Popping the question, celebrating anniversaries, or spending an evening with someone special—all of these are occasions that call for just the right restaurant. To make your evening unforgettable, head to one of the most romantic restaurants in Philadelphia. Whether you’re going for cozy or sophisticated, Italian or New American, all of these spots offer spectacular food and even better atmospheres.
THE DISH: We’ve raved about Vetri before, and it deserves yet more recognition here. The price tag alone makes the Italian eatery a bit of a noteworthy splurge, but the intimate 30-seat dining room and authentic North Italian dishes by James-Beard-winning chef Marc Vetri are worth the occasion.
EAT: Swiss chard gnocchi in brown butter and the apple cider soaked baba.
FIND IT: 1312 Spruce Street, (215) 732-3478
THE DISH: This Queen Village gem evokes images of charming Parisian bistros with its outdoor cafe-style seating, warm colors, and eclectic original art. Most of the meals look like art rather than food, and the exquisite French home cooking will leave you and your loved one wondering if you’re in Paris. Enjoy the cozy ambiance and transporting meals at this French favorite.
EAT: Beef bourguignon or endive, pear, and walnut salad. For dessert, apple tart and caramelized puff pastry with raspberry standout.
FIND IT: 623 S. 6th Street, (215) 925-8000
THE DISH: Perhaps the most romantic table for two in Philly can be found down in the wine cellar of Bistro Romano, a 44-year-old Italian classic in an 18th century building. The Historic Landmark creates a memorable ambiance with candle lit tables, rose petals, light jazz, and impressive fare.
EAT: Veal saltimbocca or gnocchi with truffle cream.
FIND IT: 120 Lombard Street, (215) 925-8880
THE DISH: Thirty-seven floors up at Two Liberty Place, R2L offers sweeping, panoramic scenes of Philadelphia. The view is the perfect backdrop to a sophisticated, low-lit, romantic evening of New American eats. Be sure to place your reservation in advance for one of the lounge’s coveted window seats.
EAT: The menu changes seasonally, but favorites are lobster mac and cheese and the ribeye with black garlic and bearnaise.
FIND IT: 50 S. 16th Street, (215) 564-5337
THE DISH: Another one of our favorite Italian restaurants in the city, Gran Caffè L’Aquila is the perfect destination for an elegant but relaxed meal. Ask for the private balcony table for two, and you can dine on an homage to Juliet’s Verona balcony. And if the Shakespearean spot is taken, you won’t lose out too much—every corner of this bi-level eatery is sophisticated and charismatic.
EAT: Pan-seared Branzino or pappardelle ina pork, veal, lamb, and chicken ragu. Don’t forget to try one of the 24 flavors of gelato for dessert.
FIND IT: 1716 Chestnut Street, (215) 568-5600
Top off the romance by staying the night in our centrally located boutique hotel. See our special offers here.