Whether you’re strolling hand in hand past the river on warm nights or cozying up together under a blanket on the cold ones, Minnesota is an ideal place to fall in love. These local restaurants make your experience special every time, whether you’re on your first date, celebrating your anniversary or just going out to enjoy life (and a great meal) with the person you love.

(credit: Restaurant Alma)

(credit: Restaurant Alma)

Restaurant Alma
528 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 379-4909

Enjoy Restaurant Alma’s warm atmosphere, its charming touches of an old building and its delicious food. Bring your loved one and order off the tasting menus, sharing bites and making eyes at each other over your plates. This is the restaurant for a real date; no need to feel stuffy or worry about using the right fork. You should come here with someone you truly care about, and who truly cares about a romantic experience. Eat together and add a few glasses of wine from Alma’s excellent list too.

276 Exchange St S
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-5606

There’s something about old luxury that is so charming and perfect for a romantic date. With the whimsical details of carved wood bannisters, the warmth emanating from the fireplace and the quaint coziness of the dining room where you touch your feet together under the table, Forepaugh’s seems to have been built for an evening of love. And the ghost that haunts the third floor is a tale of old love that will make you want to hold your loved one just a little bit closer.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

102 S 2nd St.
Stillwater, MN 55082
(651) 439-1352

Going out on a date and sharing dinner with the person you love should be a special experience every time. Heading out for an evening in beautiful Stillwater seems like just the way to appreciate the company of that wonderful him or her, and Domacin is exactly where you should end up for dinner. With a menu that holds its own with any big city restaurant, with impeccable standards of quality and service while still maintaining the charm that makes Stillwater such a great place for romance, Domacin is that little secret that will make any night one to remember.

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Joan’s In The Park
631 Snelling Ave S
Saint Paul, MN 55116
(651) 690-3297

For a truly romantic experience, you don’t want to be surrounded by a hundred other people, a huge kitchen bustling noisily with the activity of a dinner rush, or the frazzled service that can come on busy nights at larger places. For romance, it’s about the two of you. Joan’s in the Park is a restaurant that every neighborhood should be lucky enough to have. It’s cozy and comfortable while still being upscale, with amazing food and wine and always great service that is attentive without being intrusive. And it’s so small that you can really focus on the person in front of you with a glass of wine and a plate of amazing food that you’ll just have to share. No one else in the world matters when you come here.

(credit: Steve McPherson)

(credit: Steve McPherson)

W.A. Frost
374 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-5715

There isn’t a “romantic” list on which W.A. Frost hasn’t been included. The expansive patio is such a beautiful place to wine and dine in the summer. Or sit in the dining room with its dark wood furniture, fireplace, elegant chandeliers and remnants of old St. Paul. The basement lounge is ideal for you and your significant other to cozy up together on one of the love seats, tucked away in a little nook that feels made for an evening of canoodling. Each piece of this local institution is perfect for an evening of bliss.

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Adrian Schramm is a resident St. Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.