5 Walkable Date Night Ideas Featuring “Best Of” Winners

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Jared “Jay” Rayfield-Bates and Stephen Rayfield-Bates say the diversity of amazing restaurants is one of the many reasons why they chose to live here. Photo by Beth Mann

Date #1

5:30pm bartaco

The pergola and plants that surround the outdoor space will transport you or at least give you inspiration for how to dress up your own backyard. Order a half-dozen tacos to split and a fun drink or two.

6:30pm Silverspot Cinema

No one will call you a cheap date if you go to the movies on a Tuesday – $8 tickets are pretty hard to pass up. But, would your date prefer a throwback movie? Catch “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” in August while “American Graffiti” plays in September.

9:30pm City Kitchen

After your movie, stroll over to another pretty patio for half-price bottles of wine (Tuesdays) or $5 glasses of wine (Wednesdays).

Date #2

The live music series on the lawn picks back up in August with  Saludos Compay on August 23 and The Mystery Hillbillies on August 30.

7:30pm Glasshalfull

Take refuge from the heat at the cozy bar with a charcuterie plate. Then, enjoy a light dinner – mini lobster & shrimp rolls and pan- seared scallops were on the early summer menu.

9pm Steel String Brewery

Wind down the night with some Tenderness Honeysuckle Ale, a refreshing kolsch. Or maybe Neutral Milk Porter is more your speed. Either way, you and your date will find a beer to love.

Date #3

6:30pm SallyMack

Stop in and meet the “mayor of Midtown Market,” Sally Stollmack, and she’ll help you pick out a meaningful gift. From handbags to vases and candles, her store specializes in delightful finds.

7pm Flyleaf Books

In August, Terry Roberts talks “The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival” while Delia Owens’ lyrical and gripping debut novel, “Where The Crawdads Sing.”

8:30pm Kitchen

You can’t skip the mussels and fries here. Linger over beverages
and save room – desserts are reasonably priced so you can order two or three to split.

Date #4

5:30pm Elaine’s on Franklin

Get in early for the special three-course $35 prix fixe dinner. It’s a great opportunity to try a few things on the menu like green tomato- avocado gazpacho with roasted chiles and three cheese soufflé.

7pm The Baxter

With pinball machines and old school games, your competitive side will come out at the barcade. Remember to bring your quarters!

9pm Beer Study

End the night with a pint on the patio. The guys behind the bar really know their stuff and you may see a pup or two. They’ve got a great selection of North Carolina canned beer, so pick out a six-pack to go.

Date #5

6pm Lantern

Enjoy dinner out in the Lantern Garden – these days, spicy lemongrass tofu and Korean BBQ’d local pork chop grace the menu. Sip a cocktail in the jungle oasis and try the cherry stone panna cotta.

7pm Nerd Nite Chapel Hill

Three speakers will wax on about topics such as the whys and hows of board games to United States coins you probably never knew existed. Sip a beer, learn some fresh facts and revel in all the new knowledge.

9pm Local 506

The doors might open at 8 p.m. but you’ve got time to get to the music venue which hosts acts this summer such as Chapel Hill-based Charley James, Go Fever and Telekinetic Yeti.


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Jessica Stringer

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