Gainesville is full of great dinner options, but it’s easy to find yourself falling into a routine of always going to the same few restaurants. If you’re tired of eating out at your usual dinner date spots, we’ve uncovered a wide range of quaint, under-the-radar date night options to guide you.
Looking for a coffee spot with a late-night bar? Check. Rather opt for a fancy, classy restaurant? Got it. Want to branch out and try ethnic foods with your sweetheart? We have that, too. And, don’t worry, we didn’t forget dessert options, either.
1. Bistro 1245
Bistro 1245 has everything you need for a special dinner for two—convenient location (only steps away from campus), a cozy and cute atmosphere and delicious food, including some amazing butternut squash bisque.
For a romantic dinner, try either the popular three-herbed pesto or pasta roma.
Address: 1245 W. University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
Hours: Daily 11am-10pm
2. Small House
Instead of Chinese takeout, take your date night to the next level with authentic Sichuan cuisine at Small House. Just eat with caution—Sichuan-style foods are known for being extra spicy. If the hot factor concerns you, Small House also offers mild options like their sweet and sour chicken.
We recommend getting a table in the outside covered patio area with hanging parasols for an added romantic touch.
Address: 1120 W. University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri & Sat 11am-10:30pm
Nothing says “classic coffee date” like a trip to Maude’s Classic Cafe downtown. While Maude’s has plenty of specialty caffeine-laden drinks, they also offer an assortment of sandwiches, wraps, salads and desserts.
Maude’s Sidecar, located right next door, features an intimate, late-night bar with craft beer and some hand-selected wine if you and your date want something other than coffee.
Address: 101 SE 2nd Pl. #101, Gainesville, FL 32601
Cafe Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-11pm
Sidecar Hours: Sun-Thurs 8pm-2am, Fri & Sat 6pm-2am
While its location isn’t as convenient to commute to from campus, it’s worth the 15-minute drive to dine out in a different environment than your routine places in midtown or downtown.
You can find a wide assortment of British and Mediterranean dishes, including fish and chips and shepherd’s pie. YUM.
Address: 5323 SW 91st Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32608
Breakfast Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-11am, Sat & Sun 7am-1pm
Lunch Hours: Daily 11am-5pm
Dinner Hours: Sun-Thurs 5pm-9:30pm, Fri & Sat 5pm-10:30pm
5. TiTi’s Cafe
TiTi’s Cafe is the only place in Gainesville where you can find pho, French breakfast, coffee and gelato under one roof. This is the perfect spot to dine if you and your date cannot decide on the type of food to eat.
Two of the most popular gelato flavors, strawberry cheesecake and brownie cheesecake, will surely end your date night on a sweet note.
Address: 1232 W. University Ave. Gainesville, FL 32601
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-12am, Fri & Sat 11am-1am
With over 3,000 wine selections and fancy cheese plates, The Wine and Cheese Gallery is the perfect blend of classiness and romance. (Sorry, only 21 and up.)
For something extra special, order a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. (They heat it up and drizzle hot fudge on top.)
Address: 113 N. Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601
Lunch Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-2:15pm, Sat 12pm-3pm
Dinner Hours: Thurs & Fri 6pm-10pm
Okay, we know this isn’t a typical dine-in location, but if you’re planning a date night in, you need Midnight Cookies. They have plenty of options to suit any sweet tooth, and you can get six cookies for around $8 (their delivery minimum).
Their signature cookies, including cookies ‘n’ cream and s’mores, will satisfy your inner Cookie Monster.
Address: 3345 SW 34th St. Suite 1, Gainesville, FL 32608
Hours: Mon-Thurs 6pm-2am, Fri 6pm-3am, Sat 3pm-3am, Sun 3pm-1:30am
More places to go on your next hot date: