It has never been easy to date. Since the dawn of courtship, we have struggled to make initial connections with love interests.
You live in too small a town, you’re tired of frequenting bars, and you can’t stand to be set up by another friend. But singles are living in lucky times these days thanks to the internet. With online dating many people are finding their life-long soulmates or are at least like-minded people who are searching for the same type of relationship with just a few clicks. In fact according to a recent study, 11% of internet users (representing 9% of all adults) say that they have personally used an online dating site such as Match.com, eHarmony, or OK Cupid. Further more, 22% of 25 to 34 year olds and 17% of 35 to 44 year olds are online daters.
With their growing popularity, it is only natural that they evolve into catering to more niche communities. Depending on your sexual orientation, your religion and even your age you can find a site that works for you. And for those who feel particularly strong about dietary preferences or culinary prowess, there are sites for you too.
After all, it makes sense...if you could pick a partner that shares your extreme passion for dining out or follows your dietary needs, why wouldn’t you want to go out with them? To help you begin the search for your soulmate, we researched the most legitimate, and visited dating sites that specifically cater to food lovers so you can start breaking bread with a potential partner. We selected our list based upon their appeal to actual food lovers, the ease of setting up and using an account and whether the sites were available for free or at cost. We took into consideration their social following and the ability to target the specific orientation needs of a dater and ranked them accordingly. One major fault in nearly all of the sites on our list seemed to be that they catered to heterosexual relationships, offering homosexual candidates limited options almost across the board.
While there are some international options VineaLove, a site based on a passion for wine, Foodie Lover in the UK and RSVP in Australia, we decided to focus on sites that reach singles in the U.S. alone. From the Wine Dating Club to Gluten Free Singles, there is a site for every type of food lover looking for a little romance in their own kitchen.
1. Wine Dating Club
With an enticing promise to wine-lovers everywhere, this website aims to connect those who love vino and are ready to build their relationship over a glass of wine. The site is very easy to navigate and set up a profile, with no approval wait-time. You can fill out and view a fairly thorough questionnaire that allows you to get to know potential dates on a very basic level quickly. When you send out “flirts” to let a member know you’re interested, the site generates interesting ice-breakers to make starting a conversation easier for the first-time online dater.
Though Wine Dating Club advertises itself as a free website, the access to all account features is limited. As a free member, you have the ability to view profiles, view main user photos, and send flirts. To be able to actually send private messages you will need to upgrade your membership. There also doesn’t seem to be a heavy influence on wine, which is why this initially intriguing site landed in last place.
2. My Vegetarian Dating
If you are looking for a vegetarian, fruitarian or even someone with Celiac disease, My Vegetarian Dating poses an interesting opportunity. Free to join, this website allows you to fill out a detailed profile and tailor searches to your dietary preference. There is no profile approval and registration is extremely simple. While it does allow you to join for free, it doesn’t offer much to non-paying members.
With a small social following and limited users, this website could pose a problem for those looking to connect on a broader scale. The selections are thinner and the information you have access to is limited. There is very little interaction for non-paying members that user can have with potential matches. Though the payment options do seem to be reasonable on a month-to-month basis, vegetarians may find themselves bored with the tedium of weeding through profiles that they can access.
Who said chivalry is dead? This site is based on the old fashioned concept that men should pick up the tab when out to dinner. You sign up for the site and depending on your gender (or if you’re interested in the same-sex, want to be the one giving or receiving dinner offers) you fill out your dining preferences and set up dates.
Your first date offer is based upon your food interests and in theory you will immediate set up a dinner date that reflect your mutual tastes. The thing is, the one paying for the meal has all of the cards, as the recipient can only “wink” at suitors they are interested in and cannot initiate a date at all. Plus, your profile is submitted for “review” so until you are approved, your waiting before the process even really begins.
4. Gluten Free Singles
Whether you are gluten-intolerant or just abstaining from gluten by choice, Gluten-Free Singles is a great website to use to meet other dietary specific singles. We really like the emphasis the signup process stresses on being gluten free, and appreciate the thoroughness it demands in terms of filling out a profile.
However, the free sign-up is slightly misleading. Unlike other “free” sites, with Gluten-Free singles all potential daters can do is view the profile. They cannot interact with any of their search matches unless they sign up for a paying membership. At least the fees are relatively low and the site is fairly active— it giving updates on the latest members as you search around the site.
5. Paleo Connect
Choosing to live a paleo lifestyle is a real commitment, so finding someone to share in that dedicated lifestyle is only natural. Paleo Connect aims to do just that. The site caters to everyone seeking to form any type of bond that focuses on the paleo lifestyle, so while the process for contacting other members is simple (and actually free) you are still coming in contact with a ton of users who are looking for a running buddy or a just a friend to chat about paleo with.
The good news is that this site is garnering a larger social following, so for those who live for paleo can easily find whatever relationship they want to pursue.
Check out the full list of the best dating sites for food lovers.
More from The Daily Meal