Hidden Valentine’s Day gems in Boston for college students

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. You either hate it or love it. 

College-budget-friendly fine dining is extremely hard to come across in Boston, but it is not impossible to find. If you and your significant other dislike Valentine’s Day because of the cost of a restaurant, or if you just want cheaper dinner recommendations, call me Cupid because I have found six hidden gems that are mostly under $25 and are sure to make your Valentine’s Day amazing. Most of these restaurants can be reserved through OpenTable or Yelp.

The ArtBar Cambridge dining area. Audrey Tumbarello shares six college-budget-friendly fine dining options across the Boston area that are perfect for Valentine’s Day. COURTESY OF BRIAN SAMUELS PHOTOGRAPHY VIA ARTBAR ROYAL SONESTA

75 Chestnut – Beacon Hill

Within the historical neighborhood of Beacon Hill, this cozy restaurant serves American comfort food. It has a romantic and classy decor, which is the perfect atmosphere for Feb. 14. With a little over half of the main menu under $25, this restaurant will make your Valentine’s Day an enjoyable one. 

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka – Boston Back Bay

Located in Back Bay, this modern Japanese chain serves up some of the best ramen in Boston and has some of the best customer service. Most of the items on the menu are around  $20. This restaurant has limited capacity inside and does not take reservations, so if you plan to spend your Valentine’s Day here, you may want to arrive earlier rather than later. 

ArtBar Cambridge – Cambridge

With a warm and artistic interior, this restaurant serves creative, seasonal andAmerican dishes. If you are over 21, there is also a selection of artistic cocktails to try. 

They also have a Valentine’s Day menu so that you and your significant other can celebrate accordingly. Half of the menu has items that are less than $25, and the restaurant is open on Valentine’s Day from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Bootleg Special – Tremont Street

This trendy eatery offers “fresh Cajun seafood boils and classic southern comfort food,” according to their official website. While the boils are on the more expensive side, the main southern dishes are all under $20. This spot is great for you and your date on Valentine’s. 

Citrus & Salt – Berkeley Street

Citrus & Salt is a contemporary Mexican eatery serving tacos and dishes to share — like tostadas and empanadas. Nothing on the main menu is more than $17 dollars. If you are not looking for such a fine dining place, this atmosphere is fun and bright and is bound to make your Valentine’s date happy. 

Panza – North End

What is better than romantic Italian food on Valentine’s Day? Take a trip to Boston’s North End for this traditional Italian restaurant. With amazing service and a quaint interior, this restaurant offers a relaxed experience. A majority of the menu is under $25 dollars. This is a great option if you are looking for Italian cuisine for Valentine’s. 

Whether it is American, Japanese, Italian, Southern food or Mexican, this diverse list of restaurants is sure to create a memorable Valentine’s Day for you and your date without having to worry about the bill. 

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