It’s easy to pretend it’s all hearts and roses, but Valentine’s Day can be stressful. It’s supposed to be an opportunity to share some quality time with your significant other, but pressure to design the perfect evening can be overwhelming. Here’s a list of tested and approved restaurants to help you enjoy the holiday without worrying about where to eat. With an option for everyone’s budget, you’re sure to find the perfect fit.
Pizza may not be your first instinct for a Valentine’s Day date, but Amelia’s on Rue Milton and Rue Ste. Famille is your best option for a casual date night within comfortable walking distance. Serving up some of the best pizza in the city, Amelia’s features classic, Italian pasta dishes that may be simple, but leave you satisfied. The dining room is small, allowing patrons to feel cozy at a table for two. The restaurant is accessed through a staircase from street level, furthering the feeling of entering an intimate hidden gem. The decor is not over the top, so there is little distraction from your special someone. A small pizza—enough for one person—will cost around $11-13. Amelia’s is the best bet for those looking for an affordable and accessible, yet intimate and tasty dinner.
This Japanese gem on Rue Sainte-Catherine is a great way to enjoy a unique Valentine’s Day experience. Serving up authentic food beyond the usual sushi, Kazu has a funky atmosphere complete with menus that are handwritten on the walls, an open kitchen, and authentic Japanese decorations. The restaurant is small, and doesn’t take reservations, which means that getting a table often involves waiting in line; however, its size also keeps the atmosphere lively and exciting, with its chefs serving up the food to match. Their ‘48-hour pork’ rice bowl and their tuna and salmon bowl are popular favourites among diners. The menu also features some vegetarian options, such as homemade tofu. The wait is more than worth the time. For dessert, they have homemade soft serve ice cream with flavor powders in varieties that include unique options like matcha and ginger—a refreshing break from your usual date night meal. Dinner at Kazu will cost between $15-20 each, and chances are you’ll be trying something new, providing you and your date with plenty to talk about.
$$$: Marche 27
With their wide selection of meat tartares and raw oysters, Marche 27 on Rue Prince Arthur gives patrons the opportunity to bond over trying new foods. The menu consists mainly of tapas-style servings to enjoy in the restaurant’s sleek, modern atmosphere. It is minimalist, featuring clean white tiles and mirrors on the walls which are contrasted by black furniture. The dining room doesn’t hold many tables, and its open layout guarantees you an intimate and uncrowded experience. Market prices for oysters are listed on the blackboards hung throughout the restaurant, as is their current bar menu. Dinner costs around $30 per person, and the menu does not feature any vegetarian options; however, for meat-lovers, the food is fresh and delicious, and is certain to add excitement to your date while providing plenty to talk about.
$$$$: Chez Victoire
If you’re looking for something upscale and romantic, the french cuisine tasting menus at Chez Victoire’s are the answer. Located at 1453 Avenue du Mont-Royal, the restaurant itself is a combination of class and modernity, featuring warm lighting and crisp white paint paired with dark wood. The front of the dining room faces the street with floor length windows, setting a romantic scene for your candlelit dinner. The menu has classic meals, like beautifully cooked steak over a seasonal vegetables, paired with more modern and unexpected dishes like deer tartare. The menu features some vegetarian options as well, including a mushroom risotto and a tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella. The Valentine’s Day six-course menu costs $60 a person, but if you’re looking to enjoy Chez Victoire’s high quality food at a more affordable price, they have a late night, two-course menu for $25 a person available after 10 p.m.