The Most Romantic Restaurants In NYC

Where to eat when you want to feel like you're in a pivotal scene of a rom-com.
The Most Romantic Restaurants In NYC image

photo credit: Corry Arnold

Sometimes, you need a spot that will put you in the mood to gaze lovingly at someone and say the corny things that you normally keep in long-term parking in your head. Whether you're celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or the worst holiday of all, Valentine's Day, here's where to go. These are the most objectively romantic restaurants in NYC, and they're perfect for when you want to lean into your cheesiest impulses. If you see someone suddenly get down on one knee, don’t be surprised.


photo credit: Noah Devereaux



$$$$Perfect For:Date NightDinner with the ParentsOutdoor/Patio SituationCelebrity SightingsPrivate Dining
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

If your ideal romantic meal takes place in an old farmhouse in the Italian countryside, you can come pretty close to experiencing that scenario at Il Buco. A night at this Noho restaurant, which opened as an antique store in 1994, feels like a rustic escape from the city. The mains here really shine, and you can't go wrong with the bistecca and lamb chops, but if you order just one thing, get what might be the best risotto in NYC. Also, don't just order one thing here—that's a terrible idea.

The food at this special-occasion spot in Dumbo is basically fancy stuff from the ’90s, but the main reason to come here is the view of the Manhattan skyline from the dining room. It's as close to eating in the East River as you can get. Dinner is a $195 fixed-price, three-course situation with things like steak tartare and a duck breast with foie gras sauce. You won’t feel out of place here in your fanciest outfit, and they have a private garden that looks like it was airlifted from a Thomas Kinkade painting, complete with fairy lights in every tree.

photo credit: Kate Previte



SevenRooms logo

If you don't think great views make a romantic night out better, you're lying to yourself. You can see most of Manhattan and Brooklyn from this restaurant on the 60th floor of a building in FiDi, so try to snag a table by one of the floor-to-ceiling windows. This food is New American, which might sound boring, but a lot of their dishes—like barbecued freshwater eel with discs of slightly sweet bone marrow—have an unexpected and interesting combination of ingredients.

This West Village Italian spot really leans into the love theme—especially around early February when you'll see a heart-shaped wreath in the front, pink roses everywhere, and "Love is forever" written on their chalkboard. This all sounds terribly cheesy, but it's actually quite charming. Most of the seating is in their enclosed back garden, which opens up when the weather's nice. Dishes are more like platters here, so share meatballs, cacio e pepe ravioli, and spaghetti in tomato sauce with a ton of lobster with your favorite person.

This upscale French restaurant at the 11 Howard hotel in Soho is filled with white tablecloths, long tapered candles, and grand chandeliers. We imagine this is how aristocrats who live in a château dine every night. Begin your dinner with leeks and toasted hazelnuts, follow that up with lobster au poivre (the best thing here), and take in the scene of couples in Tom Ford jackets and elbow-length satin gloves who look like they’re on the way to some kind of Eyes Wide Shut party.

R40 is for meat lovers. That is, two lovers who really like to eat meat. Carnivores can have a pretty steamy date night in Long Island City at this Argentinian BBQ restaurant, which feels like a fancy getaway house upstate with woodsy candle lit interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a greenhouse patio. Order the $105 platter for two, which comes with more than enough steak, ribs, chorizo, blood sausage, chicken, and sides to keep you full. Add a bottle of red from the wine cellar below, and a slice of chocolate olive oil cake, and you’re set.

Semma’s West Village digs—imagine a dark, narrow dining car covered in bamboo—are romantic enough on their own, but it’s the restaurant’s exciting takes on South Indian specialties that make a meal here very memorable. Especially if you lock down one of their whole Dungeness crabs. They only make a few every night, and you’ll have to call at least a day before your dinner to reserve one, but for $140, you can feast on an incomparable combination of buttery crab meat and cardamom-heavy chutney over coconut rice. You might come out with crab-scented clothes, but at least you’ll have a beautiful memory forever tied to the scent.

You could go to this bustling Greenwich tavern, sit at the bar, split one of the city’s best burgers, and have a perfectly romantic time. But here’s what you should do instead: Make an “anniversary” reservation at Minetta, cuddle up in a red leather booth, order a bottle of wine, and then get the $189 côte de boeuf for two, which comes with a half-portion of bone marrow, and a perfect little gem salad. Scoop marrow on toast for each other, tell your server you’d love a soufflé for dessert, and walk out fizzing from the complimentary glasses of champagne they most likely brought out with your bill. The next morning, have a romantic steak and eggs breakfast with your leftovers.

The city has a number of rooftop restaurants with views that’ll make you feel a lot of feelings, but very few of them have interesting food. Gaonnuri is a “penthouse KBBQ” restaurant on the 39th floor of a building in Koreatown. If you want a table by the window (you do), you’re required to do the tasting menu option. For $145 per person, it includes two apps, rib eye and galbi BBQ, bibimbap, and dessert. It’s pricey, but it’s worth the sky tax to eat perfectly marinated cuts of meat off of your tabletop grill, with the whole city at your feet.

This Greek restaurant gives you a very specific type of feeling: vacation romance. The decor is rustic with a nautical theme, which makes you feel like you’re dining on an island (that isn’t Manhattan) where you could sign up for a snorkeling tour in the morning. Telly’s also happens to have some of the best Greek food in Astoria, and that’s saying something. Start with spanakopita, add some grilled veggies, and finish with a grilled whole fish.

Estela is one of the best restaurants in the city, so simply bringing someone here is an act of love. When you walk through the inconspicuous entrance on Houston and up a half flight of stairs, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret spot where 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—from the endive salad to the pork with black truffle—is incredible across the board.

What’s more romantic than being considerate of your partner’s dietary needs? Make your gluten-free partner feel special with a place that’s made just for them. This quaint risotto restaurant in the East Village is 100% GF. Rice is already GF, but here, even the crispy calamari, bruschetta, and tiramisu are made with rice flour. You’ll eat everything in a kitschy space that looks like a rustic Italian villa gone awry, with antique lighting and ladders hanging from the ceiling, as well as a sink that looks like an old water well.

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

Cafe Spaghetti image

Cafe Spaghetti

Cafe Spaghetti is a cozy Italian restaurant in Carroll Gardens with handmade pasta and a cute backyard.

La Mercerie image

La Mercerie is a French restaurant in Soho where you can eat excellent food and live out your Francophile fantasies.

Mimi image

A sexy Greenwich Village restaurant with an unusual French menu. Your next date night should be at Mimi.

The Best NYC Restaurants For Date Night image

Where to eat with someone who likes you back.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store