Located just east of the Cascade Range and surrounded by lush Kittitas Valley, Ellensburg is a small city with beautiful downtown full of ornate historic buildings constructed in the 19th century. The city has no lack of special spots for a romantic dinner. Some are elegant and upscale like Palace Café. Others are relaxed and fun, such as the Buzz Inn Steakhouse. Some, although informal and unpretentious, have superb food like Dakota Café. All romantic spots in Ellensburg have good wine list and serve local beer. No need to dress up, all restaurants are casual and informal.


1.Dakota Cafe

Dakota Cafe
© Dakota Cafe

Dakota Café in downtown Ellensburg shows that you can have fine dining in a casual unpretentious atmosphere. Bright modern space has large windows overlooking the street for people-watching, the chairs are comfortable and encourage lingering and the décor is tasteful and understated, with beautiful photos of life in the West. The food is world-class. The cuisine is modern American, focusing on consistently high quality of dishes. Most dishes are comfort food, recognizable but prepared to perfection. The focus is on light dishes – sandwiches, paninis, salads and pastas. Dinner is a more serious and more elaborate affair, offered four days a week. The wine list is respectable and includes mostly Washington wines with some from Oregon and California.

417 N Pearl St, Ellensburg, WA 98926, Phone: 509-925-4783

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2.Palace Cafe

Palace Cafe
© alfa27/stock.adobe.com


Located in the historic 1908 Pearson Building in downtown Ellensburg, Palace Café has been the town icon for the last 100 years. It changed location and it changed hands a few times, went through ups and downs with changed times, but it remained true to itself and continued to serve superb, honest American traditional cuisine to this day. The dining room looks like it has not been touched since its opening, with dark wainscoting, pressed zinc ceiling, exposed brick and old photos on the walls. The place is a trip into the past of Ellensburg and as much loved today as it was when it originally opened in 1892. The menu is large and covers just about anything guests feel for, from hot fresh soups, sandwiches and salads to prime rib, charbroiled meats and fantastic desserts. There is a full bar.

323 N Main St, Ellensburg, WA 98926, Phone: 509-925-2327

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3.Buzz Inn Steakhouse

Buzz Inn Steakhouse
© Viktor/stock.adobe.com

The Buzz Inn Steakhouse is a chain of restaurants that sells great steaks a long Highway 2 and in Everett, Ellensburg and Wenatchee in Washington State. Their Ellensburg spot is a popular local gathering place where folks come not only for their famous Angus steaks produced from Midwest corn-fed cattle and cooked to perfection but also for a line of flat-screen TVs ready for the ongoing game, plenty of games, great beers on tap and just about anything else folks might need for a good time. The place has fun and nostalgic atmosphere of an old-fashions roadhouse tavern, cozy and welcoming and soft lights make it also romantic for a dinner for two.

2202 Canyon Rd, Ellensburg, WA 98926, Phone: 509-925-3922

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4.Oyama Japanese Steakhouse

Oyama Japanese Steakhouse
© Oyama Japanese Steakhouse


Located in downtown Ellensburg, Oyama Japanese Steakhouse is spacious and modern and does not look much like a Japanese restaurant, until the food comes. Sushi is fresh and imaginative and presented in a fun and artistic way – The Scorpion is one of the most popular. The menu has pretty much everything one would expect in a Japanese restaurant but the star of the show is hibachi chef who prepares food in front of the guest. Knives are flying, meats are sizzling and the result is fabulous. Oyama serves sake, beers and wines and popular Japanese sodas. Warm red walls create pleasant romantic atmosphere for those who come for a romantic evening.

506 S Main St, Ellensburg, WA 98926, Phone: 509-933-3389

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5.Carousel Restaurant & Bistro

Carousel Restaurant & Bistro
© Carousel Restaurant & Bistro


Located in an old opera house in Yakima’s historic district and owned and operated by the renowned French chef. John Ostler, Carousel is a true delight for all senses. The décor is opulent and luxurious, with many ornate detail, stained glass windows and walls covered in original art. White tablecloths announce upscale dining experience. The cuisine is authentic French, with such classics as Coq au Vin, Braised Duck or Rabit in wine Hollandaise sauce. Sunday brunch is a popular local event. Carousel’s wine list is extensive and has wines from all over the world. Carousel is beautiful location for special locations such as wedding receptions and romantic dinners.

N Front St., Shop 6, Yakima, WA 98901, Phone: 509-248-6720

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5 Best Romantic Restaurants in Ellensburg, WA