12 romantic restaurants ideal for date night in New Orleans

Gulf fish almondine with toasted almonds and haricots verts at Tableau in New Orleans
Tableau in the French Quarter is where you take a date for French-Creole classics like Gulf fish almondine. | Credit: Tableau


New Orleans knows how to treat its couples, whether that means a plush hotel lounge or a cozy family-owned favorite. For a chic first date, there’s a bar that pours 30 wines on tap. Anniversaries get an Amalfi Coast-inspired escape in a suave hotel. AI-powered art dials up the wow factor at an ultra-modern steakhouse.

This guide pairs New Orleans restaurants with romantic occasions from first dates all the way to milestone anniversaries. These are New Orleans’s 12 best date-night restaurants. 

For a first date

Morrow’s (Bywater)

Impress your date with a reservation at this Louisiana-meets-Korea hotspot—Morrow’s is steered by mother-and-son duo Lenora Chong and Larry Morrow and usually has lines out the door. Crowds come for New Orleans staples and modern riffs on Korean classics like sesame ginger wings and buttery chargrilled oysters, plus a serious craft cocktail selection. If you’re feeling ambitious, make it a brunch date on a Sunday and break the ice over signature faves like gumbo ramen. 

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Copper Vine (Central Business District)

Wines on tap and tastings galore make this CBD charmer a first-date go-to. Start with a drink at the handsome bar, or touch knees under a table for two by the window overlooking the patio. Choose from 30 wines on tap (they can be tasted 2.5 ounces at a time) and excellent small plates by Commander’s Palace alum Amy Mehrtens, including bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with rosemary cream cheese and black truffle fries.

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For a second date

Peacock Room at The Hotel Fontenot (Warehouse District)

Rolled leather banquettes and rich velvets make up the interiors at Peacock Room at the Hotel Fontenot.
For a sexy second-date, head to this velvet-clad stunner at the Hotel Fontenot. | Credit: Cris Molina for Kimpton Hotel & Restaurants

It doesn’t get sexier than the Peacock Room at the Hotel Fontenot. Dazzle your date with its rich velvets, rolled leather banquettes, gilded cages, and feathered birds. Chef Samuel Peery’s menu is heavy on share plates like steamed lobster dumplings and Sicilian meatballs over creamy polenta. Sip on classic cocktails, along with an impressive collection of madeira and rum. To really take things up a notch, come for live R&B performances on Thursday nights.

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For a cozy and intimate evening

Sofia New Orleans (Warehouse District)

A bowl of squid-ink pasta at Sofia in New Orleans
Sofia’s draws include wood-fired Neapolitan pies and seasonal mains like squid-ink pasta. | Credit: Sofia New Orleans

Owner Billy Blatty’s parents were friends with Sophia Loren, who inspired this brick-walled Italian hideaway. Case in point: an Andy Warhol-style painting of Loren eating spaghetti adorns the wall. Sofia is where you and your SO go to sip on prosecco and devour chef Talia Diele’s wood-fired Neapolitan pies and pastas like tagliatelle with Gulf shrimp. If you’re drinking, consider the large, Italian-centric wine list and dream of a Mediterranean getaway while sharing the can’t-miss panna cotta.

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For an anniversary or romantic milestone

The Bower (Lower Garden District)

The Bower gets two things right before you even kick off an anniversary feast: The lighting is soft and flattering, and the acoustics were made for hushed conversations. Expect a modern American menu with ties to a local farm, inspired by flavors from Southeast Asia and the sun-kissed Mediterranean. As a tribute to its name—which refers to a kind of garden trellis— plants hang from The Bower’s ceiling, adding to the dreamy vibes.

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Vyoone’s Restaurant (Warehouse District)

Don’t be fooled by Vyoone’s unassuming brick facade: There’s an enchanting courtyard behind it. Book a table here to celebrate over French, African, and Creole-inspired dishes like escargot in a garlic wine sauce, award-winning French onion soup, and duck a l’orange, plus brunch and happy hour specials. If you prefer an indoor meal, climb the curvy staircase for a table with leafy street views. 

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San Lorenzo at Hotel Saint Vincent (Garden District)

The Amalfi Coast feels are strong at San Lorenzo, a sophisticated spot in the Hotel Saint Vincent. Feel good about your anniversary feast: San Lorenzo is all about top-notch pasta and seasonal, sustainably line-caught, and bycatch fish. Dress up for this and remember to slip on your sexiest shoes, Italian-style. Then stretch your special night with an after-dinner drink at the hotel’s lobby bar, Paradise Lounge.

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For an adventurous and transportive date

Yo Nashi (Central Business District)

Two pieces of nigiri topped with edible flowers on a round slate dish at Yō Nashi in New Orleans
Yo Nashi adds a New Orleans accent to traditional omakase staples. | Credit: Yo Nashi

Bring your beau to Yo Nashi for an omakase experience with a New Orleans accent. Chef Mackenzie Broquet’s out-there tasting menu changes frequently and could include stunning starters like bluefin tuna tartare with black garlic vinaigrette or Louisiana crawfish tails in green curry with pickles carrots and cucumbers. The jewel box-like interiors—dressed with metallic leaf and shell accents—and fit-for-royalty plating adds up to one transportive and unforgettable date. 

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Tableau (French Quarter)

Tableau’s townhouse setting and gorgeous wraparound balcony promises peak Southern hospitality—it’s a Dickie Brennan & Co. restaurant, after all. Set the mood with a romantic carriage ride before dinner, then prepare to be totally spoiled. Your French-Creole feast kicks off with blue crab crepes before making way for classics like Gulf fish almondine or shrimp and grits. Don’t skip a drink in the lush courtyard if weather permits.

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For a group date

Café Sbisa (French Quarter)

Grab some friends and head to this century-old brasserie. Café Sbisa wins the ambiance game with a pretty patio and a staircase that dates back to 1899. If Sbisa’s past doesn’t give your group something to talk about, the next-level French Creole dishes will. Chef Alfred Singleton, who worked his way up from busboy to chef and co-owner, leads the kitchen and serves hearty hits like Louisiana blue crab cakes and fried oysters Sbisa served over creamed spinach with Tabasco hollandaise. 

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For an evening of eatertainment

GAIA Steakhouse (Lower Garden District)

The handsome dining room at Gaia includes blue velvet seats and polished wood tables.
This swanky modern steakhouse includes perks like AI-assisted artwork and gold-leaf steaks. | Credit: GAIA Steakhouse

This swanky modern steakhouse drips with drama. There are gold-leaf steaks on the menu, from Jean-Georges Vongerichten alum Murat Nalcioglu, and a glass beef gallery that displays brontosaurus-size rib-eyes. Not to mention six AI-assisted prints that take dinner here to magical new heights—scan the QR code on your phone and watch the artwork come alive, whether it’s fluttering butterflies or a carriage wandering through New Orleans. 

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For a proposal-worthy place

Crescent City Steak House (Mid-City/City Park)

Woo your date with steak and a martini at Crescent City Steak House. For many locals, the iconic Mid-City restaurant’s bacon-wrapped filet, sizzled in butter, is the gold standard. Founded by Croatian immigrant John Vojkovich in 1934, the family-owned restaurant was the first to serve slabs of prime-aged beef in New Orleans. Ask for a table along “lover’s lane” in one of the snug, six-seat tables surrounded by drapes for the ultimate privacy—and the ultimate question.

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Beth D’Addono is a food and travel writer based in New Orleans. Her latest book is 100 Things to Do in New Orleans Before You Die.

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