Foods You Should Avoid on a First Date

So you planned an exit route, but what if it’s going well? Food to avoid to make it work.

By Scott Alden,,

Let’s face it — the foods we love most are not always the best choice for a first date. Sure, eating intense amounts of delicious food together can be a bonding experience (“Remember that time we finished that entire bucket of habanero wings and then, eight months later, got married?”), but who wants to worry about food stuck in teeth, stinky breath, stains, or worse when you’re already nervous?

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We asked some favorite food bloggers which foods they love, but avoid at all costs on a first date. Some answers may surprise you:

On Pasta
Sarah De Heer, editor at gave us her thoughts on the problem of pasta: “A lot of people recommend staying away from red-sauced pasta dishes like spaghetti and meatballs. I disagree with this. If you’ve got the craving, enjoy it, but order a short cut of pasta like penne or farfalle so you don’t have to twirl, slurp, or deal with awkward splash-backs. You don’t want to spend the night with abstract artwork on your shirt.”

On Pub Food
Sarah: “It’s common sense to stay away from spinach dip (small green pieces lodged between teeth), soup (slurpable), burgers (overly sloppy, save for third date) and spicy food (don’t want to spend the night in the bathroom).”

On Dessert
Sarah: “Two things: chocolate cake sticks to teeth and god forbid you’re on a bad first date, the last thing you’ll want to order is the soufflé — it can take forever.”

On Eating With Your Hands
Sara Schwartz, editor at weighed in on handheld cuisine and flossing on a first date: “No main-courses you eat with your hands (for example: sandwiches, pizza with toppings, fajitas).” Why not? “Bites from these dishes usually don’t come away clean, leaving the door wide open for food on your face, clothing, etc.”

On Picking Your Teeth
Sara: “Avoid fork-tender meats (barbecue!), leafy salads, and, of course, corn on the cob. Unless you’re cool with picking your teeth in front of potential romantic companions, it’s best to avoid these fibrous foods.”

On Messy Shellfish
Amy Cao, food blogger and head of social media, Foodspotting: “The Dungeness Crab is one classic dish at Fatty Crab that you absolutely must eat with two bare hands cause there’s no other way to get the meat out. The red sauce they put on it splatters everywhere and your hands smell like crab for days after. You don’t want to go there on a first date.

On Noodle Breath
Amy Cao: “I would also advise against the spicy noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods. It’s one of the most tasty – and famous! – NYC dishes (thanks to Anthony Bourdain and his Travel Channel show, No Reservations) but I had spicy chili oil breath for 12 hours and no amount of teeth brushing and mouthwash could make it go away. It’s worse than eating garlic.”



 The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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