Date Night

Romantic

Mark and Orlando’s – 2020 P St. N.W. – American // 202-223-8463

This little-known Dupont Circle restaurant has a small menu, but quality trumps quantity. Mark and Orlando’s has two levels. The top floor is an intimate, homey space, where an appetizer and entrée can combine to less than $20. The bottom tier is more formal and the menu prices double. But the food is excellent regardless of the floor.

Peacock Café – 3251 Prospect St. N.W. – American // 202-625-2740

Peacock Café is a hidden Georgetown gem. With an intimate décor and soft lighting, the location is a more romantic spot than Peacock’s on K Street. The restaurant is offering a $69 Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu that includes a “parting gift and long stem rose.”

West End Bistro – 1190 22nd St. N.W. – American but with an emphasis on fish // 212-974-4900

This outpost of renowned French chef Eric Ripert has a dark, sophisticated atmosphere – perfect for an intimate Valentine’s Day date. The food and location in the Ritz on M Street are great, but expect fairly high prices.

Grillfish – 1200 New Hampshire Ave. N.W. – Seafood // 202-331-7310

Grillfish may specialize in fish, but the varied menu and romantic dripping candles that line the walls make it accessible to anyone. The Valentine’s Day menu offers a starter, entrée, dessert and bottle of wine for two at $45 per person.

Vibrant

Mie N Yu – 3125 M St. N.W. – Asian fusion and Moroccan // 202-333-6122

If you’re looking for atmosphere and décor this Valentine’s Day, Mie N Yu, an Asian-influenced, Moroccan-themed restaurant in Georgetown, may fit the bill. The food is good, but the experience is all about the atmosphere; guests dine under swathes of white tent, surrounded by candles. Mie N Yu is offering a five-course Valentine’s Day menu for $55 per person, but the regular menu offers an array of less expensive options.

La Tasca – 722 Seventh St. N.W. – Tapas // 202-333-6122

La Tasca, a bustling tapas bar and restaurant near the Verizon Center, is a great spot for a fun outing. The varied menu allows diners to mix and share a variety of paellas and tapas for less than $25 per person. For people over 21, the restaurant offers a selection of what is arguably D.C.’s best white and red sangria.

Zengo – 781 Seventh St. N.W. – Latin-American and Asian fusion // 202-393-2929

Zengo offers a variety of sushi, flavorful fusion dishes and imaginative cocktails. The $75 Valentine’s Day tasting menu gets two people three meals and a dessert, but the romantic atmosphere is priceless.

Organic

Founding Farmers – 1924 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. – American // 202-822-8783

The environmentally conscious restaurant isn’t just about great food; it’s also an experience. The sprawling dining space is remeniscient of a rustic farmhouse with big wooden tables and water served in thick jugs. The Valentine’s Day special – wine, salad, lobster, filet mignon, mashed potatoes, vegetables and cupcakes – will set you back $150, but the regular menu will get you fresh, natural food at less than $25 for an entrée.

Agraria – 3000 K St. N.W. – American // 202-298-0003

Agraria was started by the North Dakota Farmers Union and all of their products come from family owned farms. The restaurant is offering a seven-course prix fixe menu all of Valentine’s weekend for $70 per person.

Restaurant Nora – 2132 Florida Ave. N.W. – American // 202-462-5143

Tucked away in a Dupont Circle townhouse, Restaurant Nora was America’s first certified organic restaurant. On Friday and Saturday night Restaurant Nora is offering a $95 per person prix fixe menu – with a vegetarian option.

GWorld

News Café – 3056 M St. N.W. – Italian // 202-965-5535

News Café offers a delicious array of Italian cuisine. The salads, pizzas, pastas and entrées mostly go for less than $20, and the dimly lit eatery features different themes in each room. The mirrored room with couches in the center of the restaurant is appropriate for smaller groups, while the back room can accommodate large parties.

F Street Bistro – 2117 E St. N.W. – American // 202-861-8200

Just blocks from Thurston Hall, this restaurant is hidden in The State Plaza Hotel. The quiet restaurant is romantic and upscale despite its location on campus. The deep-fried cheescake with berries and whipped cream is a not-to-be-missed dessert.

Luigi’s Restaurant – 1132 19th St. N.W. – Italian // 202-331-7574

Family owned and operated, this is one of the oldest Italian restaurnts in the District. The tablecloths and candles evoke old Italy and dim lighting makes it a perfect Valentine’s Day spot.

Classic

Café Milano – 3251 Prospect St. N.W. – Italian // 202-333-6183

Café Milano offers a $65-per-person Valentine’s Day menu and an a la carte menu, but the real draw of this D.C. powerhouse restaurant are the regular patrons that make the café a social scene.

Paparazzi – 1064-1066 Wisconsin Ave. N.W. – Italian // 202-298-8000

This warm, cozy Italian trattoria is a great Valentine’s Day spot to have a nice dinner at a lower cost than most Georgetown restaurants. Nearly all entrees run under $25.

Zaytinya – 701 Ninth St. N.W. – Mediterranean // 202-638-0800

Zaytinya is famous for their mezze, a Mediterranean take on tapas. Though they offer reservations, the majority of tables are held for walk-ins, so plan carefully if you intend to make Zaytinya your Valentine’s Day destination. Most items run around $10 and are intended to be shared or combined.

Casual

2 Amys – 3715 Macomb St. N.W. – Pizza // 202-885-5700

2 Amys, located in Cleveland Park, is widely considered to be D.C.’s best pizza. This hidden gem is a warm, inviting dining space, and the food is relatively inexpensive, with every item on the menu running less than $13. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations though, so get there early or wait to eat late.

Open City – 2331 Calvert St. N.W. – American // 202-332-2331

Near the Adams Morgan Metro stop, Open City is an upscale diner, coffeehouse and bar all mixed into one. In addition to brick oven pizza and classic entrees, they serve breakfast all day and are open until 1 a.m. on Saturday.

Utopia Restaurant – 1418 U St. N.W. – International // 202-483-7669

This funky U Street restaurant serves an ecletic mix of Southern and Middle Eastern food in colorful sorroundings. With live jazz and a rotating art gallery, Utopia is a fun Valentine’s spot.

Dessert

Co Co Sala – 929 F St. N.W. // 202-347-4265

This new chocolate boutique is open until 3 a.m. on Saturdays and offers an array of dessert and drink options. Although also open for dinner, its deep brown hues and lounge-like atmosphere make it a perfect ending to your night. For $20 you can get three courses of desserts.

Kramerbooks and Afterwards Cafe – 1517 Connecticut Ave. N.W. // 202-387-1462

The café in the back of this Dupont Circle bookstore is open 24 hours on the weekends and has a large selection of pies and cakes. It does not take reservations and lines can be long on weekend nights, but browsing books is a good conversation starter and makes the wait go quickly.

Love Cafe – 1501 U St. N.W. // 202-265-9800

Love Café is an offshoot of Cake Love, the well-known Washington D.C. cafe. Open until midnight on Saturdays, you and your date can either order one of the many desserts or play around at the cupcake bar, customizing the perfect dessert.

Cafe La Ruche – 1039 31st St. N.W. // (202) 965-2684

This romantic Georgetown café serves a full menu, however, you can also go and enjoy the full espresso bar and home-made pastries and desserts.

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