If you live in New York City, Zagat's has come up with a list of the best places to break the news.
"BierHaus: One cardinal rule for restaurant/bar break-ups is to choose a place where you will never return in case things get ugly (and they will). Luckily, one evening at this Bavarian-style hall is enough to last twelve lifetimes (even sans a runny-nosed dining partner). It’s so loud that no one around you will be able to hear you say things like, “It’s not you; it’s me,” and “You have horrible taste in pants.” Live polka music versions of classics like Total Eclipse of the Heart mean there’s no danger you’ll be staying a second longer than necessary. Plus you can order your beer in a two liter boot, and no one can get that mad at someone drinking out of a plastic shoe.[Title taken from this.]
"Go here: If you don’t care whether your ex never speaks to you again (712 Third Ave.; 212-867-2337).
"California Pizza Kitchen: This immense chainlet is as un-New York as you can get, which is good if you want to avoid memories of your first kiss on the Highline, first Valentine’s Day at One If By Land, Two if by Sea and first fight at Gristedes. Other pluses include well-spaced out tables that will prevent strangers from silently judging, teenaged servers who will be too terrified by the ugly crying to ask whether you need another apple martini and bright lighting that will ensure you don’t rethink your decision.
"Go here: If you’re afraid you might wimp out and need the soundtrack of shrieking children to strengthen your resolve. And if you love a good BBQ chicken pie (440 Park Avenue South; 212-685-6700).
"Jekyll & Hyde: Unless up till this point your relationship has existed in Second Life only, odds are the second you propose this place, your soon-to-be ex is going to know something is up. But if you’re expecting over-the-top hysterics, dining among animatronics and freaky servers who say creepy things might be your safest bet. Good luck to you.
"Go here: If you foresee danger and want to make absolutely certain you won’t know a single person inside (1409 Avenue of the Americas; 212-541-9505).
"Beauty and Essex: Though this trendy LES hotspot might seem a curious choice – it’s filled with people who aren’t miserable, its menu is geared toward sharing and it’s not exactly wallet-friendly – it still has a lot going for it: the dark lighting means potential break downs won’t be on full display, you can soften a difficult conversation with a variety of delicious cocktails and the civilized environs may keep things, well, civilized. Plus, the ladies room has free champagne, which is good whether you’re the dumper or dumpee.
"Go here: If you’re a multitasker and want to meet someone new the same night (146 Essex St.; 212-614-0146).
"Tortilla Flats: Avoiding romantic places is another break-up rule. Enter this Village cantina with its kitschy interior, bachelorette parties galore (caution: this is bad idea when breaking up with a fiancé) and premade vat of margaritas. Sensitive choice it isn’t, but between the hula hoop contests, sauced clientele and chimichangas, there’s no way a serious conversation can survive.
"Go here: If you have a mortal fear of other people’s tears or if you can really rock a hula hoop after emotional distress (767 Washington St.; 212-243-1053).
"Balthazar: When your emotions are running more red-hot than blue and you want to break up in spectacular fashion, head to this always-crowded SoHo brasserie where throwing a martini in your ex’s face and storming out is guaranteed an audience. For maximum embarrassment, stage your performance before the check comes so your ex has to stay there and pay the bill.
"Go here: If you are mad and want revenge, Sex and the City-style (80 Spring St.; 212-965-1785).
"Starbucks: For a simple, no-frills solution, we suggest firing up your laptop, ordering your favorite coffee drink and sending an email. No muss, no fuss.
"Go here: If you met online and have been on less than seven dates. Or, you are a spineless robot coward. Note to spineless robots, don't think you can plug yourself in and sit at that table all day. People are waiting!"