This article was updated on February 12, 2019. It was originally published February 11, 2013.
Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Luckily for those looking to book tables for two, the Valley has an abundance of restaurants that fit the bill. Some are fancy, some are casual, but they will all set the mood. From intimate rooms of flickering candles, coved ceilings, and wooden floors to sunset-bathed patios with twinkle lights, here are eight of our favorite romantic restaurants in greater Phoenix.
6939 East First Avenue, Scottsdale
Imagine not flying to France, but still dining European-villa-style with a customized menu and privacy. There is a reason why Cafe Monarch was voted the second most romantic restaurant in the country. Couples will receive special attention from the staff and the farm-to-table ingredients ensures the highest quality in cuisine. This true gem is a place to linger with your love and let the romance take center stage.
Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva
1301 Northwest Grand Avenue, #1
Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva, located in the historic flatiron Bragg's Pie Factory building on Grand Avenue, is chef Silvana Salcido Esparza's most intimate restaurant. Its small, 27-seat dining room is almost impossibly charming, with a crisp white interior artfully adorned with striking murals by well-known local artists like Lalo Cota, floor-to-ceiling windows with views of downtown, and tables draped in white tablecloth. It's a naturally cozy space, ready for a romantic meal for two. The marquee attraction remains the restaurant's multicourse menu de degustación (tasting menu), which is available in both vegan and omnivore versions.
5651 North Seventh Street
Scott Conant's sprawling modern Italian restaurant is ideal for a romantic dinner. Upholstery is plush and red leather. Tunes and good drinks flow. Service is friendly, and if you want to share plates the staff often divides them onto separate plates for you. The bar area is roomy and comforting, and so is a nice patio overlooking the run of restaurants down Seventh Street. As this is one of Phoenix's best Italian restaurants, be sure to get pasta. And if you and your significant other are into chocolate, the budino dessert is an absolute must.
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House of Tricks
114 East Seventh Street, Tempe
With its sun-dappled patio, tree-covered bar, and two historic bungalows, it's no wonder Robert and Robin Trick's cozy dining oasis in the heart of Tempe remains as popular as ever 30 years into the game. Tuck into a candlelit table on the outdoor patio — one of the best in town — or around the vintage stone fireplace indoors. Enjoy the rustic, farm-forward, seasonally inspired menu, which mixes French and Southwest flavors into elegant plates of grilled meats and fish, bright produce, and delicate sauces.
603 North Fifth Avenue
For couples who share a love of artisanal pizza, there may not be a more charming place to enjoy it than this early-20th-century bungalow in downtown-ish Phoenix. Owner, chef, and Tuscan pizzaiolo Guido Saccone not only serves up top-notch wood-fired pies, but luscious pasta and salads as well. Cibo's outdoor patio and inside rooms with hardwood floors, exposed brick, and colorful artwork make this urban pizzeria as easy to snuggle up with as your partner. And don't forget the essential limoncello.
Lon's at the Hermosa
5532 North Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley
One eyeful of the surroundings at this fine-dining establishment at the Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley, and it's easy to see what may once have inspired the restaurant's namesake, legendary artist Lon Megargee, to call it home in the 1930s. An enchanting patio and an indoor setting of old Arizona charm — think wood-beamed ceilings, beehive fireplaces, and wrought-iron chandeliers — are perfect spots to enjoy chef Jeremy Pacheco's artful American cuisine and drinks made with Lon's private label whiskey from Del Bac.
The House Brasserie
6936 East Main Street, Scottsdale
Chef Matt Carter's (of the Mission and Zinc Bistro) restaurant is set in a charming yet sophisticated little 1920s bungalow in Old Town Scottsdale. Serving American cuisine with touches from all over the globe (think Berkshire pork country ribs and duck confit meat balls with foie gras), romantics can enjoy their meals inside rooms decked out in gold-flocked wallpaper, red leather banquettes, and chandeliers. Or opt outside for a sprawling patio complete with white picket fence, brick fireplace, and a grand ol' tree.
Quiessence Restaurant at The Farm at South Mountain
6106 South 32nd Street
This farmhouse turned eatery, nestled in the historic Farm at South Mountain, is a love fest both in setting and cuisine. And its rural tranquility makes a lush backdrop for guests as well as chef Dustin Christofolo, whose daily menu of contemporary American farm cuisine includes ingredients harvested at next-door Soil & Seed Garden. Whether clinking glasses of vino at the exclusive Brick Oven Table on the patio or holding hands over a dish of dreamy homemade pasta in front of a crackling fire, this restaurant and wine bar's got amore written all over it.