Eat & Drink

Enjoy this inside scoop on the most romantic places to dine and imbibe in Saint Paul.

So, you just read on the internet that Saint Paul, MN was named the Most Romantic Getaway in North America by readers of USA TODAY and 10Best.

Are you laughing?  Are you asking yourself what's romantic about below zero temperatures?

Well, wait just a second.  Saint Paul might not have the sandy beaches like Naples or the Freedom Trail like Boston but let's just say the city can hold its own.

Let's start on the food side of things.  Saint Paul wrote the book on romantic fine dining throughout downtown and outside the city. 

While the Midwest isn't exactly known for oysters, MERITAGE in the Hamm Building has most certainly mastered the bi-valve.  Executive chef Russell Klein, while always mindful of paying homage to the traditional plates of a French brasserie, places his expanded vision of his menus squarely with the season.  From the classically timeless dining room, to the buzzy oyster bar - Meritage offers an ambiance regardless of mood.

If you're looking to warm up with that special someone, you'll truly enjoy a table by the fireplace at the DOWNTOWNER WOODFIRE GRILL.  Located on West 7th, the Downtowner's meats and vegetables are prepared over an oak-wood burning grill, following ancient Persian cooking traditions.  With a visible kitchen, guests are able to see the cooking process as their meals are fire roasted or oven baked to their satisfaction.

Additional dining locations well worth a visit in downtown Saint Paul include:

  • The iconic ST. PAUL GRILL with its incredible bar area and phenomenal menu.  If the mood is right, or a significant anniversary is being celebrated, order the Macallan 55.  This Scotch has been aged 55 years and will run you a smidge over $700.
  • PAZZALUNA is an ideal restaurant for the lover of fine Italian food and an expansive wine list.  Enjoy a high top table in the bar with the hustle and bustle of downtown just outside the window or settle into a table in the dining area to enjoy an exquisite pasta dish.
  • If you're looking to enjoy some ethnic fare, RUAM MIT THAI provides some of the most delicious Thai cuisine in the area.
  • BLACK DOG in a mainstay of Saint Paul and the Lowertown neighborhood. This unpretentious, all-day gathering spot was once just a little coffee bar.  Over the years, Black Dog has continued to stretch, push, and evolve and now has a full itchen, awesome live music and craft cocktails and...BRUNCH!  

If you're looking to stay outside of downtown, there are numerous options in many of the surrounding neighborhoods.

W.A. FROST, on Selby Avenue is annually named to Wine Spectator Magazine's Best Wine List. Enjoy the turn-of-the-century charm and epicurean sophistication of this Cathedral Hill restaurant.  Secure a nook in the cozy basement to enjoy a glass of wine and some snuggling.

Head across the river from downtown to the West Side for some authentic Mexican fare.  BOCA CHICA features flavorful, authentic Mexican cuisine and an inviting dining area.  Or just enjoy some margaritas in their fun bar area.

Nothing says romance like wiping the gooey cheese of a Juicy Lucy off your beloved's chin and there's no better place to do that in Saint Paul than SHAMROCKS.  It's a little louder than your traditional romantic hangout in Saint Paul but nothing says love like tackling a Juicy Lucy...together.

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