Oh, the perils of dating. Finding the perfect place to take that special someone-while on a budget, no less?can be a difficult task indeed. We suggest the following places as affordable options for any romantic outing. From finding the ultimate I-want-to-lay-you atmosphere (see “Sexy Date”) to the perfect setting for discussing your snobby music tastes (see “Hipster Date”), here is everything you need to know.
Oh, the perils of dating. Finding the perfect place to take that special someone—while on a budget, no less?can be a difficult task indeed. We suggest the following places as affordable options for any romantic outing. From finding the ultimate I-want-to-lay-you atmosphere (see “Sexy Date”) to the perfect setting for discussing your snobby music tastes (see “Hipster Date”), here is everything you need to know.
Cost includes food for two and one drink each.
The Casual Date:
712 N.W. 21st Ave.
Cost: $6 to $10
Why go? The laid-back atmosphere is perfect for getting to know somebody. The caffeine will give you the much-needed jolt to bring out the charming and energetic person hidden within. Coffee Time also has a nice selection of board games, from Scrabble to Trivial Pursuit, so you can impress your date with your breadth of knowledge. (If you are dumb you can always play Candy Land.)
If the date is going well, try slipping a bit of sexiness into the games. For example: When playing Scrabble, spell out words like kiss, strip or bondage, and see how it registers. Words are so hot.
What to do after: There are plenty of cool shops and boutiques in the northwest area to check out. If things are going well after your stroll, see what’s playing at Cinema 21 (616 N.W. 21st Ave.).
The Classy Date:
Dragonfish Asian Café
909 S.W. Park Ave.
Cost: $20 to $25
Why go? Within walking distance of many classy date locations downtown, the Dragonfish Asian Café is a good mix of classier attitude and laid-back atmosphere. The menu can get pricey so stick to the happy hour, where sushi plates are only $1.95. The sophisticated charm of Dragonfish will impress your date and make them think you are cultured (we know you’re not, but don’t worry, it’s our secret).
What to do after: You could check out a show at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, or if you are on a budget take a hand-holding walk through the Park Blocks. After the stroll, catch a free (with PSU ID) art house movie put on by Northwest Film Center at the Whitsell Auditorium in the Portland Art Museum. Art movies are the perfect way to continue the false perception that you are refined.
The Hipster Date:
Le Bistro Montage
301 S.E. Morrison St.
Cost: $15 to $20
Why go? It’s where the pretty people go and don’t you want to be one of the pretty people? Le Bistro Montage has a wide variety of Cajun-inspired food, but the macaroni and cheese is the real reason to go. From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, you can choose from a variety of mac choices, from $5 to $6.95. They will even package your leftovers up in foil shaped like a swan. Nothing’s hipper than swans.
Vegetarian? Vegan? No need to worry, there are plenty of options at the Montage for your skinny little ass.
What to do after: Hop on your single-speed bikes and head over to the local Goodwill (1943 S.E. Sixth Ave.) and try on the latest in vagrant fashion.
The Quirky Date:
404 S.W. Washington St.
Cost: $15 to $20
Why go? The real reason to go to the Greek Cuisina isn’t the plate smashing, the upper-level discoing or even the giant octopus outside the building (although that is cool). No, it’s the appetizers, and starting at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can get them 50 percent off. The menu offers marinated or fried squid, fried cheese, mini gyros and more. Tasty.
Share with your date and feed each other with your hands. It’ll be quirky and adorable.
What to do after: After quirking it up at the Greek Cuisina, head over to Portland’s oldest bookstore, Cameron’s Books and Magazines (336 S.W. Third Ave.), and browse back-issues of Mad Magazine or 1950s nudie mags.
The Sexy Date:
10 N.W. 12th Ave.
Cost: $15 to $20
Why go? Dim lights, pseudo-fancy motif and cheap happy hour eats so you can spend all your cash on drinks. Henry’s Tavern offers a wide variety of food, from crab cakes to orange chicken. Most happy hour meals (served only in the lounge) are just a few dollars, and they have over 100 beers on tap for you lushes.
Get a corner booth where it will be too dark for anyone to see what you are doing under the table.
What to do after: Stumble down to Fantasy for Adults Only and joke about all the inflatable sex dolls and flavored lubes on display… before buying a vibrator to use on each other.