Food

Do or Don’t: Sharing Food at Restaurants

Do or Don't: Sharing Food at Restaurants

After eight years of marriage, Alex and I see eye to eye on most things — date-night rituals, low-key parenting — but there’s one thing we can’t agree on…

Alex hates sharing food in restaurants. Hates it! For years, when we’ve gone to dinner with friends, and they suggest splitting a few pastas and having fun with appetizers, Alex looks panicked. He’ll usually go with the flow, but cut to the cab ride home: I’ll hear him wax on about how he wishes he could have just gotten the steak.

So, this week, my grouchy husband wrote a New York Times article against sharing, once and for all.

“Even in the best of circumstances, when sharing you are probably going to end up with a little of what you do want and a lot of what you don’t want,” Alex writes, as part of his laundry list against small plates. “Perhaps it is because I am a slow eater and a big talker, but when I’m sharing with a group, I feel like I am left with two choices: chat or eat. You can’t do both, especially when you’re racked with anxiety at seeing the fried baby artichokes disappear out of the corner of your eye while your story — wait, what was I talking about? — starts to run on a little too long.”

When I tease him, he insists that he’s just a loyal guy, who likes what he likes: a hanger steak, a dry martini (up with olives), and his wife. Okay, fine, Alex. Put it that way, and I’ll take it.

At restaurants, do you love or hate sharing? Here’s Alex’s full story, if you’d like to read it. xoxo

P.S. A very easy dinner party, and do you like eating out alone?

(Photo via Orlando/Getty Images.)

  1. Trish says...

    I was reminded of this post last night and had to come back to it. I’m in a group that loves this sharing food too, and I’m Team Alex about it. They call it “trying” something. As in, “Can I try the ___?” Try? Are you going to swirl it around in your mouth and put it back on the plate? Oh, you mean EAT it. Often times people get the plate returned back around to them with only one or even none of the appetizer they themselves ordered! Last night a woman asked if she could “try” my Korean soup/stew of a thing. She quickly dunked in her spoon that I would swear had some food on it. Now if it had food on it, did that mean she had put it in her mouth already? I was thoroughly grossed out and couldn’t eat then.

  2. Tal says...

    I have a friend who absolutely refuses to split appetizers, for a different reason: he thinks it’s gross. He hates the idea of multiple hands reaching in to the same plate of food, whether it’s fries, tater tots, nachos, wings, whatever. Yes, there is a fork or spoon and small plates and you can always avail yourself of that option, but there are some people who will still reach in with their hands to pick off a chip or tot (and I’m one of them, because I don’t freak out about it).

    It can be a bummer because sometimes I will see an app I have a hankering for at the time, but I don’t order it because my buddy won’t have any of it, and I don’t want all of it. So we end up just getting individual entrees.

  3. Clara says...

    Wow! Interesting post! I found this page on accident while searching for something else. I live in the south, and have never been to a restaurant where you’re encouraged to share plates before. I have been out many times with groups of friends, family, coworkers, etc., and sharing has never been mentioned! The closest I can think of is a pizza place, or a family style place where folks just pass food (already prepared—not ordered) around and take what they want (like at the supper table). However, the thought of sharing food on plates like that makes me cringe inside. I think most southerners would agree, as we are pretty protective of our plates lol. I give my own husband the side-eye if he even wants a bite! …I’m with your husband on this one!

  4. Melissa U. says...

    Sharing with husband or a couple of girlfriends (3 total- MAX) is fine and even fun. There is usually plenty to go around and if there are a couple of things that I really want to eat, I make sure to order them. But in large groups, there is always a risk that you get little or NONE of what you really want to eat. That’s no fun for anyone!

  5. Megan W says...

    OMG totally on board with Alex on this one. HATE SPLITTING! Especially with a group!!! It stresses me out! Lol.

  6. Mallory says...

    One thing my husband, family and beloved friends know about me is I don’t share my food when we go out! No way!

  7. Kelly P says...

    OMG! This is my curmudgeonly husband to a T! Love it :-)

  8. Omg hit the nail on the head!
    I hate sharing food! I’d actually prefer to have, lets say 3 artichokes (ordered by myself, served to me only), than 5 artichokes (from a plate of 10 shared with my friend!)
    Haha!

  9. I love sharing food with my husband, but hate sharing food with a table of people … for all the reasons mentioned. I am a VERY slow eater, and also have friends that are very big eaters, so I’d likely be left with very little to eat.

  10. “…I would rather not run my dessert order through Ways and Means.”
    LOL!
    That summed it up for me. I love to share in theory, but in fact, find it super tedious to discuss the perfect thing we all want, and the amount of back and forth it requires…please, no.

  11. C says...

    My Husband and I almost never get our own food. He’ll order a large meal and I’ll get a soup, eat a few bits of his steak and we’re both content. However, when it comes to dessert I feel the same as your husband. I want to savor that delicious chocolate gooey goodness, my husband just scarfs it down and if I don’t keep up I don’t get my share. So for me, it definitely depends what you are sharing!

  12. Emily says...

    It really depends on the type of food! Chinese and Japanese food should absolutely be shared. Small plates should be shared. A fancier french or italian meal, I tend to order myself and share bites. My college roommate and I had a great tradition, though, where we’d go to a favorite pizza place and split 1 pizza and 1 kale salad. The perfect amount of food and so much fun.

  13. Jemma says...

    Group sharing, nah. But will he share with YOU, is the question? I can’t imagine being married to someone who won’t give me a bite of their steak, or doesn’t care to try my new favorite dish at a restaurant!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, he’ll definitely share bites with me! and give me all his fries :)

  14. Ella says...

    As someone with intense (though self-imposed) food restrictions.. No meat, no spicy things, no mushrooms.. I also often fear the shared plate.. Close friends are incredibly understanding and will go out of their way to order things I can eat but inevitably I either only get some of the three out of eight or so dishes ordered that I can/will eat or I feel like the split bill is incredibly out of proportion since vegetable dishes are almost always cheaper and I only ate a few things!

    I love the concept of sharing and but it just doesn’t always work for me and I feel like such a jerk when I say uhh I’ll just order my own dish.

  15. As Alex, I do not understand the sharing of food unless I’m having a meal at a tapas restaurant where that is the point of dining. Otherwise, keep your fork out of my plate. When a server recommends sharing, my boyfriend will chime in that I do not share…not to be offensive but to forewarn those we are dining with. He knows to wait patiently till I have finished my meal for him to pick over what I have left. That is the system that finally works for us, since I don’t do leftovers either.

  16. Erin says...

    I always share food in restaurants – with my husband, friends, doesn’t matter who I’m with. You get to try so much more and I just love the intimacy and family feel of sharing food with people I love. We even did a four course, family-style Italian meal for our wedding reception so everyone at each table shared dozens of dishes and it was so nice to see everyone we loved talking, laughing and sharing plates. Something about it just makes me happy.

  17. Anastasia says...

    I’ve always been a big proponent of sharing – sharing is caring, right? But my husband hates it, much like Alex! He knows what he likes and always seemed to pick the best foods. On our honeymoon, we had to set some boundaries since I was always quick to ask “ooh, can I try a bite?” Even though it was often off a buffett where I could get my own (or he could get more :). But 10 years later, I’ve developed a better or more loyal sense of what I like too and can pick out dishes I enjoy so much there’s little desire to try anyone else’s.

  18. María says...

    ja, ja!! this made me laugh because… absolutely no!!! I can totally relate the panick face when friends suggest sharing plates!!! But I have grown accustomed to just state very clearly that “I’ll have this dish on my own, guys”. I’ts preferable, to me, than being unconfortable and grumpy the whole meal because I can tooootaly be!! I take food seriously!! ja, ja!!

  19. Rebecca says...

    Ha, this sounds all-too-familiar! My husband and I had a similar conversation about chocolate chip cookies when we were dating. I’m always on a mission to find the next best cookie, and one time he teased me about this relentless search. He has one cookie he knows he likes, and he’s not interested in comparing it to anything else. He explained, “I like what I like, and I stick with it. I’m a loyal guy”–to which I replied, “well, I want to try them all to make sure I’ve found the best one.” Foot, meet mouth!

  20. Whitney says...

    My husband (a former chef) and I always share when we go out to eat at a nice restaurant. We slowly enjoy a portion of our own dish, wait until the other has enjoyed part of their dish, and then swap. It’s amazing because one of the best parts of going out for a incredible meal is sharing the food experience even after all the dishes are cleared. So instead of saying “my agnolotti was amazing!” on the way home, you can say “wasn’t that agnolotti amazing?!” And the other person can enter into your moaning about how fantastic it was instead of being like “good for you, glad you enjoyed it.” It becomes more of a shared experience.

    However! I wouldn’t share food with more than one other person. A big group? No way! I’m with Alex – too much stress over getting enough to eat for those of us who like to savor!

  21. I’m not a big fan of sharing food because usually I don’t want the same things as others. I do, however, love sharing brunch. My SO and I love to go to this one spot order the crab cakes eggs benedict and the cinnamon bun french toast and then share half and half.

  22. Britt says...

    Depending on the crew I like sharing but I am also the annoying vegetarian that impacts other people’s choices even though I am ok eating around the meat in most things (really! i promise! unless of course it is a hanger steak…there isnt really anything to eat around ha).
    I think it is because my family shared when we went to restaurants and still do… well I kind of ruined sharing for my younger sister. I always took food off of her plate, even if we were just eating at home! I regularly got scolded for it and did it anyway. Whatever was on her plate always looked better even if we had the exact same thing. When we eat together now I still have an urge just to taste whatever she got, but (for the most part) I remember to ask now.
    As a family we always shared desserts, which meant my dad got a head start bite or two on my mom, sister, and I before we demolished whatever was in front of our faces. The only way that poor man would even get to taste a dessert. Like lions over a caracas, the ladies of my family are a bit feral.

  23. LOVE Alex’s article! One can see why you married him (smart, witty, funny, charming – even when explaining how he doesn’t want to share – quite a feat)! But shocked by the comments and how many readers actually prefer not to share. I’m half-Japanese and have spent a good portion of my life going back and forth. In Japan, sharing is definitely the norm and it is rare to meet a Japanese person who is a picky eater! Then again, since the whole country is “wired” to share, it’s no big deal if someone eats the last fried baby artichoke because someone has probably already flagged down the waiter and ordered more. Good to get an education on what others think about sharing though. I will remember not to suggest sharing next time I’m out with a group as it seems to create anxiety for others.

  24. Katie says...

    Thanks, Alex. You’ve ruined sharing for me. I was a big supporter of sharing! You get to try a little of everything! But he made so many good points. I always end up eating something gluten-free, vegetarian when I go out with friends when I really want all the greasy meat and gut-expanding wheat. AND YES! There’s always a tiny bit of unspoken tension around eating too fast/too slow, who gets the last bite, etc. I’d rather be in control my meal, and my life.

  25. TC says...

    I absolutely hate sharing at restaurants. It totally ruins it for me. When I get to a work dinner and I’m told it’s “family style” I want to just slink out of the room and run away. The only thing worse than sharing is dining with my in-laws, you share food at every meal. My husband and I will have our choices picked out 10 minutes ago, and they’ll still be going back and forth, “I don’t feel like the fish, you want the pork chop? Ok, well is the fish grilled? I can do it if the fish is grilled, so let’s ask. What about a salad? The beet salad?” and so on until we all die.

  26. Rue says...

    Sharing food is one of my ultimate comforts. It feels like the social equivalent of, I don’t know, a relaxing hot shower. I think it’s because my brother and I always shared food from each other’s plates growing up. But the catch is that my sister HATES it. Even as adults, my brother and I are always two peas in a pod, seamlessly eating off our own plates and each other’s, while my sister sits there on guard, ready to stab anybody who comes near her plate.

    I was an RA in college, and one of my closest friends was my co-RA (we oversaw a dorm floor together). He and I would eat dinner at the same time and place in the dining hall every night, so that the kids from our floor would always have a “home base” to eat dinner. We’d stay at the table for a while, as our students came and went. We were already best-friends-level close, so it didn’t take long for us to develop an elaborate food-sharing routine. It’s one of my favorite memories from college: all those evenings sitting with my best friend, passing him half my food. As I type this, I realize it must sound GROSS to people like Alex! But for me it served the purpose of creating that “chosen family” for myself in my earliest stretch of adulthood.

    I’ve got a date tonight with a guy who’s a professional chef, and I’ve already warned him that people who make sure I am fed are usually my favorite people.

  27. Bailey says...

    I am a big proponent of sharing (try all the things!), but in close knit groups only! With new friends everyone is always self-conscious about taking the last bite which can lead to disappointment, for one, and also to not eating with the gusto the food deserves! But I never have any reservations if I’m with my parents, husband, brother, sister. They all know I am a huge foodie, want to try everything, and can put a mean amount of food away. That being said, I think back sometimes to the days when I worked in a very old-school, fancy French restaurant. There was something very civilized and satisfying about witnessing a group or a couple each order their own appetizer, main course, and dessert and enjoy it all to themselves without all the reaching, passing, calculating, and cutting portions (often of things that should not be cut, but instead enjoyed in one massive bite!)

  28. Amy says...

    Sharing is a good way to sample several dishes! I am someone with constant FOMO when eating out; I’ve been known to sniff wistfully at other diners’ dishes as waiters pass by. I have a handful of friends with whom it is a given that we order and share, and I love them each and all for that.

    Sharing at restaurants has now (unofficially? officially?) become a requirement when it comes to dating.

  29. Kimmy E says...

    100% AGREE. Thank you. I want good food and I want to talk the entire time. Don’t make me choose!

  30. Melanie S says...

    As a picky eater, sharing food always gives me anxiety! I pride myself on being able to find something to eat anywhere I end up and I hate to feel like I’m stifling the choices and tastes of others with my strange habits. I think going out to eat is great because everyone can order exactly what they want. I’m with you, Alex!

  31. This is such a fascinating debate! I only want to share appetizers or the “even split” like pizza or sandwich or whatever. Small plates with a crowd isn’t enjoyable to me. My husband and I will want to taste each others, but each order what we want. I hear Alex on eating slower, not wanting to dumb down an order because somebody doesn’t eat XYZ. I had a team dinner with the chef’s choice of small plates and felt like we kept eating what was there because we didn’t know if more was coming or not. Stressful!

  32. Tricia says...

    I don’t mind sharing at all! But my toddler has a metabolic disorder that means we measure and track everything he eats, so we are teaching him not to share food – don’t give your food to others and don’t take their food when they offer it. We are trying to share food less in front of him in order to model that behavior, and it’s harder to break that habit than I would have expected! But I am far less likely now to suggest sharing food at restaurants, out of sensitivity for friends’ diet restrictions. (Good to know sharing food causes anxiety for some people, too!)

  33. I completely agree with Alex. My little family was out to dinner last night, each happily eating our own food and the table next to us (three adults, maybe university affiliated, new, not close friends) sat down and one of them who had been to the restaurant before acted as host and proposed sharing. The other two agreed in a friendly way and they all discussed what to eat, mostly prompted by the “host’s” suggestions. One person said, “white pizza–doesn’t that mean it doesn’t have sauce? I’ve never been a fan but I’ll try it tonight…”. I didn’t even know I’d absorbed their conversation until now. I recall being relived to be sitting at my table instead of theirs, even though they seemed to be having a perfectly nice time.

    One other angle is that of the person with dietary restrictions–it stinks to have to be the person who has to say: that all sounds delicious, but I cannot consume (soy, gluten, eggs, whatever). It can put a damper on a meal sharing situation, but is something people with allergies or dietary preferences have learned to navigate (hopefully gracefully!).

  34. Where is that hilarious picture from?

  35. I come from a large Italian family. Plates of food are served “family style” and get passed around (like I am sure others do too)… When we are dining out, we always eat off each other’s plates, “usually” ask first before taking, but never do that to friends or guests. I had a British boyfriend many years ago who witnessed this, and we did not touch his plate obviously (this is making me laugh) but he commented, “Do you all eat off each other’s plates all the time?” He was put off by it. Regarding sharing dishes, I don’t really care, but I usually don’t want to share my dessert. Esp if it’s chocolate. : ) My mother was very strict with teaching me table etiquette though – buying me books, instructing me, etc. It was like the scene with Vivian in “Pretty Woman.”

  36. Lizzie says...

    I have to take Alex’s side on this one. But it’s because I’m always hungry and can eat more than my husband and most friends. At most meals where we’ll share with friends, I’ll find myself saying, “Oh, go ahead and finish that. I’m too full anyway,” when all I want to do is eat the rest of it myself! However, I do love sharing with my husband though. We almost never get the same meal, so we can both eat off each other’s plates. The only time that backfires is when he gets the better meal, and I want to eat his whole plate. :)

  37. Casey says...

    I’d only share with people who I can negotiate the order with (and thus avoid ordering things I don’t like or won’t enjoy). Generally this is my husband and a few select friends. I, too, am a slow eater, so I advise getting extra plates (and tipping well for the server’s trouble). Problem solved, and I get to try new things!

  38. Rosie says...

    I love this! My husband and I are both Team Alex. We hate the frenzy that accompanies shared eating, but both give into it, because, hey, every man for himself! If we want that arancini, we better take it now, or it will be gone in five seconds. It’s too much stress and competition for what is supposed to be an enjoyable night out! Who wouldn’t be on Alex’s side??

    The other aspect is bacteria! Usually when we eat with friends and food is shared, inevitably someone sticks their personal utensils into the main serving dish, or worse, just eats directly from the dish. Ick!!

  39. TS says...

    Circumstantial! I love splitting two different entrees with my partner but hate it in groups. We also rarely go out to eat so when we do, I prefer it to be a date that’s worth the money, instead of paying for someone else’s more expensive tastes. Same with drinks – We aren’t big drinkers and I often feel like I either need to drink more or resent paying for others to drink. Apparently, I just dislike going out for group dinners in general! I’m more of a one-on-one gal. haha! Great article!

  40. Barbara says...

    Every time we go out for a meal, my husband and I agree on two different dishes to split. When we are half way through, we switch plates. It’s a perfect solution to want to try something else without the guilt or curiosity of “what if” or “I wish I got that” scenario. And it gives us something to talk about.

  41. Martha says...

    I read the column in The Times and did not know your husband was the author. I loved the column and laughed out loud as I read it. I agree with Alex!

  42. Can totally relate to the “chat or eat” dilemma – that’s why I tend to get most of my chit-chatting done whilst we’re waiting for our food, then let the other person talk once the food arrives.

    Cheeky but true – I must stop this lol. As for sharing, if I’ve been eating out a lot that week I don’t mind as I prefer the smaller portions.

  43. Lisa says...

    With a baby and a toddler I’m just assuming I won’t a whole dish on my own ever again.
    My husband and I always share (unless we’re getting the same thing), and we’ve done that since we started dating. For three course meals (in the unlikely event that we go to a restaurant), we share a starter, each have a main and then share dessert. It’s rare that we don’t – my husband always wants what I order and it’s nice to get a taste of what he’s ordered

  44. Luna says...

    Team Alex 100%

  45. I love Alex’s story! So well written and funny! I think I know where’s he’s coming from, but my approach is more sneaky, as I usually like to have my cake and eat it too. I hate sharing my food; yet, when we go out to dinner, I always ask my husband to share our main dishes. He’s super easy going, so is always up for it, even though he knows what that usually entails: me having most of his food (usually something hearty and filling) and him ending up with mine (often a veggie, quinoa concoction). After about ten years, it’s kinda like an inside joke for us, though I know poor Mike is not too happy about it and would love to just have a big juicy steak or a big bowl of pasta all to himself every once in a while…

  46. Zzz says...

    Sharing is fun when whom you share with knows about your likes and dislikes, When I share food with friends, it is usually a bite or two. They understand that I ordered the dish because I like it, so I deserve to eat most of it. And of course you don’t eat the only olive on the dish of a friend either. That is just rude. This way we each pay for the dish we ordered.

    The best part of sharing is you can try our new restaurants by trying out most of the dishes without hurting the pocket. And point is not eating what you eat everyday, point is trying it all out to test the tastes. On such occasions we split the bill equally.

    When you are from the developing world, sharing is caring.

  47. Megan says...

    I typically don’t like sharing either. I have a wheat allergy and don’t eat pork or red meat. Also, I know what I like– LOTS of veggies, haha! Whenever I’ve shared with people I don’t know well (husband’s friends, or colleagues, for instance), I wind up paying an exorbitant amount for the two bites of the veggie dishes I ordered and everyone else ‘shared’. Despite the fact I don’t eat them, I have to pay for everyone else’s expensive steaks, too. The fact I eat slowly makes it even worse. Most of the time, I leave hungry and get take-out on the way home. I go to awkward lengths to avoid going to restaurants in groups– I make excuses and try to meet up afterwards for drinks or dessert/coffee.
    HOWEVER, I really do like dining out with my family and sharing dishes because we all know what everyone else likes best, and they are really considerate of my slow eating– often serving food onto my plate so I don’t miss out if I’m eating more slowly. The bill is also not awkward with them and I NEVER feel like they’re ordering differently depending on who’s paying. It’s so much fun, and I get to taste so many dishes! So I guess sharing meals can be great, but maybe there’s a sharing etiquette that most Americans haven’t wrapped their heads around yet. Like, don’t order for other people, pay attention to others’ food preferences and diet restrictions, be honest about what you want to eat, make sure everyone else is getting enough to eat, and don’t be a jerk by ordering the most expensive thing on the menu, eating it all, and then expecting people to happily split the bill in the name of ‘sharing’.

  48. Andy says...

    I used to be like Alex, but I am marrying into a family that has never met a dish they did not want to share. I learned my lesson a few years ago when I insisted we should not share and was left wishing I could just take my neighbor’s delicious duck breast.
    Just last week my fiancé and I were at Pujol in Mexico City and made it a point to order different things so we could try even more of the menu.
    If you really don’t want to share or it makes you nervous, I highly recommend ordering two of what you want to try the most. I find it that people rarely say no.

  49. this is exactly my husband. he could have written that article!

  50. Irina says...

    I very rarely eat out due to a limited budget, and when I do it’s usually with my husband. He is a meat-eater and I am a vegetarian, which means that we rarely fully share entrees although we typically trade bits of food based on mutual likes and dislikes. Like, he’ll give me his onions and I’ll give him my shiitake mushrooms :) And, if we splurge on an appetizer, we usually get a veggie one to share.

  51. Laura M says...

    Your husband is a great writer, very intelligent, and funny. Good marriage choice! Oh, also good looking.

  52. RBC says...

    I have a group of best friends (there are 4 of us) from university. We are scattered over the world now but have gathered for each of our weddings over the years. A couple summers ago we were gathered in Toronto for wedding number 4. A couple nights before the wedding the bridal party went out for Indian food. After perusing the menu for a few minutes, we 3 (not including the bride) all looked at each other and said – ok so do you want to order a few different curries and just share? And we all enthusiastically agreed – to the horror of the bride’s sister. She turned to the bride: “they’re all exactly like you! Where did you find them?!” Hahaha! I should add each of the 4 of us were born in 4 different countries on 4 different continents! <3

    • RBC says...

      She must not have led with it due to being aware of her sister’s distaste for sharing at a restaurant!

  53. Nicolle says...

    i also HATE sharing food at restaurants. just feel like I am always hungry afterwards. It ruins my meal to always worry about eating too much or leaving a last bite for someone else. And the mish mash of dishes makes me feel like I dont know what I ate at the end of the night. Alex, I side with you! :)

  54. Kate says...

    Ha! My brother still talks about the time that he, my sister-in-law, and my husband met up for dinner at the Stanton Social (one million years ago) with a bunch of other couples. He claims he was relegated to he end of the table (“Siberia”) where he got tastes of dry bread and water while the rest of the table feasted on tuna tartare and soup dumplings.

  55. Lindsay says...

    My friend/former co-worker never shared her food. She always told us “if you wanted it, you should’ve ordered it.” All very good-naturedly, so we would laugh, but we never got a taste!

    • Silver says...

      I love her – that is so funny.

  56. Natalie says...

    I’m divided on this one. I love to share with people I know well who, by extension, know that I’m weirdly picky. I love to try new stuff, but there are some things that many folks love that are a no-go for me (calamari comes to mind).

    On the other hand, sharing with folks I have to give a whole spiel to about what I do/don’t like is very unappealing. And there are a few places that have dishes I treasure and don’t want to share (ha!).

  57. Karen says...

    I couldn’t imagine being with someone who didn’t like to share! It’s different with big groups, but when it’s just the two of us, my husband and I almost always do small plates. We’re both adventurous eaters and a little indecisive so it lets us try more things. Our tastes are different and we pick up on different things in a dish, so we spend a fair amount of time talking about the food. I swore I didn’t like green curry until he explained it to me, and now I get it. Plus sharing just feels so cozy and intimate.

    I think it helps that there are things we know the other one loves and try to share more of those. Like I’m fine letting him have most of any short ribs we order because he loves them, and he knows that salmon and oyster mushrooms are my absolute favorites and generally eats less of those.

    Even when we order separately, though, at a restaurant we pretty much always share tastes. People probably think we’re weird, but it makes us happy.

  58. Now it all depends on which restaurant. If it’s a typical restaurant that we mutually eat the same things yes. We will get one or two appetizers and then either a shareable. If not we will get one expensive dish and share. I am usually full, so it became a waste at times because I would get full of alcohol and appetizers. Now if its a place that we don’t eat the same we share appetizers and then get our separate things but we still end up eating each others stuff or tasting. I am the type that stays on budget and have learned from trial and error.

  59. Erin says...

    In college, my best friend ate off my plate in the cafeteria *all the time.* Now, 20 years later, it drives me crazy if other people do this, but she’s still allowed to. :)

  60. Lauren Lyons says...

    I’m totally cool with sharing, but what I dislike (hate) is that my husband eats very quickly (literally devours)– He’ll then lean over my plate + survey it, then waits like a dog. I feel so much pressure to give it to him. It drives me crazy!!

    • Ada says...

      Yes! I feel your pain… and it just happened this morning. I wasn’t full yet but I let him have my last two bites of bacon, egg, sourdough. Only because his gorgeous green eyes get me every time. Love.

  61. Amber says...

    I’m cool with sharing, but you are a jerk if you take food from my plate without asking. I would never do that.

  62. molly says...

    I am all for sharing! I’m sure my fiance thinks it’s annoying but for sides I usually choose the side salad to be more health conscious and he orders the fries. When the dish comes I always steal some of his fries. If the fries are especially good he will stop me from eating all of them :). I just feel more healthy ordering the side salad rather than the fries even if I eat them off his plate. Those don’t count for calories right? I am also a big believer in splitting a large entree if I know the serving size is big.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “I just feel more healthy ordering the side salad rather than the fries even if I eat them off his plate.” = haha SAME!

    • Lisa says...

      Everyone knows you only get the calories from fries if you order them. If you eat then off someone else’s plate they definitely don’t count

  63. Emily says...

    I am totally on Alex’s side. I’m an anxious person by nature, and sharing at restaurants with big groups brings out the anxiety in me. What if I want more of one thing than another? Who gets the last piece of something if there are uneven servings? Does it look greedy if I take more of something I like? How are we going to split the bill? What if I’m still hungry after? What if others picked something to share more expensive than I’d be willing to spend?
    Obviously it always ends up working out, but I can’t help my runaway thoughts when it comes to this. I’d be much more at ease just picking my own dish and sticking with it.

  64. i adore sharing with my husband, we usually switch plates mid-way. but when out with others, i do not offer to share, and i do not nibble off anyone else’s plate… though if anyone asks for a taste of what i have, i’m totally ok with it.

  65. Stephanie says...

    This SPEAKS to me. I hate sharing for exactly the same reasons. It gives me anxiety! I’m with Alex 100% on this one.

  66. Ramona says...

    I love sharing at restaurants! Whenever I hear about a new place I want to try, I always wait until we can go with a few friends so that we can get a bunch of different things to sample. My husband and I are both game to try pretty much anything, and we’re lucky to have a group of friends who are all the same way–there is no organ meat too weird and no pepper too spicy for us. :) But also, I think I tend to have a smaller-than-average appetite, so I never worry that I’m not going to get enough to eat. And taking a few bites here and there while sharing nearly always means I have room left for dessert, which is my favorite meal.

    • Ramona says...

      I should also say, though, that in my group of friends no one would eat all of the fried baby artichokes. Instead of it being this awkward show of politeness and passive aggression that Alex describes, it’s very comfortable and familial, with everyone encouraging everyone else to try different things or putting a little more onto each other’s plates. Maybe some of that difference is just in how people are raised to treat meals and food.