Grubhub + Match: What’s the Best First-Date Cuisine?


We teamed up with Match to play food Cupid. Our data reveals sushi as the best cuisine choice for people looking to secure a second date and that Americans make more adventurous sushi choices on Valentine’s Day.

Additionally, our data provides an in-depth look into America’s Valentine’s Day sushi ordering habits.

Single Americans should start practicing their chopsticks skills because Match’s sixth annual Singles in America survey reveals that ordering sushi on a first date increases the odds of a second date by an astounding 170 percent. It’s clear that Americans’ Valentine’s Day sushi meals are filled with more adventurous orders and fish choices than other days of the year.

We’ve compiled key insights from past Valentine’s Day sushi orders to take some of the guesswork away from planning the perfect, palate-pleasing date night menu. The below findings, using data from 2015, reflect the preferences of over 40,000 restaurants and 1,000 U.S. cities.

Which Sushi Rolls Reign Supreme?
One popular Valentine’s Day sushi order is the unagi roll, made with broiled freshwater eel. Unagi is 127 percent more likely to be ordered on Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year. The garlic roll also enjoys a 90 percent spike on Valentine’s Day, in spite of concerns over kiss-worthy breath.

Americans like to experience more unique, exotic flavors on February 14. Here are some of the boldest sushi rolls found in Valentine’s Day sushi orders, including:

  • Dragon rolls (101 percent*)
  • Red dragon rolls (91 percent)
  • Caterpillar rolls (88 percent)
  • Rock and rolls (74 percent)
  • Cheese steak rolls (72 percent)
  • Godzilla rolls (61 percent)
  • Volcano rolls (56 percent)

*Percentage indicates increase in order volume on Valentine’s Day compared to 2015’s average order volume.

He Said, She Said:
Men and women have differing opinions when it comes to selecting sushi rolls for a meal. For example, data shows that women tend to be more veggie-centric than their male counterparts:

  • Women are 214 percent more likely than men to order the garden roll
  • Men play it safe with their sushi orders during a romantic Valentine’s Day meal, ordering spicy yellow tail and salmon skin rolls 71 and 63 percent more often than women, respectively
  • Cucumber avocado rolls are ordered by women 138 percent more often than men year-round
  • Mango avocado rolls are ordered by women 133 percent more often than men on a typical day

Regional Sushi Ordering Preferences
No matter where you happen to live in the U.S., we’ve identified the highest rated rolls and ordering preferences in a variety of key metro areas to ensure you can order for success:

  • Bostonians have some unique sushi preferences compared to other cities:
    • Hawaii rolls and caterpillar rolls are six times more commonly found in Boston orders than anywhere else in the country
    • Fire rolls and Alaskan rolls are five times more commonly found in Boston orders than anywhere else in the country
  • Chicagoans have more exotic preferences than other US cities:
    • The negi hamachi roll is ordered 25 times more frequently than anywhere else in the country
    • Chicago sushi-lovers order ebi tempura rolls 19 times more frequently than counterparts in other American cities
  • Denver eaters are 14 times more likely to include a mango roll in their sushi order than other Americans.
  • On the west coast, Angelenos are 25 times more likely to include salmon sushi in their sushi orders.
  • Miami locals are seven times more likely to order a salmon tempura roll than the rest of the country.
  • New Yorkers have varied sushi cravings, both throughout the year and when Cupid is nearby:
    • Chicken tempura rolls and spinach rolls are 116 percent and 109 percent, respectively, more likely to appear on Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the year
    • Spicy tuna crunch rolls are 31 times more popular than anywhere else in the country
    • Peanut avocado rolls are 12 times more likely to be included in a sushi order than in other cities
  • What gets Philadelphians in the mood for love? Their own city!
    • Philadelphia rolls are 92 percent more likely to be ordered on Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year
  • San Franciscans tend to be trailblazers on the sushi ordering scene:
    • The lion king roll—which is essentially a California roll wrapped with salmon, baked, and topped off with a special house sauce—is ordered 144 times more often than the rest of the country
    • Salmon sashimi is ordered 24 times more often than anywhere else in the country
  • A sushi order in Washington D.C. is 35 times more likely to include a spicy crunchy shrimp roll than orders placed anywhere else in the country.

To help spread the love, we’re encouraging couples to #OrderInToWin by snapping a photo of their “takeout date” for a chance to win $100 toward Grubhub just in time for Valentine’s Day. All you have to do is upload a photo of your takeout order for two, tag @Match and @Grubhub on Instagram and use the hashtag #OrderInToWin from now until Thursday, February 11 for a chance to qualify.