Valentine's Day is generally the worst night of the year to dine out. The prix-fixe menus are expensive, the crowds are heavy, and you're pretty much guaranteed a sea of boring options – molten chocolate cake, anyone? It doesn't have to be that way, though. If you and your significant other are more laid-back, you can find plenty of low-key dining options that won't cost more than your rent. Get creative this Sunday night, and take your sweetheart to one of these off-the-beaten-path (yet still romantic!) spots.Read More
10 Low Key Options For Valentine's Day Dinner
You don't have to blow your budget just to show your sweetheart a good time.
View as Map
You don’t have to be good at bowling to put on someone else’s shoes and give it your best shot. The menu here was designed by the minds behind Twisted Root, so dig into burgers and milkshake flights before showing up your date and bowling your all-time best score.
You don’t have to head to a dive bar or casual eatery to enjoy a headache-free Valentine’s Day dinner, and CBD Provisions is proof. In addition to the regular (non prix-fixe) menu, Chef Richard Blankenship will prepare Valentine’s Day specials like “The Captain’s Seafood Deluxe,” made with oysters, clams, poached shrimp, pickled mussels, and king crab for a hefty dose of aphrodisiac. Pastry Chef Ruben Torano’s chocolate salted caramel cake is a sweet way to end your evening.
There’s pretty much no better way to show someone you love them than buying them a piping-hot skillet of duck fat fried rice. Chino Chinatown’s regular menu will be on offer, in addition to a delectable Valentine’s Day dessert: avocado-chocolate mousse. Once you’ve finished with dinner, take a romantic stroll over to Kate Weiser Chocolates for a perfect last-minute Valentine’s Day gift that will look totally planned.
El Come Taco
No one’s going to judge you for heading to a taqueria on Valentine’s Day, especially if your Valentine is a serious pastor junkie. Order up a plate of tacos, then finish your meal with a perfectly-fried cajeta-filled churro for two.
Jimmy's Food Store
At Jimmy’s, you can order ahead and pick up two delectable sandwiches (try the Cuban or Italian stallion) and enjoy them in the comfort of Jimmy’s tiny front dining area. Order a glass of wine, enjoy listening to the opera, and pretend that you’re back on your honeymoon in Italy. Or, you know, your first date at Olive Garden.
The fare at Nova, Bishop Arts’ finest gastropub, is easily as good as those pricey prix-fixe menus that you’ll find at restaurants across the city. Order up several shared plates, indulge in a cocktail or two, and snuggle in one of the back booths before heading home for, ahem, a little Netflix and chill.
The crowds at Ten Ramen are generally pretty thick, but you might get lucky and discover that Valentine’s Day is an excellent time to hit up this noodle hotspot. Order up a couple bowls of noodles, or just share one with your beloved for a real Lady And The Tramp-style Valentine’s Day experience.
TJ's Seafood Market
There’s nothing classier than a fancy seafood dinner on Valentine’s Day, and TJ’s Seafood will be kicking off the festivities early. Starting at 1 p.m., Four Corners will debut their limited-edition TJ’s “Love Muscle” oyster stout, which is brewed with the salty brine from fresh Duxbury Bay oysters. Accompanying the beer, TJ’s will set up a seafood bar that can pump you and your partner full of Valentine’s Day aphrodisiacs. If you’re still hungry, stick around for a romantic dinner of crab cakes, mussels, and shrimp cocktail.
For a high school spin on Valentine’s Day, head to Truck Yard’s stoplight party. Your outfit will convey your relationship status – green means single, yellow means that “it’s complicated,” and red means you’re taken – which means that you can strike up a conversation with someone new or avoid the creepers if uninterested. Stay warm with a Herman Marshall hot toddy, and don’t skip on the cheesesteak – if that potential date can’t handle you when you’re slamming a sandwich into your face, they don’t deserve your best.
Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar
If you still want a little romance without the prix-fixe annoyance, head to Plano’s Whiskey Cake for a budget-friendly “Sweethearts Menu” that looks a lot pricier than it actually is. Indulge in grilled redfish with pomegranate-pear salsa, roasted cauliflower and kale, and a thick slab of red velvet cake. At the end of your dinner, you’ll receive two seed packets so that you can “keep the love growing year round.” Singletons can drop by on Monday, Feb 15 for a special Singles Awareness Day cocktail and $5 happy hour snacks.
© 2023 Vox Media, Inc. All rights reserved.