MINNEAPOLIS — Not everyone has hundreds to spend on a romantic Valentine's Day with their significant other.

So, KARE 11 Sunrise talked with Terri Peterson Smith, author of "Unique Eats and Eateries of the Twin Cities," to get some cost-effective Valentine's Day suggestions.

Create a picnic

"Shops like France 44 have a beautiful selection of wine and cheese (and sandwiches) to create a romantic dinner at home or to take somewhere else," Smith said. She suggests taking your picnic outside (despite the cold) to a park or the Ice Castles in Excelsior.

Surdyk's is another option for picnic treats, she said.

Visit a food hall

Midtown Global Market and Keg and Case both have a variety of food options, and may not be as crowded as a traditional restaurant on a busy day like Valentine's Day.

Try a new brewery or distillery

There's no shortage of craft breweries, distilleries or cider taprooms in the metro. Visit a new one and maybe play a board game while enjoying a beverage!

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Read a book and grab a bite

If your significant other is a big reader, why not spend Valentine's Day at a local book shop? You can head to a small business, or a larger store. 

"Wrap up your Valentine’s favorite book and eat at Barnes & Noble in Edina in the Galleria," said Smith. "They have a nice restaurant and a special prix fixe Valentine’s menu."

Wrap a gift card for future eats

There are a few places that offer "date night" cooking classes, like Cooks of Crocus Hill. Most of them are probably booked for Valentine's Day this year, but you can buy a gift card for a future class, Smith said. 

Unique Eats and Eateries of the Twin Cities

Terri Peterson Smith is the author of "Unique Eats and Eateries of the Twin Cities." You can learn more about her book here. 

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