Are Coffee Dates Good? It (Kinda) Depends

Hi, I’m Coach Colt, and here's why I’m (generally) pro-coffee for a first date.

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1. Short Answer

Coffee dates are perfect for first dates, where you're simply looking for chemistry in a relaxed, safe setting. For later, more serious dates, search for romantic venues that show more effort. On the other hand, if you're looking for casual hookups, go for a bar setting with a more intimate vibe.

2. Coffee Dates are Efficient 

As you’ve read in My Ultimate Guide to Your First Date, first dates aren't really about getting to know each other; they’re about having fun, finding chemistry, and being sure that neither of you is cuckoo-crazy.

And guess what?

Coffee dates fulfill those first-date requirements perfectly without unnecessary time or money. 

So, in some ways, you’re right. 

Going to a cafe is low effort, but that’s not a red flag because you don’t want to work more than you have to. 

If your date demands a full meal, three rounds of drinks, and who knows what else, that’s the red flag. No one deserves a meal on a first date. 

Of course, this is true for blind dates or first dates; for later dates, you’ll want to visit more romantic venues. 

3. Planning Coffee Dates is Simple 

With coffee dates, you avoid all complicated, expensive, “Can I have a Botanist gin and elderflower tonic with cucumber, lemon twist, a hint of rosemary, and ice cubes from filtered water?" drink orders or any other crazy date plans (see below). 

water boat date

This is way over the top for a first date. Coffee is all you need. 

Coffee dates are easy to organize.

(On the flip side, they can be boring for people with ADHD, like me.)

4. Cafes are Highly Accessible

Have you tried looking up cafes on Google Maps? 

Searching for cafes for a coffee date on Google Maps

Just type it in and see – within a five-minute walk, you should find a bunch of cool spots open till late—no need to drive out 23 minutes for an over-the-top comedy show date. 

Plus, let’s say you meet someone attractive during the day; you can casually suggest an Insta-Date, 'Hey, let's grab a coffee at this antique-style cafe around the corner,’ and off you go!

Cafes are accessible and make dating easier for everyone.

(Note: If you live in a very remote area, consider that your location might significantly complicate your dating logistics.)

5. Cafes are Generally Calm and Quiet 

Sure, some bars are calm, and some cafes are loud, but as a general rule, you’ll have an easier time sitting down and talking in a cafe than in your average bar. 


It's not great if you see yourself or your date as a boring, interview-like conversationalist. Read my guide to coffee dates, 17 Basic Coffee Date Tips (From A Dating Coach), for some practical conversational tips!

6. Cafes are ‘Easy-Exit’

You sit down, and they start, “... So, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?” You can gulp down your coffee, say you’re not ‘feeling it’, and nope-outta-there

The same can’t be said for dinner dates.

To be sure, dinner dates already suck, but besides that, you’re stuck looking at each other until you finish eating and call the waiter over to pay the bill. 

7. The Versatility of Coffee Dates

But let’s say your date is going great: Easy conversation, laughing at each other's jokes, and even some touching. 

I have good news for you:

You don't have to stick to that coffee shop for your first date!

You can explore other options such as a coffee shop with board games and live shows, a bar, a walk in the park, rent electric bikes exploring the city (see below), check out outdoor markets, or any of my other 57 First Date Ideas.

Couple sitting by the water after a coffee date

Or you can call it a day at the cafe and wait to have fun on the second date. 

The choice is yours!

8. Some Cafes Offer Food

I don’t recommend dinner or food on first dates (see below), but if you are starving, you can order a light sandwich or smoothie to make it through.

Having a sandwich on a coffee date

This is an example of too much food to order on a coffee date

9. Lots of drink options 

Lots of cold and hot drinks to choose from. Hot drinks (coffee, tea) are for winter, and cold ones (iced tea, smoothies) are for summer.

10. Coffee Dates Work for Age group

Out of high school, college, or about to retire? Coffee dates are appropriate. 

11. No Alcohol 

Predictably, not having alcohol on a date is good and bad. 

  1. You miss the alcohol, which lets you chill and relax, while caffeine can give you anxiety
  2. It’s nice to get to know someone while sober
  3. You can meet mid-workday 
  4. It’s nice if either one of you don’t want to drink
  5. Coffee is way cheaper than most alcoholic drinks 
  6. No post-date hangovers 
  7. Coffee is healthier than alcohol 

Pro tip:

Don’t have only one person drinking; it’ll mess with the vibes. Either you're both getting drinks, or you’re staying alcohol-free for this date. 

See more coffee date tips below:

12. Coffee Dates are Cliche 

People see coffee dates as cliche. Does that make them bad? No.

13. Cafes Can Land You in The Friend Zone

If you invite someone out for alcoholic drinks, they’ll likely understand that you are interested in a romantic date. However, if you invite someone for coffee without being clear about your intentions, they may assume you only want to hang out as friends. 

To avoid the friend zone, don’t hide your attraction and tell them you think they're cute before asking them out for coffee. 

If you want more tips on what NOT to do when planning and executing a first date, check out my post, What Not To (Ever) Do On A First Date: 27 Examples.

14. Coffee Just Isn’t Romantic 

Yes, it depends on what kind of cafes we choose, but let’s be honest. An afternoon coffee date with bright fluorescent lighting will never be as romantic as an intimate evening at a bar. 

15. Caffeine Can Negatively Affect the Date

Chamomile puts me to sleep, while caffeine makes me feel jittery. Not for me. 

16. Coffee-Related Digestive Issues

Just one sip of coffee and it's like my body hits the emergency neon red ‘FLUSH ALL’ button, and I’m praying to God that no one is using the bathroom.

Now, that’s just me if coffee doesn’t affect you that way, well, good for you! 

17. Lack of Privacy at Cafes

You may feel uncomfortable going on a date where everyone around you is rushing by to get coffee before work, busy on their laptops, or meeting up with their best friends. I definitely would not recommend you go for the kiss here!

Besides that, if you or your date aren’t out of the closet LGBT-wise, you may feel extra anxious that someone who knows you may see you. 

Pro Tip:

If you are feeling lots of chemistry and want to go for the kiss without making the date super long, walk through a nearby part (see below) and try there. 

18. The Cafe Work Affect

The Cafe Work Effect is more of a potential personal issue, but if you habitually spend time working in cafes (with your laptop or as a barista), having a date there will ruin your vibe. 

Coffee Date Coaching 

If you've enjoyed these posts and feel nervous about dating, hit me up for some coaching. 

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Oh' and don't spill your coffee, 

Coach colt

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About the author 

Coach Colt here, the founder of Dating Armory, your go-to source for no-nonsense, practical relationship advice. I'm a bisexual male in a same-sex open relationship and a researcher in sex, love, and relationships with 7+ years of experience. I specialize in helping both men and women navigate the crazy world of dating.

Don't miss my other guides packed with practical dating advice (no bullshit repeated Platitudes) and tons of real life examples:

My Top 57 First Date Ideas That Always Work (As a Dating Coach)

Are Coffee Dates Good? It (Kinda) Depends

17 Basic Coffee Date Tips (From a Dating Coach)

How to Get a Gay Boyfriend: 25 Tips That Work