Picking a first date venue requires a certain je ne sais quoi. Nothing triggers sweaty hands and the threat of seeing mom's spaghetti come back up faster than the proposal of a first date. I've had my fair share of awkward first encounters, and nothing is a better conversation starter then the food sitting in front of you. Don't get too ahead of yourself there though, buster. You might be thinking "what's more romantic than getting pasta at Bolton?!" and that my friend, is why I am here to guide you in the right direction. 

Here are the best first date spots in Athens, GA:

1. Tlaloc

rice, beans, black beans, burrito
Victoria Berger

Listen, nothing makes the heart grow fonder than when you're making a fool of yourself. When the two of you struggle in an embarrassing manner to try and say the Spanish pronunciations on the menu, that's when the true love comes out people! Plus, all will be forgotten once they take the first bite.

2. White Tiger Gourmet

Impress your date with your local townie knowledge by bringing them to this Athens gem that uses locally sourced ingredients. Let them know from the get-go that you stan a restaurant with environmental awareness. Save the planet one BBQ pork sandwich at a time.

3. Donna Chang's

Skip Choo Choo's and treat your date like the queen/king that they are. No amount of buy 1, get 1 coupons or white sauce can beat the mouthwatering magic that Donna Chang's can whip up. If you're feeling especially romantic, you can even order a glass of wine (or the whole bottle if you spent the summer grinding at a paid internship). #choochoowho?

4. Farm Cart

You could spend the night in front of Mama's Boy and STILL have a 30 minute wait time. Break the Athens norm and advocate for a morning date at Farmcart! Plus, I can not stress this enough: FARMCART. HAS. THE. BEST. BISCUITS. IN. ATHENS. 

5. Georgia Theatre Rooftop Restaurant

Keep the night fun with a delicious dinner AND show. Bonus points if you arrive during golden hour and get those Instagram pictures. Oh no, now you just HAVE to be featured on their 'gram as their new boo?! You're welcome.

6. D 92 Korean BBQ

This one may be a tad out of a first date budget material, but then again, love knows no boundaries, just like my stomach when I sit at their table and they start grilling. Might wanna skip the skinny jeans on this date and opt for some stretchy pants.

7. Butt Hutt BBQ

Keep the first date lighthearted by taking them to Butt Hutt. Not only will you get some quality BBQ, but you'll also be able to see if they can say Butt Hutt with a straight face. You can't spend the rest of your life with someone who can't laugh with you.

8. Cali-N-Tito's

Take them to the iconic Cali-N-Tito's on Eastside for a venue with character. Honestly, it's impossible to have a bad date when you're eating their cubana. Don't forget to order the banana or strawberry shake to blow your date's mind.

So, put on your classiest t-shirt that you washed at least a week ago, some deodorant to fight nervous sweat stains, those Air Force 1's and get ready to eat with maybe your future spouse! I'm taking all the credit for your relationship if you use this article for your first date inspiration.