The 8 best and worst places to take your Tinder date in the Twin Cities
Ah, Tinder, the dating app dedicated to judging books by their covers: See a photo of a potential date, then swipe the screen to the left if you aren't interested or swipe to the right if you want to know more. It's the Cupid Shuffle of the next generation (though it often goes to the left, to the left, more than to the right, to the right, am I right?)
Regardless of whether you downloaded the app as a joke or hope to someday find your Tinder knight in H&M armor, you stand a pretty good chance of going on a mobile-initiated date. Are you going out with the selfie queen or the guy insisting the girls in his photos are his "sisters"? No matter your situation, here are eight of the best and worst places to take your Tinderella.
8. DO: Fika at the American Swedish Institute Look at you, attempting to impress your match. A little culture and a lot of of taste will make this a perfect spot for a good first impression. If you swipe right, you can continue the date by actually going to an exhibit in the museum in which Fika's located. Swipe left, and you can easily escape this crowded cluster by booking it to the 6 bus in nearby Uptown. Either way, you win with this Nordic menu.
7. DO: Smack Shack's happy hour A little expensive outside the hours of 3 to 6 p.m., Smack Shack offers a happy hour that makes for a perfect first-date atmosphere. They've got an oyster bar to be reckoned with, so you're sure to get your aphrodisiac on before you inevitably make an awkward "Haha, remember when we met on Tinder?" comment. Swipe right by taking a romantic walk around the North Loop, or swipe left by running away to a dance night at Club Jäger and the safety of singlehood.
6. DON'T: Al's Breakfast Who thought it was a good idea to bring someone you're meeting for the first time to a 10-foot-wide hole in the wall? Don't see sparks with Mr. Tinder? Well, too bad, because you'll be getting nice and cozy for the next hour or so. Go during rush hour and you'll get to have dead-end conversation while someone stands directly behind you waiting for your seat. With such a good head-start, your second date might as well be yurting in a remote area, since you seem to like a lack of escape routes.
5. DO: Rusty Taco's food truck The first date can make or break the future of your relationship with this person (rocket science, we know), so it's important to find out if they like tacos early. Oh, they don't? Swipe left. In this way, food trucks are basically designed for Tinder dates. You can stay there long enough to get food and judge your date's eating habits, but easily walk away if things start getting weird and, well, Tinder-y. Are you two actually hitting it off? Take your tacos to Nicollet for a little people-watching.
4. DO: Hard Times Cafe You and your last-resort date can make awkward small talk over $1 coffee and greasy-yet-vegetarian diner food while equally pretending you two could get someone outside of Tinder. Hard Times is located in the middle of many a bus route, so if your date "forgot" his wallet, looks nothing like her five Tinder photos, or tries to get lucky in round one, you are never too far from a quick getaway. Defying the odds and sticking around? Swipe right and head over to the Weisman Art Museum or the Cedar Cultural Center for a show, ya bunch of lovebirds.
3. DO: Izzy's Ice Cream Let's take it back to middle school with this one. Ice cream is so cheap and delicious, but at a fancy-scoops spot like Izzy's, you'll feel like you're dishing out the big bucks (your date will see you're not, though, so bummer). You order and pay right at the counter, and no waiting for the check means you can cut the date short or prolong it for however long you see fit. Your date will think you're a romantic, and you'll know you can dip out whenever you want. Win-win.
2. DON'T: Dollar Dog Night at Target Field While the term "America's favorite pastime" works for both baseball and Tinder, this is a first date that is sure to fail. Congested crowds and hotdogs are fine for veteran couples, but for a pair of potential clashers, a three-hour Twins game does not leave much by way of an escape hatch. True, you could get lost in the crowd and separated from your match (whoops!), but you could also be forced to make awkward small talk during a less-than-fast-paced event with the constant, looming threat of being hit in the face by a fly ball. Not to mention, there's no better way to say, "I wanted to take you out for really cheap" like dollar dog night.
1. DON'T, we're serious, DON'T: Your kitchen A homemade meal seems romantic at first: Oh, you can cook! Things are really heating up in here.... But then before you can swipe left, you're in a Fatal Attraction scenario, and they're standing in your kitchen being psychotic and talking marriage way too soon and THERE IS NO ESCAPE. Suddenly, you've been together for 40 years because you couldn't talk your way out of a Tinder date. So, no, don't invite them over and don't go over there. If by some chance you connect on a deep level through home cooking and you're sure it's worth a shot, be our guest, but don't say we didn't warn you (or your pet rabbit) when things take a turn for the terribly awkward.
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