10 Foods to Avoid on a First Date

man and woman smiling and hugging smallA cozy bite to eat can end in disaster for daters who order the wrong thing. Here are 10 foods to avoid if you don’t want to end up with proverbial egg on your face. Yes, some of these may seem obvious, but a reminder is always welcome.

Poppy Seeds

Give these pesky seeds a wide berth as there is no telling when a rogue seed will lodge itself in a cranny between your teeth. Infuriatingly hard to remove, poppy seeds are also impossible to miss, giving the hapless eater the appearance of having monstrous cavities in their teeth.

Prime culprits include bagels, lemon poppy seed cake and other European-style baked goods.

Stinky Cheese

Gourmet? Yes. Grown up? No question. But stinky ripe cheeses have a way of lingering on long after the last morsel has been enjoyed and not in a pleasant way. A strong cheese can permeate the eater’s fingers, and envelop one’s breath with an aroma that is somewhere between sweaty gym shoes and rancid milk.

A brave choice for anyone looking for a good night kiss — or a second date.

Leafy Greens

Unless you’re trying to embarrass your date, avoid leafy greens like spinach. Sure, it gave Popeye strength, but the only thing it will give you is the look of a sea monster with trailing slimy bits of moss dangling from every tooth. The same goes for nori, the seaweed wrap used on sushi rolls.


It sticks to your teeth like green superglue.

Cute Animals

Unless you know your date really well, ordering any meal which features cute, fluffy or baby animals is asking for trouble and dark looks across the dinner table. Delicious as these foods may be, some people get all moral when it comes to eating rabbits, milk-fed baby cows or the liver of force-fed ducks. Go figure.


I dated this guy who once ordered a pizza topped with nothing but onion. I’m not sure if he had some sort of food fetish or was mildly demented, but the whole incident left me (and most likely him too) with a funny taste in my mouth.



Could I ever learn to love a man with such odd taste in pizza? And such terrible breath? Sadly for him, the answer was no.


Garlic rears its pungent head in all manner of things, from the unexpected (salad dressing, stuffing and sauces) to the obvious (garlic bread, pasta sauce and roasted meats). Fine if you’re both having, but a dating disaster if you’re going solo with this stinker.


If you like your chili on the mild side, beware of ordering a meal that’s described as having a ‘dash’ of chili — it can be fatal. I once ordered such an item — pasta with tomato and a dash of chili — only to find that the chef had gone to town on the hot stuff. The food was so hot it burnt my mouth and left me with tears in my eyes.



I couldn’t eat my meal and was too embarrassed to send it back. Talk about dating disasters!

Fried Food

What are you? Homer Simpson? Grease will inevitably find its way onto the table, onto your clothes and if you’re really lucky, your date will also get to wear some. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve scoffed your own body weight in fat, a telltale oil slick will emerge on your face, giving you the appearance of a competition body builder — without the body.

Whole Seafood

Notoriously difficult to eat, seafood in the shell is something best left to experts in fine dining. Give unshelled shrimp, crab and lobster a miss; the sight of you ripping off the shell or gouging away at a poor crustacean’s legs is likely to be a turn off.



The lingering smell of the ocean on your fingers and face will seal your fate.


I’m not talking about well-concealed egg here, which can appear in anything from schnitzel to soufflé. I’m talking about the sulphurous stench bomb that is a soft-boiled egg. If your date involves breakfast or brunch, and you must have eggs, opt for well-cooked eggs in scrambled or hard-boiled form.

Oozing yellow yolk on your chin is not a pretty sight, and neither is that eggy crust that forms in the corner of your mouth. Yuck.

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