The Best Seattle Restaurants For Date Night
You can do better than Trader Joe's snacks and Nicolas Cage movies on the couch (even though that sounds great). Here are the best restaurants for date night in Seattle.
Date night can be many things: a chance to impress someone new who you’re pretty sure likes you back, an opportunity to turn up the romance when the honeymoon period fizzles out, or simply a monthly effort to keep this thing afloat.
For all of these situations and everything in between, here’s your cheat sheet to date night in Seattle—because you shouldn’t have to worry about your choice of restaurant when you have more important things to think about, like whether you remembered to buy Tic Tacs, or an anniversary gift.
If you put a lot of money into things like Smeg appliances or sensory deprivation tank Groupons, you may not be able to make that trip to Italy you’ve been planning. But it’s not a problem, because you have Spinasse. You can watch pasta being made in the back of the restaurant all night long, the Aperol cocktails are fantastic (especially paired with fried zucchini blossoms for snacking), and the food, like tajarin with fragrant sage butter, fresh cavatelli with braised short rib, and milk-braised pork with semolina gnocchi is outstanding enough for you to decide that staying in America is just fine. Plus, you don’t have to deal with jet lag.
photo credit: Chona Kasinger
The only catch with Spinasse is that you really have to plan ahead to get in. If you didn’t do that, San Fermo works well. This dark, rickety old house is packed with eerie old photographs and slightly decaying shiplap, as well as delicious housemade pasta, including saffron spaghetti bolognese and the best carbonara in town. Order both and split them.
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At Sushi Kashiba, you’ll never have to wonder about the quality of the hamachi, or the temperature of the sushi rice, or the amount of wasabi dolloped within your nigiri. A night at this seafood institution is going to be perfect, and the couple hundred dollars you’ll spend on raw fish will be worth it—whether you’re at a table or you showed up an hour or so before opening to secure seats at the counter. It’s all a blur of sake, soy-basted tuna, silky uni, fried prawn heads, and a sweet egg finale that we wish was available at the supermarket. If you’re looking to connect with someone you love through a powerful experience that isn’t tandem bungee jumping, this is the place.
Sometimes you’d like to treat a date to a tasting menu, but those can get pricey—especially if you might be trying to save up for a ring (if your significant other sent this guide to you, consider the hint officially dropped). Tomo’s outstanding dinner tasting is around $78, which is one of the more reasonably-priced ones in Seattle. From start to finish, it’s a seasonally-changing voyage, from the charred squash bits floating in stracciatella cream and polkadots of chile and dandelion oil to the extravagant kakigori topped with fluffy cheese whip you should absolutely add on for $20. And if you need to give yourself a quick pep talk in the restroom before asking if they’ll go halfsies on a Costco membership, there are soothing whale noises to ground you.
Nothing says, “be mine, baby” like sitting across from your significant other in a glowing dining room with dainty china plates and raw cow torsos on display. Bateau is a date night no-brainer if you enjoy eating beef in any and every form—as one of many limited-quantity nightly cuts, rendered down as a fat soak for the pomme frites, or ground to make the best burger in the entire city. Don’t hold us responsible if you accidentally say “I love you too, Bateau” instead of your sweetie’s name later that night.
The Pink Door
The Pink Door goes above and beyond the usual date night requirements. There’s a secret entrance, upscale trattoria surroundings, incredible Italian food, personal bottles of prosecco, excellent service, and the occasional acrobat suspended above you on silks. The tasteful pomp and circumstance of it all makes it a place where you’ll want to break out the nice outfit that’s been giving you puppy eyes from the back of your closet for months. This should be your first choice for an anniversary, Valentine’s day, or a one-on-one birthday dinner. You could even pop the question here by getting your server to wedge the ring in between layers of the city’s best lasagna.
photo credit: Suzi Pratt
Date night is all about sharing everything, except maybe stories about your Minecraft server or reasons why you can’t stop thinking about your ex. The southern food and bourbon cocktails at Communion are so good that the only proper way to experience it is split in half with someone you might like to hold hands with. You should order any dish involving the cornmeal-crusted catfish, whether it’s rolled up with pickled vegetables and watermelon hot sauce inside nori, topped with shrimp-y Creole sauce on a heap of fantastic grits, or stuffed inside a cross between a po’boy and bánh mì. Round things out with a platter of black-eyed pea hummus, zippy zhug, creamy collard green dip, and hoe cakes.
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This semi-casual Mediterranean restaurant on Beacon Hill possesses all the fuzzy feelings of a coastal bed and breakfast (thanks to ostrich-patterned wallpaper, white moldings, and fresh bread smells). So you’ll probably feel at home here with a date passing back and forth buttery lamb ragu over tahini or squash with fermented poblanos like the blame during a quarrel you might have later about baseball or the laundry. Don’t worry—the roast chicken with fruit sauce and a pita soaked in jus followed by a sesame brittle soft serve sundae heals all.
Eden Hill is the kind of place where you’ll step inside and encounter a sea of couples. We’re not sure if they’re all romantically involved, but we do know that this Queen Anne spot works wonders for a special two-person meal. The menu is full of dishes like savory French toast with dungeness crab, cauliflower chilaquiles with lime cream and manchego, and foie gras-infused cake batter with sprinkles served in an overturned mixing bowl with the spatula included. If you’re still riding the high of having found a babysitter for the night, you could order the $95 per person tasting menu, which is a surprise each evening.
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photo credit: Nate Watters
The Harvest Vine
At first glance, this tapas bar in Madison Valley doesn’t slap you across the face with romantic energy. But once you descend down a flight of stairs, see the cavernous stone-paved wine cellar full of candlelit bistro tables, and barely get interrupted by the servers, it becomes clear quickly that the date night tone has officially been set. You’re here to lounge among the dusty Tempranillo and gaze upon your cutie in between mouthfuls of jamón, tortilla española, olives, and sherry-blasted button mushrooms.
Il Nido is perfect for a date that’s all about those three words: smoked pork chop. This Italian spot located in the Alki Homestead building is basically one rustic log away from being the wealthy in-law’s wilderness cabin in a Hallmark Christmas movie, and we like it that way. While we’re fans of the small plates and certain pastas (go with the peppery wild boar ragu over anything else), you should really come here for this “wow” of a pork chop. Tenderly smoked with a great char and topped with salsa verde, bitter radicchio, and pear to sweeten things up, this hunk of meat should impress someone way better than beef wellington, an iced tray of oysters, or removing your clothing.
File Single Shot under your “date night secret weapons.” The whole establishment is just one small room with a marble bar and a candle on every table, and the subdued moodiness makes you feel far removed from the sidewalk-shaking bass drops of Pike/Pine. Plus, it’s always easy to book a table. For a low-key date, grab some cocktails and small plates, including the great margherita flatbread topped with prosciutto. Or, if you’re feeling really romantic, spring for a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape alongside a New York strip with blue cheese and duck fat potatoes, while passionately promising never to leave the fridge water pitcher empty ever again.
Copine is inherently impressive by design. The space is sleek, but still feels intimate—thanks to chocolatey-wooden furniture and a Glassybaby on every table—and the mostly-French menu is excellent. Among the crudos, smoked pork bellies, housemade agnolotti, tempura-battered salmon topped with roe, and exquisite cuts of beef is Copine’s greatest contribution to the world: a warm brioche thyme roll. It’s fluffy, a little earthy, and when you cut it open to layer on some fresh butter, it’s much steamier than whatever happens after dinner.
The Corson Building
The Corson Building is a great farm-to-table restaurant that comes in handy for literally every 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—overlooking wood nymph sculptures and string lights—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. Not to get ahead of ourselves.
Sometimes you just want pizza chased with a diner glass of middle-tier sparkling wine as you high-five someone rad across the table because they like jigsaw puzzles and Goldfinger’s cover of “99 Red Balloons” too. Cornuto is a great Neapolitan pizzeria in Greenwood where you can eat bubbly pies drizzled with chile oil and pop marinated Castelvetrano olives in your mouth as you sit in the darkness of their narrow space. Plus, they have a charming back patio for the warmer months (you even get a candle back there).