Date nights should always be special, whether it’s that monthly Saturday night meal with your long-married partner, or the first date with someone you had been meaning to ask out for months. While eating should not be the main objective in a date, the food and drinks served do play a big role in creating a fulfilling experience. Pleasant experiences lead to positive outcomes and good impressions. With that point in focus, here are a few effective tips to help plan a romantic meal for your next date night.

romantic dinner

Cook for Him/Her

There is just something very romantic about a partner putting in the extra effort to cook that special meal for date night. If you are an excellent cook who can prepare a strip steak with potatoes, cheese and spinach in no time, then this is probably nothing new for you or your partner. For the rest of us though, even the thought of cooking meatballs in tomatoes is an intimidating idea, especially when we are trying to impress someone. Fortunately, we live in an age of technology and there are ways around poor culinary skills too.

We are not suggesting that you order food from the restaurant, because that just does not have the same romantic effect as a homecooked meal that you prepared on your own. Instead, order precut, prechopped, pre-portioned, and pre-marinated grill/oven ready dishes, complete with cooking instructions. You will still be the one cooking those dishes at home, but it’s a quicker way to cook exquisite meals for two, with almost zero chance of them tasting anything short of remarkable. If you want to check out meal deliveries reviews like Fresh and Easy, you can read more about it and other delivery services on Top10.com.

Book Early at a Special Place

The term “special” means different things to different couples, but if we were to take the traditional route for planning a special date night dinner, then a romantic candlelight meal at an exotic restaurant seldom fails. However, you will need to book early for obvious reasons, and discuss your options with the manager. From getting personal musicians and rare wines, to delivering surprise gifts for a special occasion, all are quite doable.

Keep in mind that these special dates should be reserved only for special occasions. For most of us, wine and dine plans at top-of-the-line restaurants are far too expensive for them be affordable frequently. Even for people who can afford it, going to expensive, prebooked places too often ruins the romantic effect that it is supposed to have on the person that you are trying to impress.

Go On a Short Hiking and Camping Trip

It can be quite romantic and impressive to take your partner out for a summer’s day short hike and camping dinner, provided that they too are fond of nature dates of course. Also, you should only hike and camp in areas which you are well acquainted with. As far as the dinner itself is concerned, sitting in front of a campfire, roasting marshmallows, listening to the sounds of nature, talking with each other, and stargazing are the main attractions here. If you choose a good location, the entire experience can be one to remember.

Keep in mind that campfires can get out of hand, and they are not allowed in all parts. Bring cooked food in tinfoil and after you are done, repack the scraps to avoid wild animals from venturing near the campsite. Marshmallows, rice and red beans, pasta, egg and chicken salad, hotdogs, braised chicken breasts, fried chicken, and burgers are all good options for campfire meals.

romantic dinner over fire

Go On a Street Food Eating Spree

This meal plan is essentially all about eating and exploring the urban street cuisines. Not every place in the United States has the best street food of course, but even taking a small trip to the nearest town or city that has a popular street food culture can turn out to be an excellent date with fantastic meals. From falafels, hot dogs and pretzels, to gyros, churros and burritos; you would be surprised how much variety exists in and around the urban streets.

Before you venture out to have street food together, keep in mind that some of the Central/South American and Indian dishes can be extremely spicy. Unless you have the stomach for it, stick to the exploring the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.

Romance is a subjective term, so make any plan for the date night that would appeal to you and your partner. However, do focus more on their likes and dislikes, since you are the one planning the date. Never plan anything that you know your partner won’t be comfortable with, but if it’s your first date, play it safe and take the traditional route of cooking at home or eating at a romantic restaurant.