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Valentine’s Day Spots Perfect for a Low-Stress Date

via Christina Slaton

We completely understand that Valentine’s Day causes lots of undo stress. If you’re in a relationship, you want it to be an extra special date night. If you’re single, you want to have fun without being barraged with romance. If you’re newly dating, you may have no idea what to do! It’s not really an easy night or weekend on anyone. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are plenty of places for every level of date night or nights out that can cater to your needs, no matter what they are. We are in one of the best and brightest culinary cities in the world, so you can bet that Chicago has a place where you will feel loved. Head to these picks for a stress-free time that Cupid would still approve of! Then you can breathe a sigh of relief and just look forward to a fun time and great meal…

Beatrix {multiple locations}: Beatrix might be known for it’s grab n’ go options and amazing baked goods (see cute cookies above!), but they also have amazing sit-down menu items as well! For example, from this Thursday, February 13 through Sunday, February 16, they’ll be serving Housemade Truffled Cheese Ravioli with a truffle cream sauce as well as a Triple-Layer Coconut Champagne Cake with coconut buttercream for Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect spot for a group date or new relationship!

The Kitchen {316 North Clark Street, Chicago; 312.836.1300}: The Kitchen is ideal for your galentine, Valentine or even your crush! They will have a special menu for the holiday with dishes like a limited availability, gluten-free Caviar with smoked salmon, rösti potato, shallots, crème fraîche, chives, and dill. They will also offer a Pan-Roasted Filet main and a vegan Molten Chocolate Soufflé with vanilla anglaise for dessert. No matter your taste, they have a dish for you!

Arami {1829 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago; 312.243.1535}: Wait out the craziness of Friday or Saturday reservations, and head to the Sake Class at Arami on Sunday, February 16. You can try five different varieties of the sake and learn about the drink’s history, brewing process and various styles. This is an awesome option for a group date or just to head to with your pals.

Bar Cargo {605 North Wells Street, Chicago; 312.929.0065}: Want to make your Valentine smile? Order a heart-shaped Roman pizza from Bar Cargo! This pie will only be available on Friday for Valentine’s Day and you must call ahead to order. So, plan ahead and order now. It will all be worth it when that pizza arrives at your table on date night 🙂

Politan Row {111 North Aberdeen Street, Chicago; 312.278.3040}: If you’re not quite sure what your date’s tastes are yet, heading to a food hall is really the safest bet. There’s something for everyone at Politan Row! You can either try a variety of dishes from all their vendors or hone in on Mom’s Japanese comfort food, which is offering a special 5-course dinner menu on Friday for the holiday. The meal begins with a with a complimentary champagne toast, and includes other bites like Oysters with umeboshi and uni, Sake-Braised Shortrib, and more.

Firecakes {various locations}: Celebrating a long-distance Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry, you can still make your special someone feel like someone special. Send them a Donutgram! Firecakes is once again offering this easy service, helping you send Dipped Strawberry Donuts or Mini Long John Donuts in flavors like Strawberry Mascarpone or Boston Cream. You must pre-order the donuts by Thursday, February 13 though, so order them online now!

Next of Kin Restaurant & Cafe {625 Davis Street, Evanston; 847.563.8242}: For galentines or more casual dates, Next of Kin is the perfect escape from downtown. Evanston is just a short train or cab ride away, but you’ll feel lighter immediately. It’s the perfect place to while away a few hours and enjoy sweet treats or a meal while you really talk and get to know each other.

Utopian Tailgate {1608 North Wells Street, Chicago; 312.210.7799}: If you’re single and ready to mingle, you better head to the “Tied Up & Turnt Valentine’s Day Party” at Utopian Tailgate from 4pm-1am on Friday, February 14. Valentine’s Day is about to get rowdy! There will be a food and drink specials, a Lagunitas Love Tarot Tent, and a whole lot more. Don’t miss out!

Bonci {multiple locations}: You already know Bonci for their signature pizzas like the Meatball, Zucchini Ricotta Lemon Black Pepper, and Potato Mozzarella, but they’re now branching out for the holiday! For the first time ever, Bonci is now offering its very own take on a dessert pizza; a delicious combination of Nutella, strawberries, toasted marshmallows, and a touch of mint. If your Valentine really loves pizza, this is the spot for them!

Cupid’s Bar {355 North Clark Street, Chicago}: If you are DONE with romance and want to avoid all the lovey dovey stuff this weekend, Cupid’s Bar is a special pop-up bar with themed drinks with names opposing love and relationships. Open on Fridays and Saturdays through February 22, you can down cocktails like Champagne for My Real Friends, made of sparkling rose and cotton candy or even a few Ghosted shots. No romance allowed!

By Kaleigh Glaza | Online Editor