The ambiance is warm and inviting, with just the right touch of glitz. The menu is filled with delicious options that are meticulously prepared to be enjoyed as much by the taste buds as by the eyeballs, and being able to sit across from the one you adore will only elevate the experience. That’s how Valentine’s Day is supposed to go, but you have to pick the right spot. Whether you’re looking to propose or simply express your love on this special day, or any day of the year, you have great options in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

 

SAN FRANCISCO

Quince
Jackson Square

If there was such a thing as a seduction scene on a plate, it would be the entirety of the menu at Quince. Each dish prepared by chef Michael Tuck, from raw preparations to handmade pasta to rich desserts, is more stunning, and more delectable, than the last. The comfortably elegant dining room serves as the perfect complement to the exquisite seasonal dishes, which earned the restaurant a third Michelin star this year.

Seven Hills
Russian Hill

You can’t go wrong with Italian food on Valentine’s Day (or any day, for that matter), especially when you dine at Seven Hills, widely considered to be the city’s top Italian eatery. The comfortable, dimly lit dining room will transport you right to Rome, and so will the authentic, outrageously delicious food.

Waterbar
The Embarcadero

If the weather is nice, you’ll want to request a table outside at Waterbar, for some of the most incredible views in the city that are just feet from the Bay and the Bay Bridge, and spanning Treasure Island and the San Francisco skyline. Should the fog roll in and the temps dip, a seat in one of the interior dining rooms is no less spectacular. No matter where you choose to enjoy, the fresh, sustainably sourced seafood will transport you.

Californios
The Mission

When it comes to romance, a restaurant should delight all the senses, and that is precisely what you’ll experience at the two-Michelin-starred Mexican eatery Californios. A quiet place to grab a table and gaze into each other’s eyes while you whisper sweet nothings this is not; the atmosphere is sleek, but livelier than your average romantic spot, although the rich, decadent food will certainly make you feel amorous. It also doesn’t hurt that chef Val Cantu, named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in 2017, was also named one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Male Chefs in America.

 

LOS ANGELES

Perch
Downtown L.A.

Playful, seasonal, and French bistro-inspired. That’s how the food at Perch has been described. As for the view…well, more superlatives are needed. Choose to dine in the plush 15th floor restaurant, or head up a floor to the rooftop next to one of the outdoor fireplaces, and enjoy stellar views of the glittering L.A. skyline. Just how good are the vistas? Perch has been named one of the most Instagrammed restaurants in the country.

Cliff’s Edge
Silver Lake

In the heart of bustling Silver Lake, you might not expect to find a serene, nature-rich dining spot, yet Cliff’s Edge surprises new guests as much as it inspires all who come to enjoy the rustic, upscale menu rich with local produce and seasonal tastes. Ask for a seat on the patio near the enormous tree and delight in the enchanted forest feel.

Yamashiro
Hollywood

The atmosphere at Yamashiro is so stunning that not only is it a top spot for proposals, but is also an in-demand wedding venue (hint, hint). The iconic restaurant features a menu full of fresh sushi and Cal-Asian dishes, a tranquil garden courtyard you’ll discover if you can take your eyes off of each other for a moment, and views of the city to boot.

Il Cielo
Beverly Hills

Couples come from all over to il Cielo for special occasions or simply to enjoy the delicious Tuscan food and gorgeous scenery. Dining among the masses inside or in the twinkle-lit garden is special enough at this Beverly Hills restaurant, but for a truly magical experience, choose a private dining room for two or one of the added Romantic Packages including rose petals, il Cielo’s signature dessert of heart-shaped flourless chocolate cake, and champagne.