10 best places in L.A. to go on a first date

10 best places in L.A. to go on a first date

Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 04-07-2016 Comments: 0

Los Angeles is a large, sprawling place – but its distinct (and unique) neighborhoods are the real soul of the city, offering something for everyone no matter your style or taste. This is why L.A. is such a great place to explore, and come up with creative first date ideas. There is no shortage of options.

Whether you’re looking for something creative, upscale, down to earth, vintage, active, or just plain fun, the following hotspots are some of the best places to go on a first date in city of angels:

Outdoor movies at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

If it’s summer, you must take a date for this unique outdoor experience. Located on the grounds of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which is where some famous actors and actresses have been laid to rest – like epic movie mogul Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino, and Marion Davies – a giant outdoor screen has been set up to offer movie-goers your favorite movie classics. Whether you’re into horror, comedy, or dramatic intrigue, there’s something for everyone – just check the schedule before you go. You can take a picnic and get cozy if the night goes well.

Griffith Observatory and The Dresden

This is a classic spot to take not only your out-of-town guests, but a great place for a first date. The Griffith Observatory offers stunning views of the city and powerful telescopes to check out the starry sky. When you’re done, you can wander down to Hillhurst Ave in Los Feliz for some drinks at The Dresden, where you can see musical fixtures Marty and Elayne perform jazz until the wee hours.


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There’s no shortage of options in this department, and it’s a good way to ease into dating if you’re the shy type. On the West side you can hike trails in Malibu Creek State Park (including a trail to the MASH set from the TV show), or in Topanga Canyon where you get great views from Eagle Rock. There’s opportunity for horseback riding as well as good hiking with fantastic ocean views. If you’re on the East side of the city, several trails go through the Angeles National Forest, including the Eaton Canyon hike where you can see the ruins of an old turn-of-the-century hotel. If you want a challenge, the San Gabriel Mountains east of Pasadena include the region’s highest peak, Mt. Baldy.

Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga

Topanga is a special place in Los Angeles, mostly because it seems like another town altogether. Winding roads, hiking trails, horses, and gorgeous views are part of its charm, as is the decades-old hippie culture. Inn of the Seventh Ray offers a magical dining experience – twinkling lights, an outdoor setting, and a creek that runs through it. The romantic date vibe can really accentuate natural chemistry and attraction.

MOCA and Grand Central Market

If you want a cultural experience, try the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Downtown L.A. Have a walk through the sculptures, paintings, and exhibits from some cool contemporary collections, and then walk down the hill. Or take the 100-year-old rail car Angel’s Flight down to the Grand Central Market when it’s in service. There are a ton of new restaurants for the foodie to choose from, including the popular Egg Slut and Ramen Hood, plus vendors selling produce, baked goods and much more.If you want a double shot of culture, the new Broad Museum is close by, but you should get reservations in advance as crowds are expected.

The Last Bookstore

If you’re near downtown, this is a great spot to take your date, especially the bookworms or vintage fans. It is a beautiful and unique place, with books arranged in artful arcs as well as by color. Plus, it’s in the middle of downtown near Pershing Square Downtown Stage, where in the summer you can catch some great outdoor concerts. If you walk in the other direction, stop by Nickel Diner for that old school diner experience.

Culver City Arts District

Another cultural experience that is more hidden than a museum like MOCA is the Culver City Arts District. There are several galleries along Washington Blvd and La Cienega, along with art studios, boutiques and restaurants. Don’t forget to stop by Cool Haus Ice Cream, where you can get homemade ice cream sandwiches made famous by their food trucks.

Local wine tasting

Malibu isn’t the only place for local wine tasting, but they do offer gorgeous vineyards to stroll around if you are looking for the whole experience. If you want a more urban vibe, try heading downtown to San Antonio Winery where they offer wine tasting every day, or to Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock where they offer tastings from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays – $12 for 4 tastes, plus some nibbles. There’s also Silverlake Wine, which offers a tasting tour for $20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays and includes four wines plus an aperitif.

Little Tokyo

There’s nothing I like more than this popular little area of Downtown. Little Tokyo offers great food options, including ramen, sushi and of course those little pancake sandwiches with red bean paste at Mitsuru Café. You can wander around shops (including a Hello Kitty store), visit the Buddhist temple hidden away, or the Japanese American Museum.

Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach

If you and your date want an upscale but still arty experience, Venice Beach is your place. In the last few years a lot of artisan shops and restaurants have populated the main drag Abbott Kinney, including The Tasting Kitchen, which changes its menu on the regular, and Gjelina, popular among the foodie crowd. There’s also High Bar on Pacific Avenue, which offers a great rooftop happy hour with views of the sunset over the beach. If you’re dating a vegan, check out Plant Wine Food, which offers a romantic outdoor patio at night.

Get set up on a first date at one of these places by one of our Los Angeles matchmakers.