By Molly Borter

You’ve heard it before: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  While men all over the world ”eat up” this saying, what they forget is that food is a major way into a woman’s heart, too.  More to the point, couples who share a mutual love of food form stronger bonds with each other.  Statistics show that 75% of Americans eat out at least once a week, so why not spend that meal with your special someone?

Here’s a list of restaurant genres that should be on every couple’s food forecast:

1. The Quiet Café

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not find a café that both of you love that’s calm and cozy.   It will make waking up every Saturday morning even better, and there’s nothing more comforting than a place that knows exactly how you like your eggs and coffee, without even asking.  The best cafés are less crowded and more secluded, so find a low-key spot that not a lot of people know about.  For extra intimacy points, opt for al fresco seating!

2. The Favorite Pizza Joint

On nights when neither of you really want to cook, pizza makes a great fail-safe plan.  Better yet, pizza can be taken to go, when a Friday night spent cuddling in front of the DVR is in order, or eaten right at the “joint” itself, when a laidback, Italian atmosphere is just what you need to relax and wind down.   Having a favorite pizza joint to turn to, where you can enjoy some quality, casual conversation, is the perfect pair pleaser.. Bon appétit!

3. The Swanky Bar

Every once in a while, a couple needs an excuse to dress up and enjoy a few cocktails and hors d’oeuvres over sultry music and hushed voices.  A swanky bar makes it easy for you and your significant other to spend a sophisticated evening together – sipping, snacking, and schmoozing.  On evenings like these, let loose and explore the city together, because you never know where it might lead you.

4.  The Neighborhood Park

It’s not technically a restaurant, but a park can be the best place to snuggle up together on a blanket and enjoy a homemade meal, especially if there’s live music playing nearby.  Whether it’s hummus and pita chips or a new dinner recipe, grab a picnic basket, throw a bottle of wine into your cooler, and have yourself an instant (and affordable) meal full of deep conversations and quality time stargazing.

5. The Local Brewery

What guy doesn’t love beer tasting with his babe? Local micro-breweries are popping up left and right these days, and they’re the latest choice for a fun date night.  Not only will the beer be a hit with your man, but with menus that feature all the American classics, like juicy burgers, hearty sandwiches, and baskets of fries, these bustling establishments score points on all levels.  Go spend a rowdy evening together and enjoy one of the newest dining phenomenons around.

6. The Ice Cream Shop

Not just for after dinner anymore, spending a random afternoon at an ice cream parlor, with one hand clutching a giant waffle cone, and the other hand intertwined with your significant others, can be a playful way to eat together.  Spontaneous moments like these can spark childhood nostalgia and help you connect to the memories you’re creating at the moment.

7. The Go-To Ethnic Food

Some like it hot. Others like it with chopsticks.  Decide on your go-to ethnic food, whether it’s Mexican or Thai, and make an attempt to visit every restaurant in town specializing in your favorites.  For example, become sushi experts together by sampling different types of rolls at each place.  You’ll not only love trying dishes together you previously might not have eaten alone, but you’ll be able to recommend your top picks to other couples as well.

8. The Quirky Diner

Most towns have an old diner that everyone loves because of the endless menu, eccentric wait staff, and a hodge-podge of tacky décor.  Diners have a little bit of this and that, from chicken to pancakes, and usually serve a majority of their items all day long–which is perfect for when you two get the craving for breakfast at dinner time.  Channel your old-fashioned side as a couple.

9. The Trendy, Upscale Restaurant

An upscale, modern restaurant is ideal for the times when you want to create perfect evenings together under dim lighting and listening to soft background music.  And with fresh, innovative food, whether it is a premiere seafood restaurant or the latest steakhouse, you both will enjoy the chance to bond on a whole new, elegant level.  Special restaurants make you feel special together.

10. The Classic

This is probably the easiest to choice on the list, because you’ve already been there.  Perhaps it’s the place you went on your first date, the place you got engaged, or the place you find yourselves going to over and over again.  It’s the restaurant where you relive special memories, and it never fails to keep the spark alive.

As you start to find your favorites spots to frequent from the list above, your choices will shape and shift to include the atmospheres and menus you both love.  Soon, you’ll find that each restaurant becomes a classic, where you can sit and talk for hours, sharing hilarious and meaningful conversations and creating memories together that earn the coveted title, “Your Place.”

Molly Borter is a writer from Fishers, IN, who specializes in women’s sunglasses.  She loves trying new restaurants with her chef boyfriend, keeping up with the latest celebrity gossip and fashions, like the must-have sunglasses for fall, and giving helpful relationship advice to her girlfriends.