• Jamie Ratowski, LMFT

It’s Date Night: 10 Best Date Night Spots In Fort Lauderdale, Florida


10 Best Date Night Spots In Fort Lauderdale

In couples therapy, I am often helping my couples to re-spark the emotional, physical, and intimate connection in their relationship. Over time, relationships shift and routines are developed, they get “comfortable” and may even lose the passion, spontaneity, and lightheartedness that they once had. Life can get in the way, with work, cooking, cleaning, and parenting. It's a lot!


One thing that I find a lot of my couples are neglecting is creating time for fun! More specifically, dating. Date nights are an essential part of keeping the spark alive in the relationship. It’s a chance to disconnect from the stress and hustle and bustle of everyday life and focus solely on having a good time, a new experience with your partner.


Dr. Gary Chapman studied patterns within relationships focused on the wants and needs for couples that he coined into a concept called “The Five Languages of Love''. This concept was designed to help couples determine what their specific wants and needs are and how to help these needs be fulfilled.


The love languages are as follows:


1 - Acts of Service

2 - Words Of Affirmation

3 - Physical Touch

4 - Gift Giving

5 - Quality Time


Find out more about your specific love language by taking the Love Languages Quiz!


Quality Time is a recurring love language I see present in relationships of all ages/stages. Whether or not it is your #1 love language, it is an essential one to prioritize. Quality time can look like many things from a grand romantic vacation to taking a nice sunset walk together. I am always encouraging my couples to prioritize more quality time, even giving them homework to plan more date nights!


Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a pretty amazing place. It’s got everything from views, food, drinks, to beautiful beaches. There is ALWAYS something to do.


As a huge advocate for quality time and date nights, I wanted to help make the choices easier by reviewing some of the best date spots in Fort Lauderdale. I've asked friends, couples, and colleagues to weigh in on their favorite suggestions to come up with the best date night options for you! Check out what we came up with!


Shooters Waterfront - Located along the intercostal off of Oakland Park Blvd, it's got it all from beautiful views, tasty drinks, and amazing food. They have an awesome happy hour as well if you want to relax by the waterfront with your partner, watch the sunset, and share some delicious appetizers and drinks. Shooters are one of my favorite places to hang out, and it definitely fits the script for a romantic date night out!


Heritage - I've been here myself recently and can not WAIT to go back. Located in Flagler Village, it's a chic little Italian restaurant that hits the spot! Nothing says quality time like enjoying good food with your loved one and this food truly was bliss. You can't go wrong with a food-focused date night at Heritage!


The Spa at Auberge Beach - Schedule a spa day experience for you and your partner at the beautiful and relaxing spa at Auberge Beach in Fort Lauderdale. They have amazing amenities such as a salt suite, infrared sauna, open-air treatment rooms, and a private beach setup after your treatments. You could even make a date night out of it by getting dressed up and going to the restaurant on the property for a fresh locally sourced farm-to-table dining experience. They have a weekly happy hour outside with light bites. Make sure to sit fireside after dinner and enjoy live music on the weekends.


Hugh Taylor Birch State Park - Not all dates have to be fancy! Taking a stroll through the park might seem a little cliche, but it's the perfect date spot to save a little money, get a little active, and see some amazing views. You can bike, rollerblade/skate, or walk through the park. They even offer kayaks and guided tours if that's more your speed. You'll most likely work up an appetite. Luckily it has a built-in eatery, Park and Ocean, that has tasty food, live music, and craft drinks overlooking the beach. I highly recommend spending a day-date at Hugh Taylor!


Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery - I love it here! This is such a fun, casual date spot. It's a food hall with a built-in brewery. There are SO many food options, something for everyone. They often have live music and the vibe is just on-point. This place is just all-around fun.


Chops + Hops Axe Throwing Lodge - I haven't had the pleasure of attending this place myself yet, but I have heard rave reviews from many of my clients that this is a fun spot and perfect for something a little different than your average dinner-date night. I love the idea of trying new things and quality time is all about creating experiences together, and what's more of an experience than… throwing axes? There's nothing like a little friendly competition to keep the spark alive.


Wine Garden - Now this place is ROMANTIC! If you go at night, the draped string lights, music, and amazing wine/food selection will certainly set the mood. Plus it's walking distance from the beach if you're craving a little ocean breeze after! Everyone deserves a little romance, and this is the spot!


Louie Bossi's Ristorante Bar Pizzeria - A classic Italian restaurant located on the famous Las Olas Blvd, Louie Bossi is one of my favorite restaurants in Fort Lauderdale. It has an amazing vibe inside and an awesome outdoor back patio for those of you who prefer the fresh air. It has the best food and wine selection for a perfect romantic dinner out. Because it's so popular, it is really hard to get a reservation, so book for you and your partner early!


Riverfront Gondola Tours - I wanted to include something unique in this list, special to Fort Lauderdale. It's not everywhere you can take a gondola out on the water for date night, but you can here! This company provides various options from standard gondola rides to dinner cruise options. I don't know about you, but cruising on the intercoastal in a gondola gives me some Venetian, movie-level romance vibes. Someone try this and give me your review!


Takato - Recommended by various couples as one of their favorite spots for date night. Takato is a Japanese-Korean Fusion restaurant on Fort Lauderdale beach inside The Conrad. Dinner on the beach? Yes, please. Not to mention you can take a romantic walk along the beach after, what can be better for quality time than that!


I hope you have as much fun trying these places as I have! Happy dating!


If you and your partner can benefit from working on your own relationship and connection or are interested in learning more about couples therapy in our Fort Lauderdale or Coral Springs offices, call today at 954-391-5305 for your complimentary consultation or visit Jamie Ratowski at Brightside Therapy Services. I look forward to speaking with you!

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