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15 Tips to Pick a Romantic Restaurant & Make Your Date Feel Relaxed Instantly

You’re going on a date, but where should you go? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to choose the best restaurant for a date so you can really impress them!

how to pick a romantic restaurant for a date

Have you been restaurant-hopping trying to find that perfect date restaurant? You may not have actually figured out what exactly you wanted in a restaurant, but with this guide, all you need to do is just walk into a restaurant to know if it’s worth your date’s attention!

What to look for in a restaurant for a date?

If you’re worrying so much about how to choose a restaurant for a date, we’re willing to bet this is a first date. A first date that you’re so excited and so nervous for.

The stakes are high, you want them to like you, you want the date to go well, and you want to make a good first impression.

When a date feels so important, every little detail can feel monumental. Even the place you choose to take them can feel like a make-or-break decision. Well, let us tell you, it’s not.

But still, knowing that you picked the right restaurant for your date can give you the confidence to walk in with your best foot forward. So, what do you need to consider when picking a restaurant for a date? [Read: 55 tips and things to do on a first date to leave your date smitten and in awe!]

1. Music

To enjoy a good date, you need to be able to communicate easily. Even the slightest bit of yelling out to each other over the music or speaking loud in general is unacceptable.

Loud, distracting music creates a tense atmosphere when you’re trying to enjoy each other’s company.

So, Pick a restaurant that has soft music, even if not mushy mood music. The best options are Jazz and Lounge textures. Romantic music can be good, but corny and too sweet when overdone. When you talk, let the soft notes accentuate your conversation, instead of blot it. [Read: The most romantic songs to play during a dinner date]

2. Good service

As soon as you walk into a restaurant, is there someone to greet you with a warm smile, and escort you to your table? Good. But not good enough.

If you have to pick a date restaurant, the service has to be extremely warm, prompt, and efficient. And don’t forget, waiters don’t just waltz near your table and stand idle in a good restaurant, not unless you’ve called them.

How to know if the service is good at a restaurant? Waiters and the hosts don’t bother you all the time. Service should be impeccable, and they should help you make the right choices.

3. Lighting

Good lighting makes both of you look good. You don’t want to sit down under the scorching lights of a brightly lit room, waiting to pick flaws in each other.

Choose a restaurant with mellow, soft lights that look great on your skin. You should be able to see your food well too.

If you’ve noticed in any good romantic movie, the lighting’s always dim and mellow when the couple is having an intimate dinner. A restaurant illuminated with lots of candles is the best bet. Not only will it be romantic, but the soft, warm glow of a candle can also be a great turn-on.

4. Food

Sushi anyone? Or sick on the floor? Not everyone prefers your… What was it… “Your passion for interesting food.” So think twice before heading out to surprise your date-mate with fugu sashimi and takoyaki.

Most romantic restaurants serve good food and excellent cuisine. Our pick for romantic food is definitely Italian or Mediterranean, and a glass of wine.

If you’re not into eating spaghetti off the same plate, pick any restaurant where the food is easy on the palate and very easy to eat. No crabs, fried chicken, big burgers, and stuff like that.

You need your date to focus on you while the food goes right in without any interruption. Great food is excellent, but great food that needs attention is bad for a date.

5. Comfort

No, no, we’re not talking about plush interiors only. Are you comfortable with the place you’re going out on a date?

There are a few restaurants that seem so stiff and regal like you’re in the Queen of Hearts’ banquet where your sweat pores would be working full throttle, and there may be a few places where every single person knows you by your first name. Opt for none of them.

You want your date to be comfortable, so don’t opt for the stiff one. On the other hand, if you’re dining in a restaurant where many people know you, you’ll find yourself breaking the connection with your date every time someone new walks up to say hello.

Some people may think this is cool and makes you seem popular, but that’s like bringing your date to a place where you hang out all the time. That doesn’t show off your creativity and enthusiasm, it only shows your laziness.

Pick a place both of you would like, one that makes your face brighten up the second you walk in. [Read: 51 warning signs of a bad first date & BIG red flags in the first few dates]

6. Ambiance

Everyone likes to dine in a great restaurant. And fairytales wouldn’t be called fairytales if not for the props and the romantic mist and waterfall. So you know the drill. Take your date out to a restaurant that just oozes romance.

Candles, music, lighting, décor—all of these things add to the ambiance. You’ll know as soon as you walk through the doors if a restaurant has the right romantic ambiance for you.

Going to a restaurant with a great ambiance can have a great effect on your date. After all, it’s like walking through the doors and stepping into a new world of romance with you. Could anything be better than that?

7. Privacy

If you want to have a great time with your date, you need your privacy. Walls and exquisite curtains are mush adders, but that’s not it.

Privacy also includes the chef, managers, and other diners not butting in or craning necks at you all the time.

You really don’t have to go looking for private cabins so you can get naughty on your first date. But you need your space.

The tables shouldn’t be too close together so that other diners can eavesdrop on your conversation. It should be well-spaced, and provide a sense of privacy.

The tables should be small enough so either of you can reach out and place your hand in your date’s hand. At the same time, it should feel like a private moment with no nosy people around.

For a good date, always pick a restaurant where privacy is spelled out in bold.

8. Affordability

The little pincher, eh? The guy doesn’t want to spend more than he can afford on a first date, and the girl doesn’t want her date to treat her too lavishly. So if you have to pick the restaurant, give it some thought because it’s completely up to what you think.

Remember, you can have an amazing date, but if the girl feels awkward about ordering something too pricey, or if the guy feels like he’s spent too much on the date, it’s bound to end with a huff. [Read: 60 best free date ideas to have a romantic time without spending money]

Most restaurants that excel in all the finer details come with a price, so it’s all about how deep your pockets are. But not to worry, there are several restaurants that can qualify for the perfect romantic restaurant, and yet, not pinch you too hard. Take a look around the corner, you might just find it.

Tips to help you pick the perfect restaurant for a date

Now that you know what to look for in a restaurant before you suggest it as a date location, you need to know how to apply that knowledge to actually pick one.

With all of this information, it can seem overwhelming and even a little bit impossible to actually find the restaurant.

Well, don’t worry. This is how you can find the perfect restaurant.

1. Pick three restaurants

The best way to make a decision like this is to actually make three. It might not make sense but bear with us.

Pick three great restaurants in your local area that serve amazing food, feel romantic, and offer a menu that’s affordable to you. And then, compare them.

Maybe one plays music too loudly, one is popular with loud and noisy groups of customers, and the last one just doesn’t measure up to the others.

When you narrow down your choice to three restaurants, rather than all the restaurants and possibilities in your area, it’ll make for an easier decision.

Or, if that doesn’t work, roll a die. Assign your restaurants to specific numbers and roll. If you land on a restaurant that instinctively you’re not happy with, then you know that’s not the right place to go.

2. Be open

While you might think that your fantasy of the perfect, romantic dinner date will direct you to make that fantasy a reality, it might actually close you off to loads of great opportunities.

Our ideas of the perfect date can be very restricted to a specific image. But is your idea of the perfect date actually in line with the person you’re dating?

If your date is allergic to seafood, don’t take them to a seafood restaurant. If your date is a vegan, don’t take them to a steakhouse. Although you might think that a seafood restaurant or steakhouse is the pinnacle of romance, it isn’t theirs.

So, stay open-minded. You might have a better time than you can even imagine. [Read: Perfect date – 36 secrets to be a good date, plan an ideal one & impress them]

3. Read reviews

Maybe you’ve only been to a select few restaurants in your local area, or maybe you’ve been blessed to only have good experiences every time you dine out.

Either way, when you’re choosing a restaurant for a date, it’s a good idea to get a good read on some reviews.

If you think you’ve found the perfect restaurant, and then you see that there are a lot of reviews that claim the service to be poor or the food to be inedible, then maybe keep looking.

4. Consider the when of the date

Sometimes, figuring out on what day your date will be will help you to pick a restaurant. If it’ll be on a Friday or Saturday, you might want to stay away from the super popular chain restaurants that are guaranteed to be packed.

Also, some restaurants have special deals on food or drink on certain days of the week, so if your pockets are feeling a bit tight, this might have some sway on your restaurant-deciding.

5. Think about location and transport

This is your first date *we’re assuming*, so you want to really wow your date! A great way to do that is to remain considerate of them.

With that said, you should keep them in mind when you’re deciding on a restaurant. Are they coming to the date straight from work? Pick a restaurant that is close to their office so that they’re not stressed or frantic to get there on time.

Do you live on opposite ends of the same city? Be courteous and pick a restaurant that is closest to them. If you prioritize their needs to make this date as inconvenient for them as possible, they’ll really be in awe of you. [Read: 46 BIG first date tips & rules for men to charm her & make her fall for you]

6. Make a reservation

Think you’ve found the best restaurant that will wow your date? Book a reservation now! You don’t want to hype up this place to your date only to show up and find out that the waiting time for a table is over an hour.

Make a reservation days in advance, and you’ll thank yourself later.

7. Don’t go on a dinner date

Maybe if this is your first date, you should leave the dinner for the second date. [Read: Where to go on a first date – 85 best first date ideas that are fun & romantic]

Picking a restaurant for the perfect dinner date with someone you know can be hard enough. But trying to predict what your date might like when you don’t even know them can be excruciating! So, if you’re agonizing over this decision, maybe meet them for a coffee first.

You don’t have to stress over where to meet, and there’s way less pressure on each of you to be on your romantic A-game. And this way, you can find out more about them and their interests, so that you can pick the right restaurant for your second date.

[Read: 22 second date tips and rules to get to know each other and fall harder]

So there you have it, boys and girls, all the tips you would ever need to help you pick the best date restaurant in town. Cheers to a great date!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...