The 12 Most Romantic Restaurants To Celebrate Valentine's Day In NYC 2023

With Valentine's Day around the corner, it's time to start planning that romantic night with your special someone. If V-Day includes dinner with the one you love in one of New York's five boroughs, your reservation better be in one of the best date spots in New York City. Luckily, the big apple is full of incredible places to enjoy the company of your crush.

From Mars assembled a list of the most romantic U.S. cities to propose in, and New York took the top spot. It should be no surprise then that New York's reputation as a city for lovers is even reflected in the history of popular culture. Vulture points out that the first onscreen smooch between lovers happened in an 1896 film entitled "The Kiss," which sent the public in a tizzy over even the suggestion of carnal attraction. Regardless, the consensus seems to be that New York is a city for romance, and there's no better way to make that point than to explore a few of its most romantic restaurants.


It would be easy to go for the tried and true box of chocolates and leave it at that in terms of Valentine's Day meals. However, you may want to consider Valentine's Day foods to buy that aren't chocolate if you want to demonstrate your appreciation for someone in a way that goes a little further than a sugar rush. Shuko, a Japanese omakase bar and restaurant would be a great place to start. According to Grub Street, owners Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau opened Shuko after stints working at triple Michelin star-winning restaurant Masa, considered potentially the most expensive restaurant in the U.S.

At Shuko, the pair don't stray too far from the price point nor the quality of food that makes you almost forget the cost of dinner. The intimate yet not cramped 20-seater dining counter includes a creative prix fixe that includes both sushi and kaiseki plates, as well as additions and off-menu supplements. Perusing Shuko's menu reveals a multi-course dinner that comes in at a staggering $270 per person but includes ingredients well worth the expense like truffles, uni, and caviar. If you really want to show your love, add on a beverage tasting for another $150 for the total experience. A beautiful wood-carved bar, impeccable service, imaginative food, and soft lighting that illuminates without losing the mood make Shuko a V-Day winner.


Manhatta makes the list for its stunning 60th-floor views of New York from a central location in Union Square. Foodwise, the new American mash-up of cultural influences is reflected in authentic dishes. The blue crab, green tomato, horseradish, and caviar are a play on a chilled seafood salad adorned with the aforementioned ingredients and peppery citrus-tinged creme fraiche. Oysters are elevated beyond your local brasserie's miscellaneous red sauce and vinegar accompaniment to include higher-grade elements such as uni and a champagne-infused uni cream over buttery onion and leek.

In an interview with The New York Times, restaurant owner Danny Meyer called the views "the best back bar in the city, because the back bar is the city." We would tend to agree. There are a few good reasons New York City has earned a reputation as one of the most romantic cities on earth, and the New York skyline on Valentine's Day has to be at least close to the top of that list.

In terms of cost, dinner at Manhatta oscillates somewhere between $24 for a dish to $165 per person for a five-course Chef's table experience. A $15 to $19 cocktail list riffs off of New York neighborhoods like the Brooklyn — a very cherry-based cocktail with cherry blossom infused rye whiskey, amaro, maraschino cherries, dry vermouth, and cherry bark — and includes an alcohol-free concoction aptly named The Walking Talking Enigma, a mango heavy libation with a number of Asian inflected ingredients like soy, yuzu, and matcha.


According to The New Yorker, Tatiana by Chef and author Kwame Onwuachi is an ode to his childhood roots. This includes time spent in Nigeria, the Louisiana coast, and New York. The "Top Chef" finalist, who actor LaKeith Stanfield will be playing in an upcoming biopic, named the restaurant after his sister and engages with a menu that calls on his African-American ancestry with both smaller tapas platters and larger family-style dishes for sharing.

To that point, the menu at Tatiana includes a Nigerian staple with crab and red stew, egusi soup, which shows up inside a ground melon seed dumpling. An average bodega sandwich, the Truffle Chopped Cheese, becomes an impeccably seared ribeye steak with slivers of pungent truffle and a creamy Taleggio cheese on a brioche bun. Onwuachi's Southern roots, both American and the Global South, show up in crispy fried okra and braised oxtails with squash and carrot over a bed of rice and peas.

According to Elle Decor, the restaurant design team behind Tatiana specializes in spaces that are "intimate and seductive." As such, they created a spectacular setting decorated with velvet, gold, and polished steel accents on everything from the plush banquette seating to chain link fences and modern Greco-Roman columns. An open kitchen makes for the perfect human theatre between bites, and the lighting, hidden behind cloud-like structures overhead, adds a special touch to Valentine's Day.


As one of The World's 50 Best Restaurants, the one thing Cosme guarantees on Valentine's Day is an unforgettable dining experience, even if your date isn't quite worth remembering. Chef Gustavo Garnica guides the kitchen through a modern Mexican take on local produce which, according to Upscale Living, was inspired by his Mexico City market jaunts with his grandfather as a child.

This isn't on a list of best restaurants because it's your standard taqueria. At Cosme, you should expect to find a plethora of traditional ingredients in contemporary Mexican dishes. Chintextle, a smoky red paste made with dried shellfish, avocado leaves, chilis, garlic, oil, and vinegar, is at the center of hiramasa tostada, a better salad bowl with snap peas and wild purslane leaves. The Chintexle represents South-of-the-Border flavors while the peas and purslane weeds connect the North American profile. Speaking of smoke, mezcal makes an appearance in several cocktails including a classic margarita, and original offerings like the telenovela part 8, a grapefruit and guava forward cocktail with Riesling and pisco in the mix.

The dimly lit dining room adds the right candlelit mood for your evening, and if you take a seat by the gorgeous bar, the flattering glow offers just the right amount of shadow to feel intimate.


Another romantic skyline view available just in time for Valentine's Day is the Peak. According to Forbes, this upscale restaurant has attained stratospheric heights in terms of food, drinks, and distance from the ground. Coming in at 1,149 feet above street level, you may want to skip this one if you have a fear of heights, but if a view of all of New York City is as attractive to you as your date is, then this is a great place to spend V-Day. The wine list is extensive, with 1,100 different labels on offer and bottles all the way up to the range of $17,500.

A special Valentine's Day menu created by Executive Chef Christopher Cryer reveals a caviar starter, first course options including the likes of wagyu beef tartare with Calabrian chili and chickpeas, entrees like braised short ribs with cavatelli pasta and smoked mushroom, and dessert options like a dark and stormy cocoa crumble and malt ice cream chocolate delight. While by no means is it a full list of the special menu items, it suggests a high-caliber meal worthy of the one you love, especially if they love to eat well.

After dinner, head over to the bar for a nightcap at Peekaboo, the connecting lounge that 6sqft suggests is elevated in all the right ways. A well-stocked bar offers more than 200 bottles of top-shelf spirits, while a 360-degree view of the bright lights of the Big Apple provides an unbeatable ambiance.

T Bar

According to The New York Times, this Upper East Side mainstay has over 27 years of prominence, even after the venue moved from one end of the area to another. Spectacular art deco chandeliers and the soft glow of hidden lighting under velvet and smoke-grey banquettes ensure the perfect mood lighting in this three-story townhouse.

Although the establishment is definitely worthy of a Valentine's Day dinner in New York, the prices are a little less eye-watering than some of the other restaurants on this list. That's likely because the menu at T Bar isn't interested in reinventing the wheel. Rather, the focus is placed on doing classics well. Starters like foie gras and chicken parfait with cranberry compote and toasted bread suggest some level of sophistication next to standards like angel wings coated in a tamarind glaze. Meanwhile, a trio of pasta and salads, a pair of burgers with different proteins, a choice of steak, and a chicken and seafood-heavy list of mains offer a lot of choices without blowing your mind or budget. There's even sushi on order if anyone is interested, although it honestly seems a little out of place on this menu.

More adventurous is T Bar's cocktail list. Classics like the Negroni are always welcome but originals like the Mojito Queens Park Swizzle — made with rum, sugarcane, lime, mint, and bitters — and the Voodoo Child — maple, vanilla, pineapple, citrus, Patron, and spice — take the cocktail experience to a new level.


According to Lonely Planet, Redhook, Brooklyn natural wine bar, and restaurant June is curvy, polished, welcoming, and is likely to warm the coldest hearts. Stepping down from street level into the seductively lit space gives off an air of the Parisian with tapas-style bites to match — envision quality charcuterie like mortadella and pickles, spiced and candied nuts, and Bayley Hazen blue cheese with apple preserves. More substantial offerings include delicious-sounding plates like Parisian gnocchi, sun choke, brown butter, oysters on the half shell with homemade hot sauce, and roasted duck breast with cranberry served with sweet potato.

This is the sort of comfortable space that strikes the perfect balance of conversation and intimacy with a vast list of natural wines and bubbly to keep your Valentine's Day date socially lubricated. If this is your first time going down the natural wine path, you and your date are in good hands. June is a great place to have the types of natural wine explained in an unpretentious atmosphere with friendly staff who love to talk about the vino without making you feel silly for asking.

The Four Horsemen

This time, we head over to Williamsburg. The Four Horsemen is a place where becoming knowledgeable about wine is enjoyable as the wine itself. Another intimate space that is a 50/50 blend of bar and dining area, the case is made for it to be a wonderful spot for dining with or without someone special on Valentine's Day. Like the aforementioned June, The Four Horsemen offers the same small platter mentality with excellent food fare and interesting flavor profiles. Think slices of yellowfin tuna dressed in tonnato sauce — an Italian tuna sauce that will add an umami kick to your dish — and Yuzo kusho, a fermented yuzu, salt, and red or green chili paste that packs more than its fair share of flavor. A magically crunchy fried chicken also holds up under a thick sauce of aromatics and vegetables, just a pair of standouts amongst a number of mouthwatering options.

A detailed natural wine list includes a vast array of international bottles, which are influenced heavily by regions in France and Italy. Still, there's more than enough to sate any oenophile.


Maybe the last thing anyone would think about in February is outdoor dining, but Watermark makes that possible under harbor-side glasshouses large enough for groups or couples. Watermark is located in lower Manhattan by the South Street Seaport and boasts a seafood-forward menu with epic views of the city.

The view is pretty through winterized glass cabins. There's also warm mood lighting, a weather-controlled environment courtesy of electric fireplaces, comfortable fur-lined seating, and the offer of kitchen specials like Chef's tastings and bottomless cocktails make it a great reason to experience one of the most creative uses of outdoor dining space in New York.

Better yet, the restaurant is currently in its pink phase, where the glasshouses are currently decorated all-pink through Valentine's Day. For $25 to $100 per person, Watermark is offering an entrée, tea, heart-shaped macaroons, and specialty Valentine's day cocktails like the Love Potion — applejack brandy, merlot, port wine, ginger, browns sugar, cinnamon, orange, and cranberry — or Cupid's Cosmo, a cosmopolitan lover's dream with Grey Goose vodka, St. Germaine, Prosecco, lemon, and puréed strawberries.


Speaking of Al Fresco dining on Valentine's Day, Kokomo's fairy light fantasyland makes for another interesting date spot with a Caribbean twist. Heating lamps raise the temperature while the beautiful curtain of warm bulbs bathes potential lovers in a flattering light. Envisioned as modern Caribbean cuisine, the dishes marry different tastes into its menu. Consider the oxtail flatbread — confit tomato, slow braised and deboned New Zealand grass-fed beef with a blend of Italian cheeses on flatbread — and Koko's island pasta that takes a creamy pappardelle pasta and infuses it with Caribbean spices with a choice of chicken, shrimp, beef, fish or even shredded oxtail.

In Black-Owned Brooklyn, husband and wife owners Ria and Kevol Graham explained the name of the restaurant was taken from the 1988 Beach Boys song about an imaginary island escape. The food is a cultural mix of Afro-Indo-Asian influences and was designed to create the same feeling of being in a tropical paradise. Decorated with ferns and artwork, the lush suede seating lit with macrame laps makes the interior as enticing as the exterior for a romantic dinner date.


According to Patch, ROKC was named one of America's best bars by Esquire in 2017 but hasn't lost its luster since. ROKC is an acronym for ramen, oysters, kitchen, and cocktails, which describes pretty much everything the Harlem, New York spot is most known for. The menu has an interesting take on Japanese port cuisine during the Meiji Period with an eccentric Tokyo-themed cocktail program that serves up drinks in everything from lightbulbs to conch shells.

A handful of wines and sakes compete with a list of some two dozen classic and original cocktails employing ingredients like miso, umami sea salt, and Japanese black honey. For example, the hijiki (seaweed) uses Japanese whisky, seaweed, apple shrub, lemon, umami sea salt, honey, and mint for a green libation with layered flavor profiles. Ramen shows up in several ways like sea urchin and caviar (soupless) and the Kyoto, a blended fish and chicken broth ramen with pork belly, soft-boiled egg, garlic oil, spicy bamboo shoot, and scallion.

Aside from being one of the best ramen restaurants in NYC, we also consider ROKC to be one of the most romantic bars in the U.S. to celebrate Valentine's Day. This should definitely be on any list of V-Day bests.

The River Cafe

The River Cafe is a Michelin Star upscale venue known as a wedding destination in Brooklyn, New York. Hang out under the Brooklyn bridge with stellar views of the city in a glass pavilion. According to The New York Times, the location has an over 40-year history on the waterfront pier where a pianist provides a romantic soundtrack to your dinner. It took the owner, Michael O'Keefe, a million dollars and 12 years of bureaucratic wrangling to open the restaurant in that location back in the 1970s, but it paid off. Known as the preeminent special occasion restaurant in New York, an innumerable number of wedding receptions, birthdays, and anniversaries have taken place on the site.

The River Cafe's Valentine's day menu boasts a three-course $225 fixed-price menu of fine dining classics. Options including bay scallops and foie gras as appetizers lead into a choice of several mains like filet mignon Wellington in flakey pastry with pinot noir sauce, and rack of lamb served with pea puree, baby eggplant, and merguez sausage. For an extra $95 to $180 per ounce, indulge in table-side caviar service with caviar imported from Germany. End the dinner with a trio of desserts. It may be an expensive Valentine's Day dinner, but since The River cafe has a Michelin Star, you can know your meal will be worth it.