Where To Go On A Double Date With A Couple You Don’t Like9 of the best places to have dinner with a couple you mostly avoid.
Odds are, you’ll have to go on a double date at some point. And while we hope you’ll be dining with a duo that has more to talk about than Oscar snubs and parking tickets, you need to be prepared for the worst.
We’ve prepared this list: the 9 restaurants to go on a double date with a couple you don’t like. And who knows? Maybe if you head to these 9 Italian, sushi, and seafood restaurants, you’ll end up having a really good time. But we can’t make any promises.
You aren’t totally sure how this night will go, but you can be certain that you’ll have Director of Photography and Sound Engineer credits by the time it’s over. That’s right—you’re dining with a couple that loves to document everything they do from waking up in the morning to walking into the restaurant 12 hours later. Irwin’s is a great choice for these “influencers,” thanks to the stunning views of South Philly and vintage school building interiors. Plus, everything on the Sicilian menu is excellent, so your first bites of spaghetti alle vongole and citrusy whole fish will still be delicious even after the photoshoot.
You lied to the couple about the reservation just to get them there on time, and you still feel like you’ve been waiting longer than the old lady from Titanic for them to arrive. But it’s fine, because you’re at Center City’s Vernick Fish. With its chic long bar and lounge area, there’s no better place to grab a drink and contemplate the food etiquette rules when someone’s an hour late. If you decide to go for it, they have the city’s best raw bar, must-order crudos (the sea bream is life-changing), and panko-crusted swordfish with shaved brussels sprouts. In other words, even if your double date turns into a single after an endless wait, you’ll be glad you decided not to bail before eating.
Even the couple that constantly cuts each other off and belittles each other “in jest” can agree on delicious fish. Go to this Head House Square restaurant for the $148 omakase and enough space between the seats that you don’t have to play referee. The Japanese menu has things like wagyu beef tataki, yellowtail sashimi, and a delicious bowl of Hokkaido uni, scallop, and salty salmon roe. Between the friendly service and food good enough to be the night's main focus, it’s pretty hard to be negative here—no matter who’s at war around the table.
You’re pretty confident tonight’s dinner conversation will include “this is why I don’t come out.” This couple only leaves the house when you guilt trip them about a significant birthday or when their car alarm goes off. But at Fishtown’s Pera, you can bank on a great meal surrounded by colorful artwork and baked goods. Get some small plates, like the doughy manti dumplings and creamy hummus for the table, and shareable larger options like their slow-cooked lamb. The ambiance feels a bit like a low-key dinner party, so the couple should feel right at home.
You’ve run out of excuses, and you’re finally going on a double date with that couple from the gym. The problem? You don’t know anything about these people except that they’re vegan and grunt after every set. This Northern Liberties restaurant is beautiful, covered in plants, and has intimate, dusk-like low lighting. The plant-based BYOB has a menu with a wide range of options, too. So someone can get a crunchy chicories salad if they want something light, a plate of comforting heirloom polenta if they’re hungrier, or they can just split both without worrying about the calorie count. It’s fun and cozy, and everything coming out of the open kitchen is so good it makes a conversation about BMI seem tolerable.
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Since you can come here without a reservation, you don’t have to worry about waiting awkwardly in front of the restaurant with the couple who’s told you three times that they have to be home by 8:30 sharp. There’s zero chance that you’ll grab a drink after or sit around talking about planning a group trip to Coachella. When you need a place that has good food that comes out quickly, head to South Philly’s I Heart Cambodia. The food here is on the less expensive side ($15 mains) and you won’t encounter a dining room that’s super loud and crowded. The menu ranges from summer rolls with jumbo shrimp packed inside and a large beef lok lak that’s drenched in soy. For better or worse, dipping, dunking, and chewing is the most fun you’ll have all night.
With a revolving sushi bar, glowing neon booths, and top 40 hits on full blast, KPod in University City has one of the liveliest dining rooms in town. This makes the futuristic Korean restaurant the ideal place to take the couple that wouldn’t need a megaphone at an Eagles tailgate. It’s generally easy to get into, and the shareable plates and signature cocktails go a long way toward making sure everyone has a good time. Their take on Korean street food is so delicious–especially the pork ramyun, spicy tuna hand rolls, and chewy beef mandu–that even the most energetic couple will be focusing on their plate rather than having an impromptu dance battle or talking about their summit to Everest.
It’s perfectly normal for couples to wear t-shirts with their pet names for each other on them or feed each other at the table, right? Maybe not. If you’re heading to dinner with a duo that does, head to this crowd-pleasing restaurant in Spring Garden. This gorgeous Italian spot has a long bar and enclosed greenhouse seating where you can share orders of the grilled octopus, the rigatoni with chicken liver and a gooey margherita pizza. Thankfully, there are no large booths in the dining room, so the couple can’t sit next to each other and recreate the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp.
There’s no official rule that says you need to split everything down the middle on a double date—although everyone knows it’s the easiest way to do it. But there are some couples who want to charge you for eating the last french fry, or even worse, play Casper the Friendly Ghost when the bill comes. To deal with this duo, head to Fette Sau in Fishtown. The BBQ restaurant has a bar with classic cocktails, beers on tap, and a menu full of $10-$12 smoked meat sandwiches, sharable sides big enough for four, and trays of juicy brisket and ribs that start at $60. It’s a wood-filled, smokehouse-themed place that works for everyone, but especially when you’re going to end up covering the tab when it’s all said and done.
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