Houston is for lovers, and we’ve got the top spots to celebrate love, rekindle a romance, or nurture a burgeoning relationship. Check out our recommendations for mixing up date night in H-Town.
Where To Eat
Nothing sets the mood quite like romantic lighting, wine/cocktails, and delicious bites in a cozy atmosphere. With tapas shaped by Mediterranean, Spanish, and South American influences, Barcelona Wine Bar offers nearly 400 wines on their wine list. The restaurant located at 1731 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098 in Montrose is an all-encompassing option for date night.
Betelgeuse Betelgeuse (Montrose & Washington Ave.)
Looking to go more casual but don’t want to skimp on quality? Betelgeuse Betelgeuse is the intergalactic bar that offers choice cocktails and mouth watering bites, including pizzas, fried spaghetti balls, burgers, and more! Cozy up in the whimsical and eclectic bar setting with cocktails, beer, and wine while enjoying karaoke or other events the bar hosts. Betelgeuse Betelgeuse is located at 2101 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007, and 4500 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006. Both locations are open Monday through Sunday from 4 PM to 2 AM.
Photo: Courtesy Candente
Candente on Richmond Ave. provides delicious Tex-Mex apps and entrees, refreshing and strong cocktails, and an ambiance that is perfect for a night out with your partner. Their outdoor seating is the way to go, as it’s intimate and perfect for enjoying outdoor dining in Houston. Their covered patio or their astroturf uncovered patio under bistro lighting both provide romantic and festive environments for date night.
Bon appetit at this Montrose neighborhood restaurant that blends farm-to-table, rustic, and lighter Mediterranean fare with an underlying Italian tone. Ostia offers elevated bites in a unique and beautiful setting. Pizza, pasta, vino—oh my! There are options aplenty at this trendy, romantic restaurant located on Dunlavy Street.
Photo: Courtesy Le Colonial
Show your date you mean business by rolling up to the River Oaks District for dinner. Le Colonial is a celebration of seductive spirit and vivid flavors reminiscent of Saigon in the 1920s. The restaurant is designed specifically to elicit and honor a bygone era of romance and soft architecture. The food is impeccable, the cocktails are choice, and the overall vibe is quintessentially romantic.
European comfort food and drinks in a gorgeous space is the perfect way to celebrate love and/or spark a romance. Serving up wood-fired pizzas, pastas that will warm your heart and soul, and delicious cocktails to wash everything down, Rosie Cannonball on Westheimer Blvd in Montrose provides a cozy atmosphere for loved ones to gather. Their extensive wine list makes for an elevated evening out and their dessert menu is worth saving room for.
Sixty Vines is the perfect date night destination for wine lovers! Located in Rice Village, the upscale restaurant is a dining experience to be remembered. The sleek and classy ambiance sets the mood for couples to lean in for good conversation, mixed cocktails, pizzas, pastas, shared plates, sandwiches, sixty vines on a sustainable tap system, and more. Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, mixing up date night, or just wanting to try something new, this hot spot is the perfect option for escaping to wine country right here in the city.
The Original Ninfa’s (Uptown & Navigation)
If you’re looking for iconic Tex-Mex food and expertly crafted cocktails, look no further than The Original Ninfa’s at Uptown and Navigation. Both locations offer something different in terms of vibe and scenery, but each offers the same delicious cuisine that has helped the brand succeed for 50 years. Take in the history at the original location on Navigation, or dine in a more upscale environment at the Uptown restaurant. The Original Ninfa’s is a Houston staple, and enjoying prime Tex-Mex, margs, and quality time is the perfect way to add some Houston history to your love story.
Activities / Places to Visit
Photo: Courtesy HTX Clay
Think of the movie Ghost, but with less Patrick Swayze and more fun! HTX Clay is a female-owned ceramic studio in Houston that is open to artists of all levels to get their hands dirty with clay and create a one-of-a-kind piece of art. HTX Clay is the perfect idea for couples looking to try something new together in a gorgeous space with professionals on site to lead classes, answer questions, and offer support. Check their website or contact them directly to learn more about their classes, workshops, and ways to get involved for a unique date night experience.
Houston is rich with educational, stunning, world-class, and expertly curated museums. Put on your comfy walking shoes, grab your bae, and head over to the Museum District for a day of art and culture. Start at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston to take in some unique art installations that are sure to spark conversation between you and your date. Across the street is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which has multiple stories of art to view and engage with and light tunnels that are perfect for immortalizing your date with a selfie. If you’re looking to get nerdy with it, you can swing over to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to learn fun facts in a series of exhibits, pose with larger than life dinosaurs, and take a lovers’ stroll through the butterfly exhibit.
Photo by Daniel Ortiz, courtesy The Menil Collection
If art is your thing and you’re looking for something potentially less crowded but still impressive, head over to The Menil Collection in Montrose. The private collection offers artifacts and original works of art in multiple spaces that will inevitably pique interest. Within walking distance are The Rothko Chapel, Cy Twombly Gallery, and Menil Drawing Institute. It’s the perfect place to inspire conversation, and if things are going well, top off your trip at Bistro Menil for bites and beverages.
While the Menil Collection and its surrounding galleries are always free, other museums are free on Thursdays, so plan accordingly!
Looking for some entertainment for date night? Grab some $1s and head to your nearest gay bar for a quintessential “Texas drag” show! Whether it’s Drag Show Brunch at Bar Boheme, weekly drag shows at Michael’s Outpost, Sunday Service at Rich’s, H-Town Kings or Drag & Bingo at Pearl Bar, Drag Trivia or Drag Bingo at BUDDY’S, or any number of drag shows around town, you’re sure to be entertained!
Catch a Show
Want to enjoy some entertainment that won’t break the bank? Houston has an incredible live entertainment calendar that is worth your support and also makes for a unique and casual date night out. If you’re a fan of The Moth on NPR, then you’ll want to buy tickets for the Houston chapter of The Moth: StorySlam. The monthly open-mic storytelling competition creates a space where anyone can share a true, personal, 5-minute story on the night's theme. It makes for a fun night out with drinks and tons of stories that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even inspire you to tell a story.
Another story-centered night out is Grown-Up Storytime. The monthly live storytelling event is held at The Continental Club and features expert storytellers reading stories that were submitted by the public based on each night’s theme. Stories range from heartfelt to uproarious, and coupled with beer and cocktails from the bar, it's the perfect night in Midtown (grab some bites at Tacos A Go Go or Home Slice before!).
Feeling nerdy and want to learn some unique information in a fun bar setting? Check out Nerd Nite Houston. A total of three speakers give presentations on topics they’re passionate about that might be slightly out of the norm. Nerd Nite is hosted on the second floor of Grand Prize Bar on the first Saturday of each month, with talks starting at 7 PM.
Day in the Park
Get your steps in while getting to know your new partner! Houston has plenty of lush green spaces that are perfect for soaking up some sun and fresh air. Head to Hermann Park near the Museum District for a walk on their gravel trail, roll down the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre or take a seat on a bench at the fountain and people watch.
Want something more scenic and a little more nature-forward for your day-date? Head to the Eastern Glades at Memorial Park for tranquil vibes. There’s plenty of space to sit and chat, have a picnic, or stroll along the land bridge that sits over a body of water. The sunset views are also gorgeous and super romantic!
Bring a blanket and some snacks to Menil Park at The Menil Collection for a lovely day in a spacious outdoor gathering area. People-watching is prime, and there are plenty of trees to offer shade to keep cool on warmer days. Bring a frisbee, a book, or other outdoor activities to mix things up and take advantage of the wide open spaces with your partner.
For the park lovers who want a space that truly has it all, Buffalo Bayou Park offers access to rentable bikes, massive open spaces, sand volleyball courts, scenic views, walking trails, dog parks, a skate park, the Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park, and more! Feeling especially romantic? Bring a lock to add to the bridge above Allen Parkway to show your partner your love is eternal—or until the chain link fence gives out from excessive weight.
Stroll and Window Shop
When all else fails, window shopping and browsing boutiques and shops is always a safe bet. Stroll the vintage shops, record stores, toy stores, and boutiques on 19th Street in The Heights, peruse the goods at the shops in Heights Mercantile or M-K-T Heights and grab a bite or drink, or shop til you drop in Rice Village (photo above). If you would rather stroll in one spot, see some unique finds, and try some new cuisines, head over to the Houston Farmers Market for a perfect day outside.