How To Choose a Restaurant for a Date

Choosing a Great Restaurant for a Date

When you have the big first date coming up, figuring out how to choose a restaurant for a date becomes pretty important. You want to have just the right atmosphere for your date, allowing you to talk uninterrupted, but also including either a certain amount of entertainment value or romantic quality. You want a dating restaurant to have great atmosphere and good service, so the wait staff doesn’t become part of the storyline.

Even if you’ve been dating a while, remembering how to choose a restaurant for a date is important. Couples can get into a rut after a while, so a change of scenery and a chance of menu is a good way to trick things up and get the night started with something fresh and new.

Before we discuss what to look for in a restaurant, let me give a suggestion for how you find your dining arrangments: online restaurant searches.

Search Online For a Restaurant

Go to a place like ( to find the best restaurants in your area. Yahoo and Google have a good basic restaurant directories, too. Checking on the Internet for a list of restaurants in your area will give you ideas you would never have thought of yourself. Otherwise, you’re left with what friends tell you about and what you drive by on the way to work.

Searching for restaurants online lets you check out the menu and pricing. If the restaurant doesn’t have a menu available, assume it’s expensive and plan accordingly. Searching online for dinner information might allow you to see a picture of the interior and give you some idea of lighting, seating and other atmophere choices. You also might be able to get free coupons or join a dinner club, though I’m not sure I would recommend pulling out the coupons on a first date.

What To Look For in a Date Restaurant

First of all, you’ll want a place where the two of you can hear one another talk. You don’t want a restaurant where they play the music too loud. You don’t want a restaurant with a lot of people in a confined space, so the two of you have to talk over a dull roar.

Select a restaurant where the two of you can talk comfortably and not have to strain to hear. One of the worst things to do on a first date is to ask your date to continually repeat herself, so find an eatery where this isn’t an issue.

Ask For Dining Preferences

Before you get too far, ask your date what kind of eating preferences he or she has. If they love Thai cuisine, but hate Italian, don’t pick Italian. Now is not the time to try to convince them to change their basic eating habits, just because you know of a great place for pasta. That can wait for later.

Make sure the restaurant is a place your date will enjoy, but also make it a place you can relax and enjoy, too.

Read Restaurant Reviews

Food is a matter of taste, but most of the time, diners will have fairly similar standards when it comes to service. Find a site where you can see multiple reviews of the restaurant you’re considering: at least 5-10 reviews. If a solid number of them complain about bad service, don’t go to that restaurant.

As I said before, you don’t want the waiters to become an issue. If they neglect you or get an attitude, you’re going to waste time you should be charming your date to deal with bad waiters, or get an attitude yourself. Complaining about the service isn’t the most attractive quality, so don’t put yourself in that situation.

Get the Setting Right

Atmosphere is just as important as the food, when you’re going on an early date. Make sure you have good lighting, neither too bright (to show blemishes) or too dim (so you can’t see each other). This brings me to another point.

Don’t Take a Shot in the Dark

Try out the restaurant once before you eat there, or eat at a place you have eaten at before. This way, you know the two of you aren’t walking into a dud. Bad restaurants won’t kill a date, but they certainly don’t help. Have a good idea what you’re getting into. Adventure is nice, but it can turn into disaster pretty quickly.

While you’re at it, don’t choose a place where the serving staff knows you on a first-name basis. That might creep out your date and send the wrong signal. If nothing else, it makes you look like you’re a creature of habit, which isn’t very romantic.

Choosing a Dining Experience

Knowing how to choose a restaurant for a date lets you craft the date to your liking, creating a positive and enjoyable experience for you and your date. While a good meal doesn’t assure a good date, it gets the night off to a positive start and hopefully should lead to a date memorable for the both of you.

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