5 MKE Date Night Spots

Date night is a special and important tradition for couples no matter the stage of the relationship. From personal experience, I can attest that it’s perhaps most important to invest in some one-on-one time when you have little kids at home. But if you’re in the beginning stages of the relationship, those first encounters getting to know each other can be so memorable.

Here are a few tried and true Milwaukee spots to spark or re-kindle the romance.

Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge - This hidden gem is actually Milwaukee’s oldest cocktail lounge, opened in 1938. Just south of Walker’s Point, Bryant’s specializes in boozy ice cream drinks and pre-Prohibition cocktails. Place your order by describing your preferences to the very capable bartenders and prepare to be amazed. The dim lighting and vinyl booths are perfect for getting close.

Landmark Lanes - Sometimes, the best way to break the ice is a little friendly competition. Find bowling, arcade games, pool tables, darts and cheap drinks at Landmark. Get lost in this sprawling, underground world of fun.

If you're looking for a more low-key bowling experience check out Koz’s Mini Bowl. The dive bar has four mini-bowling lanes, a pool table, darts, and an old school jukebox. It hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1978, but that nostalgic charm makes it worth the trip.

Jackson Grill - Sharing a great meal is such a universal experience. Jackson Grill is one of Wisconsin’s finest supper clubs with the perfect combination of comfort food and gourmet details. Known for its steaks, the seafood is also delicious. The tiny space only seats about 30, so be sure to make a reservation.

Caroline’s Jazz Club - Even if you’re not a fan of jazz or blues, Caroline’s Jazz Club is a special live music experience. The intimate space allows you to get up close and personal with the musicians and appreciate their craft. The dark and cozy atmosphere is romantic, but it’s not stuffy like other clubs.

Balzac – My husband and I met at Balzac, so of course it will always be our favorite date night spot. It’s one of the few nights I remember with intense clarity and detail. This East Side wine bar and restaurant serves small plates, craft cocktails and of course, an extensive wine list. Best of all, it has a casual vibe, but upscale feel and friendly staff.

Why yes, of course, many of these places are featured in my new book “100 Things to Do in Milwaukee Before You Die,” and you can buy right here!