The traditional ‘date-night’. Dinner and a movie.
Where to go? What to do? It all depends on when your date is and what your limits are.
Which do you like to start and finish with? Some start with the movie so they end on a lively, interactive note. Others like to start with dinner as a way to unwind and connect right away. However you like to arrange your date-nights, there are some really great places to go in C-U!
While the old Beverly Theater is being redone, Savoy 16 is the only (large, main-stream) theater in town. My favorite feature? The new iMax! Overall, you will have a really nice, ‘just-what-you-imagined’ time at the movies.
The Art Theater is often overlooked and provides a different, more “old-school” feeling. There are usually just one or two movies playing, but you will be comfortable, enjoy a high-quality movie and there are always snacks! Another benefit of the Art is that you will be within walking distance to downtown Champaign for the rest of your date.
Although the 2013 season is over, always remember the Harvest Moon Drive-in on a nice summer evening!
Some of our favorite restaurants:
The Bread Company: We started dating here, so it has to go at the top of the list. They are right next to Krannert, on the UofI campus (but not in the crazy part!) You can order pasta, pizza, or pâté. Here, you enjoy a nice, relaxing atmosphere, where you can feel fancy in high-heels or cozy in a fleece.
Yellowfin: This Japanese Restaurant knows how to do local and how to do sushi (though sushi isn’t really local in C-U). While they do have a grill section on their menu, I’ve never ordered off it, because their sushi is so yummy! I’ve had only good experiences here. It should be noted that service is a little slow because they are small and lightly staffed, but sit back and enjoy…its worth it!
Milo’s: They moved out to South-East Urbana some years ago, but the drive is easy and the atmosphere and food make you glad you came. They have patio seating during nice weather, and you can overlook the pond. Inside is a spacious and welcoming place to enjoy your wine. We have had brunch-dates here, and even enjoy it in the morning sunlight.
Thara Thai: There are so many great Thai restaurants in town, it is hard to choose just one. If all I’m looking for is good Thai food, Thara Thai is it! They don’t do sushi or fancy; but they do really, really yummy Thai food. The price is right, the staff is awesome, and the decor is simple. Oh yeah, did I mention that the food is great!?
Farren’s Pub and Eatery: This restaurant makes you think. It is hidden away from the ‘beaten path’ in downtown Champaign and is slightly underground. The food is consistently amazing and the variety is friendly to all. There is basically an ‘American burger’ theme, but everything has a twist so that you can only get it at Farren’s. My biggest problem when I go is choosing what to order without choosing one of each!
Bombay Indian Grill: There are a few more Indian restaurants popping up around town, but this is my staple. I tend to choose the one on campus because it was my first, and most amazing, experience with Indian Food; though the location on First Street has more of a ‘date-night’ atmosphere. This location also does an awesome lunch buffet, which is where I can try new dishes without committing (and I can eat a LOT.) Be prepared to grab a drink after your meal, though, because they are not currently serving alcohol.
Got a little extra time before curfew? End with a refreshing treat! Many people in town flock to Custard Cup. This is a great place to go if you like custard and it is during their open season. My favorite after-date treat, however, is Cocomero. They are worth the jaunt to Campus Town because they are open all year and its self-serve, real yogurt that is frozen…with a toppings bar! Um, yes please!
Tina Whobrey moved to Chambana with a friend in 2000. Since then she has attended Parkland, ISU, and finally the U of I, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Education. She taught middle school Social Studies for five years, married her favorite person in the world and moved to NY state. They decided C-U was “home” and moved back to have their son, who is now a year old.