Feb 13, 2021 - Food and Drink

Valentine’s Day: 17 most romantic restaurants in Charlotte

most romantic restaurants in charlotte kiki

most romantic restaurants in charlotte kiki

Atmosphere is so important for a romantic dinner; we’re talking low lights, luxurious booths, A+ service, and elegant dishes.

Here’s a quick list to help you decide which romantic restaurant in Charlotte is best for you and your partner, plus which dish to order at each spot. (Listed in no particular order.)

This guide was last updated in February 2020.

The Fig Tree

Sets the standard for a white tablecloth, fine-dining destination in Charlotte

Best for: The newlyweds.

Must-order dish: Fig Tree’s famous elk chop ($42) over horseradish spaetzle with smoked bacon-braized purple cabbage and boursin-dijon sauce.

The Goodyear House

elk-chop-at-fig-tree-charlotte
Elk chop at Fig Tree. Related Agenda guide: Best restaurants in Charlotte

Dine surrounded by plants at this brand new restaurant in an old mill home in NoDa

Best for: The couple with more plant babies than they can count.

Must-order dish: Pull-apart sour cream and onion broiche — except you don’t have to order it, because every meal comes with a free loaf.

Full story: The Goodyear House, a new restaurant set in an old mill home, now open in NoDa

 Good Food on Montford

goodyear-house-botanist-room
The botanist room in The Goodyear House is filled with plants. Related Agenda guide: Best new restaurants in Charlotte, right now

The O.G. of Charlotte small-plate restaurants

Best for: When you and your date can’t decide where to eat. Here, you can try it all with a variety of small plates.

Must-order dish: Steamed bun ($10) with five-spice rubbed pork belly, hoisin, and pickled vegetables.

Alexander Michael’s

inside-good-food-restaurant-charlotte

The ideal neighborhood tavern, serving unpretentious food in historic Fourth Ward

Best for: The couple looking for something casual but intimate.

Must-order dish: “What It Is” ($16.75) – blackened chicken breast over fresh rotini in a cajun cream sauce.

Barrington’s

alexander-michael's-charlotte-top-restaurants

Tiny, no-frills SouthPark restaurant where it’s hard to get a reservation

Best for: The married couple that doesn’t care about the newest, hottest restaurants. They just want something consistently great.

Must-order dish: Seared organic chicken served with creamy mashed potatoes, spinach, and a garlic pan sauce ($23).

Stagioni

rigatoni from barrington's southpark
Rigatoni with Italian sausage, sweet marsala, tomato, Maple View Farm cream, and crushed red pepper.

Modern take on classic Italian dishes in an intimate Myers Park setting with an open kitchen

Best for: The pizza-loving couple that wants a classy spot that isn’t stuffy.

Must-order dishes: Meatballs ($10) made with pork, Parmesan, marinara, and ciabatta. Or order pizza, which are served with a giant pair of scissors so you can cut it as you like. It’s fun.

Kindred

dining room at stagioni in charlotte
pasta from stagioni in charlotte
Related Agenda guide: Best Italian restaurants in Charlotte

Gorgeous, award-winning small plates restaurant in Davidson

Best for: The couple that’s tired of the usual stuff and doesn’t mind the drive to Davidson.

Must-order dish: Crispy oysters with dill yogurt and Calabrian chile oil ($12). And of course you’re ordering their famous milk bread (save some and make French toast the next morning with it). For drinks, order the “Barkeep’s Choice” and the bartender will surprise you with a cocktail of his or her choosing.

Soul Gastrolounge

bar-at-kindred-charlotte

No-reservations space drips cool with resident DJs spinning every night of the week in Plaza Midwood

Best for: The couple that wants to try something outside the box.

Must-order dish: Asian-glazed pork belly tacos on flour tortillas with watermelon salsa ($12).

Bardo

nachos at soul gastrolounge
bar at soul gastrolounge restaurant in plaza midwood
Related Agenda guide: Best cocktail bars in Charlotte

Cozy small plates and cocktail spot in Wilmore loved by foodies

Best for: The foodie couple that wants to watch their food being prepared from an open kitchen.

Must-order dish: Dry aged ribeye ($25). There are only 13 dishes on the menu and a few dessert options. Portions are small, but the food is outstanding.

The Stanley

bar at bardo in south end charlotte
aged ribeye bardo south end charlotte
Dry aged ribeye at Bardo.

Seasonally driven restaurant by James Beard Award Semifinalist chef Paul Verica located in Elizabeth

Best for: The sophisticated couple looking for something that still feels relaxed.

Must-order dish: The surf and turf is made with beef tartar, fried oysters, veggie slaw, and truffle aioli.

Full story: 6 quick things to know before your first dinner date at The Stanley

Fahrenheit

bar-at-the-stanley-restaurant-charlotte

Upscale restaurant with the best views of Uptown

Best for: The proposal.

Must-order dish: Charlotte “nachos” (pimento fondue on potato chips) are not exactly date-friendly food given how messy they are, but who cares. They’re delicious.

McNinch House

Rooftop view at Fahrenheit. Related Agenda guide: Best rooftop bars in Charlotte
fahrenheit-pimento-cheese
“Charlotte” nachos with pimento cheese fondue on potato chips.

A traditional restaurant in a Victorian Fourth Ward home

Best for: The couple who loves old homes and historic architecture.

Must-order dish: Splurge on the chef’s tasting menu for $185 per person, which includes five courses and wine pairings with each.

Peppervine

mcninch-house
The McNinch House is located in a gorgeous Victorian home in Fourth Ward.

Progressive American fine dining in SouthPark with a killer wine list

Best for: The couple who loves good wine — but can’t decide which bottle to order. Peppervine has a sommelier who can help with that.

Must-order dish: Big eye tuna tartar ($18) and pimento cheese scones ($8). And don’t miss dessert.

Copper

dining room at peppervine
dessert at peppervine in charlotte

Modern Indian food in a beautiful Dilworth home

Best for: Adventurous eaters who still want a romantic atmosphere.

Must-order dish: To start, order the Masala-chili cauliflower florets ($9) with a zesty scallion glaze, toasted spices, and ginger. For your main, you can’t go wrong with chicken Tikka Masala.

The Cellar at Duckworth’s

Copper tikka masala
Related Agenda guide: Best Indian restaurants in Charlotte

A cozy and dimly lit restaurant underneath a sports bar (trust us on this one)

Best for: The couple who wants to catch the game after dinner.

Must-order dish: Kimchi gnocchi and Heritage Farms pork ragu ($14) with baby bok choy, mushroom medley, pecorino, chives.

KiKi Bistronome

cocktail-bar-at-cellar-at-duckworths

Hip spot underneath Soul Gastrolounge in Plaza Midwood with a tiny liquor lounge attached

Best for: The couple that’s vegetarian, but only on weekdays.

Must-order dish: For a plant-based dish, start with the artichokes ($12), which are served in a broth of extra virgin olive oil with baby carrots and potatoes. For omnivores, go with the “Pasta KiKi” ($18) with tender lamb neck and pork belly Bolognese.

Full story: KiKi, a restaurant and cocktail lounge from the team behind Soul, opens November 25 in Plaza Midwood

Dot Dot Dot

tattoo cocktail plaza midwood charlotte
octopus kiki restaurant plaza midwood charlotte
Octopus at KiKi.

A Prohibition-style private club that’s a fun challenge to find in Park Road Shopping Center (hint: look for three dots)

Best for: The couple who wants to go back to the Roaring ’20s for a night.

Must-order dish: Dot Dot Dot is known for its cocktail program, but its food is also excellent. Start with the small cheese and charcuterie board with the chef’s selection of two cured meats and two artisan cheeses.

Looking for more Charlotte food and drink guides? Here’s a complete list of Agenda guides including best burgers, best bars, best new restaurants, best weekly specials, best pizza, best sushi, best cocktail bars, and best brunch.

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