Taking A Bite Out Of Foodie Dating Sites

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The incredible proliferation of niche dating sites is a popular topic these days. When we say there's something for everyone, we really mean there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a vampire, a farmer, or a sea captain (or maybe all three?), there’s a site looking to match you with your perfect partner.

By comparison, dating sites for foodies seem downright normal. Stefanie Tuder, culinary school graduate and online food writer for ABC News-“Good Morning America,” decided to take three foodie sites for a test drive (make that "a taste test") to survey the scene.

HowAboutWe

First on her list was HowAboutWe, which recently announced a partnership with Serious Eats. The sites are collaborating to get online daters offline, via activities like “tacos and a spin around the Bronx zoo" or "a crawl of the essential dumplings of Flushing." Other popular food-focused sites also have similar partnerships to connect like-minded singles. All members, regardless of which co-branded page they use to sign up, can interact with all other members in order to offer as wide a dating pool as possible.

For Tuder, that wasn’t ideal. “Rather than see other readers of Serious Eats, Eater, etc.,” she writes, “which is the reason I signed up and went to that branded landing page, I see everyone in my area on HowAboutWe. And not even only the ones who are particularly interested in food.” It’s possible to narrow down searches to people who suggest food and drink date ideas, but messaging someone requires at least an $8 monthly membership.

HiDine

HiDine stirred up some controversy when it hit the scene in November. Taking a staunchly traditional approach, only men can ask women out on a date on Hi Dine and by doing so they commit to picking up the tab. Tuder found that she received many more messages and date requests on HiDine than on the other sites she experimented with. Her two critiques include the messaging system, which she calls "pretty clunky," and the fact that women do not have the option of messaging men. All a woman can do to indicate her interest in a profile is "wink" at it.

SamePlate

“While SamePlate has the best of intentions,” Tuder writes, “it simply doesn't have enough members yet to be successful." SamePlate was founded in 2012 by a man who wanted to find a partner to eat Paleo with him. SamePlate covers the Paleo phenomenon as well as anything else a food lover could want. Members can use the free site to cross-reference search any mix of diet and food combinations, which is a pretty unbeatable feature if you consider yourself foodie.

Ultimately, Tuder concludes that foodie dating is “interesting,” but doesn’t have “strong enough of a pull to stay on full time."