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Top Romantic Restaurants

Rooftops and seaside views, speakeasies, seafood, and fondue are the recurring themes on this list. These are the keys to creating a romantic setting, and choosing the most inspiring delicacies to offer a date.

Mama's Fish House

799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779
Maui's first fresh fish restaurant was founded by the Christensen family in 1973 and still serves imaginative seafood dishes like lobster guacamole and Tahitian ceviche.
Maui's north shore has myriad options for good food and great scenery, but Mama's Fish House might be the best destination for both. For almost forty years, this beach house turned restaurant has ... read more
offered visitors a scenic paradise to enjoy any special occasion. A coconut grove shades an open-aired deck overlooking a private, white sand beach and friendly servers deliver traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian fare, like wasabi crusted calamari and Ahi tuna caught only ten miles offshore.

Le Colonial

20 Cosmo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94109
French-Vietnamese cuisine in a lush, romantic setting make Le Colonial a top choice for San Franciscans and visitors in the mood for love.
Though the French-Vietnamese menu items can be a bit overpriced, Le Colonial is the perfect spot for a romantic night out or for a special dinner with friends. The restaurant hosts music in the lounge ... read more
above the restaurant almost every night - my favorite being Le Hot Jazz on Mondays. The gypsy-swing quartet plays while a small number of friendly dancers occupy the floor. Sit back to watch in one of the lounge's comfy chairs and sip on a custom cocktail.

Beauty and Essex

146 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002
A speakeasy style bar and restaurant on NYC's Lower East Side, Beauty and Essex is the perfect place to impress a date.
Getting a reservation is tough and this place definitely comes with plenty of attitude; however, the food, service and atmosphere are excellent so it is hard not to like Beauty and Essex. I'm a big ... read more
fan of the appetizers and desserts here. Love the grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings, chili and lime flavored corn, spicy edamame, and the flat breads. Everything we have had on both of my visits was excellent.


15 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DL, United Kingdom
This modern take on a Chinese teahouse is well loved for its dim sum since its launch in 2004. Its small dishes perfect for sharing create an air of romance.
Pricey but fantastic upscale dim sum. The real win - the mushroom spring rolls with truffle oil. They get pretty crowded, so plan ahead and make your reservation on Toptable.

Shadowbrook Restaurant

1750 Wharf Rd, Capitola, CA 95010
What could be more romantic than a sophisticated, Old World style dinner redolent of an elegant bygone era? Arriving there by cable car or a winding garden path.
If you want elegance, ambiance, and quality food, this is it. This is a place to go for special occasions, my cousin got married here, I choose it for birthdays. I can't say I've tried too many dishes ... read more
here - I'm a fan of the prime rib - not the huge, fat laden, flavorless version slapped on a plate so many places, but rather a reasonable portion, meaty with minimal fat, and super tender and flavorful. And after a great meal, the cute cable car will get you back up the hill!


1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
The rustic atmosphere juxtaposed with the modern floor to ceiling windows overlooking Hong Kong make Hutong a great place to get in the mood.
One of the most spectaular places to eat dinner in Hong Kong. Amazing views. Ask for a window table and sit down before 8pm to get a fabulous view of HK Island and the nightly lights show (on the ... read more
buildings). Must have dishes: chili crab and less famous but still a favorite is the shredded beef. If you want to stay on HK side, consider Shui Hu Jui in Soho (the much lower key and cheaper restaurant that came before Hutong and run by the same people. Less spectacular but much more intimate and food still great)

Extraordinary Desserts - Balboa Park

2929 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
Generally recognized as San Diego's best desserts, these cakes, often topped with fresh flowers, kill two romantic birds with one stone.
The desserts here should be considered the Monets of "Dessert-ism", and surely the photos speak louder than words. There are two locations and this review may serve as a review of both- they are quite ... read more
different yet have their own list of merits. The Little Italy location boasts a modern decor (as photographed), and if you can stomach it, actually has a great dinner menu. From fresh berry salads, to gourmet grilled cheese, to hummus appetizer platters, the food is fabulous and accordingly light. The real deal comes at dessert, where the entrance displays an array of options each more delicious than the one before. The second location across from Balboa Park is a cottage, home-y atmosphere and is strictly dessert and tea driven. The perfect after date touch for any of you romantics, it is the ideal spot to have a quiet chat and taste some unforgetable sweets. If you have a sweet tooth by nature, Extraordinary Desserts is your haven. Either location will do, you pick your poison ;)


1670 Coast Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
Fresh seafood, and cocktails with a killer view of the sunset. Keep it light with ginger day boat scallops or go decadent with the surf and turf.
The best spot in Del Mar to enjoy half-off happy hour specials and a gorgeous view of the sunset. The outdoor back seating area is ideal for oceanside dining. Definitely a romantic spot, but also ... read more
great for large groups!


448 South Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Another rooftop view graces this year's Romantic list, as LA's elevated resting place wins points for its location, roaring fires, and craft cocktails.
Feel like you're the king of the world, overlooking all of downtown. Perched on top- with indoor bar and lounge. Transports you to another time- a better time.


1199 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110-3026
Mixologists ready to create cocktails on the spot, in a buzzy, sophisticated atmosphere, with top-notch Italian small plates and inventive desserts like olive oil and sea salt ice cream create the kind of adventurous, fun atmosphere that can really set off sparks.
This little mission pizza/tapas restaurant has garnered quite the reputation over the last couple years-- and for good reason. If you're looking for a swanky-but-still-mission experience ... read more
(hip-but-smart casual), Beretta serves up fantastic small plates, yummy pizzas, and creative cocktails. Not content to rest on their reputation, the bar changes its cocktail menu rather frequently-- though the favorites are never off the list for long. Sit back and enjoy the show as one of the very skilled drink-smiths crafts your drink to taste-tested specifications. When you get your table/place at the community table (and you will likely have to wait. It's not usually packed on weeknights, but you may still have to wait for a spot), I have to suggest passing over the pizza (though it is good) in favor of trying as many of the small plates as you can. They're all quite good and tend to be fun/creative variations on traditional foods. This is probably not the best restaurant to head to alone or with a big group, but for 2-4 people looking for something a bit more special than a mission taqueria, Beretta won't disappoint.

Terraco Italia

Av. Ipiranga, 344, 41st floor. Sao Paulo, Brazil
Romantic fires are often lit in the first moment alone, or in a special, removed place.. In the teeming chaos of Sao Paolo, the rooftop restaurant is an excellent place to ignite a spark.
The food is not necessarily the most amazing, but the view from this traditional restaurant more than makes up for it. It's on the top floor, with a sweeping view of this crazy jungle of a metropolis. ... read more
You can just have drinks too, if you prefer...

Geja's Cafe

340 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Indulge in a fondue dinner with live flamenco guitar. The addition of blazing candles, warm light in the Chicago cold, secures Geja's a spot on the list.
I came here waiting and wanting to use a certificate, but only to give it away to the couple next door because we got in on their anniversary super special and got a way better ... read more
deal than the certificate was for. The setting was romantic, dark, the place is almost underground and there are candles everywhere. The staff was extra friendly and very accommodating with the fact that we had to run to a show within the hour and made everything for us quick quick quick! They do get crowded quickly and the tables are rather close so not only are you intimate with your date but ... also with everyone else. The tables are a bit cramped especially if you're ordering a set and they only do oil fondue which I wasn't as used to since I am used to La Fondue in Saratoga which does multiple flavors of soups. Either way, it was a great experience and the cheese and chocolate fondues were delicious. The vegetables are a bit ... large chunked but other than that no complaints.

Buddakan NY

75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
New York's elegant Chinese restaurant is a great place to hide away with a date over a long meal of dim sum, noodles, and elegant cocktails.
I first discovered this theatrical majestic restaurant, thanks to On Location Tours featuring Sex and the City hotspots. Fans of the TV show, and the 2 movies, may recognize the grand staircase from ... read more
the first movie where Carrie and Big celebrate their rehearsal dinner. The decor is surreal, with countless lounges and nooks for elegant dining, exuding a Hollywood feel. If you are looking for a restaurant to impress your date or celebrate a special event, Buddakan is it.

Le Jules Verne

2e Etage de la Tour Eiffel, Paris 75007, France
Take the elevator 125 meters up, and have an elegant French meal served by impeccably polished waiters, while listening to French softly spoken around you and gazing at the city's twinkling lights.
Set atop the Eiffel Tour, this ultra-exclusive restaurant blends the best of gourmet French cuisine with spectacular views of the city. Expensive but worth it, especially for a once-in-a-lifetime ... read more
occasion like a honeymoon. Reservations must be booked about 6 months in advance but it promises an amazing meal and the most romantic view of all of Paris.

Sarento's on the Beach

2980 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753
Overlooking the islands of Molokini, Lanai and Kaho'olawe, Sarento's serves Italian food sure to warm the stomach and the heart. If that doesn't work, the sunset surely will.
Stunning ocean front view and delicious italian cuisine. Super romantic spot and epic place to watch the sunset.

La Fondue - Saratoga

14550 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070
Gooey fondue served in myriad combinations in a romantic setting creates an otherworldy dining experience that lasts hours and finishes with the de rigeur melted chocolate.
La Fondue is a lovely little restaurant in Saratoga that is a perfect spot if you're looking for a dining experience that's a little different from the norm! Fondue, obviously, is the specialty, and ... read more
there are plenty of varieties of cheeses and meats to choose from. And don't forget the chocolate fondue for dessert! Oh la la...

RM Champagne Salon

116 North Green Street, Chicago, IL 60607
An unmarked door sets the tone right away, as you enter the Champagne Salon. Over the course of an evening sipping bubbly and nibbling on small plates, you just might fall in love.
What a beautiful hidden gem! The place is unmarked so look for the address outside and a doorman - the entrance is in the back. The place reminds me of a place you'd find in Europe. There's a great ... read more
outdoor courtyard with tables and the inside is sexy and dimly lit. Perfect for a date or a girly night out. Get a bottle of champagne and their seafood platter. Their seared foie gras and French macarons & PB&J truffle are also must orders.

Paradise Beach Grille

215 Esplanade, Capitola, CA 95010
This family-run restaurant wins romantic points for its oceanside setting, fresh salads, Braveheart beef and overall casual yet intimate ambiance.
Very light and romantic atmosphere, with amazing views out over the water. The regular dinner menu may be a little pricey, so be on the lookout for nights that have dinner specials. Paradise Beach ... read more
Grille also has a Happy Hour Monday-Friday, and is great place to meet up with friends for a few drinks.

Viajante -- CLOSED

Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London, Greater London E2 9NF
Chef Nuno Mendes sharpened his knife at the likes of El Bulli, and his defiantly East London Viajante serves appropriately imaginative, sometimes abstract cuisine. Choose between six, nine or twelve courses to savor with a sweetheart.
16/20; Food 8/10, Ambience 3/5, Service 5/5. Nuno Mendes' venture in the very stylish former Bethnal Green Town Hall turned hotel is a bit of a mixed bag, in my experience. The cooking promises much ... read more
and some of the dishes are fabulous explosions of flavour, with exciting new combinations for the palate to explore. Others however, are simply weird - and not just a matter of taste, with our whole table not convinced. All in all definitely an adventure for on the boundaries of London gastronomy though (literally also, given the location). The decor is a bit too nondescript for my tastes, but conversely will thereby not cause as much controversy as the food.

Gitane Restaurant & Bar

6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108
A contemporary Spanish menu served with love and flair by husband and wife team Bridget Batson and Patrick Kelly, complete with seasonal touches, Andalusian inspiration, and a selection of fine sherries. Sure to put some gypsy heat into a San Francisco evening.
What's a gypsy-themed restaurant? According to the founders of Café Claude, who opened Gitane several years ago, it means design and cuisine elements from gypsy culture and the countries where gypsies ... read more
have traditionally lived. The result is sexy, swanky décor; genius bartenders whipping up tasty tipples with a smile; and delicious food like bacon bon-bons and fresh bread. Though it's great for dinner, Gitane's bar also stands alone. Try the namesake cocktail or anything on the ever-changing cocktail menu.