Whether you’ve been dating for a while or you’ve only recently met, date night is a great opportunity to express yourself, have fun, and learn a thing or two about the person you’re with. Of course, before you can get to talking, romancing, or whatever else kids do these days, you need a plan of action.
Knowing what’s for dinner, where to get dessert, and where to go after can hang-up a lot of guys (or girls). That’s why we made this handy guide to planning an awesome date night in Northern Virginia. Below, you’ll find three great spots for dinner, dessert and a fun event after. That way you can check off the planning and figure out more important things, like what you’re going to wear.
With over 20 years of experience catering to decadent tastes of Fairfax locals, Dolce Vita in downtown Fairfax is as grand an Italian trattoria as ever. Executive Chef Anthony Grasso makes all dishes to order, offering made-from-scratch pastas like “torellacci in bordo” (stuffed pasta with ground veal, fresh mushrooms, aromatics in a beef and chicken broth) or Rome-inspired, wood-fired pizzas like “fig and pig” (fresh cheeses baked with house-made fig jam, onion and prosciutto).
The culinary retreat also dons a wine bar with over 100+ italian wines, a certified sommelier for excellent wine-pairings, and a full-service bar featuring one of the best happy hours in the area. Add to that a rustic wood-plaid venue, reminiscent of the most romantic of fine dining evocations, and at very least you and your date should at least have plenty to talk about.
With its colorful maritime decor, seafood classics, and guaranteed top-quality service, Coastal Flats is a top pick for couples seeking a more relaxed (flip flops optional) atmosphere.
With beach-inspired cuisine like Coastal Lobster Rolls (lobster salad aboard a grilled roll with fries), fresh salads, and succulent seafood (think: crab cakes and habanero slaw fish tacos), Coastal Flats is akin to dining at a Florida Keys waterfront without the sand. Backed by 40 years of culinary excellence by the Great American Restaurant Group, this trendy date-night destination is obsessed with the details, and will stop at nothing to accommodate you and your aqua-mistress (or man).
Located right on Main Street in the heart of Fairfax (across the street from Old Town Square), Sister’s Thai is a Siamese hideaway like no other. Between its shelves aligned with of books, knickknacks and other objects, to its homey accents, charmed with antique furniture and plush pillows atop chairs, Sister’s feels like a cottage down memory lane.
Yet as serene as the space looks, the food is exquisitely foreign. Between the pages of it’s scrapbook of a menu you’ll find dishes like Pad Pik Khing (stir fried green beans, chicken, red pepper in a spicy curry paste) and Kua Gai Noodles (pan fried rice noodles with chicken, egg, squid and sriracha). They even include a secret Thai street-food menu (written in Thai no less), making for a hilarious experience akin to pulling a dish out of a magic hat, unaware of what you’ll find. For the adventure seekers out there, Sister’s is the place to be.
For couples with a sweet tooth, or those who simply prefer ice cream over cakes, pies or bean-to-bar chocolate, Sugar Mama’s is an obvious pitstop. Serving handcrafted, old-fashioned scoops, Sugar Mama’s is a no-frills, back-to-basics, ice cream shop in Fairfax, Virginia. With over 30 premium flavors including oreo, pistachio, salted caramel, butter brittle and s’mores to name a few, Sugar Mama’s is among the best ice cream joints in northern VA, and it has a Yelp following to prove it! Be aware: their portion sizes are out of this world, so make you and your date save some belly-space (or share a cone!).
Magnolia Dessert Bar
Described by one Yelp reviewer as, “…the most aesthetically pleasing restaurant I’ve ever been in,” Magnolia Dessert Bar is sensual as it is spellbinding. Like taking a trip to a grown-up version of Neverland, Magnolia enchants you with its eye for detail and seduces you with its endless decadent assortment of drinks and sweets.
With a Thai-inspired menu featuring drinks such as “durian freeze” and “ruby lychee,” to desserts like “honey toast Nutella lover, mango sticky rice and chai-yo coffee cake,” Magnolia is sure to amaze as much as it delights.
Topping off as one of most trending of joints in Northern Virginia restaurant scene, Smash’d Creamery in downtown Fairfax specializes in “rolled” or “stir-fried” ice cream. For those unfamiliar with the concept, unfrozen flavored ice cream mix is spread out over a -20 degree “cold grill,” rolled into smooth, semi-solid sheets of ice and topped off with whatever you choose. It’s a Thai-inspired twist on America’s favorite dessert, all with its own audacious flavors, such as: “Thai the Knot (Thai tea), Crushing on You-Bae (Ube) and King Kong (Banana Nutella)”. Take our word for it: if you (or your date) haven’t tried it, go!!!
Auld Shebeen Karaoke
Post-dessert sugar-high got you in the mood for dancing (or singing)? Auld Shebeen is an Irish pub & local student hangout featuring live music, karaoke and a basement dance floor. Right off Old Bridge Road in downtown Fairfax (and not far from Room Escape Fairfax), Auld Shebeen is the go-to spot if you want to sing your heart out or at very least bust a groove. The Irish-inspired pub is super popular among locals, so expect a crowd, and come in a social mood. In short, if you and your date want some good times or good vibes, Auld Shebeen is the place to be.
Caboose Brewing Company
Like beer? There’s no better after-dinner hangout than Caboose Brewing Company in Fairfax. This truly one-of-a-kind taphouse features over two dozen craft beers, an outside beer garden and fantastic views, to boot. Moreover, with a non-stop queue of late-night events and socials, including yoga, trivia night and ballroom dancing, the spot has plenty to see, drink and do. They also offer a full-service espresso bar, late-night fixin’s, and some cozy snug-away spots on the second floor.
Room Escape Fairfax
No date night list would be complete without an escape room experience, and Room Escape Fairfax is the best in town! Featuring 9 innovative escape rooms complete with their own unique backstories, layouts and puzzles, you and your date should have no problem having a good time.
Whether you choose to team up to escape Venus, go back in time to save the world, or solve a mystery in a disturbing room, Escape Room Fairfax is guaranteed to give you a date experience you’ll remember (and cherish) for life. Contact Escape Room Fairfax today to learn more!