Keeping to tradition: Five restaurants to have your first date

By Abby Paeth, Assistant features editor

A burrito bowl with steak, black beans and added guacamole for an extra fee hardly says romance, even if you’re a college student on a budget. It seems today that many millennials are more focused on the importance of their Instagram following rather than simple traditions such where to go on a first date.

Especially on a campus with various fast food restaurants and meal-plan friendly cafeterias, this tradition can be a difficult one to keep. Here are five local restaurants that are sure to impress on any first date.

The Bread Company

706 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana

The family-owned Swiss inspired restaurant is just a short walk from the Main Quad; however, the delicate atmosphere offers a quick escape from the campus vibe.

Dinner is served by candlelight to create the perfect ambiance for gentle conversation. The menu is comprised of anything from gourmet pizzas to an array of fondues. All bread is baked daily in-house prepared with only the finest ingredients.

Dish to try: Chocolate Fondue

Sakanaya Restaurant

403 E. Green St., Champaign

Commonly a beacon for fast food chains and campus bars, Green Street doesn’t always seem appealing for a sentimental night out.

However, at Sakanaya a flaxen wood entryway invites guests into the authentic Japanese venue where couples have the opportunity to try various types of sushi and other Japanese dishes. The romantic atmosphere paired with traditional cuisine helps put a unique spin on a first date.

Dish to try: Salmon Teriyaki

Manzella’s Italian Patio

115 First St., Champaign

If your first date happens to take place in warmer weather, the patio seating at Manzella’s takes you off campus and makes you feel like you are dining at an Italian vineyard.

One of several Italian restaurants in the C-U, Manzella’s has beautiful yet comforting décor that is sure not to disappoint. The Italian patio offers a classic menu with various pizza and pasta; each dish embodies the essence of true European cuisine.

Dish to try: Pizza Bianca


402 N. Race St., Urbana

For those of you that are looking for a less romantic venue, Silvercreek’s amazing brickwork, open venue and warming fireplace makes guests feel right at home without being overbearing.

Their intriguing American menu incorporates dishes such as stuffed acorn squash to Bacon Leek Risotto making the restaurant charming yet innovative.

Dish to try: Lobster Ravioli

Seven Saints

32 E. Chester St., Champaign

The dark, rustic elements of the Seven Saint’s American tavern provide guests with an upscale dining experience at a reasonable price.

The bar and grill is located in downtown Champaign, giving couples a chance to try a new burger off-campus. Seven Saint’s is sophisticated without being too extravagant, providing a great scene for a casual date.

Dish to try: Buffalo Chicken Slider

Abby is a Sophmore in Media.
[email protected]