With its history dating back to the 1800s, the Church Street District is one of Orlando’s most iconic areas. The district centers around Orlando’s original train station, Church Street Station, formerly known as The Old Orlando Railroad Depot. Today, Church Street Station is home to a number of restaurants and is a popular event venue, and the district is jam-packed with dining and drinking options in addition to fun activities for date nights.
Tacos & Brews
Who says you have to celebrate Taco Tuesday only on Tuesday? One of our favorite past times is going on a taco binge and capping it off with some refreshing adult beverages. Our first date in the Church Street District has a stop at the newly opened Pepe’s Cantina. You may be familiar with the name (and tacos) as their original location is by Hannibal Square in Winter Park. They offer food and drink specials Monday through Thursday, and have a fun Sunday Brunch menu.
Ready for some drinks? After you’ve had your fill, cross the railroad tracks and head to Ferg’s Depot for some fun craft beer combinations like the Black Velvet (Guinness & Cider) and the Black & Blue (Guinness & Blue Moon), or take advantage of happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-7pm, where you’ll get $1 off all draft beer.
An Oldie and a Newbie
A great way to connect with your love is to explore the rich history the Church Street District possesses. You two can go on a self-guided walking tour of the historic buildings along Church Street together. This map provided by Downtown Orlando Walking Tours serves as a guide providing information on the origins of the buildings you’ll observe before finishing your mini tour at the iconic Church Street Station.
The new kid on the Station block is El Buda, blending Latin and Asian cuisines in a fun and inventive way. The restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Roberto Treviño, an “Iron Chef” and “The Next Food Network Star” contestant. On the menu, you’ll find dishes such as Congri Fried Rice with thick-slab Bacon, and Ropa Vieja Bibimbap, as well as “dim sum platitos” (small dim-sum plates) with options including Pork and Sweet Plantain Dumplings and Katsu Cubano Pork Buns. For dessert, be sure to order the Churros. You won’t have to leave the restaurant for some cocktails with your date, as El Buda has a bar downstairs called The Cellar. Follow the spiral staircase to this speakeasy-style cocktail lounge.
For Sports Lovers
Home of the Orlando Magic and the Orlando Solar Bears, a date at Amway Center is a must for Orlandoans. To up the cool factor, take your date to the O3 Bar, where you’ll have a prime view of the game while spending time together in a cool lounge and enjoying some drinks. Need a place to fuel up before the game? Market on Magnolia opened a few months ago and houses eateries 081 Pizza, Gnarley Barley, Da Kine Poke and the Market on Magnolia Bar all under one roof. The bar features craft cocktails, wine, 75 craft beers, and 26 TVs with NCAA and NFL packages. Whatever game you want to watch, you can do it here! Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 2-7pm, with 1/2 off select drafts, and $1 off wine and craft cocktails. Their hours are also pretty awesome – even staying open til 2am Wednesday-Saturday.
If you and your significant other are into soccer, what better place to tailgate or watch a game than Lion’s Pride? This soccer haven is located in Church Street Station and is only a short walk away from the Orlando City Stadium. Watch a game while filling up on eats ranging from Fish Tacos to Churrasco Steak. The bar features a nice selection of wine, beer and Game Day specialty cocktails. There is theater style seating available upstairs at the Captain’s Lounge, and you two can even purchase some new Orlando Pride and Orlando City Lions merch!
Trivia and Dining with Divas
You’ll never be bored or have the same dining experience twice at Hamburger Mary’s. From gourmet burgers like the Barbra-Q Bacon Cheeseburger (spicy-sweet BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar and jack cheese, onion ring and Mary’s special sauce), Mary Mac & Cheese Balls (house made breaded mac & cheese balls fried and served with Mary-nara sauce) and their mind-blowing do-it-yourself Mary Tyler S’mores, Mary knows her food. For the complete Mary’s experience, The “Dining with the Divas” show on Fridays or Saturday night’s Leigh Shannon’s Cabaret Dinner Show is a must. Reservations are required, so be sure to call ahead and put your names down! Friday and Saturday aren’t the only nights where you can have an extra good time here, as Tuesdays are Twisted Sisters Bingo, Wednesdays are Trivia Night, and there is a special Broadway Brunch Show on Sundays.
Tapas for Two
Ceviche Tapas Orlando brings Spanish charm to downtown Orlando, located in historic Church Street Station. The architecture will lure you in, and the ambiance and food will keep you. Their menu consists of a variety of small plates optimal for sharing. After your meal, head upstairs for a drink overlooking our City Beautiful. This downtown gem will be sure to impress your date and provide a gorgeous and romantic ambiance for you two to enjoy.
Kres Chophouse has a dark, classic steakhouse vibe and the food does not disappoint in the least. Kres won a Diner’s Choice award in 2017 for Best Restaurant in Downtown Orlando and was voted Best Steakhouse in Orlando by USA Today. Go all out by dressing up in your date night best, ordering a few cocktails, and indulging in a fancy meal. There are several private dining options available if you’re looking to make the evening extra special.
Dinner & A Show
A favorite of both Orlandoans (4.4 stars on Facebook and OpenTable) and restaurant critics (4.5 star Zagat Review), The Rusty Spoon was one of downtown Orlando’s first farm-to-table restaurants, even before that was the “in” term. Their menu changes frequently as they place a high priority on sourcing their food from local growers and farmers. Their famous 55 Burger (grass-fed beef stuffed with bacon and Gruyère, smothered with onions) has been hailed one of the best burgers in The City Beautiful by Lauren Delgado of The Orlando Sentinel and The Food Network. Grab an early dinner to kick off your weekend before heading to the nearby Mad Cow Theatre for a night with the arts. Most showtimes start at 8pm Thursday-Sunday, with performances ranging from classic theatre to musicals.
Dinner & A Movie
Sometimes a classic date idea is just what you need to relax and unwind with your date. Lucky for you, Kasa (rebranding as Chela Tequila & Tacos January 23, more details in this Bungalower article) and Cobb Cinema are so close to each other that if you want to skip the movie previews and enjoy some more quality time you won’t have far to go. After your meal, check listings for a great movie you’ve been wanting to see and take a few steps over to Cobb Plaza Cinema Cafe. Here, you can relax for a couple of hours and hold hands in the theater.
More Orlando Main Street District date night ideas:
- Ten Dates for Couples in Orlando’s SoDo District
- 6 Romantic Itineraries for Date Night in Ivanhoe Village
- Mills 50 Under $50
- A Week of Wallet-Friendly Dates in Audubon Park
- 6 Things to do Every Sunday in Thornton Park
- 8 Dates for Couples in The Milk District
- 5 Itineraries for a Low Key Date in College Park
Feature image credit: Church Street District