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Five first-date venues to try in Syracuse

Five first-date venues to try in Syracuse

Choosing a restaurant for your first date with a new flame can be a determining factor in whether there will be a second date. Finding the right balance between comfortable and classy is a challenge, for sure. Luckily, downtown Syracuse’s dining scene has something for everyone when the pressure is on. Here are some ideas for a great first date in Syracuse. With Syracuse University’s diverse student population right nearby, we’ve included some Mandarin explanations of these restaurants, as well (translation by Zhouziwei Sun).

周末没有事又不想呆在家里吗? 想要一个体面而又舒适的约会经历吗?不如一起来挑一个环境优雅又有口福的地方约起来吧!首先要看到的地方当然是雪城的downtown。

Oh My Darling

“Oh my darling, oh my darling, clementine…”

If you’ve heard of the song, check out Oh My Darling, a restaurant that features contemporary cuisine and an attached lunch counter appropriately known as Clementine, in an attractive building that’s been around since 1856. With some exposed brick from the original building as a defining feature of the venue’s decor, its atmosphere is infused with history. The store’s design also offers a nice overlap of light and dark, with warm light filling the main restaurant and a darker environment in the bar area. This contrast is sure to offer the perfect place for your first date, depending on the atmosphere that you prefer. 

如果你听过这首歌,不妨也来体验一下这家结合了1856 年的风情 与当代的美食的餐厅“oh my darling ”还有他的咖啡店 “Clementine”. 柔和的氛围被历史的气息包裹着,店面里则是动人的食物香气还有宾至如归的贴心服务。店里设计明暗交叠,明亮而温暖的地方作为主餐厅,而稍暗的环境则是更加私人的bar. 无论是食物还是酒,无一不是精心设计,在各大社交软件上一度风行。

321 S. Salina St. 

Syracuse, NY 13202

Photo courtesy of Xinyue Zhang

A Mano Kitchen & Bar

A Mano” is Italian for “handmade,” and as the name suggests, everything on the menu is meticulously crafted. The restaurant encourages customers to share the food and offers a “half portion” option, allowing customers to try many different menu items. Of course, as an Italian restaurant, A Mano’s pastas and sauces are marvelous. The menu also includes pizzas, meatballs, chicken, steak and other delicacies, as well as a wide selection of after-dinner treats to finish off with. It’s worth noting that this restaurant costs a little bit more than a more casual Italian restaurant, but the service and food are definitely worth the price. For a fancy Italian first date without leaving Syracuse, be sure to stop by A Mano!

“A Mano” 是意大利语中手作的意思,也正如其名,这家店里无论是饮料还是正餐都是被匠心亲做的。 这里提倡分享,提供“二分之一”的选项,方便食客们在有限的食量里吃到更多的美食。作为一家意式餐厅,最重要的当然是pasta啦!这家店的pasta堪称一绝。更有饭后小甜点,让人爱不释手。唯一美中不足的是价格稍高,但是他的服务和食物绝对衬得上他的价格。想要高级餐厅体验的小伙伴们赶紧马住这家吧!

344 S. Warren St.

Syracuse, NY 13202  

Photo courtesy of Xinyue Zhang

Roji Tea Lounge

If you’re looking for a nice place to relax after your dinner date but aren’t quite ready to head home, look no further than Roji Tea Lounge. In English, the Japanese word “Roji” refers to an outdoor garden that hosts Japanese tea ceremonies. Its long list of different teas (think matcha, various red teas, oolong, green tea and more) makes this little tea lounge the perfect choice for some after-dinner relaxation. If your date isn’t a tea drinker, have no fear. Roji also offers smoothies and milkshakes in many different flavors, as well as some small desserts. Roji Tea Lounge is another great options for those looking for an exotic first date experience right here in Syracuse.

全雪城最好的抹茶店!吃饱之后当然要找一个地方小憩啦。这家tea house 就是一个绝佳的选择。 奶茶, 曲奇,小蛋糕,谁能拒绝午后的小甜点呢?Roji,在日语中代指茶室外的花园,正如其名,店内超级放松的环境,点一杯清茶就是一个下午。 无论是朋友之间放松还是带女朋友来小坐,来这里就没错了。

108 E. Washington St. #2 

Syracuse, NY 13202

Photo courtesy of Xinyue Zhang

Tous les Jours Bakery

Keep an eye open for Tous les Jours, a small shop that’s inconspicuous on the outside but unique on the inside. Despite its name (which means “everyday” in English), Tous les Jours, with its unusual mix of French and Asian confectionary influences, is far from ordinary. Inside the restaurant’s large glass bakery case is an impressive spread of tempting desserts, from cookies to cakes, bread, tarts and more. No matter which dessert you choose, you can rest assured that it was baked with only the finest ingredients. If you’d rather a to-go dessert option than full-service dine-in, Tous les Jours will satisfy your sweet tooth. The Tous Les Jours location in Syracuse is owned by the Han family, who also own Hans Oriental Grocery on Erie Boulevard.


2743 Erie Blvd. E.

Syracuse, NY 13224

Photo courtesy of Xinyue Zhang

Lab Cow and Mitsuba Ramen

Although these two places offer completely different food and drink options, their adjacent locations form the perfect opportunity for anyone looking to try something new. Start with dinner at Mitsuba, where you and your date can design your own poke bowls (a great choice if you or your date is vegetarian) or choose from an existing list of steamed buns and ramen and poke dishes. Once you’re done there, swing by Lab Cow for some tea and dessert. The beverage menu includes milk teas, fruit teas, milkshakes and slushies, and if you have room, the dessert menu includes ice cream rolls and nitrogen ice cream in all kinds of flavors (with catchy names like Matcha Pink Lady, Dr. Chocolate, Mr. Nutella and Campfire). There’s also an option to create your own rolled ice cream with a vanilla, chocolate or green tea base and your choice of toppings.  


Both restaurants share same address:

3206 Erie Blvd. E.

Syracuse, NY 13214

Photo courtesy of Xinyue Zhang

About The Author


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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