20 Lunch Date Ideas to Impress Your Partner

Switch up your routine with these lunch date suggestions
By Paired
on September 11, 2023
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Looking to spice up your relationship, or trying to woo a new love interest? We hear you. If you’re short on time or just taking things slow, make it interesting with these fun lunch date ideas.

Is lunch a good date idea?

A lunch date is a great idea for you and your partner: 

It’s ideal for a first date. Feeling nervous or need a quick getaway? Nothing says goodbye like getting back to the office.
It’s a fun way to get to know someone. Far from the formal atmosphere of a pricey restaurant, a lunch date allows you both to relax and chat.
It’s easier on the wallet than a dinner date. A quick bite to eat is definitely going to cost less than a three-course meal, ideal if you’re watching the pennies.
A lunch date can work around your busy schedule. Got a hectic calendar? Who hasn’t these days? Great for long-term relationships or even those courting, these date lunch ideas let you enjoy some precious quality time together without pressure.
Lunch dates can be combined with other fun activities. What to turn it into a long date? While away the hours after lunch and go for a fun activity together afterward.

What should I cook for my date?

Who said your lunch date has to be restricted to a restaurant? Show them you care with a homecooked meal. Why not try a new recipe such as:

1. Garlic shrimp

Seafood lovers will love this creamy flavorsome mix — it’s quick to whip up too, just make sure your date doesn’t have a shellfish allergy!

2. Portobello mushrooms and truffle mash

Vegetarians can enjoy a classy twist with truffle mashed potato.

3. Chicken roulade

Making chicken a little more special than your regular takeout, this one will really show off your technical skills.

4. Thai green curry

Go exotic with this mild and aromatic Thai curry dish.

5. Parmesan risotto

Love yourself some Italian cuisine? Load up on the parmesan and jump in.

6. Mac n’ cheese

Did somebody mention cheese? This all-American classic is a great comfort dish.

7. Honey-glazed salmon

Spice up traditional salmon with a sweet kick and feel those flavors bounce on your tongue.

8. Poke bowl

Another Asian-inspired dish, this one will definitely hit your five a day.

9. Homemade pizza

Want something better than you can grab from a food truck? Go all out and roll your own dough.

10. Butternut squash tacos

This vegetarian take on tacos offers all the sweet juiciness of butternut squash in a quick and easy lunch meal.

11. Mushroom stroganoff

A thick and creamy mushroom stroganoff is also perfect for vegetarians, offering a wholesome meal.

12. Cauliflower gnocchi

You’ve heard of potato gnocchi — why not get experimental with a cauliflower take on an Italian classic?

13. Eggplant Florentine

It sounds classy, it looks classy, and it sure as heck tastes it. Impress them with glaze and bite.

14. Homemade soup

Why grab lunch out of a can when you can make it yourself? Blend up some vegetables and throw in some crusty bread.

15. Loaded nachos

Some might call this a side dish, but once you’ve loaded it up with cheese and guacamole, you’ll both be stuffed.

16. Funky brunch

Why not blend breakfast and lunch? Try some huevos rancheros or delicious French toast.

17. Air fryer baked potatoes

Everybody loves an air fryer. This is a great way to save time and you can load it up with whatever fillings you like!

18. Mango salad with avocado and black beans

This vegan classic features a whole rainbow of colors, ideal for packing in those vitamins.

19. Vegan burritos

No meat required here – load ‘em up with beans and guacamole to enjoy a delicious herbivore classic.

Bring more fun and excitement into your relationship!
Learn more about each other and get inspiration for dates with the Paired app.

What is a good afternoon date?

What’s the best part about a daytime date? You can extend it with lots of other fun things to do! Impress your loved one with these lunch date ideas:

1. Mini-golf

Got a competitive streak? Pitch and putt without breaking a sweat.

2. A beach stroll

If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, work off that lunch and dip your toes in the sand.

3. A walk in the woods

Not near a beach? No problem. Take in the sights and sounds of nature with a walk in the woods.

4. A road trip

Blessed with a car? Go do a little sightseeing as your food goes down.

5. Wine tasting

This one’s likely to take you into the evening, so make sure you line your stomach! You can always spit it out, of course…

6. Couples massage

It might be best to schedule this one in before you eat, but trust us, an all-over body scrub will bring you closer.

7. Farmers' market

Feeling inspired by your lunch? Why not wander around a local farmers market and look for more recipes to cook tonight?

8. A trip out in a kayak

If you’re feeling energized after food, hit the water. Of course, a pedalo or even dipping your toes in a lake is a more chilled-out alternative.

9. Wander around art galleries

You feasted your tummy, so why not feast your eyes? Go check out a local exhibition and take in your favorite artists.

10. Explore a botanical garden

Discover exotic flowers and get your steps in as you wander around the gorgeous sights of a botanical garden.

11. Take photos around your local park

Feel like a couple’s photo shoot? Go pose in front of the foliage or hit the slides and create your own photo montage.

12. Turn it into a boozy brunch

Why not upgrade lunch and go for a bottomless brunch option? Make sure you have a good strong meal first — and no work meetings after. 

13. Try rollerblading

If you’d rather glide than walk, we’ve got you. Get your blades on and see the sights.

14. Go window shopping

Go window shopping or visualize your home décor in local furniture stores.

15. Sit poolside

We wouldn’t suggest going for a dip straight after a meal, but there’s nothing wrong with sitting poolside. Why not add a cocktail too?

16. Go bowling

If your meal has got your blood pumping, take it out on the lanes. First one to get a strike wins, naturally.

17. Hit the arcades

Embrace your inner child and hit your local penny arcade. Dance, tap, and shoot to your hearts’ content.

18. Take a class together

Feel like broadening your horizons? Try an art or pottery class to relax you both.

19. Play board games outside

Keep those brain muscles working with some outdoor board games. Play at home in the garden or hop to your local park.

20. Bolt on a coffee date

Feeling a little snoozy after that food? Perk yourself back up with some caffeine and talk for hours.

What should I bring to a lunch date?

Feel like taking your significant other on an al fresco date? Don’t forget to bring these to your picnic.


Possibly the most forgotten picnic item ever, but the most important! Sunscreen protects us from harmful UV rays, so lather up.

Suitable sun wear

If sunscreen is the most forgotten item, the right clothing is second! Bring shades, a hat, and loose clothes — plus sensible shoes if you’re walking.

A picnic blanket

Trust us, the grass is not a good tablecloth for all those yummy treats. Sit back and relax on your favorite blanket.

A reliable hamper

The best picnic hampers have sections for plates, cutleries, and all those little extras. Make sure it’s extra strong if you’re walking far.

Sustainable cutlery

Disposable plastic is a no-no here, but so are heavy plates. Go for wooden and paper alternatives.

Bug spray

Keep this one in mind if you’re going out in the height of summer. Enjoy your lunch without critter visitors.

A practical bag

Planning on packing a feast? Make sure you’ve got a back-friendly backpack for those additional snacks.

A French stick

You can’t go wrong with a French loaf — quintessentially classic and great for dipping or adding your own fillings. We personally recommend French cheese.

Chips and dip

Not a bread fan? How about your favorite tortillas and some guacamole or salsa? So simple and so moreish.

Your favorite wine

If this is a grown-up picnic, take a red (good for warm weather) or white if you have a cool bag. Take it easy and have a route home planned!

Fruit kebabs

Looking for a sweet treat that’s also refreshing? Chop up melons and strawberries for mini dippers.

Vegetable crudité

As an alternative appetizer to fruit kebabs, chopped cucumbers, and bell peppers are ideal for dipping into hummus.

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