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With the right strategy, romance is within reach.
With the right strategy, romance is within reach.
Joy Summers

Valuable Strategies for Ideal Date Nights in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Affordable dining for romantics.

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With the right strategy, romance is within reach.
| Joy Summers

There are a handful of restaurants around the Twin Cities that offer up fantastic, cheap date night deals where for one low price a couple will have the choice of two entrees, a dessert or appetizer, and the added bonus of two drinks. This can be great when you and your partner have time to plan a Monday or Wednesday date night, but what about a spontaneous weekend night out? That random Friday or Saturday night on the town? We get it, we’re happy for you, and we want you to be able to make the most of those nights without emptying your wallet. So, we’ve compiled this list of options, from casual to more upscale – for those nights when you have the opportunity to enjoy a date night dinner. Note that we have a few pre-planned date night deal options intermixed with strategies to keep your meal under $30 at restaurants that don’t offer a set date-night menu.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Pimento Jamaican Kitchen

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For an intimate date at Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, place your order at the counter, grab a seat outside, and watch the light fade over Eat Street. To keep it under $30, go for a killer Kingston-style jerk chicken bowl ($9.00) and a slow-roasted jerk pork bowl ($10.00) along with two island sodas ($3.50 a piece). Split the protein and you’ve got yourself a certified taste of Jamaica, only complete with total head sweat and mouth burn from the fiery ‘kill dem with it’ jerk sauce, and the comfort of knowing that you’re in it together.

Saint Dinette

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In the heart of Lowertown, Saint Dinette is a sleek lofty restaurant that’s great for any date night. You’ll see a range of types of dress, from cocktail dresses to baseball caps and which helps keep the vibes casual. To strategically keep the bill under $30, split the cheeseburger ($13.00), a decadent homage to the Chicago diner style burger, a side of fries ($5.00), and the lightly dressed, fresh mixed greens ($6.00).
Joy Summers

Lotus Restaurant

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This unassuming place is one of the best spots in Minneapolis for Vietnamese cuisine. Don’t let the crazy, gas-station, double-parked parking lot scare you off. The staff is always super friendly, the service is quick, and we can’t get enough of their food. Split an order of egg rolls ($3.99), then fly solo on a small beef pho ($7.99) and hot jasmine tea ($1.95).

Cossetta's Italian Market & Pizzeria

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Cossetta’s couldn’t be more perfect for date night filled with Italian-American classics. Divide and conquer, with one of you attacking the salad and past line, the other heading over to grab the pizza and dessert. Get a little taste of everything by splitting the large antipasto salad ($8.99), large mostaccioli con ricotta ($7.30), a slice of pepperoni pizza ($4.69), two garlic bread sticks ($2.30), and, no meal here would be complete without a few bites of soft, espresso-laden tiramisu ($4.25).

Lyn 65 Kitchen & Bar

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Located on the Southern outskirts of Minneapolis, in Richfield, Lyn65 is a restaurant that should be on your date night roster for any night of the week. The place is fun and offers small, candlelit tables, or bar seating, both great for cozying up to your date. Split the huge, delicious diner style burger ($10.00), grilled baby bok choy ($8.00), two piece fried chicken ($7.00), and a side of mac and cheese ($4.00). Don’t forget to leave room for the vanilla soft-serve cone.

Brasa Premium Rotisserie

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Serving up Creole inspired food best enjoyed family style, Brasa Rotisserie is a casual date night spot with delicious food and the ideal atmosphere to drive conversation. We think the best way to do Brasa is by going completely ‘a la carte’, allowing you to taste a larger selection of items. Here’s our menu, made to split between two: ¼ pound slow roasted pork ($6.75), ¼ pound pulled chicken ($5.25), 2 spicy masa corn cakes ($2.00 each), small crispy yucca ($3.95), small rice and peas with sofrito and ham ($3.25), small Brasa house coleslaw ($3.25), and a small collard greens with smoked chicken ($3.25). If your date is vegetarian, don’t fret. Brasa’s black bean fritter sandwich is delicious, and they have a large selection of vegetarian sides.

Nighthawks

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Taking the definition of ‘diner’ to a whole new level, Nighthawks provides a laid-back space to spend your evening. The selection of hot dogs are playful, not to mention delicious, so we recommend splitting the galaxy dog ($12.00) and the nighthawks dog ($12.00) with a side of fries ($6.00). Don’t worry, these aren’t your average hot dogs – they’re Kramarczuk’s foot longs loaded with their respective toppings of chili, coleslaw, smoked cheddar, fritos, and dill mayo, horseradish Havarti, spicy mustard, giardiniera, shoestring potatoes. Plus, if you’re headed here during the week from 4 to 6:00 p.m. there’s a great happy hour deal where one hotdog and a beer will set you back just $10.
Stephanie A. Meyer

Malabari Kitchen

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A teeny shop in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, Malabari Kitchen has some amazing South Indian style cuisine for you and your date. Split the kozhi curry ($9.50), vegetable biryani ($10.99), an order of kunji samosa ($2.99), and a mango lassi apiece ($5.00). This is a fantastic place for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

The Freehouse

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In the North Loop, The Freehouse is a restaurant and brewery that offers a fun date night atmosphere, especially on warm nights when you can grab a seat on the patio and eat in the midst of trees and glowing string lights. Our idea of a well-rounded meal for two would be sharing the kale chicken salad ($12.95) and the freestyle burger ($13.50). End with a sweet bite of two coconut macaroons ($3.90).
Katie Cannon

Pimento Jamaican Kitchen

For an intimate date at Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, place your order at the counter, grab a seat outside, and watch the light fade over Eat Street. To keep it under $30, go for a killer Kingston-style jerk chicken bowl ($9.00) and a slow-roasted jerk pork bowl ($10.00) along with two island sodas ($3.50 a piece). Split the protein and you’ve got yourself a certified taste of Jamaica, only complete with total head sweat and mouth burn from the fiery ‘kill dem with it’ jerk sauce, and the comfort of knowing that you’re in it together.

Saint Dinette

Joy Summers
In the heart of Lowertown, Saint Dinette is a sleek lofty restaurant that’s great for any date night. You’ll see a range of types of dress, from cocktail dresses to baseball caps and which helps keep the vibes casual. To strategically keep the bill under $30, split the cheeseburger ($13.00), a decadent homage to the Chicago diner style burger, a side of fries ($5.00), and the lightly dressed, fresh mixed greens ($6.00).
Joy Summers

Lotus Restaurant

This unassuming place is one of the best spots in Minneapolis for Vietnamese cuisine. Don’t let the crazy, gas-station, double-parked parking lot scare you off. The staff is always super friendly, the service is quick, and we can’t get enough of their food. Split an order of egg rolls ($3.99), then fly solo on a small beef pho ($7.99) and hot jasmine tea ($1.95).

Cossetta's Italian Market & Pizzeria

Cossetta’s couldn’t be more perfect for date night filled with Italian-American classics. Divide and conquer, with one of you attacking the salad and past line, the other heading over to grab the pizza and dessert. Get a little taste of everything by splitting the large antipasto salad ($8.99), large mostaccioli con ricotta ($7.30), a slice of pepperoni pizza ($4.69), two garlic bread sticks ($2.30), and, no meal here would be complete without a few bites of soft, espresso-laden tiramisu ($4.25).

Lyn 65 Kitchen & Bar

Located on the Southern outskirts of Minneapolis, in Richfield, Lyn65 is a restaurant that should be on your date night roster for any night of the week. The place is fun and offers small, candlelit tables, or bar seating, both great for cozying up to your date. Split the huge, delicious diner style burger ($10.00), grilled baby bok choy ($8.00), two piece fried chicken ($7.00), and a side of mac and cheese ($4.00). Don’t forget to leave room for the vanilla soft-serve cone.

Brasa Premium Rotisserie

Serving up Creole inspired food best enjoyed family style, Brasa Rotisserie is a casual date night spot with delicious food and the ideal atmosphere to drive conversation. We think the best way to do Brasa is by going completely ‘a la carte’, allowing you to taste a larger selection of items. Here’s our menu, made to split between two: ¼ pound slow roasted pork ($6.75), ¼ pound pulled chicken ($5.25), 2 spicy masa corn cakes ($2.00 each), small crispy yucca ($3.95), small rice and peas with sofrito and ham ($3.25), small Brasa house coleslaw ($3.25), and a small collard greens with smoked chicken ($3.25). If your date is vegetarian, don’t fret. Brasa’s black bean fritter sandwich is delicious, and they have a large selection of vegetarian sides.

Nighthawks

Stephanie A. Meyer
Taking the definition of ‘diner’ to a whole new level, Nighthawks provides a laid-back space to spend your evening. The selection of hot dogs are playful, not to mention delicious, so we recommend splitting the galaxy dog ($12.00) and the nighthawks dog ($12.00) with a side of fries ($6.00). Don’t worry, these aren’t your average hot dogs – they’re Kramarczuk’s foot longs loaded with their respective toppings of chili, coleslaw, smoked cheddar, fritos, and dill mayo, horseradish Havarti, spicy mustard, giardiniera, shoestring potatoes. Plus, if you’re headed here during the week from 4 to 6:00 p.m. there’s a great happy hour deal where one hotdog and a beer will set you back just $10.
Stephanie A. Meyer

Malabari Kitchen

A teeny shop in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, Malabari Kitchen has some amazing South Indian style cuisine for you and your date. Split the kozhi curry ($9.50), vegetable biryani ($10.99), an order of kunji samosa ($2.99), and a mango lassi apiece ($5.00). This is a fantastic place for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

The Freehouse

Katie Cannon
In the North Loop, The Freehouse is a restaurant and brewery that offers a fun date night atmosphere, especially on warm nights when you can grab a seat on the patio and eat in the midst of trees and glowing string lights. Our idea of a well-rounded meal for two would be sharing the kale chicken salad ($12.95) and the freestyle burger ($13.50). End with a sweet bite of two coconut macaroons ($3.90).
Katie Cannon

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