Top 10 local Valentine’s Day date locations

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 at 7:31 PM

Valentine’s Day is once again upon us, as both a holiday and a day of chances. But for many businesses, it’s a day of opportunity. To celebrate love or impress that special person, people will buy gifts or go on a date, spending money faster than the eye can see. 

Today, I wanted to celebrate the best places around Edinboro and Erie to buy gifts or grab a meal on Feb. 14. All of these places are locally operated and owned, so taking your business here will help the owners and the local economy. They work hard preparing for this holiday, and it’s truly an idea worth celebrating. 

Flip Café

Every time I go here on a Saturday morning, it’s packed and busy. Popular with students, alumni and residents of Edinboro, there’s always a breakfast item worth getting, with specials changing depending on when you go. The last time I was there, I had the best peanut butter and Nutella pancakes I’ve ever tasted. Go for the food, but stay for the local voices that have echoed for years.

Edinboro Chocolaterie

This fantastic chocolate shop opened up in October 2019, just in time for homecoming. The first item I bought from there was a chocolate-covered caramel apple, and it was great. This Valentine’s Day, they are featuring chocolate-covered fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries and grapes for $20 per pound. All chocolates are made fresh in-store, as you can see the equipment right near the cash register.

Edinboro Market

This store truly has taken Edinboro by storm, offering a selection of delicious food, coffee and sweets. Walking in, you can practically smell the coffee from the door, and the farm-fresh food really adds an authentic feel to the shopping experience. Expect Valentine’s Day themed baked goods soon, and I can’t wait.

The Cottage Rose

Walking in here was like entering a physical version of a Pinterest board, as it’s a boutique filled with cards, jewelry, candles, and a variety of unique gifts. Recently featured in The Spectator, this store has the aesthetic of an antique shop and a history that will make you want to ponder each item. Sparkling lights cast a spotlight on each piece in the store, showing the importance as you decide what gift to get.

Earthshine

This store has been an Edinboro institution for a long time, celebrating 30 years in business this month. To mark the occasion, all items are 30% to 60% off starting this week. Offering gifts that seem to span the decades and generations who have passed through this town, there’s something here for everyone, whether it’s a nice shawl or sweater to get you through the chilling winter, or nice pieces of art for your bedroom. Come on in, and celebrate a business current students and alumni all enjoy.

Crossroads

Coming back after a long day of skiing? Warm up by the fire at Crossroads, a sit-down restaurant that offers great food at a reasonable price. I would recommend the mac-and-cheese, which you can share or get separately. It’s one of the best I’ve ever had, and you can customize to get whatever toppings you want. Ending the meal with a homemade pie or cake is truly a gift on its own.

Le Jardin Florals and Furnishings

Flowers have always been a tradition for Valentine’s Day, especially red roses. This floral and gift shop right next to CVS offers six red roses and a pound of chocolate-covered strawberries for only $50, with a dozen roses and a full pound of strawberries being offered for $90. Similar to The Cottage Rose, this offers a great selection of gifts and has an unique aesthetic featuring crafts and pottery, as well. If you’re looking for flowers, this is the place to go. Preorders are available now, and go fast, so I would hurry.

Riverside Brewing Company

Looking for a good meal and brew with a rustic feel? Riverside has you covered. The restaurant is placed in a reconstructed barn from the 1800s, which was originally located in Cochranton. Housing a restaurant and brewery, Riverside has a large, local farm-to-table menu featuring steaks, fish, burgers, sandwiches and wood-fire pizzas. And that’s just for lunch and dinner. 

The breakfast and brunch menu has some great finds, as well, including omelets and breakfasts served in cast-iron skillets. Craft beer plays a big part, as you can see the brewing taking place as you eat. This is a fantastic local business and absolutely worth checking out.

Andora’s Bubble Tea Shop

Looking for a place to relax while in downtown Erie? Check out this cozy tea shop on State Street, which offers a selection of bubble teas, also known as boba tea. All the teas are freshly brewed, featuring a variety of authentic flavors imported directly from Taiwan. The tea and décor is fantastic — perfect for a date or just sitting down to read a book. The winter air might be cold, but this is the perfect place to warm up, whether it’s the romance in the air or just the heating inside the shop.

Romolo’s Chocolates

This place is a favorite for my family, as you can take shelter from the winter winds of Presque Isle, share a hot chocolate and look at all the unique menu items. Opening up in 1994, Romolo’s is a family business that has roots in Erie going back to the ‘20s. The selection of chocolates never ceases to amaze me, along with everything else. This is a great place to buy chocolates in Erie, or for a date to the café, which features coffee, espressos, tea, hot chocolate, cookies, desserts and even ice cream. All the ingredients are fresh, including the eggs, butter and nuts. The espresso options are definitely worth trying, as the Vittoria Arduino Venus Bar is a machine made in Italy. It’s been an Erie institution for years now and will continue to be for years to come. 

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