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Restaurants For Valentine's Day including Olive Garden

Updated on May 23, 2017

Restaurants for Valentine's Day

Restaurants for Valentine's Day are plentiful and are marketed abundantly, annually for the occasion. Various types of restaurants with arrays of cuisines for everyone's taste are advertised for Valentine's Day date planning. From casual dining to fine dining with various price points for different budgets, couples are sure to find a great restaurant that suits their tastes on Valentine's Day. If you decide to eat out with your loved one for Valentine's Day, here are some restaurants that couples are sure to enjoy.

These suggestions are chain restaurants within the United States. I decided to write about chain restaurants instead of city specific, so that the article could relate to a wider audience. In these times, we are very concerned about our health as well as the economy. If you decide to indulge and eat out for Valentine's Day, hey, you deserve to. Many restaurant websites now offer the menu online. You can plan ahead by looking at menu prices on the internet. It is also possible to view the nutritional facts for several dishes in numerous restaurants. Just as the consumer is making a more conscious effort regarding health, so are the restaurants. Many restaurants have in fact come under fire, receiving much critcism and speculation regarding the quality of food for efforts to maintain good health. In recent years, many restaurant leaders have revamped their menu offerings to eliminate trans fat and other harmful ingredients. I recently wrote a hub where Pizza Hut's new high fructose corn syrup free menu was worth mentioning.

Love is In the Air

satin pillow with words, "I love you"
satin pillow with words, "I love you"

We are all trying to budget as money is tight and indulgences seem more and more expensive, but go ahead and enjoy your Valentine's Day. Following the disclaimer about healthy food, I do think Valentine's Day is a time when people are very indulgent with sweet treats and decadent desserts for example. Maybe it is seeing boxes of chocolate all over the supermarket, pharmacy or other store that gives us that extra special sweet tooth at this time of year. The television commercials are a definite contributor as well. The restaurants I recommend below will definitely cater to the senses that cause us to crave the rich, sweet or decadent but by looking at those online menus if available, we can also plan ahead and keep our meal truly enjoyable without going too far.

Oreo Cheesecake

oreo  cheesecake. Photo credit- Cheesecake Factory
oreo cheesecake. Photo credit- Cheesecake Factory

1. The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory was aptly named. Talk about decadent. There are locations in New York City, Florida, Washington, DC, North Carolina and beyond, with a restaurant locator on the website, this chain offers very delicious fare with rich ingredients. The cheesecake there ranks among the best I've ever tasted but the specialties are not desserts alone. Cheesecake Factory has a large food and drink menu to satisfy many tastes. The latest slogan boasts "something for everyone" with a photo of a colorful salad next to the text on the website. This restaurant does have an impressive on-line menu and is making efforts to let everyone know what to expect when they arrive at the restaurant. Whether you are looking for salad, pasta bolognese, quesadillas, steak, seafood, or cheesecake (banana cheesecake, tiramisu cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, and the list goes on), I think you will enjoy your meal at Cheesecake Factory,

At the time of my writing this hub, the restaurant is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

2. Red Lobster

Red Lobster is another popular restaurant that is one of my faves. It definitely gets my recommendation for eating out on a special occasion such as Valentine's Day. If you are part of a couple that likes to celebrate this way on Valentine's Day, I recommend calling ahead to make a reservation and avoid when overcrowding occurs causing you to wait in a line. Single friends can get a large group together and reserve a big table.

Red Lobster "Ultimate Feast"

photo credit, Red Lobster
photo credit, Red Lobster

3. Olive Garden

Olive Garden boasts unlimited bread sticks and salads with orders and that can become quite filling. The main dishes at Olive Garden are very tasty. The restaurant has an Italian specialty for the menu. Restaurant ambience is typically quite nice. You can typically choose your preferred pasta with type of sauce. Alfredo sauce can be served with fetuccini or other pasta as you request. At Olive Garden, you'll get that feel of having a 'special' dinner out on Valentine's Day.

This restaurant also has the cute idea of an olive branch symbol that will lead you to knowing what the healthier, low fat selections are. The Shrimp Primavera is one example of an Olive Garden low fat dish.

Olive Garden Seafood Portofino

Seafood Portofino. Photo credit- Olive Garden
Seafood Portofino. Photo credit- Olive Garden

4. Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse is marketed as an Australia style steakhouse, a unique attraction for those of us living in the U.S. I've been to many other U.S. steakhouses that I have enjoyed just as much (such as Texas Longhorn), but Outback definitely has a popularity and appeal that has made it a household name. With that popularity, there is probably a location near you! Outback is another restaurant that has a restaurant locator on its website.

The restaurant is also making strides to accommodate specific needs with recommendations on what to eat if allergic to peanuts, diabetic, or needing to avoid gluten for example.

5. Benihana

Again, I love a good Japanese steakhouse and there are many of them out there. I list Benihana specifically for popularity and therefore accessibility in the city you are located in. There are Benihana locations throughout the United States as well as Benihana locations in Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, Chile, Panama, Aruba, Venezuela and Peru. Right now, the United States locations number over 25 states including New York, Arizona, Indiana, Oregon, Virginia, Utah, Florida, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania and more.


photo credit, Benihana
photo credit, Benihana

Japanese steakhouses like Benihana can be very entertaining and a lot of fun as the chefs cook the food right in front of you. The tables are designed with square hot griddles or teppans. The chefs begin their shows by pouring the oil and allowing a large flame to ignite. They then prepare the food, often doing tricks such as juggling the utensils.

Do you usually go out to eat in a restaurant on Valentine's Day?

From year to year, do you usually like to eat out on Valentine's Day?

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What would be your favorite restaurant for Valentine's Day?

Of the restaurants listed above, where do you think would be the most appealing place to enjoy a Valentine's Day dinner?

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    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 8 years ago from USA

      Hi blognuts, thanks for leaving a comment. You might be right about that. Restaurants are generally so crowded on Valentine's Day. I think making reservations then is important.

    • blognuts profile image

      blognuts 8 years ago from San Francisco

      Those places might be booked on Vday! will try Benihana after Valentine's :)

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 9 years ago from USA

      Thanks for commenting kimback08 and perfectweight. As I write this comment, Valentine's day for this year has now passed, but I hope you enjoyed the day!

    • perfectweight profile image

      perfectweight 9 years ago

      Thanks for the tips for Valentine's Day. I've been trying to decide and your article gave me a lot of tips. Thanks again!

    • kimback08 profile image

      kimback08 9 years ago from Barbourville, KY

      *sigh* Olive Garden...the Olive Garden salad should be its own food group. YUM.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 9 years ago from USA

      Thanks for commenting and sharing this information indy cindy!- Journey*

    • indy cindy profile image

      indy cindy 9 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      My local Bennigan's (at Pendleton Pike, here in Indy) has a Valentine's Day Special that includes dinner for two, a dessert to share and a bottle of champagne ... for just under $40.