A Romantic Journey Through Chicago's Finest Restaurants

Are you looking for the perfect place to take your loved one for a romantic evening in Chicago? Look no further! Whether it's a first date or a special anniversary, the Windy City boasts a...

Are you looking for the perfect place to take your loved one for a romantic evening in Chicago? Look no further! Whether it's a first date or a special anniversary, the Windy City boasts a plethora of exquisite restaurants that will set the mood for an unforgettable experience. From cozy wine cellars to Michelin-starred dining rooms, Chicago has it all. Here's our roundup of the city's most romantic restaurants that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Geja's Cafe: Where Romance Blooms

Geja's Cafe ©Adam Alexander Photography

For over 50 years, Geja's Cafe has been a go-to destination for couples in search of romance. As one of the city's most enchanting restaurants, Geja's offers a cozy wine cellar atmosphere complete with curtained booths, candlelit tables, and a live guitarist. The experience is elevated with a sizzling fondue pot, where you and your partner can indulge in delightful Swiss gruyère cheese appetizers and decadent Belgian chocolate desserts. Geja's has even witnessed thousands of engagements throughout its history, making it the perfect place to pop the question.

Table, Donkey and Stick: A Taste of the Alps

Located in Logan Square, Table, Donkey and Stick pays homage to the culinary traditions of the Alps. This neighborhood eatery, awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand, offers a warm and cozy ambiance that sets the stage for a romantic dining experience. Discover an array of charcuterie, seasonal small plates, and European-inspired entrees that will transport you and your partner to the heart of the mountains.

The Press Room: Step into a Bygone Era

The Press Room The Press Room

Nestled in the West Loop, The Press Room exudes speakeasy vibes with its dim lighting and vintage decor. This hidden gem offers an intimate setting for a date night to remember. As you descend into the basement of a century-old building, you'll discover a restaurant and cocktail bar with a curated wine selection that perfectly complements their scratch-made pasta and savory bites. Let the nostalgic atmosphere sweep you and your loved one off your feet.

RPM Seafood: Indulge in Elegance

Overlooking the majestic Chicago River, RPM Seafood is the epitome of upscale fine dining. This centrally located waterfront restaurant is perfect for special occasions and offers a full-service bar and an extensive menu highlighting fresh seafood, house-made pasta dishes, and prime cuts of steak. Treat your partner to an evening of elegance and savor every moment in this exquisite setting.

Francois Frankie: Carousel Romance

At Francois Frankie, the magic begins as soon as you step inside the restaurant's rotating carousel bar. Adorned with lush jewel tones, original murals, and twinkling string lights, this American brasserie creates a sophisticated atmosphere that will transport you and your loved one to another time. Indulge in a refined menu featuring freshly shucked oysters, steak frites, and the delightful croque monsieur egg rolls.

Bronzeville Winery: A Wine Lover's Dream

Interior of Bronzeville Winery Bronzeville Winery, photo by Daniel Kelleghan

In the heart of a historic neighborhood, Bronzeville Winery stands out with its warm, spacious, and community-focused atmosphere. This chic restaurant and wine bar not only offers contemporary American fare but also showcases a curated wine list highlighting labels owned by women and minority-owned producers. Experience the perfect blend of delectable food, delightful drinks, and live music, creating a memorable evening for you and your partner.

BOKA: Where Culinary Excellence Meets Romance

Boka Boka

BOKA has been a consistent recipient of the prestigious Michelin star since 2011, thanks to its exceptional hospitality and award-winning seasonal American cuisine. With stylish dining rooms that beautifully blend modern and vintage decor, this high-end Lincoln Park establishment creates an unforgettable farm-to-table experience using locally sourced ingredients. Let the flavors and ambiance of BOKA transport you and your loved one to a world of culinary excellence.

Ella Elli: A Fusion of Flavors and Conversations

Channeling the flavors and techniques of French and Italian cuisine, Ella Elli in Lakeview provides a distinguished gathering spot for superb wine, food, and conversation. Share cocktails and small plates in front of the cozy fireplace or in one of the many tucked-away alcoves, ensuring an intimate and romantic atmosphere that will make your evening truly unforgettable.

Segnatore: Where European Roots Meet Midwestern Charm

Taking inspiration from Italy's folk healers, Segnatore showcases the best of European culinary roots while celebrating the warmth and bounty of Midwestern ingredients. Located in the bustling stretch of Humboldt Park, this neighborhood gem offers moody interiors and a carefully crafted menu that reflects both European and Midwestern influences. Embark on a journey through flavors and cultures as you explore the rich tapestry of Segnatore's dishes.

Sapori Trattoria: Comfort Food, Italian Style

For a relaxed and comfortable date night, head over to Sapori Trattoria in Lincoln Park. Embrace the traditional Italian atmosphere while savoring delectable antipasti, fresh pasta, homemade desserts, and tasty libations. Whether dining indoors or on the charming outdoor patio, Sapori Trattoria promises a memorable evening filled with classic Italian comfort food.

The Dawson: A Fusion of History and Contemporary Cuisine

The Dawson dining room The Dawson

The Dawson, located in River West, pays homage to the neighborhood's history with its industrial yet upscale vibe. Indulge in globally inspired American cuisine crafted with the finest seasonal ingredients, ranging from fresh seafood to vibrant vegetables. Whether you choose the cozy patio with its outdoor fireplace or the candlelit dining room, The Dawson provides the perfect ambiance for a romantic date night.

Trivoli Tavern: Discover a Hidden Gem

Tucked away in a West Loop cobblestone courtyard, Trivoli Tavern awaits your discovery. As you enter, you'll be captivated by the old-world charm amplified by dark wooden accents and a warm, muted glow. Indulge in coal-fired seafood, fresh oysters, and expertly grilled steak and chops while enjoying robust and refreshing drinks. Trivoli Tavern promises an intimate and unforgettable dining experience.

Momotaro: A Journey to Japan's Culinary Delights

Momotaro Momotaro

Step into the West Loop and immerse yourself in the world of modern Japanese fare at Momotaro. Featuring a stylish space and a menu that expertly blends traditional flavors with contemporary techniques, Momotaro offers a delightful culinary journey. Indulge in a succulent Imperial strip steak roasted over hot coals or discover the artistry of expertly prepared sashimi. After dinner, head downstairs to The Izakaya, a sultry subterranean bar that perfectly complements the Japanese dining experience.

Gilt Bar: Where Romance Meets Style

Gilt Bar

This hip hideaway is the epitome of romance, with its red velvet booths, soft candlelight, and a dramatic bar backed with gilded mirrors. Gilt Bar's contemporary American dishes are perfect for sharing, including house-made pasta, fresh seafood, and wood-fired entrees. The drink menu is a celebration of classic favorites, perfectly complementing the intimate atmosphere. If there's a wait, head downstairs to The Library, a hidden drinking den that adds an extra layer of intimacy to your dining experience.

Sepia: Simple Sophistication

Sepia

Located in a former 1890s print shop, Sepia exudes simple sophistication. The brick and wood interior exude old-school Chicago charm, while the food is a testament to modern culinary artistry. Acclaimed chef Andrew Zimmerman sources ingredients from local artisan suppliers, creating seasonal menus that highlight the purity and flavor of each ingredient. Complete your date night with an impressive cocktail or a selection from their extensive wine list.

Elske: Love in Every Bite

Elske interior

True to its Danish name meaning "love," Elske is a romantic haven run by a husband-and-wife duo. The minimalist decor, soft lighting, and a small patio with a working fireplace create an intimate and charming atmosphere. Indulge in a tasting menu that showcases artfully presented dishes made with seasonal ingredients. For those seeking a more personalized experience, the a la carte menu offers unique takes on Danish cuisine that will leave you and your partner craving for more.

Bavette's Steakhouse & Bar: Timeless Elegance

Bavette's Steakhouse & Bar offers a stylish take on the traditional steakhouse concept. Step into their dimly lit space adorned with comfy leather booths, mirrored walls, and sparkling antique chandeliers. The menu reflects classic selections, such as chilled seafood towers, baked crab cakes, and the finest cuts of meat. Don't miss out on their famous chocolate cream pie - it's the perfect dessert for sharing.

Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure through the romantic restaurants of Chicago. Whether it's Geja's Cafe, Table, Donkey and Stick, or any of the other enchanting establishments on our list, you're guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience. So why wait? Reserve your table for two today and create memories that will last a lifetime.

1