Utah County is the land of first dates. Here, people go out on dates like it is going out of style. It can be really fun and exciting, but it can also be draining constantly trying to find a new, delicious restaurant to impress your first date with. Searching all over Utah County for a restaurant at the right price point that also has the perfect vibe and delicious food is a serious quest. Enter: this post.
The Best Utah County Restaurants for a First Date
A first date is brimming with potential, and of course, you want it to go well, which can bring on some nerves. At Female Foodie, we believe that food should absolutely not be contributing to your first-date anxiety! Choose a restaurant both you and your date will love from our guide, then sit back and relax—at the very least, you’ll walk away having had an amazing meal.
10. Café Namasthe
This might be a little controversial, but Indian food on a first date can be really fun—especially when it’s in a bright, colorful, fast-casual joint like Café Namasthe. This new little café in Utah County serves up a diverse menu of Indian street foods and traditional curries, which makes it a great place to try new things and branch out from some of the more common Indian dishes. And, because Café Namasthe is a fast-casual restaurant, it’s easy to browse the menu with your adventurous date and find a variety of things to split. The samosas are delicious, and a bowl of Tikka Masala is both yummy and definitely shareable. FYI, if your date doesn’t do spice, no worries! They go light on the heat here unless you ask to amp it up. Café Namasthe makes Indian food no-pressure and casual, which is why it’s one of the best places to take an adventurous first date in Utah County.
If a Parisian café popped up in Utah County, it would look a lot like Taste. Most people familiar with the area know Taste for its artisan chocolate classes and tea time, but Taste also serves delicious sandwiches and incredible desserts that scream “first date.” Aside from their swoon-worthy food, the vibe inside of Taste is quiet and quaint while also being modern, detailed, and beautiful. It’s seriously impressive! The Croque Monsieur is the most popular sandwich on their small menu, but the turkey prosciutto sandwich is a true showstopper. With creamy brie and tangy fig jam on house-made focaccia, it’ll have you believing in love at first bite. After you’ve devoured your sandwiches, be sure to order dessert—all of Taste’s offerings are at a great price point, so you won’t feel like you’re breaking the bank.
Spitz in Lehi is funky, fun, and serving up incredible Mediterranean street food, making it one of the best places to take a first date in Utah County. The hodge-podge décor makes the restaurant lively and interesting, perfect for a first date, and totally reflective of the creativity that goes into the food. While you can’t really go wrong at Spitz, the go-to favorite for almost every loyal Spitz fan is the Street Cart Fries. Loaded to the brim with crisp, fresh veggies and either beef and lamb, chicken shawarma, or falafel, these fries (sweet potato or regular) deliver every time. More than just veggies, these fries can carry conversation, too—they’re a great meal for chatting between bites. Spitz also has a pile of board games available for play, so you and your date don’t have to rely solely on conversation-starters.
7. K’s Japanese Kitchen
Ah, K’s Kitchen—a true Utah County gem. The traditional Japanese comfort food at K’s is so simple but so delicious. The restaurant itself has the perfect ambiance for a first date—it’s always buzzing with people, but isn’t so loud you can’t hear your date, and the waiting staff (often made up of just the owner) is delightfully friendly. The menu is relatively small, consisting of a variety of donburi (Japanese rice bowls) and sides, which makes it a great first date restaurant for sharing. Of all the menu items, the Oyakodon is one of our classic favorites. This beautifully comforting chicken, egg, and rice dish is a great meal to get to know someone over. It’s simple and heartwarming, just like a first date should be.
6. Nori Sushi Bar
If you have ever been on a dating app, you know that sushi tends to be a really good ice-breaker. People are passionate about their sushi! Finding a sushi restaurant in Utah County that hits a good first-date price point while still maintaining its quality is difficult, to say the least, but Nori Sushi Bar has it all. Especially if you are looking for a quick first date, ordering one roll each makes for a really casual, fun evening. The restaurant has an almost clublike night vibe and it’s open late. Of all the rolls, the Sundance (a citrusy lemon and salmon roll), Honeymoon (a bright and tropical mango, salmon, and cilantro roll), and Dynamite (a spicy tuna and yellowtail roll) are a few Female Foodie favorites. Nori Sushi Bar lets you make that “let’s get sushi sometime” dating-app message a tasty reality!
5. Craving’s Bistro
There isn’t a soul in the world that doesn’t love grilled cheese. The golden crispy bread and gooey cheesy interior somehow make everything else (including all first date nerves) melt away. It’s the perfect comfort food, and Craving’s Bistro does it best. Because you just simply do not rush a grilled cheese, the food at Craving’s Bistro can take some time—which makes it unbeatable for first date conversations. The restaurant itself feels very laid back, so there’s no pressure to be proper. Order a dipper—a brilliant little cup of soup in which to dip your sandwich—and either the TBA (turkey bacon avocado), Swiss Days (their spin on a Cuban), or Gooey 6 Cheese sandwich for optimum cheesiness. There really is no better soup and sandwich spot, especially for a first date, in Utah County!
4. Ginger’s Garden Café
Whoever judges salad-eaters on a first date has clearly never been to Ginger’s Garden Café. Whether first date nerves have you wanting something light or you’re looking to please your vegan date, Ginger’s is a great choice! Situated on darling Springville Main Street in Utah County, Ginger’s is like walking into a quaint greenhouse—a very appropriate vibe for a restaurant that specializes in veggies. There are plenty of seating options, including a bar right in front of the window where you can people watch and enjoy the twinkling lights of main street while you eat your meal. Although Ginger’s Café is known for their veggies, there are even a few menu choices for meat-eaters like their turkey avocado club and spicy chicken mango salad, both of which are total knockouts. No matter what you and your date order, you can be confident that the food will be deliciously fresh and good for you, too!
Oteo is a beloved Utah County favorite for its delicious, authentic Mexican food, and casual-modern vibe. It’s a really nice place for a sit-down first date. The menu is simple, well-priced, and, most importantly, the food is phenomenal. No order at Oteo is a bad order, but the molotes are especially amazing. Molotes are made up of fried masa cake topped with meat or avocado, Oteo’s bright, crunchy slaw, and drizzled chili oil. The hangar steak is a great protein option because it always comes perfectly cooked and tender, but the Niman Ranch pork is also excellent. Cozy up next to a window or ask to be seated outside under the bistro lights when the weather is nice, and get to talking. Hey, Oteo might just make a great second date restaurant, too!
2. Asa Ramen
Walking into Asa Ramen, a small ramen bar in the heart of Utah County, is the coziest experience imaginable—especially when it’s cold outside. The moment you step foot inside the restaurant, it will become incredibly clear why Asa Ramen is one of the very best places to take a first date in all of Utah County. Abuzz with chatter from the bar and glowing red from the bright “open” sign in the window, Asa Ramen was made for good conversation. On top of having the ideal atmosphere, the ramen here will quite literally soothe the soul. The menu is small and straightforward—perfect for the indecisive! Which ramen you order depends on broth preference, but the Tonkotsu Ramen is a great go-to choice. Tonkotsu is a creamy, rich, pork broth with perfectly al-dente noodles and is topped with fresh green scallions, strips of shiitake mushroom, a medium-soft boiled egg, and several pieces of chashu (Japanese rolled pork belly). It’s also important to note that a trip to Asa without an order of Karaage (fried chicken with lemon and sesame dressing) is a horrible mistake.
If the first date goes well, it’s pretty likely Asa Ramen will become a relationship staple!
1. Kitchen Eighty-Eight
Originally a popular Utah County food truck, Kitchen Eighty-Eight has now made its home in a brick-and-mortar building and is an amazing first date restaurant—and here’s why. Their in-house playlist is fantastic, the music is played at just the right volume, the ambiance is very casual but still upscale, the menu is diverse, and, of course, the food is excellent. Kitchen Eighty-Eight is modern American fine-dining gone casual, and it’s a great way to feel like you’re taking someone out to a nice, sit-down place without the intimidation of a fancy restaurant.
There is something for everyone on the menu, from sandwiches and fries, to tacos and entrée plates. It’s easy for restaurants with a large variety of menu options to fall flat, but Kitchen Eighty-Eight delivers every time. They are known for their tender steak, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is in their steak tacos. Packed with pieces of juicy steak, topped with delicious mango slaw, and served on a tortilla packed with crispy cheese, these tacos are a blissful mouthful.
If you’re looking for something a little easier to manage while you talk to someone for the first time, the pork tenderloin and grilled steak entrees are as beautiful to look at as they are to eat. The chimichurri and peri peri sauces are delicious, and you can’t go wrong with either. And, no matter what you order, the sweet potato fries are a must!
We hope you loved our guide to the best first date restaurants in Utah County. May your next first date be a total delicious success!