It’s date night. Your palms are sweaty, your knees weak, your arms heavy. You’re nervous. Are you talking too much? Does your breath smell OK? Oh my god, what are you wearing? And then there are more serious questions: is this restaurant candlelight vibe too serious? Is the taco truck a turn-off? Deep breath, relax—we may not be able to save your love life, but we can give you a win with these date picks.
Cambridge One. If Harvard students manage to get a date, it’s more likely than not at Cambridge One. Their “artisan flatbreads” are a step above Noch’s but it’s still pizza, after all. In other words: a safe bet. Cambridge One’s dark wood accents and low lighting make for a classy evening but its large windows and spacious interior are casual enough to keep your fear of commitment at bay.
Orinoco. Feeling a bit daring? Swept off your feet? Tap into your sensual side with this Latin American restaurant inspired by “the spirit and soul of the Orinoco river.” Orinoco offers an intimate setting with artful takes on Latin American staples—meat, beans, rice, empanadas—with a South American twist. We’re talking Venezuelan corn pocket sandwiches (arepas) and one knockout date.
Alden & Harlow. This subterranean restaurant and late night bar pays no mind to the horde of students living nearby; its sleek furniture, daring cocktail menu, and dim interior cast a decidedly *adult* vibe. Alden & Harlow’s mature spin on American cuisine veers from charred broccoli to nettle gnudi (we don’t know either), from green latkes to the “60 Degree Egg.” The fun continues on the rotating cocktail menu, where you can bond over drinks called “Suspicious Minds” (rum and hickory smoked banana) or “More Than This” (a Japanese whiskey cocktail, and maybe where your mind is heading during this date). Prices are a little steep, but definitely worth it.
Lê’s. If you’re over bread and cheese and looking to get through this date with the least financial impact, head to the reliably warm stop of Lê’s. Locally known for its Vietnamese Pho (noodle soup), Le’s also offers a full array of Southeast Asian cuisine. Lê’s will fill you up without breaking your bank, and its mellow atmosphere—simple table and chairs, no fuss—allows for easy conversation (get your table topics ready).
Zinneken’s. Some people just know their type: dessert. Skip the formalities and head straight to Zinneken’s, the most reliable fix for Harvard’s sweet tooth. Crispy or caramel iced Belgian waffles, Nutella, fresh fruit, whip cream, chocolate...there’s very little you could mess up here—in more ways than one.