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An overhead image of a platter of oysters surrounded by ice with lemons and parsley and a plate to the top right and a martini in the top left. The Wayward

14 Restaurants for a Romantic Night Out in Philly

Dim lighting, classy cocktails, and prix fixe menus for that special occasion dinner on your calendar

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Whether it’s for date night, a job promotion, a birthday celebration, or really any other event worth breaking out the champagne for, there is no shortage of restaurants in Philly where you can have a romantic, candlelit, and celebratory dinner. When your neighborhood watering hole doesn’t feel quite special enough (no shade to Citywides, but sometimes a nice wine list is what you need), there are more than enough Philly destinations to visit for a special dinner on the town. Just a reminder that proof of vaccination is required at all Philadelphia restaurants, so come prepared to show your ID and vax card. And the tuxedo is definitely optional at all of the following spots, but hey, that could be fun, right?

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jansen

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7402 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19119
(267) 335-5041
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If you’re in the Northwest, there’s no better romantic restaurant than Jansen in Mt. Airy. Situated on the cobblestoned Germantown Avenue, Jansen occupies a historic 18th-century house with the original fireplace and a beautiful outdoor patio. Enjoy a fine dining menu that includes a seasonally changing menu of oysters Rockefeller, elk osso bucco, and stuffed acorn squash. The wine list is impressive, too.

Photo: Jansen/Facebook
Photo: Jansen/Facebook

2. The Head and the Hand

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2230 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

While not technically a restaurant, Fishtown bookstore the Head and the Hand (formerly located in Kensington) offers a date night option like no other place in town. The shop hosts by-reservation date nights in the bookstore, for $85 for one and a half hours or $100 for two hours. Yes, you have to bring in your own food or order takeout to the store, but the date comes with a complimentary beer or wine and a 10-percent off voucher for in-store book purchases. Reserve online. (The shop is closed in February, but reopens at its new location on Frankford Avenue on March 4.)

3. Kensington Quarters

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1310 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 314-5086
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In Fishtown, Kensington Quarters is the destination to take your pescatarian pal for a luxurious (and constantly changing) menu of delicately plated crudos, an array of oysters, and other special dishes sourced right from the sea. The dining room is beautiful and the bar is a special place to post up. Reservations can be made on Resy.

4. R&D Cocktail Bar

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1206 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Jazzy cocktails themed around the season — this winter’s menu includes a hot Oaxacan penicillin with Reposado tequila, mezcal, ginger, and honey — are an excellent complement to the warm interior of R&D Cocktail Bar in Fishtown. Dimly lit and a little retro, it’s an excellent choice for a weeknight (or weekend) date night, especially on Wednesdays when the kitchen has smash burgers available. Expect smaller snacks throughout the rest of the week, but the cocktails are so nice you’d never even notice.

5. SOUTH

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600 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 600-0220
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Nothing says romance quite like jazz, which is why any intimate evening calls for a night out at South Jazz Kitchen on Broad Street. Delicious, warming soul food and a classy dining experience are paired with great music — tickets for specific shows can be purchased at this link, which guarantees you a table reservation.

6. Jean-Georges Philadelphia

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1 N 19th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 419-5057
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While Jean-Georges is currently closed (reservations for the spring season open on February 15), its sister restaurant JG Skyhigh is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While the experience is slightly more casual, the views and the dining experience are romantic all on their own. Reservations can be made online.

7. Jean-Georges Philadelphia

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1 N 19th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 419-5057
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While Jean-Georges is currently closed (reservations for the spring season open on February 15), its sister restaurant JG Skyhigh is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While the experience is slightly more casual, the views and the dining experience are romantic all on their own. Reservations can be made online.

8. The Wayward

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1170 Ludlow St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 258-9430
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Fresh seafood, a generous happy hour, and well-made cocktails are all on the menu at The Wayward, the restaurant on the ground floor of the Canopy Hilton. The elegant art deco design is complemented by attentive servers and an overall cozy vibe. Don’t miss the corn beignets.

9. Vernick Food & Drink

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2031 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 639-6644
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Every Philadelphian has to go on a date at least once to Vernick Food & Drink on Walnut. There is an elegant six-course tasting menu, where you can try a rotating menu of Greg Vernick’s fine dining specialties with an optional add-on wine pairing. Try your luck for a seat at the first-come-first-serve bar, where the full menu is available, or make a reservation on Tock.

10. Fork

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306 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-9425
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A stalwart of the Philly dining scene, a night out at Fork on Market is always bound to be special. That’s because the menu features highlights like seared octopus, striped bass, and coconut custard for dessert. It’s also just in general a really nice atmosphere, so a perfect spot for date night. Reservations can be made online.

11. Friday Saturday Sunday

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261 S 21st St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 546-4232
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Special occasion dinners were practically invented at Friday Saturday Sunday, the fine dining restaurant on S. 21st Street helmed by Chad and Hanna Williams. The tasting menu is constantly evolving (think barbecue veal cheek and crudo with yuzu, sunchoke, and bone marrow gelé) and the cocktails are cheekily named and lovely to boot. Reservations for the tasting menu can be made on Resy.

12. Southwark Restaurant

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701 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 930-8538
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The newly reopened Southwark restaurant on S. 4th Street in Queen Village is Chris D’Ambro and Marina De Oliveira’s tribute to romantic dining, with candlelit tables, a cozy old school bar, and dishes like lamb terrine, fluke crudo, and more. Reservations can be made on Resy.

13. Messina Club

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1533 S 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 928-4152
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While you either have to be a member or come with a member to get a table at Messina Social Club, finding a way to eat dinner at the South Philly spot is worth the effort. The space itself is dark and cozy and feels extra special for date nights, and the $95 six-course tasting menu — helmed by Top Chef contestant Eddie Konrad — is always meticulously planned. Not a member and want to be? You can stop by in person or email the club at memberinfo@messinasocialclub.com.

14. River Twice

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1601 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 457-3698
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Eating at the bar is usually the best choice for any meal out (it’s just cooler), but nowhere more than at River Twice, where the chef’s counter experience is an extended 16-course tasting menu during which chef Randy Rucker and his team walks diners through the iterative menu-developing process. Reservations for both the chef’s counter and the rest of the restaurant are available on Resy.

15. Irwin's

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800 Mifflin St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 693-6206
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Small plates and Italian-American fare are on the table at Irwin’s, the restaurant on the top floor of Bok Bar with Michael Vincent Ferreri as head chef. The scene is lively, the drinks and wine list are thoughtfully selected, and the swordfish Milanese is big enough to share. What’s not to love? Reservations can be made on Resy.

1. Jansen

7402 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Photo: Jansen/Facebook
Photo: Jansen/Facebook

If you’re in the Northwest, there’s no better romantic restaurant than Jansen in Mt. Airy. Situated on the cobblestoned Germantown Avenue, Jansen occupies a historic 18th-century house with the original fireplace and a beautiful outdoor patio. Enjoy a fine dining menu that includes a seasonally changing menu of oysters Rockefeller, elk osso bucco, and stuffed acorn squash. The wine list is impressive, too.

7402 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19119

2. The Head and the Hand

2230 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

While not technically a restaurant, Fishtown bookstore the Head and the Hand (formerly located in Kensington) offers a date night option like no other place in town. The shop hosts by-reservation date nights in the bookstore, for $85 for one and a half hours or $100 for two hours. Yes, you have to bring in your own food or order takeout to the store, but the date comes with a complimentary beer or wine and a 10-percent off voucher for in-store book purchases. Reserve online. (The shop is closed in February, but reopens at its new location on Frankford Avenue on March 4.)

2230 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

3. Kensington Quarters

1310 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

In Fishtown, Kensington Quarters is the destination to take your pescatarian pal for a luxurious (and constantly changing) menu of delicately plated crudos, an array of oysters, and other special dishes sourced right from the sea. The dining room is beautiful and the bar is a special place to post up. Reservations can be made on Resy.

1310 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

4. R&D Cocktail Bar

1206 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Jazzy cocktails themed around the season — this winter’s menu includes a hot Oaxacan penicillin with Reposado tequila, mezcal, ginger, and honey — are an excellent complement to the warm interior of R&D Cocktail Bar in Fishtown. Dimly lit and a little retro, it’s an excellent choice for a weeknight (or weekend) date night, especially on Wednesdays when the kitchen has smash burgers available. Expect smaller snacks throughout the rest of the week, but the cocktails are so nice you’d never even notice.

1206 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

5. SOUTH

600 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Nothing says romance quite like jazz, which is why any intimate evening calls for a night out at South Jazz Kitchen on Broad Street. Delicious, warming soul food and a classy dining experience are paired with great music — tickets for specific shows can be purchased at this link, which guarantees you a table reservation.

600 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19130

6. Jean-Georges Philadelphia

1 N 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

While Jean-Georges is currently closed (reservations for the spring season open on February 15), its sister restaurant JG Skyhigh is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While the experience is slightly more casual, the views and the dining experience are romantic all on their own. Reservations can be made online.

1 N 19th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

7. Jean-Georges Philadelphia

1 N 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

While Jean-Georges is currently closed (reservations for the spring season open on February 15), its sister restaurant JG Skyhigh is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While the experience is slightly more casual, the views and the dining experience are romantic all on their own. Reservations can be made online.

1 N 19th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

8. The Wayward

1170 Ludlow St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Fresh seafood, a generous happy hour, and well-made cocktails are all on the menu at The Wayward, the restaurant on the ground floor of the Canopy Hilton. The elegant art deco design is complemented by attentive servers and an overall cozy vibe. Don’t miss the corn beignets.

1170 Ludlow St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

9. Vernick Food & Drink

2031 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Every Philadelphian has to go on a date at least once to Vernick Food & Drink on Walnut. There is an elegant six-course tasting menu, where you can try a rotating menu of Greg Vernick’s fine dining specialties with an optional add-on wine pairing. Try your luck for a seat at the first-come-first-serve bar, where the full menu is available, or make a reservation on Tock.

2031 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

10. Fork

306 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

A stalwart of the Philly dining scene, a night out at Fork on Market is always bound to be special. That’s because the menu features highlights like seared octopus, striped bass, and coconut custard for dessert. It’s also just in general a really nice atmosphere, so a perfect spot for date night. Reservations can be made online.

306 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

11. Friday Saturday Sunday

261 S 21st St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Special occasion dinners were practically invented at Friday Saturday Sunday, the fine dining restaurant on S. 21st Street helmed by Chad and Hanna Williams. The tasting menu is constantly evolving (think barbecue veal cheek and crudo with yuzu, sunchoke, and bone marrow gelé) and the cocktails are cheekily named and lovely to boot. Reservations for the tasting menu can be made on Resy.

261 S 21st St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

12. Southwark Restaurant

701 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

The newly reopened Southwark restaurant on S. 4th Street in Queen Village is Chris D’Ambro and Marina De Oliveira’s tribute to romantic dining, with candlelit tables, a cozy old school bar, and dishes like lamb terrine, fluke crudo, and more. Reservations can be made on Resy.

701 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

13. Messina Club

1533 S 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

While you either have to be a member or come with a member to get a table at Messina Social Club, finding a way to eat dinner at the South Philly spot is worth the effort. The space itself is dark and cozy and feels extra special for date nights, and the $95 six-course tasting menu — helmed by Top Chef contestant Eddie Konrad — is always meticulously planned. Not a member and want to be? You can stop by in person or email the club at memberinfo@messinasocialclub.com.

1533 S 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

14. River Twice

1601 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Eating at the bar is usually the best choice for any meal out (it’s just cooler), but nowhere more than at River Twice, where the chef’s counter experience is an extended 16-course tasting menu during which chef Randy Rucker and his team walks diners through the iterative menu-developing process. Reservations for both the chef’s counter and the rest of the restaurant are available on Resy.

1601 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

15. Irwin's

800 Mifflin St, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Small plates and Italian-American fare are on the table at Irwin’s, the restaurant on the top floor of Bok Bar with Michael Vincent Ferreri as head chef. The scene is lively, the drinks and wine list are thoughtfully selected, and the swordfish Milanese is big enough to share. What’s not to love? Reservations can be made on Resy.

800 Mifflin St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

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