What are the five best romantic restaurants in Raleigh-Durham?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

While it may not be the most romantic getaway, Raleigh-Durham certainly has a few restaurants that’ll make you walk away with hearts in your eyes. The five best romantic restaurants in Raleigh-Durham are:

1. Lantern. Self-taught chef Andrea Reusing has been on our radar for years, serving contemporary pan-Asian-meets-Dixie dishes. The glowing white lights give the Chapel Hill-based Lantern its name, thought the lighting is so dim, in fact, you may want to keep your reading glasses handy to make sure you catch every delightful word on the menu.

2. Herons. At the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant of posh The Umstead Hotel and Spa, an intimate dining room overlooks a terrace and lake. And it’s only footsteps away from one of the best local spots for a couples massage.

3. Four Square in Durham. From the moment you step past ancient trees and into this old home - a beautiful preserved 1903 Neoclassical Revival mansion — you know you’re in for something special.

4. The Fearrington House Restaurant. It’s not uncommon to witness a proposal, wedding dinner or anniversary celebration taking place in the small dining rooms of this country inn’s Five-Star restaurant — whose reputation for fine dining is known throughout the nation.

5. Caffè Luna. Take a historic building in a downtown setting, spruce it up with artwork and elegant lighting, throw in a Tuscan-flavored menu and — voilà — instant romance.

Theresa Chiettini

The best romantic restaurants in Raleigh-Durham are The Fearrington House Restaurant in Pittsboro, Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary and Carolina Crossroads Restaurant at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.

Jim Beley

We would highly recommend Herons, at the Umstead Hotel and Spa, particularly a table on the terrace overlooking the beautiful lake, if the weather is nice. A few other suggestions are Second Empire or Bloomsbury Bistro in Raleigh, Nanas or Magnolia Grill in Durham, Fearrington House in Carrboro and Lantern or Elaine’s in Chapel Hill.

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