We've all been there: You have a date on the horizon, but your bank account really can't support footing the bill for two people. Being thrifty can certainly be a desirable quality, but you also don't want to come off as cheap. Here are some appealing food-centric date ideas that won't break the bank. In fact, you won't need more than a $20 bill to pay for both of you.
It's only been open since late last year, but Incrediburger & Eggs has become such a popular destination that its owners are already working to open a second location in Coeur d'Alene and have since launched a food truck. There's a reason for that popularity. Incrediburger is really the ideal cheap date restaurant: Nothing on the menu exceeds $10, but the quality of the food doesn't suffer because of it. The burgers are simple but tasty, and though they're about the size of a fast food sandwich, they're better than anything you can get at a chain. Favorites include the Classic ($6), with its tangy ground mustard and the sweet crunch of bread and butter pickles, and the PB & J ($8), which puts a slightly spicy twist on the tried and true flavors of a peanut butter and jelly. Add cheese and bacon (and we recommend you do) for an extra $2. Incrediburger & Eggs, 901 W. First, incrediburgerandeggs.com
Beer and Brats Wednesdays
$8 sausages, $3 pints
Since reopening under new ownership last year, the Viking has revamped both its interior and its menu, offering upscale pub food like burgers, cheesesteaks and nachos. On Wednesdays, the Viking offers bratwursts from Sonnenberg's Market and Deli, with your choice of a New York-style Italian sausage, a horseradish cheddar sausage or a traditional beer brat. You've also got a few different modes of fixings to choose from: There's the Classic (grilled sauerkraut), the Philadelphian (topped with pepper, onion, mushroom and cheese) and the Chicago (everything from the Philadelphian, but with pepperoncinis, prosciutto and bacon added). You also get your choice of side — fries, tots, salad or chips. During happy hour, from 5 to 7 pm on Wednesdays, a pint from a rotating selection of beers is just $3. The Viking, 1221 N. Stevens, spokaneviking.com
Everybody likes ice cream, which means it's a foolproof date food. Sweet Peaks, a Montana-based ice cream company, recently opened a downtown Spokane location, and it's an ideal place to visit before taking a stroll through the park. Beyond traditional cones and cups, the shop offers ice cream floats ($5.50) and milkshakes ($6.50) in a variety of flavors. On a sunny Thursday afternoon, my date and I opted for the sundaes; specialty flavor combinations run $6, and there's a build-your-own option that costs $7. The flavors we chose: the Black Bear, which mixes chocolate and huckleberry ice cream with hot fudge and whipped cream, and the Buzz Bomb, with fudge, caramel, whipped cream and a sliver of waffle cone on top of espresso ice cream. Sweet Peaks' summer menu includes flavors like s'more, basil orange creamsicle, campfire coffee and a raspberry lemonade sorbet. Sweet Peaks Ice Cream, 415 W. Main, sweetpeaksicecream.com ♦