25 Most Expensive Cities for a First Date

Forbes has tallied up the 25 most expensive cities for a first date, out of a possible 200 cities with a minimum population of 100,000:

We tallied the average costs of some key elements of a first date: alcohol (specifically, a 1.5 liter bottle of Livingston Cellars, Gallo Chablis or Chenin Blanc wine), food (a 11- to 12-inch pizza from Pizza Hut), entertainment (an evening movie ticket), grooming (a barbershop visit), suiting up (a dry-cleaning bill) and transportation (price per gallon of gasoline). All categories were weighted equally (though price differences in barbershop visits and dry cleaning tended to be greater than those in gas and pizza). Finally–call us old-fashioned–we assumed that the guy pays, hence the barbershop visit instead of a trip to the beauty salon.

Gallo and Pizza Hut? Awesome. We guess that saves money by ensuring that there will not be a second date.

Anyway, Stamford, CT was the dubious winner, followed by Newark, NJ and New York City. Evansville, IN was more expensive than Chicago, Miami, Detroit and Washington, DC. —MEGHANN MARCO

The Most Expensive Cities For A Date [Forbes]


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  1. Hmmmm…I don’t agree with this article at all. A movie and Pizza Hut does not constitute a first date.

    Also, how was Las Vegas left off of that list???? If you don’t take a girl to the Strip and plan on spending approx $150-$200 on that first date, you def. aren’t getting a second one…

    I am a big fan of lists, but this one, it sucks…

  2. ckilgore says:

    Never has Valentine’s Day at White Castle seemed more urgently needed …

  3. katana- says:

    Gallo in a plastic cup and a pan pizza doens’t do it for you, Meghann?

    I suppose they used Pizza Hut as a place that was available in all of the cities. Pair that with this new Pizza Hut Bistro thing that they’re trying out now… yeah, Pizza Hut paid them off.

    Whats more troubling is how Evansville, IN is so damn expensive.

  4. troublz says:

    Newark, NJ?? They can’t be serious. I live around that area and the only way it can be considered an expensive date is if it goes like this:

    1) Money handed over to street thug while being robbed: $100

    2) New clothes to replace the blood drenched ones you had on because he popped a cap in your heiney anyway: $80

    3) 2-hour ‘express service’ hospital stay for multiple gunshot wounds = $1000

    4) Sharing an ambulance ride on your first date: PRICELESS

  5. 44 in a Row says:

    If you don’t take a girl to the Strip and plan on spending approx $150-$200 on that first date, you def. aren’t getting a second one…

    And that’s not even including her hourly rate!

  6. A_B says:

    Gallo and Pizza Hut? In NYC?

    This list is like pricing hand-built clay huts on abandoned lots to determine real estate costs across the country.

    Sure, you get uniformity, but the picture you paint is completely skewed.

    While Forbes notes it didn’t want to go for “average” in each of these cities, by not going out on the limb, they traded away degree of arbitrariness for irrelevance.

  7. AcidReign says:

    …..Pizza Hut is a very, very bad idea, period. Even Papa Johns and Dominos have better pizza sauce! It’ll cost a bit more, but I think chicks like the more cutesy pizza places, like Mello Mushroom or California Pizza Kitchen. Yeah, I’m a guy, so I guess I’m fitting this post’s stereotype. I’d rather eat a can of Ravioli at home than buy crappy food out. The meal needs to be decent, or the date’s not worth doing!

    …..Gallo Chablis? Ug. A pitcher of even Bud Lite or Miller is a better investment. Even pitcher of say, Killian’s Red, is cheaper. If I’m plying a first date with wine, the lowest I’ll go is Mondavi Napa Pinot Noir. NOT coastal or Carneros. Hold out for the real thing!

    …..In Birmingham, an electric hair trimmer is cheaper than one cut at even the cheapest barber. And you don’t have to tip yourself or the mirror!

    …..As long as you don’t sweat in the suit, a lint roller will do in lieu of dry-cleaning. Frankly, though, I’m kind of finding it difficult to picture to a Pizza Hut date in a coat and tie. Wow! Do they do that up north? Pizza Hut can barely get their customers around here to wear shoes and a shirt! Black Levis and a dress shirt will do for most first dates, or khakis, if you’re trying to look upscale. Don’t wear your yard shoes. Girls WILL look at your shoes. Also, trim those eyebrows and nose hairs. It costs nothing, and is probably more important than how you dress!

    …..I paid $1.97 a gallon for gas on my last tank, so I suppose that’s not so bad. Bonus date points if your car air-conditioner actually works! Mine does. And practically speaking, the CD I’ve found to play in the car on dates is Gary Moore’s 1992 release: “After Hours.” I kid you not. Every woman I know who’s heard this CD was insanely curious about it. And make sure you don’t turn it up so loud as to preclude conversation. Yeah, I know you went nuts and got that 30 inch subwoofer, but chicks don’t care about that. Trust me.

    …..In lieu of the latest showing of Harry Potter or the Fantastic 4/Starwars, I’d suggest scoring tickets to perhaps a play or show at a local university. These sorts of things tend to be comparable to a movie ticket, and usually don’t have gallon cups of soft drink and tubs of popcorn to buy. It’s just as easy to look these things up as it is to find out when a movie is showing…. Museum tours can make an impression, too, as weird as it sounds, especially if it’s ancient Egyptian stuff. Who knew mummified bodies were an aphrodisiac? Our local Botanical Gardens is free. Can’t beat that in the spring!

  8. Yep says:

    Stamford!? Must be all the people from Greenwich slumming it over the border. Heh.

  9. Sudonum says:

    A 1.5 liter bottle of Gallo yet. That’s a magnum of rot gut. Not to mention a splitting headache for 2 the next morning.

  10. denki says:

    WTF? Only America? And who reads Forbes and also goes to PH? For fun, lets do Tokyo, even though I don’t know the wine prices:
    Barbershop: $70
    Pizza from PH (or maybe Dominoes): $25-30
    Movie ticket (for two): $30
    Gas: $5 a gallon (and $5 hr parking if you’re stupid enough to drive)
    Depending on the availibility of the wine, probably $20+ for that too.
    The only things that would be remotely similar would be the dry cleaning bill…well, until you vomit your squid ink and egg pizza all over yourself.

  11. katana says:








    (without the dash)