Over the years, we’ve discovered quite the assortment of romantic locales throughout Tampa Bay worthy of inclusion in your date night rotation. To help you sift through all of the options and to better aid you in your quest to have a perfect romantic evening, here’s a summary of top picks for romantic restaurants in Tampa, based on accolades and ambiance.
With Tampa being such a big foodie town, it’s no surprise that several places have been recognized by the Michelin Guide. Our list includes the three 2023 Michelin Star Award Recipients – Lilac, Rocca, and Koya, and the three 2023 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award Recipients – Rooster & The Till, Psomi, and Gorkhali Kitchen.
Whether it’s your weekly date night, Valentine’s Day or you’re celebrating a special occasion like a wedding anniversary, make sure you’re toasting together by making reservations at any of these romantic restaurants in Tampa. And don’t forget – there are so many other fun and romantic things to do around the Tampa Bay area every month, too! Enjoy!
What are the Most Romantic Restaurants in Tampa?
When it comes to date night, don’t settle for just any old restaurant. Impress your date by reserving a table at one of the most romantic restaurants in the Bay! Whether you’re looking for a fancy night out with fine dining or keeping things simple and classy, here are our top picks.
Bern’s Steak House
1208 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Open since 1956, this classy, award-winning restaurant is the best place to enjoy a classic steak house experience and an exceptional dessert spread. It’s also one of the most romantic restaurants in Tampa Bay. From selecting your preferred cut of steak and weight to expert wine-pairing advice and savoring each delicious course, Bern’s Steak House really can’t be beat when it comes to celebrating a special occasion.
This much-loved steakhouse was again named Best Steakhouse in Tampa Magazine‘s 2022 Best Restaurants List. It also boasts the most extensive wine list in Tampa and one of the largest wine collections in the world. See it for yourself on a special behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen and wine cellar.
Make sure to save room for a selection of 50+ specialty desserts and 1,000+ dessert wines and spirits. After dinner, you’ll be led upstairs to the Harry Waugh Dessert Room for your after-dinner treat. Here you can snuggle up in a cozy booth for decadent treats and live entertainment amidst the moody ambiance.
Tip: Reservations for this romantic restaurant typically book up sometimes weeks in advance, so plan ahead. Dinner reservations include a reserved table at the dessert room.
Reserve online or call (813) 251-2421.
Lilac – Michelin Star Award
500 Channelside Dr., Tampa, FL 33602
Lilac is the first of three 2023 Michelin Star Award Winners on our list. Situated in The Edition hotel, this hot spot is the brainchild of John Fraser. The small space has a sleek and sexy vibe (but ironically, no lilacs). Their contemporary four-course pre-fixe menu has Mediterranean influences, Florida-focused ingredients, and French techniques. Savor dishes like the Ora King salmon, Florida stone crab salad, or Colorado lamb chop with tender leeks and house-made lamb sausage. For the ultimate date-night splurge, order their champagne cocktail cart for cocktails made tableside.
Make reservations here.
Ponte Modern American
1010 Gramercy Lane, Tampa, FL 33607
Show your date a little sophistication at Ponte Modern American. This gorgeous addition to Midtown Tampa is Chef Chris Ponte’s latest fine dining triumph in Tampa Bay. Modern American cuisine with French and Italian influences makes for a sumptuous and diverse menu. Impressive, romantic and delicious.
Start with a caviar course before moving on to entrees like Chilean Seabass or a prime steak topped with a cognac truffle cause or blue cheese cabernet butter.
Reserve a table with Resy or call 813-582-7755 for groups of seven or more.
Rocca – Michelin Star Award
323 W. Palm Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
Rocca was awarded one Michelin star, and there’s a good reason why. The pasta-focused menu features Italian fare and uses seasonal ingredients as its inspiration. In addition to their rotating pasta dishes and meat and fish entrees, two must-try staples that are permanent fixtures on the menu are the Caviar Service and the Mozzarella Cart.
Fresh mozzarella is created tableside and paired with heirloom tomatoes, basil, and 10-year aged balsamic vinegar to share. If you’re looking to celebrate an anniversary or special event, you can reserve a spot at the Officina – a semi-private chef’s table located in the kitchen.
Reserve online or call 813-906-5445
2208 W Morrison Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Enjoy exotic flavors and an upscale ambiance at Haven, a contemporary romantic restaurant and wine bar serving up small plate creations and craft cocktails. The dark and moody ambiance is the perfect backdrop for a romantic date night. Start by sharing a cheese and charcuterie board featuring selections straight from the chef. You can make a full meal, however, out of a selection of salads and fresh seafood. Don’t miss the dirt pie or sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
Reserve online or call (813) 258-2233
2109 Bayshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
Want to really wow your date with a romantic restaurant? Take a step back in time to the roaring twenties at Ciro’s Speakeasy. This New American romantic restaurant was designed with a Prohibition-era theme and offers speakeasy ambiance. The cocktails are exquisite — with a blend of classics and avant garde options. You won’t find the venue easily, but here’s a tip: the speakeasy is tucked inside the historic Bayshore Royal building.
True to speakeasy form, you’ll need to knock — and offer up the daily password — to get in.
Tip: For a more intimate experience, reserve a private booth for extra romance.
Call (813) 251-0022 to reserve and obtain the daily password.
Koya – Michelin Star Award
807 W. Platt St., Tampa, FL 33606
Another 2023 Michelin One-Star Award Winner, Koya serves up high-quality Japanese cuisine. This is the ideal spot for an intimate date night since the spot only includes an 8-seat counter. Their menu boasts one-of-a-kind seafood dishes like bluefin tuna and uni which are flown in weekly from Toyosu Market. Dishes offer combinations of Eastern and Western culinary sensibilities like their beet and vodka smoked salmon macaron. Save room for dessert like their yuzu ice cream topped with Hokkaido uni with a sprinkle of caviar and lime zest.
You can make reservations here.
Arts Club at the Tampa Edition
500 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602
While every restaurant at the Tampa Edition is romantic, the sultry vibe at the Arts Club makes it one of our top picks for romantic restaurants. Deep red tapestries, low lighting, comfy chairs and disco balls — The Arts Club is the perfect place to sit close and enjoy an evening just the two of you. Arts Club offers light bites and tableside cocktail service so you won’t waste any time waiting at the bar for drinks.
Call 813-771-8022 for reservations
1606 W Snow Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Meat Market is a contemporary steakhouse located in Hyde Park Village. For romantic restaurant date night, treat yourself to one of the house creations, like an American Style Kobe Meatloaf with bacon, mango BBQ, sweet and sour onion rings, and a buttermilk potato mash. Or go all out with something from the reserved cuts section, like the 7oz Wagyu Filet Mignon. The wine list is also spectacular.
Make sure to adorn your meat with something special from the sauces & butters menu.
Reserve online or call (813) 280-1113
Timpano Hyde Park
1610 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
After an extended hiatus for renovations, Timpano Hyde Park re-opened last year. This classic spot is a great romantic restaurant to enjoy when in Hyde Park Village. Specializing in Italian cuisine, the menu features an assortment of classics and modern dishes. Dive into decadent bites like truffle arancini, pesto pasta prepped tableside in a parmesan wheel, Wagyu beef, Mostro Shrimp, and more.
The elegant decor acts as the perfect backdrop for snapping a few date night photos together.
Reserve online or call (813) 254-5870
1501 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Looking for a super romantic restaurant on your date night? Be sure to check out On Swann, a contemporary American restaurant with food that is locally sourced with a seasonal flair. Grab a bite of the Portuguese chicken for a unique but delicious blend of flavors. Complete your night out with a stroll around the surrounding area in the hip Hyde Park Village.
Read more about this date night favorite in our post about Date Night at On Swann.
Reserve online or call (813) 251-0110 (between 10-11am or 3-5pm)
Edison: Food + Drink Lab
912 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
Helmed by Chef and Owner Jeannie Pierola, Edison: Food + Drink Lab is a must-visit for foodie couples. Featuring an ever-evolving menu rooted in flavor experimentation, creativity and fresh ingredients, date night dinner at this inventive restaurant is sure to spark conversation. Pair dinner with inventive craft cocktails, some of which feature Florida spirits.
Feeling adventurous? Opt for the 5-course tasting menu, which can be upgraded to include optional wine pairings. This is a pricier spot, so plan accordingly.
Reserve online or call (813) 254-7111
2900 Bayport Dr, Tampa, FL 33607
If you’re in the mood for an amazing dining experience while catching the sunset, Oystercatchers is the place to go. This romantic waterfront spot features incredible views of the gulf. Their menu features an array of some of the best seafood dishes in Tampa. Their starters include Oyster Rockefeller and Charred Octopus, and their raw bar boasts everything from fresh oysters to ahi tuna and lobster. The Grilled Grouper in Gauzetto and Pan Seared Scallops are two of their standout main dishes that are not to be missed.
Oystercatchers also features an extensive menu of wine, local beer, and craft cocktails, and their Sunday Brunch includes two mimosas or Bloody Marys with each entree.
Reserve online or call 813-207-6815
Mise en Place
442 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
Treat the Francophile in your life to a fancy date night dinner at Mise en Place. This incredibly romantic restaurant is the brainchild of renowned chef Marty Blitz. It features modern cuisine with a French twist and the vibe is upscale and contemporary, perfect for a romantic date night on the town. If you love a good cocktail, check out the cocktail menu to sip on a selection of classics plus modern offerings.
A well-known Tampa staple for 35+ years, this romantic restaurant recently underwent a major facelift and interior design upgrade; the beautiful interior design is a great compliment to the always-amazing food and wine.
Reserve online or call (813) 254-5373
615 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
Conveniently located at Sparkman Wharf, The Battery is a nice upscale addition to this lively waterfront hub. It serves as a sister restaurant to The C House (another one of our favorites!), with a specialty in fine bourbon, wine, and elegant fare.
Nibble on decadent charcuterie boards loaded with house-cut meats, cheeses, and goodies, or split a few appetizers to start. Entree selections include everything from steak to salmon and pasta, best enjoyed with a fancy cocktail from the bar menu.
Finish the evening with a slice of cheesecake to end on a sweet note. The Battery also offers Sunday brunch from 11am – 3pm.
Reserve online or call (813) 498-0008
1208 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602
Treat your date to an Italian-inspired date night at Cena, a modern Italian eatery located in Tampa’s Channelside District. Come for the date-night worthy romantic ambiance and stay for Italian favorites with a twist and delicious wines.
The restaurant also hosts regular wine tasting events — check social media for details. Enjoy your meal indoors or outside in the restaurant’s courtyard.
Reserve online or call (813) 374-8840
Casa Santo Stefano
1607 N 22nd St, Tampa, FL 33605
Treat your date to a taste of Sicily at Casa Santo Stefano, a lovely addition to Ybor City’s dining scene. The historic building and decorative touches enhance the romantic experience. Their menu boasts Italian classics like pasta, pizzas, and gourmet sandwiches.
For a complete date night, plan to head upstairs after dinner at Santo’s Drinkeria, the restaurant’s rooftop bar. Sip wine while enjoying gorgeous views of historic Ybor City.
Reserve online or call (813) 248-1925
2117 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
Open since 1905, this Ybor City staple serves up Cuban cuisine and boasts the title of Florida’s oldest restaurant, and it’s a great choice for a romantic restaurant, too. While there are multiple Columbia Restaurant locations throughout the state, the Ybor City institution is where it all began.
The layout is well known for being a “city within a city.” Maxing at over 1,700 people, this restaurant has customers spread throughout fifteen distinct spaces each with their own story.
Make sure to share the 1905 Salad, which got an award from USA Today for being “One of the 10 Great Places to Make a Meal Out of a Salad.” I can personally vouch for its deliciousness. Get the full scoop on this must-visit restaurant in our write-up, The Columbia.
Tip: Can’t make it to Ybor? You can visit one of their other locations in Clearwater or Sarasota too.
Reserve online or call (813) 248-4961\
Rooster and The Till – Michelin Bib Gourmand Award
6500 N Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33604
Critics rave about this Seminole Heights restaurant that was named the 2023 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award Recipient and number one in the Tampa Bay Times top 50 list of 2018. What makes this spot special is it’s revolving menu that features guest chef series, pop-up events, and an always-changing tasting menu. Guests will be taken on an unexpected culinary adventure each time they visit Rooster and the Till. You and your date have the option of having dinner in the main dining area or being right in the action at the Kitchen Bar. Reservations are recommended, as this location is quality over quantity.
Reserve online here.
1902 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
A steakhouse known for its excellent marbling and premium flavor, Steelbach should definitely be on your list of romantic restaurants to experience here in the Tampa Bay area. Located inside Armature Works, the chophouse menu includes local grass-fed beef and Southern-inspired favorites.
Steaks are cooked over a 1000-degree oak fire grille, lending a unique flavor. Looking for something other than a dinner date? Check out the sweet and savory brunch menu while sipping on mimosas.
Reserve online or call (813) 693-5478
Oak & Ola
1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
Created by a group of close friends, Oak & Ola is a EuroAmerican romantic restaurant located right in Tampa’s Armature Works. Enjoy a classic and comfortable setting with a timeless design.
Check out the Blue Crab Spaghetti for a fun twist on a classic Italian dish and try one of their amazing handmade craft cocktails.
Reserve online or call (813) 773-1901
Psomi – Michelin Bib Gourmand Award
701 N. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606
Psomi is a Greek-American bakery and eatery where you can get freshly baked bread, pita, pastries and bagels daily. They were also awarded the 2023 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award for a good reason – their food is authentic and fresh and makes you feel like you’re sitting at a cafe in Greece. Their dinner menu features variations on Mediterranean favorites like Spanakopita Chicken and Rack of Lamb. Don’t leave without trying a hand-crafted cocktail or a glass of Greek wine.
Reservations can be made online.
1810 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
Named after the Native American princess by the same name, Ulele offers a vibrant fusion of ingredients all wrapped up into a visually appealing romantic restaurant experience. Speaking of fusion, Ulele recently received the honor of being named “Best Fusion Restaurant” in Tampa Magazine‘s 2022 Best Restaurants List. It took home accolades in the “Best Waterfront Restaurant” category, too.
Ulele is the perfect place for indoor or outdoor dining. Diners will love the romantic restaurant’s waterfront location, situated along the Tampa Riverwalk overlooking the Hillsborough River. When it comes to the menu, all of the food is harvested in the United States and comes from family or independently owned companies.
Check out the seafood risotto for a fun twist on a classic dish. They also have some of the best-chargrilled oysters in Tampa.
Reserve online or call (813) 999-4952
Sal Y Mar
3650 Midtown Dr, Tampa, FL 33607
Find this rooftop roost located atop the Aloft and Element Hotel at the fast-growing Midtown Tampa. Drawing inspiration from Tulum, Mexico, Sal Y Mar features an assortment of elevated Latin-inspired dishes and artisanal cocktails that will get you in a vacation state of mind. Sip libations while taking in the beautiful skyline views of Tampa, Westshore and St. Pete.
Call (813) 692-3330 to reserve
1015 Gramercy Lane, Tampa, FL 33607
Already a favorite in St. Pete, BellaBrava opened an additional location in Tampa in 2021. Head to this romantic Italian eatery in Midtown Tampa for fresh pasta dishes, wood fired pizzas, classic Italian cocktails and an assortment of wines.
Reserve online or call (813) 524-5226
Gorkhali Kitchen – Michelin Bib Gourmand Award
10044 Cross Creek Blvd, Tampa, FL 33647
Our third 2023 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award winner on the list, Gorkhali is the place to go for fresh Himalayan cuisine. Thier large menu has a Nepalese focus along with some Indian elements. One of the signature dishes is the momo, Nepalese dumplings that are seared, pan-fried, or added to soup. They have an array of dishes from sweet to spicy and though chicken is a staple on their menu, they insist you try their savory goat dishes.
For reservations call 813-388-6404
2205 N Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607
Ocean Prime‘s Tampa outpost features a stunning interior and vibrant energy with a tasty menu to match. At this Tampa romantic restaurant, feast on classic surf & turf options paired with excellent wines. Wine lovers will be impressed with the Wine Spectator-honored wine list.
Tip: Plan your visit during the weekly happy hour for a budget-friendly dining experience in the lounge. Select small plates are $5 off and pair wonderfully with featured wine and cocktails. Order the Berries & Bubbles, a smooth blend of Belvedere citrus vodka, Cassis, Domaine Chandon Brut, marinated berries and lemon. This showy cocktail is poured tableside into a frozen glass, causing the drink to bubble as dry ice envelopes the glass in smoke.
Reserve online or call (813) 490-5288
Feature image credit: Oystercatchers
And if you’re looking for family-friendly things to do – ok, not so romantic with kids involved – but hey, kids and families need things to do too – check out the best list of kids and parents activities to do this week!
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