The Definitive List of the Most Romantic Restaurants in NYC for Every Occasion
A beautiful romantic dinner in NYC is the stuff of dreams (and rom-coms). But with 27,000 restaurants, finding the most romantic restaurants in NYC can be overwhelming—unless, of course, you have help. That's why we've combed the city for the most romantic restaurants in NYC to supplement your date night ideas.
Whether you want the ultimate five-star luxury dining experience, dinner with an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline, or the perfect cozy French bistro, we got you. Ditto if you're looking for the best Italian cuisine in NYC or the newest "it" restaurant with the coolest vibes. We've even tracked down the most affordable local date spots in NYC for a casual night out. And we've covered all the bases when it comes to the best options for Valentine's Day, anniversary dinners, birthday celebrations, rehearsal dinners, and the best place to propose. Check out our list of the 39 most romantic restaurants in NYC before planning your next date.
Veronika, Nomad, Manhattan
For a romantic night filled with fine art and equally artful cuisine, you cannot go wrong with Veronika. Located inside Manhattan's buzzy Fotografiska museum, this grand restaurant makes an immediate impression with its opulent high ceilings, chandeliers, and charismatic photography. (The Salt-N-Pepa portrait is particularly magical, and pairs perfectly with the restaurant's addictive soundtrack.) Take a seat on the lush velvet couches in the dining room or by the black marble tables at the glamorous bar, and soak in the vibes of bohemian New York society as you indulge on succulent Porterhouse steak, crisp beet salad, and Strawberries & Cream Meringue by chef Robert Aikens. True to its high art setting, the food at Veronika looks just as good on Instagram as it tastes—in other words, a masterpiece.
Raoul's, Soho, Manhattan
This Soho classic has been romancing couples since it opened back in 1975. Considered a New York establishment, Raoul's has remained mostly unchanged, serving classic French fare with New Orleans inspired flair. No wonder patrons from far and wide who keep going back for its coziness and seductive decor. (There's a particularly memorable photo of Marilyn Monroe by the legendary lensman Bert Stern above a back booth.) The perfect place to have a long, intimate dinner, Raoul's is also a secret saving grace for picky eaters—besides jumbo roast crab beignets and jambalaya-style risotto, they're also famed for their plain (and perfect) hamburger and fries.
Darling, Midtown East, Manhattan
If you are looking for one of the most beautiful rooftop restaurants in NYC, take the elevator to Darling, located on the 47th floor of the luxurious Park Lane Hotel. Perfect for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, Darling's offers a mesmerizing view of the Manhattan skyline that's particularly love-drenched at sunset. Inside, patrons can marvel at the gorgeous interior design, which features murals embracing the warmth and elegance of Central Park. (Coincidentally, it's just a few blocks away!) While you dine on seafood towers and caviar grilled cheese, and sip on a Harry's Old Fashioned, you'll likely fall in love with your partner—and New York City—all over again.
Le Jardinier, Midtown East, Manhattan
You may not think of midtown as the most romantic place, but this upscale restaurant that serves much of corporate Manhattan during the day becomes a hotbed of sophisticated romance come sunset thanks to its mood lighting and lush green marble floors and seats. This beautiful restaurant is perfect for a Valentine's Day dinner, especially if you love an exquisite, vegetable-focused menu—Le Jardinier is French for "the gardener"— rooted in seasonal dishes from local farms. (There's also an extensive list of cocktails and a French-focused wine list to complement them perfectly.) Feel like lingering for a nightcap? Head upstairs afterward to Bar Bastion, an intimate new hotspot where award-winning mixologist Rachel Prucha curates a rotating selection of gorgeous drinks.
Trust Bae, Nomad, Manhattan
Though it's designed as a counter-style tasting experience, Trust Bae still gives its diners a surprising level of intimacy, allowing you and your date to embark on a memorable food adventure together. The Japanese-style menu with Filipino flair comes from Celebrity Chef Frances Tariga ("Top Chef", "Beat Bobby Flay"), and features a 16-course tasting menu that's perfect for a long night of conversation to take your relationship to the next level. Many of the dishes feature foundational ingredients from the Philippines—rice, coconut, palm sugar and vinegar—paired with more elevated ingredients, techniques, and presentations, including unique vessels designed by Chef Tariga himself to complement each dish. With its unique flavor palates and creative dining format, a dinner at Trust Bae will leave you talking for hours.
Tartine, West Village, Manhattan
It is no wonder this West Village staple has a line out the door all year, even when it's freezing! Tartine is the perfect affordable, romantic, and cozy restaurant, with a snug layout reminiscent of Left Bank bistros in Paris that encourage close conversation and lingering glances. With its ideal location on the corner of 11th street, you'll have plenty of opportunities for prime people-watching. (Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler are just some of the restaurant's most-famous neighbors, but plenty of equally fascinating artists and musicians live nearby, too.) With classic French bistro fare like steak frites, you really can't go wrong with Tartine's delicious and budget-friendly menu, but if you're stuck, we recommend (and frequently eat!) the mussels mariniere in a buttery white wine broth.
Aldama, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Dark cozy corners? Check. Delicious unique Mexican cuisine? Check. A romantic night out whether it's your first date or 105th? Check. If you're looking for some of the best Mexican food in New York—but also a cool, romantic vibe—then look no further than Aldama. The menu draws inspiration from Mexico City street food, and is known for Carne Cecina—a salted, smoked meat dish—perfected by Michelen-starred chef Gerardo Alcaraz. Leaning vegetarian? Try the jaw-dropping daikon tostada and the restaurant's signature vegan mole, which is every bit as good as the original. Pro tip: During the warmer months, try to snag a table at Aldama's open-air patio, which gives you a glimpse of the stars.
Cosme, Flatiron, Manhattan
Sometimes, romance isn't candlelight and roses—it's sizzling chile adobo and an ice cold mezcal margarita. In that case, Cosme is your new favorite romantic restaurant in NYC. The buzziest restaurant of the 2010s continues to hold sway with celebrities and food critics alike thanks to its inspired takes on Mexican cuisine from founding chef Enrique Olvera, including a lobster al pastor and duck carnitas that are mandatory fare for foodies worldwide. For extra date night flair, order shared plates like the conch tostada.
Vinateria, Harlem, Manhattan
The perfect fusion of Italian and Spanish cuisine executed flawlessly by Chef Carmen Gonzales, Vinatería exudes quaint romance with its daily specials written out on a chalkboard and visible from the small dining room's intimate tables. Everything is made in-house, with herbs harvested fresh from the restaurant's own garden, and small plates that make adventurous orders and intimate sharing part of the fun. This is a perfect place for a special occasion with your loved one… or just a fun weeknight date for no reason.
Per Se, Upper West Side, Manhattan
Real talk: You will not find a more elite dining experience than the three-Michelin-starred Per Se. Chef Thomas Keller has designed a true luxury dining experience—and a romantic one at that. The nine-course tasting menu, and its vegetarian-friendly nine-course vegetable tasting menu, escort the diner on a culinary journey of astounding variety. (As in, not even one ingredient is repeated throughout the meal.) The service, the caliber of the food, and the ambiance—which includes a stellar view of Columbus Circle and the surrounding Central Park West—will make for an incredibly rare experience. Essentially, Per Se is the home run of romantic date spots.
Bar Cicchetti in Chelsea, Manhattan
Do not write off Bar Cicchetti as just a run-of-the-mill Hilton hotel restaurant. For starters, the hotel it's in, The Motto Chelsea, is anything but basic thanks to its Valley of the Dolls aesthetic, with a drench of jewel tones across its velvet chairs, leather banquettes, and bold lighting installations. Its loungy atmosphere gets even more sensuous thanks to its inspired menu, including their famous roast chicken, porcini mushrooms, roasted corn stuffing, and roasted cod with lemon grits by chef Fabio Viviani. Put simply, it's a ball!
La Marchande, Financial District, Manhattan
A night of classic New York style can begin and end at La Marchande, the highly stylized French brasserie in the middle of the newly opened Wall Street Hotel. Adorned with exquisite interior details like the raw bar made entirely of nacre, this social epicenter of the Financial District is the perfect dinner stop after cocktails at The Lounge on Pearl, which features gorgeous murals of old New York and some of the best martinis south of Canal. Every table at this place is a winner, but you can reserve one of the two private corner mini-rooms if you're looking for some privacy to ask a certain big question… (Not to sound like your mother or anything.)
Saint Theo's, West Village, Manhattan
Thanks to its model / CEO clientele and lush Italian decor, Saint Theo's will feel very White Lotus Season 2—minus the whole murder part—especially when you take in the sceney restaurant's Murano glass sconces and Pirelli calendars. If you want to impress your date even more than by simply scoring a reservation (which is actually pretty hard!), try ordering one of the off-the-menu dishes like the cappellacci ravioli. Though any seat at Saint Theo's is coveted, sitting in the smaller secluded Venice Bar lounge makes this truly one of the most romantic restaurants in NYC.
Avra Rockefeller Center, Midtown, Manhattan
Mamma Mia! This new Rockefeller Center restaurant inspired by the glamour of the Greek isles is the epitome of a dazzling date spot, and the location is especially convenient if you're catching a Broadway show or concert at Radio City. (Avra is also mere steps from the Saturday Night Live set, making it a popular spot for guest hosts and series regulars alike, especially after dress rehearsals on Friday.) Though it's located in the former Time-Life Building instead of the shores of Mykonos, fresh seafood is the specialty here, which means you and your date can pick from a variety of East Coast oysters, grilled octopus, and fresh fish by the pound. All their dishes are made to share, and with more than 30 options of wines by the glass and an extensive dessert list (hello, chocolate yogurt cheesecake), Avra is a perfect restaurant for birthday dinners or celebrations.
Gair, Dumbo, Brooklyn
If you time it right with the lighting, Gair may be the perfect place for a proposal, thanks to its prime location at 41 Washington Street—aka "the most Instagrammed intersection in New York." Outside, catch the admittedly stunning view of the Brooklyn bridge against the East River. Then head inside to celebrate with fun cocktails like the Bend and Schnapp. (We could not make this up, but we're glad someone else did.) Gair also has tasty bites to share, including charcuterie and deviled eggs, plus playful takes on street food like elevated fish and chips, along with a "smashburger" that features the perfect ratio of cheese, meat, and freshly-baked bun.
The Swan Room, Dimes Square, Manhattan
It helps that the new Nine Orchard hotel has taken residence in the latest "it" neighborhood in New York City, Dimes Square. It also helps that at Nine Orchard, you get two unique dining experiences in one location: the cozy romantic restaurant setting of Corner Bar and the modern opulence (think two-tiered chandeliers made with upcycled wood and antique library lightbulbs) of Swan Room. With the original vaulted ceilings of the former Jarmulowsky Bank, combined with a menu of biodynamic wines and a caviar service option, this new hotspot is a 10/10 for your ambiance and your tastebuds alike.
Ophelia, Midtown East, Manhattan
There's something romantic about knowing that restaurant has a vivid past, and Ophelia dominates in this department. The Art Deco-inspired rooftop lounge is nestled at the tippy top of the legendary Beekman Tower—and back in the 1920s, it was a women's only club and hotel before it became Frank Sinatra's neighborhood hideout whenever Ol' Blue Eyes was in town. The skyline views at Ophelia make for the perfect romantic setting, but you will also be dazzled by the jewel-box interior and cocktails by Bar Director Amir Babayoff with light bites to match. It's also a great option for a Christmas dinner in New York City or a holiday party, as come December it transforms into a crystal snowflake palace known affectionately as the Snow Globe in the Sky.
Madame George, Midtown West, Manhattan
You might walk right by Madame George's very subtle entrance the first time you enter—but once you find this secluded speakeasy, you will not be disappointed. The subterranean cocktail lounge pays homage to old New York in the best way: through delicious cocktails. For out-of-towners, this will be a lesson in history and for New Yorkers, the menu serves as a beautiful love letter to the city. Curl up in one of the handmade seats from Ireland in a small room off the main bar for a little bit more privacy and opt for the Algonquin Cocktail No. 2 (a favorite of Dorothy Parker), or Nuts 4 Nuts, made from nut butter right down the street on Fifth Avenue! Just steps away from Broadway and Radio City, Madame George's is the perfect location for catching a show, but you may just end up staying the whole night.
Figaro Café, Soho, Manhattan
If your idea of romance springs from New York's bohemian scene of the '50s and '60s, then Figaro Café is the perfect restaurant for you and your Beat Generation fantasies. The original Le Figaro was once the stomping ground for icons such as Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, and Joan Baez; it's now been reimagined as the Figaro Café, a romantic cocktail bar, and restaurant. The newly renovated space incorporates its vintage roots into the interior design style—wide banquettes, fluted wood, large mirrors, deep chairs, and the 25-foot bar with a library ladder— so you will feel some of that magic nostalgia while you make new memories (and perhaps write the next great folk song while eating truffle + grape flatbread with a signature bar steak; who knows).
Principe, Soho, Manhattan
This luxury dining experience was created by the team at Eleven Madison Park, but Principe is no copycat. The modern Italian hotspot distinguishes itself as its own fine dining experience in Soho thanks to artful decor and a seafood-forward menu that incorporates Chef Abram Bissell's Italian roots. This blending aspect is also seen in the restaurant's interior design, with exposed beams in the dining room mixed with elegant chandeliers and velvet banquettes so comfortable, you won't want to leave. (Got a date night? Be sure to request the corner banquet table.) The Charcoal Roasted Turbot & Lobster for Two may be the perfect option for you and your date, especially on a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary.
The Regency Bar & Grill, Upper East Side, Manhattan
Regency Bar & Grill on Park Avenue is a classic New York destination for a reason: because it's as delicious as it is beautiful. The storied uptown restaurant has served some of New York's most elite residents in its 60+ years—and of course it's been name-dropped on Gossip Girl, too—with a level of intimacy and quietness that fosters personal connection, even among VIPs. Recently, they added a celebratory cocktail called the Diamond Jubilee that features Patron El Alto Tequila Reposado, Aperol, and Lillet Blanc. For maximum Instagram-vibes, a chilled with a diamond stone-shaped ice cube is topped with champagne and dusted with gold flakes. And every year, Regency Bar & Grill is one of the best romantic Valentine's Day restaurants in NYC thanks to its specially prepared 4-course menu.
Osteria 57, West Village, Manhattan
The West Village is arguably the coziest neighborhood in NYC, and Osteria 57 is located in an actual townhouse, you will truly feel like you are in a storybook… or at least an episode of Sex and the City. The quaint entrance of this restaurant brims with flowers and greenery, and every nook is the perfect intimate setting to dine on housemade pasta and Italian wines. With special local touches from Chef Riccardo Orfino's daily trip to the Union Square Market, this is classic Italian cuisine at its finest.
The River Café, Dumbo, Brooklyn
First of all, let's start with the view. After walking through The River Café's dramatic entryway filled with lanterns and the greenhouse, there's a spectacular glimpse of the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, and of course, the East River. That view is great for brunch, cocktails, or dinner—but if you can catch the sunset with a window table, the River Café is an ideal setting for a proposal. (Ask for one of these tables when you make your reservation, as well as some help from the staff.) This Michelin-starred establishment serves upscale fare like lobster and wagyu beef, making it ideal for special occasions like birthday dinners and anniversaries. For dessert, get the miniature version of the Brooklyn Bridge rendered in chocolate.
Panorama Room, Roosevelt Island, Manhattan
For a date that feels like an adventure, head to the Panorama Room, an art deco rooftop bar and restaurant with 360-views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The journey begins on the Roosevelt Island tram, which provides an aerial tour of the city that never sleeps—all for the price of a subway ride. Then it's off to the Graduate Roosevelt Island hotel, where Panorama Room boasts a spectacular outdoor terrace, plus "jewel box" banquettes featuring custom velvet furniture and marble tables. The menu includes caviar nachos and smoked trout tartines, all of which can be enjoyed solo or with truffle waffle fries. (Because if you're falling in love with each other, you might as well also swoon for the food.)
Jack and Charlie's No. 18, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Though Jack and Charlie's No. 118 is new to the romantic fine dining scene —it opened in 2021—it has established itself as one of the places you turn to for a memorable night out. Broken up into four rooms with impeccable design—The Bar Room, The Turner Room, The Astor Room, and The Oyster Room—it is ideal for a celebratory dinner (or brunch), but for a cozy date night, ask for a seat by the fireplace to take coziness to a new level. Try the famous Tomahawk Rib Steak for two, and enjoy an expertly mixed martini (or three) as you kick back in this hidden downtown gem.
Etrusca, Financial District, Manhattan
There are many romantic Italian restaurants in NYC, but only Etrusca looks like a Tuscan farmhouse, even though it's located just steps away from The New York Stock Exchange. With its flickering candles, garlic ropes on the walls, and rustic wooden shelves crammed with wine, you will forget you're in busy and crowded Manhattan the second you step inside. With "old country" specials like homemade spaghetti and braised rabbit, this is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC.
While We Were Young, West Village, Manhattan
While We Were Young makes date night easy by offering just one prix fixe menu per night, allowing you to easily navigate a choice of house specials like basil pesto burrata and braised short rib, giving you more time to stare at each other instead of staring at a list of entrees. With its dusty pink and blue banquettes and chairs, the marble bar in the shape of a wave and oh so many flowers, this Instagram-friendly locale was made to be photographed, making it a perfect place to "hard launch" your relationship on social media… or just make your friends jealous when it ends up on your reels.
Cadence, East Village, Manhattan
Southern soul food but in a vegan kitchen? It absolutely works at Cadence, a Michelin-starred restaurant by Chef Shenarri Freeman. An affordable date night restaurant in the heart of the bohemian East Village, Cadence is bright and welcoming with its floral wallpaper and purple-red velvet banquets, and its plant-based takes on comfort food—think southern fried oyster mushrooms and waffles, and all-vegan grits—make it the perfect happy place to dispel any date night jitters!
Queensyard, Hudson Yards, Manhattan
Queensyard brings elegant London dining to the States with its prawn cocktails and seared salmon, along with a fun juxtaposition between its English countryside vibes against the ultra-modern architecture of Hudson Yards. No matter where you sit, this is a restaurant with a view, as you will be in prime seating to see the famous Highline park and Shed modern art complex. Bonus: This restaurant is mere seconds away from Hudson Yards' luxury shopping complex, a perfect setting for choosing a birthday gift together. (And yes, there is a Tiffany's.)
Tomi Jazz, Midtown East, Manhattan
As anyone who's seen La Dolce Vita or The Cotton Club knows, live jazz can often be the spark for true love—and of course, for a truly memorable romantic date in New York City. Tomi Jazz is one of those extraordinary New York spots that feels like magic. Located in a tiny midtown basement, the romantic restaurant serves inspired Japanese fusion food—cod roe spaghetti, okonomiyaki, and tempura—plus a fully stocked selection of sake and the live jazz that starts every night at 8 PM.
Apotheke Nomad, Nomad, Manhattan
You get a little bit of everything at Apotheke Nomad, but all of it is romantic. The second outpost of this NYC brand (the original is in Chinatown), this venue features a cellar speakeasy, a penthouse lounge with stained glass windows, and a rooftop terrace. (Get turned around en route? Use Google Maps to pinpoint its unmarked entrance.) This is the perfect cozy restaurant for getting close to your beloved in one of the cushy booths inside, or gazing at the view while surrounded by candlelight. As you can imagine, the apothecary-themed cocktails are elaborate and there are shareable bites as well. And yes, those delicious dumplings made it up from Chinatown!
The Ivory Peacock, Flatiron, Manhattan
Perfect for a big birthday or Valentine's Day celebration, The Ivory Peacock is a newer bar and restaurant that already feels like a classic. First, visit the primary bar space, replete with plush banquettes and accented with reclaimed antique chandeliers from the old Waldorf Astoria New York. Next, stroll into the stunning gin-focused Emerald Bar—boasting 900 gins and other bottles on display— and take one of just 14 marigold velvet seats. You will truly get to experience liquid art as you take in the beautiful scenery, dine on indulgent seafood dishes from the raw bar, and experience a customized caviar service that makes each visit a night to remember.
Le CouCou, Soho, Manhattan
If you are looking for one of the most impressive date night dinners in New York City, head immediately to Le CouCou. This ultra-luxe romantic restaurant in The Howard is famous for its top-of-the-line French cuisine, service, and ambiance, making it the perfect venue for celebrating any relationship milestone or just simply saying "I love you." (Or in the restaurant's native language, "Je t'aime.") Le CouCou is definitely one of the most expensive restaurants on this list, but most would argue that the experience is definitely worth the investment.. Be sure to dress to the nines so you don't feel out of place with the elegant chandeliers, mohair banquettes, and gilded molding.
Nubeluz Rooftop Bar, Nomad, Manhattan
For an evening of incredible city views and romance, the Nubeluz Rooftop Bar at the new Ritz in Nomad is a perfect choice. After being escorted to the 50th floor, the views will truly take your breath away. You can either sit on the terrace and sink into luxurious blue velvet chairs or couches, or take your party inside and soak in the equally enticing views of the glittery bar and lounge. The food ranges from whimsical fun to luxe dining (think bagel & lox combo platter or straight-up caviar). Thanks to its gleeful sense of occasion, this is a perfect venue for impressing a new date or a special occasion with your main squeeze of many years.
Valerie, Midtown West, Manhattan
The theme of Valerie is the golden era of Manhattan with a timeless drink list, bistro-inspired menu, and Art-Deco-inspired decor. You can have a drink and quiet conversation underneath stunning murals in the Gatsby Lounge, indulge in some casual American fare like spinach and artichoke dip and steak frites in the dining-oriented Den, or find more space upstairs in the Blushing Bar, which is known for its handcrafted botanical infusion cocktails. Put simply, it's the perfect place to linger when you're having too much fun on your romantic dinner date.
The Fulton, South Street Seaport, Manhattan
Even in the remarkable food complex that is the Tin Building by Jean Georges, The Fulton is a particular standout. Beloved by seafood lovers thanks to its ocean-fresh fare, The Fulton dates back to 1835, though its current incarnation is by far the most luxurious. Case in point: The 10 grams of Kristal Kaviari caviar included on its raw bar menu. For most holidays including Valentine's Day The Fulton features prix-fixe and special menus making it a great romantic Valentine's Day restaurant choice.
Majorelle, Upper East Side, Manhattan
If you are looking for classic French fare—foie gras, caviar, duck à l'orange—stalwart restaurateur Charles Masson and his team have created a romantic dining experience in NYC that will dazzle all the senses. Located in the Lowell Hotel, the openness of the space and grand flower arrangements make you truly feel like you are in a Provence chateau. As one of the most quintessential romantic French restaurants in NYC, Majorelle is perfect for an intimate birthday or anniversary dinner.
Dante NYC, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
The ambiance within the original Dante NYC is consistently welcoming and unwavering. Patrons know they'll enjoy quality service within its dimly lit atmosphere, but the cocktail menu is the establishment's crowning achievement. We recommend the Negroni or Aperol Spritz on tap. Date nights at the bar are especially entertaining as the people watching provides fun fodder. Dante is so beloved by New Yorkers that the brand has since expanded to the Seaport District in Lower Manhattan, the West Village, and has a pop-up concept in Aspen known as Dante at the Snow Lodge.
LouLou, Chelsea, Manhattan
LouLou is among one of our favorite affordable romantic restaurants in NYC. That's thanks partly to the ambiance—an abundance of flowers, exposed brick, rustic furniture, dim lighting—and partly because the menu of squash bisque, baked camembert, and Moroccan lamb sausage is equal parts luxury and laid-back. Plus, if your date's going well, there's no reason to stop after dinner, since LouLou's also has a speakeasy—at least if you can find the vintage Coca-Cola refrigerator door that leads to a winding staircase, a crystal-encased bar, and a cocktail called The Firebird that truly soars.