We all have those days when work runs late and cooking anything once you get home sounds like the worst thing in the world. You’re already starving, so you pull out a plate and grab whatever you can find in the fridge and pantry. Maybe you end up with some crackers, a hunk of cheese, a few pieces of salami, some fancy olives, a handful of grapes, and a glass of wine. Some may call this a snack plate or liken it to a charcuterie board, but at least according to TikTok, what you’ve got on your hands is a girl dinner.
The girl dinner trend was started back in May by user @liviemaher in a video that now has more than a million views. In it, the creator showcases a humble spread made up of bread, cheese, butter, pickles, grapes, and a glass of wine, calling it “girl dinner.” She compares it to something a medieval peasant might eat, and that is, in fact, part of the charm.
The thing about girl dinner is: there are no rules. Basically, it’s the snacky solution when you don’t feel like cooking but still need to feed yourself. It’s something you might eat while standing up at your kitchen counter or sprawled out on the couch in front of the TV. There’s no judgment or pressure to turn it into a “meal” in the traditional sense—that is, a plated situation complete with a protein, starch, and vegetable. It truly can be whatever you want it to be, and that’s the joy in it.
Is it too damn hot outside to even consider turning on the oven? Girl dinner is the answer. Got the house to yourself with no significant other or kids to worry about? It’s girl dinner time. Sick of cooking and doing dishes and just need something quick to eat? The girl dinner has got you covered.
So why has this trend taken off so suddenly? My theory is that it simply gives a name to something most of us are already doing. Girl dinner is a collective experience we didn’t know we shared until someone gave it a name. And lots of people resonated with that.
However, the trend has also gotten some flack recently, with some critics claiming that it supports disordered eating. After all, a few bits of cheese and crackers doesn’t make for a very substantial meal. But proponents of the girl dinner maintain that it’s not about portion size or calorie counting at all—it’s more about the simple joy of eating what you like and not feeling pressured to make every meal an elaborate one. With enough nutritional variety and volume, snacks can count as meals too. And can even make your meals feel more exciting and varied.
And with absolutely no cooking and minimal cleanup required, the girl dinner earns a thumbs-up in our book. Snack on, ladies.