Dating is not cheap, and if you’re like me-and never get asked out on dates-I mean, if you’re like me, sometimes you have to date on a budget. I as you all know am an L.A. native born and raised, and after my friend asked me where her and her husband could celebrate their anniversary for $100, I came up with these five ideas that I thought I should share with you! Los Angeles is filled with really expensive restaurants, bars, cars, handbags, dogs, shoes and people, but not all of us can spend $200 per week on a date right? Wait, now I’m wondering if a guy has ever spent $200 on a date with me…ummm…Netflix is like $10 a month right? Let’s just move on. While there is nothing wrong with a Netflix date my friends, I do strongly suggest you hold off on the Netflix date for the first few weeks. Whether you’re an L.A. native, transport or just visiting, why not try these five suggestions for under $100?!
Date Spot #1) Perch LA: 448 South Hill St.
There are so many reasons to fall in love at this place! Both of the pictures in this post were taken by me at this establishment. Not only can you literally dine on the edge of one of downtown’s most amazing rooftops (located on the 15th floor of the Hill building), but they also have not one but two bars, with one being located on the first floor of the bar, and the other on the rooftop outside. There is also this mysterious and sexy entrance, yes I typed entrance, that you take just to get up there…one elevator takes you to another elevator that has an actual Silver Bird for the button to press that will guide your elevator to Perch. Very sexy! Did I also mention that they have a live jazz band, an insane Happy Hour (4-6pm), and hello the views are to die for!
At Perch you and you date will have a 360 degree view of downtown Los Angeles that is just as spectacular by sunset as it is in the morning (hello, brunch date). The menu is fantastic and I am partial to their Grilled Caesar Salad with Chicken. The chicken melts in your mouth and is cooked to tender perfection, and the salad is literally grilled, a half of romaine is grilled and topped with creamy goodness that is such a hearty portion, you could share it with your date.
I am a huge dessert aficionado and their White Chocolate Bread Pudding is drenched in a Bourbon glaze and served with fresh fruit. Do I really need to say more? The menu options are fancy (that’s an SAT word hahahah) but, like I said one portion can feed two, so it’s a win-win for your wallet and your romance meter will be at like, ten thousand percent. Just be prepared to get super romantic, kissy, loving and score huge points with your date! Thank me later.
Date Spot #2) The Griffith Park Observatory: 2800 East Observatory Road
The observatory is spectacular. Most of us went their for the first time as kids on a school field trip and I inparticular geeked out and loved being in the observatory, leaning back in those comfy chair, wearing those cool glasses and seeing all of the stars and laser show set to perfect music. Oh, and let’s not forget that Rebel Without A Cause starring the enigmatic James Dean was filmed here too! I know that most think this is just a nerdy place to hang out if you like science, but this place is also high on the romance meter as well.
How in fact is this place romantic you ask? Not only are there the daily shows which happen in a dark, star-filled room (sexy), but they have a cafe ran by Wolfgang Puck, you have stunning views of Los Angeles, oh and the best part…all of the cafe menu items are under $10! Yes, under $10! The park also offers the ‘Sunset Walk & Talk’.
This is an event offered monthly which is FREE as is the admission to the observatory and pretty much everything else there but I digress; the sunset walk and talk is offered monthly and the schedule is up on the parks site. Obviously it’s a sunset hike that is about half a mile and the trail is moderate in nature. The views are stunning, you’re under the stars, the sun is setting and you’re holding your dates hand. Come on, what more can you want?! Go to the observatory, see a show, take a sunset hike, eat at the cafe, make-out, and thank me later.
Date Spot #3) The Melting Pot: Locations throughout the Los Angeles area and Okay I know what you’re thinking, “Jonesie, the Melting Pot is expensive as hell!” Yes, it can be very expensive, but it can also be very affordable for couples. Let’s start with their menu: everything is fondue style; the meats, the cheese, the desserts, the bread are all served to order to you at your table which has a fondue pot in the middle, and you and your date cook and share everything (super sexy and a great way to connect).
The cheese fondue is thick, creamy, and beer is one of its ingredients. The beer brings out every flavor of the cheeses-of your choice-that are in your pot and seriously you can fill up on bread and cheese very quickly, so be careful, or just have an amazing night of gourmet cheeses, breads and wine with dessert.
There are also Happy Hour specials and Reverse Happy Hour specials at most locations which include prices from $4-$6. Then, there are the other specials like Ladies Night, Bachelorette Night, VIP Reward Programs, a Gluten Free Menu and Romantic Weekday Getaway on Wednesdays. The Romantic Wednesday Getaway is a full course special for two for only $69 and includes: cheese fondue course, salad course, entree course titled ‘Lover’s Delight’, and a chocolate fondue course…all of this for only $69 and can you imagine the look on your dates face when he/she sees this spread? You, my friend, are so getting laid. Thank me later and bring me some chocolate fondue, wine, and cheese, as I sit home watching Netflix. Okay, that took a depressing turn, but I could use the chocolate…and cheese…and bread. Oh, and sign me up for Netflix too.
#4) The Hollywood Bowl: 2301 North Highland Avenue
The Hollywood Bowl is an L.A. landmark drenched in history. Tickets to events at the bowl literally start at $1 for bench seats, and I have been to the bowl several times to enjoy music under the stars and there are no bad seats here. Whether you are sitting in the box, which is of course the most expensive or sitting in the cheaper seats, you will not be disappointed. The Hollywood Bowl is a perfect date for a night under the stars or a day of sun.
During the summer the bowl has a concert series that also includes firework shows. At the bowl you can splurge and pre-order a picnic basket or, bring your own! How impressed will your honey be when you whip out a basket filled with homemade goodies, wine and dessert? I would totally make-out with you hardcore if you did this on a date with me.
The concert series are phenomenal and everyone performs here including notables such as: Diana Ross, Janelle Monae, John Legend, Jason Mraz and the Jazz festivals held here are a must-see. They have shuttles, group rates, a bike to the bowl adventure which they started this year, and includes a scoop of free ice cream, picnic areas around the bowl, and it’s an all around beautiful and uber romantic date. You’ll pack a picnic basket, grab the shuttle instead of parking there to save even more money, have a day/night under the Los Angeles sky, make-out and thank me later.
Date Spot #5) The San Antonio Winery: 737 Lamar Street
I like wine. Wine makes everything better. Wine paired with the right food, dessert, music, atmosphere, person, smile, my favorite heels, or anything is a plus in my book. While I only like specific wines, the San Antonio Winery has an insane collection of wines you and your date can choose from, pair with dinner or lunch, and taste in their tasting room. The winery offers three different types of tastings and guess what…they are all under $20 per person! How fabulous is that? The options are as follows:
1) The Daily Wine Tasting which includes three wines from their winemaker’s weekly selection.
2) The Artisan Series which includes four wines from the Riboli Family estate.
3) The International Tasting which includes three award-winning wines from around the world.
The restaurant located at the winery is Maddalena and includes a range of items to choose from and listen to me when I say the portions are large enough for you to share. If you are going to have lunch or dinner then why not order a few appetizers and share an entree? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and how many of us actually finish those huge restaurant portions we are served these days?
Can’t afford the appetizers and entree combo? Enjoy a wine tasting and head over to the restaurant and splurge on desserts?! Yes, I said desserts, not dessert. Since you’re saving so much money on the wine tasting you can go ahead and order a few desserts and feed each other, which is incredibly romantic and sexy. There is also a store that you can purchase a few bottles after your tasting, then go back to your place and cook dinner for your date. I just got you laid…again. Thank me later.
Have any under $100 Los Angeles Date Night Ideas? Comment below!
If you and your honey have journeyed to any of these Los Angeles date spots, please comment or leave a pic below. I’d love to feature you on the site!
YouTube: To Live & Date in LA