Date Night: Venice

Where to eat and drink on your next night out

With its colorful corridors and boardwalk, the picturesque canals and mid-century architecture of Eames, Gehry and the like, Venice has long been the apple of our eye. You can romance your latest crush by the seaside at spots both new and classic.

Start at Venice Beach Wines. There's a lengthy selection of affordable New and Old World boutique labels at the cozy wine bar. Be a cheap date by starting at happy hour (Monday to Friday, 4 to 6 p.m.) with $7 glasses of Spanish Macabeo.

Woo your date by taking a twilight stroll through the man-made Venice canals. Stop at Superba Food + Bread to pick up a baked sweet—like the mascarpone cheesecake ($7) with strawberries, rose and hibiscus or blueberry yogurt cake ($3)—then explore the neighborhood's charming footbridges and hedged walkways lined with Craftsman homes.

Is that the dinner bell ringing? Answer its call at the candlelit Barnyard, helmed by former Tasting Kitchen alum Jesse Barber. If the tasting menus feel like too much of a commitment, keep things casual at the bar or outdoor patio with a beet terrine ($8), daily-changing crudo ($15) and Italian "fried rice" ($18) with maitake mushrooms, Pecorino, basil and balsamic vinegar.

Keep the night rolling with a classy cocktail or three, including Amaro-mixed nightcaps ($12 to $15), at Scopa. Even after a few drinks, everyone looks good at the expansive, back-lit, U-shaped bar.

Still at it in the morning? If you're ordering for two, head to Moon Juice for appropriately named date shakes ($12 for 16 ounces). Blended with coffee bean and cardamom, they're nice little pick-me-ups for your walk (or drive) of shame.