Finding the perfect locale for date night can be difficult. Firstly, you’ll want a place with a romantic atmosphere (that isn’t stuffy), but it also has to be approachable, fun, and serve delicious food. Luckily, there are a handful of restaurants in Lincoln that meet all of this criteria and more — and we rounded up our favorites for your convenience.
Whether you’re looking for a first-date option or a spot to celebrate your 20-year anniversary, consider making a reservation at one of these romantic restaurants in Lincoln. With celebrated wine and cocktail lists, upscale cuisine and cozy settings, they each guarantee a memorable night (and maybe even a second date).
The most romantic restaurants in Lincoln include:
Carmela’s Bistro & Wine Bar | The Oven Haymarket & Cellar | The Green Gateau | DISH | Blue Sushi Sake Grill | Piedmont Bistro | Venue Restaurant and Lounge | Vincenzo’s | | Wilderness Ridge
4141 Pioneer Woods Drive, #110, Lincoln
Photo courtesy of Carmela’s Bistro and Wine Bar
This cozy spot is known among locals as one of the best date night restaurants in town — and with its intimate atmosphere, elegant cuisine and extensive wine list, there’s really no mystery as to why. Enjoy a special date night menu on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings, which allows couples to share an appetizer and dessert and choose their own entrées for just $50.
Bonus: On the first Thursday of every month, the restaurant hosts a $10 wine tasting event for your enjoyment. These nights are immensely popular, so reservations are strongly encouraged!
201 N. 8th Street, Lincoln
Indulge in the flavors of Northern India and Bhutan without leaving the state! The Oven Restaurant has been around since 1988, and is owned and operated by a dedicated family of chefs who have been honing their skills in Indian cuisine for nearly 30 years.
You will find three convenient locations in Lincoln, but our favorite for date night is the Haymarket and Cellar. The atmosphere here is bright, colorful and inviting, and the food is both surprising and delightful. If you choose to sit in the cellar downstairs, you’ll be treated to a cozy and romantic vibe and a clear view of the more than 3,000 bottles of wine from all over the world.
330 S. 10th Street, Lincoln
Photo courtesy of The Green Gateau
The Green Gateau has operated for more than 25 years in downtown, and has long established itself as a neighborhood favorite. Locals and visitors alike flock here for its elegant atmosphere inspired by European country inns, and its French-leaning contemporary American cuisine. Settle down at one of the cozy tables and peruse the menu, which features an impressive lineup of appetizers, seafood, risotto, pasta and burgers.
1100 E. O Street, Lincoln
Located in the heart of downtown Lincoln, DISH offers a fresh and diverse menu, clever handcrafted cocktails, and an upscale, romantic atmosphere — it’s everything you could dream of for a night out with your sweetheart! Don’t miss the scallop bruschetta (with caramelized onion spread, toasted sourdough and spicy mustard) or the duck breast (with sunchoke cauliflower purée, sweet potato beet hash, duck fat broccolini, fig apple compote and sunchoke chips).
808 R Street, Lincoln
Photo courtesy of Blue Sushi Sake Grill
Sushi is one of our favorite date night meals because it’s typically interactive, but Blue Sushi Sake Grill takes the experience one step further with its fun atmosphere, innovative cocktails and killer happy hour deals. The restaurant is located in the heart of downtown near the Haymarket, and offers easy access to movie theaters, cocktail lounges and other fun spots that you can explore with your loved one after dinner!
1265 S. Cotner Boulevard, Lincoln
For locally sourced fare in a modern setting, you can’t do better than Piedmont Bistro. The neighborhood staple is perfect for your next date night, featuring craft cocktails, innovative comfort food, and a low-key approachable atmosphere.
4111 Pioneer Woods Drive, Suite 100, Lincoln
A visit to Lincoln wouldn’t be complete without a dining experience at Venue Restaurant and Lounge. This upscale restaurant serves up award-winning cuisine — including fresh seafood and local steaks — all scratch made from seasonal ingredients. Decide to dine in the lounge, at the chef’s counter or at a table in the restaurant, and enjoy a wonderful evening!
808 P Street, Lincoln
Photo courtesy of Vincenzo’s
The brick walls, black and white photos, and romantic lighting make Vincenzo’s one of our favorite date night options in town. Since 1993, the locally owned spot has served authentic and delicious Italian cuisine to delight, including toasted ravioli, bruschetta, flatbreads, pastas and more. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, so make your choice and accompany it with a bottle from the extensive wine list — your date is sure to be impressed.
1800 Wilderness Woods Place, Lincoln
Featuring upscale dining in a rustic setting, Wilderness Ridge is much more than you would expect from a golf course restaurant. The menu boasts seasonal, locally sourced and innovative fare that is sure to make for a memorable meal. You’ll find live music on most Friday and Saturday nights, but there are also options to sit across from your sweetheart in the intimate dining room. During the summer months, opt to sit outside on the wraparound patio, and take in the gorgeous views!
What is your favorite destination for date night in Lincoln? Let us know in the comments!