It’s not often that my hubby and I get to enjoy a date night on the town. If I’m being honest, it’s probably been a few months. When we do have a date night, we always choose a location we haven’t been to before, and we always ensure that it’s local to Cedar Rapids (meaning that it’s not a chain). We love seeing the vast array of restaurants, clubs, atmospheres, and cuisines this vibrant city offers.
If you’re looking to take your honey on a Cedar Rapids date night, look no further. I’ve compiled a list of more than 40 different local bars, cafés, restaurants, and other non-food fun in the Cedar Rapids area to check out. From sports bars and fancy 5-course meals to arcades and comedy clubs, there is surely something on the list for every couple and every budget.
- Lion Bridge Brewery: A 10-barrel brewery that develops relationships with restaurants, caterers and other artisans in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor in order to help foster a community that is constantly striving to be new and innovative.
- Iowa Brewing Company: Growlers, crowlers, and tap beer – oh my! No food is served, but can be brought in from local vendors.
- Parlor City Pub: Bustling tavern with a menu of burgers & sandwiches, plus pizza, with a sizable selection of beer.
- Wine Styles Tasting Station: WineStyles® Tasting Station® offers guests a unique retail experience and warm ambiance that is reminiscent of an old-world wine cellar. Inside, customers are encouraged to try, experience and learn about each of the products in-store before purchasing.
- Clock House Brewing: Clock House Brewing is a small but mighty brewery tucked in the back of a 100-year-old warehouse building in downtown Cedar Rapids. They pack a lot of beer taps into a small space so patrons can enjoy their varied microbrews.
- Uptown Snug: Uptown Snug is a classy casual pub located in the heart of Uptown Marion. Cozy up to the Snug’s fireplace, tucked in the back of a restored historic civil war building.
- 350 First [Double Tree]: On the top floor, overlooking downtown Cedar Rapids, 350 First restaurant and lounge offers modern American cuisine and custom cocktails.
- Midtown Reserve: Midtown Reserve is Cedar Rapids’ newest reservation-only steakhouse. We offer fine dining fare, USDA prime steaks, craft cocktails, and an extensive wine list. Enjoy a fine dining experience in an intimate setting.
- Cobble Hill: Their vision for what a fine dining restaurant should be: valuing local products, a deep dedication to craft and technique in the kitchen, food with a story, and the purest form of hospitality.
- Class Act: The Class Act Restaurant, located within The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, is eastern Iowa’s newest and tastiest gourmet restaurant. The Class Act Restaurant provides great food and outstanding service in a hip, yet friendly and comfortable environment unlike any other in Cedar Rapids.
- Black Sheep Social Club: Uses real ingredients from local and responsible growers to create old Midwest favorites with inspired new twists and international influence. Bar has 24 taps of craft beers with a focus on regional breweries, an eclectic wine list, and a cocktail menu inspired by the garden with nods to the classics.
- Emil’s Hideaway: Dark, intimate haunt offering comfort grub such as burgers, meatloaf & pizza, plus a bar with TVs.
- Sushi House: Family-run Asian eatery plating Chinese fare as well as sashimi & rolls from an open sushi bar.
- Goldfinch Tap & Eatery: Goldfinch Tap + Eatery is a contemporary American restaurant and patio in the heart of Uptown Marion. Goldfinch features Iowa and Midwest classics from a scratch kitchen. Fresh craft cocktails and 16 rotating taps make it a perfect spot for any occasion!
- the hip-stir: With a design described as Victorian steampunk, the hip-stir’s menu is eclectic without being kitsch. With an unique curation of cuisine that could only be described as hipster, the menu and atmosphere manage to bring an aura of coolness without the pretentiousness associated with hipsters.
- Zeppelins: Contemporary grill providing New American fare, draft brews & cocktails in a low-lit brick interior.
- Need Pizzeria: The space offers ample accommodations for dine in guests, large party reservations, bar seating, private conference room, and an entertainment area. The atmosphere will be easy going and approachable for anyone that enjoys unique pizza and cocktails!
- Field House: A Hawkeye-themed sports bar with an impressive selection of draft beers as well as appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, and broasted chicken.
- Bushwood Sports Bar: Pizza, burgers, salads & beer are served in a basic pub with many TVs and an outdoor patio.
- Irish Democrat Pub: Classic Irish tavern featuring beer, billiards & gourmet pub grub in vintage setting.
- Barrel House Pub: A casual sports bar with a large wrap around bar area that serves pizza, sandwiches, appetizers and has more than 16 beers on tap and over 20 televisions for viewing games.
- Bricks Bar & Grill: Narrow, storied beer hall with 2 floors offering BBQ sandwiches & other eats, plus many tap choices.
- Tailgators: This rowdy bar touts being a live music venue with a great stage and outdoor beer garden.
- Brewhemia: Brewhemia is a family owned café and bar located in the historic New Bohemia District. There are no televisions, deep fried food or beer signs, only amazing coffee, pastries, local spirits, craft beer, wine breakfast and lunch.
- Roasters Coffeehouse: If you are a coffee drinker, it’s all about having a good cup! There are 40 at small tables, lounging chairs, booths and a long harvest table. Cookies, muffins and scones are baked daily. There are other assorted treats to accompany your brewed coffee, specialty coffee drinks, teas, smoothies, and other seasonal favorites.
- Dash Coffee Roasters: Dash was created to be a place where they know your name and your favorites without making you bare your soul to a barista. They serve a variety of coffee drinks as well as baked goods, sandwiches, smoothies, and oats.
- Trading Grounds Coffee Co: Gourmet coffee, traditional and specialty drinks, as well as cookie dough and baked goods! This space was created so rituals can thrive — moms socializing with some free time in the summer, children coming in for a treat to celebrate an accomplishment, high school students getting a smoothie after school.
- Stillwater Coffee: Stillwater is a dynamically cozy café where the doors are always open in a welcoming spirit. It’s like a home where wonderful neighbors stop by to eat and visit . . . where new and familiar faces become part of the tradition.
- West End Diner: West End Diner is a locally-owned coffee shop and cafe in Marion who is passionate about making great coffee and freshly baked pastries and wholesome lunches.
Non-Food Date Night Fun
- AirFX: Who doesn’t like to jump on a trampoline? For only $12 an hour, you and your honey can spend some time getting your sweat on (and maybe a few laughs!).
- Bowling: Cedar Rapids is home to four bowling lanes: May City Bowl, Lancer Lanes, Spare Time and Cedar Rapids Bowling Center. All run specials throughout the month like laser bowling, quarter draws and even laser tag!
- Quarter Barrel Arcade: An industrial, brick-walled brewpub offering classic arcade games like pinball and golden age games (70s-80s), craft beer & creative pizzas.
- The Lucky Cat: The Lucky Cat offers a variety of entertainment to suit your needs. From open mic night to comedian performances, Penguin’s will ensure to ensue a laugh or two.
- Ax Throwing: CR is home to the Hurling Hachet and Civil Axe Throwing. Book a private event, celebrate a special occasion, join one of our leagues or just book a lane with friends. Each location has dedicated axe throwing lanes and coaches (axeperts) to teach you how to throw an axe. If you’re looking for an awesome time, you came to the right place.
- Paramount Theatre: The Paramount Theatre is a 1,690 seat historic theater located in downtown Cedar Rapids and owned by the City of Cedar Rapids. The Theatre’s mission is provide the citizens of Cedar Rapids and the residents of eastern Iowa with the broadest possible range of top quality cultural, educational and entertainment events.
- Movie theaters: Cedar Rapids is home to two great movie theaters: Galaxy 16 and Collins Road Theatre (aka the cheap theater).
- Parks: There are a number of parks and recreation areas in the corridor are including: Palo, Pinnacon Ridge, Squaw Creek, The Res, Palisades-Kelper State Park, Sugar Bottom, Morgan Creek and Matsel Bridge. Hiking, picnics, boating, canoeing, tubing, camping, beaches, archery, horse riding, shooting range, bike riding, fishing — outdoor activities that put you back in touch with nature.
- Meet Me at the Market: From May to September, you can head to the Newbo area for sponsored events, giveaways, vendor shows, running, biking yoga and dance — all free!
- Uptown Friday Nights: Starting in May, Uptown Friday Nights is the place to gather after a long week at work, relax and enjoy some great music by local and national bands. Cover is just $5 per person and admission is 21 and older. Grab yourself a beer and kick the weekend off right!
What are your go-to Cedar Rapids date night spots?
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