This Pizza Is Covered in Fish Jerky
All-day Japanese cafe and restaurant in the heart of Midtown Village
Go downstairs to the subterranean dinner level of this all-day Japanese restaurant from Michael Schulson, where tables are nestled in dark corners that makes dinner feel extra private. To spring for extra romance, try the chef’s tasting menu -- $62 gets you 10 courses -- to share robatayaki, seafood, sushi, and countless other dishes with your date.
Romantic jazz bar serving long, sumptuous French meals
For a long, winding dinner where you don’t mind sitting for hours, Paris Bistro is your destination. The place adopts a more… European style to serving, which can be extremely fun if you’re not in a rush and don’t mind popping a fresh bottle of wine while you wait. Head there Thursdays through Sundays to enjoy live jazz music with your filet mignon.
Bi-level corner eatery for seafood and American cuisine
The new Friday Saturday Sunday makes for a cozy date spot, whether you opt for the bustling downstairs bar or head upstairs to the expansive, open dining room. If you’re in the mood for sharing, you and your date can try the dry-aged duck for two, with roasted duck breast and confit duck leg, after starting with eggs and caviar.
Authentic french cuisine in upscale, intimate tavern setting with rooftop garden dining
Nick Elmi’s French tavern in Old City is perfect ,whether you’re craving a juicy burger with truffle mayo or looking to drop some cash on champagne-braised escargot and a giant charcuterie board. The homey atmosphere is especially inviting during post-dinner hours when the kitchen stays open late -- because is there anything more romantic than a midnight grilled cheese?
Glowing French Bistro and South Street staple
Bistrot La Minette draws you in with warm lighting and old-world charm inspired by the streets of Paris. The long-running Queen Village spot has long been heralded as one of Philadelphia’s most romantic, and makes for an even better date spot when you stop by for one of its special events, such as a Normandy-inspired tasting dinner or a special on savory tartiflettes.
Seafood and pasta served with Old World Italian ambiance
Nestled in a (thankfully updated) 18th-century townhouse, Bistro Romano serves the romance with stone and brick walls in the below-street-level dining room cellar, complete with candles on every table. The spot isn’t above offering its Italian dishes for a deal, either -- once a week you can snag a whole Maine lobster for just $21. What’s hotter than that?
Washington Square West
Inviting, airy, farm-to-table restaurant on the park with idyllic garden dining
With a charming outdoor garden, ample use of twinkly lights, and airy indoor dining room that easily blends into an intimate night time venue, Talula’s is among Philly's top farm-to-table-style options for a romantic evening. Don’t skip trying one of the five carefully curated cheese boards, which go great with Talula’s take on a Moscow Mule, the Beekeeper.
Wood-fired pizza and small plates served in rustic, modern setting
Curved wrap-around bar to scoot in close next to someone? Check. Fireplace with tufted sofas? Check. All the wood-fired pizza you desire? Also check. Wm. Mulherin’s can be a good fit whether you want to get some artisan pizza over beers -- be sure to try the speck & egg -- or want to go all-in on a feast focused on pasta and extravagant entrees. Its rustic-gone-modern interior design makes you want to stay all night, so snag a spot by the fire and get comfortable.
Lush lounge and cocktail bar serving vegan plates
Not only does Charlie was a sinner. immediately impress with its dark interior and boudoir lounge vibe (along with its killer cocktails), but it also serves as a worthy destination for partners who may have different diet restrictions. While everything on the menu is vegan, even meat lovers will be satisfied with its artichoke frites, eggplant bao buns, roasted cauliflower steak, and gnocchi drenched in tomato butter.
Locally sourced Italian wine bar inspired by region of Abruzzo
This unassuming wine bar in South Philly is home to some of the best Italian in the city -- which is really saying something in Philly -- and works hard to locally source ingredients while still taking inspiration (and, when necessary, importing) from Abruzzo, Italy. Ease into the meal with mussels and calamari, or go straight for the lamb shank with root veggies and salsa verde. Stop by on Sunday or Monday for three courses at just $35.
Casual, lively Japanese bar with expansive saki menu
Try yakitori, maki, and other Japanese specialties in a dark, intimate, yet more casual bar setting at Royal Sushi. For a truly memorable date, try to snag a spot at the hard-to-get 10-seat sushi bar, where you can order the one-of-a-kind, 18-piece omakase experience for a cool $130. If you’re not trying to drop that much cash, you can still pick and choose your own plates while taking advantage of the serene mood lighting.
Spanish tapas mainstay in the heart of historic district
Jose Garces’ flagship Philadelphia restaurant, the longstanding Spanish tapas destination in Old City, is a romantic date night classic thanks to a warm, subdued interior and many ways to select and share plates with your companion. Share some go-to tapas such as the garlic shrimp and crab-stuffed peppers over a pitcher of sangria, or opt for the chef’s selection at $65 a person.