Lifestyle & Human Interest

Put Down the Chocolate Box & Gift Your Valentine One of These Fun Food Ideas Instead


Picking out the perfect Valentine’s Day gift is always such a hard decision. The line between a tacky gift and a thoughtful one is thin.

Luckily some companies offer creative alternatives to traditional flowers and chocolate. From breadstick bouquets to heart-shaped steak to cinnamon rolls in a heart shaped pan, these 21 companies are here to help you find the perfect gift for your Valentine.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme knew how much people would miss the iconic and popularly disliked SweetHearts for Valentine’s Day this year so they provided larger, creme and jelly filled substitutes.

These special conversation heart doughnuts come in four flavors: Strawberries & KREME, Cake Batter, Raspberry Filled and Chocolate KREME Filled. The special treats are only available through Valentine’s Day.

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This conversation just got tastier. Our Valentine’s Day doughnuts are available through Feb. 14.

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Chick-fil-A, Inc.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know if I’d ever be able to turn down a heart-shaped box full of juicy Chick-fil-A chicken. Thankfully, that dream can become a reality this Valentine’s Day.

The fast-food chain is offering heart-shaped trays full of Chick-n-Minis, chicken nuggets, or chocolate chip cookies. Contact your local store to see if they are participating.

White Castle

Enjoy tableside service at White Castle on Valentine’s Day only. Diners will get to enjoy Slider, Shrimp Nibblers, Strawberry and Cream Waffles and other White Castle favorites.

Reservations fill up quickly though so make sure to hammer down your Valentine’s Day plans early.

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Waffle House

Similarly, Waffle House also takes reservations and gets a little fancier. Bring your sweet Valentine and celebrate over a plate of waffles and hashbrowns (covered, smothered and scattered.)

Olive Garden Italian Kitchen

Carbs = Love. If you’re looking for the perfect, bready gift to give to your Valentine this year, look no further than your closest Olive Garden!

The Italian restaurant is having a “ToGo Dinner for Two” special that includes breadsticks and starts at $35.99. To make the breadsticks a little more romantic, print one of these five different wrapping papers to wrap around the buttery, garlic bouquet or to place on the table for place settings.

Skip the florist this year and give your Valentine a bouquet of Olive Garden breadsticks instead. (Courtesy of Olive Garden.)

Starbucks Coffee

Yes, even the most popular coffee chain finds a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a special way. Starbucks’ Cherry Mocha is available for a limited time so make sure to take advantage while you can.

Einstein’s Bros. Bagel

“Schmear” a little love on your day with a heart-shaped bagel from Einstein Bros. paired with one of their many delicious Schmear spreads.


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Happy #ValentinesDay! Our bae-goals have all the ❤️ feels.

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Mrs. Fields Cookies

End the night right with a heart-shaped cookie cake with your own personal message frosted on top from Mrs. Fields.

Costco Wholesale

Even the Wholesale stores know that Valentine’s Day treats are hard to pass up. If you’re planning on a low-key night at home, this heart-shaped ravioli from Nuovo Pasta carried at select Costco locations, could be the perfect meal!

Toss these four-cheese ravioli with your favorite sauce or let them shine on their own with just a little olive oil and parmesan cheese. Either way, these beautifully crafted ravioli is a great option for an in-home dinner.


If your Valentine’s Day evening is a little busy because it falls on a weekday this year, celebrate the holiday first thing in the morning with a heart-shaped CinnaPack full of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls!

Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant

Participate in Buza di Beppo’s Lasagna Lovefeast which includes a Buca small salad, house-baked garlic bread, a special heart-shaped lasagna and two cannoli for $49.99! This special is dine-in only so make sure to make your reservation soon if you’d like to participate.

Heart-shaped Pizzas

Several pizza chains are switching things up and turning their traditionally round-shaped pies into hearts to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

California Pizza Kitchen

Heart-shaped pizzas are available upon request at participating locations from Feb. 13-17. Ask your local location if they are able to make the switch for you.

Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza

Your favorite bake-at-home pizza company is selling $9 heart-shaped pizzas through Valentine’s Day! Sure, you have to bake it at home, but at least your house will smell good afterward.

Papa John’s Pizza

Papa John’s is also joining in on the fun! Their thin crust heart-shaped pizza is only available for a limited time.

Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins is featuring these sweet conversation heart ice cream cakes to help you get into the Valentine’s Day mood.

Auntie Anne’s

Auntie Anne’s is wearing their heart on their pretzels for Valentine’s Day this year … and the world is a better place because of it.

You can also take advantage of this BOGO deal on these delicious twisted treats. The offer is only good on Valentine’s Day.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts is not only serving heart-shaped donuts, but they are also including their own donut-themed valentines called “Dunkentines” with the purchase of a dozen donuts.

Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘N Biscuits

Bojangles’ beloved Bo-Berry Biscuits are getting an upgrade this Valentine’s Day season. These heart-shaped sweet biscuits are only available for a limited time.

Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone has graced us this Valentine’s Day season with the Chocolate Cupcake Ice Cream Cake. Conversation hearts are getting a little bit of an upgrade with this cold, sweet treat.

Insomnia Cookies

Insomnia Cookies knows that cookies were meant to be eaten warm. They also know that Red Velvet is the unofficial official flavor of Valentine’s Day.

Make sure to get one of their Red Velvet heart shaped cookie cakes before they run out!

The Fresh Market

This is a little less traditional, but once you see it you’ll know it’s something you’ve been missing in your life.

The Fresh Market sells HEART-SHAPED STEAKS. Actually, they sell heart-shaped ribeye steaks. Romantics, this may be the perfect way to sneak a little cheesy “love stuff” in your less-romantic partner’s day because who could really turn down a steak … no matter what shape it is.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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