Dating can be hard and having dietary restrictions can make it ridiculously stressful. In this three-part series, we will walk through helpful concepts that will equip you to navigate the dating food and beverage scene, so you can enjoy the experience and be fully present.
The Non-Restaurant Dates
TIP | Eat a little something beforehand. You may be there longer than expected or do something afterward and you don’t want to be hungry with limited options.
- GRAB A CUP OF COFFEE. ENJOY A CUP OF COFFEE OR TEA AND SKIP THE PASTRIES. MOST PLACES NOW ARE FRIENDLY WITH DIETARY RESTRICTIONS BUT I SUGGEST KEEPING IT SIMPLE. DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO MAKE IT A DESSERT COFFEE OR IMPRESSIVE. IDEAS TO ORDER:
- Americano with heavy cream
- Whole milk cappuccino
- Americano with a splash of coconut milk. Most coffee shops that offer oat milk and/or almond milk use inexpensive brands that contain offensive additives, but typically coconut milk is fairly good.
- Hot herbal tea with a bit of honey
- GRAB DRINKS!
- Cocktails: Pretty easy! Watch the sugar, but they’re pretty allergen-friendly.
- Brewery: Most beers have gluten, but some breweries will offer ciders, seltzers, and/or gluten-free beer so opt for one of those.
- Wine: Visit a cool wine bar. Wine is gluten-free and charcuterie boards are usually a wonderful and easy thing to order and snack on when considering restrictions. Stick to the meats, olives, fruits, and nuts. If you can tolerate dairy, go for the raw cheese and just opt out of any breads/crackers!
- SNACKS/DRINKS ON-THE-GO!
- Water is always an easy go-to. Sparkling water also feels like a treat so that’s good if you’re going on a walk and need something refreshing.
- Easy items to grab if you’re in-between locations, stopping at gas stations, needing something quick to hold you over at an event (like a sporting event, a walk downtown, etc..) Nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and jerky! You can find these items just about anywhere.
It’s important to remember that while dietary restrictions can feel crippling to you, your date will never know unless you want to communicate it. Even then, if you’r date is kind and sweet (what you want in any person!) then they will not be bothered and will oftentimes support you by helping pick places that fit your needs and even grazing the menu with you. It can feel SO intimidating at first, but own your decisions with confidence and don’t feel the need to over communicate why you’re skipping the pizzas, sugary drinks, sodas, candies, and otherwise. You can choose the things that you choose simply because you prefer them. When the time is right for you to be open with your date about your dietary needs, you’ll know.
Most importantly, just have fun!