Photo credit: @coasttwocoasteats


With the Valentine’s Day holiday coming up, the same thing is on everyone’s mind: how do I plan the best date night? There are plenty of options available - on both Valentine’s Day and the rest of the year. From cozy romantic evenings staying in to stepping out for something a bit more adventurous and unique, check out these date night ideas in Syracuse.


Romantic Date Night

If you’re looking for a traditional date night in Syracuse, dinner and a movie it is! Luckily, there are lots of great restaurants to choose from for a cozy dinner for you and your date and they’re all offering both dine-in or take-out options.


A Syracuse classic, Pastabilities is located in the heart of downtown, with homemade pasta of all kinds and featuring their Food Network famous hot tomato oil and stretch bread.



A hidden gem in North Syracuse, Grotto is a must-visit for any date night. From the incredible food to the friendly wait-staff who treat you like family, make yourself a reservation, or call for take-out at this quaint spot.

Eva’s European Sweets

Despite what the name might suggest, Eva’s European Sweets in Solvay, is more than just desserts. They serve a full menu of authentic Polish dishes - and they are amazing! Coming from someone with Polish grandparents, visiting Eva’s keeps their spirits alive and reminds me of family dinners as a child. Get yourself some pierogies and kielbasa - it’ll be like you’re having dinner in Poland.

Oh My Darling

Imagine if Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper designed a restaurant in an older downtown Syracuse building. That’s exactly what Oh My Darling feels like - it’s full of charm and character. Plus, the menu is incredible. The hot honey chicken has become a favorite for dinner.

The Brasserie Bar & Bistro

A popular spot in the Camillus area, just west of Syracuse, The Brasserie Bar & Bistro features shareable plates as well as a rotating specials menu.

Papa Gallo

Serving up traditional Tex/Mex cuisine to the Syracuse area from their location in Fayetteville, Papa Gallo is a great spot for a colorful date night. If going the take-out route, don’t forget you can get margarita’s to-go right now!


Movie Options

The Movie Tavern in Camillus shows all the hottest new movies and offers a food and drink menu available to order from their mobile app or website.  

For a more budget-friendly option, there’s the Hollywood Theatre in Mattydale. There you can still get tickets slightly cheaper, $9 for adults and $6 for seniors or children, or $6 for everyone before 6pm. Both Hollywood and Movie Tavern also offer the option to fully rent out a theater if you’re looking for a more private option.

You can also venture out east of the city to Manlius Art Cinema to see special releases and independent films.

If you’re looking to stay in for your dinner and a movie date, make sure you’re watching one of the films shot here locally in Syracuse! We’ve curated a list of films where you can find Syracuse scenes, a great dinner and a movie option for those staying at home!


Adventurous Date Night

Looking for something different to do for date night in Syracuse? Try axe throwing! It’s a lot of fun and the perfect interactive date night. The instructors teach you the proper techniques and answer any questions you have. At Far Shot you have the option of partaking in axe throwing, archery, and knife throwing. They also offer a Friday date night package including axe and knife throwing for two people for one hour. You can even bring in your own food and drink.

Bad Axe Throwing takes a different spin on things. While they only offer axe throwing at their location, they do serve beer and wine! Please drink responsibly if you plan on throwing axes. Dateless? No worries! Axe throwing is the perfect activity to do with your friends as well.

Ready for a drink after throwing some axes? Check out any of the breweries in town. Share a flight with your date and have a conversation about your favorite styles of beer. Have some fun with it - if you each order a flight with different beers, just take a sip from each to start. Then once you’ve tried them all, select a beer draft. Take turns choosing which sampler you want to finish off, starting with your favorites.



Outdoor Date Night

Spend some time outside on your date night this year. Explore the winter wonderland with a walk around the lakes at Green Lakes State Park or reserve a horse-drawn sleigh ride or wagon ride through the woods at Highland Forest.

Or head down to one of the most popular winter attractions in Syracuse, the Clinton Square Ice Rink. Grab a bit to eat at one of the downtown area restaurants then head over day or evening. Skate rentals are also available.

If you’re looking for a an active outdoor adventure head out to Song or Labrador Mountains for a ski/snowboarding date. Both are located just south of Syracuse. If tubing is a bit more your style check out Four Seasons Golf & Ski Center


Upscale Date Night

Sometimes you want date night to be extra special. Maybe it’s for a holiday or an anniversary or you're celebrating for a birthday or promotion at work. No matter the occasion, there are some fancier options for date night in Syracuse as well. Here are some ideas for an evening of theater and cocktails.

Landmark Theatre

It’s no secret that the Landmark Theatre is one of the shining gems of Syracuse. Nearing its 100th birthday, the Landmark is a beauty to behold. The majestic building is the perfect atmosphere for a classy date night, and there are several different events to see. The theater is host to Broadway musicals, concerts, comedians, Syracuse Fashion Week, and more. Find an event that interests you and plan your special night with your partner.

Syracuse Stage

The actors at Syracuse Stage are a mixture of professional and some of the most talented students in Syracuse University’s Drama Department. Every year they put on a schedule of amazing performances, from the famously known to the up-and-coming. A night at Syracuse Stage is sure to be entertaining.

More Theaters

The Landmark and Syracuse Stage are the two largest mainstays in Syracuse, but there are several other smaller theaters putting on their own performances as well as traveling shows. Be sure to check out Red House Arts CenterThe Oncenter Civic Center Theater, and Open Hand Theater. If you prefer a strictly musical event, then a performance by Symphoria, or a concert at the Westcott Theater or The Lost Horizon are the options for you.


After watching a performance at one of the local theaters, finish the night with a cocktail from a local establishment. Across the street from the Landmark is the brand new speakeasy The Fitz. The Fitz is located downstairs from Oh My Darling restaurant, and features a wide selection of cocktails and live music. Not far from there you can also find Al’s Wine & Whiskey Bar, an upscale choice for drinks with an impressive selection of liquor to choose from. If you need a late night snack to pair with your beverage, the charcuterie board is fantastic choice!


Game Night

Watch an exciting local hockey game as the Syracuse Crunch return to the ice at the Upstate Medical University Arena for the 2021-2022 season. Grab a bite to eat beforehand or share some nachos and beer at the game. 


Looking for a quiet night in while still showing your Syracuse love? Order take-out or curbside pick-up from your favorite local restaurant then gear up for a great date night without ever leaving your living room! Purchase your very own City of Syracuse Monopoly game for a local themed game night! Either order online or find it at various Wegmans locations, plus proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Central New York.



Whether you’re looking for a more traditional evening or something a little more unique, there are lots of date night ideas in Syracuse. Plus, most of them are perfect for a girls’ night or a night with the boys as well. Which will you choose?