A Detroiter’s Guide to Winter-Friendly Date Night
IT’S OFFICIALLY CUFFING SEASON! But, the cold weather makes it way too easy for you and bae to move right into Boringville with the old ‘Netflix and Chill’ routine.
Since my friends often ask me where to go for date night in Detroit, I figured this an appropriate time to share some winter-friendly date ideas.
Cozy Dinner Date:
El Barzon: As always, this restaurant is at the top of my list for almost any occasion. They serve up Mexican and Italian food. Does it get any better than being greeted with breadsticks AND chips & salsa? This is the perfect spot to split a bottle of wine with your beau on their year-round covered patio.
Miller’s Bar– This place has no frills about it and that’s what I love! Miller’s has been recognized time-and-time again as one of the best burgers in America. They serve up a mean and basic cheese burger topped with white onion and Velveeta cheese. Hello Yum City! The bar also runs on the honors system and accepts cash only, so come prepared.
Polish Village: Every year as the seasons begin to change I am reminded that it is almost time for Polish Village. Although it’s amazing all-year round, something about a cozy winter night in the basement, eating a plethora of pierogis makes me say – Na Zdrowie (cheers)!! While in Hamtramck I 100 percent recommend visiting the Polish Sea League.
Amore da Roma: Although the name has changed, It’s still Roma Café to me. The restaurant has been a staple in Detroit since 1890. The ownership and name has changed over the years, but the heritage and recipes stayed the same. Everything from the food to the service and atmosphere exudes the traditional Italian dining experience.
Chung Ki Wa or Deakak – I’m typically not someone who ventures out of Detroit on a night out. But, Korean BBQ makes it all worth it. This is an interactive dining experience that makes date night anything but basic. If you have never been, it may seem overwhelming initially. Here is a little cheat-sheet from Thrillist so you go in looking like pros!
The Whitney – This 124-year-old mansion is decorated with carved wood paneling and dripping with Tiffany chandeliers. You won’t find such a grand dining experience anywhere else. Visit the Ghost Bar to enjoy the spirits and listen to live jazz every Saturday night from 10pm-midnight. Or, call to make reservations to dine in the Woodward Room.
Lumen Detroit: In case there was anything Beacon Park didn’t have – now it has Igloos you can dine in. The patio at Lumen has been transformed into a winter paradise where you and your cutie can stay warm while enjoying winter in the park.
Boozey Night on the Town:
Mutiny: Perhaps I am partial to my neighborhood bar, but you’ll love it too. What better way to warm up in the winter than in a Tiki Bar. You’ll love the dive bar vibe and fun cocktail selection. If you want to be a little extra, you and your cutie could split the Scorpion Bowl – a flaming drink made for two. Thursday night is also Karaoke night. Do I sense a duet coming?
Cliff Bells or Bakers: For an intimate time together, visit one of these two Jazz lounges in Detroit. You will feel like you stepped back an era during a night spent listening to some of the best local or national jazz bands around. Sit back and enjoy the ambiance and old school vibes of these Detroit staples.
Dakota Inn Rathskellar: Since 1933 the Rathskellar has been providing Detroiter’s with an authentic German dining experience. Although Oktoberfest is over, don’t sleep on this cavern-like beer hall. This is the perfect place to spend a cold winter night. Go enjoy the live music on the 80-year-old piano, schnitzel and rotating selection of beer.
Pop + Offworld: Located above checker bar is this newly renovated arcade/bar. Head here for a night off pizza, beer and games with your main squeeze. The bar is decorated with the Nagel inspired paintings of local Detroit artist, Michelle Tanguay. From the design-to-the entertainment, this is a must visit!
The Keep: Since you’re in the neighborhood anyways, visit the Keep. It’s a winter staple in my opinion. This speakeasy style bar is about as underground as it gets. Step into the basement and back to the time of prohibition. The dimly lit bar and stone walls make for the perfect setting to sip craft cocktails all winter long.
Sugar House: Corktown’s oldest speakeasy style bar has been perfecting craft cocktails since before it was the “hip,” (or hipster) thing to do. So, you know they get it right. Cozy on up to Sugar House to enjoy the best old fashioned in town and classic atmosphere.
Café D’mongos: Although it’s typically crowded, Café D’mongos has been doing the damn thing since before Detroit was “cool” again. This eclectically decorated bar is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. The atmosphere and live music are something to experience – ISSA VIBE.
Staying Warm Indoors:
Redford Theater: Get a one-of-a kind cinema experience at the Redford Theatre. The Asian inspired décor is truly something to see. They will be playing classic Christmas movies each weekend throughout December. Not to mention, movies here are still only $5.
Belle Isle Park: Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean you can’t make a day trip to the park! Visit the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory for a warm walk through the plant house. Also, head to the Belle Isle Aquarium for fun aquatic experience. If your boo has a little nerdiness about them, head to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and visit the Gothic room from the U.S.S. Detroit. All are open on the Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm.
The Schvitz: Get steamy at one of the co-ed nights at Detroit’s historic bathhouse. This old-world oasis offers the heat-therapies and holistic healing. I recommend BYOB, robe and sandals. Towels and lockers are included. Co-ed times: Monday 5-10 Sunday 6-10. P.S. All you swanky peeps, bathing suits are required.
Aura Aura: Tap into your spiritual side with an aura reading at Aura Aura. Take a photo together or separate. You will get a polaroid photo, keepsake box and a full description of your aura read to you.
Staycation: Boutique hotels are popping up around Detroit. What better way to have a night in with your lover than to have a staycation within your own city. Have you seen the all the gorgeousness of the Siren Hotel, the Inn at 97 Winder, and Detroit Foundation Hotel? Hello, did someone say room service & Champagne?
Michigan Science Center After Dark: Spend your third Thursday of the month at MiSci After Dark, the adult only happy hour from 6-9 pm. Each event features hands-on exhibits, live DJ’s and tickets for a specialty craft cocktail. On Nov 15th, check out Winter is Coming or on Dec 20th Robots.
The Great Outdoors:
Greenfield Village: Let the yuletide ring in Greenfield Village for Holiday Nights. Select days from Nov 30th – Dec 27th the village will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Tickets for non-member adults are $28. The tickets include ice skating, carolers, house tours, fireworks and more.
Campus Martius Park – On Friday, Nov 15th The seasonal fun begins with the 15th Annual Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony. Watch the tree light-up, enjoying live gospel and take a skate around the outdoor rink. There will be different events throughout the season and weekend carriage rides for a romantic tour of downtown.
Beacon park: Put on your flannel or ugly sweater for the return of Home for the Holiday Silent Disco on Nov 24th and Dec 8th. On Nov 16th Light Up Beacon Park with a live streaming of Detroit’s Tree Lighting Ceremony inside the heated Winter Lodge Tent.
Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo: Feast your eyes on a light show spectacular at the zoo. For 24 nights of November and December, the zoo will be illuminated with about 5 million LED lights. No tree, statue or building will go unlit. The will also be an ice rink and carousel ride. Tickets are $17 at the gate.