Best Restaurants in Appleton: 10 Perfect Spots For Date Night

Couple snuggling during their winter engagement session in Appleton

As a couples photographer in Appleton, I often get asked about the best restaurants in the Appleton area. More often than not, couples tend to go out to dinner after their photo session, and it’s usually a good bribe to give your other half if they’re not totally thrilled about the idea of photos haha.

Appleton is full of amazing restaurants! There’s a wide variety of cuisines to choose from including Mexican, American, Italian, Asian, etc. One thing I know I struggle with is choosing a place to eat. Sometimes you know exactly what kind of food you’re hungry for and other times you’re just not sure what you’re craving. And I know for those that have food allergies or sensitivities it’s even harder deciding on a restaurant in Appleton. Below I’ve created a list of some of the best restaurants in Appleton for your next date night and included information about their hours, menu, and location.

Engaged couple laughing together during their photo session for blog about best restaurants in appleton

Best Restaurants in Appleton


In my opinion this is one of the best restaurants in Appleton to have a date night! As soon as you walk inside you’re greeted with a friendly smile and a fun atmosphere. Sangria’s is super colorful and is filled with Mexican charm. This Mexican grill has an awesome menu filled with authentic dishes and tasty drinks. I highly recommend trying the seafood chimi and ordering one of their speciality cocktails. Prepare for you and your spouse to fall in love with this restaurant. To take a peek at their menu click here.

Wilder’s Cutting Edge Bistro

My mouth is watering just thinking about this place! This pub styled restaurant takes dining to a whole new level. You and your spouse will enjoy traditional American comfort food, but with a twist. It’s a great place for those nights you want to try something different. I recommend trying the Chicken n’ Waffle Wings or The Wilder Burger. Your tastebuds can thank me later haha. Take a glance at their menu here.

Rye Restaurant

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, then this is the place for you! Rye Restaurant is located downtown Appleton and has a rustic vibe. The food is amazing and everything is prepared from scratch! They also try to locally source as much of their food as they can, which is a bonus in my book. You must try their seasonal craft cocktails and a bourbon! Their menu changes seasonally, but you’re sure to find something you love no matter what time of year it is! Check out their menu here.

Draft Gastropub

This place is so good! The atmosphere is super laid back, cozy and romantic. The service is very friendly and stellar. Draft Gastropub is a fun place to take your spouse if you’re wanting an upscale menu and craft beers. They also try to locally source their ingredients, bonus points! I highly recommend taking your spouse here for a great experience and mouth watering food. Take a look at their menu here.


Okay, I know we’re talking about date night here. However, I love going out for breakfast too! It’s super fun and a great way to start the day. So if you’re looking for a breakfast date, I recommend you goto SAP. Their menu is huge and make everything from scratch. You can enjoy something from their breakfast or bakery menu. They also offer a variety of beverages including mimosas, coffee, bloody mary’s and more. You’re sure to find something you love at this brunch diamond. For more about SAP click here.

Gorgeous couple posing during their engagement session in appleton by Ashley Kalbus Photography


This Itallian bistro is a must for date night! It has a warm and romantic atmosphere that is sure to charm you. They offer wines from small wineries in Italy and craft beers from local breweries. Their menu uses high quality ingredients from local businesses in the community. The servers will actually recommend the correct pairings to go with your food, as they believe food, wine and beer should be shared together. Be sure to try some pasta while dining here as well as sampling their wine menu.


Prepare to taste some of the best Asian cuisine in the Fox Valley! When you walk in, you’ll be greeted with bright colors, a friendly staff and a warm atmosphere. GingeRootz has a wonderful menu filled with flavors from China, Thailand, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries. It’s a one of the best Chinese restaurants in Appleton because their food is incredible and unmatched in the area. Make sure to order some crab rangoons and sushi to start, gosh my mouth is watering just writing about these haha. I can’t really steer you in a wrong direction when it comes to picking an entree because they’re all wonderful. I try something different each time I go, but have honestly fallen in love with their general tso’s chicken. For more about GingeRootz and their menu click here.

Pullmans at Trolley Square

This restaurant will give you a date night for the books! Seriously, such a fun experience and totally beautiful. Located on the Fox River, this restaurant has incredible views that creates a super romantic vibe. The menu is absolutely amazing and uses fresh ingredients to create tasty dishes ranging from steaks to fresh salads to seafood. Make sure to grab a seat and photo on the patio while you’re there! For more about Pullmans click here.

Houdini’s Escape

For a magical date night you need to check out Houdini’s! This gastropub offers an exciting menu and more than 160 local craft and microbrew beers. The cuisine can be described as elevated comfort food and modern creations. The atmosphere is super inviting and vibrant. It has an open concept kitchen and dining area which is 5 stars alone in my book haha. They often have local live music and a beautiful brick patio if you prefer an outside dining experience. Be sure to try their white fish tacos and truffle mac and cheese. Click here for more about this magical pub.

Red Ox

This seafood and steakhouse is the perfect spot for date night! Red Ox is a great restaurant to enjoy a low key dinner. You’ll enjoy amazing food in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. All of their food is made from scratch and is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Make sure to try their haddock, which offers 14 different ways it can be prepared, and pair it with an old fashioned! Read more about this steakhouse here.

Couple snuggling during their winter engagement session in Appleton

Thank you for reading my blog about the best restaurants in Appleton. You might also like these posts:
Copper Rock Coffee Company – An Escape Downtown Appleton
Coffee Shops Appleton : 7 Coffeehouses You Need to Try

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