Valentine’s Day has traditionally been advertised as the time to dress up, go out, and splurge on a decadent meal with your beloved—but thanks to the current state of the U.S. economy, that dream has been understandably downsized somewhat for many. Given that grocery inflation has risen by over 10 percent during the last year, the cliche of linen tablecloths and filet mignon for two is already giving way to more practical ways of celebrating the holiday.

Some amorous yet budget-conscious couples, though, are already well-prepared for this turn of events, having long treasured a Valentine’s Day tradition that’s easy on the wallet without sacrificing romance. Namely, the White Castle Valentine’s Day Dinner. Featuring eight cheese sliders, two shareable sides, and two soft drinks, the menu has grown so popular in recent years that its 2023 iteration commanded a waitlist on OpenTable.

Photographed by Skyler Dahan

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