“Boston is fantastic for first dates,” said Jill Vandor, executive matchmaker at Lunchdates.com, a professional dating service in Boston. “There are so many great things to do on a first date. You just want to make sure you’re in an atmosphere where you can have a conversation and get to know each other.”
Vandor said she typically sends clients to venues with a laid-back atmosphere because it keeps the mood light and fun.
“If it’s super loud and super crowded, then you’re not putting your best foot forward on that first date,” Vandor said.
With all of that in mind, she recommended the following three first date spots for making a connection and nabbing date No. 2:
Coppersmith in South Boston
This vintage industrial warehouse once housed Dahlquist Manufacturing Co., founded in 1894, which specialized in copper fabrication. Now, the space boasts a brick-walled, open dining room, two indoor food trucks, a rooftop bar featuring an Airstream trailer, and a killer vibe for a casual evening date.
“It’s really trendy,” Vandor said. “It’s just a cool, fun, great place.”
The sizable drink menu features bottles and cans, specialty cocktails, and even cocktail pitchers. For dinner, you’ll currently find everything from sweet potato tater tots to burgers to sirloin steak. If your date loves barbecue, options range from ribs to pulled pork to brisket.
(Coppersmith, 40 W. 3rd St., Boston; open Mondays-Fridays from 7 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturdays-Sundays from 8 a.m.-1 a.m., kitchen closes at 10 p.m. and food trucks close at 11 p.m.)
Kings Boston in the Back Bay
Vandor is all about incorporating an activity into your first date. It relieves the pressure, she said.
“Kings is a fun first date,” she said, “because you can get food and you can go bowling at the same time.”
At the Back Bay bowling alley, you can also play billiards, shuffleboard, and Skee-Ball (a little flirty competition, anyone?), and receive restaurant-style service throughout with a menu that’s got a little bit of everything — 10 different flavors of wings, pizza, salad, burgers, and entrees ranging from Pad Thai to fish and chips.
Kings also has locations in Burlington, Dedham, and Lynnfield.
(Kings Boston, 50 Dalton St., Boston; open Mondays-Wednesdays from 3 p.m.-1 a.m., Thursdays-Fridays from noon-1 a.m., Saturdays from noon-2 a.m., and Sundays from noon-11 p.m.)
Max Brenner in the Back Bay
A sweet alternative to grabbing coffee on a first date? Meeting for gourmet hot chocolate.
Vandor called chocolate bar and restaurant Max Brenner’s eight different varieties of hot chocolate “amazing” and the space’s atmosphere just right for a winter getting-to-know you session.
“It’s a great first-date dessert place to go,” Vandor said, “because you are sipping hot chocolate together on a cold night.”
At Max Brenner, which has locations all over the world, you’ll also find chocolate martinis, chocolate milkshakes, and chocolate-filled food and dessert concoctions, from pizzas to sundaes to a build-your-own-cake.
(Max Brenner, 745 Boylston St., Boston; open Mondays-Thursdays from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 a.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m.-10 p.m.)