Not all Valentine’s Day dinners have to be budget-busters. Let’s face it, a lot of us are still getting out of the red from Christmas spending and now here come all those red hearts and jewellery commercials and floral displays and chocolates wanting our money, too.
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If you and your sweetie still want to mark the occasion but don’t want to sign up for one of the fancier (and more expensive) dinners going on in Vancouver, you might just want to play it more casual. After all, you’ve got each other, what else do you need? (Except tacos, maybe. Tacos is always the answer).
Here are seven ways to rethink V-Day eating and not spend too much.
1. Let’s taco-bout tacos
Oh, hey. Did someone say tacos? Nothing says lurve like stuffing your face with these savoury hand-held gems. Vancouver’s taco game is pretty strong these days, and you can find some great ones at favourite spots like Tacofino, Tacomio, La Taqueria, and more.
2. That’s amore
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie… Well, you get the idea. Split a pizza with your true love, or go sharesies on a big plate of pasta. The city is full of delicious pizza options at joints like Nicli, Pizzeria Bufala, Bella Gelateria, Straight Outta Brooklyn, or Lombardo’s, to name a few. Be super on trend and try new spots like Virtuous Pie if you and your squeeze are meat-free, or check out the squares at Joe’s. Slurp on pasta at affordable places like Basil Pasta Bar or Semolina.
3. Sweets for your sweet
Cut right to the chase for your V-Day date. No, not that part. The dessert part. Get a sundae with two spoons at Glenburn Soda Fountain. Stare into each others’ eyes over slices of cake at True Confections. Need ideas of where to find the ultimate Valentine’s treats? We got ya covered.
4. Diner date
Take it back a few decades and head to a diner for a good ol’ greasy spoon date night. Some of the city’s diners are serving up more elevated fare, while others keep on keeping it real. With many great diners open late, you can always grab a bite to eat after…later…you know.
5. The Granville Island Stroll
Why pick just one spot for a date? Turn your dinner into something with legs–as in yours. Head to Granville Island and take yourselves on a tour. Taste artisan-made sake, or locally-distilled spirits at Liberty. Grab some sweet treats at A Bread Affair (get a chocolate almond croissant!), or go savoury and snuggle up with some seafood appies at Sandbar or the Vancouver Fish Co., or roam the Public Market and gather up the tasty (and affordable) eats for a customized feast for two.
6. Something’s Brewing
If you and your SO are more into suds, make Valentine’s night all about craft beer. Head to your favourite brewery tasting room, or check out one of the many newer ones, like Faculty, Luppolo, or Strathcona.
7. Phone it In
Who says you have to leave the house? With some careful planning, you can make your place the most romantic spot in Vancouver, and your own couples’ retreat. If you aren’t up to playing chef for the night, you can order from your favourite take-out spot, or try one of the city’s premium restaurant delivery services, like Just Eat, Doordash, or foodora, and bring the restaurant to you.