The Most Romantic Restaurant in Every State
Dining out and romance have been inextricably linked since perhaps they first opened—all the way back in 1100 A.D. in China—packed with travelers looking for a hot meal on the road. Since then, restaurants have been a huge part of travel, and nothing is more romantic than tucking into an intimate, candlelit spot or toasting love with a jaw-dropping view.
With that in mind, we scoured reviews, talked to locals, and looked back on our own travels around the country to put together a definitive list of the most romantic restaurants in the United States.
Please note: All of the included restaurants are open as of publication, or offering takeout. However, with regulations changing almost daily (at least it seems like it!), please call or check the restaurant's website or social media before running out the door.
And for more, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.
ALABAMA: Galley and Garden in Birmingham
Located in Birmingham's historic Merritt House, Galley and Garden serves eclectic American cuisine both inside and on their heated patio. The charming restaurant is renowned for Alabama's most award-winning wine program and a strong focus on working with local farms to source the freshest products.
ALASKA: Jen's Restaurant and Wine Bar in Anchorage
Highly recommended by online reviewers, this homey spot features a warm red interior covered with local art. The classic American menu features Alaskan seafood heavily, including Alaskan King Salmon and grilled Kodiak Scallops.
NOTE: Jen's is closed on Feb. 14, but you can order a "take and bake" option to pick up on Feb. 13 and enjoy at home on Valentine's Day.
ARIZONA: Different Pointe of View in Phoenix
It's all about the views at this restaurant 1,800 feet above Phoenix. Enjoy mountain views, gorgeous sunsets, and upscale locally sourced food from a stunning patio.
ARKANSAS: Cache Restaurant in Little Rock
Set in Little Rock's River Market, this fine-dining spot serves a classic American menu with a Southern twist. Try the pork chops with maple glaze, or blackened shrimp and grits with creole broth, and if you hit brunch with your love, split the house-made cinnamon rolls.
CALIFORNIA: Gary Danko in San Francisco
This Michelin-starred San Fran spot is one of the many romantic restaurants in California, but Gary Danko's intimately lit space makes it extra special. The award-winning spot is currently offering much of its menu for takeaway, and you won't want to miss the lemon pepper duck breast.
COLORADO: Pepper Tree in Colorado Springs
With breathtaking views of the Colorado Springs skyline, this high-end steak and seafood spot has been thrilling diners since 1983. Reviewers love that many dishes—including the bananas foster—are prepared tableside.
CONNECTICUT: Fresh Salt in Old Saybrook
Nestled between Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River in quaint Old Saybrook, Fresh Salt offers New American cuisine—try the Sriracha calamari—stunning views of the water and of course, sunsets.
DELAWARE: Le Cavalier in Wilmington
The recently redesigned restaurant in Wilmington's Hotel Du Pont is a contemporary brasserie that finds menu inspiration in France and North Africa, as well as New Orleans. The soaring wood ceilings and cozy velvet booths will put you in the mood, and takeout is available for those who would rather dine at home.
FLORIDA: Little Pearl in Key West
While there are plenty of restaurants with stunning views in Key West, we love Little Pearl for a romantic night out. Tuck into this cozy seafood spot and you'll feel miles away from touristy downtown, and order seafood fresh off the boat from the imaginative tasting menu.
GEORGIA: Five and Ten in Athens
With a heated patio in a beautiful historic house, Top Chef regular Hugh Acheson's James Beard award-winning Athens mainstay is an unfussy delight for a romantic dinner. We think the pimento cheese with bacon marmalade is the perfect starter.
HAWAII: Michel's at the Colony Surf in Honolulu
Located in Honolulu at the foot of Diamond Head, this classic, French-inspired restaurant serves up stunning views of Waikiki beach. Get the bananas flambeed tableside with rum for dessert!
IDAHO: Il Sugo Italian Kitchen in Boise
"Atmosphere: Cute, quaint, quiet, and romantic. It's a perfect Date Night joint," one Yelp reviewer wrote of this Boise spot. You can't go wrong with any of the pasta choices.
ILLINOIS: Oceanique in Chicago
Opentable listed this Chicago spot as one of the most romantic restaurants in the state, and we'd have to agree. "It's on the pricier side, but the presentation and service are both excellent, and the wine recommendations are always good," one OpenTable reviewer wrote. Sounds like the perfect Valentine's Day spot to us!
INDIANA: St. Elmo's Steakhouse in Indianapolis
If bustling and buzzy is your thing, along with shrimp cocktail and steaks the size of your head, make a reservation at this classic steakhouse with a gorgeous bar just made for whiling away the evening.
IOWA: Cobble Hill in Cedar Rapids
Named for the Brooklyn neighborhood, Cobble Hill is just the type of cozy spot that's perfect for a Valentine's Day meal. The menu features French dishes like cassoulet and steak frites.
KANSAS: The White Linen in Topeka
Snuggle into a black velvet booth in this cozy restaurant located in a historic building in Topeka for a romantic tasting menu that offers treats like filet mignon and roast quail.
KENTUCKY: The Miller House in Owensboro
If you're looking for comfort food this Valentine's Day, The Miller House is the place to go. The menu boasts entries like fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, meatloaf, and shrimp and grits.
LOUISIANA: N7 in New Orleans
This French restaurant and wine bar makes outdoor dining feel romantic. Try the escargot tempura or the duck liver pâté.
MAINE: Pearl Kennebunk & Spat Oyster Cellar in Kennebunk
Is there anything more romantic than a plate of oysters? Don't miss the lobster stew, either.
MARYLAND: Antrim 1844 in Taneytown
Looking for a staycation this Valentine's Day weekend? Antrim 1844 is offering a special Valentine's Day package. And, yes, it includes a six-course dinner for two.
MASSACHUSETTS: Woods Hill Pier 4 in Boston
With sweeping views of Boston harbor and the city, Woods Hill Pier 4 has a big advantage when it comes to romance. Heated outdoor igloos and creative cuisine sourced from owner Kristin Canty's farm seal the deal. Standouts include the house-made popovers and sunflower risotto.
MICHIGAN: Savannah Blue in Detroit
One of the sexiest restaurants you'll dine in, Savannah Blue serves contemporary American soul food like spicy crab cakes and sophisticated seafood boils, with a side of excellent people watching and a live piano player.
MINNESOTA: The Kenwood Restaurant in Minneapolis
Find romance with a European-style bistro vibe at this Minneapolis favorite that's closed on Mondays for "bacon prepping." With a room that invokes a Midwest hunting club and a sophisticated menu that features a full pheasant dinner, romance is only a bite (and cocktail) away.
MISSISSIPPI: Walkers Drive-In in Jackson
A stylish bistro serving Southern fare, Jackson's Walkers' focuses on local products and sustainable seafood in a warm, casual space. Kick off the romance and share the fried green tomatoes!
MISSOURI: Le Fou Frog in Kansas City
Tucked into Kansas City's River Market, this French-inspired spot has the coziest, semi-private booths, fondue specials, and a martini menu sure to spark romance.
MONTANA: The Jawbone in White Sulphur Springs
Owned by twin sisters, the White Sulphur Springs restaurant is cozy, fun, and features specials like walleye, creative cocktails, and decadent desserts like almond cake with cranberry curd.
NEBRASKA: Le Bouillon in Omaha
Located in Omaha's historic Old Market, this art-filled spot offers a creative spin on classic French cuisine with crowd-pleasers like chicken and crepes. For Valentine's Day and other holidays, they offer a tasting menu for dine-in or to go.
NEVADA: Prime Steakhouse in Las Vegas
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a culinary institution in Las Vegas, with multiple awards under his belt, but Prime Steakhouse is our pick for the most romantic. Not only can you look forward to an award-worthy meal, but the view overlooking the Bellagio's musical fountains is unparalleled. Don't be surprised to see an engagement or two while you dine!
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth
Cozy and romantic, the historic waterfront mainstay was a 2020 James Beard awards semi-finalist for hospitality. The Portsmouth restaurant is known for its eclectic, vegetarian-friendly menu, and the seafood paella is a standout.
NEW JERSEY: Saddle River Inn in Saddle River
Set in an elegantly restored sawmill, the Saddle River spot has been a favorite since 1981. Cozy and romantic, the restaurant offers custom florals at the table (call in advance) and a menu packed with Prime dry-aged beef, line-caught seafood, and local, organic produce.
NEW MEXICO: Campo at Los Poblanos in Albuquerque
Part of an organic farm in the Rio Grande Valley, Campo has one of the best field-to-fork menus in the Southwest. You'll dine in a rustic romantic room with an excellent wine list, and we can personally recommend anything on the menu with green chilies.
NEW YORK: Il Buco Alimentari in New York City
New York City has no shortage of romantic restaurants, but Il Buco is one of our favorites. Offering comforting and cozy artisanal pasta, the restaurant is offering a Valentine's Day tasting menu to go, which should tide diners over until they can enjoy the ambiance of the renovated antiques-store-turned-restaurant again.
NORTH CAROLINA: Fearrington House Restaurant in Pittsboro
Located just outside of Chapel Hill, Fearrington House has an understated elegance and a roaring fireplace, along with a seasonal menu heavy on fresh fish and American classics.
NORTH DAKOTA: Pirogue Grille in Bismarck
Find elegance in downtown Bismarck with the Grille's exposed brick and open kitchen, where chefs are creating dishes like house-made venison sausage, pheasant pasta with artichoke hearts and mushrooms, and sautéed North Dakota bison medallions with Bordelaise sauce.
OHIO: Dante in Cleveland
Michelin Starred Chef Dante Boccuzzi's eponymous Cleveland restaurant is a celebrated destination reflecting international influences, housed in a former bank building. You'll definitely want to leave room to split the three-course tasting dessert menu with your date!
OKLAHOMA: Cheever's Cafe in Oklahoma City
Set a cozy home once owned by the Cheevers, a local Oklahoma City couple who ran a flower shop out of the historic location, the restaurant is named for the couple who formerly owned the charming space. The menu is contemporary American, and reviewers rave about the blue cheese potato chips.
OREGON: Ariana in Bend
On the west side of Bend, you'll find New American cuisine created from the bounty of the northwest, and an extensive wine list—if you don't know Oregon wine country, get with it—in a cozy craftsman bungalow.
PENNSYLVANIA: Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia
Nothing says love like a tasting menu, and Chef Marc Vetri's Philly destination, housed in a charming Spruce Street townhouse, features an award-winning Italian menu and service that's always top-notch.
RHODE ISLAND: Camille's in Providence
We're a sucker for a classic, and this Providence eatery has been serving classic Italian dishes on Federal Hill for over 100 years. Enjoy a meal—the stuffed chicken saltimbocca is to die for—in the dining room or on the patio during warm months.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Butcher & Bee in Charleston
There is no shortage of delicious, romantic restaurants in Charleston, but the Southern-meets-Mediterranean fare at Butcher and Bee stands out. Share the kebab platters and crispy half chicken while sitting on the expansive outdoor patio.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Delmonico Grill in Rapid City
This lovely and romantic steakhouse promises the best in local cuisine with a seasonally changing menu in a sophisticated space filled with cozy booths, so you can toast your love (and sneak a kiss).
TENNESSEE: Margot Cafe in Nashville
Set in a repurposed service station, this warm, comfortable Nashville bistro is a favorite of locals and visitors, with a "Tuscan- and Provençal-inspired" menu that changes daily.
TEXAS: Gemma in Dallas
Located in Dallas' Knox/Henderson nabe, this seasonally inspired bistro's shrimp and mussel curry is a must order. The sparkling tile floors and breezy patio offer the chance to turn up the romance with coconut cream pie and a cocktail, or order favorites to go.
UTAH: The Nelson Cottage by High West in Park City
Part of the Park City-based High West distillery, The Nelson Cottage is where you'll find the brand's award-winning spirits in delicious cocktails, along with a prix fixe menu with Niman Ranch beef selections. This year, the restaurant is fighting the cold with heated igloos that will make for the most romantic evening.
VERMONT: Prince and the Pauper in Woodstock Village
Located in the center of charming Woodstock Village, this cozy spot offers a very well priced prix fixe menu of New England sourced meats and produce, including cheeses from the famous Jasper Hill Farms.
VIRGINIA: Alexander's in Roanoke
Sophisticated, unpretentious dining is on the menu at this Roanoke mainstay, housed in an 1880s-era office supply building that's been remade into a chic bistro. You'll find a classic menu of shrimp and grits and lamb chops that's available for takeaway.
WASHINGTON: The Pink Door in Seattle
Hip and elegant, this rustic Italian eatery is a Seattle favorite dating back to 1981. Pick up a well-priced three-course dinner for takeout, like beef short ribs or the restaurant's famous risotto.
WEST VIRGINIA: Cafe Cimino Country Inn in Sutton
Southern hospitality, candlelight, and award-winning food make this elegant Sutton spot a perfect pick. On the menu, you'll find classic Southern Italian dishes mixed with Salvadoran and New American, sourced from the best local, organic, and farm-raised foods.
WISCONSIN: Ristorante Bartolotta in Wauwatosa
An Italian wine bar and restaurant tucked into a village outside Milwaukee, the award-winning Ristorante Bartolotta is known for exceptional service and mouth-watering ricotta-porcini mushroom dumplings.
WYOMING: Snake River Grill in Jackson
Celebrating 25 years in Jackson's town square, the Snake River Grill is a fixture of Jackson Hole's dining scene, loved by locals and visitors for unique dishes like elk steak and upscale rustic ambiance.