Whether you’ve been online dating and are planning a first date with a new person, or looking for fresh ways to spice up your current relationship, consistently coming up with unique date ideas can be tough. On top of that, the dating world looks radically different as far as virtual meet-ups vs. in-person.
It’s not at all impossible to get creative when it comes to date ideas, though. And many benefits come with you focusing on time spent with your love interest—and being fully present during those experiences together. For existing couples, this level of dedication and attention can help build a stronger bond between you and your partner than the ordinary ideas that most couples do.
With that said, what better way to bond than through delicious food? After all, couples that food together, stay together. And while the stereotypical date night at a restaurant is fine, there are certainly ways to think outside the box and have food be the catalyst for your relationship—even if you are stuck at home or leaning on long-distance, virtual dates.
Instead of brainstorming solo, consider some of our favorite food-related date night ideas below that beat the average night out and help you connect and grow with each other.
Here’s our Top 9 Fantastic Date Ideas (for your First Date, Second Date and subsequent dates) to create the Best Memories with your partner, without you needing to spend extravagantly … Enjoy our incredible insights!
The magic in the bedroom can begin with some fireworks in the kitchen, and cooking a meal with your partner or someone new is one easy way to connect on a deeper level and work towards a common goal. Start off by sharing your favorite meals or your latest cravings with one another. Or propose testing out a new recipe you saw online. This is your chance to spice it up!
While many couples don’t realize it, baking and cooking are great bonding exercises that can lead to a new, shared hobby. If you’re unsure how to tackle roles and responsibilities, start with one person prepping the kitchen and one person gathering the ingredients. Then, once you finish the prep work, take turns doing steps of a recipe or alternating the process so you two can adequately work together. Remember, the idea here is to build lasting memories along with tasty meals.
You’ll soon come to realize too that your communication skills will undoubtedly sharpen. Between the planning, following instructions, and cooperation, the free-flowing conversation between you and your partner will help your relationship beyond making dinner.
Nothing is more romantic than sharing fine wine and your favorite tapas while connecting with your partner. Particularly during quarantine, at-home wine nights have become a brilliant solution to bring the winery right to your living room. The unique part of a wine tasting night as a couple is learning more about each other’s preferences and even discovering new ones.
The other good news about this ritual—or one-off date idea—is that it allows you to challenge your relationship healthily. How so? For starters, trusting your partner to choose the wine menu that night can help you rekindle your bond or create a relaxing tradition to lean on when you find yourselves in a date night rut.
Here are some easy tips to make the tasting go smoother:
Group dates are becoming more and more complicated during the pandemic, but they can still be done with extreme care and precaution. If you and your partner are looking to meet some other couples or have some friends to get together with, a great and safe way to enjoy some food with the people you care about is a potluck party at home.
If you’ve never thrown a potluck party before there are a few easy pointers that can make it successful. First, start with choosing categories of food you want to have. Whether that be meats, salads, and everything in between, splitting these up amongst people coming will make it easier to organize and less stressful. Next, make sure your food is ready-to-serve. Preparing food at the party or day-of can be a nightmare, so getting the groundwork out of the way will avoid headaches.
Finally, remember to enjoy the company and food since it’s meant to be a fun and tasty group date after all. This is a chance to try some new food, learn a new recipe, and mingle with your date friends about their favorite treats.
Tired of ordering pizzas and Thai food? Struggling to figure out how to make more than pre-cooked meals and grilled cheese sandwiches? Sign up for a cooking class. Groupon helps make activities in your area more affordable and often feature packages for couples at a discounted rate. You and your partner could make it a one-time event or a regular date night.
Not every cooking class is offered in-person nowadays, especially with the current climate. Check out some of the most affordable online cooking classes for you and your partner to participate in. You can complete these together or, if there is some distance between you, remotely. A fun idea could be to set up your preferred video chat app and take the classes at the same time. That way, you can both feel more connected.
Of course, not everyone can afford a full out cooking course. Maybe this is something you’d rather do occasionally with your significant other. Try watching culinary experts on YouTube or your Netflix and do your best to mimic what you watch. The more outrageous the meal the more laughs you are bound to have together. After all, humor is sexy.
We all know the appeal of a movie theater date night. The dark cinema can be thrilling and romantic, but when your shoes stick to the floor or the kids behind you keep kicking your seat you might ask yourself if there’s a better way to spend your time. Why not relocate your date night to a more intimate setting like your own home?
Pick out your favorite take-out food and choose a movie you’ll both enjoy. There are tons of entertainment options these days: from picking up a rental from your local Redbox to picking your favorite streaming service. By bringing the date home you open the door for a more intimate experience.
You can even do a remote date with services, like this one (Scener), that let you watch simultaneously when you can’t be physically together. This works with all of your favorite streaming platforms, too. While you’re remote, you can either share your favorite recipe with your date or order the same type of takeout together to make you feel even more connected.
Sometimes finding the right food isn’t an option. Takeout is often not as healthy as we’d like it to be. Produce stands cost more than your local grocery store, and the produce at the store might not be as “fresh” as they claim it is. Why not grow your own food? Sure, you can’t grow everything in a garden, but there are plenty of options for you.
If you or your partner don’t have an outdoor space conducive to gardening, check out local community garden spaces. Many cities and surrounding areas provide tenants with a plot of land that they may plant their gardens in. Not only does this provide the two of you with a fresh supply of healthy foods, it also gives the two of you a hands-on activity.
Working in the dirt might not be the sexiest activity at first glance, there is a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in completing something through physical activity. It gives the two of you an excuse to spend some time together, you can enjoy some fresh air after months of staying indoors, and it can be a pretty solid workout.
With everyone forced into social distancing due to the global pandemic, it can be easy to get stuck in the same old, indoor environment. Carve out some time for some outdoor adventures with your date. If you enjoy camping or hiking, make your own trail mix, some sandwiches or other travel-friendly meals ahead of time.
If you like to keep your adventures a little more grounded, try scheduling a camping trip or an afternoon picnic. With these activities you can plan ahead and pack more than just convenient, pocket-sized foods. Share the responsibility with your partner by splitting the supplies. Maybe you want to bake dessert while they want to cook the main dish. If you’re camping, then you’ll need the right camping cooking gear to help you create your meals.
Sometimes you can’t get away for the weekend, or there really isn’t a park close enough to make an afternoon picnic feasible. If you have a patio, a backyard, or a communal outdoor space, try your hand at a backyard barbecue. Even if you can’t have a classic gathering in the traditional barbecue sense, you and your date can make the most of your situation. No matter what kind of grill you have access to, cooking food outside always feels better, and somehow the food tastes better, too. Don’t believe us? Give it a shot. Your date will admire your cooking skills and may want to take things to the next level.
Just because it isn’t Valentine’s day anymore doesn’t mean you can’t surprise your date with something sweet. A chocolate box or an Edible Arrangement can be a cute idea especially if you are still getting to know each other. If candy isn’t what either of you are looking for, spark up a conversation over a slice of cheesecake or pie. Sharing a dessert is an intimate activity that lets you open up with one another. Worried about spreading coronavirus? Maybe split it in advance or order separate slices. Either way, gushing over your favorite desserts is a great ice breaker for new couples and a sense of comfort for experienced ones.
Okay, so you or your partner don’t eat sweets. Now what? Treat your date to a night out at their favorite restaurant. This shows that you pay attention to what they enjoy and are happy to cater to some of their desires, which can only be a good thing, right? Just make sure you’re both getting the dining experiences you prefer. For example, make sure you both like the location or at least alternate between your favorites; theirs now, yours later.
Make sure you call ahead and make reservations when necessary. Even if their favorite spot doesn’t typically require reservations, it may be a good idea to call anyway. Most restaurants are changing their hours and only allowing a certain amount of customers inside at a time. Check your local area public health guidelines. Again, better to be safe than sorry.
Sometimes your dinner nights need to be spiced up a little bit, and that means thinking out of the box, stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something new. Depending on you and your partner’s eating preferences, a fantastic way to change it up is declaring an International Food Night at home! Giving your dinner date night a theme is a fun and unique way to break the boring norms of regular meals.
Decide between you and your partner what kinds of food you want to have and prepare an array of different cultural feasts. Whether that be sushi from Japan, noodles from China, or shrimp Pad Thai, splurging on these sometimes more expensive meals for one night can be totally worth it.
New experiences and new foods are what help relationships grow, so use this “once in a while” idea to celebrate an anniversary, job promotion, or even just a great day for both of you.
In many areas, going to outdoor places is truly one of the safer things to do if going out in public, and one idea for food-loving couples is taking a trip to their local farmer’s market or orchard to get fresh fruits and vegetables for their meals at home. If you and your partners are big cookers and love spending time together in the kitchen, spending a few hours at the market can be a great way to get out and about and grab some fresh produce.
With all the COVID-19 precautions, be sure to check online before you venture out to your local market. Things like different hours and dates might have changed amidst the pandemic, so make sure to double-check!
Such simple date activities are absolutely easy and yet extremely romantic.
When it comes to food-loving partners and couples, the opportunities for a new date night idea are practically endless.
And when it comes to trying something new, it all comes down to mentality and being open to doing something you haven’t tried before.
Just like trying new things in your day-to-day life, it’s just as essential to try new things in your love life too.
(Last Updated: 1 September 2020)
About the Author
Kelvin Kevin is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Content Editor of the World-Renowned HappyMatches.com Dating App and Dating Site. An avid writer since young, he is an Expert Dating and Relationships Coach for Casual Dating, Serious Dating and General Dating. You can follow him on Twitter (@HowToDateBetter), and also check out his personal Dating Blog, for the latest Dating Advice and Dating Tips to help Straight, Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Singles and Couples find and enjoy Fulfilling and Intimate Dating Relationships.
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