Best Romantic Dining in Atlanta

10 romantic restaurants in Atlanta that combine a sexy ambiance with impeccable eats

The Atlanta restaurant scene offers myriad restaurant options with impeccable eats, but some special events call for an ambiance to match. The city promises a superb selection of restaurants to meet your desire for Romantic Dining. Ideal selections take care of the details, make you feel welcome, ply you with wonderful dishes and send you on your way with an experience you won't soon forget. For a hint of the quality, consider Aria, which, along with Canoe and the rest, epitomizes romantic dining in Atlanta.

Price need not be a concern as there are romantic restaurants featured on this list to accommodate nearly any budget. For a more low key or affordable evening, head to Agave or Le Bilboquet.  If you like out-of -the way eateries that are a fit or foodies or you want authentic Basque or South African fare, you'll find it on this list of the most Romantic Atlanta Restaurants.


Sandy Springs
Three Sheets

Part restaurant, part lounge and part live music venue, you are destined for romance at Three Sheets in Sandy Springs. The atmosphere offers a blend of sophistication and high-end entertainment. Don't miss the exceptional rooftop patio. Memorable cocktails include the English Garden (Tanqueray 10 Gin, St. Germain, Lime and Apple Cider) and Basil Margarita (Maestro Dobel, Cointreau, Basil, Mint, Agave, Lemon and Lime,) as well as the largest selection of champagne splits in the city. Small plates include classics like Free Range New Zealand Lamb Lollipops or Signature Applewood Smoked Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Heirloom Tomato Bisque. Live music plays every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. For cigar smokers, there is a humidor composed of popular cigar brands and designated cigar smoking areas that utilize an advanced air filtration system.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Three Sheets is a sexy restaurant for sharing small plates, enjoying live music from the rooftop or whispering sweet nothings over creative cocktails.

Malika's expert tip: Make reservations early for the monthly 5-course Grilled Cheese & Wine night. It's a well-loved event requiring you to plan ahead.

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Cooks & Soldiers
Photo courtesy of Cooks & Soldiers

The industrial space of Cooks & Soldiers is trendy but comfortable- upscale but not pretentious. A true Basque restaurant (in Atlanta!,) expect meats and fish grilled over hot coals, tuna and lamb stews, cod, Spanish bean dishes, paprikas from Lekeitio, pintxos (Basque tapas), Idiazabal sheep's cheese, txakoli sparkling wine, and Basque cider. Dishes are almost too gorgeous to eat, but indulge, you must! The name Cooks & Soldiers is inspired by the annual Tamborrada festival of San Sebastian in January, when the entire city is awash with the sound of drums as the adults, dressed as cooks and soldiers, march in different companies across various parts of the city.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Shareable plates, unmatched food and superior service will make a romantic night on the town.

Lesli's expert tip: The menu can be intimidating, but don't hesitate to quiz your server.They are knowledgeable about the menu, about where the food comes from, the farmers, the wineries and more.

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Warm lights, and old-world brick and stucco walls highlight an oversized wood bar featuring 100 types of Tequila. Cozy by the candlelight and order an award-winning margarita. Seated in a turn-of-the-century General Store of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills in Cabbagetown, Agave is an intimate space, ideal for a relaxed date or a night with your friends. It regularly gains props for the great menu, which includes zesty favorites like diablo crawfish pasta, chile-seared jumbo diver sea scallops and New Mexican rack of lamb. As testament to the importance of the food, Agave has no freezer or microwave on the premises and makes available a vegetarian menu as well.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Sophisticated drinks, fresh food, an intimate atmosphere and an Atlanta-mainstay combine to offer a can't-miss date night experience.

Lesli's expert tip: The spicy Jalapeno margarita is sweet and salty, with the perfect kick. It's the best way to jump-start a sampling of the 100+ types of Tequila served here.

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Rubenstein

This blue-domed rotating restaurant and bar sits perched atop the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The first rooftop restaurant in the city, it originally opened in 1967, then closed for a decade in the early 2000s. Recently reopened in summer 2014, the space now boasts a re-envisioned interior that's sleek and handsome. Full of large windows, you'll scope out breathtaking views of the city below. The menu is full of shareable small plates inspired by local, seasonal ingredients (including several grown on the restaurant's rooftop). Though you don't need to make dinner out of it in order for it to feel special. Having a cocktail at Polaris just might be the perfect end to a romantic date night.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Dinner at Polaris is unforgettable, but not absolutely necessary. Having a cocktail at Polaris just might be the perfect end to a romantic date night. 

Lesli's expert tip: When you enter Hyatt Regency Atlanta, look for the elevator bank near the door. The hostess stand is at the bottom of the elevator. The place often fills up quick, so call in advance if you have a large party.

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Le Bilboquet
Photo courtesy of Le Bilboquet

Classic French cuisine set in a Parisian-cafe atmosphere will have you dreaming of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Le Bilboquet is located at the center of Buckhead Atlanta, anchoring the upscale retail and dining development. Open daily for lunch and dinner, the bistro and bar offers a vibrant atmosphere paired with simple, classic French cooking, bringing a slice of Parisian café culture to the neighborhood and a natural gathering spot to enjoy a chilled bottle of rosé alfresco alongside classic bistro fare or a draft beer and croque monsieur at the bar. Romance reigns with blue velvet banquettes, a two-color terrazzo floor and pewter bar counter, complete with a rotating collection of paintings and photography by locally and nationally acclaimed artists.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: As close to an authentic Parisian bistro as you'll find in Atlanta, enjoy gorgeous natural light, blue velvet seating and large portions of delicious fare.

Lesli's expert tip: Planning a romantic encounter somewhere special? Try the Bilbo To Go menu for lunch.

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Photo courtesy of George Sanchez

Aria is easily one of the most romantic restaurants in the city. Chef Gerry Klaskala has a beautiful spot that exudes romance and elegance. The atmosphere sets the tone for the beautiful evening guests will have when dining here. Aria's most notable dishes include Georgia mountain trout with crab smashed potatoes and haricots verts, and zinfandel braised beef short ribs with celery whipped potatoes and sugar snap peas. Kudos go to the pastry chef whose desserts are decadent and artfully presented. Be sure to look above and take notice of the beautiful lighting sculpture perched above you as you dine at Aria.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The atmosphere is intimate and sexy, with decadent cuisine to match. Be sure to arrive before your reservation to enjoy a drink at the bar.

Malika's expert tip: Book the wine cellar downstairs for the most romantic experience.

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10 Degrees South

What comes to mind when you think of South African cuisine? For the uninitiated, the question will likely be met with a blank stare. But food from South Africa, the "Rainbow Nation," is actually comprised of an incredible blend of traditional African, Dutch, Portuguese and Indian fare, among others. Those in Atlanta are fortunate to reside alongside one of the few – and possibly first – gourmet South African restaurants in the country.10 Degrees South is elegant and upscale, with sophisticated flavors you will not find from any other family. Go here, and splurge on yourself. It is worth every penny.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Indulge at this family-owned restaurant with solid roots in South Africa. Menu selections and choice wines cannot be found anywhere else in Georgia.

Lesli's expert tip: Visit on a Monday, when bottles of South African wine are half-off.

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TWO urban licks

When TWO Urban Licks first opened in Atlanta, it was the hottest restaurant in town. Although the dining scene has grown, TWO still remains a fabulous dining destination in Atlanta. Making its home in a refurbished warehouse, with the skyline at its backdrop, it makes for a fun evening out. They have a very impressive wine list, so if you are celebrating something special, indulge. Cocktails are quite delicious too. Tuna Tartare and the Smoked Salmon with Chipotle Cream Cheese are two starters to try. Ask your server to do half of each. Served on chips of four pieces, it really is perfect for two to share. Seafood dishes like scallops and steak are standouts.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Popular, but well-hidden, you can't wrong with a night at TWO Urban Licks. Live music, an extensive wine list and skyline views make for a relaxed evening.

Lesli's expert tip: When the weather allows, request outdoor seating for views of the Atlanta skyline.

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Empire State South
Photo courtesy of Andrew Thomas Lee

James Beard award-winning chef Hugh Acheson's first Atlanta restaurant offers an alternative take on Southern cuisine. The beautiful, rustic-chic space is teeming with a knowledgeable staff seeking to optimize your dining experience. The menu, overseen by Chef Josh Hopkins, is dictated by the season and is constantly changing. Pickled veggies, spreads in jars and tasty housemade condiments on the starters list add to the overall experience. Fish, poultry, wild game and beef dishes are typical main entrees and come with expertly rendered straight-from-the-garden sides. Ordering the "In Jars" appetizer is a must, and you'd do well to order the special on any given night. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has an awesome dessert menu to boot.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Dimmed lights, tantalizing dishes, impeccable service and a rustic-but-chic vibe ensure a romantic meal you won't forget.

Lesli's expert tip: Brunch is a delicious affair. Order Hugh's Breakie (fruit, cheese, toasts), linger over cortados, then head outside for a game of bocce ball on the patio.

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Photo courtesy of Canoe Restaurant

Canoe has been pleasing guests with its upscale southern cuisine for decades. What's more peaceful than enjoying a relaxing brunch while overlooking the Chattahoochee? Canoe is a top choice for romantic interludes- elegant but not stuffy. For the mot romantic seating, request a table overlooking the river. You'll be tempted to fill up on the scones and biscuits, but don't. There are so many delectable appetizers and entrees, you'll need to save your appetite. Most patrons enjoy starting off their meal with the she-crab soup or smoked salmon on potato pancake. Don't miss the garden out back during the spring; it's a wonderful place to steal a kiss.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: A romantic setting on the Chattahoochee, delicious fare and a gorgeous garden make this classic restaurant Atlanta's most romantic.

Lesli's expert tip: Reservations are a must at this upscale spot.

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Meet Lesli Peterson

Lesli made her way to Atlanta over 20 years ago, after living in Germany, Japan and six U.S. states. She relishes the discovery of obscure, offbeat and unwonted places, and she will chat up any...  More About Lesli