The 6 Most Romantic Restaurants in St. Louis

most romantic restaurant in st louis

You might not know it looking at me, but I adore a romantic dinner.

Sure, I do walk around with perpetual heart eyes and write a minimum of one romance novella a month for an indie publisher. I have a list of ten romantic movies I re-watch every January to kick-off the new year. And I have heart shaped glasses.

I love romance.

And, importantly, I love food. I am Midwestern born and raised and feel no shame about the absolute decadent glory of a nice loaf of bread. To have romance and food? That is the most glorious of all ways to spend your time.

I have dragged many people to many restaurants here in the city, looking for the perfect romantic evening.

Here are my favorites, ranked for my hard-hitting yet superfluous reasons that make or break a romantic declaration.

Map of the Most Romantic Restaurants in St. Louis

Best First Date: Sasha’s on Shaw

Listen, first dates aren’t fun. They actually legally aren’t allowed to be, I don’t think. You must either be nervous or miserable or somehow distracted by something that has nothing to do with the romantic compatibility of the person across from you.

There are many ways that you can deal with this. Personally, I choose wine and cheese.

Sasha’s Wine Bar on Shaw is my favorite first date spot. It goes without saying that their food is delicious, but let me say it anyway: their food is delicious. I have been on some truly boring dates here, but I don’t regret a minute of them. I think if someone promised me the Crab, Avocado, and Asparagus salad every day of my life, I’d let them be my boring, boring spouse.

What’s really great about this place is the variety. They have, obviously, a wide selection of wine along with blessedly yummy cocktail menu and a great set of appetizers including a to die for cheese plate that can keep you busy and full for long enough to decide if the person is worth sticking around with for an entree.

There’s a low stakes pressure to this, indoor and outdoor seating, and servers that will not laugh at you when you say “But answer me honestly is this wine gross? I drink mostly Sprite.” (I’m under no illusion about the laughter once they leave the table — that’s between themselves, leave me out of it.)

If you go, get the cheese plate. Seriously. Get the cheese plate.

Best Day Date: Bowood by Niche

If you’ve read my other articles, you know that I have a twisted sort of brand loyalty — which means if you have a restaurant I like in my city and you open another one, I will literally sprint to the opening day just to see if I also like it.

The Niche Food Group has a variety of restaurants in the Greater STL area, and this luxurious yet affordable spot is just the newest in what will surely be a nationwide obsession one day. (Bowood is newer, having opened in January 2022, but is no less established and beloved.)

I am, as so many women before me, a lover of brunch. I love it! I love getting a cocktail and a coffee and maybe a little juice! I love going “Oh, what kind of bread is that?” and I love an excuse to sleep in until 10am. Brunch is, at its most pure form, for the lazy.

Brunch dates are also an incredibly crucial romantic moment. If you love brunch and your potential beloved does not? In fact, they hate it? In fact, they think ordering two drinks is excessive? Babe. You’ve got to break it up.

Alternatively, this is where you can see how much they truly understand you. “Wait,” a true soulmate would say to the waiter. “She didn’t order breakfast potatoes. Can we get an order?”

That’s true love. And the breakfast potatoes at Bowood… they are so good, you might not even care if you have to end the date by breaking up with them.

Best Introduction Night: OLIO’s

Let’s face it. Eventually, you’re going to have to introduce this romantic partner to your friends. We all know that this is a make or break it meal — and we know that it’s tricky. The place has to be casual but not too casual; it has to accommodate multiple diets and multiple people ordering all at once. It’s got to be good enough to impress but not so good it looks like you’re hiding your partner’s flaws by buttering everyone up.

And, importantly, if you need to scout the place out beforehand, you still want it to be a romantic meal with your partner.

Personally, I would always choose OLIO’s for such an occasion. This easygoing wine bar has Mediterranean food, which often accommodates for gluten free, vegan, and dairy-free diets, and they have a variety of table sizes — perfect for scouting romantically with your partner and sitting strategically for the infiltration of that partner into your friend group.

And, to be honest, there is no way everyone’s not having a good time if you order the baba ganoush. It’s so good, guys. Everyone will like your partner and their weird affinity for that’s what she said jokes because they’ll order you a second helping of the beet hummus and everyone will think that’s worth it.

  • Address: 1634 Tower Grove Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Website: OLIO’s

Best Declaration Night: Brasserie by Niche

Did I recently learn I had been pronouncing this like brassiere, the bra, despite having taken three semesters of french and, oh, I don’t know, living in France for six months of my life? Yeah, I did. But, as they say… c’est la vie. Life is all about humiliation.

Speaking of humiliation, one time I walked into Brasserie and fell flat on my face. No one laughed at me; this is clearly the ideal place to go if you’re going to be putting yourself out there because you will not be laughed out, even if you deeply deserve it.

The food at Brasserie is unparalleled; I have never ordered a thing here that has not left me quietly shaking my head, tipping forty-five percent, and immediately making a reservation again so that I could have that meal a second time.

Who in their right mind made ratatouille taste that good? And I like ratatouille to begin with!

The biggest romantic fight of my life happened at a restaurant by Niche, as well, which helps me feel confident that you can declare anything, good or bad, and the servers will not care as long as your voice does not carry and you still tip well. Propose here! Break up here! Just make sure you’re ordering the mussels.

Best Place to Fall In Love: Bar Les Freres

I warned you! I warned you I was a hopeless, hapless romantic!

Listen, pal, you’re going to fall in love somewhere. It might as well be at this glorious, wonderful place where the lights insist upon romance and the whole night feels like possibilities are endless and like soulmates must be true! This is what you will feel when you eat the Gruyère Soufflé and so you might as well channel that energy into your hypothetical partner!

This place is magical. And yes, it is the second French place on the list, but what is more romantic than the French? Isn’t that a major plot point in several movies?

With beautiful, deep red walls, sparkling chandeliers, champagne that is so good you should probably just Lyft from your house, Bar Les Freres is not just a lovely night out, but a night full of love! It’s an inherently romantic space. If you’re feeling like you’re on the cusp of falling, this could be the little nudge you need.

Especially if you get the red wine poached pears. How could you not fall in love? I’ve seen Simply Irresistible — I know that beautiful desserts equal love confessions.

If you’re looking to fall in love or celebrate already being there, Bar Les Freres really is the most romantic restaurant in St. Louis.

  • Address: 7637 Wydown Blvd, Clayton, MO 63105
  • Website: Bar Les Freres