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Choosing a Restaurant for Valentine’s Day

Updated on January 31, 2009

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. For many people, this is going to mean making plans to go out to dinner. And for a lot of people, the act of choosing a restaurant for Valentine’s Day can be really stressful. You want to choose a great restaurant with a romantic atmosphere but you probably don’t want to choose one that’s so expensive that you won’t have any money left over for a good Valentine’s Day gift. But how do you make that choice?

Here are some key things to take into consideration when choosing the restaurant where you are going to have your Valentine’s Day Dinner:

• Is there a restaurant that is really special to you and the person that you’re taking to dinner? Many couples have a favorite restaurant that they like to go to on special occasions which makes choosing the restaurant easy. Alternatively, you may want to go to the first nice restaurant that you two had a date at or to a restaurant that’s associated with some other special day that the two of you have shared?

• Would you prefer to try a new restaurant? Many people want to avoid trying a new restaurant on a special occasion like Valentine’s Day because they aren’t sure what to expect from some place that they haven’t been. However, if you and your partner are the adventurous type then this holiday could be a great time to choose a new spot. Read through reviews and recommendations for romantic restaurants in your area to find the right place.

• Go for a local place with an intimate atmosphere. Skip the chain restaurants when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Instead, locate a restaurant that is smaller in size and where the wait staff can give you the attention that you deserve.

• See if any places are doing special Valentine’s Day menus. Many restaurants will do a unique menu for Valentine’s Day. Call around to see what people are offering so that you can find a place that has treats that you will both enjoy.

• Don’t try to be something that you’re not. If you really hate oysters then you don’t want to go to an oyster bar for Valentine’s Day even though everyone recommends that type of place since oysters are an aphrodisiac. Likewise, skip the really fancy restaurant if you’re a jeans-and-T-shirts kind of couple. Choose a place that honors who you are and what you enjoy together.

• Make sure that you have made reservations if they are needed. If the place that you have chosen doesn’t accept reservations then you may want to plan on dining earlier or later than normal in order to avoid the long lines of people that are out on Valentine’s Day.

• Take cost into consideration. You do want to splurge on a Valentine’s Day dinner but you really don’t want to go over the budget that you have for yourself. There are plenty of good restaurants within every price range so take the time to find one that fits your tastes and your budget!

Things may go wrong with your Valentine’s Day dinner plans. The restaurant may be booked or you may just not like the food. If you end up not going to a restaurant or going to one that doesn’t wow you, consider these alternatives to the typical Valentine’s Day restaurant dinner:

• Take a bottle of wine (or beer if that’s more your style) up to a lookout point in your area and toast the evening together with a drink.

• Pack a picnic lunch. Take it out somewhere together or even just enjoy it by candlelight on the floor of your living room.

• Cook a dinner together. Cooking together is really romantic. What’s even more romantic is taking your dessert back to bed with you.

• Skip Valentine’s Day dinner and get a special Valentine’s Day breakfast instead. It’s a less expensive meal even when it’s done at a nice restaurant, it will be less crowded and it leaves the rest of the day free for different types of romance!

Whatever you end up choosing to do for dinner on Valentine’s Day, remember that the important thing is to be loving and kind to the one that you’re sharing this special holiday with. 



Submit a Comment

  • Sarah Fleming profile image

    Sarah Fleming 

    7 years ago from Santa Barbara

    Really great tips. Fantastic hub.

  • Scott_Grigg profile image


    7 years ago from Midwest USA-Southeast

    Great suggestions. I've come to think of Valentine's Day as sort of a hassle. Everyone wants to go to dinner and the restaurants are packed...service is lousy. We ususally celebrate by going out the day before or after.

  • A2JinMI profile image


    9 years ago from Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Great suggestions for dining any time of the year!


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