Best first date restaurants to make an impression

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When you meet someone you’re especially excited about or perhaps an old friend turns into a romantic partner, this built-up suspense calls for finding the best first date restaurant to make an impression.

The difference between this and the best first date restaurants to break the ice is that in this case you’re looking to really show you don’t mind going the extra mile. With this in mind, dating experts Chelsea Pescitelli and Andrea Hill have curated the top Vancouver first date restaurants that will impress your date.

Chambar

Chambar’s internationally acclaimed menu and newly redesigned location in a Crosstown heritage building will definitely make an impression on any first date. And with daily breakfast and lunch service, you don’t need to commit to dinner to reap all the benefits of an unpretentious fling with fine dining.

Chambar was an easy pick for the dates to impress category as it is arguably Vancouver’s current go-to date night spot. Best know for their incredible brunches, stunning cocktails, and exquisite dinner, Chambar has been knocking off socks since 2004 and shows no signs of slowing down.

If the date is going well: Keep things classy and don’t let that Chambar magic run off! We recommend walking into Gastown for a cocktail upstairs at The Diamond. Keefer Bar and Bao Bei are also walking distance so you have options.

Address: 568 Beatty Street
Phone: 604-879-7119
Website: www.chambar.com

Hours: Monday to Sunday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to Midnight; Brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vij’s Rangoli

Vij’s Restaurant’s little brother isn’t a bad alternative when the prospects of waiting in line for up to an hour and facing a bigger bill than you would want are removed. Vikram Vij himself always finds time to walk over from Vij’s to Rangoli to ensure everyone is still having a good time. He is sure to put a smile on your dates face with his unbeatable charisma and excellent sense of humour. Rangoli is also open for lunch so if you work in the area, it’s a great place to make an impression. Vij’s Rangoli still serves up some amazing Indian cuisine and fantastic cocktails so consider it your back door into getting the Vij’s experience.

If the date is going well: The Marquis is prime for cheap cocktails and is literally a block away. If you venture a little higher up South Granville you’ll stumble into The Ouisi Bistro, which has an incredible set-up as it boasts a hidden patio, live music, and great drink specials.

Address: 1488 West 11 Avenue
Phone: 604-736-5711
Website: vijsrangoli.ca
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m

Opus Bar

Dim the lights and turn up the vibe with Opus Bar after dark as they serve up cocktails and offer a diverse wine list to complement their intimate atmosphere and chic decor. This is the perfect lounge that strikes a balanced between affordability and classiness. If you’re into the day dates, their happy hours are some of the best in the city as $5 is enough to buy you a glass of wine or beer with complimentary flatbread pizzas. If the date continues into dinner you don’t have to go anywhere as they have live music every Wednesday and DJ’s Thursday through Sunday to ensure you won’t be sipping in silence. If you’re an early bird, drop by this cozy coffee hangout from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. when they will satisfy you with local goods from the likes of Matchstick Coffee Roasters, Cartems Donuterie, The Juice Truck, Erin Ireland’s To Die For Banana Bread, and Cadeaux Bakery.

If the date is going well: Assuming it’s a weekend, you are only steps away from the recently renovated Bar None where you can both put your dancing shoes to good use.

Address: 350 Davie Street
Phone: 604-694-2107
Website: opusbar.ca
Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to Midnight, Friday to Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.

Bambudda

Bambudda is all about the drinks. The bar facing Powell Street makes for a unique experience for you and your date. Dating expert Pescitelli mentions that watching the bartenders is part of the fun and helps with conversation throughout the date. There isn’t a drink on the menu that Pescitelli doesn’t recommend.

If the date goes well: If you are a coffee fan, Pescitelli recommends ending the date with a stop at Milano Coffee Roasters. Cozy up inside or walk and talk down the streets of Gastown.

Address: 99 Powell Street

Phone: 604-428-0301

Website: www.bambudda.ca

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Sai Woo

Sai Who? Sai Woo is the hottest new restaurant to open up in Vancouver as the newest addition to the rapidly developing Chinatown is sure to impress the moment you walk in the door. Salli Pateman, the mastermind behind it, is no stranger to opening places that set the perfect mood as she ran Yaletown’s hottest cocktail bar, Section (3) for 18 years. The décor inside is stunning and the “globally inspired” menu is about mixing influences from travels in the best food cities in the world and the Chinese and Jamaican roots of Chef Douglas Chang.

If the date goes well: Lucky for you Keefer Bar is walking distance and the perfect place to cozy up for a cocktail. The bar is so unique that it’s amongst Buzz feed’s 19 Bars Around The World You Should Drink At Before You Die. If dancing is your mood, Fortune Nightclub is closeby to satisfy your itch.

Address: 158 East Pender Street
Phone: 604-568-1117
Website: saiwoo.ca
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 5:30 p.m. to late

Yaletown L’Antipasto

This is the perfect cozy Italian place to impress your date with an authentic home-cooked meal the way mama makes it! Dishes are all regional and you can see mama herself cooking up some delicious plates right before you eyes. They do a great job at creating an intimate atmosphere and letting you drift into deep conversation with their calm mood. The wine is great and affordable, make sure to pair this with your pasta.

If the date goes well: You have plenty of options as you are in the heart of Yaletown. Next door at Yaletown Brewpub is great if you want to switch gears to something casual and if you want to keep it classy, pop down to Pierre’s Champagne Lounge for some bubbly and dancing.

Address: 1127 Mainland Street

Phone: 604-558-1174

Website: yaletownlantipasto.com

Hours: Monday to Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., Saturday: 5 to 10:00 p.m., Sunday: 5 to 9:00 p.m.

Baru Latino

It is easy to walk by West Side gem or zip by on the 99 B-Line without thinking much until you take a peek inside. Baru Latino has been voted as a great date night hangout as it sets the perfect romantic mood with chic décor and its intimate sections. The incredible lighting and uniquely flavoured mojito drinks give it a romantic flare that makes couples feel amorous. There have also been many celebrities spotted dining in this cozy & non-pretentious environment and one of the owner’s themselves is related to hockey legend, Guy Lafleur.

If the date goes well: True confections across the street is the perfect place to grab another glass of wine and let your sweet tooth go wild.

Address: 2535 Alma Street

Phone: 604-222-9171

Website: barulatino.com

Hours: Monday to Sunday: 5:00 p.m. to Late

LIPS Resto

Lips Resto is a new restaurant in Vancouver’s West End that hopes to inspire diners to eat, drink, and be social. The second you walk into the impressive interior, you’ll see that it’s very different than the typically laid-back West End restaurant. The fancy décor and the dinner dishes designed for sharing are perfect to get close with your date. If you land there on a Wednesday you get $10 off any bottle of wine and you catch happy hour, you can class it up for as little as $3 per drink!

If the date goes well: True confections across the street is the perfect place to grab another glass of wine and let your sweet tooth go wild.

Address: 1143 Davie Street
Phone: 604-999-9191
Website: lipsresto.com
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to late

 

Il Nido

Want romance? This place has it in spades when you ask for a seat on their hidden garden patio. The whole experience includes a bit of mystery, twinkly lights, botanical surroundings, and throw in a classic glass of Barolo to get to know your potential paramour over? Well, that’s amore. This is a favourite of dating expert Andrea Hill from The Dinner Party, who observes that its charming character is what always gets her or anyone she sends over for a dinner date.

If the date goes well: You can walk across the street to Joe Fortes for dessert or a cocktail.

Address: 780 Thurlow Street
Phone: 604-685-6436
Website: cafeilnido.ca
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to Midnight, Saturday: 5:30 p.m. to Midnight 

Mosquito

Mosquito shows off its unique style the second you interact with their brand which describes itself as a “champagne bar without the caviar. A dessert bar without the frosting.” Mosquito is the perfect place to skip dinner to meet your date for dessert and bubbly. The vibe of the place gives you a feeling of exclusivity and sophistication where even the washrooms are cleverly designed to seduce you.

If the date is going well: You are in the heart of Gastown where options are limitless. Popping over to Secret Location is sure to keep the mysterious Gastown adventure going and if Live Music is your thing, Guilt & Co. is a short walk away.

Address: 32 Water Street
Phone: 604-398-3188
Website: mosquitodessert.com
Hours: Wednesday to Friday: 5:00 p.m. to Midnight, Saturday: 1:00 p.m. to Midnight, Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Co-curated with Tangoo by sex and relationship writer and dating consultant Chelsea Pescitelli, and Andrea Hill, Dating expert and Founder of The Dinner Party. Find more trending restaurants, events, and special promotions on Tangoo’s free Pocket Concierge app.

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Tangoo is a free iOS app that matches your mood to the perfect restaurant experience. Discover trending lists curated by local celebrities and experts and redeem complimentary food and drink rewards at select best-in-class places: www.tangoo.ca/app
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