Finding a romantic place to dine in Olympia is not difficult. While the cuisine differs from one restaurant to another, they all have in common fresh, locally sourced food from the local fishermen and farms. Wines and beers are also often local and there are plenty of great options. While some restaurants are more upscale and elegant and others are relaxed and homey, most are relaxed and guarantee pleasant evening and welcoming feel.
1.Anthony's Hearthfire Grill - North Point
© Anthony's Hearthfire Grill - North Point
Perched on tall pilings over Budd Inlet near Olympia, Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill is literally floating over the water, offering its guests an unobstructed view of the sound and passing boats from floor to ceiling windows or magnificent terrace. Beautifully decorated dining room is elegant and comfortable, providing upscale atmosphere and superb food cooked over fire. The menu is small but exquisite, combing fresh seafood and high quality meat, with local wines and craft beers. The best deal is four-course early dinner until 6:00 p.m. that includes house flatbread, an appetizer, a salad or soup, entree and dessert for $26. The restaurant has its own dock you guests can tie their boat right next to the restaurant. It is difficult to imagine more romantic spot for a special occasion.
1675 Marine Dr NE, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-705-3473
2.Anthony's Homeport Olympia
Anthony's Homeport Olympia is located right next to the Olympia's Farmer's market on Budd Inlet. The view of the marina and the beautiful Port Plaza from floor to ceiling windows is spectacular. The place is incredibly romantic once the sun starts setting and colors the ocean in gold. There is also a lovely outdoor space, perfect for Sunday brunches. The guest dock is located next to the restaurant so you can come directly from your boat. The menu, like in all restaurants in Anthony’s chain, is primarily focused on fresh catch, and since they have their own seafood company, the choice and quality is guaranteed. The menu is extensive and besides superb fish and seafood, it offers high quality grilled meats. The star of the menu is Tristan Island rock lobster oven roasted and served with dipping butter and almond basmati rice pilaf. Sunday brunch is a special treat. Large menu has all the favorites and starts with complimentary seasonal fresh fruit platter and house warm, homemade blueberry coffee cake.
704 Columbia Street NW, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-357-9700
Located in Olympia’s Historic District, Basilico is elegant, sophisticated and understated, with beautifully crafted furniture, original art on the walls and soft palette of colors, exuding the Old World charm. The menu is authentic Northern Italian, prepared fresh and from scratch for each guest from high quality ingredients. The menu is based on the cuisines of Emiglia-Romagna, with a lot of fresh pastas, and Liguria, with pesto, olives and seafood, but also with a range of red meat dishes. Extensive wine selection features wines from different wine producing regions of Italy, mostly from Piemonte and Tuscany. New wines are added weekly. Basilico’s special treat is their pasta station, were pasta is made by hand right in front of the guests, then cooked and served.
507 Capitol Way S, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-570-8777
4.Budd Bay Cafe
© Budd Bay Cafe
An iconic Olympia’s Percival Landing restaurant overlooking the marina, Budd Bay Café has been local favorite since 1988. Spacious, bright and informal, the café is a place to come for fresh fish and excellent steaks while enjoying a 180 degrees view of the sea and the Olympic Mountains in the background. The menu is extensive, the wine list is well-curated and focused on Washington wines and there is a nice selection of local craft beers. Large deck is a perfect spot for their very popular Sunday brunch or for romantic sunset cocktails. The brunch buffet is not to be missed, it has been award-winning for the last 25 years.
525 Columbia St NW, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-357-6963
5.Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar
© Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar
Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar is a temple to oysters. Located at Olympia’s open 222 Market, this bright, airy and friendly space celebrates oysters in all their shapes in forms: fried, baked, raw, in pastas, in chowders, in any way Chef Henri Nol can think of. There is a painting of mermaid on the wall and even a chandelier is made of oyster shells. They have other Chelsea Farm bounty, as well as oysters, clams, mussels from other sources. There is also plenty of fish, and for those who are not crazy about seafood, there is even an odd burger. The place is great for business lunches, family dinner and even for romantic evenings – there are cozy inset booths for two. Full bar serves great cocktails, wines and beers from local and other sources.
222 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-915-7784
6.Dillinger’s Cocktails and Kitchen
© Dillinger’s Cocktails and Kitchen
Dilinger’s Cocktails and Kitchen is cool on so many levels. Located in the Security & White Buildings, in the beautiful former 1927 bank renovated to perfection, Dilinger’s celebrates the decadent era of speakeasies, of great cocktails and opulent decor. And the décor is amazing: leather booths, magnificent Art Deco bar, green velvet tufted booths, crystal chandeliers, copper bar top. The bar serves fantastic cocktails, classic and trendy, great selection of rums and mostly European wines. The food is fun and imaginative and it includes Dillinger’s burger, which is a mix of Portuguese sausage and beef, the pork and polenta and the Whiskey Donut Bread Pudding.
406 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-515-0650
7.Dockside Bistro & Wine Bar
© Dockside Bistro & Wine Bar
Dockside Bistro and Wine Bar is a quintessential upscale waterfront eatery overlooking the marina, with the large dock, warm and bright, with great atmosphere and locally sourced food and drinks. Owner and Executive Chef Laurie Nguyen considers her cuisine fusion of French, Asian and American, using the fresh, seasonal ingredients of the Pacific Northwest. She uses locally collected mushrooms, Misty Isle All-Natural Beef, Taylor Shellfish, Painted Hills All-Natural Beef, Nicky Farms products, and products from the local farmers market. The bar is incredibly romantic, cozy and candle-lit, offering house designed cocktails, superb wines and fantastic beers. The Dockside’s focus is on supporting Pacific Northwest wineries, distilleries and breweries.
501 Columbia St NW B, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-956-1928
8.Falls Terrace Restaurant
© Falls Terrace Restaurant
Falls Terrace is the place to go for spectacular view of Tuwater Falls and for a surprisingly sophisticated cuisine. The décor is unassuming but the tables are placed on several levels, providing all diners with unobstructed view of the falls and surrounding park. The restaurant has been around for 40 years and is known for their seasonal menu that focuses on steaks and seafood. It is family-owned and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. The menu is extensive and to get the idea just how good the food is start your meal with the Tower, a real tower of crab, shrimp , artichoke dip, fried calamari, sweet Thai chili aioli and teriyaki tenderloin tips, all served with mushrooms and char-broiled fresh pineapple. The menu offers wine pairings with dishes. Their traditional Sunday pot roast or roast turkey dinner is a special treat. When the weather permits, sit outside on the spacious deck, it is incredibly romantic and the views are breathtaking.
106 Deschutes Way SW, Tumwater, WA 98501, Phone: 360-943-7830
© Gardner's Restaurant
Located in a quaint historical building, Gardner’s has been treating Olympians with home-made food and local wines since 1983. Rustic hardwood floors, high ceiling, exposed beams, beautiful artwork on the walls and magnificent stained glass window create cozy, friendly atmosphere. There are only 11 tables, so the place is never crowded. Relaxed atmosphere and candlelight in the evening make Gardner’s perfect for any occasion – a business lunch, family dinner or a romantic dinner for two. The menu is fairly small but everything is made to perfection, with a lot of fresh fish and seafood, delicious pasta and salads and daily specials and desserts.
111 Thurston Ave NW, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-786-8466
10.La Petite Maison
© La Petite Maison
La Petite Maison is a French restaurant you will find in the French countryside: small, unpretentious, ancient and serving food that will make you swoon. Located in a historic, meticulously renovated 1903 former private home, La Petite Maison brings to Olympia French traditional food and a taste of French culture as interpreted by Justin and Zoe Wells who opened the restaurant in 2011. They brought the historic house to its former glory, with gleaming white oak floors, antique oak tables and chairs and stained glass windows. The food is spectacular. Fresh ingredients, the menu that changes daily and large revolving wine list make eating at LaPetite Maison a very special treat. Most guests opt for a five-course prix fixe menú to really sample what the Chef Justin has to offer. There is also a wine pairing option. The wines are mostly French, from Justin’s great collection.
101 Division St NW, Olympia, WA 98502, Phone: 360-754-9623
11.Lemon Grass Restaurant
© Syda Productions/stock.adobe.com
In the town known for its excellent ethnic eateries, Lemon Grass Restaurant stands out in Olympia for its fresh, crisp, beautifully seasoned Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food. The dining room is very modern and pleasant, with discrete, tasteful Asian artifacts on the walls. The food is prepared for each customer as it is ordered, from the best quality local ingredients, using authentic Asian spices and condiments. The food can be as spicy as the guests specify, or not spicy at all. The menu is traditional, including everyone’s favorites egg rolls, satay skewers, tom yum soup and curries. There is a large selection of vegetarian dishes and a full bar.
212 4th Ave W, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-705-1832
© Mediterranean Breeze
Mediterranean Breeze in Olympia is a modern, spacious restaurant with very comfortable padded chairs that encourage lingering, very good thing considering that there are so many options on the menu worth trying. The restaurant cuisine is Turkish-inspired Mediterranean, and many dishes are cooked in their wood-fired oven, an important part of Turkish cuisine. Most guests go for the recognizable kebabs and meatballs , delicious chunks of meat cooked on the skewer and served with sauces and veggies. But, if you really want to sample Turkish cuisine, a Mediterranean with its own personality, go for hot and cold appetizers. Lahmacun or Turkish pizza is made of ground lamb, garlic, onions, tomato paste, crushed red peppers, pepper paste and black pepper , spread on a small, hot, oven-baked hand-made flatbread, Sigara Bogregi is the Mediterranean spring roll, a fillo pastry filled with eggs, feta cheese and parsley, rolled like a cigar. There are plenty of vegetarian options and everything is succulent, bursting with flavor and delicious.
2302 Harrison Ave NW, Olympia, WA 98502, Phone: 360-915-7343
© Mercato Ristorante
Mercato is an upscale, elegant Italian restaurant in downtown Olympia serving fresh, made from scratch Italian food since 2002. While beautifully furnished and tastefully decorated, Mercato is friendly and relaxed, perfect for business lunches, family dinners or romantic meals for two. The menu is fairly small but exquisite, with traditional Italian dishes with chef’s own interpretation such as Prawns Caprese with prawns wrapped in prosciutto, with fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes and fresh basil, or Gnocchi with smoked duck, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, balsamic vinegar and fried egg. The wines are Italian and from the Northwet, beers are local craft and cocktails are imaginative and generous.
111 Market St NE, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-528-3663
14.Pellegrino's Italian Kitchen
© Pellegrino's Italian Kitchen
Pellegrino’s is a traditional Italian restaurant in Olympia serving classic dishes that everyone loves prepared to perfection. Homey, pleasant dining room is unpretentious and feels like dining at your Italian grandma’s, if you had one. If the weather is nice, sit outside in their beautiful garden and enjoy their Sunset Special, the best option for a romantic dinner and the best value at Pellegrino’s. The food is made from scratch, from fresh local ingredients and there are plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Their pastas are their specialty, you might want to try delicious Sausage a la Forno made with Italian sausage, sautéed vegetables and a mix of pasta, tossed with rich marinara sauce and loaded with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, then baked in the oven.
205 Cleveland Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-709-9020
© Squalli-Absch Grille
Located within the Nisqually Indian Tribe Red Wind Casino, Squalli-Absch Grille is one of several dining options for the gamers and the only one specializing in grilled meats and seafood. The dining room is very modern, with lot of recycled wood and magnificent fireplace. The menu is fairly small but there is something for everyone and everything is prepared to perfection. Besides grilled meats, there is plenty of seafood and fish and one of the most interesting dishes is Pacific Northwest Seafood Salad with mixed greens, black mussels, jumbo prawns, Dungeness crab and smoked salmon garnished with candied walnuts and gorgonzola cheese and tossed in a huckleberry vinaigrette. One of Chef’s favorites is Snake River Farm Wagyu burger on a toasted brioche, served with steak fries. Choice of toppings include apple wood bacon, gorgonzola, mushrooms, avocado, cheddar or Swill cheese.
12819 Yelm Hwy SE, Olympia, WA 98513, Phone: 360-412-5000
16.Swing Wine Bar
© Swing Wine Bar
Located in a converted bungalow, full of small intimate seating nooks, bright and cozy, Swing Wine Bar is a place to relax and enjoy the food, wines and spectacular view of Capitol Lake, Budd Inlet and the Olympic Mountains in the background. It gets more romantic at night when their glass mosaic bar glows invitingly, luring guests for the Lush Rush happy hour. Their downstairs Wine Cellar is available for special occasions. Swing offers 30 wines by the glass and a selection of more than 200 bottles, the biggest in the South Sound. There are wines from most renowned wine producing regions of the world, but Swing promotes Washington State and the Willamette Valley wines. The cocktail list is huge and diverse, with good old classics and some very imaginative concoctions. The food is fabulous, with tiny delights such as bacon-wrapped dates and mushrooms stuffed with gorgonzola and big plates filled with Smoked Boar Belly Puttanesca.
825 Columbia St SW, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-357-9464
© The Mark
The Mark is a stylish small Italian restaurant in Olympia with nine tables in the inside cozy and romantic dining room and large, beautiful outdoor patio. Elegant bar serving excellent cocktails dominates the dining room. Mark’s romantic Red Room is reserved for special events and parties. The cuisine is Tuscan and Lazio, very traditional Italian, organic whenever possible, local and seasonal. Pasta is made fresh using organic ingredients including local, organic eggs. Meat is organic or hormone free, free range and all seafood is wild and sustainably harvested. Most food is cooked on an apple wood grill. The food is available to go and Mark is famous for superb catering for small and big events. Their garden is popular venue for weddings.
407 Columbia St SW, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-754-4414
18.Uncork & Unwind
© Uncork & Unwind
Located in a tiny green cottage in Tumwater, above the majestic Tumwater Falls Park and backed by lush tall trees, Uncork and Unwind is the only wine bar in town, but that is not the only reason why it is so popular and always packed. It is incredibly cozy and inviting and truly the place to unwind with a glass or three of wine. There are cozy armchairs, romantic tables for two or four, a fireplace, lot of warm wood, beams on the ceiling, soft fabrics and checkered floors. There is also nice covered outdoor space, even a swing. They sell only wines from small and mid-sized Washington wineries, by glass, flight or bottle. Eight draft beers come from three local breweries. The food - cheeses, meats and desserts – also comes from local suppliers. There are ten appetizers that include stuffed olives and a hummus plate and five deserts, among them the divine truffles and caramel apple blossom.
324 Custer Way SW, Tumwater, WA 98501, Phone: 360-943-9463
© Waterstreet Cafe
Waterstreet Café is a stylish, inviting and informal restaurant located in the historic American Legion Building in downtown Olympia, across from Heritage Park and Capitol Lake. Large fireplace and columns and many other details from the building’s previous life were left intact during the renovation to create unique space, traditional and interesting. The menu is large and full of unique surprises, dishes are beautifully presented and the portions are large. Their wine list is award-winning, and is considered one of the best in the world. There is also a nice selection of local beers and the bar makes some interesting cocktails.
610 Water St SW, Olympia, WA 98501, Phone: 360-709-9090
© Ricardo's Restaurant
Located in Lacey near Huntamer Park, Ricardo’s is a steakhouse where Chef Rick Nelsen practices his art of drying and ageing beef. He calls it ‘sexy beef’ and he made a special glassed in room for smoking meats in the heart of his restaurant. The restaurant is quirky and lavish, with several different nooks that have different vibe and different color. The ceiling covered in wine rack shows Rick’s passion for great wines to go with his aged beef. There are two outdoor spaces, one covered and one open. The menu is diverse, with a range of dishes that use ingredients from local suppliers, but there is no doubt that folks come to Ricardo’s for the meats, and the wines that go with it. There is also a very interesting dessert list worth checking out.
676 Woodland Square Lp SE (Enter Off 7th), Lacey, WA 98503, Phone: 360-413-9995
20 Best Romantic Restaurants in Olympia
- Anthony's Hearthfire Grill - North Point, Photo: Anthony's Hearthfire Grill - North Point
- Anthony's Homeport Olympia, Photo: karelnoppe/stock.adobe.com
- Basilico, Photo: Basilico
- Budd Bay Cafe, Photo: Budd Bay Cafe
- Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar, Photo: Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar
- Dillinger’s Cocktails and Kitchen, Photo: Dillinger’s Cocktails and Kitchen
- Dockside Bistro & Wine Bar, Photo: Dockside Bistro & Wine Bar
- Falls Terrace Restaurant, Photo: Falls Terrace Restaurant
- Gardner's Restaurant, Photo: Gardner's Restaurant
- La Petite Maison, Photo: La Petite Maison
- Lemon Grass Restaurant, Photo: Syda Productions/stock.adobe.com
- Mediterranean Breeze, Photo: Mediterranean Breeze
- Mercato Ristorante, Photo: Mercato Ristorante
- Pellegrino's Italian Kitchen, Photo: Pellegrino's Italian Kitchen
- Squalli-Absch Grille, Photo: Squalli-Absch Grille
- Swing Wine Bar, Photo: Swing Wine Bar
- The Mark, Photo: The Mark
- Uncork & Unwind, Photo: Uncork & Unwind
- Waterstreet Cafe, Photo: Waterstreet Cafe
- Ricardo's Restaurant, Photo: Ricardo's Restaurant
- Cover Photo: VadimGuzhva/stock.adobe.com