Generally known as an expensive city, Charleston does have a lot of affordable gems if you’re digging for them. If you just got here as a new freshman, it can be pretty overwhelming to figure out date logistics on that college student budget. If you’ve been here for a minute, you still know that it’s hard to save money while impressing your date. Here’s a short roundup of some venues for cheap dates for when you finally get the nerve to ask out your crush but remember you have little to no funds.

4 Vanderhorst St.
(843) 853-7186

It’s tried and true — coffee shops lend a comfortable and cozy aura to any first date. This is especially important for those who somehow worked up the courage to ask out the cutie down the hall. Plus, you can ball out and grab the coffee for both of you (maybe even throw in a pastry) and still keep it under $10. Kudu’s location right across the street from freshman dorm McAlister certainly doesn’t hurt either. Plus, no wi-fi means no distractions, just good ol’ fashioned talking.

Persimmon Cafe
226 Calhoun St.
(843) 937-5399

Every third Thursday of the month from 4 p.m. to close, everyone’s favorite little cafe-laundromat hybrid hosts their date night. For a cool $20, you get two sandwiches, two sides, two drinks, and a custard to share. It’s located close to the library, so you can even suggest a post-date study sesh if the dinner date goes well.

Bike rental from Affordabike

573 King St.
(843) 789-3281

Show off your newfound knowledge of the Charleston streets by taking your boo on a bike ride. Affordabike offers three hour bike rentals for just $15 for a cruiser (or if you wanna get real close, a tandem bike is $30 for three hours). Make sure to roll up to Brittlebank Park at sunset; the views of the Ashley River from the pier can’t be beat.

City Bistro

80 St Philip St.
(843) 953-5414

Hear us out — it’s free with your meal plan, and you can eat outside behind the dining hall and enjoy the nice weather. You will probably see people you both know, which could offer some buffer if you’re nervous about the one-on-one conversation. Also, they offer a to-go box option, so a picnic in a more exotic location, like Marion Square, Harbor Walk, or the top of a parking garage, is possible.

Ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s and a nighttime walk

96 N Market St.
(843) 853-3888

Not much is more comforting than a dependable, delicious cup or cone from Ben and Jerry’s. After you and new boo get some Phish Food, take a walk through the market for some serious people watching. The end-game should be to stroll over to Waterfront Park for twilight views of the river, and if you’re lucky, snag one of the swings for the ultimate romance factor.