8 Romantic (and Unusual) Places in Detroit for a Date Night
Story by Sarah Bence | Photos by Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory by Bill Bowen; Candy Bar by Christian Harder; Baker's Keyboard Lounge by Marvin Shaouni
With its art deco architecture and beautiful view of Canada, it’s hard to argue that Detroit isn’t a romantic city. But what if you want your dates to go beyond the classic candlelit dinners or riverside strolls?
There are plenty of more unusual spots in Detroit for a date night, too, that a non-Detroiter might not even be aware of.
Romance can take many forms – cozy coffee mornings, incredible views, playfulness, and more. If you want to diversify your date nights to reflect this, here are nine spots in metro Detroit that can help with that.
Romantic Date Night Spots in Detroit
1. Cairo Coffee
Cairo Coffee is the place to come for a cozy and casual date. Make your way through Eastern Market, and settle in at this tiny café tucked away in the back of Savvy Chic boutique. Choose from a variety of specialty coffees (including traditional Arabic Qahwah), and maybe share a sweet and flaky baklava. Cairo Coffee also has its own lending library, so bring along a book to exchange. This is the perfect low-key date spot for two literature lovers or the coffee-obsessed.
2. Z Lot
The average first date doesn’t happen in a parking garage but… the Z Lot isn’t your average parking garage! Z lot, located on Library street, is one of Detroit’s largest parking garages, with over a thousand spaces. Take your date to the top floor and you’ll be treated to one of the best (and free!) views in Detroit. Time it right, and you’ll catch a sunset over the city’s skyline. Be sure to also spend some time admiring the parking garage itself – it’s covered in over 100 murals, which were commissioned by an array of international street artists. And if you want to keep the night rolling, just head out the parking garage doors - you’ll find yourself directly downtown for easy access to other fantastic (and more traditional) date spots.
A trip to Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory makes for a romantic and whimsical date in Detroit. The conservatory is located on Belle Isle, and has free entry. The exterior of the conservatory – with its glass dome – is stunning, but it’s inside the conservatory where things get really special. Spend an afternoon wandering through rare flora and fauna, including one of the country’s most extensive orchid collections. Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is actually the oldest continually running conservatory in the whole country, and with its five separate biodomes it will keep you and your date happily occupied.
4. The Siren Hotel’s Candy Bar
The Siren Hotel is one of Detroit’s swankiest new hotels. Even if you’re not staying the night, you can still experience the hotel’s plush atmosphere at The Candy Bar. Take your date for a night cap to remember. With soft pink lighting and opulent chandeliers, The Candy Bar looks exactly like an adults-only candy bar should. Instead of candy, though, treat yourself to creative and decadent cocktails.
5. Ford Drive In
Head out of downtown Detroit and into Dearborn for a truly old-fashioned date experience. At Ford Drive In, you can take in a full-length movie from the comfort (and privacy) of your own vehicle. With five different mega screens, and movie times running as late as 2am, there are plenty of options. The theater has a fully operational schedule in the winter, so bring a blanket, keep the car heat on, or just cuddle up with your love for a vintage-style date night in metro Detroit.
There’s just something romantic about book shops. And if the number of books correlate to the level of romance, then you need to take your date to John K. King Used and Rare Books, ASAP. With over one million books on site, this bookshop is the fourth largest in the entire country. It’s also a Detroit icon and the perfect place to get lost with your love. Upon entering the bookshop, you’ll be given a map to all the various sections. You can either navigate, or put the map away and choose-your-own-adventure. Either way, this is surely to be a special date spot.
Baker’s Keyboard Lounge is a Detroit institution and the ideal spot for a nostalgic and classy date night in Detroit. Here, you can take in a night of jazz, booze, and food in the world’s oldest jazz club. Soak up the club’s one-of-a-kind atmosphere, where jazz greats including Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Miles Davis once performed.
Bakers Keyboard Lounge by Marvin Shaouni
8. Valentine Distilling Cocktail Lounge and Tasting Room
Valentine Distilling, located in Ferndale, has a fitting name for a romantic experience in metro Detroit! This distillery is one of the country’s first craft distilleries and has won many awards for its bourbons, vodka, and gin. Head to the Valentine Distilling Cocktail Lounge and Tasting Room for a unique date night. You won’t just sip cocktails and make conversation with your partner, but you’ll actually experience mixology and learn about tasting notes. Enjoy the speakeasy setting, and be sure to order some tapas to help soak up those craft cocktails.
For your next date night in Detroit, get a little creative – whether that’s playing arcade games, wandering a million-book bookshop, or just enjoying a really good view from a parking garage. No matter what you’re into, there’s a spot in Detroit for your next date night.