Whether you’re on a first date or celebrating a milestone anniversary, our city is home to a restaurant that’s perfect for the occasion. Enjoy a Michelin-starred tasting menu prepared by a husband and wife, dip fondue while being serenaded by a live guitarist, or treat your date to dinner with a sky-high view of the city. Here’s our roundup of some of Chicago’s most romantic restaurants — reserve your table for two today.
Known as one of the city’s most romantic restaurants, Geja’s Cafe has been serving couples for more than 50 years. The interior feels like a cozy wine cellar, with cozy curtained booths, candlelit tables, and a live guitarist. Everything is cooked in a sizzling fondue pot right at your table, from the creamy Swiss gruyère cheese appetizer to the velvety Belgian chocolate dessert. It’s the perfect spot for a first date, special occasion, or even a proposal (Geja’s has seen thousands of engagements over the years).
Table, Donkey and Stick
Awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand distinction, Logan Square’s Table, Donkey and Stick pays homage to the culinary traditions of the Alps. The warm, cozy ambiance at this tiny neighborhood eatery is the perfect setting to enjoy charcuterie, seasonal small plates, and European-inspired entrees.
The Press Room
Radiating speakeasy vibes with its dim lighting and vintage decor, The Press Room offers a uniquely intimate setting for date night. Nestled in the basement of a century-old building, this West Loop restaurant and cocktail bar features curated wine selections that complement scratch-made pasta and savory bites.
Overlooking the majestic Chicago River, RPM Seafood is an upscale fine-dining establishment. Ideal for special occasions, this centrally located waterfront restaurant is home to a full-service bar and an extensive menu of fresh seafood, housemade pasta dishes, and prime cuts of steak.
It’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable date night when you’re seated at the rotating carousel bar inside Francois Frankie. This American brasserie is adorned with lush jewel tones, original murals, and twinkling string lights that create a sophisticated atmosphere. Enjoy the menu of refined dishes like freshly shucked oysters, steak frites, and croque monsieur egg rolls.
Warm, spacious, and community-focused, Bronzeville Winery stands out with fresh contemporary American fare and a curated wine list highlighting labels owned by women and minority-owned producers. Located in a historic neighborhood, this chic restaurant and wine bar showcases talented DJs and live musicians weekly.
BOKA has earned a Michelin star every year since 2011 thanks to its exceptional hospitality and award-winning seasonal American cuisine. Featuring stylish dining rooms that blend modern and vintage decor, this high-end Lincoln Park establishment crafts unforgettable farm-to-table dishes using locally sourced ingredients.
Channeling the flavors and techniques of French and Italian cuisine, Ella Elli in Lakeview serves as a distinguished gathering spot to enjoy superb wine, food, and conversation. Share cocktails and small plates in front of the fireplace or in one of the many tucked-away alcoves.
Leveraging locally available herbs and ingredients, Segnatore draws inspiration from the history of Italy’s folk healers. The moody interiors and carefully crafted menu at this neighborhood gem reflect the European culinary roots while also celebrating the bounty and warmth of Midwestern ingredients and culture. Located in a bustling stretch of Humboldt Park, it’s the perfect starting point for a night on the town.
For a relaxed date night, drop by Sapori Trattoria in Lincoln Park to savor traditional Italian comfort food in a classy yet comfortable setting. Whether dining indoors or outside on the patio, you can expect a noteworthy meal involving antipasti, fresh pasta, homemade desserts, and tasty libations.
In River West, The Dawson plays off the neighborhood’s history with an industrial vibe made upscale. The menu of globally inspired American cuisine showcases the finest ingredients of the season, from fresh seafood to colorful veggies. It’s the perfect date night out, whether you’re on the cozy patio with an outdoor fireplace or in the candlelit dining room.
Tucked away in a West Loop cobblestone courtyard, Trivoli Tavern is truly a hidden gem. As you cross the threshold, the dining room unveils an old-world charm enhanced by dark wooden accents and furniture bathed in a muted warm glow. Enjoy coal-fired seafood, fresh oysters, and expertly grilled steak and chops paired with robust drinks.
This acclaimed spot in the West Loop specializes in modern Japanese fare. In the main dining room, you’ll find a stylish space and a menu that blends traditional flavors and contemporary techniques. Order an Imperial strip steak roasted over hot coals or expertly prepared slices of sashimi. After dinner, head downstairs to The Izakaya. This sultry, subterranean bar features hand-painted Japanese menus, moody neon lights, and a curated selection of cocktails, sakes, and Japanese whiskeys.
This hip hideaway is a romantic spot to take your date, with red velvet booths, soft candlelight, and a dramatic bar backed with gilded mirrors. Gilt Bar’s contemporary American dishes are made for sharing, including the house-made pasta, seafood, and wood-fired entrees. The drink menu is cocktail driven, with an emphasis on classic favorites. If there’s a wait, head downstairs to The Library, a hidden drinking den that’s even more intimate than the dining space.
Located in a former 1890s print shop, Sepia is all about simple sophistication. The brick and wood interior evokes old-school Chicago, while the food is all modern. Acclaimed chef Andrew Zimmerman sources from local artisan suppliers for his seasonal menus, working to showcase the purity and flavor of each ingredient. The impressive cocktail and wine list completes the date night checklist.
The name means “love” in Danish, and there’s a husband-and-wife duo running the kitchen. It doesn’t get more romantic than that. The interior features minimalist decor and soft lighting, anchored by a small patio and working fireplace. The tasting menu offers multiple courses of artfully presented dishes made with seasonal ingredients. There’s also an a la carte menu, where you can get a taste of Elske’s unique take on Danish cuisine.
Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar
This dimly lit spot is a stylish take on a traditional steakhouse. The sultry space at Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar is decked out with timeless touches, like comfy leather booths, mirrored walls, and glittering antique chandeliers. The menu is old school too, with classic selections like chilled seafood towers, baked crab cakes, and the best cuts of meat. Don’t miss the chocolate cream pie, it’s the perfect dessert for two.