Where to Take a Date in Philly

Suggestions for first dates around town

Dear Monica, I am new in town and would like to know where to take a date in Philly. — M. H. , Ardmore

Philadelphia is filled with hot spots for eating and entertainment. We hold our own with New York and DC as far as cutting-edge scenes go. Here are some suggestions for all kinds of dating adventures.

  • The Palomar Hotel features a bar that is great for appetizers and drinks. Their shrimp hush puppies and lemon scented hummus are a must have.  This is the happening place for both conversation and people watching.
  • Village Whiskey and Helium Comedy Club are a perfect combination. Village Whiskey features a raw bar and some amazing and exotic burger combinations.
  • In University City, Distrito offers Mexican food with a modern flair. The atmosphere is electric and fun. Their yellowtail tacos are the best! Try to get a booth as the table seating for two can be cramped.
  • North Bowl in Northern Liberties is a hip place to take her bowling. They offer a nice selection of bar food to keep you throwing strikes.
  • For a romantic view of the city, I recommend R2L, atop the Liberty Two building. The entrees are expensive, so if you want to keep your tab down, order a selection from their appetizer menu paired with one of their specialty drinks. Nothing is more romantic than snuggling while enjoying the panorama of Philadelphia from on high.
  • The brick-oven pizzas at Headhouse Square’s Pizzeria Stella are excellent. To finish off your meal try their homemade gelato. The straciatella is the stand-out pick. You can work off your calories with a stroll on nearby South Street.
  • A couple blocks away from Headhouse Square, you’ll find Cedars. This incredible family-owned Lebanese restaurant has both quaint atmosphere and delicious food. They make ordering easy with their mazza platter.
  • La Fontana Della Citta is a BYOB that the locals love. Once the weather breaks take advantage of their al fresco dining. You can’t go wrong with Chianti and pasta.
  • For a culturally charged date, you can still visit the Barnes Foundation in Merion through the month of May. Tickets can be purchased on line through the Barnes’s website. Pair this with a corned beef special at Murray’s Deli and you will have satisfied both mind and body.

I hope these ideas will get you into the Philly groove. Whether you want to do something more low-key or upscale, these suggestions should lead to a second date.


Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles. Please send your questions to: [email protected]