The 19 Best Date Night Restaurants in the Sacramento Area
When it comes to date night, you want to get things right. Whether your date is a new addition to your life or your life-long sweetheart, you’ll want to spend quality time tasting some of the city’s best cuisine, sipping on regional wines or a craft cocktail, and enjoying a romantic setting and top-of-the-line service.
To save you the misfortune of choosing a not-so-ideal destination for your next date, select one of these fine dining establishments in and around Sacramento. We hand-selected them for their superb menus, impressive drink selections, and idyllic settings perfect for a romantic night on the town.
1. Aioli Bodega Espanola
Photos Courtesy of Aioli Bodega Espanola
Pair your wine with delicious tapas, paella and other authentic Spanish fare at Aioli Bodega Espanola in the heart of downtown. You and your date will enter an enchanting world featuring a romantic courtyard teeming with ivy and a fountain. And if you time your date just right, you may even be serenaded by live music while you dine!
Reserve an intimate candlelit booth or table at Bandera, where you and your date will be served exceptional fare. Choose from Bandera’s selection of starters to share, their fresh salads and sandwiches, items cooked to perfection on their wood-fired rotisserie, or a flavorful entree. Whatever you order, end on a sweet note with their house-made Oreo ice cream sandwiches!
3. Biba Ristorante Italiano
Photos Courtesy of Biba Ristorante Italiano
You should always trust an Italian with a collection of published cookbooks and a myriad of awards and recognitions. Biba Caggiano of Biba Ristorante Italiano has just that! Grab your sweetheart’s hand and head to this award-winning Italian restaurant to find out why Biba Ristorante was named the Best Restaurant in Sacramento by the Sacramento Bee Food and Wine Editor and voted as “Best of the Best” by Sacramento Magazine readers for several years in a row. Peruse their simple selection of dishes and pair your Italian meal with a wonderful glass of wine.
4. Bistro 33 Davis
Make a Reservation By Calling 530-756-4556
While in Davis, you simply must visit Bistro 33 Davis to experience a laid-back meal with your date that showcases some of the best food and drinks from the West Coast. You’ll find exceptional Pacific-Northwest inspired cuisine on their menu, like Dungeness Crab and Artichoke Dip for an appetizer or Baja Fish Tacos for dinner. Check out their wonderful drink selection, including an impressive collection of Northern California, Oregon and Washington wines.
5. Carpe Vino
Carpe Vino is a popular date night destination tucked away in a historic building in downtown Auburn. As can be inferred from the name, Carpe Vino is heavily focused on wine, offering a sophisticated selection of wine by the glass, dessert wine by the glass, and an extremely expansive digital wine list. Their dining menu should not be missed either with its sophisticated offerings that will perfectly complement your wine of choice.
Make a Reservation By Calling 530-344-7757
Enjoy the rustic-meets-modern environment at Cascada in Placerville, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of authentic Mexican dishes and creative California cuisine. This fine dining atmosphere is the perfect backdrop for your date. Choose from their collection of sophisticated plates, such as their Puerco Con Frambuesa, featuring pork tenderloin medallions sauteed in a chipotle raspberry sauce and served with roasted red potatoes and fresh vegetables. Spice things up with one of their specialty margaritas comprised of premium tequilas and fresh lime juice.
7. Ella Dining Room and Bar
Photo Courtesy of Ella Dining Room and Bar
We are major fans of Ella Dining Room and Bar, for its farm-fresh expertise, outstanding outdoor patio and overall perfect atmosphere for your next date. The setting is perfect, the food is absolutely mind-blowing, and the drink options are neverending. All you need to do is make a reservation and show up hand-in-hand wearing your best date night attire.
8. Esquire Grill
As with anything under the care of Paragary Restaurant Group, Esquire Grill is a magnificent local eatery presenting masterful kitchen creations in an approachable manner. This sophisticated steakhouse puts a modern twist on American classics, and maintains a constant busy atmosphere due to the restaurant’s popularity — especially when there’s a play at the nearby Community Center Theater or an event at the Convention Center. In fact, if you make your reservation in advance, you can dine at Esquire Grill before you see a show or attend an event as a couple!
9. The Firehouse Restaurant
Photos Courtesy of The Firehouse Restaurant
The Firehouse Restaurant is an absolute must-visit while in Sacramento — whether you’re on a date or celebrating a special occasion with a group of friends or family. Dine in the romantic courtyard patio surrounded by lush greenery, fountains, and romantic lighting, or warm up inside their cozy and romantic interior. Wherever you end up, you’ll be impressed by the culinary creations from Chef Jay C. Veregge and his team, and the overwhelming selection of wines. In fact, The Firehouse Restaurant showcases the region’s most extensive wine collection.
10. House of Oliver
For the wine-loving couple, a date at House of Oliver in Roseville is mandatory. This wine lounge has an impressive lineup of wines and extensive knowledge of their offerings, in addition to a seasonal menu from Chef Colin. Each item is made from scratch using proteins, produce and bread delivered fresh daily. Keep things casual with a small plate to share alongside your wine selections, like a meet and cheese combo board. Or choose a main entree, like their Bistro Steak Filet or Mary’s Organic Grilled Chicken Breast. You can make your experience at House of Oliver as fancy or laid-back as you want!
11. The Kitchen Restaurant
Photos Courtesy of The Kitchen Restaurant
Dining at The Kitchen Restaurant is an experience unlike any other, as guests are treated like royalty and expected to wander the restaurant like it’s their own home. Just make sure you have the entire evening blocked off, as the multi-course concept and slow-food approach make it an all-night culinary adventure. In fact, there is an intermission between the second and third courses! Be sure to pace yourself as there is plenty of food to make you satisfied, and feel free to wander the space during the intermission — even into the kitchen where you can visit with the restaurant’s master chefs!
12. LO (Land Ocean) Restaurant
LO (Land Ocean) Restaurant has two locations — in Folsom in Roseville — and either is suitable for your next date night. Land Ocean (or “LO”) presents the best of both the land and the sea, featuring a New American menu with hand-cut steaks, a wood-fired rotisserie, and fresh seafood. Visit their premium bar for barrel-aged cocktails, craft beers, and an extensive wine list. Copy up for a romantic yet comfortable date in one of their booths and enjoy the ambience and wonderful service at LO.
13. Lucca Restaurant and Bar
Photo Courtesy of Lucca Restaurant and Bar
Lucca Restaurant and Bar offers a California-Mediterranean influenced menu with a picturesque environment to enjoy a nice evening with the one you love. Their outdoor patio is especially desirable for a warm night, but their interior is inviting and cozy during the colder months. Their dinner menu features a wonderful selection of starters, salads, pastas, and main dishes — like their Crispy Duck Confit or Port Braised Beef Short Ribs. You can’t go wrong with any of their exotic and creative offerings!
14. Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar
Mikuni only accepts reservations for parties of six or more
Davis is full of surprises at every turn, like Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, the perfect place to treat yourself to a fine dining sushi experience when the next craving strikes. As with most sushi places, order appetizers and a selection of rolls to share between the two of you. Might we suggest their Fair Oaks Roll or their Pimp My Roll? Consider ordering off their $45 menu for two, where you can select from their most popular dishes to create your own personalized four-course meal.
If you’re intrigued but live far from Davis, don’t worry! Mikuni has several locations in the area, including Arden Fair, Elk Grove, Roseville, Fair Oaks, and Midtown Sacramento.
15. Monkey Cat Restaurant
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Cat Restaurant
Monkey Cat Restaurant was voted the #1 restaurant in Auburn by Sacramento Magazine, and for good reason. Its tropical and classy setting makes it the perfect place to spend a date night or celebrate a special occasion. Peruse their dinner menu to see what you can expect, featuring all the entrees like Fish du Jour, salmon, filet mignon, lamb chops, and more. Don’t miss their famous Monkey Cat Burger if you’re looking for a less expensive — but still tasty — option!
16. The Rind
The Rind Does Not Accept Reservations
The Rind is a cheerful and eclectic spot in the heart of Sacramento, which would make the perfect destination for the wine- and cheese-loving couple. They specialize in cheese, wine and beer, and their food menu places significant emphasis on cheese, like their grilled cheese and mac and cheese. Visit this local cheese hub for a unique dining experience that will expand your palette, help you try new things, and expose you to some unique flavors and combinations!
17. Sutter Street Steakhouse
Make a Reservation By Calling 916-351-9100
Photos Courtesy of Chip Allen Photography + Jason Brown with Prism Of Colors Photography
Sutter Street Steakhouse is a Folsom fine dining favorite, for its romantic ambiance, top-notch steaks, and attentive waitstaff. This steakhouse is located in the Folsom Electric Building in the historic Downtown Folsom District, and is owned by the creators of the multi-award winning 5th Street Steakhouse in Chico, California. You’ll find USDA prime cuts of beef, fresh seafood, a full-service bar, and an extensive wine list at this amazing eatery.
18. The Waterboy
The Waterboy provides a sophisticated environment for a date, for its romantic vibes, white table cloths, candlelit tables, and exceptional service. Once you take a glance at their seasonal, farm-to-table menu, you’ll be sold. Their fancy dinner menu features a great selection of appetizers, a light first course, a main course, and a few sides. Select one of their diverse wines or one of their hand-crafted cocktails. And of course you can’t skip dessert on a date!
Zocalo is an excellent choice when your next craving for authentic Mexican cuisine strikes — especially if it coincides with date night. This stylish, contemporary and upscale eatery embraces the spirit of its origins and heritage of Zócalo, the main square in central Mexico City. Check out the variety of reasonably priced dinner offerings, and pair your selection with one of their tasty margaritas to complete the experience. Dine inside or out on the patio, keeping in mind you can even bring your dog along while you grab a bite to eat and some drinks during your next visit!
What would you add?
It’s nearly impossible to include all the best date night restaurants in the area, and surely we left out some wonderful options! What is your favorite place to go for a date? We’d love to know so we might add it to the list.