There are many great restaurants in Houston, so it can be tricky to find the right one if you want to take someone out for a date. Luckily, our guide to the best romantic restaurants in Houston has you covered.
From quiet, picturesque steakhouses to busy, fun rooftop bars, we’ve chosen 7 of our favorite spots to visit.
Top 7 Best Romantic Restaurants in Houston
We’ve tried to cover a range of different types of food, as well as different types of atmospheres and price ranges. We’ll give you recommendations for our favorite dishes, as well as an overview of the type of food you can expect.
So in no particular order, here are our top romantic restaurants to dine at in Houston:
1. Brenner’s on the Bayou
|Address:||1 Birdsall St Houston, TX 77007
|Food:||Sharing plates, soups, salads, steak, seafood|
|Our Recommendation:||Wild Boar Rack|
Brenner’s On the Bayou is the perfect spot to go to get dressed up. It’s a classy, romantic restaurant with a beautiful view. Located along Buffalo Bayou, you sit by the large windows for a view of the gardens, which creates a calming, relaxing atmosphere. The servers are attentive and helpful, too.
Let’s talk about the food. There is some delicious food available here. The steaks are cooked expertly, and the wild boar rack is delicious (with caramelized onion marmalade, marbled potatoes, and raclette). You could also go for the Renaissance Farms Roasted Chicken with lemon pepper, rosemary, and mashed potatoes.
It’s a pretty fancy restaurant with some excellent food, at the kind of prices you would expect. The mains range from $30-50, with the most expensive dish being the Alaskan King Crab Legs for $75. Valet is required and costs $4, which is pretty average.
The bar is well-stocked with a wide range of wines. From a $9 bottle of red wine through to an $800 bottle of champagne, there’s something here for every budget and occasion.
There aren’t many vegetarian options available. You’ll have to go for a soup or salad if you want to go veggie, but there are some good sides available to go with them if you want something more filling, including the herb and parmesan fries and the jumbo asparagus.
2. Riva’s Italian Restaurant
|Address:||1117 Missouri St Houston, TX 77006|
|Food:||Pasta, soups, pizzas|
|Our Recommendation:||Penne with "cream rosa" sauce|
Riva’s Italian if you want to check out an Italian restaurant in Houston. It’s a good place to go for a fun first date. It can get loud, and the bar is busy, but it works well for a casual date night.
The food is great. The soups are good, and there are a lot of pasta dishes to choose from. The Penne with “Cream Rosa” Sauce (with chicken and shrimp) is an excellent one to go for, or you could go for the Shrimp Mozzarella (baked in marinara sauce) or the Capellini Carbonara.
The pricing is pretty standard. For example, you can grab a full plate of pasta for around $20.
There’s a good wine selection here. The wines are priced between $20-40 on average, and there’s a lot of choices to suit your meals.
There are some vegetarian options available, including pasta dishes and salads.
3. Z on 23 Rooftop
|Address:||1121 Walker St Fl 23 Zutro Restaurant Houston, TX 77002
|Food:||Sliders, burgers, bar bites|
|Our Recommendation:||Z Chicken Sandwich|
Want to go somewhere a little more lively with a fascinating view? You have to check out Z on 23 Rooftop. You have two options available. The rooftop bar is beautiful, with a gorgeous view of downtown Houston, and you can go here for drinks and a light meal. It’s a lower-budget option that will still provide an exciting setting for dates.
Or, you could go for the slightly more formal restaurant indoors.
The food is hearty and filling on the rooftop. You could go for cocktails and bar bites (like chicken wings or sweet and spicy shrimp) or something comforting and familiar like the Z Chicken Sandwich.
Some higher-priced options are available indoors, including the bone-in ribeye, miso-glazed salmon, and the Spanish chicken stew.
The pricing is on the low side on the rooftop bar (under $20 for a generous portion), with slightly higher prices inside (between $20-30 for the main meal on average).
There are some excellent cocktails to be had here, like the Pineapple Rum Swizzle and the Skyline Smash.
There aren’t many vegetarian options, which is a shame if you want to avoid meat.
|Address:||2003 Lexington St Houston, TX 77098|
|Food:||Salad, seafood, chicken, steak, tapas|
|Our Recommendation:||Japanese Calamari Squid|
Ambrosia is a cozy, busy spot ideal for sharing a plate of tapas. There is a busy bar, or you could go for takeout and delivery if you’d rather have a date night in.
The food is great. It’s worth grabbing a few dishes to share. The ribeye tataki (with pickled pear, black garlic, and crunchy onions) is delicious, as is the green papaya salad (salad with papaya dressing, spicy Thai chilis, and marinated shrimp). The Japanese Calamari squid is worth trying too.
If you’d rather go for a larger plate of food, you could go for seafood (Ambrosia Divine Salmon, with pan-seared salmon, quinoa, and squash puree is delicious) or something like the Masala Lamb Lollipops (Tandoori Masala marinated lamb with ginger juice, spicy chili jam, and cucumber mint sauce).
The pricing is pretty standard, with a large plate of food for around $20-30 and sharing plates for approximately $15.
There are a variety of cocktails to try here. For example, you could go for the Shere Khan (Lunazul Blanco, lime, ginger beer, and blood orange soda) or the Tamarind Jack (whisky, tamarind paste, and tamarind soda). You could also go for sake or grab a bottle of beer.
There aren’t many veggie options available here, with just a couple of salads or sides to choose from.
|Address:||4319 Montrose Blvd Houston, TX 77006|
|Our Recommendation:||Seafood Towers|
If you want to head to a steakhouse in Houston, it’s worth checking out Gatsby’s. They offer some great cuts of meat from local farms, and the atmosphere is lively. You can get dressed up for a romantic meal here.
The seafood is excellent. You could go for a Seafood Tower, like the lobster or crab legs. Or, if you’d prefer steak, you can try the New York Strip, which is delicious. You can also grab a rack of lamb or chicken.
The pricing is on the higher side, with a 22oz ribeye steak for $66 or a plate of seafood for between $40-50. This is the place to go for a special occasion.
The wine bar is well-stocked, with prices ranging from $30-150, or you could grab a cocktail or a beer instead.
If you’re a vegetarian, you could go for a salad, like the Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad with micro mixed greens.
6. Grotto Downtown
|Address:||1001 Avenida De Las Americas Ste A Houston, TX 77010|
|Food:||Pizza, pasta, salads|
Grotto Downtown is a fun, lively place to be. It’s busy, so it’s not the place to go for a calm, sedate kind of romantic evening. This is a good place to go for some classic Italian food and a couple of cocktails.
We’d recommend the pasta dishes, including the Pescatore (linguine, shrimp, calamari, mussels, clams, crab claws, herbs, white wine tomato sauce). You could also try the pasta verdua (zucchini ribbon pasta with roasted vegetables) or the meatballs. There’s also some great pizza to be had here.
The pricing is fairly standard. For example, you can grab a pasta dish for around $20 or a main meal with fish or meat for between $20-30.
The bar is bustling and offers some great cocktails. Try the Mixed Berry Mule, the Ruby Red Martini, or Grotto’s Famous Peach Bellini.
They have some vegetarian options available too, including pasta and salads.
You May Like: The 5 Best Pizza Restaurants in Houston
7. El Tiempo Cantina
|Address:||3130 Richmond Ave Houston, TX 77098|
|Food:||Nachos, quesadillas, salads, combination plates|
|Our Recommendation:||Filet Mignon Asada|
There is some excellent Mexican food in Houston, and El Tiempo Cantina is no exception. There’s a busy bar here with a comprehensive drinks menu, and it’s loud and lively. Perfect for a fun first date.
You could go for the Filet Mignon Asada with chimichurri or go for a classic taco or quesadilla. The Pechuga Monte Mar (stuffed chicken with diablo shrimp and cheese, topped with a mushroom sauce).
The pricing is pretty standard. You can expect to grab a generous plate of food for $20-25.
If you like margaritas, this is the place to go – there are many to choose from! Of course, you could also grab a bottle of wine or some beers too.
There are some excellent options for vegetarians. The veggie fajitas are particularly delicious.
Also Read: The 7 Best Tacos in Houston
We hope this has helped you to find the perfect spot for your next date night! Whether it’s a first date or an outing with your other half, there’s something on this list for everyone.