Whether you’re looking to do something special for your significant other or impress a new date, if you’re seeking fine dining and wining—look no further!
While you don’t need a special occasion to go on a nice date, with Valentine’s Day just over a month away, we’ve put together a list of some of Washington, D.C.’s most romantic restaurants for the perfect for date night:
1. Tail Up Goat, Adams Morgan
Whether you’re looking to grab a quick bite or sit down to share a longer meal, Tail Up Goat has a spot for you. Tail Up Goat offers a modern, relaxed spin on Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisines. Its menu will surely surprise you with new, unexpected dishes, as well as beloved classics.
Location: 1827 Adams Mill Rd NW.
2. Compass Rose, Cardozo
At Compass Rose, you’ll be able to travel the world from the comfort of your own table, just as owner and experienced traveler Rose Previte intended it. Compass Rose’s menu incorporates dishes from every corner of the world, ensuring you’ll get a taste of a different country or region every time you visit. The restaurant’s fun and relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a sensual, low-key date!
Location: 1346 T St. NW
3. The Lafayette at the Hay Adams, Downtown
The Lafayette at the Hay Adams Hotel is a D.C. classic with its New American cuisine and views overlooking the White House. The restaurant follows a business casual dress code and is also open for breakfast and lunch, so why not switch up the traditional dinner date for a brunch date next time?
Location: 800 16th St. NW
4. Iron Gate, Dupont Circle
Iron Gate offers great Mediterranean mezze-driven dishes, all cooked over a wood-burning hearth and rotisserie. Cozy up in one of their three distinct dining spaces—The Side Courtyard, the Garden Patio, or the Indoor Dining Room—while sipping one of their wines for a low-key, intimate date. Although walk-ins are usually welcomed, we recommend booking ahead of time if there’s a specific room you wish to be sat in.
Location: 1734 N St NW.
5. 1789, Georgetown
This restaurant, named after the year in which Georgetown University was founded, is another D.C. institution. Built within a renovated federal house, you won’t get a more authentically D.C. dining experience than this one. Its richly decorated interior full of antiques and a warm fireplace make for an eclectic yet refined setting so you can cozy up in style. The restaurant serves traditional American cuisine with a twist and adapts its seasonal menu to utilize fresh and local ingredients.
Location: 1226 36th St. NW
6. The Alex at the Graham Hotel, Georgetown
The Alex may be more of a speakeasy than a restaurant, but its delicious small plates and sultry Victorian décor make it worthy of this list. This underground cellar pays homage to the life of inventor Alexander Graham Bell and sure is the ideal place for romance. Tucked away in the basement of the Graham Hotel, The Alex provides an intimate setting for breakfast, brunch and dinner as well as late-night drinks!
Location: 1075 Thomas Jefferson St. NW
7. Barcelona Wine Bar, Logan Circle
Barcelona Wine Bar is probably one of the best spots for tapas in the city. At Barcelona, you’ll be able to try authentic Spanish charcuterie and cheeses, as well as delicious Spanish dishes. What’s more romantic than sharing a meal of flavorful Mediterranean small plates and Spanish wine in a dimly lit setting?
Location: 1622 14th St. NW
8. Le Diplomate, Logan Circle
Can you get any more romantic than Paris? Built to look like a Parisian brasserie, Le Diplomate pays homage to French cafe culture, and the brasserie’s buzzing atmosphere is perfect for a date. On their menu, you’ll be able to find a variety of French classics, such as onion soup and steak frites, as well as some daily plates, including cassoulet and bouillabaisse!
Location: 1601 14th St. NW
Fiola offers a blend of seasonal, nostalgic and contemporary Italian dishes. Chef Fabbio Trabocchi sources all his ingredients from Chancellor’s Rock Farm, a Rappahanock, Va., estate that acts as Fiola’s garden kitchen, so you know that at his restaurant you’ll get nothing but the best. The restaurant offers two distinct dining experiences: You can have dinner in their main dining room and create your tasting menu of 5 or 6 different dishes (you can also ask the staff to choose them for you if you feel like being surprised!) or you can dine at their Ezio Room, where you’ll be served from an abbreviated menu of appetizers, classic pasta dishes, and Fiola signature dishes.
Location: 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
10. The Dabney, Shaw
Like most of the places mentioned on this list, this Michelin-star restaurant sources its ingredients from the best Mid-Atlantic farms, purveyors, and its own herb garden. Its open kitchen and wood-burning hearth “give a nod to the historic food culture of the [D.C.] area” while creating modern, delicious dishes. You can also visit the Dabney Cellar, a tavern located around the corner from the restaurant for a more relaxed date. Sip on one of their many wines while snacking on some of the best local charcuterie, cheeses and seafood.
Location: 122 Blagden Alley NW
11. Fiola Mare, Georgetown Waterfront
If you’re looking for some of the best seafood with romance as background, we recommend trying Fiola’s sister branch, Fiola Mare. Here, you’ll try some excellent yet simple seafood dishes meant to evoke the seaside dining experience of Italian coastal restaurants. We admit, Fiola Mare is on the pricier side, but with its waterfront views, fresh seafood, and indulgent cocktails and wine, it’s the perfect spot for a date night or a special occasion!
Location: 3100 K St. NW
12. District Winery, Navy Yard
This modern restaurant is actually the District’s first winery. Along with their homemade wine, District Winery allows you to enjoy some light bights like sliders and charcuterie boards—perfect for a low-key relaxed dinner.
Location: 385 Water St. SE
13. Bresca, 14th Street
This Michelin-starred bistro offers a contemporary take on Parisian bistro fare made with high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients. Can you get any more romantic than that?
Location: 1906 14th St. NW
14. Filomena, Georgetown
Filomena is known for two things: delectable, classic Italian food and its sensational decorations. If you really want a treat, stop by near any major holiday (including Valentine’s Day) and take in the festive decor alongside a mouth-watering meal!
Location: 1063 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Written by Mª Del Rosario Castro Diaz and Jenna Romaine