Date Night: 20th Street Corridor

Where to eat and drink on your next night out

The next time you're planning a date in the Mission, skip Valencia Street (hello, Captain Obvious!) and head to the cooler, grittier 20th Street Corridor, where a smorgasbord of restaurants, bars and Third Wave coffee await in stumbling distance.

You don't want to look like you planned things too carefully, so first hightail it to Flour + Water to put your name on the list. Leave your number and mosey to sister restaurant Central Kitchen for an apertivo and appetizers, such as chickpea and seaweed croquettes ($6) and hen liver mousse ($8), on the courtyard.

When Flour + Water hits you with a text, hustle back to the restaurant, by now filled with candlelight and diners tearing into smoke-kissed Margherita pizzas ($15). Follow their lead, then move on to agnolotti dal plin ($18), chef Thomas McNaughton's ethereal signature pasta stuffed with ground pork. Pair the dishes with the best Piedmontese wine your date's never heard of—Cavallotto Dolcetto ($10) for the pizza, Brezza Barolo ($20) for the pasta. You're welcome.

After dinner, head around the corner for some role playing: Make like first-time visitors to SF with the new tourist-themed cocktail menu at Trick Dog. Take a seat at the marble bar and turn up the heat with a spicy Lombard Street ($12): mezcal, sherry, pineapple and ancho chile liquor.

To keep things rolling, play games—in a healthy way. Challenge your date to a round of mini golf at nearby Urban Putt ($12 a game). Before queuing up, order a Rowdy Love ($11), an elixir of Suerte's blanco tequila, Lillet Blanc and lemon with a float of garnacha; navigating your way through the course's whimsical local landmarks gives new meaning to the phrase fore play.

Perhaps you found a love connection somewhere between the Painted Ladies and Dia de los Muertos holes. If so, wake up and smell the coffee together at Sightglass. A shot of Jerboa's Jump espresso and a buttery kouign amann from b. Patisserie are all you need to tee off your next tryst.