New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Impress your Valentine with these 5 intimate restaurants

Discover the perfect recipe for romance with our guide to the restaurants that guarantee to leave your date swooning.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and if you’re looking to boost your amorous evening dinner, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re seeking a dreamlike Thai dining experience or desiring an intimate sushi affair, our curated list will turn your Valentine’s Day into an extraordinary culinary journey. Discover not just where to eat, but how to make each moment count as we guide you through the best dishes these New York City gems have to offer for an intensely romantic outing.


Thai Villa

5 E. 19th St.

The indoor seating area of a restaurant with rows of tables, chairs and booths and gold-leaf chandeliers.
(Spriha Jha for WSN)

Thai Villa is often quoted as one of the best Thai restaurants in New York City. The space is almost dreamlike, with an abundance of low light lamps and candles and an impressive display of gold leaves hanging from the ceiling. While you could blow your date away with just Thai Villa’s decor, the food is just as incredible.

Longtime Thai Villa-goers — including myself — suggest starting your meal with the fried chicken wrapped in pandan leaves, served with a thick sweet soy sauce that’ll be the best bite of the night. Thai Villa’s main dishes are foolproof, you can pretty much close your eyes and point to anything on the menu, and it’ll be fantastic. I personally love the Basil Fried Rice or Kea Mao. And to top it off, instead of dessert, try a Thai iced coffee as you debrief the night with your date! 


Da Andrea

35 W. 13th St.

Interior view of the Da Andrea restaurant, with wooden tables, chairs and booths. Art pieces hang on alternating yellow walls and brick walls.
(Logan O’Connor for WSN)

Da Andrea describes itself as “your neighborhood Italian ristorante” and it doesn’t disappoint. The outside is draped in pink and red floral arches, almost covering its awning. It would be hard to walk past the place — or inside it — without posing for a picture. Da Andrea has a number of classic pasta dishes that will easily satisfy anyone’s craving for Italian food.

I recommend starting with the octopus salad, poached and diced octopus brightened with olives, sweet capers and potatoes. It’s a great plate to share and goes miles beyond a tired Caesar salad. Da Andrea will always know how to do seafood the right way, which is why its seafood stew has to be on your devour list this Valentine’s Day. The soup is rich and loaded with mussels, shrimp and scallops. To perfectly end off your night, be sure to put in an order for their homemade ricotta cheese cake.


Spicy Moon

Multiple locations

The pink-and-white storefront of a restaurant, with the words “Love All Animals” painted in black text above the door.
(Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

Spicy Moon is a plant-based restaurant serving Szechuan dishes at an affordable price near campus. All its appetizers are solid — with classics like scallion pancakes and vegetable spring rolls — but if I had to pick just one, I’d order the cumin fries. It’s an approachable appetizer for anyone who isn’t as adventurous with their food preferences, but the kick of warm cumin pairs so well with the spicy Szechuan sauce.

For mains, my go-to order is always the dan dan noodles. This dish originates from Chinese cuisine and features thick Sichuan noodles coated in a mildly spicy sauce, and I definitely recommend adding Spicy Moon’s Beyond Meat for more of a complete bite. I’ve definitely polished off an entire bowl myself, but maybe you’ll have a lady-and-the-tramp moment with your Valentine.

If that’s not your style, I’d order the Mapo Tofu. It is so silky that it practically melts in your mouth and comes in a vat of piping hot broth garnished with fresh green onions. I’m always tempted to drink it as is, but be sure to ask for a side of white or brown rice. This is a great meal for sharing as the portions are perfect for two. 



115 E. 18th St.

A red and gold outdoor seating area with a black and gold sign that reads "GupShup" above it, along with windows and a sign in Devanagari script.
(Logan O’Connor for WSN)

GupShup is one of the city’s elevated Indian restaurants located in Midtown, whose name translates to chit chat or gossip in Hindi — which is exactly what we hope you and your Valentine do all night long. Start off with one of GupShup’s unique cocktail options, including its famous Masala Chai Martini. While you and your date are sipping on your drink, take in the ambiance GupShup has created, with an entire wall of “dabbas” or metal tins that reflect soft light around the room — perfect for a date night selfie. And if you’re lucky enough to be seated upstairs, take a peek at the Bollywood movie screening on the projector.

GupShups’s Onion Chili Cheese Kulcha is a must-order; it’s a little hidden in the bread section of its menu, but it’s honestly a stand-alone item. Pick it up like a slice of pizza and go to town! As a butter chicken skeptic, I usually am underwhelmed by any variation of it on Indian menus, but GupShup’s Butter Chicken Wings were a game changer for me. The sauce had a richness that I expected, but the flavors are much more developed and go beyond any plain old butter chicken recipe.


Fuku Omakase

109 W. Washington Place

A beige wall and door with a black sign that says “Fuku Omakase” and has a kanji character on it.
(Rin Qi for WSN)

Fuku Omakase offers an intimate, nine-seat tasting bar with imported Japanese seafood and a no-charge bring-your-own-booze policy. At $75, It’s definitely a splurge for a 13-piece sushi course, but you’re ultimately paying for an incredible hands-off dining experience with a fresh menu and quality seafood. Make your Valentine feel like the entire evening was curated just for them!

If you’re looking for a more flexible option, Fuku Omakase also offers an a la carte option where guests can select exactly what they want. This spot can be easy to miss as it’s nestled in a cozy Greenwich Village space, but makes for a truly unforgettable date night. Fuku Omakase prides itself on its menu, featuring ingredients sourced directly from Japan for an ever-evolving menu and dynamic dining experience.

Contact Teresa Mettela at [email protected].

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