What To Order On A First Date? 10 Ideas You Must Check Out

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What to order on a first date? This might not seem like an all-important question but is vital for a first date impression. Can you imagine your personality and mannerisms can make or break your first date? Yes, first date food choices matter a lot in determining whether a date can be considered successful. Pick the right dish and strike the right notes with your perfect date.

“What kind of drink should I order on a first date?” If this question has been on your mind, know that there are no right or wrong answers here. You can go with a drink of your choice, but if your preferred drink is an alcoholic beverage, then we’d recommend going easy on the refills. Getting drunk on the first date is not the best idea. If you want to be in control, a light cocktail or even a soda would be a good idea.

Here’s an embarrassing first-date story that’d put the importance of right order in perspective. So, my friend, Sarah, was really nervous about meeting this guy for their first dinner date because he was her high school crush. She was already stress-eating for a day, and on top of that, ended up ordering lobster. Unfortunately, it was quite undercooked and didn’t agree with her at all.

Later, she and her date went for a drink. She still had the butterflies flying in an upset stomach and the super-strong LIIT followed by a few shots only made matters worse. Long story short, instead of kissing goodbyes, she winded up in the pub washroom while her date had to leave alone. So, you see the disastrous aftermath of not picking safe first-date foods.

Your head must be spinning with a bunch of questions right now. What are the best things to order on a first date? What to eat on a date with your boyfriend? What not to order on a first date? What drink should I order on a first date? Now, now, don’t you worry because we are going to address each of your queries. Here’s your most trusted checklist that can give you lots of first-date food ideas and provide great bonding time with your date over comfortable food choices.

First Date Food Advice And Tips

We know a first date gives jitters to both men and women. You are trying to get to know a romantic interest in a personal capacity and are nervous and uncertain about how things will turn out. Add food into this equation and your pre-date jitters can compound manifold. Not everyone is a dainty eater, and sometimes the wrong food order can create an unfavorable impression on the very first meeting.

It could make you look clumsy or careless and can also make the date uncomfortable. For instance, if you go ahead and order seafood without asking your date if they have any allergies, then it is downright rude. Now, nobody wants that. Besides, you and your date may be scrutinizing every little detail about each other to come to a conclusion about whether you’re a right fit. Did you know even your date’s coffee order has the potential to reveal a lot about their personality? So, prepare well in advance to prevent these unwanted date moments.

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1. Fix the venue

Before we talk about what to order on a first date, let’s start with the venue. What is a good setting for a first date? Ideally, it should be somewhere relaxed and casual, somewhere you’re both comfortable. You don’t want to book a table at a restaurant where she used to go regularly with her ex. Nor do you want to end up at a Chinese joint and find out that he hates Chinese food.

You don’t want to make the first-date mistake of going to crowded fast-food joints either. This can give your date the feeling that you are taking this whole thing too casually. So, put some thought and effort into finding a place that feels just right. For instance, if it’s your first breakfast date, look for a decent yet fancy cafe so you can spend a lovely morning over good food, coffee, and conversation. When picking a restaurant for a first date, it is best to discuss a few options and then settle on a place you both like.

2. Google the ‘menu’ card

We know you are shopping online for your first date outfit. Yes, a great outfit can add to your oomph and confidence but it is equally important that you’re at ease on your date. To that end, knowledge is power. The more you know about the venue you’ve picked out, the more comfortable you’d be on your date. We suggest that once you fix the date venue, research the restaurant’s ‘menu’ card to be on the safer side. Try to have a quick look at it and find out which food item you’d be comfortable with.

This way, you can avoid taking longer to place your order. Because it’s a real mood killer on a date when the waiter has to stand at your table for ten minutes while you go through the menu cover-to-cover and still can’t decide what you want. Also, this step will make you come across as a sorted person with clear-cut choices in mind. Isn’t that great?

3. Order for your date only when they insist

You like your coffee black and sugar-free. That doesn’t mean your date might not want to enjoy the delicacy of frothy cold coffee with added cream and ice cream scoops. So, should you order for both of you on your first coffee date? Unless they ask you to, absolutely not. This will make you come across as dominating and presumptuous.

Plus, this is not good first-date etiquette either. Yes, if you have certain recommendations, then feel free to let them know. You can also choose the best type of food for a first date from our list for your comfort and convenience. But you could come across as controlling if you just go ahead and order everything without checking with their preferences. Let your date decide what they want to order, in fact insist on it.

Related Reading: 20 Valuable Tips For A First Date After Meeting Online

4. Think before ordering

What are the best things to order on a first date? You need to consider a few things before you order. While ordering, ask yourself, “Is it messy to eat?” Then it’s certainly among the foods not to eat on a first date. Noodles or spaghetti need to be slurped, strike them off of your good first date foods list. You need to open your mouth really wide to eat hot dogs or big sandwiches, which is not a pleasant sight either.

If you are going for Indian dishes like mutton on your first dinner date, keep in mind that these cannot be handled with knives and forks. Be extra careful about eating food with too much onion and garlic in it. These cause instant bad breath and might ruin a perfectly romantic mood. According to our first date ideas, it’s better to eat food that can be broken into small bite-sized pieces without creating a mess around the table and on your lap.

5. Play safe while ordering

There are some things you should not do on a first date. Be careful not to order something you’ve never eaten before, as it might cause an unpleasant reaction. Be careful, especially with seafood. If you are dining at a fancy restaurant, don’t order something you can’t pronounce. So, what to order on a first date then? The basics of ordering on a first date remain the same – go with the safest options on the menu.

If you are choosing your favorite Indian or Chinese place, do avoid spicy food because if your date can’t handle spices, there would be a lot of tears and unpleasantness. This is definitely one of the reasons why coffee dates make a great first date idea. Also, don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu just because your date is paying for it, that’s not very courteous.

First Date Food Etiquette

Ladies and gentlemen, the success of your first date depends upon first impressions and table etiquette while eating your food to a large extent. So, keep them in mind while you interact with your date and make a positive impact. These are just as important as the interesting conversation topics to impress and engage your date.

  • Respond to compliments with a gracious ‘thank you’
  • If you are uncomfortable with your date picking up the tab, offer to get desserts at a different food joint
  • Mobile on silent mode is a new way to show your attention and interest
  • Put down your cutlery after three mouthfuls. These pauses should be used to establish eye contact and show your interest in a conversation. Remember, it’s a date and not a race
  • If you’re sharing food on a date, make sure of two things. One, don’t hog the plate. Eat small bites at a time and keep the last portion for your date
  • Before ordering, find out if your date is allergic to anything. If they’re, steer clear of that particular food item or group. This small act of thoughtfulness will certainly work in your favor

What kind of drink should a woman order on a first date?

Sometimes, getting the food right on a first date is not enough. You also need to think about your choice of drinks if it’s a typical date setup in a restaurant or a pub. This may leave you racking your brains over: “What drink should I order on a first date? What kind of pour is elegant for a first date? What if my choice of drink gives out mixed signals or a wrong signal for that matter?”

If these questions are sending you into an overthinking spiral, then some first-date drink tips will surely come in handy. Your choice of drinks is as important as sticking to the safe first date foods. According to many bartenders, your first drink choice reveals a lot about you. Guys will try to evaluate your personality traits based on your choice of drink. So, before you place your first beverage order, have a look at what each drink could potentially reflect about you.

what to order on a first date

Champagne and white wine are undoubtedly the classic drinks for a woman on a date. Considered to be feminine drinks, the choice of champagne reflects your sophistication and charm whereas white wine tells a guy you are a guarded woman who likes to keep her cards close to her heart until she has met her Mr. Right.

Non-alcoholic drinks like mocktails and soda count as safe drinks on your first date. If you order a beer, you signal a casual and laid back attitude to him. Cocktails like Martini and Manhattan are best avoided if you don’t want to get drunk. Red wine equates pure seduction, which may be a good look on you provided you’re interested in taking things forward. Now, some of the first-date drink tips and etiquette are quite simple actually. A glass of wine is fine but you definitely don’t want to end up drunk. Try slow sips and use the pint as a chance to get to know each other.

Men and women have different drinking temperaments. You should be aware of your capacity to avoid making a fool out of yourself. Do you remember that scene from Friends where Rachel got so drunk on a date that she could only talk about her feelings for Ross? Make sure that’s not you on your first dinner date with a guy. Act true to yourself and order a drink you are comfortable with.

What To Order On A First Date? 10 Ideas For You!

Ordering for a first date is an art. Proper knowledge and understanding of pleasant and easy-to-eat delicacies can help you bond over food. Be it your first breakfast date or a fancy dinner plan, ordering right on the first date is purely about getting the first impression set right.

safe first date foods
Woman having pizza on her first date

Twenty-year-old Sonia Wilson said, “I first need to know what we are meeting for. It could be for coffee or some drinks at the bar. In that case, one doesn’t need to order elaborately. But if it’s a lunch or dinner date, then you can pick more from the menu because you intend to make it heavier. Pizzas and different kinds of pasta over coffee or a date at the bar are fine. For lunch or dinner, you can opt for a 3-4 course meal starting with salad and ending with desserts.”

Related Reading: 15 Things Girls Always Notice On A Date

While enjoying a good meal, you can engage your date in interesting conversation and even bond over your shared love of food. And we are sure this will be your key to many more successful dates to come. If you are wondering what qualifies as the best type of food for the first date, here are some options you can explore:

1. Pizza – Write an oven story

Pizza on a first date might look like a basic choice but is the safest option when you are willing to share it. Laden with your common choice of toppings, a simple pizza could be the first savoring memory for you as a couple. If you are thinking of what to order on a first date in India or when you are going to an Indian restaurant in your country, then try out those keema and korma pizzas. Those are just heavenly, with just the right amount of spice.

2. Bite-sized pasta

Bite-sized pasta like penne, ziti, and farfalle brings a classy romantic twist to your first date. Mildly spiced with Italian herbs in a heavenly sauce, this food idea is simple yet elegant. If you want to try out different kinds of pasta, you can go to a place that has a pasta bar. P.S. You can eat it without any fear of staining your special outfit for the first date too.

3. Flavorful Middle-Eastern nibbles

Kebabs are a safe and delectable choice. Nicely grilled bite-sized barbecue tikkas are also a safe bet for your first food date choice. Seasoned with spices, these flavorful servings stimulate nice conversations and offer a perfect way to bond with your date. If you want to opt for lunch or dinner, consider going to a restaurant that serves Arabic food. If your date prefers Mughlai, pick a specialty Mughlai restaurant and proceed with the first date questions over some tandoori chicken.

4. Salads are a healthy choice

It could be a perfect choice if you are both healthy eaters. Design your kind of salad, talk about fitness and health and set the right foundation for your dating relationship. You could also opt for salads as starters but these are a perfectly good choice as a full meal too. Just order some accompaniments to make sure you’re not left starving.

5. Try sizzlers

Sizzlers also make for great first date foods. And if you’re both equally excited at the mention of Chinese sizzlers, then it’s an encouraging early sign of chemistry and compatibility. To make this lunch or dinner date memorable, pick something interesting from the menu. We think the Pepper Chicken Steak Sizzler is amazing. Have you tried it? It’s tasty and a safe bet.

6. Momos or dim sums

Momos are a slice of heaven on earth, and it’s hardly a surprise that they’re one of the most ordered first date starters. So, these are definitely among the top-runners in the best first-date foods category. If you want to go to a restaurant that only serves dim sums, check with your date if they would be game to try it. If they say yes, you can rest assured that this date will at the very least be a flavorful ride. Sampling different kinds of momos and dim sums is an experience in a league of its own. If you’re both feeling adventurous, try the shark fin dim sums.

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7. Gnocchi is easy to eat

Gnocchi is a classic and refined choice of food. Available in numerous variations, it allows you a chance to express your versatility and adaptability. This Italian dish is simple, easy on the stomach and makes for a perfect shared meal. It’s also not the most popular choice in the food culture, so ordering Gnocchi would definitely inspire intrigue. PS: Order it only if you have tried it before and enjoy eating it.

8. Everyone loves Chinese food

There are not many people in this world who don’t dote on Chinese food. This is a safe bet. You can gorge on the soups and chili chicken, gravy chow mein, and rice noodles. Try the Kung Pao Chicken or Fish With Oyster Sauce, this will leave you with a lovely taste in your mouth and great memories.

9. Satay and sushi

This is a great option provided your date likes Japanese food. Check with them before you suggest a Japanese restaurant. Even if your date is vegetarian or vegan, there will be a lot of options on a typical Japanese menu for them. Just do your research right, and if need be, have a conversation with the chef to take recommendations beforehand.

10. What are your thoughts on desserts?

We all love desserts, and needless to say, it is one of the best types of food for a first date. Try it for a sweet beginning to your dating phase. No wonder coffee dates make for a lovely and cozy winter first date idea. Perhaps because a coffee date doesn’t entail a huge commitment of time and conversation flows easily over brews and baked goods like scones, muffins, or brownies. If you are meeting your date in the evening, then coffee and a chocolate brownie is a classic first date food you cannot go wrong with. If it’s a dinner date, you can try out trifles, peanut butter s’mores, chocolate cake or ice cream to wrap up on a sweet and delicious note.

So I guess this entire guide gives you a fair idea of safe first date foods and some of the best drinks to order at a bar for a woman as well. And if you ask, “What not to order on a first date?”, maybe avoid the crabs and prawns and definitely don’t binge drink. After knowing so much about the date-food-drink dynamics, you will surely leave an amazing first impression on your first date. Do try these tips and share your first date stories with Bonobology. We would love to know how these tips helped you woo your partner on the very first date.

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