6 Romantic Date Ideas in San Francisco
It can be a little intimidating trying to pick the perfect date for you and your sweetheart in a place as romantic as the San Francisco Bay Area. But have no fear! We have gathered a list of the most unique and delicious date spots in the Bay. Enjoy!
Dinner on the water at Coqueta $$$
If it wasn't for the lights of the Bay Bridge dancing through the windows of Coqueta's historic dining room, I would have thought I was on a date in Madrid. Coqueta (which is the Spanish word for flirt,) is a Spanish restaurant located on Pier 5 that explores the country's traditional cuisine while adding a garnish of California. Be sure to make a reservation in advance (I forgot, and we couldn't get seated until 10pm.) 'This is about the time a Spanish family would sit down for dinner," I said with a wink to my date.
The restaurant didn't look like much from the outside which made the contrast of its grand interior all the more magical. 18-foot ceilings held up by giant wooden columns and a décor of authentic bullfighting hides covering the walls and chairs. Behind a beautiful marble counter was an open kitchen where servers wearing gaucho outfits were darting in and out, carrying gorgeous plates of food. As we sat there taking it all in, we felt like we were sitting inside of some romantic old Hemmingway novel.
The food and drinks were incredible. We stuck with the tapas (small plates) in order to try as many things on the menu as possible before our bellies were filled with endorphin stimulating delight. Don't forget to try the Pulpo a la Parilla (wood grilled Mediterranean octopus,) Gambas Negras (Poached head-on prawns with black pepper and red chili sauce,) or the delicious bite sized skewers which only cost $2.75 each. Also, consider giving their famous and traditional paella a try, which comes with enough to serve two. Although this restaurant is on the more expensive side, this is a dinner date that your five senses will not easily forget.
Urban Putt $$
Let's be honest, who doesn't love mini-golf? The key to any successful date is to have some good ole' fashioned fun (preferably, while drinking an ole-fashioned). At Urban Putt in the Mission District, you can do both.
Gourmet food, cocktails, and a creative 14-hole course designed by different local artists will give you and your honey plenty to do. However, this is not your average mini-golf course- these themed holes will take you everywhere from the SF landscape (with the iconic Transamerica building and painted ladies included), out to gold country, down to the bottom of the sea, and into a virtual reality landscape. There is also an awesome giant musical instrument that plays a new tune with every golf ball that passes through it. Play the course with your first round of drinks and snacks and then head upstairs to their full service restaurant for a delicious gourmet dinner (the Tombo Tuna Poke and the Bloomsdale Spinach and Leek Socca Crepe were phenomenal.)
Sushi and Cocktails at Kabuki Cinema ($$)
Kabuki Cinema is a great way to put a spin on your classic movie and dinner date night- all in one place. The theater is located in Japan Town and holds a classy vibe with bamboo trees reaching up to the high ceilings. There are a wide variety of featured films, everything from blockbusters to rare and foreign (if you're in an adventurous mood).
On the second and third floors there are full bars serving delicious cocktails and food that you can bring into the theater (be sure to try the sushi!). The seats in the theaters are even made extra wide with rising armrests so that you're able to get extra cozy with your date.
Delicious tip: Before leaving Japan Town, be sure to stop at Pika Pika for the very unique experience of a Japanese photo booth! Pick one of the six different themed booth options, then after your professionally lit shoot, you and your date get one minute on a touch screen to add as many drawings and anime stickers on each other as possible. A perfect souvenir for your perfect date.
Answer the Call of the Great Outdoors $
One of the most unique parts of the bustling Bay Area is that the great outdoors is just a step outside the city. Escape for the afternoon and take the beautiful drive up Hwy 1 to explore the majestic Red Woods at Muir Woods National Monument (20 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge.) Afterwoods (ha...), drive or hike over the mountain to the historic Muir Beach to watch the sun sink into the Pacific and ignite the sky.
Delicious Tip: When that ocean breeze gets too chilly, go warm up at the Pelican Inn! This hidden gem will have you feeling like you suddenly stumbled into a cozy 16th century English country inn. We sat in the candle lit pub eating an amazing shepherd's pie and then washed it down with a pint of Pelican's Own Pale Ale, made by the Lagunitas Brewing Company. There even happened to be a group of drunken Scots playing Bag Pipes in the dining room to add to the aesthetic. Stop in for food, drinks, and if you're lucky... to spend the night!
Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park
Take a bike ride to the Conservatory of Flowers in the heart of Golden Gate Park. The conservatory has been around since 1879, making it one of the Bay Area's oldest date spots. It is also recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and one of San Francisco's most romantic attractions. Check out beautiful flowers and plants from around the world in the old Victorian glass building, and then go to a room in the back where you can be surrounded by thousands of colorful butterflies.
Delicious Tip: Surprise your sweetheart and pack a picnic to eat in the park!
San Francisco MOMA $$
Experience one of the largest and most acclaimed collections of modern art in the world at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Take your time to explore the 170,000 square feet of exhibition space and sculpture gardens in this giant museum, that's unique architecture is a magnificent work of art in itself. Then when you get tired, take your darlin to one of the gourmet cafés on the third and fifth floor, or if you really feel like getting fancy- to the Michelin Star Awarded Chef Corey Lee's restaurant, In Situ, on the first floor.
Looking for a California inspired gift? Check out our Taste of California Gift Baskets!