The 12 Best Restaurants in Denver for a Romantic Date Night

Credit: The Family Jones

Love is in the air and on the plate at restaurants all around the Mile High City. Go all out and dine in style on steak, lobster, and all the fixings. Tantalize the taste buds with aphrodisiac foods such as oysters and chocolate. Spice up the occasion with Mexican and Indian fare. Or simply cozy up with your honey and a bowl of comforting ramen.

After all, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to planning a date and making tasty memories. No matter how love is celebrated, these 12 Denver restaurants are dishing up all that’s needed for a romantic meal any time of the year.

EDGE Restaurant & Bar (Downtown)

Credit: Edge

Wagyu steak, whole lobster, oysters, fine wine, and a setting exuding elegance all make this downtown spot the perfect restaurant for not only a really good meal, but date night, too. For an extra-intimate spot, reserve one of the velvet circle booths found scattered about Edge’s dining room. And don’t worry about dietary restrictions — executive chef Craig Dryhurst offers something delicious for everyone to eat, so diners can just concentrate on loving each other over a glass of wine while digging in to the meal. Bonus: the restaurant is located inside the swank Four Seasons Hotel, so the night can continue upstairs.

Dining at the restaurant: Book an intimate table or take a seat at the bar; no matter where diners sit the seating is comfortable and roomy.

Takeout: At this time Edge doesn’t offer take out, though guests of the hotel can order select dishes from the room service menu.

Matsuhisa Denver (Cherry Creek)

Japanese celebrity chef and restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa owns this elegant Denver restaurant known for fusing traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients. The Matsuhisa miso-cod plate is famous, and there are plenty of other options to choose from, too, from sushi to king crab tempura to lobster ceviche. While dining here is expensive, the food and dark wood decor make for an exquisite special-occasion evening.

Dining at the restaurant: This restaurant has limited seating in order to keep social distancing practices in order. Since the space is already intimate, make sure to get a reservation as soon as possible to secure a special spot for your next date night.

Takeout: Order takeout by calling the restaurant.

Jovanina’s Broken Italian (LoDo)

Credit: Jovanina’s

Snuggle up with your honey in a table for two at this LoDo Italian spot. The setting is beautiful, the food delightful, and the drinks list seductive. There are plenty of interesting dishes diners will want to try and talk about, such as fresh focaccia bread with pickled mustard seed, elk bolognese with fresh pasta and rosemary mascarpone, and seared scallops with saffron risotto and black truffle. Round out the meal with a craft cocktail or a booze-free garden mule, made with pineapple, ginger beer, orgeat, and Seedlip Garden.

Dining at the restaurant: Try and get a cozy spot by the wood-fired oven. But even if that seat is taken by another couple out on the town, the whole space exudes romance with flickering candles, exposed brick walls, and comfortable seating.

Takeout: As of now takeout is not available, but delivery is via third-party services. 

Le French Bakery & Cafe (Greenwood Village)

This cafe in Belleview Station looks down-to-Earth, but even though there aren’t any frills, the beautiful plates of French food make any date feel special. Le French is owned by two Senegalese-French sisters, Aminata and Rougui Dia, and the whole setting exudes that of a bakery and cafe in Paris. Enjoy classics such as escargot in parsley-butter, moules frites with P.E.I. blue mussels, duck cassoulet, and savory crepes. On the bakery side there are fresh butter croissants (as well as almond and chocolate ones), cinnamon rolls, and muffins. Come in for a romantic breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Dining at the restaurant: Book an experience dubbed “delightful hours” on Tuesday through Saturday from 2:30pm to 4:45pm, when you can get a full-service meal with select favorite dishes. Enjoy this and any other meal inside in the cafe-like setting.

Takeout: Order takeout by calling the restaurant or get delivery via third-party apps.

Little India Restaurant 6th Avenue (Capitol Hill)

Low lights, hanging curtains, and Indian decor add to the romantic atmosphere of this Capitol Hill spot. Spice things up with a bowl of shrimp curry or lamb vindaloo, or share a dish of butter chicken and rich fish korma. The menu is vast, so whether on a date with a new love or someone that’s been in the picture for umpteen years, there’s something for everyone to try, plus vegetarian and gluten-free options. Pair the meal with a cooling glass of white wine, a cold Kingfisher Indian lager, or a tall glass of sweet mango lassi.

Dining at the restaurant: Little India only has indoor seating available, but the tables are well-spaced and comfortable.

Takeout: Order takeout by calling the restaurant and delivery through third-party apps.

El Five (LoHi)

Book a reservation in advance for this popular rooftop restaurant where not only do you have great food and drinks to celebrate with while on a date, but there’s also an unmatched view of the city for those moments when not looking into the other person’s eyes. The specialty of the house is Spanish and Mediterranean small plates, which come in the form of smoked burrata with Calabrian chile and guanciale, Moroccan lamb sausage with feta and hummus, and goat cheese croquettes with crispy jamon and spicy honey. Large dishes of paella are also available for sharing.

Dining at the restaurant: In the warmer months the outside patio is open for diners, though some tents have been erected since the pandemic to help keep people distant and safe from the elements. Otherwise, book a table in the art-filled interior, where there’s something to look at from every angle. 

Takeout: Order takeout directly through OpenTable and delivery through third-party apps.

The Family Jones Spirit House (LoHi)

Credit: The Family Jones

This stunning tasting room not only serves cocktails made with its own spirits, but a small and well-crafted food menu, too. Order the bee’s knees made with earl gray-infused gin, lemon, and honey, and pair it with the curried red lentil dip and a seasonal charcuterie board. Or, share a flight of spirits with your date and add on some house pickles and a smoked chicken salad to enjoy a true taste of Colorado. Bonus: diners can take a bottle to go in order to continue the date after dinner.

Dining at the restaurant: Book a seat in one of the chic outdoor tents or stay cozy inside at one of the plush blue booths. There are standalone tables along the banquette, which offer a superior view of the distillery’s still; or take a seat at the bar and watch the cocktail magic happen.

Takeout: Bottles of Family Jones Distillery’s booze can be taken to go.

Il Posto (RiNo)

Swanky booths, perfect plates of pasta, and a cold negroni make this RiNo Italian place a sweet spot for a romantic date. Get cozy over a plate of Berkshire pork ragu and pappardelle, orecchiette with saffron and snow crab, or chicken Milanese over creamy polenta and salad. Everything in this place is craveable and sharing with a loved one is 100 percent encouraged. Pair any dish with a bottle of Italian wine, one of the many signature cocktails, a dram of amaro, or crafted non-alcoholic drink.

Dining at the restaurant: There’s a heated patio for those who wish to dine and imbibe outside. Otherwise, book one of the round booths for a pre- and post-dinner cuddle.

Takeout: Order takeout by calling the restaurant or get delivery through third-party apps.

Zocalito Latin Bistro (Downtown)

Bring a date downtown to chef Michael Beary’s intimate Oaxacan restaurant. Then, heat things up with a plate of kurobuta pork tenderloin with grilled cactus and red mole, or the chicken rellenos with cheese and tomato salsa. Also on the menu is cheese dip laced with chorizo and served with warm corn tortillas, red pozole pork stew, and Mayan-style fried calamari with annato seed-garlic. Not only is the food worthy of any romantic dinner, but Beary is working to preserve rare chile peppers from extinction. So diners can taste history being made through the chilhuacle and mole sauce. 

Dining at the restaurant: In warmer months the patio opens up, but when it’s cold outside, indoor dining is what’s available at Zocalito. However, inside tables are spaced out and diners can sit at the bar, in a cozy booth, or at one of the standalone tables.

Takeout: Takeout is available by calling the restaurant.

Ultreia (Downtown)

Credit: James Florio

Spanish tapas and wine, intimate seating, and large goblets of gin and tonic make chef Jennifer Jasinski’s Union Station Spanish spot a lively place to bring a date. After all, the act of sharing small plates shows a level of closeness most couples can get behind. Order the roasted carrots with honey and whipped goat cheese, pan con tomate with marinated white anchovies, a trio of Spanish hams and, for those who want something larger to nosh on, the glazed Moorish spice ribs with Basque chiles. Not only does the cuisine sing a song of steamy nights in Barcelona, but the restaurant also gives diners the feeling that they jetted away somewhere exotic for this special occasion.

Dining at the restaurant: When the weather is nice, the outside patio gives diners a good view of Union Station as people bustle about. But when it’s cooler, book a table inside at the bar or on the small balcony overlooking the kitchen. 

Takeout: Get takeout via OpenTable and take the romantic feast to go, cocktails included.

Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood (Cherry Creek)

Oysters have a reputation as the most romantic food to order during an intimate meal, and Blue Island is the place to get ’em. Of course there’s so much more than oysters to sample here — think blackened scallops over bibb lettuce with blue cheese and bacon, peel-and-eat shrimp with spicy mustard, Maine lobster mac and cheese, and truffle butter-grilled king crab legs. Though Colorado is a land-locked state, the restaurant makes sure to bring diners the best fish they can get by sourcing seasonal oysters and seafood from Blue Island Shellfish Farms in Long Island, NY, which gets shipped in daily. Add on a martini or glass of Champagne, and this seafood feast is elegant enough for any date.

Dining at the restaurant: The restaurant’s vibe leans toward coastal, with simple wooden chairs, bright white decor, and an art installation made up of wooden paddles above the bar. It’s sleek without being stuffy, and though there aren’t cozy spots to cuddle in, there’s plenty of intimacy to be had at a table for two over a plate of oysters. 

Takeout: Order takeout by calling the restaurant.

Osaka Ramen (RiNo)

Credit: Osaka Ramen

This RiNo ramen joint is perfect for those looking for a cozy evening with soul-warming food. Chef and restaurateur Jeff Osaka runs the snug spot where steaming bowls of tonkotsu and spicy miso ramen are paired lovingly with sides of okonomiyaki fries and chicken karaage. Make sure to order the mochi donuts with kinako sugar and salted butter that Osaka put on the menu in honor of his wife. Sake is a popular beverage, as is an ice cold craft beer or pot of hot green tea.

Dining at the restaurant: One reason the RiNo location of Osaka Ramen is so romantic is due to the size of the space — it’s found in a small and intimate indoor basement spot, perfect for dates and slurping tasty noodles.

Takeout: Order takeout by calling the restaurant and delivery through third-party apps.

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