Looking to add some local flavor to your date nights (or date days, we don’t discriminate here)? We’ve swiped through the options and come up with a list of nine Northwest Arkansas spots that are perfect for the most googly-eyed lovers to the nervous first-daters.

  1. For your classic dress-up-and-sit-down spot, check out Shogun (Fayetteville + Bentonville locations for your convenience!) The perfect place for a first date or anniversary, Shogun has a romantic atmosphere complete with a fully-stocked bar serving up seasonal craft beers, sake + wine, and other yummy cocktails. And of course, you can’t forget about the food: fresh sushi and a hibachi grill that gives you more bang for your buck (food AND entertainment at the same time!). PS, you can check out the story behind these restaurants here!

  2. Maybe you’re past the point of wooing with fine dining and just looking for some yummy eats. Maybe you’re a college kid on a budget. Maybe you just prefer Mexican cuisine over Japanese. In any case, consider introducing your boo to Mojitos Fayetteville. Mojitos serves an expanded menu that covers more than just your traditional Mexican dishes, but all are excelente. Plus they offer daily drink specials. Helloooo Sunday $1 mimosas! Brunch date, babe?

  3. Speaking of drinks, ever heard of Growler USA? They’ve got more than one hundred drinks on tap. A hundred reasons to go, right there: craft beer, hard ciders, even kombucha tea. Ever heard of draft wine? It’s the new way to serve everyone’s fave grape adult beverage. And don’t even get us started on the food...that probably deserves an entire post to itself. Bottom line, a Growler recommendation is sure to impress.

  4. WARNING: Penguin Ed’s may NOT be the ideal location for a nervous new couple just trying to test the waters. But if you don’t mind getting a little messy with your partner, then head on over to one of Penguin Ed’s three Fayetteville locations for some B.O.M.B. barbecue. If there’s one thing you can count on at Penguin Ed’s, it’s consistency. These fine folks have been in the BBQ biz for 20 years now and have perfected the art of smoking meat. And heads up, if AM dates are your thing, their Mission Blvd. location serves breakfast (read: homemade, fresh baked goodies!) on Saturdays and Sundays.

  5. Smudgie, sludgie, softie...ok, these Smudgies Dessert Lab menu items may not sound appealing, but we promise they’ll induce drool on sight. (Ever had an ice cream donut sandwich?) Smudgies’ motto is something along the lines of: life’s short, so why not eat all your favorite sweets at once? Honestly, I’m just glad to know my hubby and I aren’t the only ones who feel that way. If, like mine, your relationship is built on all things dessert, Smudgies just might end up being your new go-to.

  6. Have you heard of the new “hygge” lifestyle movement? I’m still not exactly sure what it means, but I am sure Me Latte Chocolate fits the bill. When it comes to cozy contentment and enjoying the simple things in life, what’s more homey than gazing into the eyes of your darling while savoring the decadent flavors of some homemade cream, washed down with a freshly brewed cuppa joe? Date night DEFINITE do.

  7. Every couple has their go-to shows, and American Ninja Warrior commonly tops the list. Instead of just admiring the epic strength and BA-ness of the warriors on TV, take your fitness (+ relationship) to the next level and try it out for yourself at Flip Side Ninja Park! Adult open gyms most evenings give you free range of the gym’s ninja-style equipment. A little competition is healthy for a relationship anyway, right??

  8. There’s something sweetly nostalgic about bowling, which is why it makes for a perfect date! Fast Lane Entertainment has your traditional bowling lanes (bumpers included – not that any of us still need bumpers…ahem) as well as 10 “boutique” bowling lanes with ColorSplash LED lighting and jumbo screens rocking music videos all night long. There’s also laser tag, a laser maze (where you can live out your spy fantasies), an arcade, and more, making Fast Lane an ideal group date location or somewhere to go if you just wanna feel like a kid again.

  9. Whatever the “staycation” version of date night (stayte night? stay-date?), sometimes the most romantic place to be is at home. Before you dim the lights and pour the wine, swing by Cupid’s Lingerie. They’ve got all variety of outfits and items to spice up your love life and help you turn a night at home into a night to remember. (Peep their story here.)

Get out there and spend some quality time falling in love (all over again) with your boo-thang AND going local. They say, three's a crowd, but bring Towny along on your next date – our free app has the hook up on more date ideas + special perks just for you! Don't miss them here!