First dates are exciting, nerve-wracking, and usually based around food. It's your best bet to check in with your lovely date beforehand on what foods they like, if they're vegan or gluten-free, or what they recommend to you in the Los Angeles area. I have gathered the top 5 best first date spots in Los Angeles, and you can make sure your first date goes smoothly, stress-free, and of course, with some bomb, delicious food. 

Let's Start with Brunch/Lunch

If you have a date in LA planned for brunch or lunch, a great option is Le Pain Quotidien. This super cute, cozy bakery-restaurant has locations everywhere, so it'll be easy to choose one close to either of you, or right in the middle! Known for their communal tables and bakery section, Le Pain is the perfect first date spot for breakfast/brunch/lunch. Order a fresh coffee and a gorgeous flaky croissant if you're grabbin' breakfast. Or, choose from one of their many tartines for a lunch date. In case you didn't know, a tartine is a slice of bread with a sweet or savory topping, like an open-face sandwich. Le Pain has a large variety of tartines, from avocado toast topped with chia seeds to a prosciutto, ricotta, and fig tartine. The atmosphere is chill, so you can have a conversation in a relaxed, comfortable environment in a casual, Paris café.

Another fab brunch/lunch first date spot in Los Angeles is Bottega Louie. Located in downtown, it is on the corner of 7th and Grand in a historic, beautiful white building. Take the metro to meet your date here and as soon as you step inside, you are in a French patisserie. There are endless rows of fresh macarons and art museum-worthy desserts (makes for great first date convo if you have a sweet tooth). The restaurant itself serves Italian food and high end, artisanal breakfast. The portions are perfect for sharing. Split an Eggs Benedict and the Burrata pizza, and maybe throw in some portobello fries or beignets. Make sure you save room for dessert, because that is what makes Bottega truly special. With the floor-to-ceiling windows, the Los Angeles sunshine pours in making the white interior of the restaurant seem like heaven on Earth. 

Another lunch spot I suggest that is definitely casual and first date friendly is Bay Cities Italian Deli and Bakery. Located on Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica, it is a busy deli packed with regulars. They are known for their famous Godmother sandwich, with prosciutto, ham, capicola, mortadella, genoa salami, and provolone cheese (best with the works, either mild or hot peppers). This quirky deli can custom-make sandwiches for you, or choose from their menu. I highly suggest ordering a Burrata caprese sandwich if you are a cheese lover like me. Maybe split half a Godmother and half a Burrata so you can get the best of both worlds. Ugh, the bread is to die for! Best bread in Los Angeles. Get to Bay Cities before noon, and you are guaranteed a spot on one of the benches outside. Or, take your first date to the beach, since you are in Santa Monica after all. Roam the tiny aisles and find classic Italian cookies, sweets, drinks, and more, and have a cute picnic beach date. 

Dinner on the First Date

First dates often occur over some dinner. Since dinner is typically more formal, I have chosen 2 of my fav dinner places in Los Angeles that are upscale yet first date friendly. The first is Forma, on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Forma is an Italian restaurant and cheese bar. Dimly lit and romantic, Forma will def set the mood. This cheese restaurant is not for the faint of heart. They have a whole menu dedicated to their many, many cheeses which is served with crostinis, nuts, dried fruit, marmalade, and honey. Strike up a convo about the fancy cheese names, such as the Ewephoria Gouda or the Cremeux Des Citeaux Aux Truffle (yes, you can pronounce it, I believe in you!). Plus, they toss their pastas in a giant cheese wheel, to ensure your experience at Forma is as cheesy as could be. 

Another dinner date spot in LA is Osteria La Buca on Melrose Avenue. This Italian restaurant has a cute, rustic vibe and fresh pasta made in-house by hand everyday. Start with some crispy brussels sprouts, and share a pasta and a pizza. The short rib ravioli and the bucatini carbonara are insanely good. Get to know each other over some wine and amazing Italian food in the trendy Melrose area, and save room for a budino at the end. 

First Dates Are Easy

I know first dates could start off stressful, awkward, and difficult, but going to these restaurants will make for smooth sailing. Your date will be impressed when you choose any of these amazing food spots, from the ambience to the food itself. I wanted to give a list of restaurants that could suit anyone's palate, even the pickiest of eaters. Italian/French based food generally falls into anyone's food preferences, so you won't end up with an unfortunate first date, at least in the food department. Luckily in Los Angeles, we have the best food on the West coast, so it is easy to choose from all of the amazing restaurants. Give these food spots a try on your first date, and hopefully you get a second one!