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Washington, DC: Romantic Restaurants to Visit for Valentines Day

I am a Valentine’s Day lover. Hear me out: a day that you sit down with loved ones to share a meal, drink some wine or bubbly, and enjoy your time together. Sure, not everyone celebrates this way, but if you do, you may be wondering to yourself, “Where should I make a reservation this year?” I thought Valentine’s Day might be a great time to share some of my favorite restaurants for “date night” in DC. Here’s a list of romantic recommendations you should consider this year...

For the Beautiful Atmosphere: Iron Gate

1734 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Walking by Iron Gate, you know it is going to be a romantic spot. The strings of twinkle lights that stretch back into the restaurant make you stop and want to wander inside. Hidden in the heart of the city, this welcoming restaurant only becomes more beautiful when you enter. Restored from an old city stable, the bar area is the old walkway into the courtyard of the building. As you move farther into the restaurant, you enter the gorgeous outdoor seating area with hanging plants and lights (closed for the winter), and then move into the back restaurant full of leather and mahogany. All the dishes can be shared and paired with excellent wine. The dim lighting and old stable ambiance truly makes it a memorable experience.

For Great Wine: Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

This restaurant, year after year, continues to be a spot that is recommended by most Washingtonians when asked about great eating in the city. If you love wine, this is the perfect spot for you. It is ranked as one of the best restaurants for winos. The restaurant is designed like a Parisian cafe, with intimate, tight seating, delicious steak frites, and an abundance of good appetizers. Located right on 14th street, this is an ideal spot to start the night if you want to continue after dinner with more libations and fun around town.

PS it also has gorgeous outdoor seating along the sidewalk when the weather permits!

For a Splurge: Kinship

1015 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

If you are looking for somewhere to splurge a little, Kinship immediately comes to mind. Paired with its sister restaurant Métier, this Michelin star restaurant is beautifully intimate and has wonderful service. The menu is broken up in a particularly creative way, based on the inspiration behind each dish on the menu. The categories are Craft, History, Ingredients, Indulgence, and For the Table, so make sure you and your partner explore and enjoy each one. And don't skimp on dessert!

For the Laid Back: Daikaya

705 6th Street Northwest Second Floor, Washington, DC 20001

If you and your date want a more low-key spot, Daikaya is the perfect place for you. Daikaya is a ramen shop that allows you to sit closely at a shared wooden counter and try some warm dishes. It’s a great setting to share time together without all of the frills. Split an order of dumplings and enjoy this small, intimate space.

For the Views: Fiola Mare

3050 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Fiola Mare is one of the more famous restaurants in the city, right on the Georgetown Waterfront. Undeniably a great spot for some seafood (their lobster ravioli is basically DC-famous). I would recommend it if you want to plan out an entire beautiful evening, because it is a classic place to enjoy a romantic dinner before walking around the sparkling waterfront and cute streets of Georgetown. Definitely expect to spend a buck here, but trust me, it's worth it!

For the Traditional: Acqua Al 2

212 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

I could not recommend Acqua Al 2 enough. If you are looking for an amazing Italian restaurant in DC to enjoy some romance with a loved one, this is it. Located near Eastern Market, all the pasta is created in-house, fresh. One of my favorite aspects of this restaurant is the pasta tasting menu, which is amazingly affordable and will definitely fill you up. They bring course after course of different pastas from their menu for you to taste-test with your date. It is so fun to rank them and share your favorites. And it doesn’t stop there- they have a delicious dessert tasting menu as well (which is also surprisingly affordable). The red ceiling and romantic lighting makes it a great spot for couples that want a more traditional, Italian, romantic dinner.

For the Adventurers: Maydan

1346 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

What if traditional isn’t for you? In that case, Maydan is the place to grab a reservation. Hidden in an alleyway, you enter into a beautiful, open room with a bar, many tables, and chefs cooking a variety of dishes over an open fire right in the center. It is such a fun restaurant to try a bunch of new foods. The hype around this place is real and completely understandable, in my opinion. Because of the many tables and bustle, you and your date will happily be sitting close together, sharing a wide array of small plates the waitress can curate just for you!

What is your favorite romantic spot? Let us know!

Written & Photographed by Emi Lungmus

Edited by Anna McCarthy


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