Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us – where should you take that special lady or man in your life? Check this list for the most romantic restaurants in the Detroit area.
Cafe Cortina
30715 W. 10 Mile Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48336
(248) 474-3033

Cafe Cortina was established in 1976 by the Tonon family and is a great place for a romantic date; ask for a table by the fireplace. Don’t be fooled by the “cafe” part of its name – it’s located in a vineyard-like setting (a former apple orchard) and has been a “foodie destination” for a while now. Cafe Cortina serves up Italian cooking and has a reputation as “one of the best kept secrets in America.” The restaurant also does catering and special events, such as weddings, if you’re looking for somewhere nice to hold your big day.

Coach Insignia
100 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48243
(313) 567-2622

If you’re looking for a “room with a view,” look no further – Coach Insignia offers beautiful views of the Detroit River and Windsor from high atop the Renaissance Center (71st and 72nd floors, to be exact). The restaurant was voted Most Romantic Restaurant, Best Wine Selection for a Restaurant, Best View, Best Happy Hour for Drinks and Best Female Bartender, all by Metro Times, and also won Best Wine List and Restaurant View from Hour Detroit on its 2014 Best of Detroit list. Coach Insignia is closed on Sundays, and also offers a happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and 5 p.m. through 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Earle
121 W. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 994-0211

The Earle is an Ann Arbor staple, and it’s located right off of Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. Go down the stairs once you get inside the building and you’ll find that the Earle is located in a quaint cellar of sorts. It features jazz five nights per week, and is open for dinner only (until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 9 p.m. Mondays and 8 p.m. Sundays). The Earle has dim, romantic lighting, and the food is fantastic. The cuisine is French, but you’ll find some American dishes sprinkled in as well. The restaurant also features a 5 to 8 p.m. happy hour (Monday-Friday) which includes 20-percent-off items on its wine bar menu, and drinks by the glass. Mussels steamed in wine ($2.75 with any purchase, $3.75 for additional bowls) is one of its top happy hour dishes.

Related: Detroit’s Most Romantic Restaurants with a View

The Whitney
4421 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48021
(313) 832-5700

You can’t get more romantic than The Whitney when it comes to Detroit, unless you happen to have a family member or friend who owns a mansion. The Whitney’s mansion was built in 1894, upon request of David Whitney Jr., and cost $400,000, which back then was a fortune. It became a restaurant in 1986. The Whitney has 52 rooms upon which to dine, although not all of them are always open, and make sure to check out the Ghost Bar after or before your meal for a drink.

Cliff Bell’s
2030 Park Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-2543

If your significant other is into jazz, then you must take him/her to Cliff Bell’s, which has been renowned for its live jazz performances since it opened in 1935 by John Clifford Bell, in the same location where it currently stands. Bell had opened various other clubs and restaurants before the Prohibition, and after it ended, he opened Cliff Bell’s. The restaurant is located near Comerica Park, down a side street, and features live jazz nightly; make sure to check its site to see if there’s a cover charge or not before going. Cliff Bell’s is also known for its signature drinks, and its bar area is a great place to enjoy a drink or two while listening to some sultry jazz.

Related: The Best Romantic Trips for Valentine’s Day in Detroit

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at and