Let’s be honest, life has been pretty hectic lately for most of us adults. After over a year of way too much time at home, where the phrase “going out” translated into a scavenger hunt for toilet paper or meeting the Uber Eats driver in the driveway, it’s finally time to get back to planning those much-needed nights out with that special someone. Whether you’re meeting up for your first date, looking for an impromptu getaway, or finally shipping those kids off to your parents for the weekend, Downtown Fayetteville awaits! With so much to do in less than a one-mile radius, it is the perfect place to make up for lost time by checking off a few date spots, all in one evening. Check out these 7 great places to wine, dine, and (re)kindle the romance in Downtown Fay!
Fayetteville waited patiently for their first self-pour taproom, and oh boy did this place deliver! Opening just over a year ago, “Taps” has already won the hearts of locals by oﬀering a unique atmosphere to enjoy 40 beers they can pour themselves. Located in what once was the Hilltop House in Historic Haymount District, the modernized space oﬀers multiple seating options for larger parties, double dates, or that intimate table for two. If both you and your partner are avid fans of tasting the best local beer selection around, you’re going to want to start here…and maybe even finish here too.
For both the history buffs and people watchers out there, this 115-year-old building containing Fayetteville’s oldest brewery should check all boxes for you. However, if you ask locals, this place never gets old. Once, in fact, a hardware store, the space is quite accommodating to events and large crowds without the drawback of long waits for a table. As far as food goes, if your worried this is just your run- of-the-mill brewery food, think again. Their menu has some incredible selections for just about every mood. Shepherds pie? Check. Poutine? Check. Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon? Check! Huske has just about everything you’re in the mood for. Plus, who could say, "No" to a date at a place with such a food & drink selection and one that is part of the National Register of Historic Places?
Sure, you could stay in another night and watch Fever Pitch on Netflix again. Or, you can go to an actual baseball game to live out that rom-com date night yourselves! Even for non-sports fans, watching the Fayetteville Woodpeckers play at Segra Stadium (aka the “The Ball Park of the Decade” according to Baseball Digest) is an experience in itself. Located just a block or two from each place on this list, it’s easy to grab drinks or dinner before and after the game. Although, with some of the best ballpark food and beverage options available in the state, you may not want to. If you’re looking to plan a date during the week, you should check out “Thirsty Thursdays.” Just saying.
Again Netflix, we love you, but it’s time we see other movies. Plus, we’ve all missed the movie theatre experience, so why not support an independent movie theatre that missed you back? If you’re a fan of the arts, indy flicks, and eclectic atmospheres, then this is your ideal spot. If the multiple local media accolades such as “Best Movie Theatre in Fayetteville” and “Best Place to Take a Date” aren’t convincing enough, you can best believe that one whiff of their fresh popcorn will do the trick. They even offer theatre rental and private screenings if you’re looking for a more intimate night out - especially if this happens to be the night you plan to ask your date any sort of...important questions. Wink, wink.
Now, let’s talk about the eats! This is a staple for #foodies. Just ask the locals when they voted the “Fayetteville Fan-Favorite: Best Food Spot” earlier this year. Specializing in modern Southern cuisine, you will find that their locally sourced ingredients add an additional element of authenticity to their hearty, soulful selection. Every plate that comes out of the looks straight out of a magazine. If you’re here for dinner, you’ll notice a lot of those picturesque plates contain the Circa Chicken Piccata - it’s kind of famous around here. Of course, their brunch is pretty famous as well. So, whatever time of day you end up going, definitely save room for dessert. Their signature Bananas Foster is the perfect dish to sharing (or “split” rather) with your date.
Spoiler alert: Yes, these last two spots are both Italian. However, leaving off either one would be quite tragic considering both offer their own unique food options and dining experience. You want the best recommendations, right? Fantástico!
“Bistro” by definition is a smaller place to get quality food that’s friendly on the wallet. That’s exactly what you can expect here. This is one of those places where people come for appetizers, but most develop a dinner craving almost immediately. If that craving happens to be pizza for dinner? Well then, you hit the jackpot! Very few would argue that this is the best pizza downtown. If you or your date aren’t in the pizza mood though, don’t be deterred, the options extend far beyond the tomato sauce and dough. Many will tell you that their Tuscan steak or Caprese salad is the best they’ve ever had too.
Not to say the best was saved for last necessarily, but locals did just recently name it as “Fayetteville Fan-Favorite: Best Date Spot” - which is hard to argue. The owner, Antonella Scibilia, learned the art of Southern Italian cuisine by working in her father’s restaurant as a child. If you’ve never experienced authentic Italian food, just try any of the pasta here. Upon the first bite, you will never be swayed by those unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks places ever again. Not only will you get a genuine Italian food experience, but the elegant decor and Sicilian vibes will have you feeling you’re in Fayetteville’s little slice of Italy. Whether you sit indoors or out, you can guarantee a scrumptious meal and a divine wine selection - all in a truly romantic setting. So, don’t be surprised if you get the urge to tell that special someone those 3 little words they’ve been dying for you to say: “More Lasagna Dip?"