Alright, nobody wants to be accused of being a “Cheap Date”. Or even worse, accused of taking someone on a cheap date! However, there are opportunities out there for you to take someone special on a perfectly lovely “fancy” date that also happens to be easy on the wallet. This, to us, sounds like a win-win. It will feel like a fancy date but will cost you $20 or less per person. So Dara dug high and low (really low in fact) for the perfect spots to romance that special someone. Here are the Top 5 Cheap Fancy Dates!
Gray House- Prix Fixe Tuesday-Thursday
610 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
We’ll start our list this week with numero uno on the cheap-fancy date scale. A hidden gem (we mean it, it’s a gem) in south Minneapolis near the corner of Lake and Lyndale. It’s the Gray House and Tuesday through Thursday night, you can order a $20 per person Prix Fixe dinner that is a steal. Dara thinks that Chef Ian Gray is a rising star in the Twin Cities’ food scene. There’s a lot of simple, elemental cooking that is very much Minnesota farm to table at Gray House. You’ll get deep flavors (lots of spice, lots of char, lots of flavor here). With the $20 Prix Fixe you can sample some of the terrific Minnesota cooking from a great, young chef. A perfect date!
Bryant Lake Bowl- Cheap Date Night
810 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Next we head just west of Lyndale to Bryant Lake Bowl. On Monday nights, they offer up a great date night special. You get two entrees, a bottle of wine plus a round of bowling in their old-school, classic bowling alley that looks like it hasn’t changed since Sid Hartman was a boy. Everyone likes bowling! The place looks like a million bucks, it’s always busy and full of energy, the food is really underrated (including a nice Gluten-Free menu that’s not limited to just “salad”). Just make sure you tell her she looks good in her bowling shoes.
Tanpopo in St. Paul
308 E Prince St
St. Paul, MN 55101
Tanpopo is a Japanese restaurant in St. Paul that offers up something called Teishoku. It literally means “set meal” and is a home-style dinner that is served with rice, miso soup, pickles and an entree. You’ll choose from things like Mackerel, a fried Pork Cutlet, Tofu and more. They’re all priced between $12 and $14 and is a really nice evening out!
Mozza Mia in Edina
3910 W 50th St
Minneapolis, MN 55424
Mozza Mia in Edina, near the 50th and France intersection, is kind of off the radar for many diners and we aren’t sure why. They have a great selection of $20 bottles of wine (where can you find a $20 bottle of wine anywhere? Seriously?). There are a few great entree selections for two that come in under $20. The Lemon Caper Chicken or Pasta Carbonara are very good. Don’t skip the pizza. It’s made in a wood-fired stove and comes out with that crispy char on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside. They make most of their own cheese (the Mozzarella is terrific) and it helps Mozza Mia make very solid pizzas that are a perfect size for sharing.
Taste of India
5617 Wayzata Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55416
Taste of India in St. Louis Park, right by Home Depot and Costco, may not seem like your ideal date spot. But it’s a charming enough little place that serves up some wonderfully exotic and flavorful Indian Food. Plus, every night they serve up a “Dinner for Two”. It’s $35.99 and comes with appetizers, entree choices (classics like Tandoori Chicken, Lamb Vindaloo or Chicken Tikka Masala), fresh Indian Naan Bread plus dessert. It’s a fun and tasty dinner for two.