Whether you have been together for 10 years or you’ve just entered the “giggling and blushing whenever they look at you” stage, a date night is always an amazing experience. But then it comes to the dreaded question–“Where do you want to eat?” That, itself, can become a dealbreaker.
Don’t worry though, there is no need to stress as we’ve got you covered with these six perfect date night restaurants in Chicago. Good food and a romantic atmosphere is all the love birds need in the Windy City.
3 Arts Club Cafe
It was previously a home for young women studying drama and music. Here, you can sit down underneath a shimmering chandelier and enjoy the surrounding olive trees. It feels like your very own little Europe, where you can try plenty of tasty things, starting with a baguette with fresh fruits and ending with a truffled grilled cheese.
The restaurant’s owner, Gary Friedman, mentioned in one of his letters addressed to the guests: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Well, in this case, do follow the path and the signs. It’s VERY easy to get lost in this beautiful six-story tall building.
Our list of the best date night restaurants in Chicago wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t have a rooftop restaurant on it. Included in the Forbes Travel Guide Verified List of World’s Best Hotel Bars for 2019, Z Bar gives you a little bit of heaven upon entering.
Set above the Michigan Avenue, it will not only charm you with their amazing views, but also with their menu and alcohol selection. They have plenty of shareable meals perfect for you and your date.
Z Bar also offers a monthly “Wanderlust Cocktail Class,” great for those who want to dive more into how their drinks are prepared. It is on the pricey side, but it’s definitely worth it for an anniversary or a different, special occasion. Brownie points if you forget your jacket (totally on accident!), so your partner can give you theirs instead when it gets a little chilly.
We would suggest calling and making a reservation right now, as it’s really hard to get a table at this place right away. Owned by a Top Chef winner, Chef Joe Flamm, Rose Mary is a perfect location for a date night in the West Loop. The food is mostly Croatian, but there’s also some Italian sprinkled here and there.
Flamm named his creation after his grandmothers, Mary and Mary Rose, as well as the herb rosemary, native to Italy. Once you try Rose Mary, it will forever live in the back of your head, and you won’t know the real taste of happiness, until you step your foot through their doors again.
Regardless of its fame, your experience at this restaurant won’t feel rushed. Unless it’s two hours after close and you’re begging them to let you stay there forever.
They often say that the best relationships always start off as just friends. Well, at Friends Sushi you get to enjoy some of the best things in life: friends and food. Located on the corner of Rush and Huron Street, this cozy place will make you feel right at home. Their menu is filled with different kinds of sushi rolls and sashimi.
Some may even say that their portions are slightly bigger than at other sushi places, but I guess that’s for you to find out! It might seem a little small, but it gives you a perfect excuse to “accidentally” brush your arm against your date’s arm. You might come in here as friends, but don’t be surprised if you come out of here in love. Both with each other and the food.
This place feels almost like a private garden with the amount of greenery and plants that surround your table. Aba was named one of the most romantic restaurants in the US for 2020 by OpenTable and the location makes for an intimate date night in Chicago with the soft lighting and the outdoor terrace overlooking the skyline.
It’s more of a party scene than the other restaurants presented on this list, but the delicious Mediterranean food makes it all worth it!
Local’s Tip: If you don’t want to be surrounded by a crowd of dressed-up people but still want to try out their signature dishes, make sure to come by earlier in the night. That will leave you some time for a lovely walk along Lake Michigan.
Mon Ami Gabi
Picture this: you’re sitting at a table, wind in your hair, and a basket filled with fresh baguettes in front of you. You’re sipping some champagne and you can hear “La Vie En Rose” playing lightly in the background.
Mon Ami Gabi is a French restaurant in the middle of Lincoln Park, where you can live out this little scenario by yourself. Don’t you just love traveling to Europe to try their delicious food without actually having to step a foot on a plane? We do!
Their menu is a classical representation of French cuisine, making it a special (and heavy) treat for your stomach. Make sure to check it out on the weekend, as their weekday hours start at 4:30 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. This is the place where you would recreate the famous “Lady and The Tramp Spaghetti Scene”–you can just feel the love in the air.
Liv Barwinska is a Chicago based writer, actress, and journalist. She’s been writing and acting since she was six years old, gaining experience on stage and in the writing field. She likes to read, complain about the Midwest’s weather and go on long walks in search of some inspiration. Liv knows all the hidden gems and cafes where the love of your life is waiting for you.