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The date may be dull, but the destination won't disappoint.
The date may be dull, but the destination won't disappoint.
Katie Cannon

10 Minneapolis and St. Paul Restaurants for Those Awkward First Dates

There will be no interminable silences here.

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The date may be dull, but the destination won't disappoint.
| Katie Cannon

We've all suffered through the experience of shoving food in your face across from a complete stranger with conversation is so dry you're gulping water just for something to do. Save yourself the uncomfortableness of the evening with these ten perfect environments for getting to know someone new that serve up awesome food and fun activities. Even if you never want to see that face again, at least it wasn’t boring. Let’s make memories.

by Sarai Pak

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pat's Tap

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3510 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 822-8216
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In South Minneapolis on the newly hopping Nicollet Avenue, you’ll find a cool atmosphere and impressive menu that’s way more than bar food. Definitely start with a meat and cheese plate, then hit the Skee-Ball.

2. Pizzeria Lola

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5557 Xerxes Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612) 424-8338
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Lola is the home of creative and delicious wood-fired pizzas. It’s a romantic, laid back space. Try the Sunnyside topped with two eggs or, if you’re feeling sassy, try the Lady Zaza that includes house-made kimchi in the toppings and take advantage of their outdoor seating. After a couple glasses wine, head back to the photo booth for some privacy.

3. Groveland Tap

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1834 Saint Clair Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105
(651) 699-5058
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Not just a fried food and brew haven, this Saint Paul neighborhood bar has a game room with pool tables and other arcade games. Don’t miss out on the sweet potato tots or cheese curds. Nothing fancy, but a good time for sure.

4. Hoban Korean BBQ

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2939 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
At last, Korean barbeque has arrived in Uptown ! Here, you get to grill it yourselves at the table. Pick the meats you want and enjoy it all with banchan, an array of flavorful pickled side dishes. There are also other dinner options on the menu and a full bar.

5. Travail Kitchen & Amusements

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4124 West Broadway
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
(763) 535-1131
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The tasting menu at Travail is a memorable experience for people a little less picky and more adventurous about what they put in their mouths. The atmosphere is never dull and definitely worth the $60-96 a person (price will vary depending on the date and time of your reservation).
Stephanie A. Meyer

6. Bryant Lake Bowl

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810 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 825-3737
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Here’s an easy place to get to know a new prospect. Bryant Lake Bowl is an Uptown classic for good food, vibes, and bowling shenanigans. On Mondays from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. they a have a solid date night deal, two entrees, a bottle of wine or a few beers and a round of bowling for $28!

7. Rival House Sporting Parlour

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411 Minnesota St
Saint Paul, MN 55101
There are games galore at this sleek Downtown Saint Paul bar. Board games, bubble hockey, even ping-pong! Enjoy their upscale bar delights from artisan pizzas to fantastic cocktails. It also happens to be attached to the Double Tree Hotel – just saying.

8. Betty Danger's Country Club

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2501 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 315-4997
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Now that the warm weather has arrived the mini golf course is open for business at Betty Danger's Pepto-pink country club. Amuse yourselves on the course, hug the massive gorilla statue, hit the Hamptons-Mex cuisine and if all else fails to spark fun, the drinks are wickedly strong.
Katie Cannon

9. Turf Club

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1601 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55104
(651) 647-0486
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The Turf Club is an awesome first date venue to see a show. It’s more intimate, tickets are cheap, and the brownie ice cream sandwich is heaven. If things are going well and you want to actually hear what your date is saying, the lounge downstairs serves food and drinks at a much lower decibel.

10. Half Time Rec

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1013 Front Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55103
(651) 488-8245
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Since this classic dive bar got a menu upgrade from chef Jack Ribel, all of your fancies can and will be tickled here. There are pool tables, darts, bean bags, even bocce ball in the basement! Karaoke gets rolling every Thursday. There are epic meat raffles on Fridays at 5 p.m., and live bands play all weekend.

1. Pat's Tap

3510 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
In South Minneapolis on the newly hopping Nicollet Avenue, you’ll find a cool atmosphere and impressive menu that’s way more than bar food. Definitely start with a meat and cheese plate, then hit the Skee-Ball.
3510 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408

2. Pizzeria Lola

5557 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Lola is the home of creative and delicious wood-fired pizzas. It’s a romantic, laid back space. Try the Sunnyside topped with two eggs or, if you’re feeling sassy, try the Lady Zaza that includes house-made kimchi in the toppings and take advantage of their outdoor seating. After a couple glasses wine, head back to the photo booth for some privacy.
5557 Xerxes Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55410

3. Groveland Tap

1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Not just a fried food and brew haven, this Saint Paul neighborhood bar has a game room with pool tables and other arcade games. Don’t miss out on the sweet potato tots or cheese curds. Nothing fancy, but a good time for sure.
1834 Saint Clair Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105

4. Hoban Korean BBQ

2939 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
At last, Korean barbeque has arrived in Uptown ! Here, you get to grill it yourselves at the table. Pick the meats you want and enjoy it all with banchan, an array of flavorful pickled side dishes. There are also other dinner options on the menu and a full bar.
2939 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408

5. Travail Kitchen & Amusements

4124 West Broadway, Robbinsdale, MN 55422
Stephanie A. Meyer
The tasting menu at Travail is a memorable experience for people a little less picky and more adventurous about what they put in their mouths. The atmosphere is never dull and definitely worth the $60-96 a person (price will vary depending on the date and time of your reservation).
4124 West Broadway
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

6. Bryant Lake Bowl

810 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Here’s an easy place to get to know a new prospect. Bryant Lake Bowl is an Uptown classic for good food, vibes, and bowling shenanigans. On Mondays from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. they a have a solid date night deal, two entrees, a bottle of wine or a few beers and a round of bowling for $28!
810 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408

7. Rival House Sporting Parlour

411 Minnesota St, Saint Paul, MN 55101
There are games galore at this sleek Downtown Saint Paul bar. Board games, bubble hockey, even ping-pong! Enjoy their upscale bar delights from artisan pizzas to fantastic cocktails. It also happens to be attached to the Double Tree Hotel – just saying.
411 Minnesota St
Saint Paul, MN 55101

8. Betty Danger's Country Club

2501 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Katie Cannon
Now that the warm weather has arrived the mini golf course is open for business at Betty Danger's Pepto-pink country club. Amuse yourselves on the course, hug the massive gorilla statue, hit the Hamptons-Mex cuisine and if all else fails to spark fun, the drinks are wickedly strong.
2501 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

9. Turf Club

1601 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
The Turf Club is an awesome first date venue to see a show. It’s more intimate, tickets are cheap, and the brownie ice cream sandwich is heaven. If things are going well and you want to actually hear what your date is saying, the lounge downstairs serves food and drinks at a much lower decibel.
1601 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55104

10. Half Time Rec

1013 Front Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55103
Since this classic dive bar got a menu upgrade from chef Jack Ribel, all of your fancies can and will be tickled here. There are pool tables, darts, bean bags, even bocce ball in the basement! Karaoke gets rolling every Thursday. There are epic meat raffles on Fridays at 5 p.m., and live bands play all weekend.
1013 Front Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55103

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