The Most Romantic Bars In The US To Celebrate Valentine's Day

Celebrating Valentine's Day at a romantic bar is an opportunity to set the mood with great company. Finding the right location for your night of festivities can be trickier, regardless if you're looking to have a drink with friends or impress a significant other. Romance can mean something different depending on who you ask. Some people define opulence as multiple forks, a fixed menu, and servers wearing white gloves; while others would prefer a crisp glass of champagne sipped in a quiet corner. Fortunately, you don't need to head straight to a fine dining establishment to add some mystique to your date night.

We've found bars heavy on romance: think low lighting, plush seating, incredible views, and a lush aesthetic. You won't have to travel far, since we found the top locations in cities across the United States. (Austin makes for high-voltage romantic, while our Charleston bar appreciates a refined approach.) We also offer a few back-up options in case you want to do some bar hopping or are considering a second date — adding a bit of romance can be a good option any night.

Noble Rot in Portland, OR

Portland is known for excellent food and bars that are serious about their cocktail programs. Eater attributes the Teardrop Longue for launching in the "craft cocktail" revival embraced by bartenders across the riverside city. This OG space boasts an excellent bar program not to miss. Those looking for a cozy date night, however, might want to explore Noble Rot as a bar and restaurant delivering excellent cocktails with a side of romance. In 2018, Nobel Rot earned a place as a semifinalist for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program. This restaurant offers views of the Portland skyline from its outdoor terrace and sunlit dining room. Dishes at Nobel Rot are made with seasonal ingredients grown on the rooftop garden. Come for the wine program; stay for the food.

We're including two honorable mentions because this is Portland, after all. Expatriate is a globally focused bar opened by James Beard winner Naomi Pomeroy (perhaps best known for her restaurant Beast's homage to all things meat) and bartender Kyle Linden Webster. You'll find candlelight and turntables playing curated vinyl.

Bar Casa Vale is another answer to romance in Portland, thanks to its Spanish-inspired sherry and tapas by way of Barcelona. Portland Monthly recommends Bare Casa Vale for its "turquoise-arabesque tiled bar" and extensive drink offerings. Salud! 

The French Alpine Bistro Creperie du Village in Aspen, CO

You won't be at a loss for romantic dining options when in Aspen. You could choose to dine at The St. Regis Aspen or grab a seat at the historic J Bar for its mix of locals and the jet set crowd. However, we recommend you head to The French Alpine Bistro Creperie du Village for its lush ambiance and menu thanks to its Austrian founder. The Creperie is likely what people think about when imagining mountain chic: dark woods, sheepskin throws, chandeliers, and decadent food and drink. In the heart of the city center, you'll discover an intimate restaurant where guests fight for a seat to taste fondue and drink champagne, rather than elbow one another to get the attention of the bartender. Aspen Sojourner recommends the crepe menu, saying one look and you'll "know you've struck gold." Trust us, you'll want to plan by calling ahead.

One honorable mention for romantic dining in Aspen is the stately Steakhouse No. 136 – the bar menu is a local favorite.

If you're serious about your food, Bosq is an intimate 35-seat restaurant that attracts a hip crowd with its chef-driven tasting menus with ingredients sourced from around the Aspen Valley. Owned by a husband and wife team, the website shares they want the space to feel like "an extension of their home."

Ophelia Lounge in New York, NY

When we think of a romantic setting, we often turn to dimly lit spaces, plush seating, and drink menus with rich spirits and classic cocktails. Ophelia delivers all three, plus sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River from its rooftop location. The building opened in 1928, then called The Panhellenic Tower, was the only hotel managed by women, for women. The tower also operated as a women's-only social club. Today, Ophelia occupies the 26th floor of the Beekman Tower complete with a bar, booth seating for groups, and an outdoor terrace. The cocktail and wine program round out this bar as an ideal option for date night or getting friends together to feel like you live in a luxurious HBO series.

New York City is full of bars and restaurants offering complex bar menus and cozy corners to hide in. Another romantic option to visit is one of two Dear Irving locations, known for its historical and decadent ambiance. Jetsetter named Dear Irving in Gramercy Park one of the most romantic bars in NYC thanks to themed rooms, such as Marie Antionette and the Great Gatsby. Dear Irving on Hudson (located in Times Square) covers two floors: one with a James Bond theme and the other art deco design.

Venice Beach Wines in Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis with ideal date spots in every section of town. Selecting just one is a tall order, but we're willing to vouch for this hip wine bar in Venice. Steps from the boardwalk, the exterior of Venice Beach Wines appears to be an upscale beach shack beckoning anyone to step inside. Inside, it feels more like a European bistro thanks to cozy outdoor seating. Open for over 15 years, the food is consistent and wine selections are plentiful. This bar also contains a wine shop, which will allow you to grab a bottle to go if you and your date want a nightcap at home.

Another contender is the moody Oriel, a French wine bar in Chinatown with an affinity for shades of pink. The bistro-style food and reasonably priced glasses of wine are so enjoyable, you might lose track of time.

If you're in the valley, then Firefly in Studio City features crackling fireplaces, semi-private booths, and plenty of outdoor seating with low-hanging, rustic chandeliers to keep the lighting low and romance high.

Justine's Brasserie in Austin, TX

Austin is full of exciting options for nightlife and decadent eating. The city offers romance with a bit of "X factor." Described by Eater as being a "tucked-away gem ... right for a long, lingering meal," Justine's Brasserie in East Austin is known for classic French menu and wine list. This place is a whole mood. Dining bungalows are available for anyone who wants a little more privacy — complete with velvet curtains to boost the romance factor. Burgundy painted walls compliment the indoor dining space.

As much of a bar as it is a restaurant, Justine's isn't afraid to be a little risque and cheeky. This is Austin, after all. Condé Nast Traveler named Justine's one of the 20 best restaurants in Austin in 2021 for the dark, romantic vibes and late-night crowd. Expect wine, vintage vibes, and plenty of hip people canoodling in the sexy space.

The Belmont in Charlston, SC

The success of Charleston's food scene stems from its abundance of resources, including fresh seafood and oysters, and numerous influences from Europe, West Africa, and the West Indies. The city takes its spirits and cocktail programs seriously, making it easy to combine ambiance with a delicious night out. The Belmont is known for craft cocktails in a mellow atmosphere, making it a good place to start a night of bar hopping in Charleston. The exposed brick, tin ceiling, and Art Deco accents contribute to the stylish and decadent atmosphere. Home-made Pop Tarts grace the menu alongside meat and cheese offerings, indicating this is a bar that doesn't take itself too seriously. Refreshing takes on a whole new meaning.

Consider another option for Valentine's Day drinks with live music: Charleston Grill (not to be confused with another restaurant with the Charleston moniker on this list) embraces blending global cuisine with Southern food influences. The space also hosts jazz performances to pair with its wine and spirits menu.

Aba in Chicago, IL

Heading out to a bar on a date night in the Windy City can be an issue of picking your preferred poison (so to speak). You might want to head to an upscale tiki bar like Three Dots and a Dash in River North. Maybe the rooftop bar Remedy with deep leather couches in a space that might smell of rich mahogany. The Chef's Special Cocktail Bar hits all the familiar notes, complete with pink bar seating and plenty of specialty drinks. How about showing your taste level at Dorian's? The Wicker Park bar is hidden behind a record shop and features live music and DJ spinning vinyl.

They're all hinting at a certain type of romance, but if you want a foolproof option we recommend heading to Aba; featuring a rooftop patio, lush surroundings, and Mediterranean-inspired menu. The abundance of plants alongside wood and marble sets a tone that feels ideal for a night out with a loved one. Thrillist described the West Loop location as "one of the most pristinely decorated and spacious rooftops in town." We have to agree. The décor and views might even let you forget where you are for a minute.

Double Knot in Philadelphia, PA

Double Knot is a two-level Japanese bar and restaurant operating all day by serving coffee and cocktails on the ground floor. The below ground sushi bar and robatayaki is drenched with hip, sexy vibes in the industrial chic space. You can enjoy an extensive drink menu with beer, wine, cocktails, and sake. Thrillist recommends trying the reasonably priced tasting menu or chasing your own dining adventure: "What better bonding exercise than pouring over the menu and deciding what to order together?"

If sake isn't your priority, consider Cuban. You might be thinking: Why are they recommending a Cuban restaurant in Philly? Hear us out. The Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar started in Philadelphia in 2000 before spreading to New Jersey, Washington D.C., and perhaps more expectedly, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, FL. Cuba Libre is designed to celebrate Cuban culture, food, and drink, making it a solid choice for date night. The chef is also a two-time James Beard award winner. The Philadelphia location offers dancing all night with cocktails in hand once restrictions are lifted.

Want classic French flair? The Royal Boucherie is a dark wood, exposed brick, and low-light destination bar and restaurant. The menu is built on snout-to-tail ethos and an "eclectic and funky" wine selection, at least, according to its website.

Cliff Bell's in Detroit, MI

You may not know this, but Detroit is a place for lovers. This industrial city retains many art deco buildings that speak to its romantic side and history of opulence, and many of its bars, restaurants, and venues benefit from this legacy. Detroit might be known for Motown, but Cliff Bell's is a historic landmark that pays homage to jazz. Cliff Bells's is a restored art deco bar where the drinks are accompanied by bands on the right night. The bar dates back to 1935, but the space recently received a remodel to bring it back to its original glory. You'll find classic cocktails and intimate booths for watching the live entertainment.

Head to the Candy Bar at the Siren Hotel if you're looking for a more intimate space with plenty of vintage charm. The boutique hotel is new-ish to the neighborhood, but you might not notice the fresh paint thanks to a massive chandelier, velvet seating, and u-shaped bar with enough space for a romantic drink with your person.

Bar Marilou in New Orleans, LA

New Orleans has long been known as one of the best food cities in the world. TripAdvisor voted the food walking tours in the French Quarter to be in the "Top 10" of global foodie experiences in 2018 based on bookings, traveler reviews, and traveler ratings. Finding a romantic bar (and excellent cocktail) is in no short order. Bar Marilou checks all the right boxes for its expanded cocktail program and lavish setting inside the Atelier Ace's Maison de la Luz hotel. Mood lighting, animal-print bar stools, and a marble bar add to the atmosphere. The space also includes velvet couches for lounging and (if you're lucky) a special cocktail with "love potion bitters."

The Vessel is a restaurant (with extensive bar seating) converted from a church. We suggest you can take the Canal Streetcar to add a bit of nostalgia to the evening.

People can't stop talking about another romantic restaurant in NOLA. Food & Wine reported the contemporary Creole restaurant August ranked as one of the best-reviewed date spots in the country in 2019, again based on TripAdvisor's algorithm. It's a refined way to start the evening before heading for more libations in the French Quarter.

The Charleston Restaurant in Baltimore, MD

Chef Cindy Wolf opened The Charleston's award-winning dining space in 1997 in the Harbor East district and went on to be nominated for multiple James Beard Awards. This establishment is centered on seasonal dishes in an elegant setting. Fine dining isn't for everyone, but it's worth snagging a drink if sitting in a dining room isn't your goal. Head to the bar for cocktails and harbor views with your date. Forbes Travel Guide recommends ordering one of the signature cocktails if the sound of the "fanciest, tastiest, most decadent version of Tang you could envision" sounds like your idea of a good time.

Honorable mention goes to Nihao Baltimore, a contemporary Chinese restaurant, in the Canton district for its Baiju spirit program. Baiju is the "world's best-selling spirit," making an excellent cocktail for the uninitiated, says VinePair. The restaurant is run by Lydia Chang, daughter of prominent chef and restaurateur Peter Chang, and features bar seating for anyone looking to impress a date with their spirits knowledge.

Baltimore also offers a low-key Serenity Wine Cafe, where you can act as your own bartender at the self-serve wine bar. The wine cafe is ideal for trying different varieties in one-, three-, and six-ounce pours.

The Sylvester in Miami, FL

Miami is a destination for sunshine, luxurious dining, and plenty of tropical spirits to go around. The Wynwood district is known for its boutique shops, murals, and craft cocktails, and The Sylvester Bar is plush, eclectic, and colorful in its decor. The Infatuation describes the bar as the "living room of your aunt who never misses a good estate sale." Hanging ferns and chandeliers are nice reminders that you are in Miami, and you'll also find a pool table and pinball machine to pass the time. Along with a great cocktail menu, dishes range from seafood towers to empanadas. 

Head to South Beach if you don't want to leave the shoreline and check out Minibar, a tiny and irresistible cocktail lounge in the Urbanica Hotel right off of 5th Street. The simple wood bar, palm tree wallpaper, and plants set the mood for this beach-adjacent bar. Haven't found the "one" yet? The minuscule 10-seat bar could be a welcoming spot to make new friends or embark on a romantic encounter.