Food & Drink

The 10 Most Romantic Restaurants in Seattle

Published On 01/28/2015 Published On 01/28/2015

Real Seattleites know that people in this town love lots of things (at least 27 of 'em!) more than dating, but if you're gonna do it -- and with Valentine's Day just a few weeks away you'd better -- you'd better do it right, that is to say, at one of Seattle's 10 most romantic restaurants...

Chona Kasinger/Thrillist

Bar Cantinetta

Madison Valley
If you recall the risotto episode of Seinfeld, then you know there’s nothing that’ll get you in the mood quite like a warm bowl of said slow-cooked dish, and Bar Cantinetta’s rustic risotto with crispy prosciutto, foraged mushrooms, and Grana should more than do the trick. This small, European-esque spot in Madison Valley also touts a hefty bevanda selection like its 20-year Tawny Smith Woodhouse, Bellewood eau de Vie apple brandy, and more, to go with it.

Canlis

Canlis

Queen Anne
Definitely one of the fancier places in town, you’ll want to throw on the sport coat that’s been collecting dust in the closet before taking your lucky lady out to Canlis. Inhale both the gorgeous view of Lake Union and the stellar food and drink at this highly acclaimed restaurant. Open for dinner only, service starts at 5:30pm on weekdays and 5pm on the weekend, and you’ll want to be sure to make a reservation for this one -- seats tend to fill up quickly.

The Pink Door

The Pink Door

Downtown
Warmly lit and intimate, this saucy space in Pike Place Market is the perfect place to slip into on a rainy night and enjoy a pasta dinner for two (bonus points for the breathtaking view of the Puget Sound), and if you do it after 11pm on Saturdays you'll get and eyeful of tantalizing burlesque to go with dinner.

Spinasse

Spinasse

Capitol Hill
This small and intimate space is a definite winner, courtesy of Chef Jason Stratton who preps a truly impressive menu of super-authentic Italian dishes like polpette di coniglio (rabbit meatballs with leeks, salsify, parsnips, and fried rosemary) and anatra con mele e rape (pan‎-seared magret duck breast with apple-parsnip gloria grata & apple cider sauce), the pronunciation of which will, if nothing else, get your tongue warmed up for later.

Flickr/Alan Teo

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Ballard
Need we say more than incredible oysters? A well-known aphrodisiac, we can’t think of a better dish to enjoy on Valentine’s Day, or a better place to do it than the elegant-without-being-stuffy Walrus and the Carpenter, which also touts a solid selection of craft cocktails and wine.

Chona Kasinger/Thrillist

The London Plane

Pioneer Square
If you’re skipping dinner in place of lunch, Pioneer Square’s London Plane is a gorgeous place to dine midday. Light and airy, this corner spot offers small plates and large plates galore, such as the oil-cured tuna and sliced leg of lamb. Even better? You can pick up a beautiful bouquet of flowers for your special someone right up front.

Café Presse

Café Presse

Capitol Hill
Dark and sexy, this Capitol Hill standby serves as both a casual hang and a romantic dinner spot, so ditch the soccer screenings up front and slip into the back room with your date to nosh on everything from tasty charcuterie like rillette de porc and assiette de jambon cru, to full on demi-poulet extravaganzas.

Tulio

Tulio

Downtown
This sophisticated spot Downtown serves the perfect combo of PNW meets Italian fare. It likely won’t be warm enough to dine out on the patio in February, but don’t fret, the ornate interior is the perfect place to sip on a grappa flight and enjoy Tulio’s linguine (with local clams, preserved lemon, chili flakes, and garlic bread crumbs) a la Lady and the Tramp.

Marty Kelly

Altura

Capitol Hill
Helmed by a husband & wife team who legit met while crushing Deluxes at the nearby Dick's (so maybe it's one of Seattle's most romantic restaurants?), Altura slings next-level Boot-food in a Broadway eat space over-looked by an almost life-sized statue of an angel, which is what she'll think you are for taking her to this hard-to-get-into eatery.

COURTESY OF BLACK BOTTLE

Black Bottle

Belltown
Right on the corner of 1st and Vine, the quite intimacy of this subtly outstanding gastropub is unique in the mostly unsexy Belltown. It serves uniquely rich small plates, from pork belly kimchi to bacon-lemon scallops, which go well with the seriously sweet cocktails.

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1. Bar Cantinetta 2811 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112 (Madison Park)

Bar Cantinetta is a hybrid of already existing Italian joints in Seatown, but it's relatively more delicious and innovative. Their tapas plates, as well as extensive wine list, are jaw-dropping in comparison to the canned sauce/rigatoni you were going to make yourself at home.

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2. Canlis 2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 (Queen Anne)

The finest of Seattle's relatively few fine dining destinations, Canlis is worth it alone for its gorgeous views of Lake Union and unusual setting inside a refurbished mid century modern home. But Canlis also brings the heat with an unbeatable version of Seattle's signature Dungeness crab cakes, and possibly the city's best steak.

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3. The Pink Door 1919 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

This super-romantic Italian resto Downtown boasts a gorgeous patio, in addition to regular acrobatic & burlesque shows.

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4. Cascina Spinasse 1531 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

The Italian mainstay serves up handmade pastas, salumi/charcuterie, and tasty desserts like panzanella and panna cotta.

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5. The Walrus and the Carpenter 4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

This chic oyster bar serves neither walrus nor houses carpenters (that we know of) but it does dish out mounds of delicious shellfish in a comfortable atmosphere. Additionally, this cozy, neighborhood spot -- which has been recognized by The New York Times also serves incredible desserts, with highlights being maple bread pudding and roasted Medjool dates.

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6. The London Plane 322 Occidental Ave South, Seattle, WA 98104 (Pioneer Square)

This collaborative effort offers great wines, take-home essentials (cookbooks! homeware!), tasty homemade sourdough bread, and other specialty foods.

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7. Cafe Presse 1117 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

With mutliple international soccer jerseys hanging in frames, French menus, and endless options for wine and coffee, Cafe Presse is is the ultra-European answer to Seattle's boom in trendy coffee shops. One would think at first glance that the menu came straight from Paris, with entirely French names and dishes like simple baguette sandwiches, charcuterie plates, and sirloin steak-frites (that's steak and fries, obviously). It's merely the appearance of the American dollar sign that separate this place from the real thing.

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8. Tulio Ristorante 1100 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

This sophisticated spot Downtown serves the perfect combo of PNW meets Italian fare. Enjoy Tulio’s linguine (with local clams, preserved lemon, chili flakes, and garlic bread crumbs) a la Lady and the Tramp with a date.

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9. Altura Restaurant 617 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102 (Capitol Hill)

Altura Restaurant is an Italian spot with a weekly-changing menu meant to capitalize on the freshest ingredients sourced from organic, independent farms around the Northwest. An insane list of regional wine from Italy, plus a plethora of dishes (featuring handmade pasta,)are also sure to impress. The cozy, romantic vibe of Altura makes it a perfect Capitol Hill spot for date night or an intimate gathering with friends.

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10. Black Bottle 2600 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 (Belltown)

Right on the corner of First and Vine, this nondescript gastropub is the perfect evening getaway from the sometimes unsexy madness of Belltown. Don’t underestimate the term “small plate”, as these dishes are teeming with richness and flavor. From pork belly kimchi to bacon lemon scallops, you won’t leave disappointed.

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