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Best Romantic Restaurants In The Twin Cities

August 17, 2010 5:08 PM

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Everyone’s favorite corporate-created holiday is just around the corner. Yes, it’s the day that makes every single girl cringe and every married man dig deep in his pocketbook. But one day a year shouldn’t be the only time you enjoy a little romance.

There are plenty of great romantic spots for any celebration all over the Twin Cities — each one with its own highlights and romantic low lights. We’ve listed just a few of our favorites for you here, but feel free to comment below and let us know where you go to get your romance on.

Foursquare Favorite: Barbette
1600 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 827-5710
Read all the tips on Foursquare

It might not be romantic in the traditional sense, but this semi-casual French restaurant is one of the single best places to take a date. One of the best wine lists in the city pairs with a menu with highlights that includes a daily tartare, mussels, and excellent fries. For more date ideas, check out this list of the most romantic date spots in Minnesota.


Head to Foursquare to sort reviews by these tastes:


la belle vie Best Romantic Restaurants In The Twin Cities

La Belle Vie

510 Groveland Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Website | Directory

Want to impress your date? Take them to La Belle Vie, where the food and the atmosphere literally define elegance. Known as one of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities, this place is sure to make your guest swoon upon first glance, with its white table linens and crystal chandeliers. Each dish looks like a work of art, which could almost make you hesitant to dig in but then the flavors and aromas quickly change your mind.

nicolletisland Best Romantic Restaurants In The Twin Cities

(credit: Nicollet Island Inn)

Nicollet Island Inn

95 Merriam St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Website | Directory

For years, Nicollet Island Inn has been known for its romantic offerings and being considered the Valentine’s Day destination. So much so that they’ve created a five-course Valentine’s Day couple’s menu, complete with all the essentials — warm, comforting food plus chocolate and strawberries for dessert. Feeling too full? Book a room and stay the night — packages even include a horse-drawn carriage ride.


276 S. Exchange St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Website | Directory

From the inside out, Forepaugh’s screams romance. From its Victorian mansion setting to the gorgeous, warm and cozy dining rooms, this place has three stories to ensure a sophisticated setting no matter what you’re celebrating. Crystal chandeliers have created a great backdrop for wedding receptions, while ornate decorations provide a great ambiance for wining and dining.

128 Café

128 Cleveland Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55105
Website | Directory

For a delicious dish without breaking the bank, 128 Café has you covered. From Sunday to Thursday, diners can try the three-course dinner special for just $25. That includes soup or salad, a special entrée and dessert. It’s a cozy, tucked-away setting with a perfect touch of charm that sets the mood brilliantly for any type of date night.

20.21 Restaurant & Bar — CLOSED

Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Chalk this one up as another “all-out” Valentine’s Day spot, made for impressing and dazzling. The spectacular views of downtown are second only to the incredible Asian-inspired cuisine from the culinary master himself, Wolfgang Puck and Executive Chef Asher Miller. Settled above the always elegant Walker Art Center, an evening at 20.21 is truly the place to see and be seen.

Vincent A Restaurant

1100 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Vincent goes beyond its humble title of “A Restaurant” and truly plays up its romantic features during the month of February — and beyond. The American-influenced French cuisine pairs perfectly with the open dining room and elegant lighting. The white linens give a true sense of class while the large windows provide romantic downtown views. Vincent will serve a special Valentine’s Day menu from the Friday before Valentine’s until Monday.

W.A. Frost

374 Selby Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Website | Directory

It doesn’t get much cozier for a dinner for two than swiping a table next to a roaring fire inside W.A. Frost. This classic St. Paul favorite serves the finest in locally sourced food and has consistently been noted for its romantic setting over the years.

barlurcat Best Romantic Restaurants In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)

Café and Bar Lurcat

1624 Harmon Place
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Website | Directory

For a more modern, trendy night of romance, head to Café Lurcat, where the dining room was built with celebration in mind. Between the great views of Loring Park and the truly amazing dishes being crafted in the open kitchen, this place is truly everything you’d want and more from a night out on the town. Once you’re finished dining (I highly recommend the sea bass) head over to Bar Lurcat and explore the many varietals of Lurcat’s wine menu.


360 St. Peter Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
Website | Directory

It’s been said that Italy is one of the most romantic places to visit. Well, in St. Paul, they’re bringing a little taste of Italy to Minnesota. This urban Italian restaurant offers a warm, inviting spot for couples to cozy up with a comforting bowl of freshly tossed pasta. Feel free to reenact the spaghetti scene from “Lady and the Tramp,” if you’re so inclined. We won’t tell.

lucias outside Best Romantic Restaurants In The Twin Cities

(credit: CBS)


1432 W 31st St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Perhaps I’m a tad biased here, because I had an incredibly romantic dinner at Lucia’s for my birthday, but it is my belief that you simply cannot go wrong at Lucia’s. Whether it’s a lunch date, an elegant dinner for two or even a next-morning brunch (bow-chicka-bow-wow), Lucia’s never disappoints. And even though they’re typically closed on Mondays (which Valentine’s Day falls on this year), they’re making an exception for the holiday. Booya.

Sara Boyd is a web producer and columnist at WCCO.COM.

View Comments
  • Gail

    Everything is in St Paul or Mpls, is there NO great spots in the burb’s?

    • Billy

      That’s why it is called the burbs. You have to commute into reality to enjoy the finer things.

    • vAScO

      duh go to the city …people are so cheap n lazy these days

    • Midway Murph

      Yes there is Gail, I have been to all these places mentioned, but none even come close to Kozlak’s Royal Oak in Shoreview. Kozlak’s has all these places beat hands down in every aspect.—No disrespect or criticism to the other places, but I’m just saying.

      • Kasey

        My husband and I would never eat at Kozlak’s again…even if you paid us! We joined with his co-workers and their spouses to take the boss and his wife out for a farewell dinner at Kozlak’s. The service was terrible, the food was cold and all of our credit cards were overcharged by the gratuity that we all paid in cash. Never again!

  • BS

    Dido, these articles are getting more and more disappointing.

  • Mike

    Friday’s isn’t too romantic people

  • Connie

    Russel’s on the Lake has a beautiful view of Big Lake, great food and a romantic atmosphere. You don’t have to go to the cities to have fine dining.

    • gail

      I completely agree, as it is me and my valentine’s favorite!

  • Devoided

    La Belle Vie…’one of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities’??…Come on Sara get something right at least once…La Belle Vie is one of the best restaurants in the entire USA for the last 3-4 years. (not my opinion…Zagat and James Beard (but I do agree))

  • eltonbowie

    Buona Sera – Champlin

  • Me

    Forepaugh’s? I can take it but my scaredy cat hubby couldn’t. Nothing a like a ghost on your waitstaff.

    • Dee

      We were engaged at Forepaugh’s. It will always be a great memory for us. My hubby now was all nervous to propose but I think it was the ghost that helped him thru it and it must be a friendly ghost because we are still happily married 7 years later! LOL We’ve been back to Forepaughs several times and actually we’ve never seen the presence of a ghost but if you have a chance to look up the history of Forepaugh’s, there really is a love story that took place here, tragic, but nonetheless a love story, and maybe it’s what leaves the romantic ambiance alive in this Victorian mansion. Nothing to be scared of!
      TIP, you need to reserve early if you want to get in at a good time for Valentines Day, they book up fast!

  • Hopeful romantic

    The restaurant might help but really, isn’t it the company you’re with that makes it special?

  • hotgrandma

    You;re a dork!!!

  • Roger Ness

    Try Christo’s. Wonderful Greek food and great prices. Several locations, including the “burbs”

  • Deanna Small

    Who the heck wants to go into the city? I don’t go there unless I have to go there. Garage parking or taking the bus is very romantic. NOT! There are some romantic restaurants overlooking Lake Minnetonka (i.e Sunsets) and the St. Croix River. Garvan’s in Brooklyn Park is very romantic too.

  • Chuck

    The Lake Elmo Inn is very, very good and voted one of best in Cities year in and year out! Also like the Dock Cafe in Stillwater on the River!!

  • Mary

    Axel’s at Prestwick in Woodbury is very romantic! They have great food and the service is always impeccable.

  • lisa

    AlVento in South Minneapolis is one of our absolute favorites. Candle lit atmosphere – superbly prepared meals and cost is right in line with others of that caliber. I believe they even offer a “date night” special on Tuesdays. They make everything from scratch.
    You won’t be disappointed!

  • BB

    I would rather make a great steak dinner at home and then go out for a movie and after dinner drink and appetizer. My food is cheaper and tastes better than some of these restaurants. Why pay them to do what I can do!!

    • wrgaff

      BB – A movie??? C’mon man – at least take her to live theater. You’ll end up spending about the same if you look around and find some specials.

  • Amanda

    The title specifically states Twin Cities, which we all know is Minneapolis and St. Paul
    The title doesn’t say Twin Cities and the surrounding burbs….I live in the burbs and even know the difference.

  • Charles De Gull

    I’ll settle for a few sliders at White Castle.

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