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First few dates...

So I'm starting to date this girl, and I want to try out some spots to take her to. Nothing too expensive (we're both semi-broke students) or fancy. Looking for some modest, comfortable places in the city that don't scream "romance" but also aren't relatives, or even distant cousins, of fast food.
I live in the North End and she lives in Kenmore Square, if that helps probe anyone's mind, although leaving our respective neighborhoods is obviously fine. T (or bus) accessibility is a must. I'm vegetarian, but I can normally find something to eat wherever, so that's not THAT big of a deal.

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  1. How about Silvertone?

    69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

    2 Replies
    1. re: Eatin in Woostah

      Silvetone was my first thought!

      Also Giacomos in North End is pretty reasonable

      1. I would recommend Xinh Xinh in Chinatown. It is nothing fancy but the food is very inexpensive and delicious and they have a decent amount of vegetarian selections.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Johnresa

          I like Xinh Xinh, but the decor is a bit dumpy for a "Date".

        2. Garden at the Cellar. Great food, surprisingly reasonable prices, casual bar-ish atmosphere so it's not too romantic-feeling and T accessible between Central and Harvard Square on Mass Ave.

          Hungry Mother might be another option - a little further from the T but also totally yummy and not insanely expensive.

          1. how about a hot pot restaurant - if you're not familiar, these are restaurants that bring a pot of broth to your table, heat it up to a boil on a built in hot plate and you then cook your food in the broth at the table. You can get tofu and veggies and she can do pork or beef or whatever. You can also get split pots with a spicy broth and a non spicy broth if you have different tastes in that area. Its different, good on a budget, and coming into season now that there's a chill in the air. Shabu Zen has an original location in Chinatown and a new spot on Brighton Ave in Allston.

            Good Luck!

            1. Cocktails and apps at the bar at Eastern Standard?


              1. Take her to Club Passim in Harvard Square to see a folk show and get tickets for a table so you can have dinner from adjacent Veggie Planet - it'll show you're a sensitive guy.

                Take the Red Line to Andrew Square and go to Cafe Polonia - you can order borscht (although it may contain beef or chicken stock?), pierogies and potato pancakes. She can have whatever she likes. Go for lunch on a chilly, slate-grey Saturday - seems perfectly romantic to me. ;)

                Also, check out Orinoco - there are two now - in the South End and Brookline Village - though may not be veggie-friendly enough. Cafe Baraka in Central Square (Middle Eastern) - also Rangzen in Central Square (Tibetan) - both good veggie-tarian options.

                Current thread on Martza on Elm - a Tibetan offering in Davis - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/565738

                Noticing a trend? The good stuff in on the red line.

                In the North End....you can make a nice lunch of the fresh grilled veggies and antipasto at Artu - go to the take-out side and you can pick the container size you like and the items you want. Go get a nice hunk of fresh bread at Bova's or similar - Some nice cheese from the Salumeria - some desserty items from Modern - watch the Pats in style on the big screen in your apartment.

                Kenmore - tons of little spots in Allston/Brighton - Jo Jo Taipei, Carlo's, etc. etc.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  Bob has a good idea here about Passim. Veggie planet's food is pretty good (and I'm not even a vegetarian) and most shows at Passim are quite good, and although the concert tickets aren't always cheap they do have an open mic night that is something like 5 or 6 bucks.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    Orinoco can be just fine for vegeterians, especially if you do a combination of the smaller plates. Empanadas verde, a cheese arepa, and a shared plate of maracuchitos always make an excellent - albeit, very cheesy - meal for me. The empanadas come with a tasty greens salad.

                    By going with smaller plates, you'll also end up with a very affordable meal.

                    1. re: chevrelove

                      In the North End, I'd suggest G'vanni's. It's actually quite reasonably priced, even if you don't get that special deal they have during the weekdays. The food is good, the servers are very attentive and kind, and it has a romantic atmosphere without being too over the top.

                      Highly recommended.

                  2. Audobon on Beacon St., La Verdad on Lansdowne, Petit Robert Bistro esp. if you can make it for lunch (til 5PM), Brown Sugar, Z Square, Beacon St. Tavern, Taberna da Haro (sp.) and $1 bites from 5-6PM at Great Bay, these are all in the Kenmore/Fenway area and can be done cheaply. In between your neighborhoods are Parish Cafe on Boylston St., Deluxe on Clarendon, Bhindi Bazaar and Island Hopper on Mass Ave., Paramount on Charles St. and of course a ton of stuff in the north end. Many many things on the green line.

                    1. My go to first date place is Bouche on Newbury St. It's a French place that is surprisingly cheap and has a great menu and atmosphere.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Jonny509

                        Going to Bouche might work, though it depends on the OP's price range and also what they are looking to order. Their menu does include some items under $20 (burgers, pizza, etc.), but most of their entrees are between $20 and $35.

                        I'd consider Orinoco or The Dish in the South End, the Mission Bar and Grill in Brigham Circle, Brown Sugar in the Fenway neighborhood, Paramount or 75 Chestnut on Beacon Hill, or Khao Sarn in Coolidge Corner...

                      2. Delux in the South End is a great first few dates destination. My boyfriend and I went a few times when we first started dating (that was senior year in college- so its easy on the student budget). I love the food and its really low-key, yet intimate. There are also tons of different random objects on the wall and the music is great- both were key conversation starters.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: winstont

                          Second Delux. Great food cheap, in a relaxed and fun environment. Perfect for the first dates.....