Best Romantic Dining in Philadelphia

10Best Philadelphia restaurants to up your romance game

Planning the perfect date is often overwhelming. With so many great restaurant choices in Philadelphia, where does one start? Do you risk it with a newbie dining choice and hope all goes well? Or is it better to stick with a tried-and-true eatery that you know won't wow you, but won't let you down either? At 10Best we think you should do neither. Rely on our top choices of the best romantic restaurants in the city to steer you toward a place that's convenient, in your price range, and offers the kind of cuisine you and your date are in the mood for.

If you're craving something a little different, try dinner on the Moshulu, a Philadelphia mainstay and top choice for the date you want to romance. If you're in the mood for something a little more toned down yet just as special, visit Valley Green Inn, a great restaurant that's set in beautiful Wissahickon Valley Park. Others may find spots just outside the city to cater to their love interest, such as the Joseph Ambler Inn in nearby North Wales or the Inn at Phillips Mill in New Hope. Both offer a wonderfully romantic atmosphere combined with a scenic drive on nice days to complete the package. 


Outside the city

What could be more quaint than taking a drive through the picturesque Bucks County countryside to an 18th century stone barn which is on the National Historic Register to have a delicious dinner? This restaurant is a wonderful place to enjoy a romantic dinner and time away from the hectic everyday scene. It's pretty, it's scenic, it's steeped in history and it's a great place to grab a satisfying meal as well. The restaurant is BYOB, so remember to grab your favorite vintage wine before you head out. Then select from the many offerings the menu here has to offer. French cuisine has never tasted so good.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: While its a drive from the city, this can be a good thing and part of the fun of a nice escape.

Sharon's expert tip: It's cash or check only and BYOB, so be sure to compliment your meal with the wine of your choice.

Read more about Inn at Phillips Mill →

Part of a collection of historical buildings, the Joseph Ambler Inn is a lovely escape from the city in nearby Montgomery County. Perfect for a shower, luncheon or other gathering, the inn is also wonderful for dinners with friends or for a special occasion. Stop by for selections like grilled lollipop lamb chops, jumbo prawn cocktail, pan-roasted Chilean sea bass, grilled royal tide salmon, pan-seared Mediterranean bronzino and Yuengling-battered fish and chips. The lovely, sprawling grounds and tastefully decorated buildings invite you to stay and savor your food with friends and family. Their well-rounded wine list just adds to the enjoyment.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: This Inn delivers on rustic charm and top notch food and service, plus there is plenty of on-site free parking.

Sharon's expert tip: For lighter fare and happy hour specials, be sure to visit their newest addition to the inn, JPub, which is perfect for an after-work stop or afternoon respite.

Read more about Joseph Ambler Inn →

Fairmount/Art Museum area
Water Works Restaurant & Lounge
Photo courtesy of Water Works

One of Philadelphia's only waterfront restaurants is one of its most romantic. This is thanks to the sweeping porch that provides for a drink or a meal full of breathtaking views of the Schuylkill River and of Boathouse Row. The restaurant was built into a 19th-century public works facility whose architectural and engineering marvels made it a tourist destination for 100 years. Saveur magazine named Water Works a "Top 100 Experience," and Chef Darryl Harmon and his team have hosted some of the world's most noted figures in politics, entertainment and sports here. Regular folks can come here and enjoy its quieter and more intimate setting to share a drink and enjoy the views.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: This restaurant offers delicious food in an upscale setting with complimentary (and lovely) views of the water and the cityscape.

Sharon's expert tip: Take advantage of the valet parking for door-to-door service that adds to the evening.

Read more about Water Works Restaurant & Lounge →

Museum District & Fairmount Park

Set in a quaint row house on Callowhill Street in the city's Fairmount section, Rose Tattoo is great for anyone who appreciates an eclectic menu. Choices such as house-made four cheese tortellini, pan-seared sea scallops, jambalaya and baby back ribs deliver a solid dining experience when combined with a salad, starter or especially one of their delicious desserts. Close to many other city venues, patrons can dine and then head out for other activities easily and conveniently. The inside feels like home with plants and romantic decor to add to the ambiance. Special menus are also featured on holidays to mix things up and please their loyal fans and hopefully start new ones.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: With its cozy ambiance, tasty drinks and delicious food, Rose Tattoo helps make any date a success.

Sharon's expert tip: If the weather permits, opt to dine outside and enjoy the day (or night).

Read more about Rose Tattoo Cafe →

Photo courtesy of Trevor Dixon/Fork Restaurant

Fork is an Old City gem that is cozy, modern and contemporary. Here, they have continually served up seasonal fine dining for 25 years. The restaurant attracts a crowd looking for delicious yet edgy ingredient combinations. They proudly source many ingredients from local farmers in the surrounding area and serve up lunch and dinner along with a delicious Sunday brunch you won't want to miss. The staff continues to churn out creative, handmade dishes that combine unexpected flavors and ingredients. Many times the evening's entire menu will center around a specific ingredient or item and move creatively from there. Select from small plates, shared plates, delicious main courses, vegetable options, items for the table and delectable desserts. Stop in to see how this sleek eatery satisfies the palate in an interesting and creative way.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The soft colors, twinkling lights and attractive plant decor all come together to make this a lovely and delicious setting.

Sharon's expert tip: Try something new when you go here, as they pride themselves in continually refining their menu.

Read more about Fork →


Elegant yet unpretentious, this traditional neighborhood bistro offers fresh, flavorful fare that takes patrons on a sensory stroll through the French countryside. Those who have eaten here claim it is the best French food outside of France. In a quiet candlelit garden, the superb staff delivers ceramic wine pitchers, addictive homemade baguettes and fresh mussels topped with creamy tarragon sauce and poached egg. Diners then savor Dijon-braised rabbit or tender beef bourguignon followed by decadent Gateau l'Opera, an almond sponge cake with chocolate ganache, coffee buttercream and creme Chantilly. If those choices don't convince you to go there, the attractive original art they often feature might. Dinner on the outside terrace is also a treat in warmer weather.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: With original art and French films that sometimes play in the restaurant, the vibe is eclectic and romantic and certainly worth a visit.

Sharon's expert tip: Sample the puff pastry with wild mushrooms and fennel confit, as well as something from their attractive wine list.

Read more about Bistrot La Minette →

Valley Green Inn
Photo courtesy of Sharon Rigney

Where else in the city can you find a park-like setting combined with an upscale eating experience that feels as romantic as if you'd driven miles away? Valley Green Inn offers inside dining as well as seating on their large porch for an experience that fits all kinds of people's expectations. Menu options such as cornmeal coated catfish, meatloaf Napoleon, filet mignon Moelle, vegetarian saute and duck two ways, give any hungry visitor an array of options. Combined with their variety of salad and appetizer choices as well as wonderful desserts that tempt the palate, this may soon become sone of your top city dining choices.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: This scenically-located restaurant serves upscale New American cuisine in a historic spot on Forbidden Drive. Sunday brunch & patio seating are also available.

Sharon's expert tip: If it's a nice day, leave time to walk a bit in scenic Wissahickon Valley Park for a lovely before or after dinner stroll.

Read more about Valley Green Inn →

Moshulu is an old 1905 four-master ship, now docked on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Of course, part of the charm of this establishment is the fact that it is indeed, a ship that one can eat on. Walking aboard and taking a seat on a ship is certainly a unique experience and one that deserves to be experienced at least once. The Moshulu pays off with gorgeous scenery inside as well as up on top of the boat where one can watch the lighted boats leaving and arriving. The romantic table settings, great wine selections and desserts also add to the evening, which is sure to be one that won't be forgotten.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: This restaurant is a classic spot that deserves to be visited at least once. It's often voted the most romantic eatery in the city.

Sharon's expert tip: If dinner is a little out of the budget, try lunch here. It's still a treat and a great experience.

Read more about Moshulu →

Jean-Georges Philadelphia
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Philadelphia's newest gem from renowned Michelin starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a treat for the senses. This new restaurant is located on the 59th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in the Comcast Building. It rewards diners with sweeping views of the city from above as well as fine French dishes from the chef who KNOWS French food. Pull up a seat here and slide your fork into delicacies such as marinated charred duck breast with berries cooked in port alongside glazed turnips, or the seasonal tasting menu with selections like Main lobster roasted with Romanesco cauliflower, Romanesco sauce and lime. The views as well as the cuisine are five star.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: It's fresh, beautiful, in a sparkling new building the city's been waiting for for years, staffed by a chef known for his incredible culinary talent.

Sharon's expert tip: Should you not be able to secure a reservation for dinner, don't be afraid to visit during lunch, as the views, dishes and service as well as a more relaxed atmosphere might be just what you're looking for.

Read more about Jean-Georges Philadelphia →

Talula's Garden
Photo courtesy of J. Fusco/Visit Philly

Talula's Garden is an aptly-named establishment featuring local garden-sourced ingredients. These ingredients are combined into contemporary American dishes designed to nourish and please. Set in a lovely garden patio (sit there if you can), the well-known city restaurant treats patrons to a plethora of fresh, seasonal and delicately-prepared cuisine. They do focus on cheeses, and feature cheese combinations served artfully to start your meal. Then it's time to move onto dishes such as the orchard pear salad, lemon glazed New England scallops or Block Island swordfish. Polish dinner off with a treat such as little sweet ricotta doughnuts or ripe orchard pear sorbet for a treat not soon forgotten. The chef's tasting menu is also an amazing choice for seasonal items and one-of-a-kind dishes.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: If you go in warmer weather, the pretty garden patio is perfect for a date or romantic meal.

Sharon's expert tip: This place is known for their cheese plates, so be sure to order one and see what the fuss is all about.

Read more about Talula's Garden →


Meet Sharon Nolan

Sharon is a native to the Philadelphia area, but loves to wander from its familiar borders. She has traveled to more than 30 countries, trekked five continents, ventured out with family,...  More About Sharon