By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 05, 2020 at 3:01 PM

Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, which means that whoever you are and whatever your status – single, coupled or in between – it’s a great excuse to enjoy a night out.

And yes, you can indulge in a more traditional dinner at one of our great local eateries. But if you’re looking for something different, there are plenty of options from which to choose.

Here are eight suggestions to get you started.

1. Fill up on sweets

Where: Greige Patisserie, 408 W. Florida St.
When: Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.
Cost: $48 per person or $90 for two
Make your reservation: Call (414) 252-0143 or email

Grab someone you love and head to Greige Patisserie for a sweet evening. You’ll be treated to three very special interactive desserts, plus wines to match. Reservations are required.

2. Embrace love of all stripes

Where: Zocalo Food Park, 636 S. 6th St.
When: Feb. 14 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Cost: Free, but registration is requested
More information & RSVP: Eventbrite 

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and connections. And whether you’re celebrating platonic, romantic or agape love, you’ll find a welcoming place to do so at De Parranda VOL. 2 Valentine's Edition. This LGBTQ-friendly party will feature an "old romance vibe" complete with a red carpet entrance, cocktails and everything you need to create a hand-written letter or note to share with your loved one. The evening will include a mix of perreo, house, cumbia and hip-hop tunes by DJ Brujo Berto plus accolades for best Valentine’s Day outfit at midnight (categories include HERS, THEIRS and HIS).

3. Get ooey gooey cheesy

Where: Village Cheese Shop, 1430 Underwood Ave., Wauwatosa
When: Feb. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. or Feb. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Cost: $45 per person, plus tax
Make reservations: Call (414) 488-2099

What’s more romantic than warm gooey cheese? Find out at the Village Cheese shop where you can enjoy raclette smothered over a plate of oven baked potatoes, Italian herbed ham and cornichon along with a flight of three red wines and a chocolate covered strawberry to top it all off.

4. Bump & bang

Where: Whirlyball, 185 S. Moorland Rd., Brookfield
When: Feb. 14 from 8 to midnight
Cost: $45 per person
Get tickets:

Bump. Bang. And have a great time at WhirlyBall’s "F’ing Valentine’s Day Party." Whether you are celebrating with your significant other or your pals, you’ll have a blast enjoying drinks, snacks and unlimited activities including WhirlyBall, LaserTag and bowling.

5. Date & Skate

Where: Drexel Town Square, 361 W. Town Square Way, Oak Creek
When: Feb. 14 from 4 to 9 p.m.
Cost: Free
More information: Facebook

Grab your gal pal, your mom or the love of your life and head to the pop-up skating rink at Drexel Square in Oak Creek. Skate rentals are free, there will be a DJ spinning tunes all night long, plus fire pits to keep you cozy. Grab dinner at BelAir Cantina, Cubanitas, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Pizza Man, The Chocolate Factory or Valentine Coffee, all of which will feature food and drink specials for the occasion.

6. Get spooky

Where: Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, 1203 N. 10th St.
When: Feb. 14 from 6 to 11 p.m.
Cost: Free
More information: Facebook

Trade in your pink hearts and cupid bows for ghosts and jack-o-lanterns at this spooky Valentine’s Day celebration featuring special Halloween-themed cocktails and $5 drink specials. Arrive in costume for 15% off your food bill, plus a chance to win the costume contest. Reservations are not required.

7. Get drunk and eat tacos

Where: Kompali Taqueria, 1205 E. Brady St.
When: Feb. 14 from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
More information: Facebook 

Are you single? Maybe things are complicated. Or maybe you’re coupled up and happy as clams. But do you love tacos?

If you’re looking for an alternative to the usual romance, you’ll find it at Kompali where there will be tacos, plenty of tequila and DJ Saffiro spinning tunes all night long. To make things even more interesting, dress for your status: black if you’re single; pink if you’re single and looking; red if you’re taken; and white if things are complicated. The kitchen is open until 11 p.m. and the bar closes at 1 a.m.

8. Celebrate by not celebrating

Where: Punch Bowl Social, 1122 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.
When: Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Punch bowls are cheaper than dinner for two (and maybe more fun). Whether you’re single, partnered, single curious or unsure, it’s absolutely OK to buck the trend of a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day in favor of bowling, karaoke or Monopoly. Punch Bowl Social will even serve up their featured punch "Shot Through the Heart," with no strings attached.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.