Dating and college go together like procrastination and finals. The two are meant to be.
The biggest struggle is trying to figure out where to take that special someone. But, since you're in college, you have a limited budget. Let's just say, date night in the dining hall with M&G dollars doesn't evoke romance.
Well, we're here to help. Whether you're staying on campus in downtown Phoenix or in Tempe, here are a few recommendations that are close to home. (If distance and money is not an issue, here's 20 top restaurants for date night in Phoenix).
RELATED: ASU bucket list: 50 things to see and do in Phoenix over four years
We’ve recommended Postino on quite a few of our lists. The truth is, it’s a place that checks all of the boxes. It’s casual enough that you can have a no-pressure date while feeling like you’re a little bit higher up in the world. Not to mention, once the weather cools off, that large patio with the outdoor seating will be a perfect spot to converse and get to know each other. The menu is not overwhelming and the food is great, too.
TAPACUBO – THE GRADUATE HOTEL
This is a new eatery to ASU’s Tempe scene. The hotel and its restaurants were remodeled and given an updated look. Tapacubo’s menu features Mexican street food (Guacamole, tacos, tortas), but it is that balcony view that can turn a casual dinner into something romantic once the sun sets.
Delice Bistro is a European eatery and bakery off Mill Avenue. They have hot and cold sandwiches, salads, Paninis, crepes, pasta and soup. Since it’s a bakery (and a date), you cannot skip out on dessert.
ORIGINAL CHOPSHOP CO
Original Chopshop Co. is a quick-service health restaurant. It’s located off University, directly across from campus. They serve rice bowls, salads, sandwiches and superfood fruit bowls. It has a very casual environment so perfect for that first get-to-know-each-other date. Plus, if your date is health conscious, this could be a conversation starter.
HOUSE OF TRICKS
You may have walked right passed House of Tricks without realizing the hidden gem that it is. House of Tricks opened in 1987 in a remodeled cottage. It’s been locally and nationally recognized for its wine selection and food. This is definitely a restaurant where you’ll spend a bit of money, but you will not be disappointed.
Pomo Pizzeria is two blocks away from Arizona State University’s downtown campus. It’s a quaint Italian pizzeria that serves authentic Italian pizza. The ambiance is modern with an open kitchen, yet relaxed. You can be as casual as you want for pizza or dress it up with a glass of wine. Whole pies range from $11 - $16, but they’re big enough to share.
Pizzeria Bianco has been widely credited with bringing Phoenix pizza to the national stage. Chris Bianco opened his restaurant years ago and since then has been recognized by just about everyone. It’s located within Heritage Square, a Victorian block that feels nothing like the Arizona desert. On a cool night, it’s a great place for dinner and a stroll.
THE VIG – FILLMORE
The Vig Fillmore is a short walk from downtown ASU. It’s a friendly neighborhood eatery with an enjoyable patio and an easily digestible menu. They have a variety of burgers, salads and appetizers to fit every appetite.
Another pizza joint? Yes. Clearly, for this list your date better like pizza, but Cibo offers a beautiful date spot. It’s far enough away from campus to feel like you went somewhere special. From the outdoor trees and plants to the exposed brick of the bungalow to the evening lighting, it’s quite the romantic stop.
COMPASS ARIZONA GRILL AT HYATT HOTEL
Compass Arizona Grill is the only revolving restaurant in the state. It sits atop the Hyatt Regency Phoenix. Over the course of your dinner, you’ll take in a 360-degree view of downtown Phoenix. This is your location where you’ll pay a little extra.
ASU West, which is located on Thunderbird Road between 43rd and 51st avenues, is fifteen minutes from P83, Peoria's entertainment and restaurant district, and downtown Glendale.
P83 - The Cheesecake Factory, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Ah-So Sushi, Elephant Bar, Buca di Beppo
Glendale, Ariz. - A Touch of European Cafe, Desert Rose Steakhouse, Fleming's
ASU Polytechnic is less than 10 minutes away from SanTan Village, Top Golf, and Gilbert Gateway Towne Center; and 20 minutes from downtown Gilbert, where you have a variety of eateries, including Liberty Market, Barrio Queen, Nico Heirloom Kitchen, Postino Winecafe and Pomo Pizzeria.