The 10 Foods Not to Order on a First Date


You wouldn’t know it from the weather outside, but it’s spring. And when spring is in the air, love is in the air. But to find love, many first dates must be had. Which poses the important question of what foods should one eat — or not eat — on a date. Luckily, Fork in the Road is here with the answers. Here are the 10 dishes you don’t want to order on a first date.

Spaghetti or other pastas that require slurping: Unless you’re in Japan and on a date in a ramen restaurant, avoid the slurpy noodles. No one looks good with a long noodle awkwardly hanging out of his/her mouth while tomato sauce coats the lips.

Oysters: The problem with a plate of a half-dozen oysters is that they’re gone almost immediately. You can’t cut an oyster in half so basically your whole plate is six quick bites. Imagine the awkwardness that will ensue when your date is only a quarter of the way into her salad and you’re done. Plus they are awkwardly suggestive and might send the wrong message. This is obviously a moot point should you both get oysters. Better yet — get a plateau de mer to share!

Anything that’s hard to pronounce: Food words are mispronounced all the time. And by smart people, too. Better save yourself the potential shame (imagine him telling his friends the next day, “Oh my God, she pronounced gnocchi as gh-knock-ee”).

Corn on the cob: The kernels inevitably get caught in your teeth and it’s an awkward food (you’re biting on a phallic object after all).

Anything with asparagus: The date might go really well and then you’re getting hot and heavy back at his place. But then you have to pee! And then he has to pee! And then all he’s going to smell is sulfur. And sulfur isn’t a sexy smell.

Steamed lobster: It’s expensive, and you have to wear a bib. Not chic! Plus the juices squirt everywhere, you smell like seafood at the end of the meal, and the shell can be hard to crack open, which makes you look lame if you can’t do it.

The same thing as your date: Boring! What will you be able to talk about if the conversation sours mid-date? At least when you have different dishes you can spend five minutes apiece describing them.

Fermented foods: Kimchi and fermented tofu and foods of that ilk are really acquired tastes … and smells. This is third-date material. Same goes for anything truly weird, like duck tongues — well any sort of tongue — offal, organs, etc.

Donuts, zeppole, or pfeffernüsse: Powdered sugar and facial hair — not a good combo.

Ice cream: Could you order a more boring dessert? Why are you even at a restaurant? Just get a pint of Häagen-Dazs. Points off even more if you order vanilla.