First dates are hit or miss—even more so when it’s someone you’ve only exchanged a few messages with online. So when it’s time to plan one out, why not opt for a venue that you’ll enjoy regardless of how the night goes? Best case scenario, sparks fly. Worst case scenario, you’ll still have a good time at one of these fun venues. Before you swipe right again or agree to meet up with your cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s only single co-worker, refer to this list for ideas on where to meet up and start your date off on the right foot.
Learning and Libations at Wynwood Yard
Wynwood Yard (pictured at top) is a fun, eclectic, hipster-friendly spot in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District is perfect for a first date with plenty of dining options like Mortar and Pistil and the Vegan Della Test Kitchen. Go when they’re hosting a special event (check their calendar—they’re constantly hosting things like cooking lessons, yoga class or dance workshops). You’ll learn something new and have a good time even if your date turns out to be a dud.
56 NW 29th Street, Miami
Dance Under The Stars at Ball & Chain
Ball & Chain on famous Calle Ocho is the ideal place if you want to test your date’s salsa skills (or at least their desire to learn some new moves). Hit it up on Thursday night for Little Havana Under The Stars and receive a free salsa lesson, then stay for the salsa party afterwards. You’ll quickly discover whether this is the right person for you by your chemistry on the dance floor—and if they’re not, it shouldn’t be too hard to swap dance partners.
1513 SW 8th Street, Little Havana
Score a Home Run at Marlins Park
The Marlins aren’t exactly Miami’s favorite home team, although they’re having a decent season this year. Still, seats at the extravagant new Marlins Park in Little Havana remain relatively cheap, making it an excellent place for a no-fuss, yet creative, first date. Grab some beers, find your seats, watch the game, talk about whatever excites you, and see if there’s chemistry. If it’s a strike out, there are usually plenty of open seats in the stadium to watch the rest of the game by yourself.
501 Marlins Way, Little Havana
Lit & Film Double Header off Miracle Mile
If you want nothing more than to find a date who enjoys the same books and movies as you do, start your blind date at Books & Books in Coral Gables. Walk around the shop, discuss your favorite writers, maybe even catch a live author event. Afterwards, grab a drink at the on-site café courtyard. If things are going well, head across the street to the Coral Gables Art Cinema for an indie flick. Even if things aren’t going so hot, you won’t really have to talk to your date for the next two hours inside the theater.
260 & 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables
Punk Rock and People Watching at Churchill’s
Cheap booze and lots of interesting characters abound at this Little Haiti landmark that’s great for getting to know your potential new beau. There’s usually some form of live entertainment, whether it’s a local garage punk show, a tribute to the Cure, stand-up comedy, open-mic night or even a Trick Daddy concert. If the date’s not heating up, no one ever really has a bad time at Churchill’s.
5501 NE 2nd Avenue, Little Haiti
Bowl a Strike or Strike Out at Splitsville
Sunset Place’s Splitsville offers a slightly higher-class bowling experience than, say, Bird Bowl, especially since no kids are allowed after a certain hour—not to mention, you can actually get some decent sushi here. Get competitive with your date and, afterwards, if the mood… strikes, head to any of the easy-to-walk-to local bars with your date (or end it early and call your friends to bar hop afterwards. It’s a win-win.)
5701 Sunset Drive, South Miami
Al Fresco Fun at The New World Symphony
Rather than go and drop wads of cash at some overpriced SoBe bar or nightclub, opt for a fun, romantic outing with your date on the lawns of the New World Symphony for a night of music or film en plein air. Their Soundscape series features a different film every Wednesday night or check the schedule of their Wallcast programming for a symphony simulcast. If it’s going well, take a romantic walk on Lincoln Road afterwards for prime people watching. If it’s not, get lost in the crowd.
500 17th Street, South Beach
Trivia Time at World Of Beer
This one’s for the Kendall folks. Both World of Beer in Town & Country and WOB Dadeland host trivia nights that would be perfect to attend with a date. Why? Well, 1 – you’ll quickly find out how much useless knowledge they know, 2 – you’ll get to know how competitive they are, 3 – you’ll be able to judge them (or not) on their choice of beverage, and 4 – if you win, you’ll see how generous they are with sharing the prize. No better way to really get to know a date within an hour or two.
Jazz it up at Le Chat Noir
Start your night off with dinner and drinks at the restaurant at Le Chat Noir, then walk down to the jazz cellar for live music. If you’ve been set up with the wrong person entirely, you can always remind them how rude it is to talk while the musicians play, then call it an early night. At the very least, you got the chance to check out one of the few live jazz venues left in Miami.
2 S Miami Ave, Downtown