Date night in the city

Golden's got charming atmosphere and a bevvy of dining options

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The perfect date night doesn't have to be complicated, or even costly. Especially in Golden, there are date opportunities available that rival the culture and quality of a big city experience.

No matter if it's taking in a performance by the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra or visiting the Miners Alley Playhouse — couples have a variety of fun outings to choose from. But when it comes to the dinner-portion of the evening, Golden boasts an impressive range of dining options, including yak stew (Sherpa House — 1518 Washington Ave.), high quality sauvignon blanc (Indulge Bistro and Wine Bar — 1299 Washington Ave.) and many things in between.

No matter if it’s a sit-down, formal dinner, or something more casual, couples can find perfect date-night options nestled in and around Golden.

Longtime Golden resident Eric Skougstad, 40, said “I live on the outskirts of Golden, so it is much easier to get to downtown Golden than to get to downtown Denver. Plus parking is free, and the city is just beautiful!"

Skougstad said he and his girlfriend enjoy hitting the many great restaurants in Golden. “Bono’s is a great date restaurant, a hidden gem many people don’t know about.”

Sometimes, however, you might have the urge for some amore over spaghetti. That’s where Bono’s comes in. This Italian restaurant, located at 14799 W. Sixth Ave. Frontage Road, offers pasta Bolognese, spaghetti marinara and minestrone soup, and many other options. The restaurant also offers the BMA, or Bono’s Meatball Association, a monthly newsletter that includes special offers and menu updates.

Owner Pete Szathmary said he and Brandon Stewart have owned the restaurant since February of 2018. Bono's has been around since 1991, however. He said that lasagna, chicken parm and fettucine alfredo are popular choices at Bono's, and couples prefer to sit in the booth section of the restaurant when it's available.

Another restaurant he enjoys is Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse, 1122 Washington Ave. He said it's a throwback, as it was the capitol building when Golden was the capital of Colorado. “Their french onion soup is amazing,” he said.

For exotic fare, family-run Ali Baba Restaurant, 109 N. Rubey Drive, Suite F, offers Lebanese and Persian food. The atmosphere of Ali Baba is inviting, and the food and service complete the experience. Guests will be greeted with rich colors and eclectic decor. Each decorative piece displayed in the restaurant has a unique story, according to www.alibabagrill.com.

Sometimes, however, you might have the urge for some classic American fare. What could be more classic than a nice, big, jucy burger? At Bob's Atomic Burgers (1210 Ford Street), with its 1950s Atomic Age-style logo, customers order right on their burger food sleeves, checking boxes for the toppings they’d like. Once the order is placed, customers are given the name of a famous person, instead of just a number that is called when the order is ready — giving you and your date something to talk about while waiting for the food.

The fries are thick, the burgers juicy, and those looking for a truly “atomic” experience can choose from an array of peppers and hot sauces. Vegetarians can try the quinoa burger.

You and your date not ready for full commitment just yet? Tributary Food Hall, 701 12th St., is composed of eight independent food and drink purveyors and offers a full-service bar to let diners keep their options open. From pizza to Peking duck wings, couples can nosh on quite a variety at Tributary. Josh Dinar, an owner of Tributary said the bar is always a great place to start on a first date for couples.

“Choose you own adventure,” he said.

Dinar also said that a great date-night option is sharing a sampler at Raw Bar (a vendor at Tributary), or multiple tacos, and sharing a plate with a date. Because of multiple vendors, Dinar said the variety of fare is a good way to check out each other’s tastes.

Want to go high end? Check out the Bridgewater Grill, located at 800 11th St., on the first floor of the Golden Hotel. The fine-dining restaurant features creekside dining, live music and an emphasis on Colorado-sourced ingredients for its American cuisine menu.

Hopefully, between these many dining options in Golden, you and your date can find just the right match.