Readers' Favorite Midwest Romantic Restaurants | Midwest Living

Readers' Favorite Midwest Romantic Restaurants

Where do you love to go for a romantic meal? Here's what our Facebook fans and readers suggested.
  • Photo Courtesy of Maila Mediterranean Bistro

    Inland Michigan

    Maila Mediterranean Bistro, Battle Creek "Just an awesome place with awesome food! So fresh!" — Heidi Reschner

    The Root Restaurant and Bar, White Lake "It is a very high-level experience but considered a 'casual' restaurant. All food, as much as possible, is from farms in the area/state and mostly organic, I believe. Food is lovely." — Pam Shields

    Mangia Mangia, Kalamazoo "The atmosphere is cozy and warm, and the food is delicious! The staff is great and personable. Reminiscent of a family-owned Italian bistro in Old Town Chicago. The perfect place to tell somebody you love them. And you get to say it over the best baked spaghetti and meatballs on the planet!" — Josh Osborn

    Click ahead for more suggestions in Michigan and other Midwest states. Don't see the romantic restaurant you love? Add your ideas in the Comments section below. And join us on Facebook at!

  • Photo Courtesy of Pereddies

    Coastal Michigan

    Pereddies Restaurant and Deli, Holland "Shop the gourmet deli and galleria before dining under strings of white lights on old-world Italian food. Love!" — Lori Humphrey Waller

    Boones North Country Grill and Pub, Suttons Bay "Especially if it's nice and we can eat outside in their awesome outdoor dining area." — Mary Martin

    Bistro Foufou, Traverse City "Excellent food and atmosphere." — Nadine Dolan

  • Photo Courtesy of Rose Angelis

    Chicago area

    Rose Angelis, Chicago "It's an amazing Italian restaurant in Lincoln Park. An old house that was transformed into a restaurant, it's very charming and comfortable. Great for couples, a group of friends or family. The food is unbelievable, portion sizes are huge, and the price is just right. It was the site of my second date with my husband, and we go back for date nights! Try the Gorgonzola tortellini with grapes and walnuts in a cream sauce or the lasagna, and then have the strawberries in a caramel sauce for dessert. The other dessert favorite is their bread pudding!" — Cristin Kennedy Geimer

    Kiki's Bistro, Chicago "Low lights, romantic music, French food and a delicious creme brulee dessert feauturing chocolate on the bottom. Need I say more?" — Susan Beck Bates

    Ivy of Wheaton, Wheaton "Great food, pretty and historic, cozy atmosphere in a cute downtown. It's a converted old church. Beautiful!" — Jana Willner Kluczynski

    Meson Sebika, Naperville "Tapas place in a converted mansion. Great atmosphere!" — Leslie Cummings


  • Courtesy of Firefly Grill

    More in Illinois

    Lonzerotti's Italian Restaurant, Jacksonville "Great service, the best Italian salad dressing and sauces for miles, fresh-baked bread, hand-cut steaks and all kinds of Italian dishes. They offer both traditional and innovative preparations for lunch and dinner. I never hesitate to recommend 'Lonzo's' to our guests. My recommendation: Parmesan salmon drizzled with honey with fettuccini Alfredo on the side." — Blessings on State Bed and Breakfast

    Firefly Grill, Effingham "Warm yet sophisticated atmosphere, solid menu, much of their produce [is] grown in their garden on premise during season and excellent service." — Lisa Green Betzel

    Vinny Vanucchi's, Galena "It is one of the most romantic places on earth to spend time with the one you love. Not only is it sitting in the middle of one of the most unique and historic little towns in the Midwest, the beauty, charm and atmosphere are second to none, and the food and wine are superb!" — Dennis Dieters

    Timmerman's, East Dubuque "One wall is all windows, so you have a beautiful view of the Mississippi River. The food is great, and even the bartenders are very professional — we have never had a bad meal or a drink there." — Becky Bloyer. "Timmerman's in East Dubuque is a very pretty place and nice also. It is located atop a bluff and has a view across the valley of the Mississippi River Flats, which is spectacular!" — Jane Beck

    Paisano's Italian Steak House, Richmond "Beautiful atmosphere and outstanding menu." — Mary Schmitt Steinsdoerfer

    Josef Barbados, Rockford "Quiet, soft music and accoustics so great you can't hear the conversation at the next table. Magnificent gourmet food." — Trudy Thompson 

  • Photo Courtesy of Zack Bruell/L'Albratos


    L'Albatros "L'Albatros in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. Amazing French food combined with quite possibly the best wine list and cheese selection in Cleveland." — David Lay

    Lola Bistro "The food from celebrity chef Michael Simon is worth the trip alone, but the warm atmosphere, personalized service and intimate table setting really make it special. After sundown, the twinkling lights over Cleveland's brick-lined East Fourth Street make for a perfect evening stroll." — Corinne Allie

  • Photo of Spread Eagle Tavern by Sarah Routh

    More in Ohio

    The Spread Eagle Tavern, Hanoverton "Its authentic historic atmosphere, the wonderful soft lighting, the huge log-burning fireplace — all set the scene for a cozy meal. The service is excellent, the food is — well, sumptuous, mouthwatering, delicious....And to boot, it's a bed-and-breakfast, so a great place for a romantic getaway!" — Wine Before Five

    The Pine Club, Dayton "No reservations, no credit cards, and doors open an hour before service starts. It's dark, all wood and beams, candlelit. The ambience is old, rustic and wonderful. Had the same waitstaff since we've been going there for 22 years, and the food is phenomenal — voted best steaks in Ohio. We go there for our special occasions — celebrated our 20th there. Good food, great times and wonderful memories. Love that place!" — Gia Lingardo

    J. Gilbert's "I love their warm and cozy, wood-paneled atmosphere. The booths are deep and private." — Jan Wilson Heistand

  • Photo Courtesy of Quivey's Grove


    Quivey's Grove "The restaurant is in a quaint farmhouse, or you can go through the underground stone tunnel to the barn, also decorated in a quaint farmhouse charm. Food is wonderful, staff is always friendly, and the atmosphere homey." — Kelly Kornaus

    Porta Bella "The food is magnificent ... the waitstaff is always courteous and professional, and the atmosphere (which to me is what really makes the 'romantic' experience) is incredible! There are booths with curtains and other intimate seating. Also, the bar is an awesome place to hang out." — Patti Russell

    L'etoile "Extraordinary food and service. Beautiful building located on Capitol Square." — Pamela Zwieg

    Liliana's "They have great food and wonderful food and live jazz everyday!"

  • Landmark Restaurant at Old Rittenhouse Inn

    More in Wisconsin

    Landmark Restaurant at Old Rittenhouse Inn, Bayfield (pictured) "The atmosphere is lovely, warm and inviting. ... The food is sumptuous to say the very least—from the duck to the pork loin to the flourless-to-die-for chocolate cake to the panna cotta. The staff goes out of their way to make your day special. ... Pair all of that with a beautiful view of Lake Superior from any window seat, and you have got the recipe for romance!" — Terri Colgrove

    Harbor House, Milwaukee "Our favorite is Harbor House in downtown Milwaukee. It's on Lake Michigan, and the views of the lake, the Calatrava Art Center and the city are beautiful. It's perfect for Valentine's Day!"

  • Photo Courtesy of the Linn Street Café


    Cobble Hill, Cedar Rapids "It's a stunning, intimate space that is well designed and comfortable. They also mix inventive classic cocktails (that remind me of old Hollywood style), and the food is out-of-this-world delicious." — Katie Mills Giorgio

    Linn Street Cafe, Iowa City "Fabulous chef, food, ambience ... great wine list! Love it!" — Dana Baughman Chapman

    J. Bruner's Restaurant, Clarinda "It is a favorite of a lot of folks here in northwest Missouri-southwest Iowa area. The food is very good, and there is a great atmosphere. We always go there for our anniversary and any other special celebration occasions." — Helen Smith

    Santa Maria Winery, Carroll "They restored an old indoor car dealership (first in northwest Iowa ... possibly Iowa) down to the original wood floors and tin ceiling. The food is wonderful, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. I can sit there for hours." — Heart 'n Home

    Martini's Grille, Burlington "Intimate atmosphere, sensual food, romantic view overlooking the Mississippi River, great service." — Jennifer L. Thompson

  • Photo Courtesy of The Alley Rose


    Lo Sole Mio, Omaha "It's a family-owned Italian restaurant in my neighborhood. They treat their guests like royalty, and the food is amazing!" — Laura Snyder

    The Alley Rose, Kearney "It has a very nice, quiet atmosphere and a well-rounded menu! Something for everyone!" — Sarah Paxton

  • Photo Courtesy of Sycamore


    Pierpont's at Union Station, Kansas City "Great food, marvelous bar and drinks, and beautiful architecture all around, not to mention the history." — Neta Hamblen Davis

    Sycamore, Columbia "Love Sycamore in Columbia, Missouri. Just cozy and great food. :0)" — Marsha Castrop Sulltrop

    Houston's Restaurant, Kansas City "Low romantic lighting, stone walls, rich dark wood, wall sconces with flames fiercely dancing. The atmosphere and food are both delicious, a sensually rich experience that my husband and I enjoy every time!" — Amy Holloway

    Hendel's Market Cafe, Florissant "We have been celebrating our anniversary there for many years. It's small and quaint, located in an old general store. The staff are pleasant and attentive, and the food by chef Nathan is excellent!" — Chris Grass

    Justus Drugstore, Smithville "It's one of the best restaurants I have been to in the world. The building was used as a drugstore by the chef's parents. He kept the Justus Drugstore name but renovated the inside. He uses all local ingredients and makes everything from scratch, and dinner can easily take 2 to 3 hours. It's absolutely amazing." — Ann Wycoff Raab

  • Photo Courtesy of BakerStreet


    BakerStreet, Fort Wayne "Subdued lighting, cozy, private areas, impeccable service!" — Debbie Starr Branfield

    Lucrezia Cafe, Chesterton "It's where my husband and I went on our first date. The combination of a quaint little gingerbread house-turned-restaurant, delicious rustic Italian food, beautiful warm colors throughout, good wine, and the guy I was dining with just melted my heart! We go back there for special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, celebratory dinners with friends, etc.) and relive that 'first date feeling' all over again!" — Karin Coleman

    Canal Bistro, Broad Ripple "The relaxed atmosphere is perfect for dates. I have seen people get engaged while eating there!" — Jen Landon

    Brick House Grill, Huntington "Brick House Grill is so special because the owners are two sisters who cook and wait the tables and make every person who comes through the door feel so welcome and special!" — Andrea Dahmer

    Rileybrook Hall, Brookville "A dining experience like no other. The five-course meal is absolutely delicious, and the hosts make it an experience." — Natasha Turner

    The Eagle's Nest, Indianapolis "Rotating restaurant on top of Hyatt Regency." — Jennifer Lee Siek

    Overlook Restaurant, Leavenworth "Breathtaking views!" — Valerie Hamlin

    Mama Carolla's, Indianapolis "Fantastic Italian food. During warmer months, outdoor seating is available." (317) 259-9412; — Susan Dunn 

  • Photo of Saffron by Saed Wadi


    Saffron and The Nicollet Island Inn, Minneapolis "The Nicollet Island Inn in Minneapolis is my favorite romantic restaurant. Saffron in the Warehouse District is also lovely and cozy, and the owners are so welcoming. Nice bonus that the food is to die for." Saffron:; Nicollett Island Inn: — Ann Kerns

    Riverside on the Root, Lanesboro "Sitting outside dining at the Riverside on the Root, live music, water rushing by, in Lanesboro, Minnesota...doesn't get much better than that. Oh, and the food is fantastic, from the homemade salad dressing to the main dishes." — Lynn Marr Moore

  • Photo Courtesy of The Red Steakhouse

    South Dakota

    The RED Steakhouse, Vermillion "One of our favorites. Wonderful menu with interesting entrees and desserts, a balcony seating area, interesting wine choices, knowledgeable servers, and never a rush to leave!" — Douglas Clough

    Alpine Inn Restaurant, Hill City "Excellent food and great atmosphere." — Linda Roberts

    Chef Louie's Steak House and Lounge, Mitchell "Our favorite place for a dinner for two would be Chef Louie's in Mitchell, South Dakota. It has candlelight and cloth tablecloths. The food is magnificent! The owners are always there and take the time to come by your table and make you feel like a special customer!" — Marlene Furgeson Forester

  • Photo Courtesy of RowHouse


    RowHouse, Topeka "It's a beautiful architectural style — quiet, small, close. The menu is unique." — Heather Galen Crable

    Harry's, Manhattan "A perfect setting for a romantic and date and amazing food!!" — Jenny Shultz Sump

    Bunker Hill Cafe, Bunker Hill "My husband and I liked to celebrate birthdays and our anniversary there." — Dee Durham


  • Photo Courtesy of 10 North Main

    North Dakota

    10 North Main, Minot Regional specialties include elk loin, pheasant strips and walleye. "They have music sometimes as well." — Mary Johnson

    Other ideas from Facebook and Twitter fans:

    The Toasted Frog, Bismarck — Brandy Moe

    Pirogue Grille, Bismarck — Jodie Hall

    40 Steak + Seafood, Bismarck— Jana Wisthoff

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