Romance in the City

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If you’ve got someone to impress this summer, we’re here to help. Maybe she’s—rightfully—mad at you; maybe you’re looking to impress “the one”; maybe you’re ten years into your marriage and need to spice things up. No matter the reason, you need to give her a night to remember. Well, you’re in luck, because we’ve done all the leg work.

The perfect date isn’t about money—well, not entirely. The perfect date is the culmination of romance, simplicity and indulging the senses. How do you achieve the big three? Focus on the setting. Take her somewhere new, make her forget her problems for the night and you’ll have a happy woman on your hands.

Every woman is unique in her tastes, but most of us can’t resist a little pampering every once in a while. We looked at five major cities, scouring best-of lists, local recommendations and dipping into our own personal experiences, to narrow down the best date nights in the world.

NYC

Looking for the perfect night out in Manhattan? Start with the much-overlooked Metropolitan Museum rooftop terrace. While most New Yorkers claim to know the best little spot to catch a killer view of the city, few rival the Roof Garden Cafe and Martini Bar, which seems a little too obviously situated for most to consider. In fact, few die-hard New Yorkers have probably ever ventured up here.

It’s only open until 8pm, so make this your first stop. With an unbeatable view of the city, a few drinks and some fresh air, you’ll set a wonderful tone for the evening ahead.

For dinner, hop in a cab and head to the Gramercy Tavern. Known for its outstanding food, friendly service and comfortable atmosphere, the Gramercy has two options for dining – entrees in the tavern or a full tasting menu in the dining room. The dining room’s tasting menu consists of a few courses, drink pairings and a steep – albeit well worth it – price tag. If you’re looking for something less pricey, opt for entrees in the tavern area.

Tokyo

For dinner, head to the beautiful Tofutei @ Meguro Gajoen, a traditional Japanese restaurant with a beautiful garden view. Located in one of Tokyo’s most scenic, luxurious hotels, the atmosphere here is a must-see during your visit. Keep in mind that luxury means a larger price tag, and you must either pay in advance or pay cash-only.

Be sure to make reservations and keep in mind that the restaurant closes at 8:30pm. After dinner, stroll through the beautiful atrium surrounding the restaurant.

Next, head for drinks at a Tokyo bar with major boho-appeal. Often hosting live music and DJs, Combine’s appeal is largely due to its airy allure created by features like a wall of books, an artistic but laid back atmosphere, and a riverside location. The perfect place to chat over a few drinks and unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Paris

With history, beautiful art work and decadence to spare, La Train Bleu is the ultimate romantic dining room for any special occasion. A major highlight from my Parisian trip, the food, service and decor from La Train Bleu will instantly transport you to yesterday’s Paris.

A long-time favourite haunt for French celebrities such as Coco Chanel and Brigitte Bardot, La Train Bleu will wrap you in French delicacies and once in a lifetime atmosphere. Perfect for a proposal or anniversary dinner, dining here will be a memory not soon forgotten.

After dinner, head over to Ave Maria for masterfully crafted cocktails and an intimate, laid back atmosphere. With eclectic decor, ambient lighting and low seats, Ave Maria is the perfect place for a little alone time. If you appreciate a quirky cocktail or want an amazingly tasty classic, this place is for you. With only a thirty minute walk between venues, you can leisurely stroll from La Train Bleu to Ave Maria while you work off that rich, French supper.

If La Train Bleu looked a bit too fancy for your girl’s tastes, spend the whole evening at Ave Maria, enjoying delicious and well-priced meals along with your cocktails.

Sydney

If you want dream-worthy romance and scenery to boot, head to Aria at the Sydney Harbour. With a panoramic view of the water, local food with flare and friendly service, it’s easy to see why this venue is such a success.

If you like it refined but intimate, you’ll love Aria’s atmosphere and extensive wine list. Keep in mind that prices will be on the high end, as this is a super popular spot for tourists and well-to-do locals.

Continue your night on the harbour with drinks at the Opera Bar. It’s just a short walk from dinner and the view, much like Aria’s, can’t be beat. Along with the view, enjoy the extensive menu of cocktail, wine and beer options.

One of Sydney’s most popular live music venues, Opera Bar hosts everything from jazz performances to live DJs. Music buff or not, catching a performance here is a must-do on your list while visiting Sydney. On one of the city’s commonly warm nights, sit on the patio for an unbeatable view amidst a sleek setting.

Toronto

If you’re up for something ultra-local and cozy in Toronto, head over to Roncesvalles. Local businesses have boomed here over the past few years, creating a village-esque atmosphere with a ton of food and drink options on offer.

Image source.


One of our favourites? Cocktails Barque. With options like smoked bourbon sours, you’ll get something unique and relatively well-priced for the area. If you’re in a carnivorous mood, stay at Barque for shared meat platters, with – you guessed it – all types of smoked and seasoned meats, with a few sides. The food is very rich, but the atmosphere is warm and friendly. This is the perfect place for food sharing, intimate dining and down-to-earth service.

For a less meat-centric menu, head down the street to Fat Cat. A wine bar in its heart of hearts, this place also has amazing small plates for sharing. Try a few different options, and ask your server to suggest wines for pairing. The lighting and decor in Fat Cat, along with the food and wine selection, make for an intimate dining experience unique to Toronto. On warmer nights, opt for a seat on the relaxed garden patio. 

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