Atlanta's top 10 places for a Tinder date

Blind dates have not gotten any easier since Tinder came along. I went on a blind date once in high school, but the guy was so... what's the word?... ugly. Tinder takes the element of surprise out of a "blind" date. I also went on a Tinder date once, but made the mistake of going to a place with numerous TVs lining every wall. At least I knew (according to his profile) what the guy would look like, and I didn't have to sit in front of Shrek for an hour while he watched all the games.

OK. You've been texting back and forth, and you seem to really hit it off. Now it's time for that special date. So where should you go? According to the Tinder dating guru, Marcus, from, there are a few questions you should ask yourself first before deciding:
  • What would you both be most comfortable doing?
  • What's easiest?
  • How can you get to know each other best?
  • What will show off your true personality?
  • What will you both get most enjoyment out of?
Those Tinder people you swipe left and right who say they live in Atlanta, live in any one of the 30 counties included in the metro area, which is roughly the size of Massachusetts. With that in mind, here's a list of the best places to take your Tinder date based on geographic location.

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  1. CinéBistro in Brookhaven

Dinner and a movie on a first date may seem cliché, but this movie theater is very elegant. Take a seat in the lounge before the show and sip on some premium cocktails or choose from their extensive wine menu. Even though you can still stock up on popcorn and Milk Duds, you'll want to indulge in their exquisite chef-prepared full meals, which will be brought to your seat. The high-backed leather rockers (which can be reserved) are comfortable and you always have a good view. You'll feel like a VIP with their complimentary valet parking on Friday and Saturday nights. And best of all: no children are allowed after 6:00 pm. That's right, it's 21 and over only after dark. So bring your ID and don't worry about the kicking, whining, screaming kids ruining the mood.
  1. Clermont Lounge

It seems almost inevitable for visitors and locals alike to navigate to Atlanta's "Most Popular Adult Club" at some point. It doesn't matter if you're single or married, couples and parties of all kinds have a blast at the Clermont Lounge. Atlanta's oldest strip club and coolest dive bar is buried under the abandoned Clermont Hotel, but no worries. Lots of celebs have been seen there: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Jon Hamm and the late Bill Paxton have all hit this famous club. Heck, even Mumford and Sons got kicked out from Clermont for trying to take pictures of the pastie-laden ladies. Oh, and you should be able to walk in on your own two feet to get past security. Or... at least that's what I was told the next day.

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  1. The Ridge in Cumming

This dark, romantic restaurant resembles a Colorado ski lodge and is perfect for getting into a casual mood. They have live music that performs 50s and 60s music like Sinatra, Elvis, The Everly Brothers, and such, and a dance floor to show off your stellar moves. The band strikes up around 8:00 p.m. but it isn't overwhelming so you still can have an intimate conversation. Try to get a seat by the window for a stunning view. And try the croissants: they are to die for!
  1. 10 Degrees South in Buckhead

If you feel like splurging and desire an exotic atmosphere, try the South African cuisine in this Buckhead restaurant. I know there's nothing sexy about an early weeknight date, but if you want to save a few bucks while spoiling yourself, visit on a Monday when bottles of South African wine are half off. And if the weather is right, request to sit out on the exotic safari-style patio. The Atlanta Journal Constitution called it an "international getaway" and labeled it as one of the best patios in Atlanta. Maybe the atmosphere will bring out the beast in you...

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  1. Monster Mini Golf in Marietta

Rap star, T.I. and his wife, Tiny went on a double date here as featured in Season 3, Episode 3 of VH1's T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle. If you and your date are kids at heart and really dig Halloween, then go play indoors like you're outdoors at this monster-themed, glow-in-the-dark mini golf course. They have animated props, an arcade and a live DJ to keep you entertained. This is the best place to go on a date if your wallet is a bit light, especially on Thursdays for their Black Light Date Night. Not only is the price right ($10/round per couple), you're less likely to run into the little boys and ghouls running around. Unless you have Happy Gilmore tendencies, this venue is definitely date-worthy.
  1. Flip Burger Boutique in Underwood Hills

This Westside eatery is not just another burger joint in an historic neighborhood. It's the brainchild of Chef Richard Blais, a winner of Bravo's Top Chef All-Stars, and is anything but ordinary. Sink your teeth into a shrimp, bison or lamb burger, munch on the Beef Fat French Fries or Vodka Battered Onion Rings, and top it off with a Nutella Burnt Marshmallow or Cap'n Crunch milkshake. The food is out of this world and has a cozy, futuristic vibe going on. Be prepared for sticker-shock because extraordinary burgers yield extraordinary prices (about $8 - $16).

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  1. Starlight Drive-In Theater in Atlanta

Where else can you break out into a tailgate party and sit back and watch a couple films? The Starlight Drive-in is an outdoor movie theater where you can enjoy double-features on six digital projection systems. And for a mere $9 per adult, this is a bargain for the nostalgia, entertainment, and, hopefully, great company. Bring your own snacks and drinks, however. The concession stand apparently is still designed for its 1950s clientele and only takes cash. So break out your box of wine and Cheez-It crackers and maybe you'll get to see more than a couple flicks on this date.
  1. Lavelle's Coffeehouse and Gallery in Forest Park

This is a refreshing change from the chain cafés you can find on every other corner. A calming ambiance is created by the jazz music and interesting art displays. So if the idea of a face-to-face with a complete stranger you met online seems a bit daunting, then play it safe at Lavelle's on a weekend afternoon. Besides, sometimes life happens, and it's too difficult to get out after weekday work hours. Then you're better off going on a weekend anyway since it closes at 4:00 p.m. However, if you want to kick it up a notch, register for one of their Sunday night BYOB painting parties. Classes are a little pricey ($15/person) considering your date could turn out to be that one cute face you should've swiped left. But coffee, art and jazz makes a great trio for any date.

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  1. Eddie's Attic in Decatur

One of the most diverse venues in town, Eddie's Attic features musical artists from every genre. It has been the career springboard for many now famous musicians such as John Mayer, Justin Bieber, and Shawn Mullins. Awarded the best place to hear live original music in Atlanta, it's an intimate place to enjoy live tunes from local musicians as well as other aspiring artists from around the country. If you really want to impress your date, go on a Monday night when they host their weekly open mic forum for aspiring songwriters, and take the mic. It's OK. They accept musicians of all levels of ability. John Mayer won the 9th Open-Mic Shootout.
  1. Mellow Mushroom in Conyers

Can you dig the psychedelic decor? Yeah, baby, YEAH! MM may be a chain pizzeria, but this one has all the charm of a dark, cozy, eclectic bar. The staff is friendly and the food is always incredible. The booths are just the right size for couples, but I prefer the high-top tables tucked away in the corner of the bar. Very, very cozy. Best day to go: Thursdays when they serve $1 Yuengling on draft. Yeah, baby, YEAH!

Amy has been an Audio-Video Technology & Film instructor in the Atlanta area for the last 10 years. She has produced newscasts for an ABC affiliate in Memphis, TN and has contributed to several Atlanta publications.