The 18 Most Romantic Restaurants in Houston

Upgrade your Valentine’s Day game at sexy tapas bars, top-shelf cocktail lounges, and more.

Paris. Buenos Aires. Marrakech. We get it—Houston may not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking romance, but that’s not to say the Bayou City lacks date night swagger. Our messy, gritty hometown rocks lush, breezy patios, hush-hush tapas bars and hand roll joints, and more than one spot that’ll make you feel like you’re wining and dining in a far-off land. Whether it’s your first date or your 1000th, here are the most romantic, swoon-inducing restaurants in Houston.

Casa Nomad

Heights
$$$$

This vibe at Casa Nomad is straight-up sexy. The intimate patio brings big Tulum energy to popular new mixed-use development M-K-T, its snug space flanked by a jungle-like rope canopy and tropical plants. Tapas and cocktails are front and center here, with Ahi Tuna Tostadas, Aguachile Shrimp, and spiced and fruity agave-based cocktails that will transport you straight to Mexico.

Available for Reservations

Indianola

EaDo
$$$$

This Agricole Hospitality stunner is a triple threat when combined with its twin hip sibling establishments, one an impossibly cool cocktail joint and the other, a rebellious late-night slice shop. The best part? You can hit all three if your date is going really, really well. Start your love affair at Indianola, where polished modern Texas eats like Roasted Oysters dripping with chili butter, Blackened Gulf Shrimp Pasta, and Grass-fed Venison Steak will get the juices flowing. Later, keep the momentum by hopping next door for artfully crafted G&Ts and Espresso Martinis at Miss Carousel and after-hours pizza from Vinny’s.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast.

Available for Reservations

Trattoria Sofia

Heights
$$$$

The Berg Hospitality Group (B&B Butchers & Restaurant, B.B. Lemon, and more) went full amore for its latest concept, offering rustic Italian cuisine in a dark and sultry setting. Get to know each other better over fiery, crispy Shrimp Crostini, Sicilian-inspired Wood-fired Octopus, and Cacio e Pepe that you could totally share, or totally not. You’ll want to tack on cocktails, too, as booze boss Alba Huerta (Julep) serves as the beverage consultant.

Available for Reservations

Bludorn

Montrose
$$$$

What is sexier than Baked Alaska set aflame before your eyes? That’s what you’ll be asking yourself at chef Aaron Bludorn’s absolute whopper of a restaurant, one that’s been steadily sliding into its role as the hottest ticket in town since opening. Vamping up the old Pass & Provisions space on Taft, the moodily lit interior makes for an intimate date night, while the breezy outdoor canopy brings the charm with verdant greenery and twinkling cafe lights. Both are perfect settings for taking down Bludorn’s refined, satisfying fare, from oysters, foie, and risotto specialities to a gorgeous Lobster Pot Pie for two.

Available for Reservations

Tucked away in the luxuriously reimagined La Colombe d'Or hotel lies this alluring hotel restaurant, which serves up coastal European cuisine with a side of local intrigue. Whet your appetites with Gulf Crudo paired with a killer caviar service, then linger over bone marrow butter-topped Steak Frites, Gulf Catch with smoked trout roe, and upscale S’mores complemented by a glass of fine Port. Afterwards, keep up the vibes by relocating to the storied hotel bar… or perhaps even a room upstairs.

Available for Reservations

Savoir

Heights
$$$$

It may sit in what was once a neglected warehouse, but after a little polishing up, this Heights haunt oozes charm for days. Details like exposed brick, plush seating, and tealight candles dropped into Old World-style glassware set the stage for you to flirt over plates of Seafood Bouillabaisse, Duck Risotto, and Curly Fry Flights—obviously the most romantic dish on the menu.

Available for Reservations

Doris Metropolitan

River Oaks
$$$$

This Israeli steakhouse dry-ages its beef in a chandelier-lit meat locker, while the menu itself takes inspiration from the Middle East with dishes like Cheese-stuffed Beetroot and Demi Glace Sweetbreads. You’ll find luscious, top-quality cuts like Prime Bone-in Ribeye and Japanese A5 Wagyu, and there are even little piles of seasoning on the plate so you can unleash your inner Salt Bae.

Available for Reservations

Boheme

Montrose
$$$$

Is there anything more sensual than sharing a bottle of wine and a mountain of fries? Perhaps only when said wine is consumed on a dreamy, string-lit patio and said fries come absolutely stacked with devilish add-ons like smoked pork shoulder and yellow curry mayo. Did we mention there’s pizza, too? Because there is.

Available for Reservations

Mutiny Wine Room

Heights
$$$$

Save a ton on airfare by skipping the flight to Napa and opting instead for a few flights at this buzzy Heights tasting room instead. The space screams Cali-cool, thanks to its farmhouse aesthetic and superlative library of boutique wines. Pair your sips with Drunken PEI Mussels, Tenderloin Bordelaise, and Saffron Pappardelle, to boot.

Available for Reservations

Musaafer

Galleria/Uptown
$$$$

Whisk yourselves off to far-flung place by date nighting in a gilded dining room, cozying up on tufted sofas in a sultry lounge, or wining and dining on a patio inspired by the breezeways of Indian palaces at this well-traveled fine dining spot. Opulence flows abundantly as chef Mayank Istwal churns out seasonally inspired Spice Route dishes bound to titillate the senses. Get the juices flowing with indulgences like Coriander Prawn, Truffle Chaat, and Braised Lamb, and end the journey with a mosaic of rich, silky Kheer scented with saffron and cardamom.
How to order: Order take-out via Toast.

Available for Reservations
Ostia
Jenn Duncan | Ostia

Ostia

Montrose
$$$$

Go ahead and lick your fingers after scarfing down chef Travis McShane’s enviable Roast Chicken—just try to make it sexy while you do. Ostia’s ambiance will help, with tiny tables and mood lighting, an open kitchen firing scratchmade pastas and Whole Branzino, and a verdant greenhouse and patio combo known to ratchet the romance factor up quite a few notches.
How to order: Order take-out via Toast.

Available for Reservations

Nobie's

Montrose
$$$$

With a revolving supper menu and plates you’ll definitely want to go Dutch on, this intimate neighborhood staple is where locals do date night right. Pop a few Stuffed Dates and tear into pull-apart Milk Bread with Smoked Trout Roe, swipe right on Roast Chicken and Truffle Jus, and go all Lady and the Tramp on a bowl of Tagliatelle Bolognese. And if there’s a wait, no problem—loosen up with one of beverage director Sarah Troxwell’s excellent libations at the well-stocked bar.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.

Potente

Downtown
$$$$

This Downtown stunner oozes sophistication, with a dark and luxe space that evokes a modern Italian villa. Set the mood with a superb bottle of wine, and keep the excitement going with fancy-pants Italian steakhouse gems (think Aleppo-crusted Tonno, housemade Cacio e Pepe hit with black truffles shaved tableside, and a Prime Porterhouse for two). Finish the night with Limoncello-spiked cocktails and a delectable Amaretto Crème Brûlée.

Available for Reservations

An exceptional wine list, anchovies straight from the Cantabrian Sea, and desserts like Aged Rum Raisin Catalán Brûlée are just a few of the reasons to bring your date to this Barcelona-inspired fine dining spot. Intoxicatingly good dishes like grilled Spanish Octopus, Foie-stuffed Quail, and Suckling Ibérico Pig are a few more. You’ll find it all tucked away in a quaint 1920s home turned contemporary chic escape in Montrose.

Available for Reservations

Rainbow Lodge

Shady Acres
$$$$

If you’re looking for a space with character, this lodge-style restaurant in a century-old log cabin on the rolling grounds along White Oak Bayou is your jam. The longtime Houston institution has some serious game—provided your date’s not averse to antler-based decor—as well as some actual game on the menu in the form of venison, elk, and wild boar chops. Cozy up next to the fireplace and settle in for a delightful (and adventurous) night.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Hando

Heights
$$$$

There are only 22 seats at this hot new hand-roll sushi bar. Snag a pair and you and your date can go all in on temaki tubes stuffed with toro, yellowtail, scallop, and shrimp katsu, offered a la carte or in sets of three, four, and five. Japanese Highballs and House Spiced Milk Punch only sweeten the deal, as does a neighboring speakeasy-style cocktail den dubbed the Kanpai Club.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Toast.

MAD

River Oaks District
$$$$

Sexiness and weirdness often go hand-in-hand, and this avant-garde concept is about as weird as it gets. You’ll feel like you’re going down the rabbit hole as you slice open a tomato only to realize it’s not a tomato at all, but a gelatinous veil for Parmesan Mousse and Pesto over Pumpernickel Crumble. The showy light fixtures and wacky decor are straight out of a Picasso painting, and there’s a top-notch collection of gin to enhance the whimsy.
How to order: Order take-out via Toast.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Brenner's on the Bayou

Memorial Park
$$$$

Nestled into lavish grounds along the banks of the Buffalo Bayou, this wooded retreat has served as backdrop to many a romantic evening (and even some weddings). Maybe it’s the cascading waterfall or dramatic, two-story dining room. Or maybe it’s the Fire-roasted Oysters, Crispy Duck Leg Confit, and steaks of all kinds dripping with truffle butter and Cognac sauce. Regadess, there’s something seductive about this place. Triple bonus points if you start your date with bayouside drinks and live blues at the al fresco Blue Bar.

Available for Reservations
Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based food and lifestyle writer. Share your tips with her on IG @brookiefafa or on Twitter @brookeviggiano.