Valentine’s Day is officially two weeks away, so if you’re still struggling to come up with plans for this love-filled holiday, there’s a new resource designed to make things a bit easier. Lovebirds hoping to wine and dine in a romantic setting can take inspiration from OpenTable’s latest list of the 100 most romantic restaurants in the U.S.
The list spans 33 states, with some taking top honors for multiple restaurant features. California, in particular, is brimming with romance, as 11 of its restaurants made the cut — the highest number of any state on the list. Ohio and Georgia tied for second, each with seven establishments highlighted. Pennsylvania, Florida, and Arizona all came in third place, with six restaurants each.
In order to create this ultimate guide to romantic dining, OpenTable analyzed more than 12.4 million user reviews collected throughout 2021. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. The overall score was calculated using data points such as diner rating, user clout, total number of reviews, and regional rating. Qualifying restaurants were then scored according to the percentage of reviews for which “romantic” was selected as a special feature.
Beyond the lovey-dovey factor of the restaurants on this list, OpenTable also took note of the most popular types of cuisines. Though plant-based diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, steakhouses still rank highly for a romantic dinner. Thirty-seven of the top 100 restaurants were steakhouses, followed in popularity by Italian eateries (13), American (12), and seafood (10).
If you have yet to solidify your plans for Valentine’s Day dinner, it’s officially crunch time. According to OpenTable data, more than two-thirds of dinner reservations in the U.S. are made in the two weeks leading up to the holiday. You could wait and be among the 28% who book their Valentine’s Day reservations less than three days before. You could even join the 13% who wait until the day of to book, but for the best chance of getting your top pick, now is the time to make your reservation, according to the company.
As you make your plans, be sure to check OpenTable’s list of 100 most romantic restaurants in America for 2022.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she’s always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.