Syracuse, NY is the little sister to New York City when it comes to size, people, and shopping, but not when it comes to fine dining. This city’s culinary scene is second to none, relying on locally sourced ingredients that deliver a burst of flavor with every bite. From Syracuse’s finest Italian restaurants like Strada Mia and Francesca’s Cucina to well-known steakhouses like Prime and Daniella’s, Syracuse sizzles with hot dining options. These 25 restaurants in Syracuse were hand-picked for their romantic ambience, so couples can dive into the list for their next special night out. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1. 317 at Montgomery Street
© 317 at Montgomery Street
317 @ Montgomery Street in downtown Syracuse offers refined American cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere. The interior of this restaurant features exposed brick walls with bright framed artwork adorning them. White linen napkins and white table cloths along with glass wall sconces give this restaurant an upscale vibe. Using local ingredients and the freshest seafood create the perfect combination for their New American cuisine. Menu items include appetizer choices such as goat cheese croquette or tenderloin crustini. For dinner, their veal parmesan – encrusted top round, pomodoro sauce, Muenster cheese, and scratch linguini sautéed with garlic, basil and olive oil – is a good bet.
317 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-214-4267
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Attilio’s, located in the heart of downtown Syracuse, has become the hot spot for fresh home-made Italian cuisine. The interior design is open and modern with parquet floors, exposed brick, in-wall fireplace, and a library motif. The lounge features high top seating and a TV, and the adjacent dining rooms have white linen covered tables. There are also partitioned booths for romantic dinners. Using the freshest local artisan ingredients, Attilio’s dishes are prepared daily from scratch. The restaurant also features an open oven to create dishes such as spaghetti pie, bacon wrapped scallops, calamari steak, caramelized shrimp, and old-fashioned brick oven pizza.
770 James Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-218-5085
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© Bistro Elephant
Located in Armory Square, Bistro Elephant has merged with Lemon Grass to create Lemon Grass & Bistro Elephant Steakhouse. This unique combination provides diners a choice of top Thai cuisine at Lemon Grass or traditional steakhouse fare at Bistro Elephant all under one roof. Diners can indulge in traditional steakhouse Angus beef from filet mignon to rib eye to New York strip steak. Entrées are served with Dessert is a must – guests should save room for The Lost Slipper, maybe one of the most elegant desserts ever created. The next door lounge is a perfect end to the evening sipping creative cocktails to live jazz music.
238 West Jefferson Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-475-1111
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© Daniella's Steakhouse
Across from the New York State Fair, inside the Best Western, Daniella’s Steakhouse is a staple of the Syracuse culinary scene. This restaurant has served the community for over 45 years. Daniella’s offers a much needed relaxed atmosphere with outdoor seating and an interior that showcases its cheerfulness. It’s a reliable choice for every occasion. The well-known steakhouse features produce that is locally sourced, and prime cuts of beef like their 40-ounce bone in rib eye, filet mignon, and New York strip steak – all hand cut daily. For couples who believe romance starts with a good steak dinner, this is the place.
670 State Fair Boulevard, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-471-9874
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5.Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse
© Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse
Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse has been one of Upstate New York’s premiere restaurants for over 21 years. Smooth sounds of Frank Sinatra tunes fill the air, walls are decorated with caricatures that are hand drawn, and candles provide subtle lighting. It’s easy to fall under the romantic spell of this stylish restaurant’s ambience. Delmonico’s is a fusion of casual steakhouse and fine Italian restaurant. The portions are generous. The food is fresh, diverse, and delicious. Menu items include a wide variety of options like mozzarella frittas and calamari for starters. The Delmonico steak, 24-ounce certified center cut Angus beef, is their signature entrée.
2950 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-445-1111
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© Dolce Vita
Leading the Keto diet scene for 10 years, Dolce Vita is located in Syracuse about five blocks from the Carrier Dome. High, open ceilings with exposed HVAC, black linen table cloths, and local art on the walls, along with exposed brick columns give this restaurant its urban vibe. The chefs have created menus that feature international cuisine from countries like Jamaica, China, and Italy. Guests will find everything from the Dolce bacon cheeseburger to rib eye to Jamaican jerk chicken. There is a separate Keto menu for diners who’ve adopted the Keto lifestyle with no modifications needed, macros included. The restaurant also hosts Keto informational nights.
907 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-475-4700
© Francesca's Cucina
Located in the heart of Syracuse’s Little Italy, Francesca’s Cucina is a family-owned restaurant that has recipes that have been handed down for four generations to the current owner and chef. With an old school bar and eating area inside, the restaurant evokes remembrances of old Italy. The outside of the restaurant sets the mood, with fire pits and candle lights aplenty. The Executive Chef knows that serving delicious Italian cuisine means having fresh produce and ingredients. Diners start off with appetizers such as Mussels Francesca and Utica style greens, while working up to entrees like Fettuccini Alfredo and homemade gnocchi.
545 North Salina Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-425-1556
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8.Inn of the Seasons
© Inn of the Seasons
Inn of the Seasons was first constructed in 1825, landing it on the National Register of Historical Buildings. Guests will discover that this elegant Syracuse Colonial landmark is the epitome of romance. The elegant dining room has a fine dining ambience with formally dressed tables including linens and candles. The rustic bar area features exposed brick walls with numerous windows and private, high back wood booths. The owner/chef has created an exceptional menu that includes selections like Veal Jonathan – sautéed veal scallopines with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and crème fraiche sauce. Desserts, signature coffees, and a serious wine list are all available.
4311 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-492-4001
9.Joey's Classic Italian Dining
© Joey's Classic Italian Dining
For over three decades Joey’s Classic Italian Dining has been a local favorite in the Syracuse area. Its upscale Italian ambience is reflected in its wood beamed ceiling, high-back wood chairs, Italian paintings, and white linen tablecloths. A second colorful and contemporary dining room has a room length banquette with tables and chairs, and a row booths along a wall of windows. Locally sourced ingredients keep the cuisine fresh and flavorful. Joey’s Executive Chef has an eclectic menu of Italian offerings starting with appetizers like escargot and fried calamari. House specialties include tantalizing entrées like stuffed Veal Francaise, and Steak and Shrimp.
6594 Thompson Road, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-432-0315
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10.Laci's Tapas Bar
© Laci's Tapas Bar
Located in the northeast part of Syracuse in the prestigious historic district of Hawley-Green, Laci’s Tapas Bar is a neighborhood favorite. The interior design features octagonal tables, bay windows, light colored curtains, and dark wood ceilings. Sprinkled around this restaurant adorning the walls are different types of paintings which gives it a casual, fun vibe. Serving cuisine Tapas style means creating a plethora of meat and vegetable small plates that appeal to a wide range of diners. From the herbivorous menu with its parsnip gnocchi and button mushrooms to the carnivorous menu with lamb chop lollipops and braised beef short ribs, there’s something for everyone.
304 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-218-5903
11. Lemon Grass Restaurant
© Lemon Grass Restaurant
Lemon Grass Restaurant has been a staple of fine Thai food in Syracuse’s historic Armory Square for over 25 years. White linen napkins and table cloths, shelves adorned with a reclining Buddha statue and flowers, and polished wood crown molding create a welcoming atmosphere. In the springtime, it’s a particularly romantic place to dine while sitting outside amidst blooming trees. Lemon Grass Restaurant has authentic Thai dishes such as Gra Pow – garlic, Italian hot peppers, cinnamon basil, whiskey and choice of chicken, pork, shrimp, or filet. Lemon Grass Restaurant and Elephant Bistro were once separate restaurants, but have now merged into one. Diners pining for Elephant Bistro’s steaks and chops will now find them on the Lemon Grass menu.
238 West Jefferson Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-475-1111
© Otro Cinco
One of Syracuse’s newest restaurants is Otro Cinco, located on South Warren in the historic University Building. The interior is wrought with Spanish influence, wooden woven wicker-chairs, pastels colors adorning the walls, and decorative ceiling tiles that add an urban vibe as well. The restaurant also features sidewalk seating in the spring and summer months. Otro Cinco serves delicious home-made authentic Spanish and Mexican cuisine, artfully prepared by its culinary team. Menu items include shredded tacos, chicken, beef, and fish burritos, and Steak Frite – a seared 12-ounce strip steak served with house fries, and fried shishito peppers with white onions.
206 South Warren Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-422-6876
For 35 years, Pastabilities has been serving patrons in downtown Syracuse in historic Armory Square on South Franklin Street. Exposed brick walls, reclaimed wood floors, a row of high-back booths, and Tiffany-style wall sconces give the restaurant a vintage vibe. High industrial ceilings, modern art work adorning the walls, Edison lights, and a stainless-steel bar and open kitchen add an urban edge. Known for serving authentic Italian cuisine, the culinary team sources the freshest ingredients from local farms. Entrées include items like Basil-Walnut Pesto, home-made cheese ravioli, and wicky-wicky chicken riggies – rigatoni, spicy-spicy tomato cream and locatelli cheese.
311 South Franklin Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-474-1153
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14.Phoebe's Restaurant & Coffee Lounge
© Phoebe's Restaurant & Coffee Lounge
Phoebe’s Restaurant and Coffee Lounge in downtown Syracuse has been in the area for more than four decades. The interior design features an area with a library motif replete with books to peruse while drinking coffee and lounging with friends or that special someone. Exposed brick walls and a row of large bay windows add an element of charm to the dining experience. Serving American cuisine, the dishes change seasonally in order to use the freshest ingredients available. Phoebe’s has an array of choices on the menu starting with appetizer items like Louisiana-style crab cakes and fried zucchini to main entrées such as grilled lamb chops, pork Milanese, and five spice duck-breast.
900 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-475-5154
15.Prime Steak House
© Prime Steak House
Diners will find Prime Steakhouse on the first floor of the Gridley Building near downtown Syracuse. Elegance oozes inside this culinary venue with multiple dining rooms to choose from. Beautiful tapestries adorn the walls of the main dining room. Dinner is served with views of the city. In spring and summer al fresco dining is available on the patio. The bar is also a dining option. Of course, steak is the house specialty, but it’s not the only thing on the menu. Beyond Porterhouse and New York strip steaks, guests can expect other delights like deliciously prepared seafood and New Zealand rack of lamb.
101 East Water Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-299-8047
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Riley’s has been serving Syracuse, New York, for over four decades. Its down-to-earth, retro feel is expressed in wood paneling, classic rich wood furnishings, gorgeous ceiling, ornate wood bar, and vintage photos hung on the walls. Riley’s serves classic American comfort food using farm fresh ingredients. Their eclectic menu reflects a farm-to-table influence with choices like meatball sliders, Turkey meatloaf with green onion cheese sauce, pan-seared yellowfin tuna steak, fried St. Lawrence perch filets, and roasted caraway crusted pork loins with red cabbage and pears.
312 Park Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-471-7111
© Stone's Steakhouse
Stone’s Steakhouse in Syracuse is a modern, comfortable, and spacious restaurant that sets the stage for a memorable dining experience. Every steak on the menu comes from local Black Angus Beef Farm. The restaurant sources chicken, eggs, produce, and more all fresh from local farms. The interior design features a main dining room with a neutral color palette, gleaming wood ceilings with gold sunburst chandeliers, contemporary furnishings including marble tabletops and leather chairs, and colorful modern artwork adorning the walls. The dazzling Boardroom can accommodate private parties with up to 40 guests. The quiet, romantic vibe is perfect for date night.
3220 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-214-5408
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© Strada Mia
Strada Mia is a staple of New American Traditional and Italian cuisine in Syracuse. There are three distinct areas in the dining room. One features a large table that accommodates up to 22 guests. Another area caters to families, and a third dining area provides an intimate space for couples. This restaurant prides itself on using the freshest ingredients to create its dishes. Strada Mia’s eclectic menu items include options like swordfish, seafood tortellini, chicken francaise, and pastas. Pork or veal chops are sautéed with bacon, baby portabella mushrooms and hot peppers in a white wine garlic butter, char-grilled, and served with with vegetables and mashed potatoes.
313 North Geddes Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-883-5995
19.The Cider Mill
© The Cider Mill
The Cider Mill Restaurant in downtown Syracuse is one the area’s flourishing dining establishments. The décor of the dining room is country chic where homey elements like a fireplace and wood furnishings combine with contemporary flooring and a black ceiling. The adjacent modern pub serves craft cocktails and an extensive list of beers. It features a contemporary bar with stone facing, high top tables, and TVs. Serving classic American comfort food, the Executive Chef has created an eclectic menu that also caters to patrons with food allergies or other sensitivities. The Cider Mills menu has favorites such as grilled NY strip steak, grilled lamb sirloin, cedar plank salmon, grilled Chimichurri sirloin, and pan-seared Mahi.
4221 Fay Road, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-487-0647
© The York
The York, located on West Fayette Street, brings an old Manhattan vibe with a modern twist to Syracuse. The brainchild of restaurateur and Syracuse native Danny Vault, The York has an industrial chic ambience that is the perfect backdrop for a seasonal New American menu. Guests can expect classic and modern dishes prepared with international influences. Menu highlights include selections like braised chicken pasta, the York burger, and a 42-ounce prime bone-in rib eye that has been aged for 35 days. Like the cuisine, the cocktail menu is also seasonal featuring curated local wines and beers. Guests can expect music with dinner on weekend nights.
247 West Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-701-0636
21.Yamasho Sushi and Steakhouse
© Yamasho Sushi and Steakhouse
Yamasho Sushi and Steakhouse on Onondaga Boulevard has only been on the scene for three years but this authentic Japanese restaurant has taken over this city. The interior decorating features Japanese prints hanging on the wall as well as Japanese samurai swords. With traditional seating for large parties and private tables for a romantic dinner, this restaurant is ideal for any occasion. Yamasho is known as an authentic Japanese Sushi restaurant that serves the freshest seafood and choicest cuts of beef that make for mouth watering dishes. Meals such as Filet Mignon, chicken, lobster, Salmon, shrimp as well as vegetables are prepared Hibachi style.
4713 Onondaga Boulevard, Syracuse, NY, Phone: 315-475-8858
21 Best Restaurants in Syracuse, NY
- 317 at Montgomery Street, Photo: 317 at Montgomery Street
- Attilio's, Photo: Attilio's
- Bistro Elephant, Photo: Bistro Elephant
- Daniella's Steakhouse, Photo: Daniella's Steakhouse
- Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse, Photo: Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse
- Dolce Vita, Photo: Dolce Vita
- Francesca's Cucina, Photo: Francesca's Cucina
- Inn of the Seasons, Photo: Inn of the Seasons
- Joey's Classic Italian Dining, Photo: Joey's Classic Italian Dining
- Laci's Tapas Bar, Photo: Laci's Tapas Bar
- Lemon Grass Restaurant, Photo: Lemon Grass Restaurant
- Otro Cinco, Photo: Otro Cinco
- Pastabilities, Photo: Pastabilities
- Phoebe's Restaurant & Coffee Lounge, Photo: Phoebe's Restaurant & Coffee Lounge
- Prime Steak House, Photo: Prime Steak House
- Riley's, Photo: Riley's
- Stone's Steakhouse, Photo: Stone's Steakhouse
- Strada Mia, Photo: Strada Mia
- The Cider Mill, Photo: The Cider Mill
- The York, Photo: The York
- Yamasho Sushi and Steakhouse, Photo: Yamasho Sushi and Steakhouse
- Cover Photo: Milles Studio/stock.adobe.com
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