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Story by Caroline Merten, Associate Creative Director

Background Art by Audrey Raymond, Associate Creative Director

One of my favorite things to do with my partner is to go on dinner dates. Not just because we love having the night off from cooking: when we go out, we’re able to take a break from our screens, our work emails and weekly routine. Plus, we always seem to just have the best conversations (maybe because we’re not thinking about cleaning up the kitchen afterwards?)


We really missed those in 2020 and getting to enjoy that again has been a wonderful part of this year. Now that it’s safer to be back at restaurants, we’ve been enjoying some of our favorite places and exploring some new spots.


Here are some of our favorite places for date night:



There’s nothing I love more than an *interactive* dining experience. Make your own pizza? Fondue? I love it all. Korean BBQ is the PINNACLE of interactive dining. Of all the great KBBQ spots in Chicago, I firmly believe Lincoln Square’s San Soo Gab San is the best. Cheap soju, real charcoal, tons of banchan (little side dishes, often fermented, like kimchi) and quality meat for grilling at your table. Make sure you bring cash to tip, as is preferred!



Located at the base of the Viceroy Hotel in Gold Coast, this spot has become a favorite of ours, especially when we staycation at the hotel (which, if you’re looking for a nice weekend with your significant other, 10/10 recommend). Really good rotating menu, including cocktails and dessert. As a bonus, they also handle room service at the hotel if you’re trying to live your fancy room service fantasy.



This new Lincoln Park player in the Chicago sushi scene has perhaps some of the best quality sushi I have ever enjoyed in my life. From classic rolls to more adventurous bites (sashimi under a glass smoke dome? Hell yeah!), everything we’ve had here has been absolutely stunning.



Sometimes the best dinner date doesn’t come with a huge price tag or nice silverware: sometimes it’s enjoying some good takeout in the park. For this, I highly reco Roger’s Wing. Don’t let the strip mall appearance trick you—this Rogers Park spot has some of the best wings (available in a range of delicious fusion flavors) and really great fried rice. Also, there’s a rolled ice cream place right next door!

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