Planning a dinner date can be a challenge, but luckily plenty of restaurants in the Boston area make it easier. Here’s an assortment of standbys to cover any special-occasion need: places for casual and quiet conversation, swanky spots with two-person set menus, comfortable restaurants with affordable meals, and a few high-end classics.Read More
15 Date-Night Destinations Around Boston
Great places to dine with a date, whether you’re looking for cozy conversation or lively fun
Reservations are slightly easier to come by at this seafood-focused second act from the team behind perpetually booked-out Giulia just down the street. Set the tone for a fun night out by starting with an order of unicorn oysters topped with an icy rhubarb granita, and be sure to stick around for something sweet as pastry chef Renae Connolly is one of Boston’s top dessert talents.
Celeste, Eater Boston’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year, is a lively little Somerville gem filled with upbeat music, pisco, and the tempting scent of lomo saltado being fired up in the open kitchen. Get a reservation, and get ready to eat lots of ceviche.
This buzzy restaurant in Central Square has a globally influenced menu designed for sharing. The cocktails are great, too, and for dessert there’s cookie dough whimsically served on a batter beater. Make a reservation if you’re in a plan-ahead mood, or be prepared to wait a bit at the bar for a table if you just show up — it’s quite a popular spot.
A romantic fine-dining restaurant in the North End’s North Square, Mamma Maria serves all the Italian classics, including osso buco, Tuscan-style rabbit pappardelle, and lobster agnolotti. The menu rotates, so enjoy the flavors of the month with a glass of wine.
Lone Star Taco Bar
How about a casual taco dinner at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston? It’s especially welcoming if you’re in the mood for a late-night date or a stellar hidden patio. Get some margaritas, too. A second location in Cambridge has an identical menu.
Chef Tao Liu, who hails from Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, is behind Sichuan newcomer Little Tao in Allston. The laid-back restaurant’s spicy noodle soups will leave your lips buzzing long after the last slurp, and you won’t soon forget the brothy Chengdu mini pots filled with beef and pork intestine, either.
Lolita’s newer Fort Point location is an experience. It’s gorgeous, like its sibling restaurants; the food is solid; there’s tequila aplenty; and the bill comes with cotton candy. The original Back Bay location also recently reopened after extensive renovations and it, too, is an experience.
This intimate bar in Fenway is perfect for sharing a multi-dish meal over excellent glasses of wine. Nathálie is a comfortable spot for a date, with plenty of activities in the neighborhood if you want to extend the evening.
Myers + Chang
Myers + Chang is a reliable destination for high-quality food and service, and there’s even a designated “great date night” menu at the self-described “Asian-ish” neighborhood restaurant, a South End favorite for over a decade. Go on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday from 4 to 9 p.m. and choose from three multi-dish dinners for $60 to $70 — that’s the price for two diners, not per person.
A Boston-born portal to Spain, Tasca is the place to go for a seemingly never-ending menu of tapas, paellas, and bottles of wine for $50 or less. On Tuesdays, there’s a tapas happy hour of sorts with a selection of $5 plates from 4 to 6 p.m.
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Fox & the Knife
Go for the aperitivo flights, stay for the cheesy focaccia bread and the spaghetti with clams: Fox & the Knife, one of the best new restaurants in the country when it debuted in 2019, continues to impress with its excellent dishes, not to mention the delicious cocktails and friendly staff.
True to its name, Prairie Fire features wood-fired dishes, including crispy pizzas, mushrooms dressed up with black garlic and egg yolk, and oysters topped with bread crumbs and green garlic scampi butter. There’s a select list of cocktails, wine, and craft beer, as well.
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Sure, there are a lot of good Italian options out there, but don’t miss Mida. Its Monday night special, in particular, is perfect for a date: For $80 for two people, feast on five pastas of your choice (made in-house, of course), salad, and bread.
It’s hard to top a dinner date spent scooping up fiery portions of lentils and lamb and beef tibs with spongey, soft injera at Ethiopian Cafe. Meat and vegetarian combination platters are each under $40 for two people, and the restaurant is BYOB. (Walk over to Streetcar to grab beer or wine ahead of time.)
For a chic night out, head to lush Cape Verdean restaurant Cesaria in Dorchester. The menu highlights lots of seafood preparations from the island country, including crispy octopus, spicy shrimp, and grilled salted cod. There’s also an outdoor patio for dining in warmer weather, and keep an eye on social media for live music nights.