The 10 Best Date Night Restaurants in DC

These are the tables you're looking for. All you need to worry about is showing up.

February 6, 2024 7:25 am
Green booth seats in Ellington Park Bistro
Here's where to wine and dine your date in D.C.
Ellington Park Bistro

Whether it’s a first date or the thousandth, finding the perfect place for date night can be a tall task. It needs to be lively, but not overly so. It needs to be cozy and intimate, but not to the point where you’re sitting on top of one another. The aesthetics and ambiance need to be interesting and engaging. There’s a lot that goes into it. Luckily for you, we’re here to help.

To ensure the only thing you need to worry about is showing up and being the best version of yourself, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best date night restaurants around D.C. across a variety of different locations and cuisines. Regardless of what number date it is, know that by choosing one of these spots, you’re well on your way to making it a night to remember. 

Seating area with tables. chairs, chandeliers and greenery


14th Street

Forgive the slightly hamfisted basketball metaphor, but Maydan is the restaurant equivalent of a 3-and-D player, which is to say, it can do two highly valued things exceptionally well. The brick-filled interior with its open fire makes it inherently romantic, and because no restaurant should get a pass off of vibes alone, it helps the food is among some of the best you’ll find in the District, with centerpieces ranging from whole, hearth-roasted cauliflower to lamb shoulder. Maydan can help you make a splash with someone you’re trying to impress, or work as a place to keep that fire between you and your partner alive and burning. 

1346 Florida Avenue NW

Red floor and seating area in front of a small stage in the El Presidente Theatre Room
El Presidente Theatre Room

El Presidente

Union Market

While still pretty new, El Presidente, the latest Stephen Starr project, has already cultivated itself as a can’t-miss date night spot. Whether it’s the easily sharable entries like their tacos, three different takes on guacamole, or even burgers, there are plenty of delicious flavors that are sure to impress on a night out. That’s to say nothing of the various dining rooms throughout El Pres, each of which has its own unique look and feel, making the evening feel bold and fresh even if you find yourself returning again and again.

1255 Union St NE

Little Pearl

Eastern Market

Those looking for the look and feel of a dinner at home but done professionally will dig Little Pearl as a date night locale. Nestled inside a striking and beautiful carriage house, the cozy seating brings people together alongside seasonal fare as part of a seven-course tasting menu for a little over $100. A standout favorite? A play on deviled eggs called Angel Eggs, a beloved stable so memorable that it’s the hero image on their website. 

921 Pennsylvania Ave SE

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Causa | Amazonia

Blagden Alley

A Michelin Guide selection, Blagden Alley’s Causa | Amazonia offers two different experiences all in one building. The downstairs space, Causa, features an evolving, six-course prix-fixe built around Peruvian coastline dishes, providing a culinary adventure that’s a compelling experience for any sort of date. Meanwhile, the upstairs Amazonia is a wonderful spot for cocktails either in the bar or the heated rooftop patio, offering cozy vibes to bring you and your date closer together.

920 Blagden Alley NW


H Street

When I first moved to D.C. just under a decade ago, Maketto was on a list of restaurants passed to me as just cool places to visit. That same effortless cool — the striking interior, beautiful back patio, the wonderful food — is what makes it continue to resonate all these years later. Maketto is a great date night spot, and a great day date spot, too. Make sure to split the bao buns or the fried chicken, essential moves that will prove your all-around excellent taste. 

1351 H Street NE

Rose’s Luxury

Eastern Market

Gone are the days at Rose’s when they didn’t take reservations, which means getting into one of D.C.’s best dining experiences is significantly easier than it once was. It also means that you can easily take a date there with some savvy planning, wherein you’ll both find some extravagantly-made dishes, including a pasta al limone that’s among one of the best dishes in town (or anywhere, for that matter). Talk about making a great first impression.

717 8th St SE

Indoor dining area with a bar and in-the-wall booth seats. There's blue-and-white-checkered floor patterns and cocktail glass wallpaper
Jane Jane
Jane Jane

Jane Jane

14th Street

The inspiration behind 14th Street’s Jane Jane was a pop-up brunch outpost called Dot’s Spot, though it’s far removed from that output: it’s a cocktail bar focused on great executions of well-loved classics. But that family-oriented, tried-and-true ethos is what makes Jane Jane such a great spot for date night, as it feels like you’re stepping into a welcoming abode that feels low-key and pretension-free. In short, it’s got plenty of character inside, making a great first impression. Make sure to grab a margarita or two — they’re great.

1705 14th St NW

Interior of MarthaDear
Martha Dear
Kate Wichlinski

Martha Dear

Mount Pleasant

Tucked away down some stairs on the main drag of Mount Pleasant is Martha Dear, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria with delicious drinks and even better pies. The perfectly atmospheric interior is a wonderful setting for a date night dinner, whether it’s sitting next to one another at the bar or at one of its many tables. Either way, sharing the squash, spinach and halloumi pie is the way to go.

3110 Mt Pleasant St NW

Patio area with blue chairs and string lights
Chez Billy Sud patio
Mykl Wu

Chez Billy Sud


Of all the French brasseries in the District, Chez Billy Sud stands out as a great date night spot for a myriad of reasons. The dining room, despite the number of tables, somehow feels nice and intimate for good conversations, and that’s to say nothing of the decadent food options, including steak frites or a mouth-watering tavern burger. If the night is going well, you can easily progress over into the adjacent bar, which has some sofa-style seating that makes it feel like you’re in someone’s living room before heading out for a nice stroll along the Georgetown waterfront. 

1039 31st St NW

Dining area with multi-colored seats in Ellington Park Bistro
Ellington Park Bistro
Ellington Park Bistro

Ellington Park Bistro

West End

Tucked inside the St. Gregory Hotel (named for the nearby park honoring the legendary Duke), Ellington Park Bistro offers great food and an even greater vibe for date night. Whether it’s sitting at the bar or in any of its plush leather chairs, the space somehow manages to bring that French bistro experience inside, which makes it particularly homey in the evening. Thanks to a wonderful atmosphere, it’s easy to fall into a great conversation here, made all the better by a strong menu that includes a rotating nightly special, a tasty wine list and fanciful cocktails.

2033 M St NW


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