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Five places in Princeton to eat with your date on Valentine’s Day

Collage of photos of front entrances of Maman, Teresa Caffe, Say Cheez Cafe, Chez Alice Patisserie, and Halo Pub.
Russell Fan / The Daily Princetonian

Despite the overcast February days, love is in the air and students are in the perfect mood for romantic and platonic outings alike. Valentine’s Day is an optimal time to explore new spots around Princeton for a meal or small bite. In no particular order, here are five places near campus that you should consider going with your Valentine’s date.



Though most students favor Small World or Junbi, it may be worthwhile to diversify one’s coffee shop repertoire. Maman — a bright, aesthetically pleasing café that sits in the back corner of Hulfish Street — ought to be appreciated as much as its Witherspoon counterparts.

Along with a variety of standard coffees, teas, and matcha drinks, there is a stunning array of pastries, sandwiches, and other breakfast-inspired treats that one can choose from to accompany their favorite beverages. Some of the savory options include quiches or tartines, while Belgian waffles and cruffins provide a sweeter alternative.

The café’s charming atmosphere and spacious layout, enhanced by its natural interior design and decor, create a blissful, slightly whimsical scene — perfect for a date with your special someone.

Say Cheez Café

A small but cozy shop that offers savory, satisfying items like empanadas and grilled cheese sandwiches, Say Cheez Café is a great place for those seeking substantial snacks or light meals. Although they offer other side dishes like salads, soup, and fries, they are mostly known for their diverse array of grilled sandwiches, including paninis and cheesesteaks, as well as their empanada station.

Though takeout orders seem to be more common, one can certainly have their food right there while it is made fresh and still warm. You can sit at the counter seats and casually converse with your Valentine’s Day date while savoring delectable grilled cheese or flavorful empanadas.


Teresa Caffe

If you are looking for something a bit more upscale to impress your date, then head over to Teresa Caffe (also known as Teresa’s Pizza/Wine Bar), an Italian sit-down restaurant that serves simple, but fulfilling dishes. Having gone here a few times with classmates and hometown friends, I would recommend the tagliatelle al funghi — a pasta with wild mushrooms, parmigiano-reggiano, burrata, and truffle oil — as well as the sausage and broccoli rabe pizza.

The trattoria’s vibe can be best categorized as an intermediary between casual and posh, making it an ideal place for Princeton students to get a glimpse of more chic dining establishments. As such, a date here with some delicious Italian food in an intimate, semi-fancy setting will be very romantic.

Chez Alice Patisserie

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As an alternative to the artsy coffee shops prevalent in Princeton, Chez Alice Patisserie is a Parisian-style café that has vibrant-colored macaroons, decadent-looking cakes, and other scrumptious desserts like tarts and eclairs. Their croissants (especially the almond variety) and danishes are delicious as well.

The clean-cut, floral interior, along with the multiple miniature chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, create the atmosphere of a high-end tea house. Because of this, Chez Alice is a splendid option to enjoy some exquisite sweets and comforting beverages with your significant other for Valentine’s Day.

Halo Pub

If you are tired of engaging in the Bent Spoon vs. Thomas Sweet ice cream debate, try the alternative: Halo Pub. Located on Hulfish Street, Halo Pub serves locally sourced artisan ice cream, along with coffee. They also have sundaes, floats, and milkshakes. Think of it as Bent Spoon or Thomas Sweet’s lesser-known, but equally impressive and slightly cheaper, sibling.

The classic glass display cases contribute to the timelessness of this ice cream shop. The outside display sharply contrasts with the mahogany interior, giving the place an elusive, rustic vibe. This moody, comforting ambiance acts as a perfect backdrop to take your date on an ice cream run.

Russell Fan is an associate editor for The Prospect at the 'Prince.' He can be reached at, or on Instagram @russell__fan.