What do a vintage arcade, bratwurst joint, and coffee shop have in common?
They are great for a first date!
Before and since launching LA LA LOCAL, I've had this question presented to me by multiple friends and followers-both male and female: "KJ, what's a good first date place?!"
Having blanked on first date spots myself, I get it! That said, we have no excuse for being short of ideas, certainly not in Los Angeles. Have we forgotten how BIG this city is? And, I know location and driving distances are totally a thing in LA, but here are at least three places to help get you started and vouched for by yours truly. First dates are nerve wrecking enough, so I wouldn't want to lead you astray.
So here ya go!
1. Wurtskuche [DTLA] - Basically, your local purveyor of exotic grilled sausages. They also have a strong list of beers for those looking for a little liquid courage accompanied by a live DJ rotating some tunes in the background (at least the one in Downtown) - good music too. I'd say this is a great spot for a low-key/easy-going casual first date. I mean, it's sausages and beer with a DJ. But don't worry, it's appropriately laid back without being 'too cool for school'. You can also hear each other speak, which can be tricky and awkward for a first date if you end up somewhere too loud. Even better? There are vegetarian options for those men and women you're swiping right on. And if for any reason conversation is going a little slow, you can always have a giggle over how the heck you pronounce the name of this place. Unless you're German or can speak German, I've heard every variation of the pronunciation of "Wurstkuche". There's even a Salt & Straw around the corner if the date is going well and you're looking to score some points via this delicious Portland ice cream shop. On that note, "Prost!"
2. EightyTwo [DTLA] - It's a BAR-cade. Think, vintage arcade meets the 80's and then throw in some DTLA Art District vibes and a cocktail bar, and that's EightyTwo. This place is for those looking to have a little fun on a first date and bypass the plethora of typical and predictable first date questions. I mean, if you want to really see who I am, give me some tokens and watch me dominate Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, or pinball over a cocktail (ok, honeslty, I am horrible at arcade games, but it does provide for good first date entertainment). Then, if you and your girl/guy want to take a break from the arcade and go somewhere to talk, there's an area for that too. You're sure to come out a "WINNER" for having suggested a fun first date spot.
Bonus: Situated in the heart of DTLA's Arts District, there's plenty walking distance from the arcade if you're looking to grab a bite to eat before or after.
3. Coffee Commissary [WEHO] - It's a sober first date. Let me explain. Although I don't mind a first date with some drinks involved, I do appreciate coffee on a first date. I feel it's more 'real life' and it keeps the pressure off because it gives both parties the freedom to gauge how long or short they want the date to run. Then, if you decide there's a connection, you can plan for something more in the future, or maybe order another coffee?!
I like the Commissary in WeHo/Fairfax because, well, the coffee is good, but they also have a little outdoor seating area and it's never super crowded that everyone at the shop can tell you are both on a first date (hate that feeling). Who knows, you might find a LATTE love over coffee! See what I did there? Tough crowd, jeez.
Go get 'em tiger! Have fun and just be yourself. Hope this helps!
P.S. These also make for great spots for a 2nd, 3rd, and all the other dates you're (er, not) counting.