Raleigh

Romantic Restaurants In Raleigh Where You Can Woo Your Special Someone

January 18, 2024
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
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Raleigh, North Carolina is home to many different sights to see, they have historic buildings, museums, a number of shops, and restaurants of course! With many different styles and cultures of cuisines, and a myriad of upscale atmospheres, the restaurants in Raleigh have more to offer than meets the eye. 

But today, you’re here for a specific reason, whether that be to celebrate Valentine's Day which is right around the corner, an anniversary, or are simply looking to have a nice night out- we’ve compiled a list of some of the top rated romantic restaurants in Raleigh, perfect to suit many different tastes. The list includes the restaurant's location, a Yelp review, a summary of the restaurant's style, and even a convenient link to the restaurant's website in case you want to order takeout or just want to preview the menu before you go in person. 

Before we start, if you’re looking for a potential future gift for another date night down the line, you’ll want to look into GiftYa. As a reminder, GiftYa is an online vendor of digital gift cards, and digital gift cards function just like every other gift card. It lets you make purchases at a participating bar, restaurant, or store up to the face value of the gift card. However, unlike traditional gift cards. GiftYa digital gift cards come with a few additional benefits. For instance, unlike a traditional gift card, a GiftYa gift card can be sent straight to someone in seconds via text or email. That way you don’t need to deliver a GiftYa in person if you want to give it as a surprise “just thinking of you” gift. Choose up to $250 on a GiftYa gift card purchase and make someone’s day here.

1. Second Empire Restaurant And Tavern

Historic. Upscale. Unforgettable. 

330 Hillsborough St | Raleigh | second-empire.com

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern comes in at the top of the list today for a couple of reasons. But first is the location, located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House (from 1879), Second Empire combines the weight of history, with an upscale menu and etiquette to create an atmosphere that makes for an unforgettable dining experience. So if you are really looking to impress that date of yours, this is one of the best romantic restaurants to take them to in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The menu features gourmet cuisine that comprises a contemporary and modern American menu. And you can choose to enjoy your meal in one of their two dining atmospheres. Upstairs is elegant, yet relaxing and charming space, with the grace of the ambiance creating a very relaxing atmosphere. Whereas downstairs is the tavern and the atrium, creating a more casual environment where you might enjoy light conversation or a round of drinks.

“Beautiful venue and place to eat such Incredible food that'll change the way you look at fine dining. The wait staff know exactly what pairs well with which food. It's pretty incredible.” -Yelp Review

2. Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

Perfecting Prime since 1979 makes this a one of a kind romantic restaurant in Raleigh!

Buy A Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille Gift Card

4509 Creedmoor Rd | Raleigh | perryssteakhouse.com

Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille has earned a faithful following over the decades. Although it started out as a small butchers shop, the success of the business led it to eventually expand into a restaurant. And then several other successful restaurants after that. 

You can now enjoy one of their locations right in Raleigh!

Perry’s is a really beautiful place to take your date if you know they are craving a prime cut of steak. Because Perry’s can deliver exactly that with their history of dealing with the finest quality cuts of beef for nearly five decades. As they’ve learned and gained more experience over the years Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille has become a franchise many talk about, both for their steak and elegance.

“The food was amazing

And the service outstanding!! I loved the signature pork chop as it did it disappoint. Perry should consider just selling the ribs of the pork chop as an appetizer” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille here!

3. Mandolin

An elevated take on classic North Carolina cuisine

2519 Fairview Rd | Raleigh | mandolinraleigh.com

Mandolin is another highly rated pick from many Raleigh natives. They love their elevated version of Southern comfort food favorites.

As the name might suggest, the menu is inspired by the owner’s southern roots. So you know you are getting an authentic North Carolina experience when you stop in to eat at Mandolin. And the best thing about Mandolin, and a big reason it comes in so high on the list today, is that it is great for any sort of romantic occasion you might have in mind. Whether you are looking for an upscale and refined dinner, or just a casual date at the bar, Mandolin has something to offer you. That versatility that is a distinguishing factor in how much a restaurant cares about each individual's experience.

Share a Charcuterie Plate with your partner while you wait for second course meals like their Seared Duck Breast and Bone-In, Heritage Aberdeen Ribeye. Pair your food with a glass of wine to really enjoy the meal proper.

“Cozy, sophisticated, and friendly. Wonderful place for brunch with family, friends, or a date. We had chicken and biscuits, mushroom omelette, croque madame, and waffles w/ apples snd chantilly. Absolutely delicious!” -Yelp Review

4. Oak Steakhouse Raleigh

A new updated approach to the classic American steakhouse!

417 W Hargett St | Raleigh | oaksteakhouserestaurant.com

Oak Steakhouse is another great option if you are looking to spend a romantic evening in Raleigh, North Carolina. The cool thing about Oak Steakhouse is that it provides you with the classic steakhouse experience, but updated for the 21st Century. Some restaurants, especially upscale and fancy restaurants, often feel like they are stuck in the past. But not at Oak Steakhouse, they are a bit different from your traditional steakhouse. On top of the modern and relaxing atmosphere, you can obviously expect great steak that is so flavorful you’ll want to come back for more. And on top of the steak they also have an extensive drink menu, which can really enhance the smallest flavors in any dish that’s on the Oak Steakhouse menu. 

“The food and drinks were delicious! Najee and Nick took such great care of us. If you're looking for a great steakhouse for date night, definitely check out Oak!” -Yelp Review

5. Seasons 52

The finest and freshest ingredients come together to make a mighty fine meal!

Buy A Seasons 52 Gift Card

4325 Glenwood Ave Suite 2100 | Raleigh | seasons52.com

If you and your partner are big fans of truly fresh and fine quality foods then you both will love Seasons 52. Offering an ever rotating seasonal menu, you’ll always find something new to try here. And at Seasons 52 they make sure to use only the best and freshest ingredients. You’ll never find their produce in the freezer and you’ll be able to taste the love and care they put into their foods. They use an oak-fire grill and brick oven roast to cook their food so everything is made to be delicious and nutritious. 

Enjoy a ton of menu options like their ALL DAY Philly Cheesesteak flatbread, Slow-Roasted Meatballs, Butternut Squash Soup, and the Rotisserie Half Chicken. They are constantly shaking things up when it comes to their menu, but rest assured everything you eat will be of the best quality, perfect for a romantic night on the town.

“This place knows service. I took a large team of folks for lunch and everyone from the server to the manager was polite and patient. The food is always consistent but it's the service that stands out. Well done!” -Yelp Review

You can Purchase a GiftYa Gift Card to Seasons 52 here!

6. Coquette

It’s like you walked right to Paris! A traditional brasserie setting and tasty french foods

4351 The Cir At N Hills St | Raleigh | coquetteraleigh.com

French food cooked and served in a stunning French-inspired atmosphere makes for the perfect romantic restaurant in Raleigh. Coquette is beautiful, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. With their place settings, tiled floors, and French art spread throughout the restaurant, you’ll feel like you flew over 3,000 miles to Paris when you got to Croquette.

And we haven’t even talked about the food yet! They have a huge selection of foods including weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner options. For brunch get their Croissant French Toast, Seafood Crêpe, or Omelete Du Jour. Then for lunch and dinner try out the Truffle Frites, Fried Brussel Sprouts, Pan Seared Diver Scallops, and the Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for dessert!

“Excellent food, service and ambiance. Very French down to the flag! Love the place! You need reservations but sometimes can get a spot at bar. Food is authentic French.” -Yelp Review

7. Sullivan's Steakhouse

Unwind with good wine, good food, and great live music!

410 Glenwood Ave #100 | Raleigh | sullivanssteakhouse.com

In this two story brick building with large windows overlooking the heart of Raleigh you'll find Sullivan’s Steakhouse, a restaurant to sit back, relax, and enjoy the company of your partner as you dine on delicious steakhouse favorites. And while you dine you can enjoy live music that brightens the atmosphere even more. 

Their hand-cut steaks are what people talk most about when it comes to Sullivan’s but that’s not to say that their other dishes aren’t as good, maybe even better. Try out their seafood options like the Crispy Shanghai Calamari, Seared Ahi Tuna, and their fresh Wild Caught King Crab Legs. You’ll find that the food really matches the upscale atmosphere here at Sullivan’s Steakhouse.

“I love Sullivan's I have been here many times and I have never been disappointed! The steaks are great, drinks great, staff wonderful, ambiance excellent! They have specials to chose from and the staff can always direct you to their top choices! You will enjoy your visit !” -Yelp Review

8. Vidrio

Upscale Mediterranean cuisine all served in a truly impressive space

Buy A Vidrio Gift Card

500 Glenwood Ave #100 | Raleigh | vidrioraleigh.com

Cooking Mediterranean food means cooking with love and care, and that’s exactly what they do at Vidrio. Vidrio is known for their impressive decor and ambience, high ceilings, and of course, their food. Made with seasonal ingredients, each dish is cooked with a wood-fired grill and stone hearth, and with their talented chefs bringing their best, you can expect a lovely night out at Vidrio. 

On their menu, you can get Mediterranean favorites like Dressed Oysters, Charred Octopus, Seared Ora King Salmon, and their delicious sounding Brown Butter Half Chicken. At Vidrio they have a fine selection of beer, wine, and craft cocktails to really make the night special. 

“This was our second pop-up dinner at Vidrio. It was a culinary journey from the region of Portugal. Each course was amazing, even down to the dessert, which says a lot for me. The food and drink pairings were refreshingly delightful. It's was a great experience all around!” -Yelp Review

9. Bloomsbury Bistro

Since 1995, this seemingly quaint bistro has been known for their amazing French-inspired eats!

509-101 W Whitaker Mill Rd | Raleigh | bloomsburybistro.com

In Raleigh’s historic “Five Points” lies Bloomsbury Bistro, a restaurant that’s been introducing elevated cuisine to the people of Raleigh for over 25 years. Here you will find exquisite menu items from head chef Stephen Koster, he makes sure that every single dish that goes out is the best it can be by using seasonally fresh ingredients. They’ve got a dining room perfect for your romantic date or a bar where you can sit sipping on a number of their craft cocktails. 

Since they use seasonal ingredients, you can expect to see the menu change and introduce a number of items throughout the year including things like the Butternut Squash Bisque, Whipped Feta, Tofu Curry, Chicken Pot Pie, and the Coconut Sorbet for dessert.

“Great food, drinks and service! We made a reservation to celebrate Valentines a little early. The staff made us feel special and made sure we were having a terrific time. We'll definitely be back to celebrate another romantic dinner.” -Yelp Review

10. Crawford & Son

A perfectly curated menu made to accentuate flavors in every bite!

618 N Person St | Raleigh | crawfordandsonrestaurant.com

Beautifully plated food shows when a restaurant cares, and at Crawford & Son you’ll get mystifying plates that look almost as good as they taste. This upscale/casual restaurant is located in Oakwood, here you will find a range of menu items both familiar and maybe a bit unfamiliar to you- (and it doesn’t hurt to try out new things, especially with a partner). The whole team behind Crawford & Son makes sure that your entire experience, from the second you walk through the doors, to your food, to you leaving is something you’ll come back to. Their menu may be on the smaller side, but it makes up for in sheer taste!

“Truly amazing. Each dish was fantastic, featuring complex and nuanced, yet balanced flavors. Servers were well informed, kind, and super helpful. Really nice, steak, relaxed interior. Lots of gluten free options. Will make sure to continually visit.” -Yelp Review

To recap:

Explore any of these options as you go on dates with your partner all throughout the year.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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