The 14 Most Romantic Restaurants in Houston
Embrace cuffing season at these sure-to-impress hotspots.
For some people, the kind of individuals whose love language is quality time, creative dates are the way to elicit feelings of ardor. For others (probably most people these days), delicious food is the way to capture their heart. Luckily, Houston’s swanky culinary scene can easily appease both forms of appreciation in one fell swoop. From a chic, two-story haunt to a cozy bistro with a menu that borrows from familiar Southern eats, these places are sure to charm your life-long boo (or a temporary fall boo for cuffing season).
Let’s face it, nothing’s sexier than stepping in a dimly lit room, where the air is filled with savory notes of smoked dumplings, spicy teriyaki bites, and roasted shishito peppers. And once you’re actually settled at one of Nobu’s sleek dining tables, the delicacies are even more impressive. Swoon your partner with the greatest of greats at this hotspot, like the sushi dinner set (complete with spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, and salmon avocado), sashimis, and Prime Ribeyes coated in truffle butter. Oh, and the stunning selections of chilled cocktails are sure to have you floating to tropical paradise with one sip.
Wherever there’s a disco ball, there’s always fun. This place has both covered. Where else in the city can you nosh on poached salmon and gooey mac ‘n cheese while cozied up under an illuminated ball? This decadent bistro, which was created by culinary maestros over at River Oak's Brasserie 19, is the perfect low-key, yet aesthetically pleasing for a date night (especially with their new fall special dishes). After indulging in some tzatziki-slathered Lamb Meatballs and herb salads, eat the night away with their numerous seafood options, cheese smorgasbords, and a caramel-imbued Bread Pudding… Or two.
For those looking to relish in no frills, Southern hospitality for a date night, add JOEY Uptown to your list. Tucked away in the Galleria, this delicious spot expanded into Houston last summer, and has quickly bloomed as a go-to for cozy eats. Plus, it offers complimentary champagne upon arrival, so you’re instantly swooned. After toasting to a romantic night (or, relaxing end to a luxury shopping experience at nearby Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue), dive into dishes like ginger-glazed Szechuan lettuce wraps, sushi rolls galore, crab cakes complimented with a toasted almond salad, and steak and lobster ravioli.
How to book: Reserve online.
Casa Nomad has always had an alluring vibe. Since unveiling at the Heights’ creative shopping mecca, M-K-T, last fall, this intimate restaurant has delivered ultimate vacation vibes. Both the intimate patio and cozy interior offer a sweet slice of Tulum with creative design details including a jungle-like rope canopy in the dining area, lush tropical plants, and sea-blue tiles. As for the expansive menu, tapas and cocktails are front and center here. Cozy up with Ahi Tuna Tostadas, hearty skirt steaks with salsa matcha and mushroom agridulce, tangy watermelon-meets tomato salads, Aguachile Shrimp, and spiced and fruity agave-based cocktails that will transport you straight to Mexico.
This Agricole Hospitality stunner is a triple threat when combined with its hip sibling establishments. One space is a groovy cocktail joint and the other, a rebellious slice shop perfect for those late-night hankerings. 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 Crispy Jerk Pork Ribs slathered in a savory pineapple-mango drizzle, roasted oysters dripping with chili butter and tajin, grass-fed venison steak, and a juicy Angus burger will get the juices flowing.
What is sexier than Baked Alaska set aflame before your eyes? Well, quite possibly another plate of that meringue goodness for the ride home. Whether you actually decide to go for two or not, that’s what you’ll be asking yourself at chef Aaron Bludorn’s stunner of a restaurant, which has been consistently hailed as the hottest ticket in town since opening in 2020. 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 oyster towers, Cucumber Gazpacho, and risotto specialities to a cheesy squash appetizer and Lobster Pot Pies for two.
Savoir may sit in what was once a neglected warehouse, but after a little architectural refresh, this Heights haunt oozes charm for days. And, of course, a fantastic menu. Interior details, like exposed brick, plush seating, and tealight candles set in Old World-style glassware, set the stage for you to flirt over plates of horseradish-rubbed short ribs, grilled salmon partnered with stewed okra, duck risotto, Curly Fry Flights, and Pumpkin Cheesecake—obviously, the most romantic dish on their fall menu.
How to book: Order take-out/curbside pickup by calling 346-802-2842.
This Israeli steakhouse is a romantic’s true dream. Doris Metropolitan dry-ages its succulent beef in a chandelier-lit meat locker. Meanwhile, the overall menu itself takes inspiration from the Middle East with dishes like cheese-stuffed beetroot, Moroccan Fish with their buttery challah bread, and Demi Glace Sweetbreads. You’ll also find luscious, top-quality cuts like Prime Bone-in Ribeye, Japanese A5 Wagyu and Shprondas (tender ribeyes), and there are even little piles of seasoning on the plate so you can unleash your inner Salt Bae. Seriously, what’s more romantic than that?
Is there anything more sensual than sneaking a couple glances at your date while sharing a bottle of wine and Bangkok-styled 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, Sriracha, veggies galore, and curry mayo. Did we mention there’s pizza, too? Because there is, and it’s delicious.
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 bold plates 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.
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.
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 like Aleppo-crusted Tonno, housemade Cacio e Pepe hit with black truffles shaved tableside, and a Prime Porterhouse for two. Finish the meal with Limoncello-spiked cocktails and a delectable Amaretto Crème Brûlée.
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.
Brenner's on the Bayou
Set on lavish grounds along the banks of Buffalo Bayou, this gorgeous steakhouse has served as backdrop to many a romantic evening (and even some weddings). Maybe it’s the woodsy, cascading waterfall near the restaurant’s patio, or their striking, two-story dining room? Or, maybe it’s the seared Wagyu Skewers, colossal Seafood Tower filled with delights like oysters and tuna poke, lamb chops, Crispy Duck Leg Confit, and steaks of all kinds dripping with herb butter and savory demi-glazes. Regardless, there’s something seductive about this place. Also, triple bonus points if you start your date with bayouside drinks and live blues at the al fresco Blue Bar.
Adrianne Reece is a Houston-based writer with a soft spot for all things culture, entertainment, and lifestyle. When not writing about the city, she’s probably in a three-hour scrolling binge on Twitter obsessing over streetwear and neutral mood boards. Oh, and anime… maybe a little too much. Follow her @anicaurora.