Best Frederick Restaurants For A First Date


Frederick has become a foodie town of sorts over the last few years.  With such a great array of options available, you can satisfy just about any hunger craving.  Whether you’re hoping to find some great Indian food, a spicy Pho shop or a low key sandwich joint, Frederick has them all.  But sometimes, it’s just not about the food.  The service, the ambiance, the noise level and even the dress code at a restaurant sets the tone for how the night will go.  Today, we take a look at our four favorite restaurants for a first date.

Black Hog BBQ

118 South Market St., Downtown Frederick

Black Hog BBQ makes for a fun first date. Black Hog has multiple locations, but the downtown Frederick one seems to have the best service and consistently good food.  The restaurant is casual, the food is pretty amazing, albeit potentially messy (stick with dry ribs!) and it’s in a great location to continue the date with a stroll or some desert elsewhere.  It’s got a casual vibe that lends to easy conversation on most nights.  On occasion, they have events, such as live bands playing, which can make conversation a little difficult, but if you get there early for dinner, you can stay afterward for the music. The price is great too; just about everything on the menu is under $13, with just the larger combination meals and huge rib racks costing more.

Black Hog BBQ Frederick MD
Madrones - Frederick, MD


7810 Wormans Mill Rd. Frederick

Madrones is an American Bar & Grill that features seafood dishes, beautiful steaks and some of the best house-made burgers I’ve ever had.  The interior feels upscale and the service is good, even on a busy Saturday night.  The menu offers a variety of price points: Seafood averages around $20, sandwiches and burgers were lower at $13, and their steak selection ranged from $20 to $45.  It’s dimly lit, dress code is business casual and the noise level is great for conversation. For first dates, I usually enjoy going to a second location for dessert, but this place is the exception.  Their deserts are amazing!

Isabella’s Taverna & Tapas Bar

44 N Market Street, Downtown Frederick

Isabella’s is Spanish restaurant that is expanding into other Mediterranean areas.  Along with the Iberico pork and six varieties of paella you can find babaganoush, lamb dishes and Turkish sausage.  Their lunchtime Tapas menu is extensive and makes for a light and friendly daytime date.  The exclusive wine offerings, smart casual setting and beautiful plating makes Isabella’s feel high end without an overly high price point; almost all entrees are below $25.

Isabella’s Taverna & Tapas Bar
Family Meal

Family Meal

882 N East St, Frederick

Probably the most eclectic on this list is the Family Meal by local celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio.  The vibe feels like diner chic, an ultra-casual space with an industrial/farmhouse interior.  The menu covers everything from seared scallops and the best fried chicken in Maryland, to Breakfast for Dinner options and whoopee pies for dessert.  The food is nothing short of amazing, yet nothing on the menu is over $20.

First impressions are important, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to be expensive or pretentious. Any of these restaurants can be a great option for your first date.  Leave the $70 entrees for the third or fourth date…we’ll cover that in another article.

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