)
inizio pizza

Pistachio ($16) – rosemary, sea salt, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, garlic, pistachio pesto sauce

dot-dot-dot-date-night-cocktail

Dot Dot Dot, literally. Make sure you have a membership.


For the athletes who like o eat and drink as they’re playing…

  • Neighborhoods: Ayrsley
  • Combo: Piedmont Social House and Topgolf.
  • Instructions: Go to Piedmont Social House. Bowl a game. Shoot pool. Order the app named The Piedmont Dou (tortilla chips, housemade salsa and their smoked gouda pimento cheese). Drive 6 minutes to Topgolf. Order a draft beer as your waiting for a driving range bay or their shareable “Golfbag” signature cocktail ($16) served in take-home mugs. Order food; Topgolf has above-average bar food. Get ready for the club type vibe to appear at about 8:30 p.m. when the music and lights start to get crazy.
  • Agenda Pro Tip: Order the nachos at Topgolf.
topgolf date night

Topgolf is so hot right now that they’ll often have waits ranging from 3-4 hours on a Saturday to 1 hour on a Monday (during prime hours).

piedmont-social-house-bowling-alley

I love the multiple bar vantage points to watch (and heckle) bowlers at Piedmont Social House.


For the small town lovers, trapped in the big city…

  • Neighborhoods: Matthews
  • Combo: TBD, depending on your timing and tastes. But definitely go to Brakeman’s in whatever “choose your own adventure” you create.
  • Instructions: It’s worth spending an entire afternoon/evening in Matthews. Drive 30 minutes. Just in the last six months, a flood of retail has sprung up around the downtown area: Temple Mojo (growler shop from the owner of Carolina Beer Temple), Mac’s Speed Shop (the barbecue chain’s fourth Charlotte location), Umami Sushi, Artful Gourmet (burgers) and Jekyll and Hyde (brewpub). Dealer’s choice.
  • Agenda Pro Tip: Order the lavender latte or the cold brew hibiscus tea from Brakeman’s.

Temple Mojo. [Agenda related story: Downtown Matthews is becoming a destination]


For the couple that loves to people-watch at hotels…

  • Neighborhoods: Uptown
  • Combo: Sophia’s Lounge and Stoke
  • Instructions: Go to Sophia’s Lounge. Order a Where Is The Honey cocktail or The Last Word cocktail (fire is involved). Sophia’s Lounge operations are run by the 5Church team, so you know it’s solid. Walk a block to Stoke for dinner. Order the Stoke House Pretzel Brioche with whipped butter to start.
  • Agenda Pro Tip: You’ve got to try Stoke’s One Pound Doughnut.
sophia's lounge

as

stoke charlotte

Stoke doesn’t mess around with their food presentation. Their cocktails are solid as well.


For foodies who are obsessed with gorgeous spaces that’ll remind you more of New York or Charleston than Charlotte…

  • Neighborhoods: South End
  • Combo: Suffolk Punch and O-Ku Sushi
  • Instructions: Go to Suffolk Punch. Sit in the leather chairs at the bar. Order their The Midlenhall Treasure cocktail (Gin, St. Germaine, Prosecco, Lime garnish served tall over ice). Relax. For your second drink, go with a beer from Hyde Brewing. Take the light rail, walk 15 minutes or drive 3 minutes to O-Ku. Order O-Ku’s Rainbow Roll ($14).
  • Agenda Pro Tip: Drink the beer from the outside bar on one of their beautiful outdoor picnic tables.
suffolk punch hyde brewing

In addition to a gorgeous interior, Suffolk Punch also has a bunch of oversized picnic tables in the back.

o-ku-sushi-charlotte

O-Ku Sushi hit the ground running in Charlotte. It’s the best atmosphere out of any of our city’s sushi restaurants. Oh, and they recently launched poke bowls. 


Cover photo from Haberdish. Yes, it’s delicious. Yes, it’s the perfect date nightcap.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).