Recipe for Romance: The Most Romantic Restaurants in NYC
The Best Romantic Restaurants in NYC
We’ve tried to display the city’s diverse culinary scene by choosing our favorite romantic restaurants according to our top 10 beloved cuisines from around the world. From classic Italian flavors to the sultry spices of Thai food, we’ve got you covered for an evening of culinary romance. Bon Appetite! We also added a few guaranteed winners if you're looking for pure, outrageous romance with different options: for night or day, the menu or the view, the overall venue or a bar for drinks. We have the ultimate list for you.
- Want to meet someone special to dine with? Try our guide to dating in NYC
Romantic restaurants in NYC: EliteSingles' favourites
Romantic restaurants in NYC #1 –Italian – Del Posto
Nestled in New York’s beautiful Chelsea district, Del Posta is the epitome of elegance and romance. Oozing sophisticated charm, it is one of the most romantic restaurants in NYC. Deemed the first four-star Italian eatery in 40 years by The New York Times, this gem is the perfect spot to experience first class dining. Boasting the richest and most refined creations of Mario Batali, this menu offers the best of the best when it comes to Italian food. The legendary 100 layer lasagne is a must try and the restaurant also offers extensive vegan options. Try Del Posto for an evening of romantic class in New York.Photo: Citygasm
Romantic restaurants in NYC #2 – Japanese – Kyo Ya
This Japanese restaurant perfectly executes its ambitious menu, mixing Japanese classics with a splash of kaiseki flavors (the intricate meal usually served during a formal tea ceremony). Much of its charm lies in the fact that it’s tucked away with a mere open sign so only true foodies in the know can find it. And the food is divine – delicate, perfectly complimentary flavors presented artistically on beautiful handmade plates – the Maitake mushrooms are a must have. The intimate setting with soft lighting, minimalist flora and deep wooden design echo the elegance of the food. This is the perfect date spot in the East Village for couples with a taste for the Orient.Photo: iStock.com
Romantic restaurants in NYC #3 –Mexican – Cosme
Located in the center of New York City’s Flatiron district, Cosme is the best option for traditional Mexican cuisine with a contemporary flair. World famous Chef Enrique Olvera and his team have curated the experience to make it as authentically Mexican as possible. The spices and flavors are second to none and sourced with local ingredients from the Hudson Valley. The menu is a refreshing stance on Mexican food with an eclectic mix of tastes– the lobster is a sure favorite. Described by TimeOut as ‘The Mexican restaurant New York has been missing,’ this is a great date spot for you and someone special to experience some Central American spice, and situated on East Street, it makes for a special dinner date night.Photo: NY Eater
Romantic restaurants in NYC #4 –Thai –Pok Pok
This Michelin-starred restaurant on Brooklyn’s Columbia Street Waterfront is one of the most romantic restaurants in NYC, particularly because it requires sharing dishes. This adds an element of intimacy to the meal as you make your way through some of the best Northern style Thai food available. Favoring pork options, these are a good bet when choosing what to eat and the chicken wings are also excellent. With a spirited vibe, it tends to get busy so get there early for a good spot! It regulalry features on a search for best dinner lists, and with a friendly and laid-back vibe, you get excellent food and an unpretentious experience all in one cool venue. Eat and enjoy genuinely good Thai food, without having to travel out of New York.Photo: Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian
Romantic restaurants in NYC #5 –Spanish –Boqueria
If you’re after authentic Spanish tapas, look no further than Boqueria for a taste of the Mediterranean. With a rustic wooden interior and embodying the spirit of Barcelona, this eatery is a must visit. The entire experience is an explosion on the senses, with a rich heat in the food as well as a welcomingly dynamic ambiance. Expect to see all your favorite Spanish tapas with a twist and a wide selection of beverages to compliment the food, including sangria made with beer. This is an excellent date spot for new couples looking for somewhere lively and fun, and it's a superb day-time choice, with a delicious brunch and lunch menu. Embrace the free and festive Spanish spirit in the heart of this bustling American city that is New York.Picture: SpoiledNYC
Romantic restaurants in NYC #6 –Greek –Periyali
Bringing some Greek charm to New York City, Periyali (Coastline in Greek) offers some fantastic seafood flavors from Europe. This establishment mirrors the décor of Greece, with white walls, terracotta tiles and sky windows. Open since 1986, the food is fantastic – an assortment of fresh ingredients and flavors – the octopus stands out coupled with a classic Greek salad. Much of the food is inspired from the Greek Islands and the eclectic menu has been carefully created by the chefs to mirror this style. This date is sure to impress. Authentic Greek cuisine, with impeccable service and a fresh whitewashed interior, this is one of the restaurants you want to put on the top of your list.Picture: NYCGo.com
Romantic restaurants in NYC #7 –Vietnamese –Saigon Shack
One of cheaper options on our restaurant menu, Saigon Shack is full of character with traditional Vietnamese cuisine. This is a great ‘getting-to-know-each other’ date spot as it oozes effortless charm and fantastic food. Couples with a taste for the orient must head to Saigon Shack and try the Pho – The lemongrass chicken is our recommendation. The Búns are also a popular favorite amongst visitors but beware – the queue can be long - so get there early to avoid disappointment. Located in the Central Village, it's a good choice for a low-key date, with a more casual setting to eat to your heart's content.Picture: Saigon Shack
Romantic restaurants in NYC #8 –Israeli –Timna
For those slightly more adventurous pallets, Timna offers modern Israeli Mediterranean cuisine and it’s truly something unique. The adventurous menu adds an element of excitement to your date and showcases the best in Isreali cuisine. We recommend the Israeli tartare which gives a mezze of the classic flavors. The restaurant has a nice, calm ambiance with exposed wood and brick and dimly lit wall lamps. Again, there are good sharing options so a great opportunity for you and your date to get closer. Sometimes sharing an excellent dining experience is the quickest way travel the distance between two people. And this makes for a tasty adventure.Picture: Timna NYC
Romantic restaurants in NYC #9 –Indian –Junoon
Situated in Chelsea and set in a huge glass spice room (where authentic house blends are ground and mixed each morning), Junoon is an Indian eatery with a kick. Michelin-starred and showcasing a range of Indian cuisine from across the country, this restaurant is particularly special. The menu reflects the diversity of India, offering traditional flavors with a modern twist. The restaurant uses a range of cooking styles including tandoor and handi (pot cooking) but also tawa (cast-iron), sigri (fire pit) and Patthar (stone). The dimly lit scenery provides a romantic setting perfect for couples wanting to spice things up. Enjoying a Michelin star rating, this is one of the finest Indian restaurants in town, with its rich and detailed decor, it's a luxe dating dream.Picture: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt - NewYorkSeriousEats
Romantic restaurants in NYC #10 –French –Jean Georges
And last but certainly not least, we thought we’d suggest a romantic restaurant with a certain je ne ce quoi - French eatery Jean Georges. With 3 Michelin stars, this restaurant is the epitome of fine dining. With an ever-changing menu using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, world-famous chef Jean Georges crafts the best of French cuisine with an American and Eastern twist, and the setting exudes an unbeatable charm with a view overlooking Central Park. If you want delectable French food, elegant ambience and impeccable service, Jean Georges is the restaurant for you.Picture: Jean Georges NYC
After covering a list of the top 10 romantic restaurants in NYC based on a selection of cuisines, we have handpicked several guaranteed dreamy date venues. Stop the search, each of these restaurants will seal the deal and sweep even a cynic off their feet.
- Read more: Find an even wider range of NYC date ideas here!
Most romantic restaurants in New York for any scenario
Night: The Gramercy Tavern is the epitome of a confident date restaurant. It brings together excellent food, a renowned chef and impressive reputation with a casual nonchalance. To fit the mood of the night, you can choose between the upscale dining room or go for the more laid-back tavern. Your date won't be disappointed - this restaurant promises to make for a memorable night.
Day: Situated under Brooklyn Bridge, The River Café has a spectacular setting and outstanding culinary reputation. Invite your date in the day to take in the views of the New York skyline, a classic American menu and riverside magic. One of the best in New York City.
The view: Perched on top of The Rockefeller Plaza, The Rainbow Room is the perfect place for some extravagant romance. 65 stories up, it boasts breathtaking views and oozes old-school charm. Plan ahead, dress up and go dancing. This venue is worth the effort and will turn a date into one of your own special events.
The menu: Overlooking Madison Square Park, choose the elegant Eleven Madison Park for fine dining excellence. It has been awarded 3 Michelin stars and has topped numerous lists, including the World’s Best 50 restaurants 2017. An iconic romantic restaurant in NYC when you want to pull out all the stops.
Overall venue: Possibly the ultimate date spot in the whole City, One if by Land, Two if by Sea, offers indulgent candlelit romance in a 1967 carriage house. With a decadent setting and classic menu, take your date here for special occasions. And in case you didn't know, it has become a very popular proposal venue!
Just a drink: Sometimes a quiet drink at a bar is what your date night calls for – and just because its causal, doesn’t mean it can’t be classy. Why not take your drinks date up a level, and head to Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar. But be sure to make a reservation in advance.
Hotels: If you staying in the City and looking for the convenience of a place to stay with a suitable date spot close by, Dirty French in the Ludlow Hotel is the place for you. In Manhattan’s storied Lower East Side, this French bistro is as cool as it is classy, and is the perfect backdrop to heat up the romance.
- Read more: no ideas near you? Try our guide to romantic things to do in every NYC borough