Going on a first date can be stressful. You want everything to be perfect, but what is? There's a whole list of things you'll have to worry about and prepare, so we figured we'd help you out with finding a spot to eat. Last month we named House Brasserie the Best Place to Take a First Date in our 2014 Best of Phoenix. Here are 10 more romantic spots you'll want to hit.
Fuego Bistro The only potentially bad thing about Fuego Bistro for a first date is that they give you a lot of food. We think that's also one of the best things about it, but some people aren't looking to chow down on a plate full of amazing Mexican food the first time they're dining with a new partner. Other than that, Fuego Bistro provides a small romantic atmosphere (indoor and outdoor) and a wide variety of luxurious Mexican food for you and your date. For those looking to date on a budget, you can generally find Groupons for the various Fuego restaurants around town.
Beckett's Table There are two reasons we think Beckett's Table makes a good first date spot. For one thing, it's a relatively nice modern American spot that tends to fly under the radar, so you might be taking your date somewhere they've never heard of before (which gets you some bonus points). The other reason is that they have bacon cheddar biscuits that are probably even better than your favorite guilty pleasure from Red Lobster. The only downside is that the crowd tends to be middle-aged and older (in our experiences), so if you're young and looking for love, you may be the only ones. While you're there, try the bacon S'mores dessert. It's not what we expected, but it's still bacon and S'mores.
Petite Maison We can pretty much sum up why Petite Maison is such a good date spot in two words: French food. Is there a more romantic type of food than French food? For some reason, we've been trained to believe that foie gras and frog legs are the types of food that lead to a successful relationship. We think it might be because the French know their way around awesome desserts, and this Scottsdale location is no exception.
Bootleggers Now, this isn't the place to take your date if she (or he) is Little Miss Prissy, but if you're looking for delicious BBQ without going somewhere that serves everything on styrofoam plates, Bootleggers is a good bet. You may want to stay away from the turkey leg (though it's our favorite) or the ribs due to messiness, but if you're lucky enough to get that date who's looking for a modern take on good ol' barbecue, he or she will probably forgive your saucy hands -- and might even want to get in on the act.
Ocean Prime Steakhouses are so old-fashioned. There's nothing wrong with a fancy steakhouse, but some have a tendency to feel outdated and stale. Ocean Prime serves up steakhouse quality meats (and, obviously, seafood) with a more modern setting and menu. It's not a whole lot cheaper than a good steakhouse, but it doesn't feel like you have to wear a tie and eat the same basic steaks prepared the same way as when your grandparents went on their first date. If High Street really does come into its own like some people think it will, Ocean Prime figures to be one of the Valley's best date spots for a long time.
Cornish Pasty Co. As one of the most affordable options on our list, Cornish Pasty Co. isn't the first date spot you want to hit for a super fancy romantic meal, but it should probably be a top option for the slightly alternative crowd (including hipsters). If you met your new possible future significant other at Casey Moore's or during a concert at Crescent Ballroom, odds are pretty good that the two of you will enjoy conversation over a couple of giant stuffed pasties. Guys, it's pretty simple, if she's wearing a fancy dress and heels, save Cornish for another time. If she's in Converse and jeans, it's a great cheaper option.
Sushi Roku If you're looking to shell out for date-night sushi, our favorite spot is Scottsdale's Sushi Roku. When you combine it darn good sushi with the (mildly-snobby) atmosphere of the W Hotel Scottsdale, it makes for a rather impressive first date option. It's not cheap, but sometimes you have to dig into your wallet a little bit the first time you're dining with a new companion. Plus, if things go really well, you're already at a hotel in the heart of Old Town.
Pizzeria Bianco In the event that your date likes pizza and has never been to Phoenix's most iconic pizzeria, this spot should be moved to the top of the list. Between the cozy setting at downtown's Heritage Square (hit up this location) and the award-winning food, it's tough to think of anywhere better if you're going to do pizza for your first date. Sure, waiting for a table can be a pain, but that just means you'll have more time to get to know each other while hanging out in the wine bar next door.
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Sumo Maya Scottsdale's new fusion restaurant is not just delicious, it's also one of the most fun eating experiences we've had recently. Almost everything on the menu, from the Lump Crab Guacamole to the Crispy Pork Belly Roll to the Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates, is made to share, so it'll create the interaction naturally as you share food with your new potential love interest. Atmospherically, Sumo Maya is a relatively high-energy fun restaurant that gives you a very different dining experience than a classic steakhouse or fancy Italian restaurant.
Postino Postino Wine Café has long been one of our favorites. The light bruschetta plates, fresh sandwiches and lengthy wine list mean that everyone can get what they're looking for, whether it's a full meal, a light snack, or just a few drinks. If you get lucky enough to snag some of the armchairs or couch space instead of the regular dining tables, it's tough to pick a more classic spot for a fledgling relationship. Sure, it's a little obvious, but first dates are sometimes more about playing it safe and proving you're not stupid or crazy.