Whether you see it as commercial nonsense, a cliché about a cliché, or an excuse to be romantic, Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday. We’ve gathered some ways to spend it, or spend on it.

FOR DINNER:

A bunch of Melbourne’s top restaurants are putting on a show for February 14. Dinner at Transformer includes an eight-course meal for $95, with a cocktail or mocktail on arrival.

For $60 per person at Bar Lourinha you’ll get a drink on arrival before feasting on a Spanish tapas dinner.

Pope Joan is having a Valentine's Day summer cookout. The food – grilled jerk quail, mussels, turkey dimmies and salads – will be spread across the communal tables, so you might have a new valentine at the end of the meal.

If you’re looking to splash out, Pascale Bar and Grill is serving a five-course Valentine’s Day dinner with Champagne and oysters to commence festivities. This one cost $249 per couple.

Please the steak-loving date with a trip to Entrecôte. The special four-course menu is $99.90 per person (and $149.90 for a balcony table overlooking the Botanic Gardens).

FOR NON-DINNER:

Pidapipo is not only giving you two scoops – Miso Caramel and Popcorn – for the price of one, it’s also providing the entertainment. Musician couple Sunni Hart and Pete Baxter will be on the decks at the gelateria’s Carlton store from 8pm.

Last Valentine’s Day The Moat says it was “full of awkward couples being very quiet and slightly anxious.” So it’s changed the focus and this year it's going “strictly unromantic”. There will be beef-brisket sliders and chicken ribs to share, a band in the courtyard and board games.

The Ugly Duckling cocktail and wine bar in Richmond is hosting a wine tasting, and if you buy a bottle, you’ll get a free cheese platter.

BETTER THAN FLOWERS:

Why send a bouquet of flowers when you can send a bouquet of beer? Manflower Co. has you covered. Forty bucks gets you four bottles of Two Birds Brewing beer delivered to your val-or-palentine’s door.

Alternatively, send your loved one, or your mate, or yourself, a doughnut that’s personalised with a hand-written, customisable message. Bistro Morgan has joined with Sweet Mickie to create doughnuts dipped in Swiss white chocolate, filled with strawberry jam and covered in sprinkles. A single doughnut is $5.50 or a six-pack is $30.

If you do want to send flowers, but you want to add something extra, Bundle has put together a special pack that includes a posy from Flos Botanical Studio plus doughnuts from Doughnut Time for $50, which includes free shipping.

If supporting local businesses matters to you, or the person you’re sending a Valentine’s Day gift to, order flowers, local roses and chocolate (by Pana Chocolate) from Tillda Flowers.

FOR SOME CULTURE:

The Love Show at in.cube8r gallery in Fitzroy is a group exhibition featuring Australian artists and curated by Tess Wait. It explores modern love in all its forms: romantic, platonic and chaotic.

M*Sync is MPavilion’s annual celebration of collective consciousness and this year the event focuses on "love as a contemporary ritual." There will be music, talks and performance and Unconscious Collective's Hypnapod. It's a suspended, knitted sack fitted with sensors and speakers that amplify your heartbeat in real-time. There are a few pods, so together they produce a single soundscape specific to you and the other pod-occupants, which changes as your heartbeats go in and out of sync.

Spend Valentine’s Day with Ryan Gosling, or Whitney, and a bucket of popcorn. La La Land is showing at Moonlight Cinema on Valentine's Day, and The Bodyguard is showing at Shimmerlands.

FOR THE PERSON WHO IS OVER THIS RELATIONSHIP:

Cold Rock has developed an Eat Your Feelings range of ice-cream cakes. If you’re feeling particularly anti-Valentine’s Day – and anti the person you’re supposed to be spending it with – send a cake emblazoned with the words: “You’re dumped” or “It’s not me, it’s you”. There’s also some more loving options, like “I love you as much as I love ice cream” and “You’re my favourite human”.