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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

I know Bloomington-Normal doesn’t have the largest option of date night restaurants, but we gotta work with what we got. Although most of the restaurants in town are very casual, there are various places, that you can dress up and go out with your significant other. 

Here are a few of my favorite places for a date night dinner! 


1. Anju Above

                                         via Facebook

Not only is this my favorite date night spot, but my favorite restaurant in town. The ambiance is super trendy and makes you feel like you’re in a city much longer than Bloomington. Their menu is a mixture of Asian fusion and new American, with entrees ranging from sushi to Korean style wings to pizza. They also have a bar area if you’re just looking for somewhere to grab drinks! 


2. Destihl Restaurant and Brew Works

                                         via Facebook

If you’re into craft beer and new American cuisine, this is the place for you. Destihl has a huge menu with a variety of items so there is something for everyone. Some of my favorite items are the stuffed pablano pepper and espresso rubbed ribeye. It does get busy on weekends so I recommend making a reservation. In addition to their restaurant, they also have a brew hall in town. You can take a tour of where the beer is made and then sit down to have some upscale pub-like food! 


3. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano

                                         via Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano

If you’re looking for a classic, Italian meal with some wine and pasta, I highly recommend Biaggi’s. Not only is the food is amazing, but the service is top notch. Some of my favorites on the menu are the stuffed mushrooms and the baked ziti al forno. They also get very busy on weekends so I would recommend booking a table ahead of time. If you would like to enjoy the food in the comfort of your own home, they have multiple take home packages as well. 


4. Jim’s Steak House 

                                         via Yelp

This one is a little bit on the pricey side so it might only be an option for special occasions, but it’s a great place to celebrate a birthday or anniversary! Jim’s has that classic steakhouse vibe, with dimmed lights, candle lit tables, and vintage décor. It’s perfect for a romantic night. Their steak and sides are phenomenal, as well as the service! In addition, they have a piano bar area if you just want a place to go to grab a glass of wine. 


5. Baxter’s American Grille 

                                         via Facebook

Although this is the farthest from campus, it’s perfect for a couple that is looking for somewhere more casual to have delicious food. Even if you want to watch a game, they have a bar seating area with multiple TVs that serves the same food as the dining area. My favorite dinner item on the menu is the shrimp tacos, and the portion size is extremely filling. If you have any room left, be sure to try the strawberry shortcake napoleon- I promise you won’t regret any of the calories. 


Hopefully this helps anyone whose significant other always makes them pick where to go eat… if you know, you know. 


Melody Benyamin

Illinois State '20

Melody Benyamin is a 20-year-old mass media management major at Illinois State University. Fashion, food, travel, and pop culture are just a few of her passions.
Contributor account for Illinois State