So you met someone. Maybe you walked down the same grocery isle one too many times to chance direct eye contact…which turned into a number. Maybe “meet” is a strong word and you're having the easiest conversation you’ve had on that dating app in months. Either way you’re ready to make the official move and set a time and a place. Where do you bring them? What kind of mood do you want to create? How can you make it unique?
This can be an intimidating task but Downtown Tempe is here to make it easy. We’ve curated a list that is sure impress both you and your date, no matter the vibe you are looking for. From fancy-schmancy to the low-key... you can count on Downtown Tempe to foster your one of a kind love. However, with so many great options at your fingertips, now the hardest part will be choosing where to start first!
The “Fancy-Schmancy” Date Night Oh you fancy huh?
1. Dress for the stars and capture iconic sunsets from Lucero, Omni Tempe’s rooftop bar and restaurant. Designed for the adventurous and bold, this rooftop aims to set the mood by emulating the starry night sky. Sip craft cocktails and savor tantalizing cuisine at Lucero every Wednesday-Saturday 4pm-10pm.
Make it a rooftop evening by visiting Lucero at Omni, Alibi Rooftop at Canopy, and Skysill Rooftop at the Westin, all short walks from each other! All offer their own events and theme weekends throughout the year, so be sure to check their event calendars before dropping in.
2. Did you find out your date is afraid of heights on the way to the rooftops? Look cool, calm, and collected with your alternate reservation at the hotel’s floor-level restaurant and bar. Check out the amazing offerings and incredible ambiances at Omni’s Neighborhood Services, Canopy’s Alter Ego, and Westin’s Terra Tempe.
3. Show them your sophisticated side with live local Jazz music every Monday evening from 6pm-9pm at Caffe Boa. Between the Jazz, all pastas being made by hand daily in house, and seafood wild caught and flown in fresh, bringing your date to Caffe Boa will make this restaurant’s attention to detail look like your attention to detail.
4. How does Dinner and a Show sound? See an ASU Gammage or Arizona Theatre Company performance and get a deal to dine in Downtown Tempe. Show your ticket stub and receive special deals at these participating restaurants before the show.
The Active & Early Riser Date Day A different kind of “Sunday Funday”
Start your Sunday afternoon with a workout that you can make as mild or challenging as you want - a one mile hike on ‘A’ Mountain. After you grab the perfect commemorative selfie at the top, head over to the Original Chop Shop Co. to rehydrate and refuel over Cold Brew and Egg + Veggie Hash.
Once you’ve satisfied your hunger, swing down Mill Avenue - this is where 2nd Sunday's on Mill goes down the 2nd Sunday of each month, October - April. Here, you can take part in a donation based yoga class by Arizona Yoga Co., check out local art, handmade goods, live music and some special interactive activities that are new each month!
*TIP* Get your date all gooey-eyed by purchasing matching bracelets, a print from a local artist, and then taking them to Paris for a Strawberry Short-Crepe at Foch Café & Bistro on 6th street… trust us.
More Activity Based Dates
Not ready to stare into each others eyes over dinner? Try these…
Tutu Gether get crafting together! New this 2023 on Mill Ave is the ultimate experience making one-of-a-kind handmade crafting items that will make your special moments even more memorable. (Key chains, phone cases, painting, pouring, tufting and more!) Be sure to make a reservation, this place is popular. Afterward, walk down Mill and discover your date’s favorite nostalgic candy at Candy Addict!
Create new or crazy outfits together by touring each retail store on Mill. Try out this combo: Nowadays for a vintage tee à Urban Outfitters for bottoms à Henna Shoppe for jewelry or henna à Rave Circus for hats and festival gear accessories to top it off.
Break out the board games at Snakes and Lattes Downtown Tempe, a board game bar, coffee shop and restaurant! Are you reading this prematurely to having a date? Catch Mix & Mingle every other Monday.
Speaking of games, how about yard games? Culinary Dropout
Tempe has everything from live music, to foosball, ping pong, and cornhole. They even will have the game on if your date’s team is playing. Yay sports!
Super Dive-y Date Night I found love in a hopeless place
Have you had a few dates already and you want to know the REAL them? Grab all of the friends and take over a corner in one of Downtown Tempe’s Sports Bars. A few good ones to name are University Sports Grill for (desert hockey fans unite), Zipps
(naturally), and Loco Patron since they all play the game sound instead of music. Big score.
If you are feelin’ the love after all that (fingers crossed) and want to spend a little more time gazing into each other's eyes after the rest of the group goes home, walk over to Spinelli’s Pizzeria for a Hendricks and a slice of Chicken & Waffles pizza. There's no way to resist the love of which you will fall when you bite into that pizza...
Lovey Dovey Date Night Less distraction = more time for smoochin’
Simplicity is key with this slow-paced evening with your honey. A walk across the ped bridge around sunset would be the perfect way to end your day together. Seriously, it's quite romantic... it has been the go-to spot for sunset selfies and... proposals! You can even rent a boat at Tempe Town Lake Boat Rentals of America.
After taking in those cotton candy-colored skies over Tempe Town Lake, treat yourselves with a Sugar Cookie + Passion Orange Guava Sorbet ice cream sandwich at Slickables. Crank it up a notch and do a side-by-side comparison with Slickables and Sparky’s Old Town Creamery. Now that is a sweet date night.
The Date Night of Laughter Hahahahahahaha, LOL, LMAO, etc, etc
Want to laugh until it hurts while also testing your mate's mystery-solving skills and ability to go with the flow? If so, you NEED to check out United Escapes Of America Escape Rooms. It’s great for a group date to test the waters or try their Rush Hour room that can be completed with just 2 people. If you don’t find a way out, you might as well kiss each other goodbye.
If you’re sly enough to escape, you should run to Low Key Piano Bar. Nothing like a Long Island Fish Bowl and dueling pianos to celebrate your jailbreak!
The Classic Date Night Back in my day, we had to walk 10 miles up hill both ways to go to dinner and a movie...
If you’re in the mood for the good ol' dinner + a movie date night, it's pretty clear that your options are endless.
We’re lucky to have AMC Theater smack dab in the middle of Downtown Tempe. With their reclining seats… you might want to make it a double feature.
Pedal Haus Brewery, AMC’s closest neighbor, is an excellent place to grab an IPA and a plate of pub style chicken wings before your flick, or the perfect nestling ground to continue the theatre cuddles with their fire pit tables on the patio.
*TIP* Mondays and Tuesdays are for lovers… and saving money, apparently. Postino Annex offers a killer deal on Monday & Tuesdays - $25 for a bottle of wine and a Bruschetta Board after 8 PM.
What other places in Downtown Tempe make for great dates? Share by tagging your photos with #DowntownTempe !