We're calling for a shake-up this Valentine's Day – whether you're looking for a cheese-free date night, sticking to a Galentine's Day vibe or treating 14th February just as any other day, our list of cliché-clean restaurants prove you can find romance in the most unlikely of places.
Here's to doing Valentine's Day the way you want to, and whether that means going out or staying in, you'll find all these restaurants on Deliveroo.
Surprisingly romantic, non-cheesy restaurants
1. For hands-on dining: Poco
Let's face it: if you're not the sharing type, you shouldn't be on a date, especially when there's tapas involved. But it's a classic date tactic – your hands brush as you reach for the beetroot borani, and the rest is history.
If you're thinking of getting serious, head to Bristol-based Poco, the UK's most sustainable restaurant who are doing their bit to ensure long life for our planet. They've got oodles of charm, dishing up seasonal tapas that are as delicious as they are eco-friendly. And if you're in London, luckily they've just opened up shop in Broadway Market.
2. For homely food without the in-laws: Lakaz Maman
Into this..... Get out of the rain and warm up with us! "King Prawn Rougaille with Roti and Chutney and Pickle" #lakazmaman #igfood #igersmauritius mauritius #southampton #masterchefwinner #MasterChefUK #shelinacooks #ShelinaPermalloo #MauritianStreetKitchen #mauritianfood #mauritianstreetfood #streetfood #feedfeed #instamoments #eeeeeats
If it's still a bit early to introduce your date to the parents, Lakaz Maman is perfect for down-to-earth, home-style cooking. Translating as 'mama's house', you'll find unpretentious and deliciously messy Mauritian street food which immediately breaks the ice.
Founder Shelina Permalloo won MasterChef in 2012 by wowing John and Gregg with her tropical takes on gourmet cuisine – expect dishes bursting with Creole soul. It's not quite the same as travelling to Mauritius, but it'll set the expectations for your honeymoon nicely.
Where: Lakaz Maman, Southampton
3. For that lost-in-translation-style romance: Sushi Masa
We can't all travel to Tokyo to emulate Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson's chemistry, but Sushi Masa has authenticity in spades.
And if you fancy yourself a chopstick sensei, it's a great chance to dazzle your date with your dining dexterity.
Where: Sushi Masa, London
4. For the really successful date: Federal Cafe
Ah, the morning-after breakfast. Keeping things laid-back is crucial here – save the lobster eggs benedict for a later date, and order in so you can stay tucked up in bed.
Federal Cafe nails this easy-like-Sunday-morning vibe, bringing Aussie cafe culture to Manchester with their bonzer brunches. Equally, there's no better way to debrief than over their legendary salted caramel French Toast.
Where: Federal Cafe, Manchester
5. For love in a hopeless place: La Bodega Negra
They say that subtlety is the key to a successful first date – keep it cool rather than go in all guns blazing. But you're not one to play by the rules – and don't they also say that love can be found in the most unlikely of places?
Housed in the heart of Soho under a neon sign reading 'sex shop', La Bodega Negra isn't one for dropping subtle hints, with punchy Mexican flavours to match. Fear not, it's all very tongue-in-cheek, and their tuna tostadas and tequilas are the ultimate recipe for romance.
Where: La Bodega Negra, London
6. For impressing a vegan date: Mildreds
Dating a non-meat eater needn't be a worry – the vegan food scene is hotting up, and so are the restaurant options. But for a guaranteed winner with your date, head to Mildreds.
A vegetarian and vegan-friendly destination serving up Asian and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes so packed with flavour they'll make you forget that steak you were craving earlier, Mildreds pairs great food with good vibes. And their organic wine goes down well, too. No wonder it's been so popular for more than 25 years.
Where: Mildreds, London
7. For Galentine's Day: Laundrette
Set your date with the girls off to a spinning start in a whirl of cocktails and carbs at Laundrette. Working with the ethos that drinks should be weird, wonderful and Instagram-worthy, they serve up fun and inventive cocktails alongside some indulgent American-style snacks, from Pre-Wash pizza bread to Full Load truffle mac 'n' cheese.
Where: Laundrette, Manchester
8. For cementing your cool credentials: Pho & Bun
Nothing proves you're at the cutting edge more than introducing your date to the latest in culinary fusions – leaving them to wonder what other tricks you might have up your sleeve.
Reaching peak food trends, Pho & Bun fuse two of London's biggest obsessions to craft a dish that'll prove your worthiness in the cool kids club. Their Bao Burger features a 28 day dry aged beef patty, drizzled in their signature smoky mayo, served with viet herbs in a hirata bun.
Where: Pho & Bun, London
9. For getting the gang together: Syriana
It may be Valentine's Day, but two people just isn't enough when you want to eat your way through an entire menu. Especially when that menu is packed with moreish mezze and mouthwatering grilled meats – the more, the merrier.
Invite the crew over and share the love with a Lebanese-Syrian feast from Syriana. Think freshly made hummus and falafel, tender lamb skewers and garlicky grilled aubergine.
Where: Syriana, Birmingham
10. For the date with old friends: Shoryu
When it comes to date etiquette, slurping on a messy bowl of ramen is a definite no-no. You can't be expected to impress when you've got broth down your chin. In other words, you should save Shoryu for a judgement-free friend date.
Serving up steaming bowls of silky, delicious tonkotsu ramen, Shoryu is the ultimate mate date destination. Get chopsticks deep into your bowl without inhibition – you don't need a hot date, you need a napkin!