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Where’s the Best Place for a First Date? Let Yelp Reviews and Ratings Guide You

Online review site Yelp is on a mission to connect consumers and shoppers with local businesses. Part of this mission, apparently, is determining where the best place is in America to go to for one’s first date.

In a study that should be beneficial to singles who are ready to mingle – as well as to local business owners who cater to this specific demographic – Yelp joined forces with online dating site Zoosk to come up with a list of the best places in the US to take a first date. Five major cities were the focus of the study: Atlanta, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Here’s how they did it. Zoosk analyzed over 146,000 profiles in order to find out the most popular profiles in each of the cities considered in the study. Yelp then consulted its millions of online reviews to pick the best date spots in these cities.

So, without further ado, here are the best first date places in the US.

New York 

In NYC, Yelp and Zoosk found that TriBeCa was the hottest place for singles under 35. The recommended first date place is B Flat, a trendy jazz and blues lounge with great cocktails, delicious small-plate dishes, and a conversation-conducive speakeasy vibe. 

Review highlights: “Where else can you walk down to a basement Japanese Jazz bar with live music two days a week (no cover), well thought out bar menu and expertly engineered cocktails in NYC?  I don’t know, so share if you do or fly to Tokyo. Efficient service and intimate environs create a great evening of conversation, with music at the perfect level in the background. Grab a booth and be transported.”

For those 35 years and older, the best place to take a first date is Battery Park City. Yelp restaurant reviews point, in particular, to Restaurant Marc Forgione for a memorable first date, thanks to its innovative tasting menu with wine pairings and super-romantic ambiance.

Review highlights: “My partner and I dined here during our last night in the city, and it was the perfect way to end our holiday trip. We both indulged in the chef’s 8-course tasting menu. Every dish was phenomenal made exponentially better by the uber-attentive service. We opted for the wine pairing as well, which was an excellent choice. Two drinks at the bar, dinner and wine pairing put us north of $400, but it was worth every penny and every minute of the three-hour service. Hoping to come back during our next visit.”


The Windy City’s most eligible singles, according to Yelp and Zoosk, are in the River East neighborhood. For those under 35, Tanta is the first date venue of choice. The Peruvian restaurant, which opened in 2013, has won the hearts of desirable singles in Chicago for its delicious ceviches and refreshing pisco sours.

(Check out: “Top 20 Most Reviewed Restaurants in Chicagoland: Who Made the Cut?”) 

Review highlights: “Hands down best service in a River North restaurant I have come by in a long time.  We told the Manager we will be traveling to Peru in a few weeks and he even took the time to write us a list of his favorite spots and offered to reach out to them before our arrival to get us reservations.  Could not have been nicer!”

Singles over 35, meanwhile, can drop by the cozy Home Bistro in Lakeview, a local go-to spot where you can bring your own drinks, order favorites like pork tacos and mushroom risotto, and enjoy pleasant conversations with someone new.

Review highlights: “Absolutely agree with others who have gone on and on about the service. Perhaps the best casual service I’ve ever had, anywhere. Attentive, personable…they just made it look easy. We enjoyed dinner so much, and this little neighborhood is darling. My brother and his husband put an offer on a house down the street the day after our dinner here, so I’m sure I’ll get to come back sometime soon!”

San Francisco 

According to Yelp reviews and Zoosk data, the best place for under-35 singles to take a first date in SF is across the Bay, in West Oakland. A favorite is the Beer Shed at the Dock, a great place for enjoying beer, wine, and spirits on a lazy afternoon.

Review highlights: “While waiting to be seated for dinner at The Dock, the hostess recommended we visit The Beer Shed. She took my number and said she’d call me when our table was ready (love that!) Being a bit of a beer dummy, I was offered a couple tastes before I made my decision. I had myself a tasty California Kolsch and man were those pickles yummmmmy! With both indoor and outdoor ample seating, this is a nice place to hang out before dinner, or just to unwind!”

Causwells in Marina/Cow Hollow, meanwhile, has emerged as one of the best date spots for those 35 and over, with its delicious homemade ricotta, deviled eggs, and mimosas.

Review highlights: “Best brunch in the Marina that I’ve had so far. We got the deviled eggs, pastrami hash, omelette, and mimosas and were definitely not disappointed. This place doesn’t have the same faux posh vibe that almost every other brunch place in the Marina has, really low key atmosphere which I wholeheartedly appreciated.” 


Atlanta is a genuinely hip city, but which part of town in particular is hippest for singles ready to meet someone new? According to Zoosk and Yelp, Westside is the place to go for those under 35. Hop into JCT Kitchen and Bar for an authentic Southern flavor.

Review highlights: “What a wonderful experience! My wife and I went here for our nephew and bride-to-be’s engagement party on a Sunday night. My wife and I both agreed that JCT Kitchen will be our new go-to restaurant for date nights. Can’t wait to go back!”

Atlanta also has great spots for singles over 35. The popular steakhouse joint Bones on Piedmont Road in Buckhead, Atlanta stands out for its great atmosphere, as well as for favorites like mashed potatoes with truffle butter, grit fritters, and other awesome entrees.

Review highlights: “My first visit to Bones was back in the early 90s as a early 20-yr.-old visiting from Chicago. It was my buddy’s Dad’s steak spot and I thought it was awesome. Now 20+ years later I live in Marietta and went back to Bones after quite some time…still a great steak place! So good! Great appetizers and great service, an old school feel that is timeless. I love this place.”

Los Angeles 

According to Yelp and Zoosk’s study, Westwood in LA is one of the best parts of town for taking a first date. A popular joint for under-35 singles is Bandera, a jazz and blues place with a chill vibe, and which serves yummy dishes like filet mignon, tuna with roasted beets, and ribs and steaks cooked to perfection.

Review highlights: “I love this restaurant! Great food, service and live jazz music. I always order mini kale salad, frenchfries, smoked salmon and rib eye steak.”

For date-seekers 35 years and above, Beverly Grove is apparently a hotspot, according to Zoosk and Yelp data. The trendy Japanese sushi place Izaka-ya by Katsuya is a favorite, thanks to its great cozy atmosphere and scrumptious dishes like sashimi, baked crab rolls, crispy rice with spicy tuna,

Review highlights: “This place is always the bomb! Every time I come here the food is amazing. I order A LOT. The duck is amazing. I had it for the first time the other night. I always come here and drink and eat amazing food. EVERYTHING on the menu is amazing and the food always has top notch quality. There is valet up front but I highly suggest making a reservation. Enjoy!”

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Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.


  1. georgeblanco

    Great article, but, I am wondering about places in Miami and surrounding area. Some place that I can actually visit and has the qualities of the above mention places.

  2. nealcal

    I have visited B Flat last year. Even thou it was not our first date we spent some one of our best evening in New York in that basement. The music was outstanding and the dinner was tasty. After a few glass of wine I started dancing with my date and I am a bad dancer, but I simply could not resist it. One of my best date nights ever.

  3. twitteraddict05

    My choice would be Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York. Bare tables, bare brick, warm and cozy atmosphere are perfect for the first and many dates after.

  4. Samantha

    These all look like amazing options and I would be happy to go on a first date in any of these places. I think you can also use yelp to look into the best places around town to set up the perfect date night in case your not in one of these big cities. There are many options and yelp is a great tool to help with some ideas