Looking for fun first date ideas in Cleveland?
A first date can always be a bit nerve wracking. It’s the first time really getting to know a person! So it makes perfect sense to keep it casual where you can either keep the conversation going over a long coffee date or cut it short if things go awry.
That’s why we’ve searched high and low for the perfect casual, fun, and cute date ideas in Cleveland that’ll make your first date memorable.
First Date Ideas in Cleveland
1. Coffee date spots
If you’re looking for a casual first date option, going out for coffee is always a popular choice! And Cleveland has no shortage of amazing coffee shops.
First of all, you can learn a lot about a person from their coffee order (am I right?). But in all seriousness, coffee dates are casual and coffee shops can be a nice, quiet spot for conversing.
Here are some great coffee date ideas in Cleveland:
16806 Madison Ave, Lakewood
This whole coffee shop is a vibe! With fun decor, seasonal drinks, and tasty crepes, this is a great place to stay a while and chat the afternoon away!
2. Lekko Coffee
2529 Detroit Ave, Cleveland (Ohio City)
This quiet coffee spot makes some amazing lattes and has ample seating, whether you want to sit on a comfy couch or at a table. Spend hours chatting about life on a coffee date here.
3. Rising Star Coffee
1455 W. 29th St., Cleveland (Ohio City/Hingetown)
One of the best patios in Cleveland, this coffee shop is located in Hingetown in a former firehouse. On beautiful days they’ll open up the garage door and there is a big patio space to enjoy. So for a nice summer first date spot in Cleveland, this is the place.
2180 W 11th St, Cleveland (Tremont)
The LOOP in Tremont not only makes some great coffee to try together, but it also doubles as a record shop. So for the musically inclined, this is a lovely place to get the conversation started about favorite music, bands, etc.
5. Milk + Honey
1100 Superior Ave, Cleveland (Downtown)
This sweet little coffee shop has plenty of space for your date downtown and serves up unique coffee concoctions like the Cinnamon Toast Latte with cereal on top! This is a really convenient place to grab a cup of coffee downtown.
6. AffoGATO Cat Cafe
761 Starkweather Ave, Cleveland
For a unique first date idea in Cleveland that still involves grabbing a cup of coffee, head to AffoGATO Cat Cafe. For starters, they have some pretty good coffee to enjoy. But the main reason to come visit is to play with those adorable and adoptable kitties! So, worst case scenario, if the date doesn’t go well, you can bring home a cute cat! It’s really a win-win either way around.
(Just be sure to make reservations in advance to visit the cats.)
2. Go out for drinks in Cleveland
This is always a popular first date idea. You can easily grab drinks after work or on a Saturday afternoon. This is also a great opportunity to sit and chat for a long time without many distractions.
Luckily, there are fantastic cocktail spots and wine bars to choose from that’ll make this date fun. Here are a few of our favorites, and why they make great date spots!
1. Porco Lounge & Tiki Room
2527 W 25th St, Cleveland (Tremont/Ohio City)
Known for its unique tiki cocktails that’ll get the conversation started, Porco has both indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy the tiki atmosphere year-round. It’s a popular local bar, especially for fun fruity cocktails to enjoy together! (Just beware that the drinks here are STRONG.)
2. Society Lounge
2063 E 4th St, Cleveland (Downtown)
Enjoy mood lighting and perfect concoctions at this stylish spot. If you are searching for a fun place to grab drinks on a weeknight, this place isn’t too loud or busy during the week, making it much easier to have a good conversation. It’s also conveniently located near all the restaurants on E 4th St.
3. Market Avenue Wine Bar
2521 Market Ave, Cleveland (Ohio City)
The outdoor patio at Market Wine Bar has perfect views of the West Side Market, plus the wine menu here is extensive from Lebanese wine to delightful Burgundy. For a fun outdoor date idea, this wine bar is idyllic on a nice summer evening.
4. Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar
12401 Madison Ave, Lakewood
Would you rather have some cider or a fun gin-based cocktail? This British pub-style spot offers great options, and is close to great eateries in the Lakewood neighborhood. So if that conversation keeps flowing, why not continue your date around Lakewood?
5. Velvet Tango Room
2095 Columbus Rd, Cleveland (Tremont)
This cozy spot has such a classic bar and a huge cocktail menu, so you both can try a couple of things. As a bonus, this place also has live jazz and piano music to set the ambiance.
6. Cloak & Dagger
2399 W 11th St, Cleveland
This newer date night spot in Cleveland has some fantastic seasonal cocktails and a vegan food menu. So if you or your date are veggie, then this is the place to be! They also have great mocktails for those not looking to drink.
1404 W 29th St, Cleveland (Ohio City)
Honestly, this is my favorite bar in Cleveland. For starters, the atmosphere is great. You can take turns picking songs out on the jukebox, split delicious pierogies if you’re hungry, and have a fun cocktail or a casual beer. You can’t go wrong with it. It is definitely a nice, casual spot for a first date whether you want to sit inside or out.
8. Bar 32
100 Lakeside Ave E, Cleveland (Downtown)
This is a perfect after-work spot to meet up, especially if you both work downtown. It is also an incredible place to catch a Lake Erie sunset, as this rooftop bar offers incredible views of the city and lake.
9. Tavern of Little Italy
12117 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland (Little Italy)
Tavern of Little Italy has a fantastic patio, perfect for sipping an Aperol spritz or a Peroni as you get to know each other. Plus, if things go well you can keep the date going at one of many incredible Little Italy restaurants!
10. Wine tasting at Heinen’s
900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland (Downtown)
Looking for a potentially inexpensive and interactive drinks date night? Then head the the Heinen’s grocery store in downtown Cleveland. There’s a wine shop and small bar on the second floor of the rotunda where you can also do wine tastings.
Get a card from the cashier and load up as much money as you want to spend, then chose from dozens of different wines. Tastings generally cost $1-4 each.
11. Brewery date night
Honestly, another great casual date night spot is visiting one of Cleveland’s great breweries. Seriously, there are too many to count. Great Lakes Brewing Company, Bookhouse Brewing, Masthead Brewing Company, Collision Bend Brewing Company, Noble Beast Brewing Company, and the Jolly Scholar are all some of our favorite breweries around Cleveland!
3. First Date Dinner Ideas in Cleveland
I know, I know, dinner isn’t always a popular first date option. But it can be a really great way to get to know someone as you’re sitting across from them and there aren’t a lot of distractions. However, from experience, these dates can also be awkward if you’re not with someone very talkative.
But, these dinner date ideas are casual enough to keep things light and not leave you stranded in your chair for hours.
Barrio is such a popular place! Known for its make-your-own-tacos, you can chat about all your favorite toppings and grab one of their delicious margaritas to sip.
2. Humble Wine Bar
15400 Detroit Ave, Lakewood
Humble is a great spot as it doubles as a wine bar, so you can grab a glass or two of wine and split a tasty pizza. Plus, they have great happy hour deals if you want to meet up after work.
1835 Fulton Rd, Cleveland
This modern Mexican restaurant has everything from amazing guacamole flights to various margaritas and mezcal. It is a casual spot whether you want to enjoy the eclectic design inside the restaurant or sit on the patio in the summer.
4. Happy Dog
5801 Detroit Ave, Cleveland (Detroit Shoreway)
Happy Dog is a super casual make-your-own-hotdog place with tons of fun options. Plus, this place often has live music and is just a fun divey spot to go on a first date together!
5. Butcher and the Brewer
2043 E 4th St, Cleveland (Downtown)
Part restaurant, part brewery, this is a lovely place to meet up after work downtown for dinner and drinks. Plus, there are a ton of small plates to split so you can try a lot of stuff and figure out what to share.
4. Activity First Date Ideas in Cleveland
Tired of the standard first date ideas of coffee or drinks? Why not plan a fun activity instead? Here are just a few to try:
5820 Rockside Woods Blvd N, Independence
If you both like golf, or want to learn how to play TopGolf, then why not make a fun outing to the TopGolf in Independence?
Choose from the various golf games available and enjoy some friendly competition. (This makes for a great double-date spot, too!)
13200 Madison Ave, Lakewood
Bowling is always a classic date night idea! And at Mahall’s, you’ll feel thrown back in time together as you bowl in vintage lanes and even keep score by hand.
3. Forest City Shuffleboard
4506 Lorain Ave, Cleveland (Ohio City)
Grab drinks and get to shuffling together at Forest City Shuffleboard. This unique spot has shuffleboards indoors and outside, plus tabletop shuffleboard. Be sure to make reservations in advance though!
4. Pins Mechanical Co./16-Bit Bar & Arcade
1880 W 25th St Unit 1, Cleveland (Ohio City)
Embrace your inner-nerd while sipping fun themed beverages like the Donkey Kong or Carrie Fisher as you play arcade all sorts of mechanical games together. This brand new spot just opened in Ohio City in 2022!
5. Superelectric Pinball Parlor
6500 Detroit Ave, Cleveland (Gordon Square)
Speaking of mechanical games, another fun date spot is this pinball parlor in Gordon Square. It costs just $6 to play as long as you want, and they have 15+ classic and newer pinball games to choose from. There’s also a bar here if you want to grab drinks.
6. Punch Bowl Social
1086 W 11th St, Cleveland (The Flats)
There are ample activities to keep you busy and getting to know each other at Punch Bowl Social. You can go bowling, play tabletop games like Ping Pong, Giant Scrabble, or Jenga, or hit up some arcade games.
Want more date ideas? Check out these guides:
- Little Italy Date Night Guide
- Tremont Date Guide
- Outdoor Date Ideas in Cleveland
- Ohio City Date Guide
- Gordon Square Date Guide
- Playhouse Square Date Guide
What’s YOUR favorite date night activity in Cleveland?
Kat is a Cleveland transplant and has lived here for over 5 years. She loves to eat, drink, and explore all across the city, and has made it her personal mission to find the best breweries and pizza in Northeast Ohio. She also runs a couples travel blog and podcast called World Wide Honeymoon.