By Heather Karellas, contributor
If you’d rather drive from Grant Park to Alpharetta at 5 p.m. on a Friday than plan another unnecessary, overpriced Valentine’s date, this is the guide for you. Believe it or not, it is possible to have a fun, memorable Atlanta Valentine’s date without the traditional chocolates, flowers, jewelry, or champagne. Below, a round-up of our best Valentine’s ideas for those who are “over it” or never even cared much to begin with.
For Those Who Have Stopped Trying Altogether
Maybe you and your partner have been together forever, and you’re pretty comfortable with each other. Like, “use each other’s toothbrush” comfortable. For those long-timers looking to keep things at a “mild salsa” level of spiciness, consider a lovely and memorable evening at Waffle House. Select locations, including Cheshire Bridge, are offering a special Valentine’s Day dinner – complete with white-table cloth dinner service, soft music, and delicious breakfast foods.
For Those Who Would Rather Take Credit for Someone Else’s Effort
You don’t have to write a romantic poem or even sign a card for your Valentine this year. Instead, let the Indigo Girls do all the work of serenading your sweetheart, while you take all the credit for a fun night out. On Thursday, February 15, the Indigo Girls will perform at beloved Decatur venue Eddie’s Attic. Bonus: there are shows at both 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. – so you can treat your Valentine to a concert and be back at home in pajamas by mid-evening!
For the Slightly Macabre and Eternally Hip
Maybe you and your partner agree that Valentine’s Day is all about overpriced, unnecessary gestures and commercialization. Maybe you’d love to celebrate your love, but it all feels a little cliché and overhyped this time of year. Maybe you just want to kick back, grab some good food, and remember what really matters in life. Enter: Oakland Cemetery. While the cemetery does offer “official” Valentine’s Day programming via its “Love Stories of Oakland” tours, you can also simply enjoy wandering around the cemetery. Stroll through the beautifully-maintained paths, ponder death and mortality, realize that existence is fleeting and everything is temporary, then grab a bite to eat at one of the local haunts – Six Feet Under or Mezcalito’s, plus Java Cats (Atlanta’s first cat café) for dessert and coffee.
For the Frugal but Fun Couple
Is it possible to have an adrenaline-filled, unique Valentine’s Day for under $50? Absolutely! The Comet Pub & Lanes offers thrifty, nostalgic fun for an un-cliché date you’re sure to remember. For right around $50, you and your partner can each rent a pair of shoes, play two games of bowling, and enjoy a PBR and a burger. The bowling alley is owned by the same folks as Twain’s – which is to say, their menu boasts a wide variety of excellent pub foods, some of the best local brews Atlanta has to offer, and plenty of retro arcade games to spare!
For Those Who Truly Hate Valentine’s Day
The Original El Taco’s annual “Stupid Cupid” Valentine’s Day dinner will once again be there for those of us who are broken-hearted, single and miserable, or otherwise just not a fan of Feb. 14. Located in the Highlands, El Taco will be serving up a delicious “Misery Loves Company” dinner special. For $60, you’ll enjoy chips and three dips, 10 tacos, and two desserts. El Taco is describing this as a dinner that “serves 3-5 people” – but for the truly dejected among us, it sounds like a helping for one. For $20 more, get a pitcher of Rebound-a-Ritas (best shared with friends), or purchase another specialty drink, like pineapple-infused tequila.
Or, if all else fails, rejoice that we currently live in the golden age of Netflix and Uber Eats, and that with just a few button taps, you can spend a lovely evening at home, binge-watching and binge-eating to your heart’s content. Pizza and season 3 of Arrested Development, anyone?
Reservations are highly suggested for each of the above venues/date ideas.