Ah Valentine’s Day… the one day of the year that every college student has a love-hate relationship with.

In Boston the “hate” side of the relationship often comes from going through the struggle of finding the most perfect and, more importantly, most affordable restaurant for you and your Valentine to both enjoy — without cringing when you see the bill.

tina fey crab

GIF courtesy of @spelaFabjan on Twitter

Fear no more — we’re here to help. Here are the seven most romantic and most student budget-friendly restaurants in the Boston area.

1. Piattini Wine Cafe


Photo courtesy of pianttini.com

Piattini has turned the common conception of tapas in a whole other direction by creating so-your-money-worths pasta tapas such as the ravioli d’Aragosta and the artichoke and goat cheese-stuffed tortellini. Ranging from $6 – $11, you and your valentine can share each other’s favorite picks. Or if you are possessive of your food like me, then you’ll obviously insist on the regular dinner size.

2. Grotto


Photo courtesy of bunnyandporkbelly.wordpress.com

This small and cozy restaurant has the perfect atmosphere for young collegiate love birds. They have a fixed price for salads at $10 and entrees at $21, but I recommend the picatta mussels drenched in lemon and white wine, which will leave you wanting more and your valentine wanting more of you.

3. L’osteria


Photo courtesy of losteria.com

Anyone who’s studied Latin knows that L’osteria essentially means “guest.” Good thing the owners of L’osteria have excellent reviews for how they treat their own. Mostly known for their authentic pasta and their creamy eggplant parm, L’osteria will make you and your valentine feel right at home (and for only $17).

4. Alfredo’s


Photo courtesy of Yao X on yelp.com

Sometimes the best type of Valentine’s Day is a night spent in your onesie in the comfort of your apartment, re-watching Titanic for the fifth time this week (V-Day puts that kind of pressure on people) and devouring a fat takeout bowl of chicken Alfredo. Not only do you and your valentine have unlimited room to cuddle, but with the cash you save from dinner at this cheap joint, you even have money for dessert.

5. Masa


Photo courtesy of @scoopsnbites on Instagram

For those of you tired of the expected candlelight dinner, Valentine’s Day Sunday brunch is always a safe (if not better) bet. If you and your valentine are brave enough to wake up early, Masa has a two course menu special for only $9.95 per person from 9 am–11 am. If your valentine isn’t so sweet as a morning person, Masa’s regular brunch menu from 9 am–3 pm is equally worth your money, especially for items such as the Santa Fe style eggs Benedict (only $10.75).

6. Pastoral 


Photo courtesy of Pastoral on facebook.com

Any Bostonian pizza lover is familiar with Pastoral’s thin crust pizzas and their Puccia wood-fired Italian pocket bread. Their pizzas range from the traditional to the unique, like the cured anchovy pizza, which features anchovies, goat cheese, roasted red pepper, and arugula. And any of them will make your valentine’s mouth instantly fall in love… hopefully with you.

7. South Street Diner


Photo courtesy of yelp.com

If your valentine is an aspiring Guy Fieri and obsessed with comfort food, then make sure not to pass by Boston’s 24-hour South Street Diner… yes that’s twenty-four hours of the day, seven days a week. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a midnight grubfest after watching Nicholas Spark’s annual V-day premiere, the cherry on top of your Valentine’s Day fairy tale will be that the menu items such as the famous turkey club sandwich are only $7.