What are the five best romantic restaurants in Boston?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

Grab a date and book a table at one of Boston’s charming, independent bistros. All of these are the best romantic restaurants in Boston and have plenty of candlelight, ambiance and unique charm that will set the mood.

Mantra is a sexy, contemporary, low-lit spot located in a converted turn-of-the-century bank in Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood. The menu is a perfect blend of French technique and Indian accents like saffron, cumin, tamarind and cloves, and the kitchen delivers aromatic dishes marked by exciting, deliciously bold flavor pairings.

Every dish on the menu at the wine-focused Meritage can be ordered as a small or large plate, so feel free to share and taste more than a few. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant also holds claim to one of the best views of Boston Harbor in the city, so no wonder it's become a solid date-night destination.

There may be a trattoria in every North End storefront, but picking one that actually goes beyond red sauce — think swordfish grilled rare served black olives, capers and extra virgin olive oil or rabbit with homemade pappardelle and pancetta — is a chore. Head straight to Mamma Maria, a romantic spot that tries hard to veer away from generic meat sauces.

The French-inspired Les Zygomates is wine bar boasting a split personality: One room offers a quiet retreat in which to grab a glass of wine and a light snack, while the other delivers lively jazz-fueled dinners night after night. Whichever room you choose, the steak frites or the oysters will not disappoint.

With just 40 seats, the dining room at Salts, located near Cambridge’s Central Square, feels almost like a private dinner party every night. Warm tableside candles and fresh bouquets complete the romantic ambiance.

Jonathan Nicholson

The five best romantic Boston restaurants are:

1. The Mistral

2. Sorellina

3. Menton

4. No 9 Park

5. Carmen

1. Carmen. The restaurant is a North End neighborhood gem serving authentic Italian cuisine and boasting just nine tables surrounded by dim candlelight and the aroma of slow roasting meats.

2. Tangierino. Located in the heart of Charlestown, this downstairs spot is perfect for a date night, cigars, hookah, belly dancers and cozy, loungey tables with see-through curtains drawn around them.

3. Lala Rokh. Lala Rokh on Beacon Hill is the only Eastern Mediterranean restaurant of its kind, using the ingredients and staples of their parents from Azerbaijan in northwest Iran to recreate home-style Persian cuisine.

4. Mamma Maria. Set in a nineteenth-century brick row house in the heart of the North End, Mamma Maria has five small, private dining rooms that transport you to la Patria with an Old World intimacy.

5. Hungry I. Tucked just below street level on Beacon Hill’s picturesque brownstone-lined Charles Street, Hungry I is charming, intimate and romantic, with a cozy fireplace that roars during the winter months.

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