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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

Our 20 best romantic recommendations for Valentine's Day

Make sure there's romance in the air this year.

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The annual day of love is fast approaching, so we've rounded up some of our favourite romantic restaurants to help make sure you impress your other half this Valentine's Day.

A romantic meal is one of the best ways to celebrate Valentine's Day; there's nothing better than delicious food in a romantic setting with the one you love.

However, reservations often fill up fast for the big day, so to help make sure you get a table for February 14th this year, we've listed our favourite romantic restaurants below to give you some inspiration. Don't forget to book your table ASAP! 

Dax, Dublin 

A cosy, candlelit basement restaurant offering French/Irish fine dining - what could be more romantic? Award-winning chef Graham Neville's loin of Wicklow Gap sika deer with crushed artichokes and a bay leaf sauce is to die for, and the wine list is magnifique. Click here for more info.

Duck with foie gras from Dax. Photo by @atozaatar on Instagram.
Duck with foie gras from Dax. Photo by @atozaatar on Instagram.

Ox Cave, Belfast

Right next door to the Michelin-starred Ox is its sister business, the Ox Cave wine bar. Gaze into your beloved's eyes over some aged Comte with truffled honey or a pot au chocolat, and ask the fantastic staff to recommend something gorgeous to drink.

Scallops with broad beans, almonds and chicken skin from Ox Cave. Photo by @patrickdunseath on Instagram.
Scallops with broad beans, almonds and chicken skin from Ox Cave. Photo by @patrickdunseath on Instagram.

Chakra by Jaipur, Greystones, Co Wicklow

Broaden your Valentine's horizons by tucking into lamb with Rajasthani spices and sweetcorn, or slow-cooked goat with garlic, cloves and spices at one of the country's best Indian restaurants. Leave room for dessert if you can; they're a cut above the norm. Head to the Chakra website for more info. 

READ MORE: Our best tips for adjusting to a vegan diet

Dingle bay crab balchao from @chakrabyjaipur on Instagram.
Dingle bay crab balchao from @chakrabyjaipur on Instagram.

Peploe's, Dublin

Another basement restaurant, this time the big, bustling and always fun Peploe's. The food from chef Graeme Dodrill is classically delicious - think French onion soup, dry-aged beef with bordelaise sauce, and creme brulee - and there are plenty of romantic nooks and crannies to hide away in.

Mussels from Peploe's. Image by @foodphotographerireland on Instagram.
Mussels from Peploe's. Image by @foodphotographerireland on Instagram.

Chapter One, Dublin

The restaurant that arguably democratised fine dining in Dublin is as welcoming, friendly and fun as ever. The best of Irish ingredients are used to create dishes that are full of flavour, the desserts are sublime, and you can even finish dinner with an Irish coffee made at your table. Click here for more info. 

Lamb kromeski, pickled red dulse, kohlrabi. Photo by @chapteronedublin on Instagram.
Lamb kromeski, pickled red dulse, kohlrabi. Photo by @chapteronedublin on Instagram.

1826 Adare, Co Limerick

There is cute, and then there is Wade and Elaine Murphy's picture-perfect restaurant in one of Adare's historic thatched cottages. Cosy up with dishes like monkfish scampi and treacle-braised beef shortrib, and throw in a side of whipped mash with bacon and crispy onions for added sexiness.

Rump of Lamb, Braised Neck Croquette, Asparagus, Broad Beans & Salsa Verde Photo by @1826adare on Instagram.
Rump of Lamb, Braised Neck Croquette, Asparagus, Broad Beans & Salsa Verde Photo by @1826adare on Instagram.

West at The Twelve, Barna, Co Galway

Between the fantastic cocktails, wonderful wine list, great service and delightful food, even the fussiest Valentine should leave West, the restaurant upstairs in The Twelve hotel in Barna, happy. Owner Fergus O'Hallorgan's wine knowledge is second to none, so be sure to ask his advice, and don't miss chef Martin O'Donnell's Aran Island langoustines with crab cannelloni and prawn bisque. 

READ MORE: Fergus O'Halloran on The Twelve's wine culture

Salted caramel bonbons from @westrestaurantgalway on Instagram.
Salted caramel bonbons from @westrestaurantgalway on Instagram.

Volpe Nera, Blackrock, Co Dublin

Barry Sun, who for years cooked in Etto on Merrion Row, has just opened his own restaurant in the Dublin suburbs, and if the reviews are anything to go by, you'll need to book early to bag a Valentine's table here. Start your evening with a glass of Pol Roger Champagne, then sit back and prepare to be dazzled. Click here for more info. 

Brandy Bay oysters from @volpeneradublin on Instagram.
Brandy Bay oysters from @volpeneradublin on Instagram.

The Cliff Townhouse, Dublin

It'll be plain sailing (sorry) for you and your special someone if you choose to eat in the Cliff Townhouse on February 14. Sean Smith is one of Ireland's best fish and seafood chefs, so expect superb oysters, potted shrimp, whole Dover sole and lots more. There's even a caviar selection if you really fancy pushing the boat out (sorry again).

Image from @theclifftownhouse on Instagram.
Image from @theclifftownhouse on Instagram.

Ripasso, Bray, Co Wicklow

Italians do it better, claimed Madonna around a million years ago, and you can test that theory when it comes to Valentine's dinners in this charming restaurant just off the seafront in Bray. Try the pumpkin and olive tortelli with pistachio pesto, or the gnocchi with slow-braised beef ragout. Click here for more info.

Linguine with Cockles, Candied Lemon & Parsley Breadcrumbs from @ripassobray on Instagram.
Linguine with Cockles, Candied Lemon & Parsley Breadcrumbs from @ripassobray on Instagram.

Everett's, Waterford

A firm local favourite, Everett's is a great spot for a Valentine's Day meal. The gorgeous 15th century building is perfect for creating a romantic atmosphere, while the seasonal menu, which is priced at just €43 for three courses, is fantastic value. Make sure you save room for dessert! 

Roast breast and braised leg of @skeaghanoreduck , parsnip puree and pickled elderberries from @everetts_restaurant on Instagram.
Roast breast and braised leg of @skeaghanoreduck , parsnip puree and pickled elderberries from @everetts_restaurant on Instagram.

Etto, Merrion Row, Dublin

All of the options on Etto's small, ever-changing menu are always delicious, but make sure you and your partner order a plate of the famous red wine prunes with vanilla mascarpone to share for dessert. This tiny restaurant consistently serves up some of the best food in Dublin city but make sure to book early if you want to secure one of the coveted seats. 

Red wine prunes with vanilla mascarpone from Etto. Image by @gastrogays on Instagram.
Red wine prunes with vanilla mascarpone from Etto. Image by @gastrogays on Instagram.

Rosa Madre, Temple Bar, Dublin

This authentic Italian restaurant in Dublin gives of seriously old-school romantic vibes thanks to its cosy, candlelit tables. The seafood at Rosa Madre is the real draw; it's always fresh, full of flavour and reasonably priced. For the ultimate romantic meal, start with the Connemara oysters and some sparkling wine, before moving on to the mixed fish plate.

Image by @rosamadredublin on Instagram.
Image by @rosamadredublin on Instagram.

Sage, Cork

Owner and head chef Kevin Aherne started Sage with a goal to only use from within a 12 mile radius, something which has helped him ensure that the menu is as seasonal and delicious as possible. If it's a clear night this Valentine's Day, venture out to the restaurant's courtyard to enjoy a glass of wine under the stars. 

Chocolate delice from Sage. Photo by @jennifurpreston on Instagram.
Chocolate delice from Sage. Photo by @jennifurpreston on Instagram.

One Pico, Dublin

With its classic French touches and exceptional service, One Pico is an ideal romantic restaurant to visit this Valentine's Day.  Prepare to be wowed by chef Ciaran McGill's exceptionally good cooking; we especially love the fillet of beef with braised short rib and truffle ravioli. 

Dessert from One Pico. Photo by @grainne43 on Instagram.
Dessert from One Pico. Photo by @grainne43 on Instagram.

Kai, Galway 

With its low lighting and cosy setting, Jess Murphy's Kai restaurant in Galway gives off serious romantic vibes. The menu changes daily and always offers a surprise, but if the lemon meringue is available, then you need to order it for dessert because nobody makes this dish as well as the Kiwis do.

READ MORE: Highlighting Galway's food scene with Sheena Dignam

Kai Galway.
Kai Galway.

The Falls Restaurant at Sheen Falls Lodge, Kerry

This fine-dining restaurant offers a great range of seasonal, local food options, along with superb service, but it's the location that really draws us in. If you can secure a table next to the window, you can enjoy your dinner with a view of the River Sheen and its eponymous falls – what's more romantic than that?

Carriglcleena duck breast, beetroot, blackberry and duck liver from @sheenfalls on Instagram.
Carriglcleena duck breast, beetroot, blackberry and duck liver from @sheenfalls on Instagram.

The Chubby Cherub, Belfast

With its secluded booths adorned with greenry and mood lighting, The Chubby Cherub looks like a fairytale come to life. The Italian-inspired menu offers something for everyone, including pizza, pasta and classic antipasti offerings. Perfect for those looking to impress this Valentine's Day without going over budget.

@chubbycherubbelfast on Instagram.
@chubbycherubbelfast on Instagram.

Eipic, Belfast

Michelin-starred Eipic is known for its innovative cooking and exciting atmosphere. If you're trying to impress this year, opt for the six-course menu with wine pairings for a romantic meal to remember. 

Seabuckthorn ice cream, caramelized white chocolate, seasalt from Eipic. Photo by @chefalexgreen on Instagram.
Seabuckthorn ice cream, caramelized white chocolate, seasalt from Eipic. Photo by @chefalexgreen on Instagram.

Il Vicolo, Galway

Expect Italian favourites bursting with flavour at Il Vicolo this Valentine's Day, as the restaurant has promised that there will be amore in the air. Top the evening off with some crisp Prosecco and you'll be sure to impress. 

Photo by @ilvicolo_galway on Instagram.
Photo by @ilvicolo_galway on Instagram.