7 Restaurants in Duluth MN to Celebrate Romantic Occasions

Whether you’re in Duluth for vacation or a romantic getaway, it’s good to find time for you and your partner to have a romantic meal at a fine establishment. Duluth has many great options for couples to share a special meal at a location that offers good food and romantic ambiance. Here are seven restaurant recommendations to celebrate a romantic occasion.

JJ Astor Restaurant and Lounge

Located on the top floor of the Radisson Hotel in downtown Duluth, the JJ Astor Restaurant and Lounge has everything you could ask for to set the scene for a romantic dinner.  The restaurant looks out over Lake Superior and the Twin Ports metro area via its rotating 360 degree dining room. Atmosphere is elegant with dim lights and plush furniture, along with authentic portraits and photography from Duluth’s history.  The menu boasts a contemporary fine dining experience. The restaurant prides itself on its sustainable produce sourced from local farmers and fresh fish from local fishermen.

Pickwick Restaurant and Pub

Pickwick Restaurant and Pub is located in the Canal Park area.  The Pickwick has been a destination restaurant in Duluth since 1914.  It’s dining was recognized with a James Beard award in 2007. The trademark of this establishment are its steaks, prepared on an in-house charcoal grill.  It also has an extensive menu of seafood, pasta and a popular selection of burgers. The restaurant has an old time classy atmosphere adorned with European style woodwork and furniture.  While known for having one of the best happy hours in Duluth, the great food, classic surroundings, and crisp service also make it a great location for a special night out.

Bellisios Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar

If you love Italian cuisine and a great glass of wine, then Bellisios Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar is an ideal destination.  The menu has several exceptional specialties such as pappardelle alla norcina, lobster ravioli with grilled shrimp and rigatoni balsamico.  Bellisios also offers an extensive wine collection with more than 4000 bottles and 500 selections. You can can order a bottle, a glass, or sample a four wine flight.  In the summer you can enjoy the sunshine on their outdoor patio. However if you’re looking for a more romantic ambiance, the indoor dining room area is classy and relaxed with mural artwork, dark wood furnishings, and racks of wine throughout.  Authentic Italian food, great wine, and a low key atmosphere is a sure-fire recipe for a romantic evening.

Va Bene Café

Located on the shore of Lake Superior, the Va Bene Cafe is another great Italian restaurant in the Duluth area.  The dining space is cozy and intimate with a view of the Lake via windows that span from the floor to the ceiling in the outdoor patio.  The menu is Southern Italian inspired, with pasta dishes that are especially delicious. All the sauces, dressings, breads and desserts are made on site, and create a fresh and delicious dining experience.  Wrote one reviewer: “Va Bene is as near a village-like southern Italian-American restaurant as you can find for miles and miles.”

Blackwater Lounge

The Blackwater Lounge has made its reputation as a premier Minnesota martini lounge.  It was named best martini bar in Minnesota (2012).  It got that reputation because of its exciting drink selection, a delicious menu, which includes sushi, flatbreads and high end entrees, and live jazz music.  The interior is dimly lit, cozy, and can be active during happy hour. It’s a great place to either have a few drinks and enjoy some live music, or you can sit down for a delicious meal.   

Zeitgeist Arts Cafe

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, then the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe is the place to go in Duluth.  The cafe is a gallery space that features pieces from both local and national artists. The menu is built around  classic cafe fare with a contemporary twist. Dinners are built around small plates such as mussels, gouda stuffed dates and house made pretzels, along with entrees like scallops and saffron fettucini.  They also claim to have the “best fries in town”. The drink menu is extensive with a wine and whiskey list, local beers, and handcrafted cocktails. The cafe has two levels and is surrounded by unadorned brick walls from which the artwork is displayed.  The furnishings are simple but classy and comfortable. Good food and an always interesting selection of artwork can make for a fun romantic evening dinner.

New Scenic Café

For diners willing to venture off the beaten path for a dining experience, the New Scenic Cafe, located between Duluth and Twin Harbors, can be fun destination for a night out.  This restaurant boasts an expansive view of Lake Superior from across the highway, and diners can enjoy the scenery seated indoors or, when the weather is nice, on the outside lounge chairs within the herb and flower garden.  The wood plank walls in the interior along with the local artwork and decor, give the cafe a northwoods feel with a touch of modern stylings. The menu is eclectic and offers seasonally inspired cuisine, using local and organic ingredients, presented in a colorful and modern style.  A great combination of location, food and atmosphere for a romantic dinner night out. Get there early, as this is a local favorite, and a wait can be expected at peak hours.

Make the Cotton Mansion the ideal starting point for your romantic evenings!

With so many great locations to have a romantic night out, Duluth can be a great destination for your special occasion getaway.  The Cotton Mansion can be the perfect jumping off point for exploring the best cuisine in the region! You can pair your romantic dinners out with one of our luxurious suites, for the perfect evening.  Contact us today to book your stay.

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