West Hollywood's 7 best date spots for every relationship stage

The Daily Meal

West Hollywood has no shortage of places to eat or drink, whatsoever. But, if we're being totally honest, when you're looking for the best place to go on a date, that list suddenly gets pretty small after rejecting places for being too small, too big, too loud, or too trashy. It's tough finding a place that serves a tasty treat, while also providing the right date atmosphere. And that's where we come in. We've put together your guide for seven different types of dates in West Hollywood, and listed the places that will help you win over hearts forever.

THE BREAKFAST DATE: Breakfast by Salt's Cure

Whether it's a quick bite before work or maybe the potentially awkward "morning after," this one of West Hollywood's most understated breakfast spots, and its simplicity and no-frills setup is perfect for a gentle start to the day. It's small - both the physical size of the restaurant and the menu itself, so don't go expecting anything fancy or crazy. Personally, I love the minimalism of the place. You go in, order at the counter, and then grab a table to chow down on some beautifully made griddle cakes and savory sides. If you're looking to kickstart your morning with a caramel triple shot no foam coconut latte, then you'll be sorely disappointed. The only coffee on offer here is Groundworks Big Shot Caffeinated drip coffee or a bottled Cold Brew, which is possibly one of this place's only downfalls. But to its credit, the focus at Breakfast By Salt's Cure is well and truly on the food.

The griddle cakes are oatmeal based, cooked perfectly, and sweetened, eliminating the need for any syrups or sweeteners. Each bite is wonderfully gooey and warming, with the right balance of sweet and savory. They're cheap too, at only $8 for a plate of the OG griddle cakes, but you can splurge a few extra bucks to fancy it with Pink Lady apples, banana nut, or chocolate chips. And if you're looking for something even more filling, order sides including home fries and a truly spectacular molasses-cured picnic ham because, well, ordinary bacon is just a little too basic for this place. Its breakfast sandwich with sausage, egg, cheese and arugula is also a brilliant bite, albeit a little small, but married with some home fries and griddle cakes, makes for the perfectly delicious start to any day with your date.

THE COFFEE DATE: The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker

It's actually surprising to discover that there's a real shortage of nice, quiet, coffee shops in West Hollywood that serve a decent cup of Joe in an equally amiable atmosphere. The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker does, however, tick the aforementioned boxes, and it does so with style. Sitting on Sunset Boulevard, this is the place to go to if you want to have a quick and easy date over a quality cup of coffee. It's not crazily pretentious, doesn't suffer any ego or attitude that you'd find elsewhere on the Sunset strip, and above all, the Indonesian coffee is just good, which to be honest, is kinda the main thing that matters when it comes to a coffee spot.

On a sunny Los Angeles morning, get a seat outside and soak up the rays, and it's quiet enough inside to enjoy the conversation on your date without having to shout over stomach-thumping music that should only be reserved for The Abbey at 1 a.m. The selection of accompanying foods are impressive - temptingly carb-laden goods are made daily in house, and you can tell that there's an emphasis on freshness and quality. Nutella beignets, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, are pillows of perfection, and the tres leches cup serves up a creamy indulgence, with a sponge soaked in a rich gooey sauce.

But above all, this is a place to drink a good coffee and enjoy a solid conversation with your date. Ask the beyond-talented barista, Joey Wolf, to create a special piece of colorful latte art just for your partner, and it'll no doubt blow their mind. At the end of the day, The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker is an energetic place that's lit up brightly with positivity, illustrated by a hand-painted mural behind the coffee machine reads "Find Your Happy Place and Get Lost."

THE LUNCH DATE: Night + Market

Night + Market is fortunate that it serves up some really tasty food. It almost makes up for its terrible name. It's one of the few authentic, traditional Thai restaurants you'll find in Los Angeles, and as such, makes for a really nice, casual lunch date. It's small and humble in its appearance - tacky plastic tablecloths and bright neon signs somehow work, and the emphasis is on the high-quality food coming out of the kitchen. This isn't the place to take a high-maintenance date who needs to be wowed by fancy silverware and a history of Hollywood celeb sightings. Instead, bring someone to catch up with properly over some tasty Asian home cooking.

The best part is, that while it may be pretty busy at night for dinner, lunch is often quiet and you're normally able to walk in without a reservation. It offers a limited lunch special of various satay, but my suggestion would be to skip that and to just order off the full menu. It's honestly very affordable, with generous portions. The Thai boxing chicken plays off the traditional street vendor food of Bangkok, and the BBQ chicken brings a wonderfully robust and smokey flavor. Served with a refreshing papaya salad and sticky rice presented in a cute little basket, it's a simple and unassuming dish that holds its own. A great date spot for quick lunch break during the work week, Night + Market won't break the bank. Focus on impressing your date with your informed conversation about how authentic the Thai food actually is.

THE AFTER WORK DRINKS DATE: Zinque

This place attracts a certain crowd, but nonetheless, it's still one of West Hollywood's most picturesque places to get an after-work drink. It's a little piece of trendy Paris, tucked away on Melrose Avenue, and is pretty simple with their setup. The food, unfortunately, can be very hit or miss (with a greater chance of it being the latter), and the service is inconsistent to say the least, but in terms of a neat little place to get a drink and spend some time catching up with someone at the end of the day, it's a safe bet.

Get there reasonably early after work to snag a seat in the cute outdoor patio. It's a charming modest space that doesn't boast half the bougieness of its usual crowd. Settle down with your date over a conversation about which wine to choose (in which you'll impress them with your extensive wine knowledge that you may have just Googled 10 minutes before), play it safe with a pretty charcuterie board and some cheese, and you've got a winner. Just make sure you move on to somewhere else for dinner if you want to keep them interested.

THE DINNER DATE: Rosaline

If I had to pick my perfect dinner date spot, it would be here. It's a huge call, I know, but honestly, chef Ricardo Zarate has brought one of the most charming and exciting dining experiences to West Hollywood, and I am so damn excited about it. It's got all the makings for a great dinner date location - genuine customer service, a creative drinks menu, beautiful ambience, and food that will rock your world.

The underlying theme to all the food is a love of Peruvian food. The food is Peru, brought to California, with a slight Japan influence. It's creative and daring, and spectacularly presented. Reserve a seat at the counter, where you can see Zarate's skilled team of chefs prepare each dish by the open flames and Josper oven in front of you, in a mesmerizing performance of culinary theatre.

Most of the visually captivating dishes are designed to be shared. Dishes like the Clams Sudado, a comforting bowl of clams in a rich Sudado fish stew brings warmth and love to the table, with a little bite and vibrancy from the chili and lime. But as spectacular as that dish is, you cannot go to Rosaline on a date and not order the Chaufa Paella. A stunningly beautiful ensemble of pancetta, la chang sausage, salty bagoong, shrimp, and egg, all cooked and served up in a sizzling hot skillet. This is one of the best paellas you will find in the United States, and to go on this journey with your date is guaranteed to win over their heart, or at the very least their stomach.

THE COCKTAIL DATE: Harlowe

West Hollywood certainly doesn't have a shortage of bars, but for a more unique late-night cocktail, Harlowe gets my pick. Firstly, it's a beautiful venue - think an old school, Hollywood brasserie with a rustic, but elegant local allure. Skip the bar and opt for an intimate booth along the walls. Monday night is oyster night (and you know what they say), and Wednesday night is the quietest evening, so take advantage of the laid-back times this venue offers outside of the weekend, when you'll be able to actually hear your date.

If there's one thing that Harlowe does well, it's cocktails. The clever cocktail menu matches perfectly with the old school vibe of the venue. Signature cocktails include Never Known a Soul Like You, a lively and spicy tequila-based drink with sweet pepper, fresno chile, lemon, celery, sumac, and white pepper, and Two Weeks, a sweet and fruitier creation with vodka, carrot, cinnamon, honey, and lemon. My personal favorites include King Size Bed, a wonderfully comforting cocktail of Stolen rum, Ron Abuelo Anejo rum, St Germain, white peach, pineapple, lime, and cinnamon; or for coffee-lovers wanting to kickstart the night the Night at the Drafthouse, a soundly rich and invigorating cocktail with Hangar One vodka, Coffee, Demerara, Giffard Vanille, and Stout. The drinks are beautifully presented, sticking to the classy Hollywood yesteryear themes, and you'll appreciate the authentically warm and relaxed customer service here too.

THE OVERNIGHT DATE: The Mondrian

When you're looking to spoil your partner with a special overnight date, make a reservation at the Mondrian. A perfect spot to celebrate an anniversary or a weekend away, this is the ultimate special date spot for those every romantic moments. Sitting high up on Sunset Boulevard, the Mondrian boasts some of the best views - the majestic Hollywood Hills, the iconic palm tree lined Sunset Boulevard, and sweeping scenery across Downtown Los Angeles meets you at all different vantage points from the hotel. Granted, this hotel can attract a rather trendy clientele, but it can be the ultimate date spot if you take a little bit of time to prepare your stay here, timing your movements away from the weekend partiers.

Start your evening at Skybar, watching the sun go down by one of the city's most picturesque pools. Pretty much an immaculate postcard of Los Angeles, a cocktail by the pool overlooking the city just oozes total romance, and is a seriously impressive way to start the evening. In the late afternoon, just after the lunch crowd and before the late-night scene moves in, the pool deck is quiet and relaxed, and you'll be able to claim one of the lounge beds to chill (ok, snuggle) on as sunset hit the city. The pool deck becomes donned with candles and surrounded by elegant trees, it becomes a charmingly romantic, almost treehouse like setting.

Waking up to the dazzling views of Los Angeles is made only better by ordering room service. The Mondrian's breakfast burrito is not only a spectacular way to soak up any hangover, but a hearty meal to wake up to. The only thing that could make it better is to take it to the pool for an early morning dip overlooking Los Angeles, and having some breakfast poolside on the lounges before the weekend crowd moves in. A candlelit bar, cocktails by the pool, and waking up with room service overlooking LA - you can't beat that for an overnight heart-stealing experience.

Once you've chosen the right spot, don't ruin the mood with common first-date mistakes.

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