Life & Style

Local couples reveal their top date night recommendations

Couples reveal date night favorites

From cozy diners to scenic parks, students share their romantic rendezvous spots and hidden gems for every kind of Syracuse date night.

Pink payphone that reads
Eden Stratton and Mikki Deluca
A telephone booth pole on a street in Berlin.

Struggling to find a cute spot for your next date night?  Don’t worry, four SU couples, who each had different meet cutes, told The NewsHouse all about their favorite date night spots around Syracuse.

Gracie’s Kitchen

SU seniors Blair Seaman and Erin Thompson met after being set up as blind dates to a sorority date night. Thompson said there was an instant connection between the two.

“We were at date night and we were literally in the corner talking the entire time. Then we looked up, and everyone was gone from Lucy Blu’s. We accidentally closed down Lucy Blu’s,” Thompson said. 

Seaman and Thomspon said their favorite date spot was Gracie’s Kitchen, a diner in Solvay. 

“It’s adorable, super cheap,” Seaman said. “No one there is under the age of 65, and all the waitstaff are super adorable and sweet. We went there on one of our first dates when we got back to campus after winter break, and it was really fun.” 

Gracie’s is a lovely little brunch spot with traditional home-style diner food. 

Gracie’s Kitchen is located on 527 Charles Ave. Their hours are Tuesday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m to 2 p.m and are closed on Mondays.

Thornden Park Water Tower

Alternative Text
Griffin Uribe Brown
Thornden Park welcoming visitors into the park.

Senior Annie Labarca and recent Syracuse graduate Claudia Vitale first met in the fall of 2021 when Labarca rushed Delta Kappa Alpha, the fraternity for the cinematic arts on SU’s campus.

The two struck up a friendship that quickly turned into something more. Labarca said she first realized the depth of her feelings for Vitale when one night after saying their goodbyes upon leaving a party.

“I realized I never wanted to see her walk away without knowing that she was going to be coming back again,” Labarca said.

Now happily dating for almost two years, the two said that one of their favorite date spots in Syracuse is the water tower at Thornden Park.

“The water tower is great…It doesn’t matter what we’re both going through individually, we both really reconnect at the water tower,” Vitale said. “We can just drive up there and just talk, which is really nice.”

The two have been on several different dates there and have been creative with what they chose to do while there.

“We’ve run down the hill before, we’ve had a picnic there, we’ve painted there and I met her hometown best friend there,” Vitale said. “It’s been nice.”


SU senior Eden Stratton and law student at SUNY Albany, Mikki Deluca first met while studying abroad in Stockholm, Sweden during the spring 2022 semester.

One night, while the two were on a class trip in Berlin, they passed a telephone booth on the street where someone had written, “Tell her that you love her.”

“Mikki saw it and just said, ‘I love you,’”  Stratton said.  

That moment solidified Stratton’s feelings for Deluca, “I had pretty much known I was in love with Mikki before that point, but that’s where it kind of hit like a pile of bricks. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I really want to spend every waking moment with this person. She’s irreplaceable to me,’” Stratton said.

The two made it official when they got back from Sweden. Although they have a few different date spots across New York, they said that when they are in Syracuse, their favorite date night spot is Santangelo’s, an Italian restaurant in Liverpool.

Described by Deluca as “a cute little Italian place with really good food.” Santangelo’s offers a wide variety of traditional Italian dinners and desserts.

Santangelo’s is located on 673 Old Liverpool Rd. They are open Wednesday through Saturday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m to 8 p.m. and are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Cafe Kubal

Cafe Kubal is located near Syracuse University's South Campus on East Colvin Street.
Griffin Uribe Brown

Sophomores Kacie Moschella and Andrew Cole met through a mutual friend during their freshman year at SU. The two reconnected after having a class together during the fall of their sophomore year. 

“I really liked him when I met him last year. I was hoping that we would meet again at some point. And then when he was in my class this year, I was like, ‘Oh, I should really get to know him better,’”  Moschella said.

The feeling proved to be mutual and the two soon started dating.

Moschella said that as a big coffee lover, she always tries to find different coffee places for them. She suggested Cafe Kubal, a place that most students would not immediately think of when grabbing coffee. 

“I feel like that one’s kind of underrated. Not a lot of people know about it. And you can walk there from South Campus. It’s pretty convenient,” Moschella said.

As these four couples can attest, love can blossom in the most unexpected settings. Whether it’s a cozy diner, an Italian restaurant, a park with a scenic view or a casual coffee date, Syracuse has a date night spot for any occasion. 

Cafe Kubal is located on 2218 Colvin St. near South Campus. Their hours are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Annie Labarca for a former lead producer for The NewsHouse.