Date night in Saint Paul is the perfect excuse to try a new place and see what the smaller half of the Twin Cities has to offer. Whether you’re escaping the bustle of Minneapolis for the night or are a well-seasoned local, Saint Paul always has a few surprises up its sleeve. There are a lot of great spots to settle in and get cozy with the person you love, just check to make sure they’re up and running during these unprecedented times.
1. Louis Ristorante
A beloved choice for date night with its classic interiors, the walls lined with black and white photographs of previous diners. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu at Louis, nor can you choose a bad glass of Italian wine from their list. Share a plate of pasta, or go for one of the main courses. Either way, make sure you start with an appetizer because everything on the menu is a 10 out of 10.
2. Can Can Wonderland
If an active date night is more your speed, then you’ll definitely want to check out Can Can Wonderland. This place has taken Saint Paul by storm, and its fun atmosphere will make for an enjoyable date night. Choose from mini golf or vintage arcade games, then grab a bite to eat and a boozy milkshake. Can Can is named after the American Can Company, which once operated in its space. If you and your date are passionate about art, then you’ll feel good visiting this arts-based public benefit corporation.
3. The Commodore
Housed in the same apartment building that F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived in during their time in Saint Paul, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve completely stepped back into the Jazz Age in this popular bar and restaurant. I love it because they have rare Italian liqueurs on hand at the bar for a proper nightcap. But before the nightcap, enjoy a lovely meal and an escape back in time with your date. This is one of the few places in Saint Paul where you can really feel the history of the building, and the ghosts of patrons past. Who doesn’t like a little escape from time to time? Pretend you’re in the Roaring 20’s and eat and drink to your heart’s content in this gorgeous spot.
4. The Gnome Craft Pub
With new ownership and a beautiful renovation, what was once The Happy Gnome has become a charming oasis in the heart of Cathedral Hill. The Gnome is the perfect place for beer lovers, as they have over 50 beers to choose from on tap. In the warmer months, book a reservation on their huge patio. Next to the fireplace is my favorite place to be!
The only place I go when I’m craving a margarita. With its prime location on Mears Park, you’ll want to consume all the chips and guacamole while the cool summer breeze blows in through the open windows. If the weather is too cold for being outdoors, don’t fret. The interiors are sophisticated and offer the perfect date night vibes.
This place makes my list for best Italian restaurants in Saint Paul, and certainly also best date night spots in Saint Paul. It’s hard to find a place as charming and delicious as Hyacinth. Relatively new, this little Italian joint has taken the neighborhood by storm. Reservations are hard to come by, as the space is small, but once you’re there you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the Mediterranean with the crisp white walls, antique dishes, and pops of blue. The food is really good, I’d go back in a heartbeat.
7. Blue Door Pub
If a burger and a pint is all you want for your next date night in Saint Paul, then Blue Door Pub is definitely the place to be. Located just off of Snelling and Selby, Blue Door is worth the inevitable wait to score one of its coveted tables. This burger joint is constantly in the running for best burger in the Twin Cities, and it’s easy to see why. For a place known for the burgers, they also have surprisingly good salads and starters.
8. W.A. Frost and Company
I would be remiss not to mention W.A. Frost and Co. in the list of best spots for date night in Saint Paul. Formerly the drug store where F. Scott Fitzgerald used to purchase his cigarettes, it’s one of the most charming spots in Saint Paul for a good drink. During the summer months, take advantage of their gorgeous patio, which is a shady oasis that looks like it came straight out of a painting. It’s hard to compete with that in the winter, but the basement at W.A. Frost does just that. Full of cozy nooks with exposed brick and roaring fireplaces, it’s the perfect place for a drink and a private conversation. Even better on date night!
With French-inspired interiors rival to Bar Brigade, Meritage is a bright spot in downtown Saint Paul’s dining scene. Located on Saint Peter’s Street, just off of Rice Park, Meritage is the perfect destination before an event downtown. Have a seat in the bar for some pommes frites and a glass of French wine, or find a table in the dining room for an unforgettable meal. Either way, Meritage is a sure winner for date night in Saint Paul.
What’s your favorite spot for date night in Saint Paul? Share this list with your significant other so you never run out of ideas!
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Maggie is the blogger behind The Artful Everyday, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to living intentionally and finding beauty in the ordinary. She loves the idea that we get to escape our normal lives when we travel, and that it allows us to be more open to the world and its cultures. Maggie lived in Florence while studying abroad, then was an au pair in Rome last fall. She is very passionate about traveling in Europe, especially Italy, and living abroad. Maggie studied Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, but is currently pursuing a career in writing.