Charleston is known for its romantic, historic ambiance, showcasing blue stone sidewalks, gaslit street lamps, and gorgeous panoramic views of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers. The West Virginia capital city is home to renowned attractions such as the stunning gold-domed State Capitol Building, the West Virginia State Museum, and the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences. After exploring the city's landmarks, couples can enjoy a wide variety of high-quality dining options, ranging from hearty Lowcountry and innovative New Appalachian restaurants to hip wine bars and inventive global fusion joints. Many restaurants offer intimate dining spaces with romantic lighting, cozy seating areas, and stunning views of the city's waterfront.
1.Bistro at the Barge
© Bistro at the Barge
Bistro at the Barge is a gorgeous scenic restaurant on Charleston's Trojan Landing, serving up lunch and dinner service Tuesday through Saturday evenings. The bistro is known for its prime steak and seafood entrees, as well as its impressive wine and liquor lists, which showcase more than 100 craft and top-shelf whiskeys. Elegant entrees include seared duck breast in red wine demi-glace, diver scallops in sambuca caramel glaze, braised lamb shanks drenched in 18-year barrel-aged balsamic vinegar, and wild mushroom tarts stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus. Downstairs at the bistro's bar, an extensive draft beer and tropical cocktail selection is accompanied by delicious bar bites and frequent live entertainment.
1414 MacCorkle Ave SW, Charleston, WV 25303, Phone: 304-744-2628
© Bluegrass Kitchen
Bluegrass Kitchen is a farm-to-table comfort diner housed within a gorgeous 1920s-era building near the West Virginia State Capitol, which has been restored to its lovely historic atmosphere and showcases exposed brick walls and pressed tin ceilings. The restaurant is known for its vegetarian-friendly entrees, which are prepared from ingredients sourced from throughout the Appalachian region and prepared daily at the restaurant's kitchen. Unique vegetarian entrees served up at dinner include tofu taco salad, enchilada-style cabbage rolls, and quinoa veggie burgers. Omnivorous fare includes za'atar roasted chicken, burrata BLT sandwiches, and beer-battered cod and chips platters. Local artwork is showcased throughout the restaurant's dining room, adding to the unique romantic ambiance.
1600 Washington St E, Charleston, WV 25311, Phone: 304-346-2871
3.Bricks and Barrels
© Bricks and Barrels
Bricks and Barrels is one of Charleston's premiere steak and seafood restaurants, named for its lovely interior decor, which utilizes wooden whiskey and wine aging barrels as tables. The restaurant's space was originally used as a meatpacking facility and furniture warehouse and has incorporated many of its original design elements, including an old freight elevator incorporated into the restaurant's bar and a massive safe that serves as an entrance for the restaurant's walk-in keg cooler. Fine dining options at dinner include elegant entrees such as garlic and rosemary lamb, Mediterranean chicken, Cajun-style shrimp pasta, and bourbon-glazed swordfish. 12 beer selections are available on tap at any given time, emphasizing craft brews by local and regional breweries.
1214 Smith St, Charleston, WV 25301, Phone: 681-265-9222
4.Bridge Road Bistro
© Bridge Road Bistro
Bridge Road Bistro has been the recipient of the prestigious Wine Spectator Award of Elegance since its opening in 2004 by restaurateur Sandy Call and executive chef John Wright. The laid-back restaurant, which is located within Charleston's beautiful South Hills neighborhood, serves up classic American entrees with contemporary global influences, focusing on dishes crafted with ingredients sourced from regional West Virginia farmers. Couples can enjoy high-quality Angus-certified steaks or choose from hearty Southern-style entrees such as jumbo lump crab cakes, buttermilk-soaked pork flat iron, or signature bistro chicken and waffles platters. Vegan and vegetarian entrees are available to accommodate diners with dietary restrictions.
915 Bridge Rd, Charleston, WV 25314, Phone: 304-720-3500
Fazio's is Charleston's best choice for authentic Italian fare, owned and operated by its namesake restaurateur Danny Fazio. The restaurant, which has been voted as the best Italian eatery in the state of West Virginia, creates a beautiful romantic ambiance for diners with candlelit tables and traditional Italian music playing throughout dining hours. All dishes are prepared fresh in the restaurant's kitchen, with all sauces made in house daily. An extensive selection of veal dishes includes favorites such as veal marsala paired alongside more unique entrees such as veal clambraza. High-quality steak entrees, personal pizzas, and seafood platters are also served alongside traditional pasta favorites such as baked ravioli, cheese tortellini, and fettuccine alfredo.
1008 Bullitt St, Charleston, WV 25301, Phone: 304-344-3071
6.Hibachi Japanese Steak House
© Joshua Resnick/stock.adobe.com
Hibachi Japanese Steak House is the tri-state area's original choice for Japanese-style dining, located on Fourth Avenue in Huntington's beautiful downton district. The restaurant, which has been in operation for more than two decades, strives to provide the most authentic Japanese dining experience possible, offering recently-revitalized menus at lunch and dinner throughout the week. Traditional hibachi options include chicken, crab meat, scallops, or New York strip steak, prepared on the restaurant's impressive grill. A full slate of ramen and udon noodle dishes are also served up, along with classic Chinese and Thai-style dining options such as pad Thai and lo mein. An extensive selection of clever cocktails is complemented by craft beers, fine wines, and authentic boba teas.
48 RHL Blvd, South Charleston, WV 25309, Phone: 304-746-5560
7.Ichiban Pan-Asian Cuisine
© Ichiban Pan-Asian Cuisine
Ichiban Pan-Asian Cuisine serves up Charleston's best Asian cuisine, located at the corner of Virginia and Capitol Streets in the city's lovely downtown district. The vibrant eatery is known for its innovative sushi rolls, which can be enjoyed a la carte or as part of larger sushi platters which are perfect for sharing with dates. Traditional street noodle plates and hot pots are also served at dinner, along with curry entrees and an excellent selection of land and sea specialties such as spicy Thai shrimp, Mongolian-style steak filets, and bamboo tempura chicken. Next door, the restaurant's Bar 101 serves up full sushi menus accompanied by a vast selection of fine beers, wines, and cocktails.
103 Capitol St, Charleston, WV 25301, Phone: 304-720-7874
© Laury's Restaurant
Laury's Restaurant has been one of Charleston's premiere dining experiences since 1979, housed within the city's National Register of Historic Places-listed C&O Railroad Depot. Delicious contemporary American cuisine emphasizes classic French influences at dinner service Tuesdays through Saturdays throughout the year. Couples can enjoy stunning views of the Kanawha River from the restaurant's beautiful dining room, which also overlooks the streets of downtown Charleston. Classic entrees include beef Oscar, steak au poivre, veal schnitzel, and hearty seafood risotto. Diners can also share excellent appetizers such as parmesan-crusted escargots or split decadent dessert options like bananas Foster or Grand Mariner souffles. For even more romantic dining experiences, private dining spaces are available upon request with advance reservations.
350 MacCorkle Ave. SE, Charleston, WV 25314, Phone: 304-343-0055
© Lola's Pizza
Lola's Pizza is a quaint Italian-style pizzeria housed within a renovated home in Charleston's South Hills neighborhood, known for its excellent Neapolitan pizzas prepared traditionally on a stone hearth oven. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner service Tuesdays through Sundays and also offers takeout pizza service, great for couples looking for gourmet options for romantic evenings in. Specialty pizza pie flavors include fig jam and rosemary, artichoke and goat cheese, bacon and white cheddar, or spicy shrimp and sausage. Couples can also create their own pizzas from a selection of sauces and toppings, prepared on traditional or gluten-free crusts. Fine wines, sangrias, and craft cocktails are served throughout the day, along with a selection of West Virginia craft brews.
1038 Bridge Road, Charleston, WV 25314
10.Noah's Restaurant and Lounge
© Noah's Restaurant and Lounge
Noah's Restaurant and Lounge is the latest offering from acclaimed executive chef Noah Miller, known for his work at popular regional eatery Noah's Eclectic Bistro. The charming, informal eatery serves up modern bistro dishes at its dining room, bar, and lounge spaces, making it a great choice for couples looking for more casual dining options. Excellent entrees include fontina-stuffed chicken breasts, crab-crusted scallops tempura, halibut en papillote, and oysters Rockefeller prepared with sambuca-infused cream. A selection of craft cocktails is available to complement all meals throughout the evening, served up from the restaurant's full-service bar. The restaurant is open for dinner service Tuesdays through Saturdays.
129 Summers St, Charleston, WV 25301, Phone: 304-343-6558
© The Block
The Block is a hip New American restaurant in downtown Charleston, known for its award-winning dishes, massive global wine list, and lively nightlife atmosphere. The restaurant, which was opened by Galina and Des Baklarov in 2015, serves up cook-to-order dishes throughout the week at lunch and dinner, including gourmet flatbreads and panini sandwiches prepared with creative twists. Clever land and sea fare entrees include sriracha maple chicken, Mediterranean-style lamb chops with couscous and honey-glazed carrots, and lump crab cakes with cilantro-lime coleslaw. More than 1,000 bottles of wine are showcased within the restaurant's wine cellar, representing 500 different international wine varieties. Outdoor patio seating is available at warmer times throughout the year for couples seeking al fresco dining experiences.
201 Capitol St, Charleston, WV 25301, Phone: 681-265-9074
12.The Chop House Charleston
© The Chop House Charleston
The Chop House Charleston is one of Charleston's most acclaimed old-school steakhouses, originally opened in 2011. The restaurant is styled after the elegant American hotel steakhouses of the 1940s, showcasing marble accents, plush seating, and warm ambient lighting from ornate gas lamps. Fine Midwestern USDA prime steaks are wet-aged for 28 days to bring out the best flavors, crafted in elegant entrees such as filet mignon, steak au poivre, and beef Wellington by executive chef Jeremy Sprouse. Other fine land and sea offerings include lump blue crab and lobster cakes, miso-glazed Chilean sea bass, and rosemary-scented chicken breast. After dinner, couples can enjoy a selection of high-quality martinis and top-shelf liquors or choose from the restaurant's excellent wine list.
1003 Charleston Town Center, Charleston, WV 25389, Phone: 304-344-3950
13.South Hills Market and Cafe
© South Hills Market and Cafe
South Hills Market and Cafe is a delightful New Appalachian restaurant offering from executive chef Rich Arbaugh, offering lunch and dinner service Tuesdays through Saturdays. The charming local restaurant is one of Charleston's best-kept secrets for romantic nights out, serving up elegant entrees along with a fine wine list that has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence five times. Clever Southern-style land and sea fare includes options such as bluefin tuna wonton tacos, pot roast beef top round, pork belly nachos, pancetta-wrapped scallops, and chicken and bourbon-pecan waffles. Couples can also share hip appetizers such as the restaurant's Adult Fries, which load fries with duck confit, scallions, and Monterey jack cheese.
1010 Bridge Rd, Charleston, WV 25314, Phone: 304-345-2585
© Tidewater Grill
Tidewater Grill is one of Charleston's favorite destinations for contemporary dining, housed within the city's bustling Charleston Town Center Mall. The restaurant, which opened to the public in 1985, is known for its high-quality American fare, with an emphasis on delicious fresh seafood dishes. Excellent seafood entrees source fish from the nation's top catching regions, including the Great Lakes, the Pacific Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico. Menus rotate frequently, but often feature delicious options such as jumbo lump blue crab cakes, barbecued salmon, beer-battered fish and chips platters, and Cajun-style jambalaya with swordfish and rock shrimp. A selection of hearty burgers and sandwiches highlights favorites such as lobster rolls and fish tacos.
1060 Charleston Town Center, Charleston, WV 25389, Phone: 888-456-3463
15.Taste of Asia
Taste of Asia serves up excellent Asian fusion fare in a sleek, inviting dining room space in South Charleston. The restaurant is known for its classic and creative Japanese entrees, including a full menu of clever sushi rolls available a la carte or as part of platters perfect for sharing with dates. Nigiri, sashimi, and donburi selections are also served up, along with udon noodles, tempura plates, and a full slate of hibachi meals. A full Chinese menu highlights favorites such as chow mein, fried rice, and classics like sweet and sour chicken or General Tso's shrimp. Thai-style options include classic drunken beef noodles, pad Thai, chicken fried rice, and seafood rad nah.
236 7th Ave, South Charleston, WV 25303, Phone: 304-744-8933
15 Best Romantic Restaurants in Charleston, WV
- Bistro at the Barge, Photo: Bistro at the Barge
- Bluegrass Kitchen, Photo: Bluegrass Kitchen
- Bricks and Barrels, Photo: Bricks and Barrels
- Bridge Road Bistro, Photo: Bridge Road Bistro
- Fazio's, Photo: Fazio's
- Hibachi Japanese Steak House, Photo: Joshua Resnick/stock.adobe.com
- Ichiban Pan-Asian Cuisine, Photo: Ichiban Pan-Asian Cuisine
- Laury's Restaurant, Photo: Laury's Restaurant
- Lola's Pizza, Photo: Lola's Pizza
- Noah's Restaurant and Lounge, Photo: Noah's Restaurant and Lounge
- The Block, Photo: The Block
- The Chop House Charleston, Photo: The Chop House Charleston
- South Hills Market and Cafe, Photo: South Hills Market and Cafe
- Tidewater Grill, Photo: Tidewater Grill
- Taste of Asia, Photo: FomaA/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: anyaberkut/stock.adobe.com