Philly's Most Romantic Restaurants
Alexa, play "Let's Get It On."
There’s romance–like waiting for your partner to watch the next episode of White Lotus, or emptying the dishwasher without being asked to–and then there’s romance. You know, the “bow-chicka-wow-wow” kinda romance (dishes be damned). This guide is dedicated to the latter. We’ve found the 8 sexiest spots in the city to wine and dine your person, from dimly lit cocktail bars and cozy hideaways to candlelit bistros and everything in between.
photo credit: PHOTO CREDIT: GAB BONGHI
A romantic gesture might include bringing home flowers, making a slow jams playlist, or even getting a cute couple's photo framed. While any of these things might get you a little extra TLC, they can’t compare to an evening at Lark. From the balcony overlooking the Schuylkill to the fireplaces, candlelight, and glowing mirrors, the Mediterranean restaurant from the team behind Laurel feels like the most romantic place on earth. Before you’re seated, cuddle up by the patio fire pits, and get in the mood (for a fantastic meal). The plates of roasted beet mezzalune, citrusy grilled trout, and perfectly seared steak will make you feel especially warm and fuzzy inside.
photo credit: Rachel Lerro
Nestled in a South Philly rowhome, Townsend’s white tablecloths, vintage fireplaces, and decadent five-course tasting menu are straight-up swoonworthy (and feel a little bit like you’ve stepped back in time). You’ll definitely find other couples indulging in a celebratory meal–if you’re ordering a la carte, the beef tartare on toasted brioche and potato gnocchi are must-haves, but there’s no wrong order here. After dinner, grab seats at the lively first floor bar. It stays open late, so make a night of it.
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If red meat and a raw bar are the way to your heart (and money is no object), there’s no place better than Barclay Prime. The Rittenhouse spot has a chic gold, black, and white bar area for drinks and small plates, and a chandeliered, sexy library-esque dining room. Its glamour, quality, and excellent service rival that of a traditional steakhouse, but the dim lighting, plush velvet seating and house music feel more like a romantic lounge. Share the tuna tartare, Chilean sea bass, and BP cheesesteak with wagyu ribeye and foie gras for an unforgettably decadent evening.
photo credit: Rachel Lerro
Friday Saturday Sunday
This two-story Rittenhouse spot–one of the best restaurants in the city–has an intimate first-floor bar and a more formal dining space upstairs that's filled with candles, leather booths, and stained glass windows surrounded by worn-down shutters. It’s an atmosphere that’s somehow both relaxing and uber-sophisticated, and no matter where you sit you’ll have an unforgettable meal. Not sure how to say “I’m ready to share my Hulu account with you?” Let the crudo and caviar, confit artichokes, and lamb rib with cherry jus do the talking.
Few people know romance like the French, and few bars are more French than Le Caveau. The dark, sexy spot sits right above another of our favorite places, The Good King Tavern, and is like its mysterious older sister. Whether you’re bringing your long-term love or a first date, you’ll immediately impress just by knowing it exists. Their wine list is primarily made up of natural bottles, and they have a short menu of bar snacks with things like a hot dog wrapped in a baguette and salted chocolate mousse. You can order enough food to make a full dinner, but you should be coming here more for the wine and to channel your inner sexpot.
photo credit: Charlie was a sinner.
Charlie Was A Sinner
You can bring your non-vegetarian love interest to Charlie Was A Sinner, and they probably won’t even notice that it’s an entirely vegan bar. The narrow Midtown Village space is lined with wood paneling and velvet booths, lit by chandeliers, and reminds us of a set location for Eyes Wide Shut. They have innovative signature cocktails–we love the Untold Story, with sundew tea infused gin, passionfruit, and fresno chili–and small plates like spicy shishitos and “ricotta” that actually tastes like ricotta, perfect for sharing over flirtatious banter.
photo credit: Rachel Lerro
Technically, East Passyunk’s ITV (In The Valley) is a gastropub, but sparkling string lights, glowing mirrors and a marble bar don’t exactly scream “tavern.” The French-inspired menu is made up of shareable small plates like salmon tartare and butternut squash ravioli. But it’s the extensive wine list and cleverly named signature cocktails, like A State of Mind, with duck-fat washed bourbon, sage and bay leaf, that really set the mood. You could take a window seat up front to people watch, but we prefer the dimly lit booths tucked away in the back for a cozier evening.
If you bring a date to Jean-Georges, it should probably be for a very important anniversary or romantic occasion, or else your partner will be expecting a ring. Any meal located on the 59th floor of the Four Seasons is as romantic as it is luxurious, but Jean-Georges knocks it out of the park when it comes to dishes like egg toast piled high with caviar. If you’re looking to toast to getting through dinner without mentioning each others’ mothers, there’s also a champagne cart that goes well with the swanky interiors.