Picture this: You're walking down the South Oval and lock eyes with, clearly, the future love of your life.  You turn around to walk in their direction, and *drop* your pencil right in front of them, and they actually pick it up because they aren't on their phone claiming this weekend's football ticket.

An unlikely scenario, but work with me. After an introduction almost as awkward as you are, you both agree to meet up later in the week for a bite to eat. Meal exchanges can cover this, no big deal! - ha, you thought.

The line at Starbucks is looping around the Union, Chick-fil-a closes at 5:00pm, and Crossroads no longer has Mac n' Cheese Bites. What are you to do? Text mom and ask her to transfer money, because you're going on an actual date. I'll take care of the location...

Victoria's Pasta Shop

How do I know this one works? Because my brother won his girl over here, and if they're not a power couple, I don't know who is. I'll list out the step-by-step process of how to do date night right at this love factory of a restaurant. Step one (if you are of age): order a nice bottle of wine to share. Nothing too fancy or strong, just a little something to take the nervous edge off. Step two: Cheesy. Bread. The two piece order should suffice, but the four piece comes with marinara and alfredo so... who am I kidding, get the four piece. Step three: it's likely that you're nervous enough, so for this go-round stick with the classic menu rather than building your own pasta (you'll get there eventually). The Lasagna Rolls are a surefire victory and the Chicken Parmesan is clearly a good luck charm based on the success of my sibling. 

If you aren't as successful as my brother, at least you had the best dinner on Campus Corner. And you'll have leftovers to comfort your broken heart. 

Fuzzy's Taco Shop

This classic dive is suitable for anyone, but I'd like to extend this pick exclusively to my freshman readers. A quick walk off campus and the perfect lunch after some early morning classes, Fuzzy's has plenty of options to satisfy both of your palates. First things first: if you don't order the queso, you just shattered any chance at a relationship. Get the queso. It's hard to give recommendations from this menu because I'm a fan of just about every taco/quesadilla/bowl I've had here. So, to all my nervous girls... I know y'all are lying if you leave 80% of the plate and say you didn't like it. P.S., guys like girls who will eat hangover food with them! If you're not in the mood for lunch or dinner, no worries. Fuzzy's serves up breakfast tacos open 'til close, so you're sure to get your fix.

Neighborhood JAM

Madison Bussow

Maybe you didn't meet on the South Oval but you hit it off at Thursday night's luau party. Somehow you managed to successfully exchange numbers and, go figure, you both have no Friday classes (or one of you is lying and skipped!). 

The newest addition to Main Street in Norman, Neighborhood JAM is proof that not all heroes wear capes. Their extensive menu includes craft coffee and espresso beverages, mimosa flights, multiple plays on the classic eggs benedict, and rotating pancake specials you'd be a fool to not try. Recent specials have included Oreo and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Honestly, I don't see how you can take your date here and not make it out a couple. I mean, you'd have to royally mess up... almost like those margaritas did to you last night.

Scratch Kitchen and Cocktail

Mom might have to throw in a few extra dollars for this one... or she may have to buy a plane ticket and join along (personal experience), but there's no flaw in that unless your date flakes out.

Scratch is exactly what it sounds like: a kitchen serving up fresh, local foods made into state-of-the-art entrees... from scratch. The atmosphere is the perfect hybrid of modern and rustic, their chefs and waitresses are committed to providing the most personal service, and their food is just the cherry on top. Organic salmon, Étouffée, and Flank and Fries are just a few options that give this local gem my seal of approval. Their Coffee Pork Loin may even give you the burst of energy you need to finish the paper due tomorrow morning!

Rusty's Custard Factory

Madison Bussow

Main Street was making all the right moves this summer and Rusty's is just another one of the foodie locations they added to their already exceptional list. This sweet fix can serve as the perfect ending to the first night out, or a date in and of itself. Whatever the occasion is, there is always room for dessert at Rusty's. An added bonus, their creative Concrete names may even make your date a bit easier. Your date is from the Northeast? Order them the New Yorker and surprise them with a little taste of home. Want to emphasize who wears the pants in the relationship? Go for the Union Boss, but in a humble fashion. Last but not least, what easier way to express your true feelings than by choosing the Love Machine. You're welcome.


Madison Bussow

Oh, you fancy? Or are you just trying to cram in study time and date night all at once?

There's nothing quite like getting to know someone in a room where you can actually hear and not have to read each other's lips. Michelangelo's provides the perfect setting to get cozy, have quality conversation, and show off your smarts to your person of interest all while sipping the best latte in town... or wine (for over 21-ers!). I understand the fear of awkwardness in having a down to earth conversation in a quiet public place, but the baristas are too fun to let that happen. You'll have people in your corner through it all.

Not a coffee drinker but didn't want to turn the other down? Brownie points for you. I mean literally, their brownies can fill the void. This quaint coffee and wine bar also serves up three meals a day, it may even become the your go-to spot for a second, third, and fourth... whoa, we're getting ahead of ourselves. You get the point, go on a date here before your college years come to an end.

Got the Rose?

The best part about this list is that each location works as a perfect second date, too! Props to you on a successful first impression. You did the work, I just gave the advice. Really, no need to offer leftover cheesy bread or buy me a Razzmatazz Concrete or find me a stable boyfriend, it's okay!