City guides

Romantic restaurants in Raleigh

This article whisks you away on a journey through Raleigh's most enchanting eateries, perfect for those love-filled evenings.

December 19, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Feb 14
A view of the Raleigh skyline.
When the Southern stars are twinkling just right, and you've got that special someone's hand nestled in yours, Raleigh transforms into a stage for romance. Whether it's a first date or a golden anniversary, the city's culinary scene offers intimate atmospheres, mouth-watering cuisine, and an array of backdrops for whispering sweet nothings. Here's where you should be booking a table when love is the main course.

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

Imagine dining in a restored Victorian mansion where elegance meets history – that's Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern for you. The atmosphere here is straight out of a romantic novel, complete with exquisite decor, stunning chandeliers, and a warm, welcoming ambiance. The menu is a delightful mix of traditional Southern favorites with an innovative twist, offering a gastronomic journey that complements the historic charm. Whether it’s the tender Duck Confit or the sumptuous Lobster Bisque, each dish is prepared with a level of care that's akin to a love affair. Dining here isn’t just about the food; it’s about creating lasting memories in an enchanting setting.

Death & Taxes

Death & Taxes, renowned for its open-fire cooking technique, offers a cozy and intimate atmosphere that's perfect for a romantic night out. The restaurant's name reflects its focus on the primal aspects of cooking and the inevitability of life, setting the stage for a deeply memorable dining experience. With a menu that emphasizes the flavors achieved through wood-fired grilling, dishes like the Bone Marrow with Sea Salt and the Ash-Roasted Potatoes stand out. The ambiance, with its warm lighting and rustic charm, adds to the allure, making Death & Taxes a must-visit for couples seeking both warmth and adventure in their culinary journey.

Caffe Luna

x In the heart of downtown Raleigh, Caffe Luna exudes a charm that’s distinctly Italian. The moment you step in, you're greeted by a warm, inviting atmosphere, perfect for a cozy date night. The walls adorned with Italian art and the soft, ambient lighting set a romantic mood. The menu features authentic Italian dishes, all made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. From the classic Spaghetti Carbonara to the mouth-watering Chicken Parmigiana, each dish is a testament to the love and passion for Italian cooking. Sharing a tiramisu in this enchanting setting might just be the sweetest way to end your night.

Angus Barn

Angus Barn isn’t just a restaurant; it’s an experience. Known for its exceptional steaks and rustic charm, it offers a unique blend of sophistication and comfort. The warm wooden interiors, complete with cozy fireplaces, create an atmosphere that's both inviting and intimate. The menu boasts an impressive selection of steaks, each aged and cooked to perfection. But it’s not all about the meat; their wine cellar is a treasure trove for wine lovers, with a collection that impresses and complements every dish. It’s the perfect place for those who appreciate fine dining but crave a down-to-earth, heartfelt experience.


Herons, located within the luxurious Umstead Hotel, is where culinary artistry meets elegance. The restaurant's modern, sophisticated decor complements the stunning views of the hotel’s gardens and lake. The menu is a celebration of local, seasonal ingredients, crafted into visually stunning and delicious dishes. Each plate served is a work of art, offering a blend of flavors that are as surprising as they are delightful. The Chef’s Table experience is particularly noteworthy, offering an intimate glimpse into the culinary magic. It’s a place where love, luxury, and culinary excellence come together to create an unforgettable dining experience.

Bida Manda

Bida Manda, a heartfelt homage to Laotian culture and cuisine, offers an exotic escape in the heart of Raleigh. The moment you enter, you're enveloped in an ambiance that's both vibrant and intimate, with bamboo-adorned walls that tell a story of family and tradition. The menu is a flavorful journey through Laos, with dishes like succulent Larb and aromatic Pho offering a feast for the senses. The cocktails, infused with unique Southeast Asian flavors, are perfect for toasting to love. It's a place that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also captures your heart with its warm, familial atmosphere.


Vidrio is like stepping into a Mediterranean dream, where vibrant flavors and colorful art come together to create a dining experience that's both lively and romantic. The restaurant's stunning decor, featuring a wall of hand-blown glass art, sets a backdrop that's as visually captivating as it is intimate. The menu is a celebration of Mediterranean cuisine, with an array of dishes designed for sharing - perfect for a romantic evening. From succulent grilled meats to fresh, zesty salads, each bite is a testament to the rich, diverse flavors of the Mediterranean. It's an ideal spot for couples looking for a dynamic, yet intimate dining experience.

The Fiction Kitchen

The Fiction Kitchen is a haven for those seeking a plant-based dining experience that doesn't compromise on flavor or creativity. The restaurant's vibrant, eclectic decor creates a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, perfect for a relaxed, intimate date night. Each dish is a celebration of vegetables, with innovative twists on classic favorites that will leave even the most devoted carnivores impressed. The Crispy Fried "Chicken" and Waffles is a must-try, showcasing the kitchen’s ability to transform plant-based ingredients into dishes bursting with flavor. It's a place where love for food, the environment, and each other comes together in perfect harmony.

O-Ku Sushi

O-Ku Sushi offers an elegant and modern take on traditional Japanese cuisine, making it a perfect spot for a sophisticated yet intimate date night. The chic, urban interior creates an ambiance that's both stylish and cozy. The sushi here is an art form, with each piece masterfully crafted to offer a balance of flavor and texture. Their innovative rolls and fresh sashimi are paired with a selection of unique cocktails and sake, elevating the dining experience. It’s a place where you can enjoy conversation and connection over beautifully presented plates, making every visit a memorable one.


Mandolin is where Southern charm meets gourmet sophistication. Set in a refurbished early 20th-century home, the restaurant exudes a cozy yet elegant vibe, perfect for a romantic evening. The menu is a tribute to North Carolina’s rich agricultural heritage, with a focus on farm-to-table freshness. Dishes like the Seared Carolina Scallops and the Mandolin Burger offer a taste of the local bounty, prepared with a level of finesse that elevates Southern cooking to new heights. It’s a warm, inviting place that captures the essence of Raleigh’s culinary spirit, making it a delightful setting for a special night out. As the evening wraps up and you're strolling hand-in-hand beneath the Raleigh stars, each of these spots promises a perfect end to a perfect night. So, next time the urge strikes to create a special moment over a beautiful meal, remember that Raleigh's romantic restaurants are serving up love on a platter, just waiting for you to take a seat.
*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

In this article:

Share article

You may also like


Super is dedicated to helping people get more out of life by providing them with ways to build credit, save money, travel more, and earn cashback rewards.