After scrolling through some of your favorite dating apps or connecting with someone IRL, the natural next step is finding the perfect date night idea. But with so many options, it can be difficult to decide on the perfect spot. Luckily, we’ve scoured the city for the best restaurants, museums, and activities in every neighborhood of Washington DC to guarantee a perfect first (or second) date night idea you’ll be happy to share with someone special.
Here are our top picks:
La Tasca DC
Website|722 7th Street NW
Chinatown and the Penn Quarter neighborhood are known as the home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals. Catch a game then head over to La Tasca for their Sangria Brunch ($22/person) or Paella making class.
Lucky Strike Bowling
Website|701 7th Street NW, 2nd Floor
Located in the heart of DC’s Chinatown neighborhood, Lucky Strike bowling offers something for everyone. The large space offers: a photo booth, pool tables, big screen TVs, a chic dining area, salsa dancing, and of course bowling.
minibar & barmini by Jose Andres
Website|855 E Street NW & 501 9th Street NW
Sign up for an exclusive dining experience for up to 6 guests & learn something new from expert mixologists crafting beverages from over 100 libations.
Alexandria & Arlington
Website|6625 S. Van Dorn Street, Alexandria
Tee off at one of 74 climate-controlled hitting bays, dine at the upscale restaurant and bar, or play a round of 18–hole miniature golf.
Website|3101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington
Reserve a spot on the booziest sightseeing tour of the city on this pedal-powered, pub-crawling trolley. Perfect for two or for an entire group, Pedal Saloon offers two packages including the Mixer Tour (2 hours, 1-8 people, $35/person) and Private Tour (2 hours, 8-14 people, $420 total or $30/person).
Arlington Cinema and Draft House
Website|2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington
It’s not a drive-in, but the Cinema and Draft House mimics an old-school atmosphere. Beer, cocktails, and a casual menu are available during comedic performances and movies.
Reserve a table at 1789 Restaurant
Website|1226 36th Street NW
Topping the list as one of “America’s Top Tables,” the historic 1789 Restaurant is a quaint, romantic venue in the heart of Georgetown.
Play Bocce Ball at Pinstripes
Website|1064 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Pinstripes is the ideal classy and casual combo of a date. With outdoor fire pits, bocce, bowling, and handcrafted cocktails– including beer and wine selections– there’s something for everyone.
Crumbs & Whiskers
Website|3211 O Street NW
For the animal-loving couple head to this unique location to drink a latte and cuddle some cats.
Georgetown Piano Bar
Website|3287 M Street NW
Enjoy professional performances in this classier version of a karaoke date.
Dupont & Logan Circle
Bar Rouge at the Kimpton Rouge Hotel
Website|1315 16th Street NW
Adorned with statues of Venus (the goddess of love) Bar Rouge is one of DC’s most secluded and romantic spots.
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Website|1517 Connecticut Avenue NW
A landmark in Dupont Circle’s neighborhood, book lovers can meet at this lively setting to eat, drink, and discuss literature.
Bottomless Brunch at Masa 14
Website|1825 14th Street NW
Gather on weekends from 10AM-3PM at Masa 14 for a bottomless brunch ($39/person) filled with Latin-Asian small plates and handcrafted cocktails.
DC Improv Comedy Club
Website|1140 Connecticut Avenue NW
Guarantee some laughs on your date by attending a performance at a comedy club featuring established and up and coming comics.
Go Salsa Dancing at Cafe Citron
Website|1343 Connecticut Avenue NW
Known for being one of DC’s best Latin restaurants by day, Cafe Citron is also a lively and colorful venue by night when it transforms into a nightclub. Several resident DJs specialize in salsa music, so brush up on your moves to impress your date.
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
Website|9th Street & Constitution Avenue NW
Check out the ice rink, sculptures from contemporary artists, and take a photo in front of the AMOR sculpture.
Website|1238 Maryland Avenue SW
As the first interactive digital art gallery in DC, this unique space will immerse your date with innovative technology and large scale artwork that you can talk about all night.
Website|2135 Queens Chapel Road NE
Embrace the nightlife at the Echostage concert venue– a space equipped with advanced LED visual displays and top-tier sound design.
Website|1309 5th Street NE
Stroll through Union Market and visit the shops, restaurants, and culinary exhibits. For some extra romance, check out the graffiti-style Heart Wall.
Website|3501 New York Avenue NE
Visit the 446-acre living museum with gardens, bonsai, herb garden, flowering cherry trees and the original columns from the Capitol.
Website|165 Waterfront Street, MD
The National Harbor offers year-round entertainment. Escape just outside of the city by attending one of their popular events like the Tree Lighting Ceremony or watching a movie on the Plaza.
The Capitol Wheel
Website|116 Waterfront Street, MD
Take love to new heights while riding DC’s Ferris Wheel equipped with special-effects lighting and Wolfgang Puck restaurant chain concessions on the ground.
Forest Hills/Bordering Rock Creek Park
Hillwood Estate, Museum, & Gardens
Website|4155 Linnean Avenue NW
Tour the former residence of businesswoman, socialite, philanthropist, and collector Marjorie Merriweather Post featuring faberge eggs and other highlights from the House of Romanov.
Smithsonian National Zoo
Website|3001 Connecticut Avenue NW
Enjoy a visit to the National Zoo to see the entire animal kingdom. Bonus, admission is free.
Reserve a table at Mintwood Place
Website|1813 Columbia Road NW
Dine out at Mintwood Place for a charming modern farmhouse atmosphere located in the heart of Adams Morgan.
Website|735 Water Street SW
Visit the newly renovated waterfront stretch along the Potomac River. With spectacular monumental views and new retailers, restaurants, and businesses, The Wharf is a must see destination that provides endless date night opportunities.
Looking for even more things to do in the city? Download our complimentary guide: 83 (Cheap & Chic) Things to Do in DC.
Photography by Kyle Loftus