Living Here Guide

The 10 best date night restaurants in Charlotte, from casual to classy

At Carolina Cinemas Charlotte, all theaters have been renovated with a combination of sofas and lounge chairs. Food is available, and there’s wine and beer on tap.
At Carolina Cinemas Charlotte, all theaters have been renovated with a combination of sofas and lounge chairs. Food is available, and there’s wine and beer on tap. Mark Hames

Whether you’re prepping for a special occasion or just gearing up for a romantic night on your calendar, it helps to have a go-to list of places to try around town. Looking for something casual? A little fancier? Appropriate for a first date? Celebratory of a long relationship? We’ve got you covered.

The our staff got together to come up with this list of our 10 best restaurants for date night:

Best restaurant for an anniversary

The Fig Tree.

1601 E. 7th St., Charlotte. 704-332-3322.

There’s a fire in cold months, and porch dining in warmer months, plus it’s got one of the city’s best wine lists and awesome food.

Best restaurant for the vegetarian’s soul


1419 East Blvd., Suite A., Charlotte. 704-377-1825.

The new location in Dilworth features an intimate dining room with live ferns and tables made from barn wood. Organic libations are an option, not to mention plenty of starters fit for two forks.

Best restaurant for a special occasion

Beef ‘N Bottle.

4538 South Blvd., Charlotte. 704-523-9977.

The old-school steakhouse is a classic. Go wine shopping beforehand and bring your own bottle.

Beef n Bottle T Ortega Gaines
The Beef & Bottle on a Saturday night. T. Ortega Gaines

Best restaurant for a casual date


1301 East Blvd., Charlotte. 980-938-8565.

Sip on a sweet margarita while you crunch on the salty chips. The atmosphere is a nice blend of mood lighting and laid-back bar style. Guac is a must.

Best restaurant for a takeout date

Thai Taste.

324 East Blvd., Charlotte, 704-332-0001; 2025 E. Arbors Drive #230, Charlotte, 704-688-9179; 131 Matthews Station St., Matthews, 704-841-4455.

Something spicy for snuggling up on the couch. Every dish from the curry to the pad Thai is steamy, authentic and spiced to perfection. Pop a bottle of wine at home and split the summer rolls.

Best restaurant for a first date

Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub.

3116 N. Davidson St., Charlotte. 704-910-6543.

It’s loud, it’s bustling, it’s fun. Ideal for grabbing a drink and hanging at the bar (or at Growlers Pourhouse next door) before your table is ready.

Best spot for dinner and a movie

Cinemark Movie Bistro.

9630 Monroe Road., Charlotte. 704-847-2031

Really, this is for dinner and a movie on steroids. And we’re not talking popcorn and soda — more like flatbreads and local brews like Birdsong Higher Ground. Then take your food to a comfy recliner in the theater – or maybe one of the love seats if you’re trying to get your cuddle on.

Cinemark Movie Bistro 2 Mark Hames
At the Carolina Cinemas Charlotte, all theaters in the complex have been renovated. Mark Hames Mark Hames

Best restaurant to add a little romance


20517 N Main St., Cornelius. 704-655-7465.

This is a cozy space in a house in Cornelius with a farm-to-fork menu that changes daily, and a cocktail program that will make you want to Uber to the lake.

Best restaurant for the adventurers

Soul Gastrolounge.

1500-B Central Ave., Charlotte. (704) 348-1848.

What’s more adventurous than planning a date at a spot that doesn’t take reservations? While you wait for a table, peruse gallery 22 (on the floor below) with a beverage, and then order sashimi everything.

Best restaurant for a date with your dogs

Rivers Edge Bar & Grill at the US National Whitewater Center.

5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy., Charlotte. 704-391-3900.

Dogs are welcome on the patio, then you can walk them around the center after. The view is everything.