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Photograph: Courtesy Giulia Giulia

The most romantic restaurants in Boston

Planning a first date or a Valentine’s Day bonanza? Cozy up in one of the most romantic restaurants in Boston.

By Eric Grossman and Time Out Boston Staff

After you've wooed your special someone with one of the best date ideas in Boston, it's time to follow up with a romantic meal. With intimate surroundings, quiet nooks, excellent service, and swoon-worthy cuisine, these romantic Boston restaurants are sure to make an impression. For an all out romantic occasion, get a room at one of the best hotels in Boston and follow up with one of the best brunches in Boston in the morning. Or you can wind down with a nightcap at one of the best cocktail bars or best wine bars in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

The best of the city under one roof

Time Out Market Boston
Photograph: Eva Sakellarides

Time Out Market Boston

Restaurants Fenway/Kenmore

Earn an "E" for effort and impress your date by curating your own tasting menu at the city's first contemporary food hall. Choose dishes based on your date's preferences; string together seafood plates from Saltie Girl and gogo ya, or go big with burgers from Craigie Burger and fried chicken from Ms. Clucks. Just remember to earn extra foodie cred by throwing in some plates from Tasting Counter. Make it a progressive feast by having each course in a different space; set up shop in the center of the communal tables, showing off your love for all to see. Then sneak off to one of the clandestine corner spots for a little canoodling. Then, get some air by having a sweet treat on the patio.

Most romantic restaurants in Boston

Photograph: Andrew Ryan

1. Bondir

Restaurants American creative Inman Sq

Church-pew seats (made comfortable with cushions) and old-fashioned wooden paneling create a cozy yet understated farmhouse vibe at chef Jason Bond’s American bistro. Sip an aperitif in the lounge area in front of the huge brick fireplace before heading to your table. The carefully composed menu takes full advantage of seasonal and local ingredients. If you want the full experience—and you do—spring for the additional wine pairings.

Oleana, Restaurants and cafes, Boston
Photograph: Elan Fleisher

2. Oleana

Restaurants Mediterranean Inman Sq

Two tiny, coolly pretty dining rooms and an enormously popular garden patio provide a showcase for chef-owner Ana Sortun's passion for and mastery of the hauntingly aromatic cuisines of Turkey, Greece, Armenia, Morocco, Egypt and Sicily. Most of the small plates are memorable, while many of the desserts are downright extraordinary. Get intimate, Boston. 

Photograph: Courtesy Deuxave/Andy Ryan

3. Deuxave

Restaurants American creative Back Bay

The glamorous, chandelier-lit dining room creates a special occasion-feel, but there isn’t a hint of stuffiness thanks to the friendly vibe at this Back Bay eatery. The contemporary French fare is complemented by a lengthy wine list. Chef/co-owner Chris Coombs’s talent for hospitality and sumptuous dishes translates to a sophisticated yet relaxed tryst with champagne and caviar, spiced duck breast, and French onion soup simmered for a full nine hours.

No. 9 Park
Photograph: Courtesy No. 9 Park/BLG

4. No. 9 Park

Restaurants French Beacon Hill

A place of beauty for the beautiful one in your life; the word “timeless” is bandied about by No.9’s admirers. Barbara Lynch’s flagship offers a head-on view of Boston Common. The former mansion's good looks compliment the professional service—from the remarkable bartenders to the splendid sommelier, Cat Silirie. And the French/Italian-based cuisine? Rarely less than luscious, for all its elegance—especially the finely wrought pastas.

Bistro du Midi
Photograph: Courtesy Bistro du Midi

5. Bistro du Midi

Restaurants French Back Bay

The gorgeously appointed restaurant enjoys one of the city's most enviable addresses, across the street from the Public Garden. The sweeping views, impressive wine list, and sophisticated French fare make for a classically romantic meal. Order the chocolate soufflé for a perfect finish.

Photograph: Courtesy Giulia

6. Giulia

Restaurants Italian Porter Sq

Brick walls and candlelight keep the mood cozy at this rustic Italian retreat run by chef Michael Pagliarini and his wife Pamela Ralston. Savor one of the killer handmade pastas, such as pappardelle with wild boar or spaghetti alle vongole, and end the night on a sweet note with the sumptuous chocolate terrine. 

Photograph: Courtesy Menton/Michael Warren

7. Menton

Restaurants American creative Seaport District

If money is no object, treat yourselves to a multi-course or customized chef’s tasting menu at this Relais & Chateaux fine-dining establishment, which takes its name from the Côte d’Azur town near the Italian border. The plush details—from French linens to Austrian crystal—and attentive service will make you feel utterly pampered. Local culinary luminary Barbara Lynch’s French-Italian cuisine features luxe ingredients such as sea urchin and black truffle. 

8. Harvest

Restaurants Contemporary American Harvard Sq

If the two of you are the cerebral type, it's hard to beat a seat on Harvest's garden terrace (or in one of its cozy dining rooms), surrounded by academics and local luminaries. Since 1975, this refined Harvard Square stalwart has led the local farm-to-table charge, celebrating regional ingredients with an elegant, seasonal menu. The kitchen personifies a sophisticated approach to New England dining; locally-sourced seafood and meats, plus homemade pastas, are all meticulously and imaginatively prepared. 

Ten Tables, Restaurants and cafes, Boston
Photograph: Chris Bourn

9. Ten Tables

Restaurants American creative Jamaica Plain

It’s almost like having a romantic dinner at home, but without the kitchen dramas or the pile of dirty dishes afterwards, at this intimate Jamaica Plain eatery with (you guessed it) ten tables. Candlelight, the aromas wafting from the open kitchen, and a local-centric, seasonal menu—house-made pastas are a highlight—seal the deal. 

Alden & Harlow, Restaurants, Bars, Boston
Photograph: Kristin Teig

10. Alden & Harlow

Restaurants Contemporary American Harvard Sq

Slip down into this subterranean Harvard Square hideaway with your sweetheart. The romance begins with a drink at the bar under honey-colored glass lanterns that’ll give your complexion a flattering glow. Be sure to reserve a table in the atrium, which is lush with cactus and ferns and set apart from the hubbub of the main dining room. (Staff will bring a flickering votive to your table on request.) But once you’ve tucked into Michael Scelfo’s creative American cuisine (e.g. smoked lamb belly ribs with carrot and cashew tahini), it won’t matter where you are. 

Photograph: Courtesy Boston Harbor Hotel

11. Meritage

Restaurants Contemporary American Waterfront

Ensconced on the second floor of the tony Boston Harbor Hotel, Meritage provides a wine-focused, waterfront hideaway that is perfect for oenophiles. It's also a perfect setting for couples, offering upscale cuisine in a casually elegant environment. Views of the Harbor add to the ambiance. Well-made cocktails and a delicious meal, perfectly paired with excellent wines is a foolproof date option.

Top of the Hub
Photograph: Ed Massery with Tom Underiner

12. Top of the Hub

Restaurants American Back Bay

Many a proposal has been made at this longtime go-to special occasion restaurants. And with the stunning city views from the top of the Prudential Tower, it's no surprise. A meal here never disappoints, and live music sets the mood.


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