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Valentine's Day ideas

Take the pressure off with our guide to Valentine's Day ideas, including romantic restaurants and gifts for the lovers—and the haters

Is there a holiday more stressful than Valentine's Day? Even if you've only been dating for two weeks, the pressure is on to come up with things to do that are sweet, but not too cloying. Romantic, but not too over-the-top. Our Valentine's Day ideas can help alleviate the pressure: We've found the best romantic restaurants in Chicago, and we promise none of them will feature cupid-laden decor. When it comes to Valentine's Day gifts, we have you covered with presents that go way beyond chocolate and flowers. And if you're feeling the pressure for another reason (namely, you're single, and you loathe this holiday), we have a special gift for you: the best bars for the unattached.

Valentine's Day gifts and dates

Things to do

The best things to do on Valentine's Day

Find the perfect way to spend the year's most saccharine holiday

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Restaurants

Valentine's Day dinner specials

Nothing says love like sharing good food with your sweetheart

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Things to do

10 unexpected Valentine's Day dates

You can be a bit more creative than dinner and a movie

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Shopping and style

Last-minute Valentine's Day plans

It's happening on Saturday, but don't panic!

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Restaurants

The 10 most romantic restaurants

From fancy French restaurants to a casual cocktail and pizza joints

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Shopping and style

Valentine’s Day ideas for her

These unique, fun, and thoughtful Valentine's Day gifts will make her swoon

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Shopping and style

Valentine's Day ideas for him

Give your guy the perfect gift with the help of our gentlemanly guide

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Shopping and style

Valentine's Day gifts for when it's complicated

Not quite in a relationship and not quite single? We get it

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Shopping and style

Anti-Valentine’s Day ideas

Reject the Hallmark holiday with these feisty options

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Sex and dating

The Chicago dating scene by the numbers

Remember, it might seem rough out there, but we're all just trying to not die alone

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Where to shop

Shopping and style

The 9 best gift shops

Mark a romantic occasions with an amazing gift

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Restaurants

The 10 best candy stores

There's no sweeter gift than a box of chocolates

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Shopping and style

The best flower shops

Find the freshest arrangements for your special someone

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Shopping and style

The top jewelry stores

If you're looking to make a statement this year, we've tracked down the city's best jewelers

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Romantic lists

Music

The 50 best breakup songs

Most of the best pop music ever produced has sprung from its well of agony

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Music

The 50 best love songs ever made

Are you ready to fall head over heels with the best love songs of all time?

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Music

The 50 sexiest songs

Our playlist will lead you straight to the bedroom

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Movies

The 50 most romantic movies of all time

Prepare to swoon at our loveliest of movie lists.

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Bars

The 10 of the best bars for singles

The best bars to meet someone before Valentine's Day—or any time

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Things to do

Anti–Valentine’s Day movies

Check out some streaming movies with the power to squelch out romance

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Valentines for Chicago food lovers

Printable valentines featuring Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan, and other Chicago chefs and bartenders

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