The Definitive List of the Most Romantic Restaurants in Seattle for Every Occasion

These spots are perfect for Valentine's Day, anniversary dinners, date nights and everything in between.
Dining room space with large windows overlooking downtown Seattle
Photo: Lotte Hotels & Resorts
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
by
Beth Ann Mayer
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
Beth Ann Mayer
The Knot Contributor
  • Beth Ann writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, including venues, honeymoons and planning advice.
  • Beth Ann is a lifestyle freelance writer, with bylines on healthline.com and parents.com.
  • Prior to freelancing, Beth Ann was a writer and editor for Long Island Pulse Magazine.
Updated Sep 27, 2023
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When it comes to restaurants, Seattle is best known for a particular coffee shop—maybe you've heard of Starbucks? But as much as we love a good PSL in the fall or a Frappuccino on a hot summer day, the Emerald City is full of countless dining options for couples. The most romantic restaurants in Seattle serve something for every couple, occasion and craving.

When the moment calls for a romantic Valentine's Day restaurant or a cozy date night dining spot, pairs will find candlelit, tablecloth options—some with ocean views as delectable as their seafood or Italian cuisine. Need a cozy dinner spot for someone you're just getting to know? Seattle has those, too. Are you popping the question or celebrating a milestone? Washington's capital city is also chock-full of options for proposals, anniversaries and birthdays, from spirited and spacious spots to small and intimate ones. We've assembled a menu of the best romantic restaurants Seattle offers to help you choose the perfect spot for your next date night.

The Knot's Top Picks for Romantic Restaurants in Seattle

Spread of delicious dishes on restaurant table
Photo: Aqua by El Gaucho

Finding the most romantic restaurants in Seattle can feel like a tall task. As a major city, the area is home to thousands of dining options, from seafood places with otherworldly views to the most delicious Italian food around. And when you're planning something big—say a proposal or a surprise birthday dinner for two with all the trimmings—sorting through the bountiful options can feel overwhelming.

Like a prix fixe menu, we've taken the guesswork out of choosing. Whether you're an out-of-towner searching for the best Valentine's Day restaurants in Seattle or you're a local Googling "cozy restaurants near me," these are our top picks for restaurants that offer heaping helpings of heart-eye emojis.

The Most Romantic Restaurant in Seattle: Canlis

Favorite Affordable Date Night Restaurant in Seattle: Joli

Best Romantic Italian Restaurant in Seattle: Spinasse

Romantic Restaurant with the Best Ocean View: AQUA by El Gaucho

Cozy Valentine's Day Restaurant: Archipelago

Read on for our complete list of the 16 most romantic restaurants in Seattle.

Charlotte Restaurant & Lounge, Downtown

Room service breakfast spread on hotel room table placed by large window
Photo: Lotte Hotels & Resorts

Couples will take the elevator up to the 16th floor of the Lotte Hotel in Seattle, which opens to a panoramic view lobby. The side facing the waterfront, including Pike Place Market and other landmarks across the Pacific Northwest city, is reserved for patrons of the restaurant: Charlotte (pronounced "Char-Lotte" to refer back to Lotte's presence). The ambiance is romantic, especially when surrounded by the warm glow of the sunset, candlelight, and architectural pieces designed by Philippe Starck. If you plan to make it a brunch date, order the kimchi grilled cheese; at night, indulge in the restaurant's libations with a mouthwatering and artisinal Korean twist on its cocktails and cuisine.

809 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Canlis, Queen Anne

With more than seven decades on the scene, Canlis has long been considered not only one of the best romantic restaurants in Seattle but simply one of the best all around. Views of the Cascade Mountains, Lake Union and Gas Works Park are truly just the appetizer. A trip to this fine-dining establishment in mid-century modern digs is an experience. It serves as an opportunity to get dressed up (this is a heels/sports coat type of spot), and the multi-course menu crafted by executive chef Aisha Ibrahim emphasizes Pacific Northwest fare.

2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Joli, Stumbletown

An elevated night out doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. The dinner menu at Joli in Seattle's Stumbletown neighborhood includes options from hanger steak to smoked chicken for under $35. There's no tablecloth in sight in these parts, so you can chow down on condiment-filled burgers and fries without guilt about spilling. The wood-exposed furnishings feel rustic without veering into fast-casual territory. The spirits menu is certainly elevated. Joli also specializes in gin and boasts a menu full of 300 types of the spirit from six continents. The joint offers specials on gin cocktails during happy hour, should you want to raise a glass of something other than bubbly.

618 NW 65th St, Seattle, WA 98117

Spinasse, Capitol Hill

Dining table with glassware and bowl of pasta at Spinasse romantic restaurant in Seattle
Photo: Spinasse

Spinasse is a cozy, upscale, approachable spot between Pike and Pine that is considered one of the most romantic Italian restaurants in Seattle. The trattoria—which gained immediate "it restaurant" status when it opened in 2008—handmakes its pasta in-house. Spinasse is ideal for couples searching for a cozy spot with elevated comfort food. The restaurant has plenty of tables for two, contributing to its intimacy, while an open kitchen pulls back the curtain and adds a layer of fun.

1531 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

AQUA by El Gaucho, Waterfront/Belltown

A surf-and-turf staple overlooking Elliott Bay, which flows into the Pacific Ocean, AQUA by El Gaucho's outdoor seating includes a spacious deck ideal for watching a waterfront sunset. It's one of the most romantic restaurants with a view in Seattle, and the landmark-laden vistas don't stop with the water. Other sights to behold from your seat include Mount Rainier, the iconic Space Needle and the Olympic Mountains—it's ideal for couples visiting from out of town who are hoping to take in postcard-perfect views. Inside, a dimly lit lounge with a crown jewel of a lighted wave bar gives way to heightened romance. Speaking of treasures, the certified Angus steaks and daily seafood selection are two others.

2801 Alaskan Wy Pier 70, Seattle, WA 98121

Archipelago, Hillman City

Opened by husband-and-wife team chef Aaron Verzosa and Amber Manuguid, Archipelago is a small, family-owned restaurant in southeast Seattle. The intimate spot seats only 10 to 12 at a time, making it ideal for couples who want to tune into one another on a popular holiday like Valentine's Day. The fare is a big culinary adventure—think modern takes on Filipino cuisine made from ingredients sourced from the Pacific Northwest.

5607 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Restaurant Homer, Beacon Hill

Bar and coffee area at Restaurant Homer romantic restaurant in Seattle
Photo: Restaurant Homer

A mostly-walk-in neighborhood favorite in Beacon Hill, Restaurant Homer emphasizes Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired cuisine and date-night ambiance. The blue exterior and white-washed walls inside serve as a fresh, airy, on-brand twist. The minimal large-party seating makes it easy to converse with your love over large and small plates designed to evoke conversation and sharing, like yogurts, breads and charcuterie made in-house. Down the street, sister spin-off restaurant Milk Drunk offers couples an option to extend date night with the sweetest of endings.

3013 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144

Cafe Juanita, Kirkland

Set in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, Cafe Juanita serves Northern Italian fare made from ingredients sourced from the Pacific Northwest. The dimly lit, white tablecloth setting is decidedly elegant and makes the restaurant worth the 25-minute drive from the bustling city. The dress code also calls for an upscale occasion—jackets aren't required, but something other than flip-flops and T-shirts is requested. Use this restaurant as a spot for one of those kinds of date nights.

9702 NE 120th Pl, Kirkland, WA 98034

Phoenecia, West Seattle

Close up of cocktail with dried flower garnish at Phoenicia romantic restaurant in Seattle
Photo: Phoenicia

When locals search for "cool restaurants near me," the tide often takes them to Phoenecia, a waterfront hotspot with a pair of wine bars in West Seattle. The Lebanese-inspired menu includes fun, shareable dishes like lamb chop lollipops with fragrant rosemary garlic butter and a Jewel of the Ocean dish featuring salmon, prawns, clams and scallops made from a family recipe. A stunning side of waterfront views adds to the "wow" factor. Beautiful vistas of the Seattle waterfront give Phoenecia a backdrop that needs to be seen to be believed (and makes it picture-perfect for a 'Gram-worthy proposal).

4717 42nd Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

The Corson Building, Georgetown

Set in a turn-of-last-century home with ivy-clad walls, a garden, wooden furnishings and serene, light walls, The Corson Building serves as an idyllic backdrop for a cozy date night. Three communal tables in the intimate dining room divide easily into seating for two, and a fireplace feels positively comfy. The warm, quiet space makes The Corson Building a top pick for an anniversary restaurant in Seattle, ideal for swapping stories while digging into fixed and a la carte menus full of sweet and savory options. Think cookies, treats topped with whipped cream, juicy hanger steaks, fresh lobster and halibut.

5609 Corson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108

The Pink Door, Pike Place Market

Bowl of pasta with candle, olives, and bread on table at romantic restaurant The Pink Door in Seattle
Photo: The Pink Door

Found along Post Alley at Seattle's Pike Place Market, The Pink Door's stylish digs with throwback chandeliers, white-tablecloth-covered tables and (naturally) pink and red accents make it a prime pick for Valentine's Day or any day, really. The views of Pike Place Market are ideal for people-watching, but the candlelit setting invites couples to turn up the romance and focus on one another. Shareable antipasti appetizers include options like bruschetta and grilled figs.

1919 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

Sushi Kashiba, Waterfront/Belltown

Sushi spread at romantic restaurant Sushi Kashiba in Seattle
Photo: Sushi Kashiba

Waterfront views and delicious food make Sushi Kashiba a true Emerald City institution. Three-time "James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef" nominee Spiro Kashiba's sushi spot is conveniently located near Pike Place Market and has a menu with hot and cold options like sashimi and tempura. Though reserving a table inside the sleek dining room is recommended for a more intimate date night, spontaneous pairs can also pull up a spot at the lively bar (first come, first serve).

86 Pine St Suite #1, Seattle, WA 98101

List Restaurant, Belltown

Lounge-style digs and an affordable menu full of sharable small plates make List Restaurant a perfect pick for couples in the getting-to-know-you phase or those needing a night out that doesn't break the bank. Don't mistake "budget" for dull, though. List Restaurant is anything but. Funky red chandeliers and a lighted bar add to the unique style. As for the menu, it's full of American classics with contemporary twists—like rigatoni with wild mushroom cream sauce and local fresh clams with herbed white wine broth—that epitomize the seafaring city's reputation for fresh seafood.

2226 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Bateau, Capitol Hill

Indoor seating area at romantic restaurant Bateau in Seattle
Photo: Bateau

The meats at this Capitol Hill establishment are simply a cut above the rest. The menu often changes at Bateau—local couples can go frequently and find new adventures each time—but the cooked-to-perfection burgers and steaks remain consistently delicious. The beef is dry-aged for at least 21 days, allowing for knife-optional tender dishes. A tasting menu often includes elevated comfort-food fare like hot dog tartine, the butteriest of mashed potatoes and fromage ice cream.

1040 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122

MariPili Tapas Bar, Capitol Hill

A post-pandemic newcomer to the Seattle foodie scene, MariPili Tapas Bar specializes in recipes that taste like they came straight from "your abuela's kitchen." The menu is full of dishes inspired by Chef Grayson Pilar's own grandmother, lending a genuine my-house-to-yours ambiance that couples will adore. Creative but cozy dishes include fried olives with Spanish cheese and pan con tomate. Tablecloth-free seating adds to the spot's unfussiness, and a small outdoor area is ideal for not-too-breezy brunches and dinners al fresco.

1117 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Surrell, Madison Valley

Outdoor seating area with greenery and string lights at romantic restaurant Surrell in Seattle
Photo: Dirk Houghton

This refined fine-dining establishment and wine bar emphasizes seasonal and local dishes and vinos. As such, the menu changes by the season—think root veggies and fermented foods in the winter and peas, squashes and tomatoes in the summer. Speaking of the balmy days of summer, Surrell's covered outdoor patio is surrounded by bistro lighting and greenery that add a whimsical charm to any date night. The menu and ambiance make it ideal for visiting couples hoping for an authentic taste of the Pacific Northwest, as well as locals who want something consistently different.

2319 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

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