Date Night Essentials Of Portland

In Portland, things are always going on. Art shows, documentaries being shown, First Friday Art Walks, new restaurants opening, lines out the door…the list goes on and on. Sometimes, you need to slow down and just experience something.

And a date night is a great excuse for that! Whether you’re with someone or not, who doesn’t love the idea of treating themselves to a night out, focusing on the amazing food scene and tantalizing cocktails in this magnificent city? This is my tried and true list..this could be great in a few months if you need Valentine’s Day inspiration as well!

fore streetDessert at Fore Street’s Bar:

Price Range: $10-30, with dessert and drinks

Fore Street is well known all throughout the country, and you’d surprised to know you don’t need a reservation to get in. In fact, they set aside spots every day for walk ins, making this a perfect spot to stop for dessert and a glass of wine. Whether you go for the chocolate torte (legendary) or one of the other choices, Fore Street has the ambiance you want, letting you wind down and taste every individual flavor in your palate. Add a glass of wine, and you’ll swear that time stops, especially when you get talking to the friendly and knowledgeable bar tender. A night to remember!

bao baoBao Bao Dumpling House:

Price Range: around $25 for dinner for 2

Bao Bao is new to the scene, but it is already making some serious waves in the food community. These are dumplings done right. My recommendation: the Lamb dumpling is unique and a little unexpected but in the best way possible. It’s a Mediterranean/ethnic twist on a mainstay in the Chinese restaurant world that will quite possibly blow your mind, and take all of your expectations about dumplings and put them to shame. The Kung Pao dumpling is spicy and delicious as well! Make sure to get a window seat and do some people watching, it makes dates so much more fun.


Price Range: around $25-30 for dinner and drinks for 2 people

Bramhall is Bramhall Pub reimagined. Think cozy, warm neighborhood spot that you need to try at least once, with a food menu that won’t break the bank. This is a date where you can both easily order a few drinks and food, and still have enough left over for some dessert. The burgers are divine, and a great size for the $9 price tag!

Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box:

Price Range: drinks range from $9-15 each

The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box is a new Arts District staple. You won’t find drinks like this anywhere else in Portland. Speakeasy vibe with casual seating, and a drink list that’s never the same when you return. This is great on a cold Friday night in the winter, after walking around the Art Walk for a few hours. Be warned: after 10 pm it gets extremely packed, and there may not be any seats, but it’s worth it regardless.

Photo credit to Megan Cullity

Photo credit to Megan Cullity

The Bar Of Chocolate:

Dessert martinis are $9 each, with dessert and other drinks on the menu

I could go on and on about my love of the Bar of Chocolate, and I already have (see last year’s post on it here) So what do you need to know? Small dessert bar specializing in dessert martinis, with happy hour on weekdays from 4-7 pm. Split dessert here, and revel in the Parisian chic vibe, located right in the middle of the Old Port. With leather chairs, delectable drinks and sweet desserts, your date night may last the whole evening!

Little Tap House:

Price Range: Dinner for 2 is around $50 with entrees, dessert, drinks

I hold Little Tap House close to my heart, because I had my second date with my boyfriend here, and we still talk about it. The night that we were there, the apple bread pudding stole the show, but it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll find something that you want to share here. Burgers, shephard’s pie..all delicious and worth ordering.

Sarah Gelber

About Sarah Gelber

A recent graduate from the University of Southern Maine, Sarah has always had a passion for food. Follow her escapades around Portland, trying every new restaurant in her path! Conquering Portland, one meal at a time.