clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A swirl of tiramisu is in a glass stemmed bowl sitting on a decorative vintage plate. Two long spoons accompany it.
The tiramisu at Zuzu’s Petals, a cell phone-free dessert and wine bar in Cambridge’s Inman Square.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Where to Find Greater Boston’s Most Romantic Restaurants

From white-tablecloth classics to eclectic hideaways

View as Map
The tiramisu at Zuzu’s Petals, a cell phone-free dessert and wine bar in Cambridge’s Inman Square.
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or a random Wednesday night in October or anything in between, sometimes the most important question in figuring out where to make a dinner reservation is whether the restaurant is romantic.

Some picture a classic white-tablecloth restaurant for the ultimate romantic dining destination; others prefer a funky little hideaway with eclectic decor. Highlighting 18 restaurants and bars in and around Boston, this map aims to cover a variety of vibes, neighborhoods, and price points for the most romantic night out.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. Note that as of January 15, 2022, restaurants in the city of Boston are required to check for proof of vaccination for customers dining indoors. (Brookline and Salem have similar policies, with Brookline’s also covering outdoor seating areas.)

Read More
If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Spoke Wine Bar

Copy Link

Gorgeous small plates come out of Spoke’s tiny kitchen; one might find a dish such as sunchoke doughnuts with XO gouda and powdered leeks on the compact menu, or perhaps mochi panna cotta with melon and banana. Nestle in with a glass of wine you’ve never tried, and get to know your date over a salumi plate or crudo.

Interior view of a small restaurant and bar. A wall made of horizontal wood slats is in the foreground on the left, and the angle of the photo peers toward the sunlit front window. There’s a long bar on the left and a row of high-top tables on the right.
Spoke Wine Bar in Somerville’s Davis Square.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Field & Vine

Copy Link

Sitting inside Field & Vine is like being inside a woodland fairytale thanks to its plant accents and dangling vines. The ever-changing menu emphasizes all things local, especially vegetables; while there’s some seafood and meat on the menu, gorgeous seasonal produce takes center stage. Round out the night with an excellent cocktail next door at Backbar after dinner.

Sunlight streams through a large restaurant window that is mostly obscured by potted plants. There’s a rustic wooden wall, bench, chairs, and tables inside.
Field & Vine in Somerville’s Union Square.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

As one might hope from a restaurant called Dali, the interior is a fever dream of colors, art, and decorations: Look one way to find a clothesline full of lingerie; find a beaded curtain in another direction. A couple secluded window tables are particularly cozy for a date. Open since 1989, the Somerville mainstay is a solid pick for tapas. Don’t miss the gambas al ajillo, albondigas de cordero, or costillas de vaca.

An intricately decorated restaurant bar features blue and yellow Spanish tiling and lots of decorative dried flowers hanging above.
Dali’s bar.
Cal Bingham/Eater

Zuzu's Petals

Copy Link

This little nook in Inman Square features the best desserts around by co-owner Alexandra Whisnant, the master chocolatier behind Gâté Comme Des Filles — think ultra-rich chocolate mousse, beautiful tiramisu, and more. It’s positioned as a wine and dessert bar, so don’t feel weird about going just for dessert, but there are also cheese and charcuterie boards available. Romantic bonus: This is a cell-phone free zone.

Interior of a dimly lit small restaurant with light wooden floor, gray walls with purple trim near the ceiling, string lights, and tables with bright blue tops.
There are no cell phones allowed in this cozy wine and dessert bar in Cambridge.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Oleana’s patio is certainly one of the most romantic in town, but don’t discount the restaurant during colder months. One can still have a lovely date indoors, especially with a baked Alaska for dessert.

A restaurant patio features lush greenery, heat lamps, a brick surface, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking into the restaurant
Oleana’s patio.
Kristin Teig/Oleana

Pammy's

Copy Link

Beautiful space, hospitable staff, impeccable food — Pammy’s is a great fit for a wide variety of occasions, including date night. The gochujang-spiked lumache Bolognese is a must at this self-described new American trattoria.

A restaurant interior is not too fancy, not too casual, with pink roses in vases and a huge mirror in an elaborate gold frame.
Pammy’s, photographed in pre-pandemic days. Now, attractive glass panels hang between tables.
Sarah Storrer/Eater

There’s something magical about Cambridge’s Cicada, an artsy little Vietnamese cafe by day that turns the lights down low at night and serves a flavor-packed dinner menu alongside funky natural wines. Diners will feel right at home in the cozy space, which is filled with lush greenery. If it’s outdoor dining season, try to get a seat in the hidden back garden, one of Central Square’s best secret spots.

Mamma Maria

Copy Link

Pasta is for lovers, and this North End classic boasts plenty of pasta and plenty of romantic vibes. It features a variety of rooms, each with a different personality, great for private event bookings small and large, but it’s just as nice for a regular date night. The restaurant follows Italian cuisine’s ethos in terms of local sourcing, showcasing New England ingredients in traditional Italian dishes that lean northern in the fall and winter and southern in the spring and summer.

Sunlight streams in through the windows of an upscale restaurant dining room, featuring white tablecloths and upholstered chairs.
One of the dining rooms at Mamma Maria.
Carlos Arzaga

Sure, the name is a little silly, but Beacon Hill destination Mooo is a serious steakhouse, the perfect choice for the type of date where one wants to dress up in a reasonably fancy outfit and drop a lot of money on an excellent steak. You’ll want to fill up on the complimentary Parker House rolls, but don’t miss the wagyu beef dumplings. Watch for a Seaport District location to open later in 2022.

No.9 Park

Copy Link

You can’t beat a classic: Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park has been a Beacon Hill staple for over two decades, serving upscale fare that draws inspiration from French and Italian cuisines. Head here for a classy special occasion, and go all-in on a chef’s tasting menu or choose among a la carte options like the prune-stuffed gnocchi, which has been on the menu since day one.

Haley Henry

Copy Link

For the couple whose idea of a perfect date is an evening of tinned fish and unusual wine in an intimate, dimly lit wine bar in downtown Boston, Haley Henry is the spot. Share some charcuterie; share a crudo or two; share a bottle or two — what a night.

The interior of an intimate wine bar that has a bit of a nautical vibe.
The bar at Haley Henry.
Brian Samuels

For those who seek out high-end omakase, O Ya is one of the best options around, and the small, quiet space lends a romantic ambiance to the hours-long, many-course meal. Be sure to reserve a table several weeks in advance.

A wooden restaurant table is embellished with a potted white orchid and a small lamp with a red shade.
O Ya.
Cal Bingham

Really, any restaurant from COJE Management Group is suitable for a romantic date; they’re all gorgeous and intricately designed in their own ways. Try Lolita’s Fort Point location for a dark, sexy ambiance full of skulls, stained glass, and exposed brick. Drink tequila, snack on tacos, and share complimentary cotton candy with your date at the end of the meal. (Looking for something a little brighter and frillier? The group’s new Seaport restaurant Coquette might fit the bill.)

A restaurant interior features exposed brick, red chandeliers, and a large mural of a skull wearing a rose.
Lolita’s Fort Point location.
Adam DeTour

This relative newcomer to Back Bay serves some of the best Greek food in town — and features a deep Greek wine list — but it also serves up some major sensual vibes. Snuggle into a corner booth and share some DIY tzatziki; fried dough with thyme honey; and a hearty entree, like lamb osso buco.

Mistral

Copy Link

The Columbus Hospitality Group certainly knows how to build long-lasting fine-dining destinations around Boston. (Also see Mooo above.) Mistral, open since 1997, serves an upscale French/Mediterranean menu and is a perfect choice for a dressed-up, romantic evening. Share starters such as classic escargots or Maine crab ravioli before getting into entrees such as Dover sole meuniere and roasted rack of lamb.

Fox & The Knife

Copy Link

The North End isn’t the only place in Boston for pasta and romance. At the Fox & the Knife in South Boston — tagline “stay foxy” — settle in with an amaro flight, share some cheese-stuffed focaccia with a date, and enjoy dishes inspired by Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region.

Merengue

Copy Link

With Dominican restaurant Merengue’s festive, colorful decor, it’s the type of place that makes one want to go out and dance after dinner. Try a whole fried red snapper and finish with flan at the Roxbury mainstay, open since 1994.

A restaurant interior features bold pink walls, bright blue accents, and colorful art.
Merengue.
Merengue

Ten Tables

Copy Link

For years, Ten Tables — named for its size — has deftly straddled that line between special occasion destination and comfortable neighborhood spot. Time your visit to coincide with a wine dinner for the ultimate date night: a three-course menu for two, with a bottle of wine, is $75, and the menu is always changing.

Spoke Wine Bar

Gorgeous small plates come out of Spoke’s tiny kitchen; one might find a dish such as sunchoke doughnuts with XO gouda and powdered leeks on the compact menu, or perhaps mochi panna cotta with melon and banana. Nestle in with a glass of wine you’ve never tried, and get to know your date over a salumi plate or crudo.

Interior view of a small restaurant and bar. A wall made of horizontal wood slats is in the foreground on the left, and the angle of the photo peers toward the sunlit front window. There’s a long bar on the left and a row of high-top tables on the right.
Spoke Wine Bar in Somerville’s Davis Square.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Field & Vine

Sitting inside Field & Vine is like being inside a woodland fairytale thanks to its plant accents and dangling vines. The ever-changing menu emphasizes all things local, especially vegetables; while there’s some seafood and meat on the menu, gorgeous seasonal produce takes center stage. Round out the night with an excellent cocktail next door at Backbar after dinner.

Sunlight streams through a large restaurant window that is mostly obscured by potted plants. There’s a rustic wooden wall, bench, chairs, and tables inside.
Field & Vine in Somerville’s Union Square.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Dali

As one might hope from a restaurant called Dali, the interior is a fever dream of colors, art, and decorations: Look one way to find a clothesline full of lingerie; find a beaded curtain in another direction. A couple secluded window tables are particularly cozy for a date. Open since 1989, the Somerville mainstay is a solid pick for tapas. Don’t miss the gambas al ajillo, albondigas de cordero, or costillas de vaca.

An intricately decorated restaurant bar features blue and yellow Spanish tiling and lots of decorative dried flowers hanging above.
Dali’s bar.
Cal Bingham/Eater

Zuzu's Petals

This little nook in Inman Square features the best desserts around by co-owner Alexandra Whisnant, the master chocolatier behind Gâté Comme Des Filles — think ultra-rich chocolate mousse, beautiful tiramisu, and more. It’s positioned as a wine and dessert bar, so don’t feel weird about going just for dessert, but there are also cheese and charcuterie boards available. Romantic bonus: This is a cell-phone free zone.

Interior of a dimly lit small restaurant with light wooden floor, gray walls with purple trim near the ceiling, string lights, and tables with bright blue tops.
There are no cell phones allowed in this cozy wine and dessert bar in Cambridge.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Oleana

Oleana’s patio is certainly one of the most romantic in town, but don’t discount the restaurant during colder months. One can still have a lovely date indoors, especially with a baked Alaska for dessert.

A restaurant patio features lush greenery, heat lamps, a brick surface, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking into the restaurant
Oleana’s patio.
Kristin Teig/Oleana

Pammy's

Beautiful space, hospitable staff, impeccable food — Pammy’s is a great fit for a wide variety of occasions, including date night. The gochujang-spiked lumache Bolognese is a must at this self-described new American trattoria.

A restaurant interior is not too fancy, not too casual, with pink roses in vases and a huge mirror in an elaborate gold frame.
Pammy’s, photographed in pre-pandemic days. Now, attractive glass panels hang between tables.
Sarah Storrer/Eater

Cicada

There’s something magical about Cambridge’s Cicada, an artsy little Vietnamese cafe by day that turns the lights down low at night and serves a flavor-packed dinner menu alongside funky natural wines. Diners will feel right at home in the cozy space, which is filled with lush greenery. If it’s outdoor dining season, try to get a seat in the hidden back garden, one of Central Square’s best secret spots.

Mamma Maria

Pasta is for lovers, and this North End classic boasts plenty of pasta and plenty of romantic vibes. It features a variety of rooms, each with a different personality, great for private event bookings small and large, but it’s just as nice for a regular date night. The restaurant follows Italian cuisine’s ethos in terms of local sourcing, showcasing New England ingredients in traditional Italian dishes that lean northern in the fall and winter and southern in the spring and summer.

Sunlight streams in through the windows of an upscale restaurant dining room, featuring white tablecloths and upholstered chairs.
One of the dining rooms at Mamma Maria.
Carlos Arzaga

Mooo

Sure, the name is a little silly, but Beacon Hill destination Mooo is a serious steakhouse, the perfect choice for the type of date where one wants to dress up in a reasonably fancy outfit and drop a lot of money on an excellent steak. You’ll want to fill up on the complimentary Parker House rolls, but don’t miss the wagyu beef dumplings. Watch for a Seaport District location to open later in 2022.

No.9 Park

You can’t beat a classic: Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park has been a Beacon Hill staple for over two decades, serving upscale fare that draws inspiration from French and Italian cuisines. Head here for a classy special occasion, and go all-in on a chef’s tasting menu or choose among a la carte options like the prune-stuffed gnocchi, which has been on the menu since day one.

Haley Henry

For the couple whose idea of a perfect date is an evening of tinned fish and unusual wine in an intimate, dimly lit wine bar in downtown Boston, Haley Henry is the spot. Share some charcuterie; share a crudo or two; share a bottle or two — what a night.

The interior of an intimate wine bar that has a bit of a nautical vibe.
The bar at Haley Henry.
Brian Samuels

O Ya

For those who seek out high-end omakase, O Ya is one of the best options around, and the small, quiet space lends a romantic ambiance to the hours-long, many-course meal. Be sure to reserve a table several weeks in advance.

A wooden restaurant table is embellished with a potted white orchid and a small lamp with a red shade.
O Ya.
Cal Bingham

Lolita

Really, any restaurant from COJE Management Group is suitable for a romantic date; they’re all gorgeous and intricately designed in their own ways. Try Lolita’s Fort Point location for a dark, sexy ambiance full of skulls, stained glass, and exposed brick. Drink tequila, snack on tacos, and share complimentary cotton candy with your date at the end of the meal. (Looking for something a little brighter and frillier? The group’s new Seaport restaurant Coquette might fit the bill.)

A restaurant interior features exposed brick, red chandeliers, and a large mural of a skull wearing a rose.
Lolita’s Fort Point location.
Adam DeTour

Krasi

This relative newcomer to Back Bay serves some of the best Greek food in town — and features a deep Greek wine list — but it also serves up some major sensual vibes. Snuggle into a corner booth and share some DIY tzatziki; fried dough with thyme honey; and a hearty entree, like lamb osso buco.

Mistral

The Columbus Hospitality Group certainly knows how to build long-lasting fine-dining destinations around Boston. (Also see Mooo above.) Mistral, open since 1997, serves an upscale French/Mediterranean menu and is a perfect choice for a dressed-up, romantic evening. Share starters such as classic escargots or Maine crab ravioli before getting into entrees such as Dover sole meuniere and roasted rack of lamb.

Related Maps

Fox & The Knife

The North End isn’t the only place in Boston for pasta and romance. At the Fox & the Knife in South Boston — tagline “stay foxy” — settle in with an amaro flight, share some cheese-stuffed focaccia with a date, and enjoy dishes inspired by Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region.

Merengue

With Dominican restaurant Merengue’s festive, colorful decor, it’s the type of place that makes one want to go out and dance after dinner. Try a whole fried red snapper and finish with flan at the Roxbury mainstay, open since 1994.

A restaurant interior features bold pink walls, bright blue accents, and colorful art.
Merengue.
Merengue

Ten Tables

For years, Ten Tables — named for its size — has deftly straddled that line between special occasion destination and comfortable neighborhood spot. Time your visit to coincide with a wine dinner for the ultimate date night: a three-course menu for two, with a bottle of wine, is $75, and the menu is always changing.

Related Maps