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Decatur Street balcony seating at Cafe Sbisa
Cafe Sbisa

14 Restaurants for a Romantic Night Out in New Orleans

Low lighting, sexy drinks, and some of the best shareable plates the city has to offer

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Decatur Street balcony seating at Cafe Sbisa
| Cafe Sbisa

New Orleans oozes romance in the best of times; a veritable playground for lovebirds. Navigating a pandemic, date nights have taken a backseat — but it’s time to break out of the routine. How about this idea: get dressed up for date night at one of the many romantic restaurants around town, and get ready to share first-rate drinks, small plates, and a cozy booth. Below, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite spots that offer more than just a pretty dining room — although we took that into account, too — whether you’re seeking an intimate courtyard for sipping natural wine under the stars or a tasting menu splurge. Don’t forget to save room for dessert.

Did we miss your favorite date night restaurant in New Orleans? Send a tip.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Vincent's Italian Cuisine

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7839 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 866-9313
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Sometimes the most charming dining experience is had at the most familiar restaurants, where you’re treated like family and the hospitality is genuine. Vincent’s offers that atmosphere for its Southern Italian comfort food, served in a dimly-lit, cozy dining room that isn’t trying to be romantic, but is. The tiramisu is a must.

2. Gautreau's Restaurant

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1728 Soniat St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 899-7397
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This secluded French-American gem is housed in a former pharmacy in the middle of a residential neighborhood, making a first visit feel like a brilliant discovery. Inside, Gautreau’s sets the bar for New Orleans service and hospitality with delicately composed dishes, excellent wine, and a lovely ambiance.

3. Bouligny Tavern

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3641 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 891-1810
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One of Magazine Street’s chicest locations is Bouligny Tavern, an easily-missed small plates and cocktail destination. Food and drinks are served until refreshingly late, making it great for an intimate late night stop for drinks and bistro bites like duck confit with greens and charcuterie. The narrow courtyard is an extra special setting.

4. Lilette

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3637 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 895-1636
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From the tasteful tile work and snuggle-friendly booths to the by turns delicate and swaggering French (and sometimes Italian and/or Asian) cooking, this Uptown stalwart has date night written all over it. One of the city’s most consistent restaurants is also one of its loveliest.

5. Lengua Madre

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1245 Constance St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 655-1338
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It doesn’t really get more romantic than Lengua Madre — if you can get a reservation, that is. The dark, mysterious dining room at the corner of Thalia and Constance Streets is usually occupied by couples enjoying an intricate five-course tasting menu from Ana Castro, Mexican cuisine that is simultaneously modern and traditional. It’s an incredibly special, intimate dining experience, best shared with a loved one or partner.

A dish of Louisiana rice with clams, shrimp, and mussels 
Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

6. Jewel of the South

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1026 St Louis St
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 265-8816
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On the quieter outskirts of the Quarter sits an enchanting 19th century Creole cottage that houses this beautiful cocktail bar and restaurant. Have a seat at the bar, in the vintage-style dining room, or on the pretty courtyard and sip some of the best cocktails in town. While the drinks may have top billing due to its cocktail-expert founders, the food is equally refined, with shareable dishes featuring caviar, burrata, and foie gras.

7. Vyoone’s

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412 Girod St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 518-6007
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Vyoone’s is one of the Warehouse District’s best-kept secrets, a romantic French-meets-Creole spot oozing with ambience. Serving an upscale menu of delicate French starters and contemporary Creole entrees, the top-notch wine list and magical courtyard make for a lovely — and fun— date night setting.

8. Cafe Amelie

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912 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 412-8965
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For a truly unique dining experience in a wonderfully lush French Quarter courtyard, the ever-romantic Cafe Amelie offers an ideal setting for dinner or a leisurely weekend brunch. The courtyard is currently open to reserve for brunch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for brunch and dinner.

9. Bennachin

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1212 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 522-1230

The most romantic setting isn’t necessarily the most extravagant, but often the most intimate and comfortable. That’s what you’ll find at Bennachin, the French Quarter’s cool destination for Gambian and Cameroonian specialties, many vegetarian-friendly. Brick walls are lined with unique art, antique light fixtures hang from the ceiling, and funky, eclectic furniture sits by the window. A great spot for a double date.

Bennachin/Official

10. Cafe Sbisa

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1011 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 522-5565
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When it comes to romantic settings, the second floor and Decatur Street balconies at Cafe Sbisa cannot be beat. Originally opened in 1899, this classic French-Creole restaurant led by talented chef Alfred Singleton is an atmospheric stunner, with original wood, intimate balcony and patio dining, and a staircase that harks back to a golden age.

11. The Elysian Bar

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2317 Burgundy St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 356-6769
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This cool renovation of a Catholic church complex includes a lovely center patio for nibbling under the stars. Hotel Peter and Paul features the Elysian Bar, an intimate space run by the smart folks at Bacchanal. That influence is apparent in the excellent and unique wine list, excellent cocktails, and shareable small plates, like the Gulf shrimp with Calabrian chili butter.

12. The Franklin

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2600 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 267-0640
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For a low-key neighborhood restaurant, the Franklin is also quite sexy — nice and dark except for the glowing bar and candlelit tables, with cool, sultry art, and antique furniture and finishes. Top-notch old school martinis add to the vibe, to be enjoyed with shareable plates of mussels, shrimp risotto, and arancini.

13. Bywater American Bistro

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2900 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 605-3827
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Nina Compton’s follow-up to her nationally acclaimed Compere Lapin is its quieter, more intimate sister, a neighborhood bistro that doubles as a weeknight and special occasion destination. Compton takes seemingly simple items, like spaghetti pomodoro and butternut squash soup, and turns them into dishes like you’ve never tried. BABs has distanced sidewalk seating as well, another romantic option.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

14. Saint-Germain

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3054 St Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 218-8729
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There are two romantic settings in which to try Saint-Germain’s inventive, Parisian-influenced food: the inside dining room that holds only a handful of tables, where a five-course tasting menu is served Thursday through Sunday. You can’t know what to expect from this meal, other than that it will be outstanding. For the more casual romantic option, Saint-Germain’s backyard is beautiful, lit up by string lights, where you can try expert preparations of pate, chili shrimp, sweetbreads, and rare wines under the stars.

1. Vincent's Italian Cuisine

7839 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

Sometimes the most charming dining experience is had at the most familiar restaurants, where you’re treated like family and the hospitality is genuine. Vincent’s offers that atmosphere for its Southern Italian comfort food, served in a dimly-lit, cozy dining room that isn’t trying to be romantic, but is. The tiramisu is a must.

7839 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118

2. Gautreau's Restaurant

1728 Soniat St, New Orleans, LA 70115

This secluded French-American gem is housed in a former pharmacy in the middle of a residential neighborhood, making a first visit feel like a brilliant discovery. Inside, Gautreau’s sets the bar for New Orleans service and hospitality with delicately composed dishes, excellent wine, and a lovely ambiance.

1728 Soniat St
New Orleans, LA 70115

3. Bouligny Tavern

3641 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

One of Magazine Street’s chicest locations is Bouligny Tavern, an easily-missed small plates and cocktail destination. Food and drinks are served until refreshingly late, making it great for an intimate late night stop for drinks and bistro bites like duck confit with greens and charcuterie. The narrow courtyard is an extra special setting.

3641 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

4. Lilette

3637 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

From the tasteful tile work and snuggle-friendly booths to the by turns delicate and swaggering French (and sometimes Italian and/or Asian) cooking, this Uptown stalwart has date night written all over it. One of the city’s most consistent restaurants is also one of its loveliest.

3637 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

5. Lengua Madre

1245 Constance St, New Orleans, LA 70130
A dish of Louisiana rice with clams, shrimp, and mussels 
Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

It doesn’t really get more romantic than Lengua Madre — if you can get a reservation, that is. The dark, mysterious dining room at the corner of Thalia and Constance Streets is usually occupied by couples enjoying an intricate five-course tasting menu from Ana Castro, Mexican cuisine that is simultaneously modern and traditional. It’s an incredibly special, intimate dining experience, best shared with a loved one or partner.

1245 Constance St
New Orleans, LA 70130

6. Jewel of the South

1026 St Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70112

On the quieter outskirts of the Quarter sits an enchanting 19th century Creole cottage that houses this beautiful cocktail bar and restaurant. Have a seat at the bar, in the vintage-style dining room, or on the pretty courtyard and sip some of the best cocktails in town. While the drinks may have top billing due to its cocktail-expert founders, the food is equally refined, with shareable dishes featuring caviar, burrata, and foie gras.

1026 St Louis St
New Orleans, LA 70112

7. Vyoone’s

412 Girod St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Vyoone’s is one of the Warehouse District’s best-kept secrets, a romantic French-meets-Creole spot oozing with ambience. Serving an upscale menu of delicate French starters and contemporary Creole entrees, the top-notch wine list and magical courtyard make for a lovely — and fun— date night setting.

412 Girod St
New Orleans, LA 70130

8. Cafe Amelie

912 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

For a truly unique dining experience in a wonderfully lush French Quarter courtyard, the ever-romantic Cafe Amelie offers an ideal setting for dinner or a leisurely weekend brunch. The courtyard is currently open to reserve for brunch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for brunch and dinner.

912 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116

9. Bennachin

1212 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Bennachin/Official

The most romantic setting isn’t necessarily the most extravagant, but often the most intimate and comfortable. That’s what you’ll find at Bennachin, the French Quarter’s cool destination for Gambian and Cameroonian specialties, many vegetarian-friendly. Brick walls are lined with unique art, antique light fixtures hang from the ceiling, and funky, eclectic furniture sits by the window. A great spot for a double date.

1212 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70116

10. Cafe Sbisa

1011 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

When it comes to romantic settings, the second floor and Decatur Street balconies at Cafe Sbisa cannot be beat. Originally opened in 1899, this classic French-Creole restaurant led by talented chef Alfred Singleton is an atmospheric stunner, with original wood, intimate balcony and patio dining, and a staircase that harks back to a golden age.

1011 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116

11. The Elysian Bar

2317 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117

This cool renovation of a Catholic church complex includes a lovely center patio for nibbling under the stars. Hotel Peter and Paul features the Elysian Bar, an intimate space run by the smart folks at Bacchanal. That influence is apparent in the excellent and unique wine list, excellent cocktails, and shareable small plates, like the Gulf shrimp with Calabrian chili butter.

2317 Burgundy St
New Orleans, LA 70117

12. The Franklin

2600 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70117

For a low-key neighborhood restaurant, the Franklin is also quite sexy — nice and dark except for the glowing bar and candlelit tables, with cool, sultry art, and antique furniture and finishes. Top-notch old school martinis add to the vibe, to be enjoyed with shareable plates of mussels, shrimp risotto, and arancini.

2600 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA 70117

13. Bywater American Bistro

2900 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Nina Compton’s follow-up to her nationally acclaimed Compere Lapin is its quieter, more intimate sister, a neighborhood bistro that doubles as a weeknight and special occasion destination. Compton takes seemingly simple items, like spaghetti pomodoro and butternut squash soup, and turns them into dishes like you’ve never tried. BABs has distanced sidewalk seating as well, another romantic option.

2900 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70117

14. Saint-Germain

3054 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

There are two romantic settings in which to try Saint-Germain’s inventive, Parisian-influenced food: the inside dining room that holds only a handful of tables, where a five-course tasting menu is served Thursday through Sunday. You can’t know what to expect from this meal, other than that it will be outstanding. For the more casual romantic option, Saint-Germain’s backyard is beautiful, lit up by string lights, where you can try expert preparations of pate, chili shrimp, sweetbreads, and rare wines under the stars.

3054 St Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

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