I have been sneak-dated so many times, I’ve lost count. It’s essentially when you’re tricked into going on a date that you thought was just a casual, friendly hang. Such are the perils of modern dating—where it’s scary to admit feelings! Or intention! You could be hanging out forever.

Then there’s the opposite end of the spectrum, a first date so official (read: interrogative) that it feels like a job interview. Except it’s very obvious by the second or third question that there will be no upward mobility.

In this vast sea of dating experiences, what truly keeps the ebb and flow bearable is the food. At the very least, you should enjoy a delicious meal (or stiff drink) to help you through boring conversation. But if a brewing attraction bubbles to the surface, a heaping plate of culinary magic can only enhance it. Food is sensory, after all.

For this edition of Dish, we’ve waded through the endless options of food-focused date-nights (and date-days) to reinvigorate romance or fuel a budding, passionate tryst. And yeah, we’ve also included bars that will help ease jitters or just give you an excuse to get super sloppy—your call. We asked local celebrities where they get flirty (we know you’ve been waiting for Petey Pablo’s dating advice since “Freek-a-leek”), picked out our favorite spots off the beaten path, and even included places to go incognito when you know everyone in town. There’s also a generous timeline for planning an entire relationship’s worth of dinners, including where to break up (we’re realists), as well as the best spots to go as a family or to take your own damn self out, because you deserve it.

Good luck out there.

A cynic’s guide to date nights for every bump in the road

Where do our beloved local celebrities go for the perfect date?

Know everyone in town? Here are some cool places where you can escape with a new Tinder match without getting noticed.

Romance (or whatever) on a grad school budget

Dates don’t have to involve another person. In fact, some of the best ones don’t.

Play dates for parents: Your kids’ friends have cool parents, too. And you all deserve to let loose.

Find a delicious offbeat adventure with no reservations. Sharing food is the ultimate test of compatibility.