So you've met that special someone, and Valentine's Day is rolling around, and it's looking like this year won't be spent feasting on discounted candy like it's the day after Halloween (though, in all honestly, that would probably make a great date idea for February 15th...). It's time for a date.

While I'm sure you're date would be thrilled to stroll the familiar dinning hall with their love, you might want to consider actually taking them out. Don't know of any places to eat besides Burge? Don't worry--we've got Iowa City all mapped out for you.

If Your Valentine Lives the Breakfast-All-Day Life

Let's be real--breakfast is amazing. Whether you play this card as a morning date or as a late-night pancake run, your date is sure to be pleased.

Bluebird Diner

Don't beat around the bush--this place is absolutely adorable. Your quintessential diner, it's complete with everything from big pancake plates to massive cinnamon rolls that are so good it's a crime. Plus, there'll likely be a cute old couple at a nearby table, and cute old couples are the best.

Hamburg Inn 2

This is, hands down, the best place to head for a late-night breakfast. Not only do they serve amazing Cinnamon Roll French Toast--complete with a blizzard of powdered sugar--but they have pie shakes. That's right. Liquid pie. It doesn't get better, loves.

Pullman's Bar and Diner

This joint has pancakes. I'm talkin' BIG pancakes. Also, breakfast tacos, just, ya know, throwin' that out there. But if you happen to go later in the day with your Valentine, look forward to some live music and killer burgers. Still, do you see those pancakes. Love at first sight, really. 

If You Want to Make Your Valentine Feel Extra Special

Sure, these places will make your wallet noticeably lighter, but it's bae we're talking about here, and you would do anything for them. Just, ya know, maybe don't look at your bank account afterward. 


Translated literally, Basta means "enough"--not too much, not too little. In essence, it's when something is just right. Use this to impress your date, showing them how cultivated you are as an individual while you down a super huge bowl of pasta like a monster. Hey, it's the knowledge that counts.


Not only does this place have wonderful outdoor seating so you can people-watch with your date--a wonderful conversation tool, BTW--but the food is simply divine. Spit the shrimp voodoo appetizer with your date and they'll be super impressed with your taste in worldly cuisine. 

Orchard Green

Among the best fine-dinning restaurants in the City, this place just screams "I'm about to drop some serious cash on this meal"--hopefully because you love this person and not because you just want to show off. The upstairs dinning room offers intimacy and comfort, complete with chandeliers that will take your breath away.

If Your Valentine is on a Health-Kick

Hey, it's the new year after all, and many people want to improve their well-being--or perhaps your date simply lives the kale life. Either way, show your support by heading to these few places.

Trumpet Blossom Cafe

The only vegan restaurant in Iowa City, Trumpet Blossom offer a wide range of dietary-conscious items made from scratch with organic ingredients. This wholesome cafe will hopefully remind your date how wholesome and kind you are, and their fondness for you will blossom like the most beautiful rose. How adorable.


At the head of the locavore movement that has taken the nation by storm, Devotay sources its ingredients from local farmers, so you know where all your food is coming from. So, by eating here, your not only supporting the local community, but you're also consuming some of the freshest, healthiest food around. That says something about character and life choices, my friend.


According to Greek mythology, all creatures of the sea are the children of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. Not only that, but the seaweed used in sushi contains a substantial amount of vitamin E--aka the sex vitamin. Sushi is also healthy and low calorie, and you could feed it to one another in this super stylish, modern setting. Order their Heart roll to really set the mood.

If Your Valentine Wants That Cake

Everybody knows dessert is the key to the heart--not to mention that chocolate is a powerful aphrodisiac. And while baking a cake with your boo might be a fantastic date idea, no one's going to turn down a bakery cupcake either.

Molly's Cupcakes

Want to impress your date by taking them to an award-winning bakery? With locations across the country--including New York and Chicago--Molly's Cupcakes is truly a gem in the heart of Iowa City. With a wide array of flavors and fillings, they have something for everyone--even those who'd rather indulge on a cookie or bar. The variety is dazzling.


Nothing says love like making a frozen yogurt concoction and the wandering the Ped Mall, looking at all the painted benches and store windows. And with the vague healthiness of frozen yogurt, you won't feel super guilty about all the toppings you pile up on there. Plus, the super cute decorations in this tiny little yogurt shop will make the both of you feel cozy.

Cold Stone

Trying to play it safe, casual, but still want to show that you care? For the this-is-kind-of-a-date dates, or those new relationships, Cold Stone is a godsend; almost everyone likes ice cream, so you won't have to worry about the awful fail date, but you won't have to work super hard to ace this one either. And plus, you'll be eating ice cream, so it's a win for everyone involved.

Whomever you're going out with this Valentine's Day, you'll be able to find something here in Iowa City that'll make their eyes light up and their hearts flutter.