The Best & Worst First Dates in San Francisco


Everyone knows dating in San Francisco is hard.

The difficulty of finding someone who is looking for the same thing as you is probably one of the main reasons our town has originated tons of dating apps. For those looking for something a little more serious, once you get into the dating-app game or when you (gasp) meet someone IRL, what are the chances you can make that connection into something more? Dating app Hinge recently surveyed more than 1,000 of their SF users to understand exactly what makes that first date successful.

Types of Killer First Dates

Obviously, parks and bars make great first dates since they are low key and offer easy ways to continue the date with dinner, coffee or another activity. But what option makes the best impression for your first date? Hinge found that 64 percent of San Francisco first dates that are movies or concerts will lead to a second date. After a great show, or even bad movie, you and your date have a shared experience to talk about and learn more about each other.

Hinge's spokesperson, Jean-Marie McGrath, shared the inspiration behind the research saying, "When users wrote in asking for first-date ideas, we didn't know where or what to suggest. Now we have data-backed recommendations to share with our members so they can have the best possible first date."

(Courtesy of Horsefeather)

Scoring a Second Date

Grabbing a drink is a classic first-date option that offers a casual way to hang out without the commitment of trying to fill a full meal's worth of time with conversation. However, there are the right bars to go to and the wrong bars. For the best chance at getting a second date, Hinge users reported that Blackbird, Horsefeather, and Pagan Idol were the best first date bars. Want to make sure you don't ruin your chances? Avoid ABV, Rickhouse, Local Edition, Absinthe, and Novela. Makes sense. Everyone knows Rickhouse is far too busy and loud to get to know someone, while dark, mysterious Local Edition is better for a more intimate fourth or fifth date anyway.

If you enjoy San Francisco parks, you're also in luck. According to Hinge, Golden Gate Park and Dolores Park are two first date outdoor spots that are most likely to lead to a second date.

What to Drink

Pretty much all of the most successful types of first dates involve some type of booze. Is there a drink that can seal the deal and make sure you get that second-date invitation? According to 8,000 Hinge users across the United States, if you suggest grabbing a Bloody Mary that increases your likelihood of getting a date to 50 percent. If you propose an Old Fashioned, your chances of a second date are 30 percent, beer comes in at 27 percent, wine at 23 percent, and tequila at 20 percent.

What to Eat

"Let's grab fried chicken."

Who would have thought that fried chicken was the best food to suggest across Hinge users surveyed in the U.S. (24 percent), followed by vegan food (23 percent) and sushi (19 percent).

Bottom line: Start with a Bloody Mary brunch at Horsefeather, hit up one of San Francisco's beautiful parks, and, if things are going great, end the day with some fried chicken (we like the crunchy stuff at the recently renovated Elite Cafe) and a concert (here are a bunch to choose from) for the best chance at finding love in the city by the Bay.

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