There are so many amazing romantic restaurants in Chicago; it’s tough to choose just one. It’s a good thing we have anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, marriage proposals, make-up dinners, first dates, second dates, “just because” dates and a million and one other reasons to treat that special someone to, well, something special. We did our best to pick five of the best romantic restaurants in Chicago (and a few extras), so there’s something here
for every taste, budget and occasion.
Signature Room at the 95th
875 N. Michigan Avenue
Located atop the John Hancock Center, the Signature Room’s romance lies within its picture perfect views. With the city sparkling underneath a twinkling sky, couples can wine and dine as they listen to live piano music and exchange
glances across a candle lit table.
The menu offers the best in contemporary American fare, including pan-seared Atlantic halibut, sautéed linguine with Gulf shrimp, and roasted rack of lamb. While the main courses are nothing short of fantastic,
the desserts are to die for-try the warm Godiva chocolate cake or the white and dark chocolate mousse cake.
How about a morning after treat? Check out the Sunday brunch buffet offering more than 20 different “top quality” buffet items.
Hours: Sun. Brunch: 10 a.m.-2p.m. Lunch, Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.;
Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Cocktail lounge: Sunday-Thursday, until 12:30 a.m.; Friday-Saturday until 1:30 a.m.
71 W. Monroe
You’ll feel like you’re in a real Italian village in this complex comprised of three Italian restaurants (including Vivere, La Cantina, and The Village). Head straight to the topmost of the three, where couples can feel free to hold hands
and exchange Eskimo kisses. The space, set up like a “quaint old European” town, features dim lighting accented with twinkling Christmas lights. Feel free to request a seat in the one of the cozy little nooks inside the village buildings. The traditional Italian cuisine ranges from Chicken Vesuvio (highly recommended) to a variety of pasta dishes. The best time to go is later in the evening when the tourists are long gone and the bustling downtown area is quiet and relaxed. In the event of a wait, the bar is a great place to have a drink while your table is being prepared.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.-12 a.m.
748 W. Cornelia
Located right off North Halsted Street in the heart of Lakeview, Cornelia’s is easy to miss. Tucked away behind a
mini-forest of lush trees and flowers, (and a few birdhouses for added effect), this absolutely beautiful little restaurant features an outdoor dining area that many consider one of Chicago’s best. Its prime location on a side street makes Cornelia’s private, cozy and serene. The interior boasts wood paneling, an antler chandelier, and small white table-clothed tables. The atmosphere is just right for first dates-not too little, not too much. The Italian-American cuisine is flavorful and varied. With a variety of pasta dishes, chicken (an obvious specialty) and pork dishes, Cornelia’s covers all bases. There’s a full service bar and an Indonesian flavor is added to the menu during the summer months.
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 5:30-11 p.m.; Sunday 5:30-9 p.m.
1314 W. Wrightwood
It’s easy to mistake this popular Lincoln Park restaurant for a house-it feels like home because it is a home! well, it used to be. Each room offers a warm and comfortable feel à la your living or dining room. Cozy tables for two are comfortably spaced and the staff is attentive and cheerful. Feel free to dress up or down-this place caters to all.
Handmade pastas include spinach pesto stuffed with ricotta & pesto, linguini in a tomato seafood sauce with mussels, shrimp, calamari & scallops, and linguini & ravioli. The best time to go is during the week. Weekends can be a bit tricky due to the first come first served policy.
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5-11 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30-9 p.m.; closed Monday
Websters Wine Bar
1480 West Webster
“Intimate” and “unpretentious” is how most people describe this west Lincoln Park wine bar. Soft lighting, muted tones and
comfortably spaced tables create an atmosphere that’s great for couples, conversation and first dates. Begin by choosing from an endless list of more than 400 wines from around the world, then select a cheese or two from Webster’s impressive list of gourmet cheeses. After sharing wine & cheese across a dimly-lit table, check out Webster’s ever-evolving dinner menu which offers soups, salads, appetizers, small entrées (Stuffed Quail, Island Mussels) and
Hours: Monday-Friday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, 4 p.m.-3 a.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m.-1 a.m.
Bonus: Wait! There’s more…….
340 W. Armitage
The ultimate in romantic dining, Geja’s Café is fondue style eating at its best. Stepping down into this cozy and intimate dining room is like descending into your own little wine cellar. With wrought iron trimmings, low ceilings, and candle-lit curtained booths, this space is the perfect place to set the tone for the night. If romance is what you’re looking for, look no further. Geja’s is it. Combination platters are presented in an array of colors for you to cook in your personal fondue pot while listening to one of Geja’s veteran guitarists. When all of the bread dipping (in cheese) is done, couples join forces to cook up one of many platters filled with lobster tail, shrimp, Atlantic sea scallops & aged beef tenderloin.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 5-10:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-midnight; Sunday, 4:30-10 p.m.
2116 W. Roscoe
This off-the-beaten path piazza goes a step further to bring you closer together. Live harp plays in the background as you nosh on fettuccini or rigatoni in this charming little wood-outfitted dining space. Couples and double daters will find the atmosphere comfortable and relaxing and the food consistently fresh and flavorful. The menu offers a large selection of pasta dishes, as well as chicken, seafood, and meat entrees. The fusilli pasta with eggplant, mozzarella, tomato and dry ricotta cheese seems to be a favorite. A “carefully selected” wine list is also available.
Hours: Lunch, Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Dinner, Monday-Thursday, 4:30-10:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 4:30-11 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30-9:30 p.m.