Sometimes, rather than trying to impress your significant other with your chef skills and burning the house down, you take the easier (and safer) route by going out to dinner (after spending the day on one of these romantic outings, of course). Fortunately, Texas has plenty of restaurants that help set the mood with their charming yet intimate atmospheres and breathtaking views of the city. Not all of them are super expensive or require you to dress like you’re about to walk down the aisle, either (unless, of course, you’re planning to propose). Here are 11 of the most romantic restaurants in Texas:
This quaint little Italian restaurant overlooking Clear Lake is perfect for a first date or a romantic dinner out with your long-time partner. The view is gorgeous and the food is fresh, rich, and delicious. Their garlic bread with full-fat butter is my personal favorite item.
2. Grotto Ristorante (Galveston)
The Grotto is part of the San Luis Hotel, but you don’t have to be a guest there to eat at the restaurant. The company has another location in Houston that’s wildly popular, so you’re definitely in for a good meal (with the added bonus of a romantic, seaside view). Enjoy some decadent Veal Parmigiana or a slice of fresh Italian pizza. No matter your choice, you won’t be disappointed.
3. Spindletop at the Hyatt Regency (Houston)
I know how most Texans feel about fine dining, and I totally agree, but I think we can all make an exception for this restaurant. Nothing says romance quite like dining in a revolving room and getting a panoramic view of Houston at night. And the food is to die for. Pictured is salmon with mashed yams, risotto, and veggies, but you can get red meat if a heartier meal is more your style.
This charming Italian joint is a perfect spot for date night with your sweetie. The menu is expansive and delicious, from rich pasta dishes like the one pictured to lighter fare like grilled chicken or salmon. For dessert, indulge in some cappuccino ice cream or bread pudding – oh, and wine, of course. The wine list is amazing and surprisingly affordable. An all-around good choice for a dinner date.
5. Republic of Texas Bar and Grill (Corpus Christi)
Republic of Texas is on the roof of the Omni Hotel, but again, you don’t need to be a guest of the hotel to eat here. There are glass windows looking out over the bay, and you can even walk outside onto the balcony after you eat. Is there anything more romantic than holding hands with the person you love while gazing out at the gently waves on the water? I think not.
6. The Guenther House (San Antonio)
Yelp/Min Kyung C.
This iconic, charming eatery can be summed up in one word: cozy. It’s located in a historic, 1920s-style home and serves Southern food like eggs, biscuits and gravy, and sausage, plus sweeter options like Belgian waffles and decadent pastries. A hearty, comforting brunch with your sweetheart is the best way to start off your day.
Tired of bickering over what kind of food to eat? Look no further than Backstreet Cafe because the menu is extremely diverse. Everything from southern comfort to Italian to light yet satisfying salads can be found here. Grab an umbrella table outside and enjoy the intimacy of the dim patio lighting while you and your date talk with the soft trickle of the fountain in the background.
There’s just something about family owned restaurants that enhances the romance factor tenfold. Maybe it’s the fact that every bite was crafted with love or that the atmosphere is usually charming and intimate. Whatever the reason, Olympia Grill delivers in that aspect. It’s hard to find good, authentic Greek food, so this is truly a diamond in the rough. Whether you’re in the mood for a gyro or a light Greek salad (and a huge piece of baklava because, duh, dessert), you and your date will walk away happy and satisfied after a meal here.
It can be difficult to find quiet, romantic restaurants in Austin since the city is basically one big drunken party, but Wink is a little haven on Lamar Blvd. The dim lighting and laid-back atmosphere make for a relaxing, unforgettable night. The portions are pretty small, but hey, that’s just an excuse to order more things to share with your date, right? (Or just several orders of Mac ‘n’ Cheese. I mean, look at that gooey deliciousness!)
Romantic restaurants tend to fall into one of three categories: Italian, beachside, or rooftop. Reada is the latter with a patio showcasing beautiful views of Fort Worth all lit up at night. And the food is a winner as well. It’s Southwestern themed – pictured is carne asada TOPPED with a cheese enchilada. Heaven is a place on earth, y’all.
11. Suga’s Deep South Cuisine (Beaumont)
I’m from Beaumont, and I’ll be the first to say that it’s probably the least romantic city on the planet. However, Suga’s might have just turned the tables on that assumption. It’s a Cajun restaurant that has live jazz music on Sunday for brunch (at which time you can also order the delectable shrimp & grits pictured above). Something about sharing a meal with your partner with the rich sound of trumpets and saxophones in the background is one of the most endearing things I can imagine.