As Christmas approaches, there’s nothing to get you in the festive spirit quite like a wintery date night.
But of course, after buying all the gifts, decorations and mulled wine, it can leave your bank account looking a little light.
So Maxima Kitchen Equipment has taken a look at some of the cheapest cities to enjoy a date night – with just one UK hotspot where couples can enjoy a meal for two for under £30.
The research looked at cities with a population of more than 100,000 and analysed the prices of an inexpensive restaurant, a three-course meal at an Italian restaurant, a lunchtime meal and a pub meal, working out the average cost of a date night.
And it was the Welsh city of Cardiff where Christmas daters should be hearing to eat out, as it was revealed to be the most affordable city, with an average cost of £29.80 for two people.
It comes as a budget night out would cost around £20, with an estimated price of £44 for a three-course dinner at an Italian restaurant.
And it proves to be a popular foodie hotspot, with nearly 50 Cardiff-based food and drink recommendations on our sister site 2Chill.
Pip Jones rated Ffwrnes Pizza for a ‘budget dining experience’ in the city.
Giving the venue four stars, she said: “This retro Victorian structure houses a variety of traders and food stalls. Head upstairs to sample local’s favourite, Ffwrnes Pizza.
“Originally started in a van, they now have a permanent home in the market. Ffwrnes specialise in affordable homemade, Neapolitan pizza loaded with local, Welsh produce toppings.”
But if you’re looking to splash the cash, Sofia Lewis suggested a visit to Rum & Fizz.
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She said: “I was meeting a friend for a quiet drink in Cardiff city centre, and we stumbled upon this bar. The atmosphere is great inside – It’s low-lit with hipster-style decor. But what really sells it is its extensive rum menu.
“The choice is immense – I even found my favourite obscure Nicaraguan rum on the menu, which I just had to order! The prices are fairly-set, but even so, it’s pricier than average, so definitely a bar that you’d visit for a treat.”
The city of Sheffield came in second as the northern city offers low prices on a range of restaurant types, including pubs.
However, the average cost for a trip to an Italian restaurant for two in Sheffield is £48, £4 more than Cardiff.
Of course, there are several exciting places to visit in Sheffield, but for vegans and vegetarians, a trip to Pom Kitchen is a must.
Chloe Bowen said: “Food for colour enthusiasts and rainbow lovers. Pom is a little slice of fun and one of the best vegan and vegetarian spots in Sheffield. All food and drink options are bursting with colour and flavour, ranging from shakes, cakes, hotdogs in pink buns and rainbow bagels, it’s difficult to choose only one.
“Their food tastes just as delicious as it looks. In the price range of around £4 for drinks or £7 for show stopper food items, It’s worth every penny whatever you decide to get. Right next to Endcliffe park too!”
In third place, with an average date night costing £30.40, Coventry found its way onto the podium thanks to being the cheapest city to enjoy a three course Italian meal for two, for £41.
Coventry’s Cottage Inn has been recommended by Danielle Hicks as a must-visit.
She wrote: “The Cottage is a lovely cosy pub with a welcoming atmosphere in a beautiful country setting. The staff are very friendly and there is a homely feel when you walk in there.
“The food is all freshly prepared and home-cooked good quality pub grub and ranges from a good old fashioned Sunday roast to spicy Chinese chicken and rice, and the portions are very generous.”
Unsurprisingly, London was revealed to be the priciest city for food fans to enjoy a meal out with an estimated total cost of £45, 50% more than the average cost of a meal in Cardiff.
Edinburgh was found to be the second most expensive city for dining out, where the average price for a meal for two at an ‘inexpensive’ restaurant came to £30 for two people.
And the northern city of Manchester even found itself in the top 10 most expensive places to head for date night, with an average price of £38.60 for two people, as a mid-range meal costs an estimated £60.