If you're anything like me, most "first dates" in Ann Arbor usually end up in a visit to some restaurant and having a great time until we run into his friends or—worse—my friends. Once that happens, I mean, it's awkward right? How do I explain my relationship with the person I'm with? Do I call him a friend? Do I say we just met? The interaction is always weird for everyone and whatever you introduce this new boy/girl as can set the tone for the rest of the night...yikes. So, in order to avoid all of this in the first place, here are a few of the best first date spots in Ann Arbor that are totally guaranteed some privacy.


Mars Hovasse

If you're down for an interactive meal, the BBQ side of Tomukun is the best first date spot to hit. Avoid the noodle bar, because we all know that everyone goes there. Head to the building next door for a nicer ambiance and a delicious first date meal. Since it's a little bit more expensive than the noodle bar, you're safe from running into anyone you know, and you can focus on getting to know each other while enjoying some quality Korean BBQ. This place is also a solid go-to because of the great pricing for the set courses, and you and your date can have a great time cooking your own meat to your liking. 

The Blue Nile

Welcome to interactive dinner part two! The Blue Nile is an Ethiopian restaurant with unique and delicious foods that both you and your date are sure to love. For a low price, you can order the buffet, which comes out on a platter and you get to try everything. You and your date can explore the menu together while eating with your hands! It's also farther away from Central Campus, but still walking distance, so there are low chances of running into anyone you know. Getting down and dirty is the best way to enjoy dinner...right?

Lab Cafe

Mars Hovasse

Coffee date anyone? If you're looking for a quick little coffee date to feel out the vibes, then Lab is the way to go. The menu offers many unique drink flavors from bright yellow turmeric lattes to lavender coffee—it's the perfect place to order two of the most intriguing drinks and share!

Blank Slate

Mars Hovasse

It's post-dinner, and you're looking for the perfect dessert date spot. If Blank Slate isn't your go-to, then you're doing ice cream wrong. Far away from campus, students are probably less inclined to go, and if they are, then you know the group chat is blowing up about it. This ice cream parlor has the most insanely creative flavors and should be considered a national treasure. Especially since it's only open during certain times of the year, going to Blank Slate for your first date will definitely be remembered, whether it's only the delicious ice cream or the person you're with.

Pinball Pete's

The dinner date is over, but you want to keep hanging out. Release your inner child at Pinball Pete's! Just like an old arcade, this is the perfect place provoke some friendly competition. And if this is the first stop of your date, you're basically guaranteed no awkward moments. You'll always have something to talk about—whether it's arguing about who won the last game or what you want to play next.

The Arb

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Lann Nakamura

A little cliché, but it's popular for a reason! Talking a walk in Nichol's Arboretum is the perfect date if you already know you and your date will get along. Strolling along a secluded trail is the perfect way to get some alone time and learning more about your potential S/O.

Ann Arbor isn't a foodie town for nothing. Take advantage of its vast options for your next date night! For more date ideas, check out:

The Ultimate Ann Arbor Food Guide

The 10 Most Instagrammed Foods in Ann Arbor