Ah, New York. City of lights, skyscrapers, and bundles of romance. With the incredible variety of cultures in NYC, it’s little wonder that there are so many different restaurants and cuisines to choose from, and this fact comes in handy when you’re planning a romantic dinner for that special someone in your life. New York gives other cities a run for their money when it comes to romantic restaurants in New York City, and we’re here to give you a rundown on the cream of the crop.

Zenkichi

For a mysteriously sexy and moody atmosphere, Zenkichi is the restaurant to go to. The interior gives you immediately sensual vibes, with a lobby that resembles a spa, and a shadowy staircase leading to the dining area. The dining area is comprised of a series of private and cozy wooden booths, separated from each other by gently rolling rattan blinds. As for the menu, it’s designed to be easy to share, inspired as it is by izakaya; the dainty dishes include lightly fried Japanese eggplant in vegetable dashi broth, silky housemate tofu topped with lightly seared uni and nori miso paste, and grilled black cod in Zenkichi’s original Kyoto miso marinade. If you want a heavier fare, you can opt for the Omakase, the 8-course tasting menu. And of course, you and your partner get to dine on these delicacies surrounded by some excellent jazz.

Vinegar Hill House

In the mood for some rustic romance? Then head on over to the cobblestone streets of Vinegar Hill, the neighborhood housing bucolically romantic Vinegar Hill House. You’ll be transported to a cozy and rustic countryside, thanks to the authentically antique farmhouse decoration, and menu items including cast iron chicken and wood-roasted pork chop. You and your partner are going to love the homey vibes and accents of the place.

Eleven Madison Park

Probably one of the best restaurants in New York City (in fact, it’s been featured in several publications as the best restaurant in the world), Eleven Madison Park is where you head for a big occasion, like an anniversary. Yes, it’s on the expensive side, but dang, it is worth it. The entire meal feels like an event in itself, an experience that is meant to be shared and savored together. Gaze up at the gorgeous high ceiling covered in Art Deco as you sit on one of Manhattan’s loveliest parks. It’s best to make reservations in advance, but you can usually order a la carte at the bar. And we recommend getting a tour of the kitchen too!

Buvette

You can’t go wrong with French cuisine when it comes to a romantic dinner, and Buvette is the quintessentially authentic Parisian restaurant. In fact, the American owner of the restaurant, Jody Williams, has even opened a counterpart in Paris! Situated in the gorgeous West Village, Buvette boasts an elegant yet homey menu; we especially love the tartinette with butter and anchovies. What’s more, the restaurant sources locally wherever they can, so you know your food is organic.