It’s Valentine’s Day and if you’re a guy, you’re probably under a lot of pressure to create the most romantic date ever – roses, chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, and soft candlelit table settings to play footsie under.
If this is your chance to make it or break it in the romance department on Valentine’s Day, you’re doing it wrong.
Listen, Bill and I have been married for nearly 15 years so we know a thing or two about romance, Valentine’s Day, and what will truly make a fun date night. It has nothing to do with the clichés on this Hallmark holiday. Honestly, the hottest date nights are all about fun. Maybe it’s just me, but I think laughing together is a better aphrodisiac than sitting in a packed restaurant with couples who are trying too hard.
So, I’m betting you already have your dinner plans for tonight at Jay’s Bistro, or you’ve picked up a box of chocolates from Kilwin’s. And if you’re scrambling at the last minute – don’t you dare pick up anything from CVS. The good thing is that there are plenty of other days during the year for dates that leave a lasting impression and get you set for a romp between the sheets. Let’s be real, that’s what it’s all about (and that’s not a bad thing).
So, leave it to me, your trusty Fort Collins restaurant critic to lead you in the right direction for delicious fun love. Here are my suggestions for the Best Restaurants For Fun Dates.
Avo’s is packed full of fun entertainment. If live music is your thing, they have a steady lineup of bands playing some solid Colorado music for you to have a night of dancing and good old fashioned fun. But maybe you want something a little…spicier? Then go out and see the Cupcake Cabaret Burlesque show. Watching their sexy striptease with sparkly tassels and heels will surely get you in the mood (it’s classy). Check out Entertaining Fort Collins for the scoop on what kind of events are going on.
While you’re there, dine on their classic tempeh burger or share a handcrafted milkshake. They also have a full bar and frothy beer.
Backcountry Provisions, Choice City Butcher & Deli and The Mish
Backcountry Provisions is my go-to restaurant for a picnic. Each time I’m going up in to the mountains for a hike, I’m headed here first to grab a lunch to go with the beer that I’m packing in with me. Outdoor dates are a lot of fun because you can escape the city for a little peace and privacy (don’t get busted for happy trail PDA).
We’ve had some really romantic riverside dates and it’s one of our favorite things to do. We even celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary with a Poudre River picnic with sandwiches from Choice City.
You can also visit The Mish if you’re not down with packing it in. With a steady supply of beer on draft and some beautiful patio seating next to the river, this place makes for some perfect post-hike relaxing. Get the hot wings for something succulent, tongue tingling and lip smacking messy.
If you need some suggestions on where to go in the plethora of outdoor opportunities, make sure to hit up Fresh Air Fort Collins for some great hikes that will get you all hot and sweaty.
Blind Pig Pub
There is nothing more hilarious than watching gong karaoke, and Blind Pig is the place to do it. They also host a “Mutha Effen Bingo” night, which is equally as hysterical. Make fun of each other for your crappy rendition of Blurred Lines and go home as your own groupies at the end of the night.
Get there earlier for dinner (the kitchen closes at 10pm), and try their grilled fish tacos or their 1/2 pound burger. They also have a great selection of fun fruity mixed drinks and beer specials. You can stay in the loop on their Happy Hours and events from Late Night Fort Collins, too.
Uncle’s Pizzeria and Sally’s Kitchen
Sometimes the best dates are at home. Bill and I have our Friday Night Date Night every week in the comfort of our living room. After the kids go to bed, he fires up the grill and we have the best steak you can find in Fort Collins. It’s the highlight of our week. But, let’s say that you’d rather not impress your lover with your lack of kitchen skills (Serving Up Fort Collins can help with that, by the way), then how about delivery? Go with a gourmet pizza from Uncle’s, who now has delivery through OrderUp, or some incredible Chinese delivery from Sally’s.
Just make sure you start your inappropriate game of Cards Against Humanity or strip poker after the delivery guy arrives with dinner.
Coopersmith’s and Pateros Creek Brewery
I’m a pretty competitive person, so I find games a great way to gamble for some extra exciting winnings (if you know what I mean – wink, wink). If you’re looking to up the ante on some flirty fun, try a night of pool at Coopersmith’s. You can practice your Ask Us Fort Collins Sexcapade pickup lines on each other while snacking on hot soft pretzels or some fish and chips.
If pool isn’t your thing, you can always head on over to Pateros Creek for a rousing game of ping pong, darts, bull ring, or even better – some irreverently brainy Geeks Who Drink. Cheers Fort Collins will be able to help you drop some beer knowledge if you need it. While you’re there getting your game on, you can eat at some of the food trucks that park out front. Curry Favor has been there often, and the Waffle Lab is usually parked right on the corner. And, oh yeah – Dr. John’s is right across the street for some more “after hours” game supplies, if that’s your thing.