Unless you live in the area, Chelsea can be a tough place to navigate in terms of restaurants. There’s a lot going on in this part of town, and though there are plenty of excellent places to eat, there are also plenty of places to avoid. That’s especially true when it comes to date night. Chelsea’s proximity to the west side of Midtown and most of downtown make it a great area to meet up with someone you’re planning to romance after work – as long as you know where you’re going.
To that end, here are our 8 favorite restaurants for a date night in Chelsea. Good luck out there, and please be on your best behavior.
Cookshop is as reliable as they come when it comes to taking restaurant uncertainty out of the equation on a date. The food is always excellent, the menu has lots of variety, and the two-person tables aren’t cramped together like so many other spots in this town. Waits can get lenghty, but there’s plenty of bar area for a drink while you wait.
Small plates are always a safe bet for date night, and this small tapas restaurant is no exception. Tia Pol has been a neighborhood staple for a very long time, mostly because the food is so consistent. Just know that this is probably more of a “drinks and a light bite” situation than it is a full on dinner.
Do you and your date like to party? Do you also like to eat spoonfuls of quail egg and caviar? Well then, Toro is definitely the place where you are going to fall in love forever. This Boston transplant feels less like a restaurant and more like a dinner warehouse, with tons of tables and seats, and tons of people drinking and having a good time. The food is really good, but it can get expensive.
More Spanish food, though these tapas come from the Basque region. That means the menu is a bit more interesting, featuring things like “Squid Ribbons” and a “Shrimp and Mushroom Grilled Cheese.” Just like you used to make at home.
Yet even more Spanish food. El Quinto Pino used to be a tiny little bar that served food, with something like 14 seats. They recently expanded into the space next door and created what is one of the better date night rooms in the city. The food is always excellent, and make sure to order an uni sandwich.
Montmartre has been steadily improving since it first opened a few years ago, and it’s developed into an excellent spot for a first date in Chelsea, especially when the weather is nice and the patio is open. It’s also ideal for that rare, white unicorn of a situation called a daytime date. If you end up on one of those, have lunch here and then tell us EVERYTHING.
That’s right, another Spanish restaurant in Chelsea. Why are there so many in this neighborhood? Pretty sure it has to do with the Spanish colonizing this area back in the 1400s. Salinas is a sexy restaurant, assuming you believe that such a thing is possible, and it has both a retractable roof for warm weather situations and a fireplace for all ten other months of the year.