15 Romantic Dinner Date Hotspots

Visit one of these 15 delicious dining hotspots filled with special touches to woo your boo.

Two woman on a date at the Restorative in Dunedin

Have a delicious meal at The Restorative in Dunedin, where the menu changes constantly.

Sure, you could Google the most expensive restaurant in town and simply spend your entire paycheck on an overpriced meal in a predictable setting… but, is that what’s really going to impress your special someone? NOPE. Of course, the food has to be amazing, but the ambiance is what’s going to give your sweetie the feels.  Head to one of these favorite romantic restaurants and let the good times roll.

1

Caracara & The Nest, Dunedin

Two women enjoying cocktails at The Nest bar in Dunedin.

Dunedin is home to a stylish new bar and lounge - the Nest at Caracaras.

Small-town Dunedin has more than its fair share of wonderful dining experiences, and Caracara proves the point. Looking for something flavorful, bold and bright for date night? You’ll find it on the Asian-inspired menu crafted by chef Traci Bryant Ferguson. Start with the beef chili curry queso or the chana masala hummus, then move on to the whole roasted snapper or the short rib quesadilla. Is your sweetie a picky eater? He or she can customize a Sugar + Spice + Everything Rice Bowl. Whether meat lover, vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free, there’s something for everyone to fall in love with. If you have time before or after your meal, be sure to stop in at The Nest at Caracara, a polished new cocktail lounge in the same building.

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2

The Living Room on Main, Dunedin

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Romantic, fine dining doesn’t need to be pretentious. At The Living Room, you can unwind and indulge with your honey over tapas inspired by world cuisine. Take a culinary adventure with pistachio-crusted lamb, smoked salmon flatbread, vegan stir fry and a few of their small plates, but do leave room for their signature chocolate dessert, the Mary Margaret Marquise. Trust us, it’s worth the wait! Also, live music is a regular affair, so practice your sway just in case. 
 

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3

The Restorative, Dunedin

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Your special someone will fall in love with you all over again at this foodie haven selected as the No. 1 restaurant in Tampa Bay by Creative Loafing in 2019. Here, husband and wife chef-owners deliver a small menu that changes two to three times each week. Expect elevated dishes such as halibut with carrot puree, black cardamom, marinated artichokes and watercress, or miso scallops with a spring succotash, spinach, pickled onions and a yuzu kosho cream. 

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4

Parts of Paris, Safety Harbor

An exterior shot of Parts of Paris in Safety Harbor

Parts of Paris in Safety Harbor is inspired by Parisian bistros and set in a restored 1936 Florida bungalow.

Parts of Paris has the delicious French fare your amour desires without the stuffiness that usually comes along with it. Snuggled inside a bungalow-style house, the highly acclaimed cuisine and friendly service creates smiles brighter than the white linen tables. Start your date night off at the POP Bar with signature cocktails, champagne or wine from a modest but diverse list. Forgot to make a reservation and can’t get a table? You can still save date night - the POP Bar offers their full menu. 

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5

Pizzeria Gregario, Safety Harbor

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This pizzeria in Safety Harbor is the perfect place for foodies who care about where and how their meals are sourced and created. We know what you’re thinking. Pizza, for date night? Ah, but these aren’t just ordinary pies. Owner Gregory Seymour starts by crafting his own “biodynamic” sourdough (as opposed to the “monoculture” found in commercial dough). He sources produce from farms within 100 miles. He buys meat from vendors who use humane, sustainable methods. The result? Fresh, wood-fired pizzas that have diners raving and accolades flowing in. Plus, the place is date-night cute. Currently, the restaurant is open Thursday through Saturday evenings for patio dining or takeout. Cash only.

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6

Baba on Central, St. Pete

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With evil eyes as a decorative element throughout, Baba on Central is sure to ward off any "bad juju" during your date. The menu at this Greek and Lebanese restaurant is equally as impressive as its romantic atmosphere. If you're out and about with your honey during the day, there's no need to wait until dinner for a romantic meal, either. Here, you'll feel like you’ve traveled to Santorini as you savor souvlaki skewers, spanakopita and falafel for lunch, or visit the bakery for a traditional Greek coffee and baklava to share. 

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7

Brick & Mortar, St. Pete

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Looking for a low-key, but still stellar gourmet experience to charm your babe? Wine and dine your date at this award-winning rustic-chic restaurant on Central Ave. in downtown St. Pete. Savor their New American fare, unique wine and craft beer menu, and the cozy vibe. 

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8

Ceviche, St. Pete

Shrimp and vegetable dish at Ceviche restaurant in St. Pete

Ceviche in St. Pete is the spot where you can gather to share tapas, stories and sangria.  

Date night is the perfect opportunity to escape the everyday – and Ceviche on chic Beach Drive in downtown St. Pete is the perfect spot to transport you and your honey to a more relaxed, tuned-in place. Get into the carefree vibe by ordering a "Getting Chile With It" cocktail made with Mezcal, watermelon slush and lime, or ask for a refreshing sangria to accompany a beautiful cheese & charcuterie board. Ceviche’s tapas menu offers a great excuse to cozy up and share small plates (try the Patatas Bravas in spicy aioli and the Manchego Croquetas). Whatever you do, be sure to save room for the decadent Chocoflan, a happy marriage of Spanish custard and rich chocolate cake. Most of the menu is gluten free, and vegetarians will find options, too. Outdoor seating is available. 

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9

Dirty Laundry, St. Pete

All you need is love and mojitos neon sign at Dirty Laundry restaurant in St. Pete

Dirty Launry is a St. Pete newcomer that combines a laundromat, cafe and "secret" speakeasy. 

If you can get over the name (which doesn’t exactly shout “Date Night! Fabulous Food!") then you’re in for a treat at this fresh new dining and nightlife concept in St. Pete’s Grand Central District. Whether you’re a newbie couple hoping to move past that early awkwardness or a long-paired duo looking for a fun evening, Dirty Laundry provides plenty to talk about. Enter into the “laundromat” and café, then head to the old pay phone with the “Talk Dirty to Me” sign just above it. In no time at all, you’ll enter a speakeasy with Havana-themed cocktails, tasty Cuban fare and live music and DJs. There’s a great outdoor patio, too. The laundromat/café is open every day; the speakeasy is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

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10

The Library, St. Pete

Group of guests ordering food at The Library restaurant in St. Pete

This isn't your average dining experience: The Library is a foodie's paradise with a unique theme. 

In love with a booklover? You’ve found a can’t-miss dining experience to share with your special someone. Whether inside in the “library,” where comfy chairs and full bookshelves provide a one-of-a-kind ambiance, or outside in the fresh air, the setting is perfect for date-night or “date-day” (weekend brunch here is legendary). For brunch, don’t miss the French toast with warm Nutella, fresh berries and clotted cream, or the Benedict with pork belly and fried green tomatoes. At dinner, the filet mignon or crispy snapper with ginger miso broth are both standouts. The menu is labeled for diners who are vegan, vegetarian or GF. Reservations are a good idea.

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11

Teak, St. Pete

Two plates of foot at Teak on the St. Pete Pier

Enjoy Teak at the end of the St. Pete Pier and top off dinner with a cocktail at sunset.

One of the city's newest restaurants may stake a claim for the most impressive view in downtown St. Pete. Featuring a menu of familiar dishes with unique twists, such as a Scottish Salmon in peanut cream sauce or a burger topped with Maine lobster, Teak’s savory meals and views of the downtown skyline from the top of the St. Pete Pier combine for a truly memorable date. 

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12

Sea Worthy Fish + Bar, Tierra Verde

A crispy whole fish served in a dish with a green curry sauce at Sea Worth Fish + Bar in Tierra Verde

In Tierra Verde, Sea Worthy Fish + Bar pairs scenic water views with fresh seafood selections. 

Slightly off the beaten path in peaceful Tierra Verde lies one of the area’s best new restaurants. Here, chefs Hope Montgomery and Jason Ruhe (of St. Pete’s acclaimed Brick & Mortar) have created a nautical-casual place where the cuisine is truly memorable. Order the squid ink-infused bucatini and lobster served in a turmeric cream sauce, or the daily whole fish special (the crispy fried whole fish with coconut rice is a favorite). If you’ve saved room, share dessert with your sweetie – the glazed doughnut bread pudding is divine. Try to time your visit during sunset, and dine on the outdoor deck with a view of the water.

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13

The Dewey Beach Restaurant, Pass-a-Grille Beach

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On a romantic brick street in Pass-a-Grille Beach, The Dewey features sidewalk and interior dining, but the romance truly starts with a sunset view on The Rooftop. The fried Brussels sprouts with apples and shaved parmesan in a brown butter sherry vinaigrette are mouth-watering, and the rest of the menu only gets better - savor the short rib burger on a brioche bun or the cornmeal crusted soft shell crab. Pass-a-Grille is a perfect location for a weekend retreat, and The Dewey is attached to the Berkley Beach Club, which was designed by architect Stephen Smith as a building blending a romantic seaside location with New Orleans flavor.

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14

Pia's Trattoria, Gulfport

A waitress stands in the doorway of Pia's Trattoria in Gulfport

Trattoria is an Italian word, and means “eating house.” Enjoy simple. fresh food at Pia's Trattoria in Gulfport.

Gulfport is a relaxed little town that shines for a romantic outing any day of the week. A little wine, fresh pasta and authentic Italian music paired with the most adorable outdoor patio under twinkling lights will make your sugarplum feel like you’re dining in the Tuscan countryside. Pia's menu items are affordably priced and for those with special dietary needs, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options are on the menu.

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