Fortunately for Columbia SC, there are unlimited options to choose from when crafting the perfect night out. And fortunately for you, we’ve done most of the work in advance + crafted a date night itinerary for a few of our downtown entertainment districts. Pick your favorite, make a reservation, and win over that special someone. You really have no excuse now.

1. Date Night: North Main

North Main is one of Columbia’s up-and-coming entertainment districts. Start your evening at the laidback Indah Coffee Co. where you can try a brew from the new CottonTown Brew Lab, or mingle over an artisan latte (we heart the Thai Coffee!).

Snap an Insta-worthy photo at the the NOMA Robots public art installation. Inside scoop - these robots serve another purpose. They hold a time capsule to track North Main's development and are a part of a historical tour.  

For the final stop, zip around the corner to indulge in dinner at The War Mouth. First things first—order up a few of what are sure to be the best deviled eggs you’ve ever had. Share a rack of ribs (or keep them all for yourself) or some vegetable purloo as you sit on the patio under those dreamy café lights. Specialty cocktails and homegrown sweet tea abound on this menu.

If pizza and wine are more your style, cozy up to the bar at Il Focolare. The intimate setting gives you a front row seat to the open kitchen while you peruse their perfectly curated wine menu.

2. Date Night: Main Street

On any given night, Main Street’s list of things to do for your date night continues to grow. Find a kinship between a Cajun-Creole dinner menu + one of the largest whiskey lists in the South at Bourbon. Add some drama and impress your date by ordering up the, “Frankly, My Dear.” Just trust us on this one. Plan ahead and cozy up to an indie film at Nickelodeon Theatre for your next stop. Bonus—you can drink wine & beer while you watch. Cheers!

If you’re “not a movie person,” take your date to Columbia’s boutique bowling alley, The Grand, for some playful fun. This is a one stop shop for mouthwatering food, drinks, and good old-fashioned fun. Pro tip: check out the taproom downstairs where you can pour your own beer and wine + play a few arcade games for some friendly competition.

Wrap it all up at Lula Drake Wine Parlour with a night cap and Nutella-Espresso Crepe to share (or not share).

3. Date Night: Rosewood

Look no further than Rosewood for a night with a laid-back attitude. Show off your local knowledge at Rockaway Athletic Club. With no signage to show its character, this hidden gem is not to be missed on a trip to Columbia. What better way to impress someone than with the infamous pimento cheeseburger? A bar full of friendly locals (and their stories) will take the pressure off this date in no time.

After a bite, there’s still room for the dessert, or a local craft beer. Stop by Rosewood Dairy Bar for an old-school ice cream cone, or head to Hunter-Gatherer Brewery at Owens Field where suds and history abound. 

4. Date Night: Cayce

Take the unexpected route and head to Cayce, one of Columbia's up-and-coming districts right on the edge of the river. Start with a craft beer and a fire pit at Steel Hands Brewery, where you'll likely find a furry friend to join your date. Next up head to State St. for some good old-fashioned American cuisine at Henry's. This is the second location for this Columbia mainstay and every bit as good as the first. If you're looking for something more international, Duke's Pad Thai has a strong local following and for good reason. 

5. Date Night: The Vista

With a healthy dose of diverse restaurants, The Vista was made special for a date night. Start by cozying up to the bar to share a flight at Columbia Craft. Or, start with something stronger at Coa Agaveria y Cocina. Their margaritas are made with hand-squeezed fruit juices and fresh garnishes that will make it hard not to snap a photo. Add in food like crab empanadas, ahi tuna and a vegan menu, and you've arrived at one of the hippest spots in the capital city.

Add some edge to your night. Craft Axe Throwing mixes beer, axe throwing and a chance to show off a bit. If you're looking for something a little less aggressive, stop into one of the many art galleries that call The Vista home, or opaint your own masterpiece at Studio Cellar. Pro tip - freestyle painting is available without reservations, or you can sign up for a class.  

6. Date Night: Five Points

Five Points has become nothing short of a foodie hot spot. Head to Publico Kitchen & Tap to sip on a flight of margaritas (or sangria). If the weather calls for it, take it to the patio and break the ice over a game of corn hole or Jenga. When your appetite says it’s time for dinner, walk across this village neighborhood to Goat’s for an eclectic atmosphere, some fried oysters and a juicy half-pound burger. Bonus: to help you remember this fun night, snap a quick selfie in front of the Five Points mural as you stroll to dinner.

After you've fueled up, head to The White Mule where you and your someone special can listen to live music. Round out the perfect night with a scoop (or two) from Scoopy Doo Gelato Shop, and then pat yourself on the back for a night well done.

7. Date Night: Devine Street

Pizza lovers unite for a date at Za’s Brick Oven Pizza on charming Devine Street. While this local favorite has some seriously good ‘za, its menu offers everything from zucchini noodles and wood-fired wings, to Italian classics like lasagna. Before you dig in at Za's, follow the locals to Craft & Draft, just down the street. Part beer store, part bar, this hangout offers the chance to try unique beers from the draft board, a can from the cooler or a glass of wine. The friendly pups and large window seats, equipped with pillows, make for an easy, relaxed start to the night.

8. Date Night: West Columbia

A short drive over the Gervais Street Bridge will take you to West Columbia. Nestled just up from the river, you’ll find the interactive art park with more than enough photo-worthy moments. For a must-try, fine-dining experience head to Terra. A taste of the legendary Lamb Mac works magic with a glass of vino from their robust wine list. This spot is pretty packed on a normal day, so go ahead and make a reservation now.

End the date on a high note with a night cap at Black Rooster's rooftop bar. This self-proclaimed "french-ish" bar and restaurant boasts tempting cocktails and one of the best views of downtown Columbia.

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