It can be quite frustrating to deal with all the proverbial roadblocks when you’re dating in Detroit. Detroit has a dual reputation as a gritty urban area with deep cultural roots, but the challenge of actually meeting new people is the real issue. With our lives becoming more digitized and the unfortunate realities of our post-pandemic world complicating how we interact, the current dating scene in Detroit can be unrewarding and confusing.
Is there any good news for those that haven’t found a date in Detroit? Sure! With a little bit of effort, finding a date in Detroit is actually a much easier process than in other cities in Michigan. The only catch is that you will have to venture out from places you're familiar with, take a deep dive into the Detroit dating scene, and put yourself in places that are new and exciting. While it may seem scary to try out new music venues or experience an unfamiliar setting (especially with a new romantic prospect), you’ll be surprised at the quality of singles you can find if you just change your approach!
In our thorough guide, you will learn some of the best suggestions on where to meet Detroit singles, great date ideas in the city to help you find your bearings, and some of our favorite date spots around Detroit that have been the backdrop for some successful dates.
Table of Contents
What Dating in Detroit Is Like Right Now
First, let's set some expectations about what the Detroit dating scene is actually like:
In all honesty, the dating scene in Detroit has always been pretty turbulent and the pandemic made things worse. Many young singles choose Detroit for its unique urban feel, its proximity to great outdoors experiences on the Great Lakes, and a diverse set of industries that makes the city a great way to start a career with a cost of living that’s below comparable cities in the USA. Ford Motors, GM, and Quicken Loans all call Detroit home, but they’re far from the only businesses that are driving an influx of new people to Detroit for its opportunities.
There is also quite a bit of diversity in the type of partners you can find here, especially for typically-homogenous Michigan. Detroit’s cosmopolitan vibe makes finding exactly what you are looking for that much more attainable - that is, of course, if you’re willing to put in some effort.
If you look at the total number of singles out there right now in the Detroit dating scene, you might be surprised to realize just how much opportunity is out there. Currently, Detroit has 156,000 single women and 136,000 single men, accounting for nearly 44% of the total population. Conclusion? Almost 2 out of 5 people you meet are going to be looking for a partner. That means there are a LOT of singles out there, and you only need to find the right one to get the ball rolling.
Now, we probably know what you’re thinking: If there are so many singles in Detroit, why am I single? Sadly, the truth is that having tons of dating options doesn't mean that dating in Detroit is going to be easy, but a more realistic outlook will spare you some heartache. Realistically, there are plenty of options, but you just need to be looking in the right places.
Where to Meet Someone to Date in Detroit
At BeyondAges, we believe in being as honest as possible to our readers - and honestly, it's darn near impossible to make a list of the best places to find someone to date in Detroit! There’s simply so much going on any given day. Plus, depending on the type of person you're looking for (ie. artsy, traditional, outdoorsy, etc.), your search will take you to different neighborhoods in Detroit and venues geared towards those looking for similar types of people.
Instead, I'll share some of the best places that make it much simpler to meet Detroit singles that aren’t just looking for a one-night stand (we have plenty of suggestions on where to find Detroit hookups if you’re into that sort of thing). These places tend to have the following criteria in common for finding serious relationships in Detroit:
- Lots of singles looking for love
- A fun, easy-going atmosphere
- Easy to mix and mingle with singles
- Quiet enough to actually have a conversation
- Alcohol is a plus
- Relatively cheap drinks, food, and activities
Now, before we get into some specific recommendations, let's quickly turn our attention to apps:
Why you should be using at least one app
Do you use at least one app right now? If not, then you're really missing out in today’s Detroit dating scene. With social distancing guidelines being top-of-mind, more singles are relying on apps to gain a competitive advantage, screen out those who don’t reach their standards and gain access to a large pool of singles.
Does this mean that dating apps are the only way to go? Of course not, but it can be a struggle if you lead a busy life, value what’s left of your free time, and want to save some cash.
If you've struggled to decide which app works for you, check out our rankings of the best dating apps in Detroit to give you a better sense of what apps best fit what type of partner and relationship you’re looking for. From young professionals, religious types, and those looking for a quick hookup, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you're pressed for time and don’t want to read the full article, these apps are the by far best first choices:
- eHarmony is the best option for relationships in Detroit and experience the best track record among all long-term dating apps. Try for free today! There really isn't another option that is this good at matching you up with people you're compatible with.
- AFF is the best choice for more casual fun in Detroit - comes with a free trial, too! We've tried out just about every casual dating app out there and so far AFF has been giving the best results, especially for single guys.
After trying out the most popular dating apps, we've got a pretty decent idea of what's working out in D-Town right now. Check out our full rankings above for more info. Now, let's talk about our favorite spots around Detroit.
The best singles bars in Detroit
Using the criteria above, we've narrowed down a concise list of the best singles bars in Detroit. These bars offer the best chances to meet singles, have a refreshing drink (or three), and enjoy a comfortable ambiance conducive to meeting new people.
This isn't a complete list of all the bars in Detroit, just the ones worth trying first:
- HopCat in Midtown - 4265 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
- Gasoline Alley in Royal Oak - 309 S Center St, Royal Oak, MI 48067
- Bumbo’s in Highland Park - 3001 Holbrook Ave, Hamtramck, MI 48212
- Abick’s Bar in Michigan-Martin - 3500 Gilbert St, Detroit, MI 48210
- The Skip in Downtown Detroit - The Belt, Detroit, MI 48226
- Visit Boogie Fever Cafe & Disco if you want to meet a Detroit cougar - 22901 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220
Give these a try. It’s our aim to provide plenty of options from different neighborhoods throughout Detroit, but there are plenty of bars that work depending on the time of day, whether they have popular live events, or simply are the preferred choice for certain social groups. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
A few other great places to find a date in Detroit
Bars can be a great place to meet other Detroit singles, but there are other options that don’t rely on drinking as much. You can still find success in finding a date outside of a traditional bar setting - even during the scorching summer season and the cold winter months.
Keeping an open mind and focusing on fun is an advantage in Detroit. After all, if the usual methods worked, you wouldn’t be reading this article! Don't take things too seriously and relax knowing that spending time in the following places can shift the odds in your favor:
- Atomic Coffee in Royal Oak - 401 S Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067
- Cacao Tree Cafe in Royal Oak - 204 W 4th St, Royal Oak, MI 48067
- Purple Door Tearoom in Ferndale - 701 Livernois St, Ferndale, MI 48220
- The Narrow Way Cafe & Shop in Sherwood Forest - 19331 Livernois, Detroit, MI 48221
- Stella Good Cafe in New Center Commons - 3011 W Grand Blvd #110a, Detroit, MI 48202
- Visit Whole Foods, Plum Market, or Trader Joe’s in Detroit and the surrounding areas - Trust us, attractive people shop upscale and organic!
- Meetup groups - There are tons of Detroit groups that are full of eager singles looking to share their hobbies and interests, including music, technology, team sports, and even singles mixers
- Again, apps and sites are a good option for just about anyone (check out the best dating sites in Detroit here)
What about speed dating in Detroit
If you thought speed dating was a thing of the past, think again! Speed dating has become more and more popular ever since the pandemic began - especially for virtual speed dating by streaming (better safe than sorry!). If you're quite busy and have some spare cash (it usually costs about $40 - $80 to attend an event), speed dating in Detroit can be a very effective way to meet more than 10 singles in a short amount of time.
Most speed dating events in Detroit follow the same progression. First, you preregister for the event - seats are limited. Once everyone arrives, you go on a bunch of "mini-dates" lasting approximately 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes are up, the men typically move to the next table where a woman remains seated. The idea is that first impressions tend to be good indicators of whether there’s a spark. As the event progresses, both participants make a list of the people they want to see again. If both singles want to see each other again, the speed dating organizer gives you the other match’s contact info (usually by the next day).
If this sounds like a fun and efficient way to meet new singles in Detroit, the following are the best Detroit speed dating groups worth checking out:
Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let's jump into how to have a great date in Detroit!
Our Best Date Ideas in Detroit - and Why They’re Great
Once you've met someone, it’s time to plan a great date to develop a relationship (or learn why they’re a bad choice!). Many people tend to favor the “classic dinner and a movie” and that's a big mistake for modern dating in Detroit! Here’s why:
- A dinner date between two strangers often turns into a pseudo-interview (unless you’re REALLY skilled at conversation).
- A movie doesn’t involve any conversation, making it pretty bad if you’re stuck next to someone you don’t actually like that much.
Instead, we have a few rules that all of our date ideas in Detroit generally follow. Or, you can use these to come up with some new ideas for yourself - or at least avoid going on boring dates. A great date idea in Detroit tends to be one that:
- Doesn’t require too much travel
- Has fun and upbeat energy
- Things are going on around you that you can talk about
- Doesn't involve you sitting face-to-face for long periods of time
- Involves some moving around to keep up energy levels
- Isn't too expensive or requires your own equipment
- Doesn't last for hours and hours so you can cut it short if there isn't any chemistry
- Allows both of you to feel comfortable
- Features some friendly competition
To make your date go smoother, it helps to know what your date prefers to do before the date. For example, if your date is a foodie, you can enjoy a brisk walk around Detroit’s many farmer's markets to sample organic produce. Or, if you know that your date enjoys physical activity, enjoying an hour at the driving range is a guaranteed fun time.
To get you started, here are a few dating ideas in Detroit for you to try:
- Ice skating
- Take a group dance class for beginners
- Shoot some arrows at an archery range
- Go to the driving range
- Hit up the zoo or wildlife refuge
- Check out a street fair (Detroit has tons)
- Going to a farmer’s market
- Axe throwing
- Escape rooms
- Take a walk with your dog somewhere fun (if you have one)
- Painting class (preferably with some adult beverages)
- Botanical garden
This is just a sample list, but at least you have a good idea of where to start in Detroit. Each one of these activities is somewhat active, fun, and doesn't require any significant skill to enjoy, so there’s little to no pressure to be good at any of them. Set your expectations beforehand that you're just going to have fun and fool around. Who doesn’t love to fool around!?
The first date idea that we always recommend
The ideas above can be great first dates but we have a better idea. When people ask our team what the best first date in Detroit is we always tell them the same thing, meet up at a laid-back lounge or coffee shop and get to know each other a bit.
A full-blown date is a lot of pressure and isn't cheap. It takes time to plan and might involve you taking a bus around town to get there. Before you make that kind of investment you want to know that you and your interest have at least some level of compatibility. The last thing you want is to get stuck for hours on a date that you knew 10 minutes in wasn't going anywhere.
Instead, tell them that you're really busy but would love to meet up for a drink to get to know each other a bit. If things go well you can always extend the date to one of the activities above. If it doesn't, you haven't lost much. This also takes a lot of pressure off both of you so you can both relax and be yourselves.
Best Date Bars in Detroit (Especially for Fun First Dates)
Going out to bars in Detroit is a great way for singles to relax from the workday and drop their inhibitions over a couple of adult beverages. With a generally neutral atmosphere, bars serve as the backdrop to some fun dates in Detroit and help you meet new singles you may not find anywhere else.
Finding a great date bar in and around the Detroit metropolitan area is pretty easy when you consider the sheer number of options you have to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a comfy dive bar that’s been a part of Detroit’s history for decades, a gaming arcade with booze-a-plenty, or a chic lounge with an atmosphere for days, Detroit has no shortage of great settings for your next date.
To help you find these bars, let’s look at a mixed bag of bars that have great drink specials and feature a vibrant crowd. After all, spending $30 on cocktails with a stranger can get expensive!
Here are a handful of the best date bars around Detroit:
- Barcade in Midtown - 666 Selden St, Detroit, MI 48201
- Griot Music Lounge in Midtown - 66 E Forest Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
- Bosco Lounge in Ferndale - 22930 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220
- The Office Ultra Lounge and Grill in Garden Homes - 20143 Livernois, Detroit, MI 48221
- LJ’s Lounge in Corktown - 2114 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
- Wxyz Lounge in Downtown Detroit - 1 Park Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
- Kozy Lounge in Madison Heights - 150 E 10 Mile Rd, Hazel Park, MI 48030
Remember that Detroit has its share of hidden gems in each neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to go bar hopping if the vibe isn’t right (call an Uber!) or be ready to bounce just to keep the excitement of the date going.
Best Date Night Restaurants in Detroit that Should Be Your First Choice
Here’s a little-known secret for dating in Detroit: Skip the traditional dinner date in Detroit until you’re well-acquainted with your date. Dinner dates tend to be pretty dull and formulaic. You’ll also have a tough time trying to establish a connection with someone who is still a relative stranger. Plus, being locked in a face-to-face conversation for two hours in a typically loud setting means that there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong!
If you’re up to the challenge and feel you’ve got some rapport with your date before doing something more conducive to fun, we've got some solid choices that won't break the bank. After all, there are plenty of expensive restaurants throughout Detroit that are around each corner!
Let’s look at date night restaurants in Detroit that offer delicious food and an inviting atmosphere that’ll serve as the perfect setting for a new romance:
- Joe’s Grill in Royal Oak - 732 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067
- Culantro in Ferndale - 22939 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220
- Ottava Via in Corktown - 1400 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
- Andiamo Detroit Riverfront - 400 Renaissance Center A-03, Detroit, MI 48243
- Pegasus Taverna in Greektown - 558 Monroe St, Detroit, MI 48226
- Central Kitchen + Bar in Downtown Detroit - 660 Woodward Ave #4A, Detroit, MI 48226
- La Lanterna in Downtown Detroit - 1224 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226
- Harbor House in Downtown Detroit - 440 Clinton St, Detroit, MI 48226
More Date Spots in Detroit We Love
As you probably already know, the quality of your date in Detroit isn’t just about dining out and drinking. Detroit has plenty of things to do, so you’ll never be at a loss for activities to build rapport and create memories with your date outside of bars and restaurants.
Plenty of people have great dates at the following places in and around Detroit, and we're confident you can do the same:
- Go ice skating at the Oak Park Ice Arena
- Watch the Lions play at Ford Field
- The Metropolitan Museum of Design Detroit and Cranbrook Institute of Science offer one-of-a-kind exhibits and interactive experiences
- Check out some fascinating wildlife at the Detroit Zoo
- Try a group dance lesson together at Fairlane Ballroom Dance Club
- Shoot some targets together at Rising Phoenix Archery
- Stroll through vendor booths at the many art fairs throughout Detroit
- Shop for fresh groceries and taste homemade food at the Detroit Farmers Market
- Solve a puzzle at Virtual Spy Room Live Escape Room
- Catch live music, ballet, and more at The Fillmore
Bear in mind that the time of year will make a difference with some of these recommendations (being outside for hours in the summer heat and the frigid winter months doesn't always make for a great date), so you've been warned!