Our Go-To Affordable Date Night: Whole Foods

Affordable Date Night at Whole Foods | coupleinthekitchen.com

Our Instagram is centered around our date nights. One of our favorite things to do with our social media account is to send deserving couples out for a date night in our regular giveaways. Want to know one of our favorite places for date night? Whole Foods Market. No kidding.

We are blessed to live in one of the best cities in America: Austin, Texas. Our backyard is also home to the Whole Foods Global Headquarters. It is the market of all markets. We literally go there at least once a week, open a bottle of wine, eat all the samples, pick up a few ingredients for recipe development at home, and hit up one of the many restaurants inside the market. Here are our tips on how to have the perfect grocery store date night at the Whole Foods Market flagship store.

Start at the bar

Yes, there is a bar nestled inside our grocery store.  The bar will let you sample some of the tap beers or wine available by the glass. The best deal in our opinion however, is to buy a bottle off of the shelf. Whole Foods Market has a terrific wine selection ranging over a number of price points. Pick out a wine you like and the bar will open it for you and provide you glasses. If you are feeling like you want to dive into a white wine, simply bring it to the bar and they will pop it into a barrel of ice water which will make your wine cool in no time! While you are waiting for your chard to chill, head to the cheese department to nosh on some tasters supplied by their cheese experts who will help you make the perfect wine and cheese pairing. They also offer board games and live music. Check out the music line up here. 

Affordable Date Night at Whole Foods | coupleinthekitchen.com

Dine at one of the many restaurants in Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods has a number of places to dine inside the market. In addition to the taco bar, barbecue venue, and a build-your-own Asian bowl spot, here are the best three places to have a date night and a few tips we learned along the way:

Affordable Date Night at Whole Foods | coupleinthekitchen.com

Red Okra – This is the southern-inspired restaurant inside Whole Foods Lamar. The farm-to-table menu changes seasonally and provides really delicious food at a total bargain. One of our favorite dishes to share right now is the burrata and green pea pesto appetizer. Outside of that, they currently have a killer pasta menu.  As we mentioned above, the best tip we can provide is to bring in your own wine from the bar area. Servers will provide you nice wine glasses and will open the bottle for you. The wine is bought at retail price which means you’ll never have a cheaper bottle (or greater selection) at any other restaurant date, anywhere.

Affordable Date Night at Whole Foods | coupleinthekitchen.com

5th Street Seafood – Even though this is located inside a grocery store, it is actually one of our favorite fish restaurants in Austin. Not only do they have a seasonal menu, you can buy any item from the grocery seafood case and have the restaurant cook it up for you for only a few bucks. It is a great way to enjoy a specialty fish or larger serving of the seafood you’ve been eyeing, cooked-to-order at a low cost. You can even have fresh oysters shucked for you!  Our favorite custom combo is fresh scallops over noodles, herbs, and their addicting curry emulsion sauce.

Affordable Date Night at Whole Foods | coupleinthekitchen.com

Sushi Bar – The sushi restaurant looks like the smallest of the three, but keep in mind there is intimate seating hidden behind the sushi bar. In addition to traditional sushi, they offer ramen, poke bowls and even sushi burritos! Although there are prepackaged sushi rolls featured at the front of the restaurant, simply have a seat and you can have your sushi made fresh for you right off of their menu. You can also take a peek what is premade in the case and get the fresh made to order. That is what we did with this sashimi and tuna bites dish:

Affordable Date Night at Whole Foods | coupleinthekitchen.com

On a day date? Attend a free fitness class on the rooftop plaza

Being food bloggers, we eat A LOT. We are also a couple that is definitely members of the clean plate club, which means we have to work out daily. We appreciate a good bargain so nothing beats their Fitness on the Plaza program. Whole Foods promotes healthy living by lining up daily fitness classes on their rooftop FOR FREE! We always had a hard time remembering the class schedule as it changes monthly. This link will bring you to their current calendar. Rather than sharing a ridiculously awkward photo of two inflexible people trying to do a downward dog yoga pose, here is us post-workout, enjoying a fresh cold pressed juice and smoothie from their juice bar.

Affordable Date Night at Whole Foods | coupleinthekitchen.com

To all of our readers who are Austin locals or visiting, we hope this guide provided you a few quick tips on how to enhance your dining experience while at Whole Foods’ headquarters. To those who aren’t in Austin, hopefully we inspired you to look at grocery shopping as less of a chore and more as an experience. Take your loved one with you, taste some new foods and discover your next favorite wine or artisan product to enjoy together.