There are many great things to do in Albany, including a long list of romantic restaurants to choose from and all you need to do is narrow-down the list according to your personal preferences.
1. 677 Prime
Why not spoil the love of your life by booking a table at 677 Prime, a restaurant whose philosophy it is to make every single meal in their restaurant a remarkable and memorable experience. The restaurant believes in treating every guest like royalty, and you will feel perfectly at home as soon as you step inside. The menu is expansive and diverse, including delicious fresh seafood from the Raw Bar – think fresh oysters, Tuna Tartare or their signature Seafood Tower. Other popular appetizers include Crab stuffed Mushrooms and General Tso’s Octopus. As the name suggests, 677 Prime is proud to offer Prime dry-aged beef from a trusted supplier which will set the bar for all your future steak dinners.
677 Prime, 677 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207, Phone: 518-427-7463
2. Athos Restaurant
© Athos Restaurant
If you close your eyes for a moment and imagine a picture-perfect Greek Island, you will start to get an idea of the unique atmosphere which awaits you at Athos Restaurant. The restaurant has been cited as one of the best Greek restaurants in the country and as you tuck into a plate of delicious Greek delicacies you will find it hard to believe you are sitting in Albany. You and your date can enjoy light meals in the Taverna area or opt for the full feast experience in the dining room, where a long menu of regional Greek delights await you, accompanied by an excellent selection of Greek and international wines, beers and cocktails.
Athos Restaurant, 1814 Western Ave, Albany, NY 12009, Phone: 518-608-6400
3. Barcelona Restaurant-Wine Bar
© Tiramisu Studio/stock.adobe.com
When you are looking for a taste of sun-kissed Spain in the heart of downtown Albany, the Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar is the place to go. Perfect for a romantic date-night meal, this restaurant has an up-market ambiance that sets the scene for a great night out. If you prefer to try a variety of different dishes you will love the delightful Tapas menu served at the bar, where you can pair your food selection with wine by the glass from Spain, Italy, Chile and California. If you are eating in the cozy dining room you can choose from an irresistible list of starters, entrees and desserts with a distinct Mediterranean flavor.
Barcelona Restaurant-Wine Bar, 1192 Western Ave, Albany, NY 12203, Phone: 518-438-1144
4. Cafe Capriccio
© Café Capriccio
When your taste buds demand the best Italian fare in town you need to head to Café Capriccio in Grand Street. This authentic Italian eatery has been pleasing Albany palates for over 35 years and boasts a long list of regular diners. You can look forward to enjoying a variety of vibrant, colorful dishes that will take you on a culinary journey of discovery to wonderful Italy. The restaurant interior features a lovely long wooden bar, intimate tables and booths, crisp white table linen and subdued lighting, all of which sets an elegant theme perfect for a special-occasion dinner. The restaurant is open daily from 5pm.
Café Capriccio, 49 Grand Street, Albany, NY 12207, Phone: 518-465-0439
5. Cafe Madison
© Café Madison
While a breakfast/lunch venue may not initially strike you as a romantic restaurant option, Café Madison is determined to change your views. There is no better way to start your day than sharing a delicious breakfast that neither you nor your partner has had to cook, and Café Madison is the place to go for legendary pancakes, excellent coffee and all your other favorite breakfast/brunch treats. The vibe is trendy and colorful and the long weekend queues are an indication of the delicious fare you can anticipate.
Café Madison, 1108 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12208, Phone: 518-935-1094
Café Madison, 359 Northern Blvd, Albany, NY 12204, Phone: 518-935-1094
6. Cafe Italia
© Café Italia
Family owned and operated, Café Italia has been providing authentic southern-Italian food to appreciative Albany residents for over thirty years. There is nothing quite like a taste of Italy to get your date night off to a brilliant start, and the relaxing and friendly atmosphere of Café Italia make it the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion. You can start your meal by ordering a delicious artichoke or sweet Italian sausage starter (there is an extensive choice of appetizers, many of which are perfect for vegetarians). For mains you can move on to delicious pasta dishes, authentic Italian meat and chicken entrees or push the boat out and feast on southern Italian seafood dishes like Lobster and Crab ravioli.
Café Italia, 662 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12206-1645, Phone: 518-459-8029
7. Druthers Brewing Company
© Druthers Brewing Company
Druthers Brewing Company offers craft beer lovers an ideal destination for a romantic lunch or dinner, paired with your favorite beer. The brewpub occupies a renovated 1901 warehouse with huge glass panels which overlook the brewing area and there is a genuine wood-fired pizza oven producing wonderful pizzas with hot bubbling cheese and thin, blistered crusts. Although craft beer and pizza is a match made in heaven, the brewpub also serves other delicious comfort food such as burgers, home-made pasta, entrees, salads and sides. Fresher than fresh beer comes directly from the serving tank to your glass and the selection includes Pilsner, IPA, Goze, Heferweizen and several more.
Druthers Brewing Company, 1053 Broadway, Albany, NY 12204, Phone: 518-650-7996
8. Grappa 72 Ristorante
© Grappa 72 Ristorante
Serving up affordable Italian food with a fine-dining twist, Grappa 72 Ristorante is the ideal place to take someone special for a romantic night of dining and wining. Although the atmosphere is relaxing, crisp white table linen, mood lighting and beautiful food presentation set the scene for romance. The restaurant presents Italian classics from all corners of Italy along with a selection of other Mediterranean delights, accompanied by your choice of wine from an extensive list of Italian and international wines. In addition to the menu items you can also selects dishes from a daily-changing list of chef’s specials. It would be a shame to leave without sampling their home-made desserts and a very special grappa.
Grappa 72, 818 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12206, Phone: 518-482-7200
9. Iron Gate Cafe
© Iron Gate Café
If you are looking for an ideal place to enjoy a relaxing and romantic weekend brunch (or breakfast/lunch during the week) you need look no further than the Iron Gate Café. The décor of the café features interesting music-related posters from the 60’s and there is a delightful outdoor patio area where you can dine when the weather is good. Both the breakfast and lunch menus are available all day long during the week, and the weekend brunch menu draws large numbers of guests on Saturday and Sunday. Their extensive menu of freshly prepared treats include all your favorites such as Benedicts, burgers, toasts and sandwiches, all prepared using fresh wholesome ingredients.
Iron Gate Café, 182A Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210, Phone: 518-445-3555
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10. MezzaNotte Ristorante
© MezzaNotte Ristorante
MezzaNotte (which means “midnight” in Italian) is a wonderful choice for anyone seeking a romantic venue for a date-night meal. The food is classic Italian fare (like Nonna used to make it), beautifully presented in an upscale venue which features subdued lighting, a midnight-blue ceiling and images of Italy to set the scene for romance. Besides finding all your favorite classic Italian dishes here you will also find innovative modern takes on old classics. There are plenty of choices for vegetarians, beautifully prepared fresh fish and lobster dishes and, of course, wonderful pasta and risotto selections. You can choose from a great selection of Italian and international wines to accompany your meal.
MezzaNotte Ristorante, 2026 Western Ave, Albany, NY 12203, Phone: 518-689-4433
11. Navona Restaurant
© Navona Restaurant
Whether you are dining alfresco on the porch or snuggled up around the fire in winter, Navona Restaurant has a winning recipe for providing a romantic venue for a special date-night lunch or dinner. Navona’s award-winning chef places great emphasis on using the freshest locally-sourced ingredients in his kitchen and you will taste the difference on your plate. At the heart of the Navona menu is their wood-fired oven, where nearly all cooked dishes are prepared, sealing in the goodness and moisture like no other cooking method. The lunch menu features salads, pizza and lighter dishes while the dinner menu is more extensive and features favorites like wood-fired line fish and fire-roasted cauliflower steak.
Navona Restaurant, 289 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, Phone: 518-435-0202
12. Savoy Taproom
© Savoy Taproom
You will find everything you need for a great date night out all under one roof at the Savoy Taproom on historic Lark Street. The taproom offers delicious made-from-scratch food, cocktails to set the mood, a rotating selection of craft beers on tap and live music nights. Why not start off with one of their signature cocktails (My Lost Youth and Gates of Hell are popular choices), before selecting your choice of appetizers and mains from the menu. If you just want a snack to nibble on while you sip a craft beer you will find a selection of fries, wings and hand-held dishes to keep your hunger at bay. There are wines from all over the world and on Sundays you can come for cocktails and a great brunch.
Savoy Taproom, 301 Lark Street, Albany, NY 12210, Phone: 518-599-5140
13. Sushi Tei
© Sushi Tei
There is something really special about sushi which makes it a perfect choice for a special romantic night out. At Sushi Tei, you can enjoy a variety of delicious Japanese delicacies or opt for sharing their beautiful Love Boat sushi platter made especially for two diners to share. The ingredients are simple and fresher-than-fresh to offer you a most memorable sushi meal and the presentation of the platters and plates is designed to please both the eye and the palate. Other popular menu items include Hibachi-grilled entrees, fragrant rice and noodle bowls and fresh-tasting soups and salads. If your idea of a romantic date is to snuggle up at home you can order all your favorite dishes from their Take Out menu.
Sushi Tei, 1800 Western Ave, Albany, NY 12203, Phone: 518-218-0388
14. Taiwan Noodle
Taiwan Noodle in Central Ave may not be flashy or chic, but should not be overlooked as a date night restaurant by anyone who loves a good bowl of Asian food served at a very attractive price. The restaurant is small and intimate, having only around 15 tables, but manages to offer an extraordinary selection of delicious cold-beating noodle soups and several other tasty meals. Many diners start off with a satisfying bowl of soup or a plate of home-made steamed dumplings before moving on to sample a few of their meat and rice bowls or one of their dinner specials which include hearty meals like Salt and Pepper Pork Chop, Fish Fillet with Egg or Tofu or General Tso’s Chicken.
Taiwan Noodle, 218 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12206, Phone: 518-436-1328
15. Tanpopo Ramen and Sake Bar
At Tanpopo Ramen and Sake Bar you can treat your date to a delicious selection of oriental delicacies, including the best bowl of ramen you are likely to find outside Japan. Although ramen is a decidedly humble Japanese staple it packs a punch of delicious flavors and is just the thing to keep cold weather at bay. You can have fun personalizing your ramen – choose the broth that interests you the most and then add as many (or few) tantalizing toppings as you like. But before you get down to the ramen you can start with a delicious appetizer like their steamed buns with pork belly or duck or a plate of steamed or fried dumplings.
Tanpopo Ramen and Sake Bar, 893 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207, Phone: 518-451-9868
16. The Hollow Bar and Kitchen
© The Hollow Bar and Kitchen
The Hollow Bar and Kitchen in downtown Albany is the ideal place to take your date for a romantic night out, offering four-star cuisine, award winning craft beers and live musical entertainment all under one roof. The Kitchen serves up a varied menu including salads, soups and burgers as well as delicious entrees, sides and desserts or a selection of pub snacks if you just need something to nibble while you sip your craft beer. Beer choices run the full gamut from IPA’s, Witbier and Pilseners to Amber Ales, Porters and Stouts. If you prefer wine you can choose from a good list of wines by the glass. Live music is usually scheduled for the weekends.
The Hollow Bar and Kitchen, 79 North Pearl St, Albany, NY 12207, Phone: 518-426-8550
17. Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar
© Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar
You and your date can take your taste buds on a trip around the world when you book a table at Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar in Washington Avenue. The name of the restaurant means “Meeting Place for All People” and guests will be treated to delicious typical street food from all corners of the globe, served up in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. For starters you could try Kipe from the Dominican Republic, Thai calamari or good American Bourbon Chicken Wings. Mains are even more tantalizing and include a Haitian Goat and Rice dish, delicious vegetable curry from Guyana or an Ethiopian Injera Plate with chicken, lamb or fish.
Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar, 236 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210, Phone: 518-915-1699
When your romantic night out calls for fine-dining in an elegant location you can make your way to Yono’s on Chapel Street. Yono’s has been making waves in the Albany restaurant scene since 1986 and has won several awards for chef Purnomo’s signature fusion of American and Indonesian flavors. You can select your starters and mains from a regularly-changing menu of fine dishes made from fresh seasonal ingredients, or push the boat out and settle in for a feast when you order the Chef’s Grand Tasting Menu of eight courses with or without wine pairing. Other options include a smaller four-course tasting menu or a traditional five course Indonesian Rijsttafel.
Yono’s, 25 Chapel Street, Albany, NY 12210, Phone: 518-436-7747
19. Jack’s Oyster House
© Jack’s Oyster House
Jack’s Oyster House is a legendary Albany institution which has been serving oysters for over one hundred years. The elegant interior of the restaurant is ideal for a romantic night out and the modern contemporary menu means that you don’t need to love oysters to enjoy a night at Jack’s. Appetizers include their signature famous oysters alongside salads, chowders, crab cakes and baby clams. There is a distinct emphasis on enjoying fresh fish and seafood, and entrees include salmon, lobster and cod as well as a selection of prime beef steaks and several house specialties. The lunch menu features lighter options and burgers.
Jack’s Oyster House, 42 State Street, Albany, NY 12207, Phone: 518-465-8854
20. Kismet Mediterranean Grill
© Kismet Mediterranean Grill
The Kismet Mediterranean Grill could be the ideal place to take someone special for a romantic dinner. The restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere enhanced by delightful Turkish décor and the food will definitely transport you to the streets of Istanbul. You can start off by ordering a trio of meze to share, which gives you a chance to taste three of their most popular appetizers. Their chicken, lamb and beef gyros are highly recommended by customers, and there is also a selection of beautifully presented main courses. You can choose craft beer or a selection of wines by the glass to enjoy alongside your meal.
Kismet Mediterranean Grill, 1116 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12208-2275, Phone: 518-599-0500
21. Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant
At Mamoun’s, an old-world elegance combined with fresh and tasty food sets the scene for an intimate date night dinner. The restaurant specializes in serving traditional Syrian and Lebanese dishes which have been attracting Albany diners since 1985. Using age-old regional spice blends and the freshest vegetable, grains, fruits, cheeses and dairy products, Mamoun’s prepares mouth-watering Mediterranean favorites that are not only delicious but also healthy. Vegetarians will be impressed by the number of delicious dishes they can choose from and carnivores have the option of adding lamb or chicken to these. It would be a shame to leave without sharing a piece of home-made baklava.
Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant, 206 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210, Phone: 518-434-3901
22. Van’s Vietnamese Restaurant
© Slawomir Fajer/stock.adobe.com
Offering an ideal venue for a special romantic dinner, Van’s Vietnamese Restaurant in Central Avenue will thrill your taste buds with the unique flavors, colors and aromas of Vietnam. Imagine starting your feast with delicate flavor-packed rice-paper parcels of fish, pork or shrimp, before moving on to a palate-cleansing salad of spicy beef, tofu or shrimp. On a cold night there is nothing to beat a steaming bowl of fragrant Pho, served with your choice of fish, shrimp or meat. There is also a long list of wonderful-sounding entrees that make decisions very hard to make. Vegetarians are particularly well catered for and you can order beer or wine to enjoy with your meal.
Van’s Vietnamese Restaurant, 307 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12202, Phone: 518-436-1868
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