It’s not often that my hubby and I get to enjoy a date night on the town. If I’m being honest, it’s probably been a few months. When we do have a date night, we always choose a location we haven’t been to before, and we always ensure that it’s local to Cedar Rapids (meaning that it’s not a chain). We love seeing the vast array of restaurants, clubs, atmospheres, and cuisines this vibrant city offers.
If you’re looking to take your honey on a Cedar Rapids date night, look no further. I’ve compiled a list of more than 40 different local bars, cafés, restaurants, and other non-food fun in the Cedar Rapids area to check out. From sports bars and fancy 5-course meals to arcades and comedy clubs, there is surely something on the list for every couple and every budget.
- Lion Bridge Brewery: A 10-barrel brewery that develops relationships with restaurants, caterers and other artisans in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor in order to help foster a community that is constantly striving to be new and innovative.
- Iowa Brewing Company: Growlers, crowlers, and tap beer – oh my! No food is served, but can be brought in from local vendors.
- Parlor City Pub: Bustling tavern with a menu of burgers & sandwiches, plus pizza, with a sizable selection of beer.
- Ramsey’s Wine Bar: Ramsey’s in Marion features a variety of wines, beers, and a whole lot more! Shop more than 140 great wines, 70 bottled beers, and 10 beers on tap. Try a flight of wine – creating your own private tasting of wines that are sold by the glass.
- Another Road Brewing: Another Road Brewing is a brewing oasis for beer lovers in the Cedar Rapids/Marion area. They make awesome beer for awesome people.
- UpTown Snug: Uptown Snug is a classy casual pub located in the heart of Uptown Marion. Cozy up to the Snug’s fireplace, tucked in the back of a restored historic civil war building.
- The Pig n’ Porter: Their goal is to provide Cedar Rapids with local quality food options that are served in an unexpected and interesting way. They strongly believe in quality over quantity and everything they serve will be prepared in house, from local ingredients.
- Popoli Ristorante: Set in a historic bank building, this stylish fixture serves upscale Italian fare & craft cocktails.
- Cobble Hill: Their vision for what a fine dining restaurant should be: valuing local products, a deep dedication to craft and technique in the kitchen, food with a story, and the purest form of hospitality.
- Class Act: The Class Act Restaurant, located within The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, is eastern Iowa’s newest and tastiest gourmet restaurant. The Class Act Restaurant provides great food and outstanding service in a hip, yet friendly and comfortable environment unlike any other in Cedar Rapids.
- Black Sheep Social Club: Uses real ingredients from local and responsible growers to create old Midwest favorites with inspired new twists and international influence. Bar has 24 taps of craft beers with a focus on regional breweries, an eclectic wine list, and a cocktail menu inspired by the garden with nods to the classics.
- White Star Alehouse: A buzzy modern bar & grill with approximately 100 beers at the full bar & creative American grub.
- Emil’s Hideaway: Dark, intimate haunt offering comfort grub such as burgers, meatloaf & pizza, plus a bar with TVs.
- Sushi House: Family-run Asian eatery plating Chinese fare as well as sashimi & rolls from an open sushi bar.
- Bata’s: Relaxed pick serving creative American dishes such as feta chips, unique flatbread pizzas & blueberry burgers. Serves up artesian cocktails and good wine.
- Lost Cuban: Cuban fare & cocktails offered in low-key, compact quarters with an open kitchen & modern accents.
- Zeppelins: Contemporary grill providing New American fare, draft brews & cocktails in a low-lit brick interior.
- Need Pizzeria: The space offers ample accommodations for dine in guests, large party reservations, bar seating, private conference room, and an entertainment area. The atmosphere will be easy going and approachable for anyone that enjoys unique pizza and cocktails!
- Field House: A Hawkeye-themed sports bar with an impressive selection of draft beers as well as appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, and broasted chicken.
- Bushwood Sports Bar: Pizza, burgers, salads & beer are served in a basic pub with many TVs and an outdoor patio.
- Irish Democrat Pub: Classic Irish tavern featuring beer, billiards & gourmet pub grub in vintage setting.
- Louie’s Scoreboard: A casual sports bar with a large wrap around bar area that serves pizza, sandwiches, appetizers and has more than 16 beers on tap and over 30 televisions for viewing games.
- Bricks Bar & Grill: Narrow, storied beer hall with 2 floors offering BBQ sandwiches & other eats, plus many tap choices.
- Tailgators: This rowdy bar touts being a live music venue with a great stage and outdoor beer garden.
- Brewhemia: Brewhemia is a family owned café and bar located in the historic New Bohemia District. There are no televisions, deep fried food or beer signs, only amazing coffee, pastries, local spirits, craft beer, wine breakfast and lunch.
- Roasters Coffeehouse: If you are a coffee drinker, it’s all about having a good cup! There are 40 at small tables, lounging chairs, booths and a long harvest table. Cookies, muffins and scones are baked daily. There are other assorted treats to accompany your brewed coffee, specialty coffee drinks, teas, smoothies, and other seasonal favorites.
- Wit’s End: Wit’s End was created to be a place where they know your name and your favorites without making you bare your soul to a barista. They serve a variety of coffee drinks as well as smoothies, baked goods and small brunch (on select days).
- The Coffee Emporium: Gourmet coffee, traditional and specialty drinks, as well as sandwiches, soups and wraps. Fresh ingredients are what this menu is all about.
- Java Creek Cafe: Java Creek Café is a dynamically cozy café where the doors are always open in a welcoming spirit. It’s like a home where wonderful neighbors stop by to eat and visit . . . where new and familiar faces become part of the tradition.
- Brewed Awakenings: Brewed Awakenings is a locally-owned coffee shop who is passionate about making great coffee and freshly baked pastries and wholesome lunches.
Non-Food Date Night Fun
- Planet X: Get in touch with your inner child and challenge your significant other to a game of laser tag, mini golf or jump in the bumper cars and hash it out.
- AirFX: Who doesn’t like to jump on a trampoline? For only $10 to $12 an hour, you and your honey can spend some time getting your sweat on (and maybe a few laughs!).
- Bowling: Cedar Rapids is home to four bowling lanes: May City Bowl, Lancer Lanes, Westdale Bowling Center and Cedar Rapids Bowling Center. All run specials throughout the month like laser bowling, quarter draws and even laser tag!
- Quarter Barrel Arcade: An industrial, brick-walled brewpub offering classic arcade games like pinball and golden age games (70s-80s), craft beer & creative pizzas.
- Penguins Company Club: Penguin’s Comedy Club offers a variety of entertainment to suit your needs. From open mic night to comedian performances, Penguin’s will ensure to ensue a laugh or two.
- Paramount Theatre: The Paramount Theatre is a 1,690 seat historic theater located in downtown Cedar Rapids and owned by the City of Cedar Rapids. The Theatre’s mission is provide the citizens of Cedar Rapids and the residents of eastern Iowa with the broadest possible range of top quality cultural, educational and entertainment events.
- Movie theaters: Cedar Rapids is home to three great movie theaters: Galaxy 16, Wynnsong 12 and Collins Road Theatre (aka the cheap theater).
- Parks: There are a number of parks and recreation areas in the corridor are including: Palo, Pinnacon Ridge, Squaw Creek, The Res, Palisades-Kelper State Park, Sugar Bottom, Morgan Creek and Matsel Bridge. Hiking, picnics, boating, canoeing, tubing, camping, beaches, archery, horse riding, shooting range, bike riding, fishing — outdoor activities that put you back in touch with nature.
- Meet Me at the Market: From May to September, you can head to the Newbo area for sponsored events, giveaways, vendor shows, running, biking yoga and dance — all free!
- Uptown Friday Nights: Starting in May, Uptown Friday Nights is the place to gather after a long week at work, relax and enjoy some great music by local and national bands. Cover is just $5 per person and admission is 21 and older. Grab yourself a beer and kick the weekend off right!
What are your go-to Cedar Rapids date night spots?
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