Nestled along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, Rochester offers a perfect weekend escape in Upstate New York. Home to The Strong Museum, George Eastman Museum, Seneca Park Zoo, and Seabreeze Amusement Park means there is always plenty to do and see. There are annual festivals, acres of parkland, numerous public golf courses, and more than 100 breweries, wineries, and distilleries. The thriving culinary scene includes a wide range of cuisines, and many offer a romantic setting where couples can relax together after a day of exploring.

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© Avvino

In 2013, the doors to Avvino opened in Rochester, serving delicious Italian cuisine that features a dinner menu that changes seasonally. The décor of this restaurant consists of dark woods that offset light wall coloring, ornate ceiling tile, and wide crown molding. Avvino also boasts three distinct dining areas, The Patio (seasonally), Meyer’s Den, and Main Dining Room. All offer dining options for a romantic date night. The chef relies on seasonal ingredients to prepare innovative and flavorful dishes. Entrées include items such as organic chicken breast, or Faroe Island salmon prepared with za’atar potatoes, Swiss chard, caramelized cauliflower, and sweet potato and avocado salad.

2541 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-270-5229

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© Cure

Located inside Rochester’s Public Market, Cure offers French cuisine with a tantalizing interpretation. An interior setting of hardwood floors, banquette seating, large pane windows, wood chairs, unique light fixtures, and an ornately designed bar makes Cure an ideal place for a romantic date night. The menu at this restaurant features ingredients that are locally grown and sourced. Their eclectic menu includes entrées like Korean-style fried chicken with steamed rice, fried egg, kimchi and gochujang sauce, and Moules Frites with tomatoes, garlic, chiles and saffron Guests should try the Beef Bourguignon – braised short ribs, vin rouge, mushrooms, root vegetables, and puff pastry.

50 Rochester Public Market, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-563-7941

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3.Edibles Restaurant

Edibles Restaurant
© Edibles Restaurant

In a building dating back to the mid-1850s, the Flatiron is home to Edibles Restaurant in Rochester. This restaurant’s eclectic interior features exposed brick and wood walls, pressed tin ceiling, and large pane windows. Original hardwood floors, suspended lighting, and ceiling fans, make this stylishly designed restaurant an ideal spot for a date night. Edibles focuses on local organic ingredients to prepare their American bistro cuisine. Entrées include selections like Ossobucco – mushroom risotto, tomato pan gravy, and braised pork shank or Chicken de Medici – lemon dressed arugula, aged parmesan, tomatoes, and breaded chicken cutlet.

704 University Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-271-4910

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4.La Luna Restaurant

La Luna Restaurant
© La Luna Restaurant

In the High Falls historic district of downtown Rochester, La Luna Restaurant has established itself as a fine Italian restaurant and event center. This restaurant’s immaculate interior design with an exposed high ceiling, floor to ceiling windows, and a large banquet room in a historic building is bright and spacious. Their spacious outdoor terrace overlooking spectacular waterfalls create a romantic ambience that is perfect for a night out for two. The Italian cuisine is lovingly prepared with only the freshest local ingredients. Entrées include selections like shrimp and scallop Fettuccini Alfredo, Aglio e Olio, and Penne Vodka.

60 Browns Race, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-232-5862

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5.Max Chophouse

Max Chophouse
© Max Chophouse

Max Chophouse offers diners a neighborhood restaurant with the feel of a New York City restaurant. This elegantly decorated restaurant is set in soft colors which gives the space a calming presence. It also features hardwood floors, pendant lighting, a banquette along one wall, and large arched mirrors behind the bar, making this an ideal restaurant for a romantic date. Max Chophouse is known as a premier steak house, but also serves fresh seafoods. Menu items include options like Atlantic Salmon, 8-ounce Canadian Lobster Tail, New York strip, Filet Mignon, Ribeye, and Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank.

1456 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-271-3510

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6.Park Avenue Pub and Restaurant

Park Avenue Pub and Restaurant
© Park Avenue Pub and Restaurant

Park Avenue Pub and Restaurant in Rochester offers upscale dining in a casual atmosphere. The interior décor of this restaurant sets a homey mood with soft lighting, cushioned, highbacked booths, and wood barrel ceiling. These interior features and outside sidewalk dining area, provide couples with a romantic ambience. New American cuisine is focused on steak, seafood, and pasta. Some popular selections include Sautè of Veal, grilled center cut Filet Mignon, Bone-in Kansas City style strip steak, Sautè of chicken breast and Italian sausage, and Australian Lamb Loin Chops, artichoke, and bleu cheese crusted with demi-glace.

650 Park Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-461-4140

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7.Tony D's

Tony D's
© Tony D’s

In the area of Rochester known as Corn Hill, Tony D’s is the hot new trendy place to dine. This recently opened restaurant ticks all the boxes when it comes to interior decorating and fine dining. Pressed tin ceiling fixtures, exposed brick archways, hardwood floors, recessed lighting, two-dining floors, delicately painted wall murals, and river views create a warm and welcoming vibe. Thin crust pizzas made in coal-fired ovens are in-demand menu items at Tony D’s. But there are plenty of other delicious Italian entrées as well, like Steak Pizzaiolo, Pan Fried Chicken Cutlet Parmesan, and Spaghetti with Roasted Cauliflower with garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and pecorino cheese and chili flakes.

288 Exchange Boulevard, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-413-3640

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8.Bacco’s Ristorante

Bacco’s Ristorante
© Kheng Guan Toh/

In the historical district of Park Avenue in Rochester, Bacco’s Ristorante serves authentic Italian dishes in a quaint setting. Bacco’s Ristorante is located in a converted home that offers a warm and casual atmosphere. Low lighting, dark woods, and ceiling fans add a touch of romance. The Italian fare at Bacco’s originates from the Calabria area of Italy. Fish and meat dishes, an array of pastas, and an extensive list of wines dominate the menu. Diners can expect delectable dishes like grilled French-cut rack of lamb, four cheese penne pasta, and chicken/veal milanese – breaded and fried, served with arugula, tomatoes and shaved Parmesan, with olive oil and lemon oil.

2723, 263 Park Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-442-5090

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9.Char Steak & Lounge

Char Steak & Lounge
© Char Steak & Lounge

Char Steak & Lounge is located inside Strathallan, A DoubleTree by Hilton, in the Neighborhood of The Arts section of Rochester. The interior design features a romantic fireplace in a stone feature wall, hard-wood floors, and a wall of windows. This restaurant also has comfortable lounge seating area, stone columns, and an abundance of bar seating. Char Steak & Lounge’s executive chef begins each culinary creation with fresh, local ingredients. Entrées include items like 12-ounce ground brisket chuck burger, Australian rack of lamb, and local Finger Lakes duck – black rice, anis-orange jus, turnips, rhubarb, pistachios, white asparagus, Five-spice, roasted lacquered breast, and crispy thigh confit.

550 East Avenue, Rochester NY, Phone: 585-241-7100

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10.Tournedos Steakhouse

Tournedos Steakhouse
© Tournedos Steakhouse

Tournedos Steakhouse is located inside Rochester’s only luxury boutique hotel, The Inn on Broadway. Its regal elegance can be seen in its fine chandeliers, arched entryway, and a glassed-in temperature-controlled wine cellar. This restaurant also features suspended lights, hardwood floors, and comfortable leather booths. With a penchant for fresh ingredients, Tournedos has its fish flown in daily from Hawaii. Menu items include options like Ora King Salmon (premium sushi grade 1), and Hawaiian Ahi tuna (sushi grade 1). Other menu favorites include 8-ounce center cut beef tenderloin filet, 16-ounce bone-in beef tenderloin, and dry-aged porterhouse steaks.

26 Broadway, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-269-3888

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© Lento

The Neighborhood of the Arts in Rochester is the home of Lento, a staple of the community since 2007. The interior of this restaurant features an industrial-style exposed ceiling, a stone feature wall, and separate dining rooms. With design elements like suspended light fixtures, a banquette lining one wall, and a statement bar with a tile countertop, the restaurant has a warm and friendly ambience. Lento serves an eclectic and ever-changing menu and sources their produce and meats locally. Entrées include items such as pan seared Faroe Island salmon, hand-made linguine with spring vegetables, and crispy grilled duck breast - soft local organic polenta, grilled asparagus, and rhubarb mostarda.

274 North Goodman Street, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-271-3470

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12.Pane Vino

Pane Vino
© Pane Vino

In the heart of Rochester’s downtown dining scene, Pane Vino has proven to be this area’s go to for Italian cuisine. This restaurant’s interior features an exposed brick wall, a fireplace in the lounge area, and ceiling fans. With hard-wood floors, views of the river, and a romantic in-diner fireplace, it’s an ideal setting for a special dinner. Utilizing local artisan ingredients and only the freshest seafood, the creative menus at Pane Vino are the perfect for an Italian night out to dinner. Menu items include options like rack of lamb, grilled center cut pork chop, and lobster Fra Diavlo served in spicy marinara sauce over linguine.

175 North Water Street, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-232-6090

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13.Phillips European

Phillips European
© Phillips European

For 20 years, Phillips European in downtown Rochester, has been treating customers to the art of fine dining. Inside this quaint, French-inspired restaurant, the décor features upholstered dining booths, recessed and sconce lighting, and soft billowy curtains that create a mellow, traditional dining space with French doors that lead to a romantic second dining room. The cuisine at Phillips European Restaurant relies on fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients. Entrées include blackened filet mignon, chicken Dijon, and sesame shrimp – jumbo shrimp encrusted with black and white sesame seeds, rice, and Wasabi ginger soy sauce. An onsite bakery is renowned for its tortes, pastries, and cakes.

26 Corporate Woods, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-272-9910

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14.Ristorante Lucano

Ristorante Lucano
© Ristorante Lucano

Family owned and operated, Ristorante Lucano in downtown Rochester offers excellent Italian cuisine in a charming atmosphere. This restaurant’s interior design features Old World murals, tile flooring, textured walls, framed pictures of ancient Rome, and ornate ceiling tiles. Sconce lighting, candlelit tables, and crisp white linen tablecloths add a touch of romance, perfect for a special dinner. Ristorante Lucano dishes are prepared with a blend of locally sourced produce and special ingredients imported from Italy. Entrées includes selections like Gnocchi alla Panna with pancetta mushrooms, potato gnocchi cream, and cheese, or Scaloppine ai Funghi e Cognac with sautéed veal medallions in a creamy cognac sauce.

1815 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-244-3460

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15.Rooney's Restaurant

Rooney's Restaurant
© Rooney's Restaurant

For over half a century, Rooney’s restaurant in Rochester has been a neighborhood favorite serving upscale American fare. The interior design features an exposed brick wall, a dining room fireplace, and an expansive Victorian wooden bar. With pendant lights, exposed ceiling, and ornate crown molding, design elements come together to create an intimate setting for a special night out. Following the European tradition of going to the market each day, the chefs change their eclectic menu depending on what is found fresh that morning. House specialties include the likes of slow-roasted Atlantic salmon, and wood-grilled T-bone veal chops with porcini mushroom sauce and pesto quinoa.

90 Henrietta Street, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-442-0444

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© Roux

Serving authentic French fare in the middle of Rochester, Roux provides an exquisite culinary experience. This bistro-style restaurant has an elegant tin ceiling, wood columns, and ornate crown molding. A cushioned banquette along one wall, marble floors, and suspended lighting create an ideal setting for a romantic dinner. Preparing authentic French cuisine, the executive chef uses only the freshest ingredients. Entrées include items such as spring risotto with seasonal vegetables and grated pecorino, duck confit with warm French lentils du puy, watercress, and carrot ginger purèe, and McCann’s lamb merquez – turmeric couscous, almonds, Tim’s harissa, and torn herbs.

688 Park Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-461-2960

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17.Tapas 177

Tapas 177
© Tapas 177

For over 20 years, Tapas 177 has been fusing exotic and familiar flavors from near and far in the Rochester area. The interior design of this rustic restaurant features exposed stone walls, a feature exposed brick wall along the back of the bar, and hard-wood floors. This restaurant also features a cushioned banquette along one wall, exposed ceiling, and polished wood tabletops. Sourcing locally to ensure the freshest ingredients, the culinary team creates innovative and tempting dishes. Entrées include selections like lemongrass curry – sautéed chicken bucatini, scented tofu, or shrimp penne with mozzarella, blush sauce, basil pesto, spicy chorizo, and sweet shrimp.

177 Saint Paul Street, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-262-2090

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18.The Cub Room

The Cub Room
© The Cub Room

Located in Rochester’s South Wedge Area, The Cub Room pays homage to a time when fine dining meant fine service. This restaurant’s interior fuses a contemporary interior within its rustic façade with exposed ceilings and HVAC, hardwood floors, and exposed brick walls. Romance is in the air with a banquette lining an entire wall, two floors of dining space, and a stone feature wall in the lounge area. The Cub Room has an ever-changing menu sourcing locally to obtain the fresh ingredients. Entrées include items such as sea scallops, USDA prime sirloin steak, and Amish chicken with cream sherry, baby carrots, confit potato, and cipollini onions.

739 Clinton Avenue South, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-363-5694

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19.The French Quarter

The French Quarter
© The French Quarter

The French Quarter in Rochester has developed a reputation of preparing the best Creole and Cajun food in the city. The elegance of this restaurant can be seen in its ornate ceiling, crown molding, chandeliers, and faux fireplaces. This restaurant also boasts two dining floors, hardwood floors, and beautiful hand-painted New Orleans-style art adorning the walls. Serving authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine using locally sourced ingredients and the freshest seafoods, diners can expect traditional Louisiana fare. Their eclectic menu includes dishes like crawfish ètouffèe – crawfish tails, rice, and spicy gravy, or Cajun fried catfish – Cajun seasoned catfish that is deep fried.

130 Spring Street, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-987-6432

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20.The Revelry

The Revelry
© The Revelry

The Revelry in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts is a fusion of Southern cuisine and New American cuisine. This restaurant’s interior features large pane windows, dark hardwood flooring, and light-colored wood trim. Its rustic-chic style is reflected in exposed ceilings, stone walls, chandeliers, and a romantic fireplace – the perfect setting for a romantic date night. Utilizing local artisan ingredients and fresh seafoods, the chef has created a menu of Lowcountry cuisine from South Carolina. Menu items include options like smoked fettuccine Bolognese, Guinea Hen, sugared and spiced dry-aged duck breast, and smoked lamb spareribs.

1290 University Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-340-6454

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© Trata

In downtown Rochester, Trata is a contemporary restaurant set inside an old armory. This restaurant’s interior has been renovated to show off a modern urban vibe with vintage flair – a contemporary design fusion of past and present. Guests can expect exposed brick walls, and wood plank ceilings with industrial-style lighting. The warm and inviting dining room has a neutral color palette, original wood flooring, and soft pendant lights. There is also and an expansive and contemporary outdoor patio. Diners will discover delights like sea scallops, Nashville crispy chicken burger, and wild boar bolognese with herb-whipped ricotta, fresh pappardelle pasta, micro basil, and ragout tomatoes.

Jhg145 Culver Road Suite 1, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-270-5460

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22.Amore Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar

Amore Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
© Amore Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar

In the heart of downtown Rochester, Amore Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar has been a staple of fine Italian dining. The interior design of this restaurant resembles a European castle with stone walls, a hand-painted wood beamed ceilings, arched windows, a plush upholstered banquette, bistro tables and ornate wood chairs, and a regal red and gold color palette. A vine-covered dining area with string lights exudes romance. This restaurant’s traditional Italian fare features tantalizing Mediterranean flavors in classic dishes created with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Entrées include selections like Pollo del Forno – oven-mushrooms and roasted butternut squash, roasted chicken breast, green onion pesto, and sage.

1750 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-452-8780

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23.Chocolate and Vines

Chocolate and Vines
© New Africa/

Chocolate and Vines in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts has brought a new style of dining to this community. The interior of the 1907 Victorian house turned restaurant features a bright and airy dining room, chandeliers, and hardwood flooring. Sheer curtains, plush dining chairs, and crown molding add romantic details. Patio and porch seating also lend themselves to a romantic vibe. Chocolate and Vines is committed to sourcing local farms for ingredients. With an eclectic menu of fine wines, cheeses, and desserts, selections include items such as Voula’s Cranberry Saligari, chocolate truffle mousse, and Dream Bamba – coated in chocolate milk, peanut butter gelato, and caramel center.

757 University Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-340-6362

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24.Roam Cafe

Roam Cafe
© Kristen/

In Rochester’s Park Avenue Neighborhood, Roam Café offers simple Italian fare. The restaurant’s homey ambience can be seen in its cushioned dining booths, string lights overhead, and tile floors. It also features large pane windows, dark wood furnishings, and arched entryways. An outdoor patio provides al fresco dining. Roam Café has a truly welcoming neighborhood vibe. Menu items include options like sweet & spicy stir fry, organic Norwegian salmon – seared filet, dill yogurt dressing or Paleo sauce and two sides, or smothered chicken – grilled chicken breast, peppers, crispy bacon, sautéed mushrooms, and two sides.

260 Park Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-360-4165

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25.Black & Blue Steak & Crab

Black & Blue Steak & Crab
© Black & Blue Steak & Crab

In downtown Rochester, Black & Blue Steak & Crab is putting a whole new twist on traditional steak and seafood dining. Its interior is the picture of elegance with a chic dining room done in neutral colors, recessed lighting, and cushioned booths. This restaurant also features an upstairs dining area, glassed-in temperature-controlled wine cellar, and an outside dining area for the spring and summertime. Known as a premiere seafood restaurant, Black & Blue has created a program that allows customers to track the details of their fish and seafood journey from sea to table. Menu favorites include sea scallops and king crab.

3349 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY, Phone: 585-421-8111

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25 Best Romantic Restaurants in Rochester