First dates can be stressful, so you at least want to plan something that you know you’ll enjoy, right? Whether you want to take a walk around a hip arts district or just settle in for a great meal, we’ve got several options to make your first date go smoothly. It’s always a good idea to pick something that represents what you enjoy so you know if you have compatible tastes, but don’t be afraid to try something new, too! Whether you want to go traditional or more informal, there are plenty of options to guarantee a fun beginning, and the rest is up to the two of you!
Castleberry Hill Art Stroll
No Mas Cantina
180 Walker St.
Atlanta, GA 30313
(404) 574-5678

There’s nothing worse than that awkward silence as you stare at a first date over your appetizer, trying to think of conversation to get you through the meal. Well, if you make your first date an activity, like the Castleberry Hill Art Stroll, you have built in topics of conversation along the way. On the second Friday of every month, the galleries around the Castleberry Hill area open their doors to visitors, and you can check out the latest artistic innovations for free. There will be a table in front of No Mas Cantina with a map to guide your tour, and No Mas also makes a handy place to meet up for a drink to calm those first date jitters before you stroll.

My Parents’ Basement
22 N. Avondale Road
Avondale Estates, GA 30002
(404) 292-4607

So, you can save Restaurant Eugene for your first anniversary — you’ll want to play it a bit more low key on a first date. My Parents’ Basement is a fun, no stress restaurant and comic book store that is a great meetup spot for the beginning of a beautiful (if proudly nerdy) relationship. It has a great craft beer selection and solid food that isn’t too fussy. There are frequent events like artist markets and book signings that also make for easy conversation starters.

Apres Diem
931 Monroe Drive N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 872-3333

Apres Diem is a great date spot, whether it’s your first or your 101st night together. Cafe Intermezzo is a little too “on the nose” for first daters (your date will likely have been there before), so this Midtown spot is a great alternative. There is outdoor seating that is perfect for enjoying a drink and a bite on a nice night, and the Mediterranean menu works well for even picky eaters. It’s also right next to the Midtown Art Cinema and works well as a pre- or post-movie meetup.

Related: Best Restaurants in Atlanta

Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 876-5859

If you are doing a bit of Internet dating and going on a few first dates, it’s not a bad idea to get a membership to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Again, taking a walk around the gardens gives you a source of things to chat about, and there is a new restaurant on site as well as some more casual spots if you want to grab a drink or a bite. There are events throughout the year including cocktail happy hours, special exhibits, and even performances from local dance groups that are included in your visit, so it’s worth purchasing a membership to come back a few times. It can be very romantic, but even if you don’t find a love match, at least you get a nice walk through the grounds, right?

Kimball House
303 E. Howard Ave.
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 378-3502

If you are into trendy old-fashioned cocktails and oysters, you can’t go wrong with dinner at Kimball House. Be advised that it has recently started accepting reservations, so you may want to plan ahead in order to avoid a wait, as this is a popular place. The menu rotates, but you can always find a satisfying, pleasurable meal. The decor is interesting as well, as it is housed in a former train depot, and you’re close to downtown Decatur so you can easily head over to Java Monkey for a coffee after your dinner if the date goes well.

Related: Best Art Exhibits Coming To Atlanta In 2016

Keely Herrick is a freelance writer, intellectual property attorney, and proud theater geek. Please see her profile on Linked In for more information.