Ah, love. There’s not much we wouldn’t do for that mushy feeling that gives us butterflies and is reserved explicitly for that special someone that we consider our person. And every now and then, we do indeed like to spoil loved ones with an “upgrade.” While Applebee’s can be fancy for a date night, why settle on a chain restaurant when there are many more romantic dinner options in Tacoma and the South Sound community?

Cliff House Restaurant

6300 Marine View Drive, Tacoma

Nothing says romantic dinner for two like sweeping views, and the Cliff House Restaurant’s pristine location on a bluff over Commencement Bay in Northeast Tacoma boasts such panoramic views of Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and Tacoma’s skyline. Since 1925, the restaurant has been a landmark in the Pacific Northwest, where some of the best memories are shared.

The restaurant’s private dining options further enhance the experience and are the perfect spot for everything from formal dinner parties to bridal receptions and more. Depending on room selection, they can easily accommodate anywhere from 50 to 100 guests.

Romantic Dinners Tacoma South Sound
Romantic tables for two can be reserved on the outdoor dining patio at Marzano Italian Restaurant. Photo courtesy: Marzano Italian Restaurant

Marzano Italian Restaurant

516 Garfield Street S, Tacoma

When thinking of romantic meals to share, Italian food is often at the top of our lists and with romantic scenes on the big screen shared over a bowl of pasta, it’s no wonder these tasty dishes are at the forefront of our mind. Creating such dishes for date nights here in the South Sound is Marzano Italian Restaurant.

Here, it is all about Italian cooking with a modern touch in their relaxed space cemented by the restaurant’s small, energetic, intimate atmosphere. Be sure to reserve a table and stop in to enjoy their delicious handmade pasta, Northwest seafood, and old-world braises.

Romantic Dinners Tacoma South Sound
Dinner for two is served at Over the Moon Cafe, where romance is in the air. Photo courtesy: Over the Moon Cafe

Over the Moon Cafe

709 Opera Alley, Tacoma

Since 2001, Over the Moon Cafe has been warmly welcoming patrons to their small 36-seat, family, scratch kitchen, boutique-style restaurant where they’ve been helping community members celebrate some of life’s greatest moments. Along with the cozy atmosphere is a fresh menu updated for every season, rotating out some of the customers’ favorites throughout the year.

Dinner here features various entrees including wild salmon, Certified Black Angus steaks, and a large selection of starts, salads, and desserts to choose from. In addition, the restaurant also features excellent quality wines and specialty craft cocktails to pair with your exquisite meal.

Romantic Dinners Tacoma South Sound
Romantic evenings with the elegance of fine dining can be experienced every night at the French restaurant Le Sel Bistro. Photo courtesy: Le Sel Bistro

Le Sel Bistro

229 St Helens Avenue, Tacoma

Classy and cozy Le Sel Bistro offers French-inspired surf ‘n ‘turf, cocktails, and more at this hidden, little Tacoma gem. Open for brunch from 8 until 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 until 9 p.m., this is one reservation you’ll definitely want to make.

For brunch, enjoy such delicacies as pork belly benedict and Jambon de Paris. Return for dinner and enjoy mouth-watering dishes like seared duck breast over green lentils or lamb chops with grits. Soak it all up from their heated balcony overlooking Commencement Bay and top off the experience with any of their specialty dinner wines or cocktails.

Romantic Dinners Tacoma South Sound
Are you looking for a private and intimate setting for a special dinner? Call El Gaucho Tacoma and reserve the vineyard room for a romantic escape. Photo courtesy: El Gaucho Tacoma

El Gaucho Tacoma

2119 Pacific Ave, Tacoma

With a legacy of legendary service, El Gaucho Tacoma has offered Tacoma exceptional dining experiences since 1996. Their talented chefs and dedicated staff work hard to provide old-school tableside service for people simply celebrating their lives.

Each visit, from the greeting at the front door to the fire-dancing desserts, is how they honor the past and share their vision of how fine dining should remain for millennia. Dining here will transport you back in time in romantic nostalgia with a fine dining steakhouse experience like no other.  

Olive Branch Cafe and Tea Room

2501 E D Street, Tacoma

It has been tea time since 2012 for Olive Branch Cafe and Tea Room, and its fantastic atmosphere, complete with antique furnishings, treasure-trove décor, live piano music, and the delicious day-time menu of food and beverages, make it a unique, romantic dining experience for lovebirds. Make reservations for tea time or enjoy a rich wine from their recently added wine list, and don’t forget to try one of their fresh, hot scones while you’re at it!

Romantic Dinners Tacoma South Sound
Its all “cheers to date night” at Stanley & Seafort’s. Photo courtesy: Stanley & Seafort’s

Stanley & Seafort’s

115 E 34th Street, Tacoma

With panoramic views overlooking downtown and the busy Commencement Bay harbor, Stanley & Seafort’s has established itself as a Tacoma landmark with the perfect setting for all your romantic dining needs. Whether you’re stopping by for a date-night dinner, surprise brunch, or planning that special romantic occasion, their warm, inviting and spacious dining room is perfect for capturing the magic and mood.

The classic American grill further compliments the experience with everything from char-grilled steaks to oven-roasted salmon on the menu, along with a cocktail menu that features everything from the best cabernet sauvignon to mixology fun in the form of specialty drinks like Effervescence and Exotic Mojito.

With so many romantic dining options in Tacoma and the South Sound, do you really want to get fancy like Applebee’s for date night? Or would you instead enjoy these fantastic local restaurants where romance is already part of their specialty?