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12 romantic restaurants ideal for date night in Washington, DC

A photo of Red logo
by Christabel Lobo
Updated January 24, 2024

Washington, DC, gives off the vibe that it’s 24/7 politics, but its date-night worthy restaurants all point to romance. A chilled-out winery with Anacostia River views is a first-date favorite. The wisteria-clad patio at a Mediterranean restaurant in Dupont Circle was made for intimate nights out. Korean and Southern flavors couple up at an anniversary hotspot in Penn Quarter.

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

A photo of District Winery restaurant
4.4
4.4 (1197)
$31 to $50
American
Navy Yard
About the restaurant

Break the ice at the district’s only commercial winery, sprawled along the Anacostia River. Share plates like cured Hungarian pork and shaved Brussels sprouts salad, which pair excellently with the restaurant’s made-in-DC wines and craft cocktails. If there’s a lull in the conversation, take in the sweeping waterfront—and make a serious first impression by booking a table on the heated outdoor patio for prime sunset views.


Top review
madelines
Dined on Mar 31, 2024
Easter brunch!
A photo of Moonraker restaurant
4.6
4.6 (236)
$50 and over
Japanese
Southwest Waterfront
About the restaurant

This Japan-inspired spot sits on the 14th floor of the Pendry Washington DC hotel and is especially loved for its 360-degree Potomac River views. Moonraker’s chic, circular bar was made for flirting, and there’s even a fireplace to snuggle up by. The snacky menu—Tokyo fried chicken, hamachi crudo, blistered shishitos—means you can focus on each other. If you’re drinking, consider whisky or fizzy cocktails featuring Japanese ingredients like matcha, yuzu, and green tea.


Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 2 days ago
Best View in DC. Great food, great drinks, great atmosphere.
A photo of Iron Gate restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2864)
$50 and over
Mediterranean
Dupont Circle
About the restaurant

This Italian and Greek favorite is set in a former carriage house and home to a cozy dining room with a fireplace, lanterns, and leather banquettes. But Iron Gate really shines for its wisteria-clad courtyard, which also has fire pits for cooler evenings. Mix things up with the pikilia menu (named after the Greek word for “variety”) and linger over trumpet mushroom arancini, charred Mediterranean octopus, and other Mediterranean small plates in the dreamy outdoor space.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
It was one of the best meals I have tried. The wine pairings were amazing. The history of the place, the service… No words to explain. Thank you!
A photo of Floriana restaurant
4.7
4.7 (3748)
$30 and under
Italian
Dupont Circle
About the restaurant

It might be the red-brick rowhouse setting or the exceptional service, but Floriana is an Italian institution that’s been a date-night go-to since 1979. Couples can’t get enough of the old-school interiors and excellent housemade pastas, like lamb gnocchi with ricotta and basil and burrata ravioli—even Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff famously grabbed dinner here in 2021.


Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 3 days ago
Don’t miss out on the butternut squash ravioli. Delicious!
A photo of Succotash PRIME restaurant
4.6
4.6 (3571)
$30 and under
American
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant

If you’re looking for an anniversary dinner to remember, head to this sprawling steakhouse. For starters, it lives in a historic landmark building complete with original details from 1911. Tufted leather booths and hand-painted murals add to the swankiness, and so does a decadent menu by James Beard Award winner Edward Lee. Expect Southern American classics with Korean twists, like spicy gochujang honey fried chicken and collards, kimchi, and country ham. Bonus points for the live jazz performances.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
The staff were all very delightful. Our only complaint was that the cornbread bites were a little small, but that is just a preference. The taste was great.
A photo of 2941 Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (7528)
$31 to $50
French American
Falls Church
About the restaurant

Cascading waterfalls, a koi pond, and lush garden views all give this Falls Church stunner its special-occasion cred. But it’s the French American food by Chef Bertrand Chemel—a Café Boulud alum—that takes 2941 to the next level. Celebrate your big night with a platter of East Coast oysters and apple-soy sauce mignonette, or go all out with butter-poached lobster with fennel raviolini, and you’ll see why the food is just as enchanting as the surroundings at this window-wrapped escape.


Top review
GoodDinner
Dined 7 days ago
Service was attentive but not overbearing. The food was delicious from the a la carte menu. Overall a wonderful dinner.
A photo of Das Ethiopian - Georgetown restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1473)
$31 to $50
Ethiopian
Georgetown
About the restaurant

This MICHELIN Bib Gourmand award winner offers a lesser-seen, fine-dining take on Ethiopian food. A shareable anniversary feast includes some seriously good beef tibs and injera (fermented flatbread). The menu’s many meat-free dishes—chickpea stew, collard greens, and red lentils with red pepper sauce—make Das Ethiopian a solid pick for vegetarians, too. White tablecloth service and a seasonal patio dial up the romance, and so does a stroll down the cobblestone streets nearby.


Top review
NevH
Dined 5 days ago
Always fresh, flavorful food with warm and friendly service. Ask for the gluten free injera ahead of time - it's so yummy. Highly recommend!
A photo of Ambar Capitol Hill restaurant
4.7
4.7 (4795)
$30 and under
Balkan style
Capitol Hill
About the restaurant

Ambar’s bottomless Balkan brunch menu means it’s a magnet for leisurely group get-togethers. And its many sitting areas—an expanded patio, indoor dining room, and retractable roof space—make it an especially versatile restaurant to hang. Grab a crew to do justice to the restaurant’s meze platters, salmon Benedict, and cinnamon sourdough, and add unlimited drinks, like mango hibiscus mimosas, for an additional fee.


Top review
blucroo
Dined 5 days ago
Fabulous opportunity to try a lot of different menu items, each "just the right amount."
A photo of DAIKAYA 2F THE IZAKAYA restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2071)
$31 to $50
Japanese
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant

Sapporo-style ramen draws crowds to Daikaya’s casual, walk-in-only bar, but you can book a table at its sibling spot upstairs. The Izakaya is an ode to Tokyo’s night markets, and the traditional decor is especially transportive. Take your favorite couple friends and catch up over small plates like sizzling yakitori skewers and onigiri stuffed with fillings like pork belly and fried eggplant, best washed down with cups of warm sake.


Top review
CharlesB
Dined on Apr 4, 2024
Good and atmosphere were great. Service was fantastic and fast. Loved the bourbon Old Fashioned
A photo of dLeña restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1675)
$31 to $50
Latin American
Mount Vernon Square
About the restaurant

A meal at this rustic-chic Mount Vernon hotspot channels a Oaxacan holiday. dLeña’s modern approach to traditional Mexican plates includes wood-fired grilled meats, seafood, and fresh ceviche. The restaurant’s sexy wraparound bar, built for mezcal tastings and flights of Mexican, South American, and Spanish wines, sets the tone for an extra-special evening. For peak privacy, book the chef’s table—a single, roomy booth with direct kitchen views.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
It was absolutely delicious, and our server was phenomenal. This was our 2nd time here and we cannot wait until we come again. Please be on the lookout for my wife and I!
A photo of The Hamilton restaurant
4.6
4.6 (11256)
$30 and under
American
Downtown
About the restaurant

The Hamilton’s snug leather banquettes don’t just set you up for romance—they’re also where you score views of some of DC’s most iconic facades, including the Treasury building and the historic Willard hotel. Fuel up on gussied-up bar bites, including a locally loved late-night sushi menu, before continuing your evening downstairs for cocktails and some of the area’s best live music.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
This was my second time at this restaurant, but in a completely different seating area, by a wall of toucans. Luis was our server this evening and made the experience memorable. He was very attentive and offered wonderful recommendations for drinks, apps, and entrees. I had a delightful rose paired with a rich, buttery Japanese Hamachi for my entree. The calamari for the apps had a wonderful crunch, with a chewy inside, without being too greasy! Dessert was heavenly with a boozy cookies and cream milkshake. Will definitely be coming back!
A photo of Chez Billy Sud restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2783)
$30 and under
French
Georgetown
About the restaurant

Chez Billy Sud’s sensational French-inspired food lands it consistent spots on DC’s best restaurant lists, and its gilded mirrors and lamp-lit courtyard make it one of the area’s most romantic. A dinner at the charming Provençal spot is where you make things official, and you can celebrate with classics like escargots, chicken liver mousse, and roast chicken. Then sweeten the deal with crème brûlée—or the ultimate question.


Top review
PhilipMvip
Dined on Apr 9, 2024
Wonderful early dinner in Georgetown. Service was spot on. A very pleasant experience.
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