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Three small oysters topped with peach-colored granita sit on top of urchin, clam, and mussel shells in a bowl. Quaintrelle serves Pacific Northwestern seafood in Southeast Portland.
Oysters with granita at Quaintrelle
Molly J. Smith / EPDX

21 Romantic Restaurants and Bars in Portland for Date Night

Where to take someone out for something special, whether it’s a first date or an anniversary dinner

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Oysters with granita at Quaintrelle
| Molly J. Smith / EPDX

Figuring out where to take a date is far trickier than it should be — what’s too fancy, or not fancy enough? What feels special enough for an anniversary dinner without feeling stuffy? Really, it’s an equation that’s hard to master, but one thing is for sure: It should feel at least a little romantic. That means different things for different people — some people want the energy of a lively dining room; others want an intimate, secluded spot for a quiet cocktail. The through-line, often, is low lighting, interesting food and drink, and good service, whether there’s Champagne and oysters on the menu, or just some small snacks and shots.

The map below tries to explore a wide assortment of romantic restaurants, including a range of price-points, cuisines, and energies. For those looking for something Valentine’s Day specific, this guide is a better fit. Per usual, this map is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

Note: 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. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Les Caves & Le Clos

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Perhaps the best date spot in Portland is the actual cave at Les Caves, Alberta’s subterranean wine bar — cut into the wall, this little perch above the bar is the ideal secluded spot for out-of-the-box couples. However, there isn’t a bad seat in the house when drinking cool, off-the-beaten-track wines found at this winemaker-owned bar. Those who prefer to drink outside can visit Le Clos, the open-air sibling to Les Caves.

Urdaneta

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Urdaneta’s warmly lit, intimate dining room, which stretches alongside the open-format kitchen, is the prime locale for a slew of pintxos and tapas, little bites of golden-fried croquetas or thin slices of jamón Ibérico. The restaurant’s pulpo a la brasa is a must-order, regardless of rotating preparation, especially when followed by the restaurant’s Basque cheesecake. Urdaneta is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination.

The Box Social

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This unassuming cocktail bar on North Williams is, in fact, an intimate spot for an inexpensive drink, whether it’s a rotating spritz or a flight of mini-cocktails. Its happy hour menu and low-key energy makes it a great spot for first dates; if things go well, couples can stroll down to Lua, Eem, or XLB for dinner, depending on the vibe — or just opt for a lava cake with two spoons. The Box Social is open for indoor or outdoor dining.

Radar Restaurant

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The long, brick-lined Radar is a date night stalwart among North Portlanders, who visit for plates of beef tartare, bowls of escargot, and swordfish accompanied by black garlic and olive tapenade. The wine list is often stacked with under-the-radar (get it?) hits, and the bar knows its way around a bottle of whiskey. Visit for indoor or outdoor dining, with proof of vaccination required for the former.

St. Jack

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For a celebration dinner, it’s hard to beat the candlelit banquettes at St. Jack, where diners dip chilled prawns in vadouvan aioli, knock back oysters on the half-shell, and clink glasses of real-deal Champagne. After a dinner of steak and seafood, a stroll down NW 23rd is a lovely finish to date night. St. Jack is open for indoor and outdoor dining.

Marrakesh

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Diners sit on cushions at the low tables of Marrakesh for a five course meal, complete with tagine, flaky b’stilla dusted in powdered sugar, and desserts like baklava or muhallabia. Belly dancers often perform among the tables Wednesdays through Sundays, and each meal finishes with sweet mint tea. It’s open for indoor dining.

Santé Bar

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Santé is a low-lit, romantic, inclusive spot off the Park Blocks serving pretty cocktails in coupes with house-made syrups and shrubs. The stage often hosts drag shows and live music, making it a good choice for couples seeking something lively — beyond a strong drink. It’s open for indoor dining and drinking, with a few tables outside for those looking for fresh air.

Arden Restaurant Portland

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Couples looking for the special occasion standards like oysters, beef tartare, pinot noir, and foie gras will find them at this stylish Pearl District wine bar, but chef Erik Van Kley is particularly adept at developing pasta dishes: Pappardelle in bolognese bianco arrives topped with togarashi breadcrumbs, pumpkin cappelletti comes paired with pepita salsa macha, and tagliatelle swirls among uni butter and Dungeness. Plus, the restaurant often offers some sort of dish for two, well-suited for dates. Reservations are available for both indoor and outdoor dining; the former requires proof of vaccination.

RingSide Steakhouse

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When looking for pomp and circumstance, this venerable Portland steakhouse offers it in spades. Among the tablecloth-lined tables and dining room fireplaces, couples cut into dry-aged steaks, dig spoons into lobster mashed potatoes, and luxuriate over dark chocolate lava cake. The cellar is well-stocked for wine nerds, though in a restaurant oozing with old-school steakhouse vibes, it’s perhaps best to opt for a Manhattan or a martini. Ringside is open for indoor and outdoor dining.

Under hanging lanterns and plants, dinner in the wood-paneled dining room of Paadee can dress up or down depending on the occasion. An assortment of larb, snacks, and curries are all smart choices upon any visit, maybe finished with a pile of crab fried rice or pandan cake with lime leaf-lemongrass mousse. The bar is often shaking bright and lively cocktails to accompany any meal. Paadee is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination, as well as outdoor dining.

Le Pigeon

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A reservation at Le Pigeon is an impressive option for date night — but not one that feels stuffy. The chef’s tasting menu shows off chef and co-owner Gabriel Rucker’s playful style, pairing smoked duck confit with kumquat honey mustard or seared foie gras with pork and octopus siu mai — plus, each dinner finishes with a foie gras profiterole, his signature. Sommelier and co-owner Andy Fortgang’s wine pairings are worth the bump in price, and Le Pigeon offers a vegetarian tasting menu for those looking for a little less liver with dinner. The restaurant is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination.

Normandie

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Dinner at Normandie is a lively affair, but the string-light lit patio or tables in the back provide a romantic setting for couples and dates. Start with a few glasses of sparkling wine or a cocktail, followed by Pacific Northwestern oysters, crab beignets, and chile-poached prawns. Desserts here are no afterthought — linger for pink peppercorn meringues or madeleines with calvados caramel, or a dram of scotch and some cheese. Normandie is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination and outdoor dining.

Driftwood Room

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This midcentury cocktail lounge, with its low ceilings and swirling bar, sits within the Hotel Deluxe, making it a nice spot for a romantic weekend. The bar itself specializes in Champagne cocktails, as well as a lengthy Manhattan menu; Driftwood Room’s absinthe fountain service is a particularly showy special occasion treat. It’s open for indoor dining and drinking.

Mucca Osteria

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For white tablecloths, handmade pasta, and a bottle of Barolo to split, this ritzy downtown osteria pulls out all the stops. In a chandelier-lit dining room, polished servers deliver plates of prosciutto-wrapped burrata, seared scallops, and quail-egg-topped tartare in front of couples year-round. It’s open for dine-in with proof of vaccination.

Rum Club

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Rum Club is the place Portland bartenders go on their days off. This funky neon-lit bar is, obviously, a fun spot to drink creative rum cocktails, but sober visitors will also find a list of distinctive non-alcoholic mixed drinks. The food at Rum Club is a hidden secret, but anyone looking to crawl can head to Scotch Lodge for fried brie and drams of whiskey, Bar Casa Vale for pintxos and paella, or Bar Casa Vale Slammer Tavern for pints and shots. Rum Club is open for indoor and outdoor drinking.

Lulu’s sleek, backlit bar, tufted leather sofas, and candlelit tables give it an alluring vibe, and while Lulu presents as simply a cool cocktail bar, the kitchen has a few surprises for those who drop in: oysters with radish and trout roe, ceviche with ponzu and aji amarillo, and passionfruit cheesecake topped with grated cacao, courtesy of the pop-up Jarana. It’s open for indoor dining and drinking.

Magna Kusina

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When Filipino destination Magna reopened after a brief redesign, it exuded more of a romantic energy, from the vines and lights hanging from the ceiling to the art from friends hanging on the walls. The restaurant’s menu of skewers and snacks work well for dates wanting to try a few small treats, while those looking to impress can opt for the whole Dungeness with crab fat sarsa and meyer lemon. Magna is open for indoor dining.

Quaintrelle

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The combination of blues, brassy hues, and lush plant life make Quaintrelle one of the best-looking restaurants in town, and the food matches the decor: Gorgeous plates of oysters with watermelon granita or bay shrimp with smoked trout roe arrive before smoked duck with house  xo and corn chawanmushi with truffle dashi. Diners can go with a tasting menu or a la carte; it’s hard to choose between Camille Cavan’s cocktails or Chris Cooper’s wines, so it’s best to try both and grab a cab home. Quaintrelle is open for indoor and outdoor dining, with proof of vaccination.

La Moule

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The sibling to St. Jack, La Moule is the more casual of the two, ideal for a weeknight date without the pressure. Still, those who visit will find plenty of oysters on the half-shell, bubbly beverages (alcoholic or not), and — of course — bowls of white-wine-steamed mussels, all served in a dark and sultry dining room. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dining, with reservations available.

Bible Club PDX

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The dark, speakeasy vibes of this Sellwood cocktail bar make it a sultry spot for dates, where people drink Sazeracs and Penicillins under pressed metal ceilings; the walls are adorned with countless conversation starters, in the form of paintings and faded artifacts. Out on the backyard patio, live music plays on Friday and Saturday nights; its wooden tables, summery cocktails, and outdoor bar make it a more casual option for nervous new couples.

Decibel Sound & Drink

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There’s not much like Decibel Sound & Drink in Milwaukie, a relaxed, ‘70s-lounge-esque bar shaking midcentury cocktails for candle-lit two-tops. The music is fun, the food is snack-y, and the daiquiris get an absinthe rinse — it’s the ideal spot for first dates. The bar is open for indoor and outdoor drinking and dining.

Les Caves & Le Clos

Perhaps the best date spot in Portland is the actual cave at Les Caves, Alberta’s subterranean wine bar — cut into the wall, this little perch above the bar is the ideal secluded spot for out-of-the-box couples. However, there isn’t a bad seat in the house when drinking cool, off-the-beaten-track wines found at this winemaker-owned bar. Those who prefer to drink outside can visit Le Clos, the open-air sibling to Les Caves.

Urdaneta

Urdaneta’s warmly lit, intimate dining room, which stretches alongside the open-format kitchen, is the prime locale for a slew of pintxos and tapas, little bites of golden-fried croquetas or thin slices of jamón Ibérico. The restaurant’s pulpo a la brasa is a must-order, regardless of rotating preparation, especially when followed by the restaurant’s Basque cheesecake. Urdaneta is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination.

The Box Social

This unassuming cocktail bar on North Williams is, in fact, an intimate spot for an inexpensive drink, whether it’s a rotating spritz or a flight of mini-cocktails. Its happy hour menu and low-key energy makes it a great spot for first dates; if things go well, couples can stroll down to Lua, Eem, or XLB for dinner, depending on the vibe — or just opt for a lava cake with two spoons. The Box Social is open for indoor or outdoor dining.

Radar Restaurant

The long, brick-lined Radar is a date night stalwart among North Portlanders, who visit for plates of beef tartare, bowls of escargot, and swordfish accompanied by black garlic and olive tapenade. The wine list is often stacked with under-the-radar (get it?) hits, and the bar knows its way around a bottle of whiskey. Visit for indoor or outdoor dining, with proof of vaccination required for the former.

St. Jack

For a celebration dinner, it’s hard to beat the candlelit banquettes at St. Jack, where diners dip chilled prawns in vadouvan aioli, knock back oysters on the half-shell, and clink glasses of real-deal Champagne. After a dinner of steak and seafood, a stroll down NW 23rd is a lovely finish to date night. St. Jack is open for indoor and outdoor dining.

Marrakesh

Diners sit on cushions at the low tables of Marrakesh for a five course meal, complete with tagine, flaky b’stilla dusted in powdered sugar, and desserts like baklava or muhallabia. Belly dancers often perform among the tables Wednesdays through Sundays, and each meal finishes with sweet mint tea. It’s open for indoor dining.

Santé Bar

Santé is a low-lit, romantic, inclusive spot off the Park Blocks serving pretty cocktails in coupes with house-made syrups and shrubs. The stage often hosts drag shows and live music, making it a good choice for couples seeking something lively — beyond a strong drink. It’s open for indoor dining and drinking, with a few tables outside for those looking for fresh air.

Arden Restaurant Portland

Couples looking for the special occasion standards like oysters, beef tartare, pinot noir, and foie gras will find them at this stylish Pearl District wine bar, but chef Erik Van Kley is particularly adept at developing pasta dishes: Pappardelle in bolognese bianco arrives topped with togarashi breadcrumbs, pumpkin cappelletti comes paired with pepita salsa macha, and tagliatelle swirls among uni butter and Dungeness. Plus, the restaurant often offers some sort of dish for two, well-suited for dates. Reservations are available for both indoor and outdoor dining; the former requires proof of vaccination.

RingSide Steakhouse

When looking for pomp and circumstance, this venerable Portland steakhouse offers it in spades. Among the tablecloth-lined tables and dining room fireplaces, couples cut into dry-aged steaks, dig spoons into lobster mashed potatoes, and luxuriate over dark chocolate lava cake. The cellar is well-stocked for wine nerds, though in a restaurant oozing with old-school steakhouse vibes, it’s perhaps best to opt for a Manhattan or a martini. Ringside is open for indoor and outdoor dining.

Paadee

Under hanging lanterns and plants, dinner in the wood-paneled dining room of Paadee can dress up or down depending on the occasion. An assortment of larb, snacks, and curries are all smart choices upon any visit, maybe finished with a pile of crab fried rice or pandan cake with lime leaf-lemongrass mousse. The bar is often shaking bright and lively cocktails to accompany any meal. Paadee is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination, as well as outdoor dining.

Le Pigeon

A reservation at Le Pigeon is an impressive option for date night — but not one that feels stuffy. The chef’s tasting menu shows off chef and co-owner Gabriel Rucker’s playful style, pairing smoked duck confit with kumquat honey mustard or seared foie gras with pork and octopus siu mai — plus, each dinner finishes with a foie gras profiterole, his signature. Sommelier and co-owner Andy Fortgang’s wine pairings are worth the bump in price, and Le Pigeon offers a vegetarian tasting menu for those looking for a little less liver with dinner. The restaurant is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination.

Normandie

Dinner at Normandie is a lively affair, but the string-light lit patio or tables in the back provide a romantic setting for couples and dates. Start with a few glasses of sparkling wine or a cocktail, followed by Pacific Northwestern oysters, crab beignets, and chile-poached prawns. Desserts here are no afterthought — linger for pink peppercorn meringues or madeleines with calvados caramel, or a dram of scotch and some cheese. Normandie is open for indoor dining with proof of vaccination and outdoor dining.

Driftwood Room

This midcentury cocktail lounge, with its low ceilings and swirling bar, sits within the Hotel Deluxe, making it a nice spot for a romantic weekend. The bar itself specializes in Champagne cocktails, as well as a lengthy Manhattan menu; Driftwood Room’s absinthe fountain service is a particularly showy special occasion treat. It’s open for indoor dining and drinking.

Mucca Osteria

For white tablecloths, handmade pasta, and a bottle of Barolo to split, this ritzy downtown osteria pulls out all the stops. In a chandelier-lit dining room, polished servers deliver plates of prosciutto-wrapped burrata, seared scallops, and quail-egg-topped tartare in front of couples year-round. It’s open for dine-in with proof of vaccination.

Rum Club

Rum Club is the place Portland bartenders go on their days off. This funky neon-lit bar is, obviously, a fun spot to drink creative rum cocktails, but sober visitors will also find a list of distinctive non-alcoholic mixed drinks. The food at Rum Club is a hidden secret, but anyone looking to crawl can head to Scotch Lodge for fried brie and drams of whiskey, Bar Casa Vale for pintxos and paella, or Bar Casa Vale Slammer Tavern for pints and shots. Rum Club is open for indoor and outdoor drinking.

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Lulu

Lulu’s sleek, backlit bar, tufted leather sofas, and candlelit tables give it an alluring vibe, and while Lulu presents as simply a cool cocktail bar, the kitchen has a few surprises for those who drop in: oysters with radish and trout roe, ceviche with ponzu and aji amarillo, and passionfruit cheesecake topped with grated cacao, courtesy of the pop-up Jarana. It’s open for indoor dining and drinking.

Magna Kusina

When Filipino destination Magna reopened after a brief redesign, it exuded more of a romantic energy, from the vines and lights hanging from the ceiling to the art from friends hanging on the walls. The restaurant’s menu of skewers and snacks work well for dates wanting to try a few small treats, while those looking to impress can opt for the whole Dungeness with crab fat sarsa and meyer lemon. Magna is open for indoor dining.

Quaintrelle

The combination of blues, brassy hues, and lush plant life make Quaintrelle one of the best-looking restaurants in town, and the food matches the decor: Gorgeous plates of oysters with watermelon granita or bay shrimp with smoked trout roe arrive before smoked duck with house  xo and corn chawanmushi with truffle dashi. Diners can go with a tasting menu or a la carte; it’s hard to choose between Camille Cavan’s cocktails or Chris Cooper’s wines, so it’s best to try both and grab a cab home. Quaintrelle is open for indoor and outdoor dining, with proof of vaccination.

La Moule

The sibling to St. Jack, La Moule is the more casual of the two, ideal for a weeknight date without the pressure. Still, those who visit will find plenty of oysters on the half-shell, bubbly beverages (alcoholic or not), and — of course — bowls of white-wine-steamed mussels, all served in a dark and sultry dining room. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dining, with reservations available.

Bible Club PDX

The dark, speakeasy vibes of this Sellwood cocktail bar make it a sultry spot for dates, where people drink Sazeracs and Penicillins under pressed metal ceilings; the walls are adorned with countless conversation starters, in the form of paintings and faded artifacts. Out on the backyard patio, live music plays on Friday and Saturday nights; its wooden tables, summery cocktails, and outdoor bar make it a more casual option for nervous new couples.

Decibel Sound & Drink

There’s not much like Decibel Sound & Drink in Milwaukie, a relaxed, ‘70s-lounge-esque bar shaking midcentury cocktails for candle-lit two-tops. The music is fun, the food is snack-y, and the daiquiris get an absinthe rinse — it’s the ideal spot for first dates. The bar is open for indoor and outdoor drinking and dining.

Related Maps