The Most Romantic Restaurants In America

Because true love deserves better than takeout.
Estela's dining room.

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Being in love in 2024 is like crawling out of a nuclear bunker to embrace the sunlight—it’s a brave act, and it deserves more than just sending the same TikToks back and forth to watch together in bed. What better way to honor your go-to plus one than to treat them to an evening full of warm mood lighting that will make you (and the seafood platter in front of you) look even more appetizing. 

In this guide, you’ll find a rustic farmhouse that will have you and your date plotting to live in the countryside and a book-filled dining room that’s the crossover between your librarian and fried soft-shell crab fantasies. And of course, there’s also the perfect spot for an extra special date with the real number one: yourself.


photo credit: Emily Schindler



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Estela is one of the best restaurants in New York City, so simply bringing someone here is an act of love. When you walk through the entrance and up a half flight of stairs, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret spot where hot people go on dates when they want a place that feels distinctly New York. The space is dark (but not too dark), the music is loud (but not too loud), and the modern American food—with things like endive salad and ricotta dumplings with mushrooms—is incredible across the board.

photo credit: Richard Casteel



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Eating at this tasting menu restaurant in Houston feels like dining at a new-age, minimalist resort spa—one focused on Mexican food and heirloom corn varieties. Tatemó’s dining room is small, lit by a few candles, and you can barely see anything, except your date across the table, and the small plates in front of you. Plus, paying in advance when making a reservation ensures you never have to do something as unsexy as fiddle with your credit cards. They’re only open for dinner on Friday and Saturday, so you'll have to plan ahead, which will undoubtedly score some extra brownie points with your date. 

Let us count the ways Bavette’s in Chicago is romantic. One, it’s the only dining room we’ll describe as “sexy” unironically—dark and windowless, with red leather booths, 1920s jazz, and suave servers. Two, the bone-in ribeye is the best in town, and sharing a piece of juicy red meat has been romantic since the invention of fire. Three, it takes months to get a reservation, and when that Resy alert pops up at 6pm on a Tuesday, you’ll be grateful for the privilege. So here’s your Bavette’s gameplan: order an Old Fashioned, then a $200 shellfish tower followed by a prime rib sandwich, more cocktails, and finally finish with a cartoonishly large piece of lemon meringue pie. 

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

Even the best dates have some awkward silence and nervous laughter. But, if you go to My Loup in Philly, the pauses will be filled with great French-leaning food and Bruno Mars crooning in the background. Bring someone who has already won your mother’s approval here for dishes like fried soft-shell crab with a creamy hollandaise and a juicy strip loin with fava beans and potatoes. Plus, their dining room feels like an exclusive party inside of an old library. 

Your special someone deserves a special view (and not just the stark gray wall visible from your friend’s rooftop). Book a table at Empress by Boon, a Cantonese restaurant on the sixth floor of a San Francisco Chinatown building overlooking Coit Tower. Intricate carved wooden panels, a tea lounge underneath a towering wood pergola, and a bright marble bar add to the already palace-like feel of this place. When you finally sit down next to a massive window, the $108 prix-fixe dinner full of scallop and caviar rolls and uni fried rice will be impressive enough to make your date forget about their brief stint on Raya. 

The team behind DipDipDip is known for creating fun, vibey spots all throughout Austin, so it’s no surprise that walking into this hot pot spot feels like entering a moody, luxurious pirate ship filled with induction burners and sliced meat. Everyone here gets their own bowl of broth, so you can save your debate energy for figuring out which family you’re spending the holidays with. Order the Baller Omakase, where you’ll be treated to oysters before diving into pieces of short rib and Alaskan snow crab. It’s fun, it’s intimate, and it’s everything we like on a date.

Kinjo Room in Atlanta makes us feel like we’re VIPs walking into an Oscars after-party that will be forever enshrined in celebrity lore and excellent sushi. Electronic-pop and artsy cover music play softly in the background, and the dimly lit room feels extra cozy with just 10 tables and a bar. You’ll have fun playfully fighting over the last bites of A5 wagyu beef and might naturally find yourselves looking at flights to Japan together before the server can drop the check. 

With real candles, brick walls, and jazz playing at the perfect volume, Jass in Miami sounds almost like an AI-generated romantic restaurant. But despite the white tablecloths, there’s nothing pretentious about this place that’d make your date think you’re trying too hard. It helps that the Mediterranean restaurant serves good food, too. Definitely order the clay pot of lamb, which comes encased in a dome of delicious brioche that your server will slice open at the table. And know that the live music usually starts around 8pm, because that’s also a big reason why you’re coming here. 

The Corson Building in Seattle is a great farm-to-table restaurant that comes in handy for literally every romantic relationship milestone. If it’s pretty early in the game but you want to lock this down, an a la carte meal outside on the beautiful garden terrace that overlooks wood nymph sculptures should help. Hand over a key to your apartment over albacore confit and braised short rib with creamed cabbage and bacon. Maybe in a few years, you can propose at the end of a prix-fixe tasting inside the antique brick cottage-like dining room. Then, get married here—it’s a wedding venue, too. 

If “absurdly romantic restaurant” appeared in the dictionary, it would be next to a picture of Amour. This fancy French restaurant in LA is a paradise for any francophile (or anyone who digs a great patio). There’s a large back courtyard with ivy-covered walls, a dark dining room with tasseled lampshades, and a semi-private lounge with a roaring fireplace. The maître d’ will greet you with a sultry “bonsoir, mon ami.” The whole thing’s a bit ridiculous, but they get away with it because the food is solid. Get the pumpkin soup, steak tartare, and lobster tagliatelle. 

It’s hard to avoid romance when you’re breathing fresh air and cosplaying as a country homesteader in the Hudson Valley. And Stissing House leans into that kind of rustic charm. You’ll feel like you’ve been swept into a Louisa May Alcott novel as chips are delivered to your table in a woven picnic basket and green garlic butter scallops are lit by a candlestick you’d carry through a Victorian-era house. Don’t be surprised if you start to dream about the type of commitment that requires legal documents after biting into their cloud-like coconut cake—the dessert makes frequent appearances when the restaurant hosts private weddings. 

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Suggested Reading

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For when you need something a bit sexier than The Wiener's Circle at 3am.

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