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Food & Drink

Romantic Restaurants in New Orleans

Date night just got a whole lot easier.

fruit bowl patois
Beautifully garnished strawberries at Patois. (Photo via PatoisNOLA.com)

New Orleans is a charming, European city that oozes romance at every turn. Whether you’re enjoying the music that fills the streets of the French Quarter, sipping champagne at dimly lit bars, or going for an early morning stroll along the river, our magical city will inevitably inspire your inner hopeless romantic. At the height of these activities, however, is sharing a delicious meal with someone special. Here’s a list of local restaurants whose ambiance and food are sure to have you falling madly in love. Date night just got a whole lot easier.

NEW ORLEANS’ MOST ROMANTIC RESTAURANTS

Lilette. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Lilette

Uptown’s small French-Italian bistro, where you can get cozy in a booth and enjoy sharable menu items like burrata with hazelnut-basil pesto and Alaskan crab claws with passionfruit butter (a personal favorite). Enjoy a pre- or post-dinner glass of wine or cocktail at the upscale Bouligny Tavern next door. 3637 Magazine Street, (504) 895.1636 

Coquette

The soft glow from hanging chandeliers and exposed brick walls set the stage for a relaxed, romantic meal. Make a reservation or enjoy an impromptu memorable meal at their 14-seat bar where the beer and wine lists are just as impressive as the always-changing menu. 2800 Magazine Street, (504) 265.0421

Related: Learn to make savory beignets with Coquette’s chefs! 

Angeline

Tucked away in the quiet, residential part of the French Quarter, this gem serves elevated Southern fare such as roasted oysters with Herbsaint butter and bottarga and black garlic-braised short ribs. Save room for the dark chocolate cremeaux with dulce de leche and toasted marshmallow. 1032 Chartres Street, (504) 308.3106

N7. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

N7

Escape to the south of France at this incredibly charming Bywater restaurant that features an impressive list of imported canned seafood, a delicious sake-cured salmon and goat cheese tartine, duck a l’orange, and a wine list that’s far from mainstream. Pro tip: N7’s only dessert option is a cheese plate, so expect to go elsewhere for dessert if your sweetie likes sweets. 1117 Montegut Street; an establishment so French there’s no phone number listed

Café Amelie

Nice weather calls for alfresco dining at this cute courtyard French Quarter restaurant. Share bites of slow-cooked spiced lamb shank and Atlantic salmon with fingerling potatoes and horseradish cream. And save room for doberge cake! 912 Royal Street, (504) 412.8965

Patois

Gnocchi, sweetbreads, octopus, oh my! This Uptown restaurant dishes out French cuisine with a local spin. Gulf fish almandine, rabbit cannelloni with mushroom béchamel, and did I mention the deviled crab dip with crab butter? Quit stalling, and make a reservation. 6078 Laurel Street, (504) 895.9441

Avo. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Avo

The menu is Italian, the ambiance is California, the staff is attentive. Special occasions are always honored at this Magazine Street restaurant where you can share wine, burrata, and the best short rib lasagna you’ll ever have. Opt for a table in the courtyard with the retractable roof if the weather permits. 5908 Magazine Street, (504) 509.6550

Broussard’s

Old-school New Orleans cuisine in a beautiful, updated space. Enjoy the classics like Gulf fish with crabmeat and lemon butter, filet mignon, shrimp Creole, and hanger steak with marchand de vin sauce. White chocolate bread pudding seals the deal. 819 Conti Street, (504) 581.3866

Sylvain

This candlelit French Quarter restaurant is casual enough to be low-key but romantic enough to be special. Share the champagne and fries to start and the braised beef cheeks or scallops as the main. Grab cocktails to go and walk a block to St. Louis Cathedral for the backdrop to a perfect post-dinner smooch. 625 Chartres St., (504) 265.8123

Upperline

If you and your honey love art, then you’ll both fall in love with the painting-lined walls at this Uptown favorite. Spice things up with their shrimp with jalapeno cornbread and aioli, and cool things off with their Sundae Eugene of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and toasted almonds. Bonus: it’s located just blocks from the streetcar line if you’re looking to make the night extra special. 1413 Upperline St., (504) 891.9822

Beautifully plated food at Balise. (Courtesy photo)

Balise

Upscale yet relaxed dining in the Warehouse District brought to you by James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Devillier. Beef tartare, fried crab claws, cauliflower gratin, pan-roasted Gulf shrimp with leeks and lemon-caper brown butter… Need I say more? 640 Carondelet Street, (504) 459.4449

Apolline

Dine out in a Creole cottage turned restaurant with candlelit brick walls and an intimate dining room. Enjoy fun spins on classics like crab mac ‘n’ cheese with thyme and cornbread crumbs, blue cheese wedge with lardons and cilantro dressing, and a charred beef carpaccio with tamari and ginger. 4729 Magazine St., (504) 894.8881

Restaurant August

The John Besh restaurant that made him famous for consistently making great food beautiful and providing customers with stellar service. If the evening is special to you, it’s special to them. Menu constantly changes with what’s in season but my advice to you is this: order seafood, always. 301 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 299.9777

Café Giovanni

Nothing says “game-changer” like a dinner date complete with opera singers, wine, and plates of pasta. Eat your heart out at this Italian French Quarter hot spot where chopped salad, meatballs and spaghetti, carbonara, and breaded veal are all on the menu. Live entertainment offered Wednesday through Friday evenings. 117 Decatur St., (504) 529.2154

La Crepe Nanou. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

La Crepe Nanou

Like stepping into a bistro in Paris, this tiny restaurant offers cozy tables where you can feed each other fondue and share a big, steaming bowl of mussels with pommes frites. Ladies love the Tropicale Salad with avocado and hearts of palm and the guys will go gaga for the paneed veal with lemon caper beurre blanc. Enjoy cheese or sweet crepes for dessert, or walk a block to Creole Creamery for ice cream. 1410 Robert St., (504) 899.2670

Ciro’s Cote Sud

One of the best kept-secrets when it comes to romantic French restaurants. Here, you’ll find unique items like frogs legs but familiar ones as well, such as grilled rack of lamb, Cornish hen, or grilled salmon. Don’t like French food? Cote Sud just so happens to have some of the best pizza in town. And they have profiteroles – triple threat! Leave the plastic at home though, cause this joint is cash or check only. 7918 Maple St., (504) 866.9551

Clancy’s Restaurant

Often referred to as the uptown Galatoire’s, Clancy’s is loved by locals. Like a first kiss, I’ll never forget my first fried oyster with brie, crab salad, or bite of sweetbreads. But it’s the house-made peppermint ice cream with chocolate sauce that always steals my heart. Go here with the expectation of eating and drinking too much and not minding the damage. 6100 Annunciation St., (504) 895.1111

The Italian Barrel

On the near outskirts of the French Quarter you’ll find this Italian gem where once you go, you will understand the hype. I love the classics like bresaola, prosciutto de parma and cantaloupe, and penne with arrabbiata sauce. Plus, you gotta love a female chef! 1240 Decatur St., (504) 569.0198

Bistro Daisy

Named after the owner’s daughter, this small house on Magazine Street now houses fewer than 15 tables for dinner service only. Enjoy wonderful versions of all the favorites like filet of beef, duck confit, yellowfin tuna, and lamb. Save room for baked Alaska with amaretto crème anglaise or chocolate and peanut butter mousse filled crepes. 5831 Magazine Street, (504) 899.6987

The Caribbean Room. (Photo via Facebook)

Caribbean Room

White rattan furniture, lush greenery hanging from the ceiling and beautiful crystal chandeliers all housed in the historic Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue that originated in 1927. Don’t miss cocktails at the Hot Tin Bar on the roof and always save room for a slice of mile high pie. 2031 St. Charles Ave., (504) 323.1500

Emily Smith is a native New Orleanian and Uptowner who loves sharing her passion for food with others. When she’s not blogging about culinary adventures, she can be found snapping food photos, running alongside the streetcars on St. Charles Avenue, or hovering over a steaming hot bowl of phở at her favorite Vietnamese restaurant. She also firmly believes that nothing says, “I love you” like a dozen... donuts. Follow her on Instagram at @fleurdelicious_nola

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