Sweet spots for budding romance are nestled all over the city, and there are options to suit everyone’s style. Whether you prefer an active date, a classic dinner-and-wine combination, or a simple meeting of the minds over drinks, you’ll find the perfect option here.
Aya Sofia
6671 Chippewa
St. Louis, MO 63109
(314) 645-9919

Aya Sofia has won a whopping 16 awards in categories like “Most Romantic Restaurant” or “Best Place for a Date” from local media. What makes this South City Mediterranean restaurant so special? The space (curtained booths, glowing patio), the service (old-school, but friendly and warm), the wine selections, and above all the food. How can your date feel anything but perfect peace when you’ve filled their tummy with mouthwatering lamb, succulent swordfish, or a savory eggplant-based vegetarian entree? Pro tip: Let your waiter guide your wine selection, or visit on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening for one of the weekly sommelier-guided wine events.

The Boathouse
Forest Park
6101 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 367-2224

This restaurant and boat dock in the middle of Forest Park offers casual romance all day long. Nosh on Sunday brunch and then take a paddle boat for a spin on the lake, or come for dinner on a Friday night and stay for live music on the patio overlooking the water. On Thursday nights through the end of September, you can book a Moonlight Paddleboat Picnic, which includes a basket of food packed by the restaurant. Reserve those in advance, as they sell out quickly.

City Museum
750 N. 16th St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 231-2489

The STLs favorite playspace is the perfect spot to get to know someone. Start on the roof, in the climbing tunnels, and learn how adventurous they are. Visit the circus and share a cotton candy. See how your date responds to all the weirdness and wonder City Museum has to offer, then share a cocktail in the Cabin Inn or a sandwich at Sammwiches In The City. Save the underground caves for the end of your date; if things are going well, it’s the perfect spot to steal a kiss.

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St. Louis Zoo
1 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 781-0900

If you want to get to know each other without spending a lot of money, consider a date at the St. Louis Zoo. The gardens are spectacular, and you won’t run out of things to talk about when you’re surrounded by lions and tigers and bears. Keep your eyes on the Zoo’s special events page for some date-worthy options like the Jungle Boogie Friday Night Concert Series or  Jammin’ at the Zoo, an evening fundraiser with wine, food and music.

The Royale
3132 S Kingshighway Blvd
St Louis, MO 63118
(314) 772-3600

If you’re looking for a casual  place to meet up for a drink, you can’t go wrong with The Royale. It’s relaxed without being a dive, just classy enough not to be stuffy. Quiet enough for conversation, but with ample foot traffic to make you feel like part of the “in crowd,” the Royale doesn’t disappoint as a venue for drinks, snacks, and conversation. If the weather is nice, grab your cocktails and appetizers and head ou to the courtyard.

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Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer who travels the world, using St. Louis as her base. Visit her blog at http://www.thesoulofajourney.com.