Charlotte for Couples
Whether you’re planning a date night or a longer city escape, Charlotte has plenty to do for two.
by Kristen Moore
From first dates to anniversaries and everything in between, no matter what occasion you’re celebrating or the type of couple you are, Charlotte has the makings for the perfect date night.
Culinary & Nightlife
One of the most difficult things about date night in Charlotte is choosing which restaurant to try. For fine dining, it’s tough to top the royal treatment you’ll receive at McNinch House Restaurant. Located in a charming turn-of-the-century home, McNinch House is regularly voted as Charlotte’s most romantic restaurant. If you’re the type of couple who likes to share everything, head over to Soul Gastrolounge, The Artisan's Palate or Poplar to try out the mouthwatering tapas. Or make reservations at Counter- for a fully immersive and sensory experience while enjoying a 10-course tasting menu by chef Sam Hart.
For global flavors in an intimate setting, try Copper for Indian cuisine, BAKU for Japanese fare or Deejai Thai for authentic Thai dishes. Deluxe The Fun Art of Dining brings American and international flavors to the table presented to you like art on a plate. Or if you’re keen on Southern food, the modern approach at Leah & Louise, led by James Beard-nominated chef Greg Collier, will leave both your partner and your taste buds thanking you. And if your passion for each other is only matched by your zeal for farm-to-fork fares, look no further than 300 East, Kindred Restaurant, The Stanley, The Asbury and Haymaker.
Cooking For Two
For more hands-on couples, take a night to learn a new favorite dish at a cooking class with Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen, Cooking with Joya (a Cooking for Love couples class is available), The Foodie School or Santhoshi’s Kitchen (specializing in Indian cuisine). Those who prefer to try their hand at something sweeter should look no further than Sweet Spot Studio.
There’s no better aphrodisiac than a sweet treat from Charlotte’s local dessert shops. Pop in for the main event on your date night or make it an after-dinner treat. A local favorite, The Batchmaker Bake House serves up a diverse range of sweets from cookies and brownies to pies, cakes and more. BW Sweets Bakery features a daily dessert bar for perusing and custom cake creations. Wentworth & Fenn at Camp North End celebrates the art of baking with its custom cakes and pastries. Amélie’s French Bakery is a popular French-inspired café with multiple locations, including the NoDa location, which is open 24 hours a day. Or for a twist on the conventional desserts, you and your sweetie will enjoy the creative drink and dessert menu at Crave Dessert Bar.
Slip into the intimate spaces of Idlewild, Tattoo liquor lounge at Sister or Dot Dot Dot for an out-of-world cocktail experience. All of these spots offer an atmosphere of exclusivity with an expertly crafted food and drink menu. Idlewild has no menu; instead, the expert cocktail craftsmen will create a unique drink for you based on your personal preferences and flavor profile, guaranteeing a different experience each time you visit. QC Social Lounge offers a trendy and elevated after-dinner cocktail spot with live entertainment. Add some glamor and scenery to your evening as you sip unique cocktails perched on one of Uptown's most beloved rooftops like Merchant & Trade, Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo or Fahrenheit.
Music & Art
Intimate Music Venues
Although Charlotte has no shortage of arenas that host the hottest national acts, couples shouldn’t miss the smaller, more intimate settings. The Evening Muse, Visulite Theatre and Neighborhood Theatre are just a few of the many venues that offer a more personal experience for music lovers. For the jazz aficionados, enjoy small plates, cocktails and live performances at Middle C Jazz in Uptown. Interested in an outdoor concert but on a smaller scale? Try The Music Yard at SouthBound in South End and the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre at AvidXchange Music Factory.
Art Crawls & Museums
Stimulate the senses with a stroll through some of Charlotte’s most artsy, eclectic neighborhoods. Explore galleries andstreet art, enjoy live music and soak in the atmosphere of NoDa (download a street art map for a self-guided crawl) and South End (on the first Friday of the month). Or pick your path with ArtWalksCLT, which are free, self-guided tours through the city that connect you with public artworks, murals and artists. If strolling through museums is more your speed, head to the Levine Center for the Arts campus and explore the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the Mint Museum and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. The Art Gallery at Brooklyn Collective and Studio 229 on Brevard also offer rotating exhibits and special events.
DIY Art Classes
For art lovers who are looking to unleash their own creativity, try one of Charlotte’s social painting classes such as Wine & Design, City Art Room or Painting with a Twist. If painting isn't your thing, fire up your creativity at Paddywax Candle Bar or AR Workshop. Or check out an expert-led online class or workshop for you and your partner through SkillPop. You’ll find everything from interior design and floral arrangements to cooking and calligraphy.
Theater & Comedy
Step out on the town together (or enjoy a virtual performance from the comfort of your couch) and see exciting performances by Opera Carolina and the Charlotte Symphony. Several theaters, including Booth Playhouse, Belk Theater and Knight Theater, are part of Blumenthal Performing Arts, providing just the right setting for any production. And small theater companies like Theatre Charlotte, NarroWay Productions and Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte stage bold, innovative shows. Or, have some laughs and unwind together at a Queen City Comedy performance or at The Comedy Zone Charlotte at AvidXchange Music Factory.
Thrilling Escapes & Experiences
Put your skills of cooperation and collaboration to the test at one of Charlotte’s escape experiences, which combine the art of puzzle and problem-solving with the thrill of working together to complete your mission before time runs out. Repair your spaceship during the Lost in Space challenge at Exit Strategy, break an Egyptian god’s spell in King Tut’s Curse at Escape Tactic or free the passengers in Runaway Train at Breakout Games. Head to District 57 entertainment complex for an immersive post-apocalyptic-themed adventure. Set in 2085 after a global power outage, District 57 offers up activities to help its “citizens” refuel and test their survival skills. The Grid, its main attraction, has 30 rooms with various physical and mental challenges for teams of up to four to complete as fast as they can. Or for a night full of friendly competition, zoom around in go-karts at Frankie's Fun Park, tee off and grab a cocktail at Stroke, Puttery or Topgolf, or see if you can hit the target at Bad Axe Throwing.
Tours & Journeys
Get to know more about your significant other and the Queen City while cruising around Uptown with Charlotte NC Tours or Queen City Rides. Kick back and relax after you climb aboard a city-favorite, the Funny Bus Comedy City Tour, or learn more about Charlotte's spooky side during a Carolina History & Haunts walking tour. Or create your own self-guided journey at some of Charlotte’s food halls and adaptive reuse projects like Camp North End, Optimist Hall or The Market at 7th Street. With several culinary and retail options to experience, you can hop from place to place and see a whole other piece of Charlotte.
The Great Outdoors
On any given day, there’s plenty to do with your number one while appreciating Charlotte's more natural elements. Take a hike at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. In addition to the USNWC’s permanent offerings, like rock climbing, hiking, biking and rafting, it also boasts festivities to match the season. For a private-led outdoor adventure, book a hike or kayaking with Issa Vibe Adventures. Find more scenic and urban trails to explore by foot or bike using our interactive Charlotte Trail Guide and renting a Charlotte Joy Rides e-assist bicycle.
For more ideas of things to do with your partner in Charlotte, check out our event calendar.