Recently there’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the new saying, “Netflix and chill,” which describes our modern-day dating style as cheap, lazy, and sex-crazed. It’s true though that every now and then having a night to watch Netflix and “chill” with your significant other is a really calming, pressure-free way to spend time together.

But really, guys and gals, there is no shame in wanting a night out on the town with your partner where you get to talk, laugh, and of course, enjoy a meal that doesn’t include plastic or paper plates. If you Richmond students are wondering exactly what some of those activities and restaurants are, let me enlighten you.

Here are my top 5 meals and complementing activities to keep the flame going.

Disclosure: boyfriend or girlfriend not required…friends work just as well. 

Bistro Bobette and the Riverfront Canal Walk


Photo courtesy of Bistro Bobette

While on the pricier side, Bistro Bobette won’t disappoint. If you’re a steak lover like me, this place is a must-visit. The menu features classic French dishes including crepes, savory tarts, juicy steaks, fresh fish and a unique watermelon and tomato salad. Bistro Bobette’s intimate and chic atmosphere will without a doubt make your significant other feel spoiled.

Want to make the night even more romantic? Obviously. Once the bill is paid, walk down East Cary Street to the Riverfront Canal Walk. This path along the James will set the mood and give the two of you some quality hand-holding time. If you want to impress your date even more, take he or she on the canal cruise (before 5 pm) and channel your inner Noah and Allie.

Picnic with a DHALL Box To-Go


Photo by Erin Tyra

Picnics are a cheap and easy way to feel romantic and be in a setting where you don’t have to worry about other people. Don’t have the cash or time to hit up Martins for typical picnic foods? Grab a to-go box at DHALL, build a sandwich, throw some fruit in there, and you’ve got yourself the perfect picnic lunch #winning.

Want to make your picnic classy af? Head over to the Getty, buy yourself a nice bottle of champagne, and sip like the Europeans do.

The Daily and Pumpkin Picking

The Daily in Cary Town is a Richmond student favorite. Their menu offers a wide variety of options that include kale salads (#trendy), burgers, stir fry, or even fish tacos. Don’t forget to order a side of sweet potato hash…if you weren’t already on cloud nine, this dish will be sure to take you and your date there.

Before or after you hit up The Daily, pumpkin picking at Gallmeyer Farm is a great activity to spend some quality time outdoors with bae. It’s around 25 minutes from campus and offers a scenic, wide open pumpkin patch that is perfect for cute candids.

Burger Bach and Bowling


Photo courtesy of Michael Thompson

Burger Bach is a New Zealand chain restaurant located in both Cary Town and Short Pump where you can enjoy a hearty burger, chicken sandwich, bowl of mussels, or even a French style shrimp dish with your date.

You would be amazed at the unique, yet drool-worthy burger-toppings and combos they offer (blueberry sauce on your burger…what?!). Not to mention the amazing dipping sauces for their hand-cut fries.

After your protein-filled meal, head over to Sunset Lanes on West Broad to burn some calories throwing a heavy ball and maybe even place a couple bets on who wins. I know with my boyfriend, it’s always easy money.

La Grotta and Ice Skating


Photo courtesy of

Dating a pasta lover? You’re in luck because La Grotta in downtown Richmond will serve you both an asthetically pleasing and taste-bud stimulating Italian meal that is sure to satisfy your carb cravings.

With a homey, vintage interior, La Grotta will make you feel warm and cozy when you’re missing Grandma’s homemade marinara. Feeling hot and heavy after your meal? You and your special someone can cool off at the Richmond Ice Zone by practicing your skating skills at the rink—hopefully your boyfriend won’t push you over like mine did.