12 top date night restaurants in Seattle

Toast-worthy Puget Sound views accompany Northwestern plates at Salty’s on Alki Beach. | Credit: Salty’s on Alki Beach
A view of Puget Sound from Salty’s on Alki Beach

Seattle’s romantic restaurants show that with market-fresh plates, Northwestern wines, and some mood lighting, sparks can fly in the Emerald City.

Set the stage for a monumental moment with exquisite seafood at a kaiseki spot in Belltown. In Pike/Pine, whisk a date away on a whirlwind trip to not-quite Greece. Or share a plate of hand-cut noodles to celebrate a special occasion at an acclaimed Piedmont trattoria.

Even though most people in town consider fancy flannel dressing up, these places serve you a splash of something sexier. Read on for a guide to Seattle’s 12 most romantic restaurants to book now.

For a first date

Single Shot (Capitol Hill)

Single Shot’s gorgeous marble bar, candle-topped tables, and sophisticated American small plates make it a sought-after first-date spot. As do its attentive servers who offer drink suggestions like they’re letting you in on a closely guarded secret. Sip a gin and limoncello cocktail, share some seasonal flatbreads, and see where the evening goes. If drinks turn into dinner, there are meatier mains to tuck into such as a Salmon Creek pork chop with grits, grilled endive, and gochujang glaze.

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For an intimate and cozy evening

Il Bistro (Pike Place Market)

This dim, candle-lit space beneath the iconic Pike Place Market has embraced diners since 1975. Il Bistro’s menu combines Italian classics with area ingredients, such as cioppino with local market fish and garganelli pasta with sausage, corn, and peas in a creamy tomato sauce. Throw in some bold amaro cocktails, and it all adds up to a swoon-worthy evening.

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Bateau (Pike/Pine)

White caged pendant lights hang from the ceiling at Bateau
Bright white walls and narrow nooks lend Bateau an especially cozy, date-friendly feel.

Aim for an early evening reservation at chef Renee Erickson’s French-inspired steakhouse. That’s when you and your date will have the widest selection of that day’s unique beef cuts—what’s available is listed on a chalkboard in the dining room. Erickson is a torchbearer for sustainability, using the entire animal in her simple but swoon-worthy preparations. Sides include steakhouse standards (mashed potatoes), options with a French spirit (frites and aioli), and unique takes (broccoli fried in squid ink batter). Consider, too, the creative appetizers such as steak tartare with umeboshi and rice crackers. Bright white walls and narrow nooks lend Bateau an especially cozy, date-friendly vibe.

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Sushi Kappo Tamura (Eastlake)

Shigoku oysters with momiji ponzu at Sushi Kappo Tamura in Lake Union/Eastlake
Pacific Northwestern ingredients and Japanese techniques come together at Sushi Kappo Tamura. | Credit: Sushi Kappo Tamura

Sit side-by-side with your special someone at this refined, sustainability-driven spot. An open kitchen lets you watch executive chef Taichi Kitamura create impressive sushi-centered meals with seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients and Japanese techniques. Cozy up over warm sake, let the passionate chefs hand over slices of salmon sashimi and enjoy your intimate night together.

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For an anniversary or romantic milestone

Joule (Wallingford)

Add some sizzle to a celebratory evening at this spicy take on the classic steakhouse, infused with Korean flavors and modern, chef-driven techniques. Unlike a typical meat-and-potatoes joint, Joule is splashed with bold colors and offers a large, leafy patio offering plenty of outdoor seating. Chef Rachel Yang serves high-quality cuts of meat paired with innovative sides such as grilled kimchi with short ribs and giardiniera served with a kalbi burger. The versatile menu includes plenty of options for pescatarians and vegetarians, too.

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Spinasse (Capitol Hill)

Lace curtains line the large windows at Spinasse in Capitol Hill
Warm lights and lace curtains make up the interiors at the Piedmont-inspired Spinasse. | Credit: Spinasse

This cozy Piedmont-inspired trattoria, all warm lights and lace curtains, exchanges showiness for precision. Simple dishes such as signature hand-cut noodles with butter and sage and roasted carrots in Barolo vinegar make Spinasse easy to adore. An extensive wine list and excellent cocktails elevate any romantic occasion. Take the pressure off by opting for the tasting menu, which offers a chance to eat through the whole menu without breaking the bank.

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For a group date

Pizzeria 22 (Alki)

A meal at this locally loved Neapolitan spot is like scoring an invite to a lively Italian dinner party. Take a few friends and host an easygoing double date over top-notch appetizers including veal meatballs and a prosciutto platter. Then make way for the main event: thin-crust pies featuring lesser-seen toppings such as fingerling potatoes, pancetta, and imported tuna. Pizzeria 22 is warm, inviting, and casual in the kind of way that feels like eating at home—but with someone else pouring your Italian wine and doing the dishes.

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For an adventurous and transportive date

Omega Ouzeri (Pike/Pine)

Omega’s airy blue-and-white interiors temporarily shuttle diners to an Aegean island. | Credit: Sarah Flotard

“Let’s pretend we’re in Greece,” urges the menu at this expansive, white-walled restaurant, which feels far from rainy Seattle. Omega’s airy blue-and-white interiors shuttle you to an idyllic Aegean island, and what it lacks in intimacy, it makes up for with verve. Dishes are just as transportive, including grilled octopus and whole sea bass. The Pike/Pine escape is great for sharing a moment and imagining you’re at a romantic seaside dinner in the Cyclades—if only temporarily.

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Cafe Campagne (Pike Place Market)

Paris-inspired wooden interiors at Cafe Campagne in Pike Place Market
Vibrant colors and soft lighting match the rich food and gentle service at this classic French bistro. | Credit: Cafe Campagne

Vibrant colors and soft lighting match the rich food and gentle service at this classic French bistro in Pike Place Market. Cassoulet, escargot, and steak frites trick diners into thinking they’re at the Parisian sidewalk table of their dreams. The wine list completes that journey with simple, intriguing varietals from lesser-known wine regions, such as rosé from Ardèche and pet nat from Bergerac. Order two glasses, share a bottle, and toast to a momentous occasion, be it an anniversary, a third date—or a Friday.

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For an evening of entertainment

The Dressing Room: Bistro and Bar by Can Can (Belltown/Pike Place Market)

A cabaret performance at The Dressing Room: Bistro and Bar by Can Can in Belltown/Pike Place Market
A date at this cabaret and burlesque venue means world-class dinner theater. | Credit: Nate Watters

This cabaret and burlesque venue is a date-night favorite for dinner theater and top-notch bistro fare. The intimate venue seats 120 and presents original productions, which recently included “Zombie Cheerleaders Return,” a delightfully campy horror show. The restaurant, known as the Dressing Room, channels evocative turn-of-the-20th-century Paris and features indoor and outdoor seating, with dishes and cocktails highlighting seasonal produce from Pike Place Market. For a daytime date, go for the excellent Sunday brunch—the fried chicken and beignets are not to be missed.

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For a proposal worthy place

wa’z (Belltown)

A chef prepares a nine-course kaiseki feast at wa’z in Belltown
Book a perch at the chef’s counter at this kaiseki haven for a close-up view of the culinary magic. | Credit: wa’z

A Japanese kaiseki experience is all about aesthetics, meaning not just a beautiful meal, but also an exceedingly balanced one. Translation: You’ll be poised to pop the question even at the end of a staggering nine courses. Every bite of local seafood, meat, and produce at wa’z resembles a piece of art. For your momentous night together, book a perch at the chef’s counter and watch the culinary magic up close.

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Salty’s on Alki Beach (West Seattle/Alki)

The stunning views of Puget Sound at Salty’s are downright proposal worthy. The restaurant’s Northwest-focused wine menu has won Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence several times over. They’re all perfect for pairing with the locally inspired menu that includes applewood-smoked king salmon and saffron potato croquettes. To savor the picturesque panorama (and your life-changing night), stretch your meal with dessert—the white chocolate mousse cake is a fan favorite.

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Aarti Virani is a blog editor at OpenTable.

Naomi Tomky contributed to this guide.

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