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What time do you normally eat dinner?

I was just curious what time (roughly) people normally eat dinner/supper/whatever you call your evening meal. I am guessing this will vary widely depending on where you live, if you work/what job+hours, if you live alone/with partner/have kids, etc. So, satisfy my curiosity! Where do you live, what's your living situation, and around what time do you normally eat dinner?

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  1. I live in NE NC with my fiancé, who drives an 18 wheeler so he works very long hours. We eat late, anywhere from 7 to 9 pm every day except Sunday, which is a bit earlier.

    1. I try to get home around 5pm. Dinner by 6 to 7. I like a full hour to eat. Wine/ cocktail, candles, table set, music, theme, etc. I love dinner and make a production out of it. I make it a "big deal".
      I hate eating later than that. It interferes with the rest of my evening, if I do.
      Only two of us, PNW, business owner, private practice, no set hours but on emergency call a lot.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sedimental

        I'm really impressed. If you get home around 5pm, how do you ever get dinner on the table by 6pm, especially with a production (what a lovely idea - wish I could pull it off!)?

        1. re: annomy

          2 ways:I do a ton of prep on the weekend...and I use my freezer for all manor of prepped ingredients. Including various pesto's, duxelles, herbs, homemade sauces, portions of pulled pork, marinated chicken, pre soaked beans, etc.

          I typically make several soups, salad dressing, room temp salads and spreads so we can have "bistro night" (and typically vegetarian dishes those nights) a few nights per week, when I get home later. Tonight is a "bistro night" meal of red lentil soup with arepas and cheese and red wine...everything is made...just pop the cork and set the table when I get home.

      2. I eat from 6:00 PM to 12:00 midnight......

        2 Replies
          1. re: sherrib

            :) .

            Last night.

            I ate a bunch of nuts (about 1 cup) at 6:00 PM
            Took a shower, and ate an egg waffle at 8:00 PM
            Drink/eat a large and dense bowl of Hot and Sour soup at 11:00 PM

            It is not unusual that I eat about 2-3 times from 7:00 PM to 12:00 :)

            I forgot to answer the rest of questions.

            I live in New Jersey. I live in an apartment. Work hours varies, but usually between 9AM to 6PM

        1. I usually get home with my toddler around 530, so she gets a snack (currently string cheese and a banana are the leading requests) while I get organized/out of work clothes. I try to have dinner for us on the table by 7, but sometimes we move it up a bit if there is a game Mr Autumn really wants to watch (usually hockey, Go Blackhawks!).

          We live in MN, I work part time in health care. And my kid has an atypical schedule for a 2 year old; she wakes up at 8 AM, so the later bed time means she's up later with us in the evening. Since I'm not a morning person, this works great for me!

          1. I live in nyc, just myself. On a good night i'm home from work by 7:30 or so and will have dinner by 8:30. For the many long nights at work we order delivery around 7 but they take a while so we eat around 8. For dinner with friends on the weekends reservations are 9pm or so.
            Sundays i only have brunch and dinner so i'll eat earlier at 7 or so.

            1. Live in LA. Myself & Husband. Freelance, so when working I home anywhere from 7-10pm. Husband gets home at 8 usually. Whomever gets home first usually does the dinner prep & then we cook when the second person gets home. Usually eat around 9 or 10pm, but sometimes 11 if I get home late. On weekends dinner is usually 8 or 9pm. On days I am not working but DH is I take the whole day to do things like lamb shanks or Tripe soup and have dinner ready by 9pm as well.

              1. West coast, luckily with a minimal commute. Usually home between 5:30 & 5:45. We eat between 6 & 7. Both of us work full time & we have 2 small children. We generally eat home cooked meals but some weeks are horrible & we end up having pizza or McDonald's in order to survive.

                1. Just finished : Eight fifty two.PST. Just after 8.

                  1. See this post from the last six months for previously tread ground on this topic:


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Karl S

                      i know :) i wanted to see how people connected the dots between their eating schedules, where they live, who they live with, family status, and jobs. specifically. :-) which the other thread doesn't include.

                      1. re: Karl S

                        Here's another that might have some of the information OP is looking for http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/779742

                      2. We live in Tokyo and dinner is almost always around 6:30 pm. If I start with a beer, the snackies come out around 6:15 pm.

                        1. Vancouver, BC.

                          Currently working from home. My wife gets home around 5-5:30. Son may be at home with me after school, or at a friend's playdate, or at my parents (same neighbourhood) in which case he's brought back home approx. 5:30. Dinner is typically made by me well ahead of time, and served between 5:30-6:30 as soon as they get home.

                            1. My goal is always 7:00PM. I often miscalculate and we sit down at 7:30, but I'm okay with that. A lot of time our schedule just doesn't work, and we end up eating at 8:00 or later.

                              I always get stressed when my mom invites me over for dinner and says it will be served at 5:30. If I eat that early, I'm hungry before bedtime and I snack. (I've learned that her husband usually eats dinner 2-3 times each night... so 5:30 is when he starts. :| )

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                I didn't read the whole post before responding....

                                I live in Virginia, and it's just my fiance and I. We both work 6AM-4PM (I'm an office manger, he's an electrician), and are usually out of the house from 5AM-6PM (or later some nights). So getting dinner on the table by 7 means taking my jacket off and going right into the kitchen. Obviously, some times that just doesn't happen.

                              2. If I'm solo, 5p. Hubby joins me 8-9p
                                Family dinners 7p
                                Restaurants-open season

                                1. I have kids. Eat dinner anywhere between 6 and 7. Live on Long Island. Husband eats when he comes home from work around 8.

                                  1. Just my husband and myself. We usually eat between 6-7. We live in Utah.

                                    1. Between 6:30 and 8, usually in the middle of that window. I live in NE U.S. and it depends on season, work and other schedule, etc and eating out vs. eating in.

                                      Just my husband and I. It was always by 7 with a young child at home years ago.

                                      1. Where - north west England

                                        Living situation - both retired and greedy

                                        When - 7.30 - 8.00 usually

                                        1. Growing up with a sahm, we ate at 5:30 every day. Now I'm a sahm, but my husband works 12 hour shifts. He usually gets home at 7. We eat as soon as he gets home.


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Becca Porter

                                            I'd like to eat early but I work til 7:30 most days and get homed around 8. Then it takes a while to Google things like 'sahm', so I can understand what I've read here. ;o))))))

                                          2. I live in CO, a bit NE of Denver. I work full time but winter is my slow time so I'm often home by 3 or 4 and work from home 1 or 2 days a week. When I'm busy it's more like 6 or 7 and in the office daily. Either way, I prefer to eat dinner between 730 and 830. I sleep better when I eat later.

                                            My other half travels during the week but when he's home it's pretty much the same time frame. No kids other than the furry variety. They prefer to eat around 5 :)

                                            1. Bloomington IN (for now) 7:30-8:00 PM if it gets much later I just skip it.

                                              1. I try not to eat anything except a fruit snack after 4pm. My main meal is 1pm.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. How I eat has changed over time. Currently I live alone most of the time. Although I may spend several days/weekends a month staying with family, and friends visit and stay upon occasion. Not as much now as a few years ago. I'm crazy busy at times with work for weeks or months on end. Then may have weeks or months not working and either preparing for the next gig, or taking a vacation to recover my sanity.

                                                  I live in the NYC suburbs and work/consult there and in NYC. Sometimes I travel quite farther to work for a week or two. Anywhere from Maine to Maryland, although mostly in the NYC area lately. I wake up from 5-8am. Work doing research and planning in my home office or consulting and training at a bar/restaurant/distillery. When consulting I may put in anywhere from 3-15 hours work straight with no breaks.

                                                  Normally my first meal of the day is usually any time from 4pm to 7pm. Then another smaller meal around 9-11pm. Then maybe a snack or two before hitting the sack anywhere from 1am-3am. Both of my 1-2 main meals of the day I consider dinner.

                                                  Before that I lived in Florida with my GF of the time and her two kids. I went to work at 6-7am, no breakfast. Lunch after work around 1pm. then dinner at 5:30-6pm every night. With a big snack at around 8pm just before going to bed by 9pm at the latest.

                                                  Many years ago I spent most of a decade where for 1/2 the year I worked and lived and traveled in the wilderness for weeks, even a month at a time. I ate breakfast at dawn. Lunch when the sun was straight up, and dinner after setting camp, usually around dusk. In bed at sunset.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: JMF

                                                    So interesting.

                                                    Some of this sounds like me.

                                                  2. We live in Oxford, UK. Two of us, working full time. We normally get home between 6:30 and 7:00, and I am usually starving. I can hold out if dinner is 7:30 or so, but if we're cooking something more complicated, then I will have a salad, or some bread to tide me over.

                                                    We usually end up eating between 8 and 9.

                                                    1. Between 6-10pm.
                                                      I usually get home between 3-6pm as a teacher. When my husband worked 35 minutes away it was much later. Now it is probably around 7pm. If eating out we typically go later to avoid the crowds. We live in Central PA. Most restaurants close at 9, 10 on weekends otherwise we would probably go even later.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: melpy

                                                        All of the restaurants in my town close at 9 during the week. It's infuriating when we're out late and hungry.... No options but fast food!

                                                      2. We live in a suburb just north of NYC. 2-3 days a week I go into my office in the city. The other 2-3 days a week I work from home. On days I work from home, we eat as a family at 6:00 (me, husband, 2 kids...the dog eats at 5:00). On days I go into my office, the babysittter feeds the kids around 5:30ish and my husband and I eat around 6:45.

                                                        1. Retired house-husband here. Mrs. O works in downtown L.A., takes the Gold Line train from Pasadena. Most evenings she walks the mile up the street from the station, arriving home at around 7:00. Most dinners take an hour or less for me to cook, and she likes to chill out for about that long, so Dinner at Eight it is. No fancy evening wear, though …

                                                          1. I live in NJ about an hour south of NYC. I work from home, husband is in his NYC office 2-3 days per week and home the other days. We have a 19 month old and on every other weekend we have my stepson.

                                                            Our toddler eats dinner around 6pm and then we have dinner after his bedtime which usually means around 7:30-8pm. I know we should be better about eating dinner with our toddler but since the round trip to daycare can often be long (it's only 8 miles away but traffic stinks) and his bedtime is 7pm, it makes it tough to fit it in. On the upside, it gives us time to have a relaxing meal without the wiggly toddler.

                                                            1. I seem to recall this being asked a few months ago... we eat dinner when DH comes home - that might be three or four o'clock in the afternoon, or on rare days like today it wasn't till 8.30pm (I had a snack at 4 so I wouldn't starve...) No kids, just my spouse and me and our timetable is governed by his work schedule because I'm home 24/7. Our cats eat at 5.30 and usually we do too!

                                                              1. For years my husband got off the bus at the corner at 5:25 pm and dinner was on the table at 5:30. (I was a work-at-home mother!) Now we're both retired and living in Northwest Wisconsin, but we still eat between 5:30 and 6:00. Old habits die hard!

                                                                1. Now and before retirement, 6 pm, often later in the summer if we've been hanging around in the pool.
                                                                  Summer may be different now since we quit drinking booze after hubby's heart episode in Nov.

                                                                  1. I live in NYC with my DH and no kids. Not currently working full-time but do have frequent evening meetings or volunteer commitments. If I'm making a restaurant reservation my ideal is 8pm. If I'm cooking and it's just a regular night, I usually aim for 8, but it often ends up a little later. If it's a weekend, I aim later, often a lot later, 9-9:30. But there are usually salty nibbles before, with drinks. On evenings that I'm out, I usually eat a large late lunch (2-3pm) and nosh when I get home, any time from 10 to midnight.

                                                                    1. I tend to get home around 7-ish, maybe later if I stop for groceries. I like to eat dinner around 8, but sometimes it's closer to 9.

                                                                      I'm more of a grazer/snacker than a "eat three meals a day" person, so a "dinner time" is largely for the benefit of my partner.

                                                                      1. I live in downtown Toronto with dh, a dog, and 3 kids, ages 5, 3 and 1. Dh and I work full time (finance and gov't, respectively) and are home around 5:15, putting dinner on the table by 6 pm. Kids in bed by 7:15 pm. On the weekends he and I eat after the kids go to bed, anytime between 7:30 and 9 pm. We prep and cook a lot beforehand for the week, ie. lasagna, pasta sauce, shepherd's pie, pulled pork, chili in the crock pot. Often I make something simple, healthy and quick like quesadillas or stir fry. Or I sometimes make marinated meat on the BBQ with salad and rice (which our nanny will start for me when asked). We'd like to be more adventurous but we're in a pretty chaotic phase right now.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: roostermom

                                                                          Sounds like you've got a good plan/routine going there. It's all about discipline, much of the time.

                                                                          I find a programmable slow cooker as well as a programmable rice cooker virtually Godsends as far as kitchen appliances go. I can practically have an entire meal cooked and waiting for me at home when I utilize both of them at the same time.

                                                                          1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                            Me too. I also adore my pressure cooker.

                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                              We are retired and live on the Chesapeake Bay. Use the pressure cooker at least twice a week. Usually drinks and apps around 6pm, watch Jeopardy and prepare dinner and eat 7:30- 8pm. Dessert about 1/2 hour after finishing dinner.

                                                                        2. I live in Baltimore, currently alone while SO is away for work. I used to eat dinner pretty late 8-10pm but recently I've been eating earlier as soon as I get home from work, usually 6pm but sometimes even 5pm. I actually prefer the earlier dinner.

                                                                          1. When I was working in NYC/Long Island and doing 12-14 hour days, depending on the commute, dinner could be anywhere from 7:30 to 8:30-9:00, or not at all. (Too exhausted to cook, too late to eat dinner.)

                                                                            Now that I'm retired, I try to have dinner ready between 6:00 and 6:30; although oddly, I will sometimes do a "Sunday dinner" mealtime of 2:00-3:00. Go figure.

                                                                            On my own here in Northern NJ.

                                                                            1. dinner at around 7. I have two young kid..youngest being 20 months so every min counts before we have dinner, clean up and getting ready for bed.
                                                                              I am pretty fast at cooking so it usually doesn't take more than 30min to an hour to make a meal. my husband and i get home around 6:30.

                                                                              1. Live in MN. Typically work 7AM till 6 or 6:30.

                                                                                Usually my wife and daughter eat dinner around 5:30 or 6. When I get home i'll usually play with my daughter and help her get ready for bed. Then I'll eat a small salad or maybe leftovers from my wife's dinner (if there are anything around 8 or 8:30. During the week, I dont like eating very much since I often have trouble sleeping if I do

                                                                                1. I'm in NC and live alone. I generally just have two meals a day with perhaps a small snack of nuts or cheese with crackers an hour or so before bed.

                                                                                  If I'm eating alone at home dinner is between 9:30 - 10. Most of my friends eat earlier so I skip lunch when I join them.

                                                                                  1. I mostly work from home although 1-2 days a week I go into NYC. In either case my day starts @ 5:30. I'm also diabetic so I try to keep my mealtimes pretty consistent. Dinner @ our house is usually 6:00 pm. Sometimes later, rarely earlier.