Guide to Valentine's Day in New York City: Restaurants, Events, and Things to Do

Impress that special someone with these romantic ideas

Couple hugging on rock in park

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New York City is the perfect place to impress your Valentine. You can go ice skating in Central Park, holding hands as you glide on the ice. Or perhaps you would enjoy taking in a Broadway show together. Whatever your concept of romance is, there is something for everyone looking to plan a special day. These ideas are appropriate for other romantic occasions as well—think proposals, anniversary getaways, or just a trip to say "I love you."

Valentine's Day Drinks

A drink before or after dinner is always a nice treat on Valentine's Day. There are some great places in New York with an atmosphere that will be sure to impress your special someone.

Romantic bars are a hit for the date that appreciates an expertly-poured drink or unique cocktail creation. Try Hudson Library Bar if you'd enjoy a fireplace and a comfortable sofa with your date, or Flûte Bar & Lounge for an intimate spot with champagne. At these classic NYC bars, you can show off your knowledge of Manhattan, whether at Bemelmans Bar in the Upper East Side experiencing nightly entertainment and a gold-leaf-covered ceiling or at Pete's Tavern, New York's longest continually operating bar where you can dine on Italian-American food.

Note: Many of these venues offer special Valentine's Day cocktails or discounts, so check their websites or call in advance.

Gramercy Tavern
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Valentine's Day Dinner Possibilities

Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular nights to eat out in NYC, so make your reservation ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Many restaurants have special menus for the holiday. Check the culinary offerings to make sure it's what you are looking for that evening.

  • Romantic Restaurants: Look no further for an exciting night with your loved one. These restaurants offer impeccable food, service, and atmosphere. One If By Land, Two If By Sea is frequently thought of as one of the world's best eateries for romance, featuring a baby grand piano, brick fireplaces, and a private garden. For a taste of Paris, head to Balthazar, a SoHo French brasserie with fresh seafood, bread, and pastries.
  • NYC's Best Steakhouses: For meat-eaters, there is nothing that says celebration like a steak dinner. These iconic Manhattan steakhouses are a perfect choice. The Strip House is particularly sexy, with velvety red walls and dim lighting.
  • The City's Most Expensive Restaurants: If your sweetheart loves to splurge, try one of these pricey spots; they certainly can’t complain that you were a cheapskate on Valentine’s Day. Eleven Madison Park has won many James Beard Awards and offers many courses to enjoy along with a view of the lovely Madison Square Park.
Times Square
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Valentine’s Day Events in NYC

If you are looking for something special to do on Valentine’s Day beyond dinner and drinks, there are some unique events taking place around NYC for the holiday.

  • Valentine's Dinner Cruises on the Hornblower: You and your loved one might enjoy a three-hour holiday cruise aboard the upscale Hornblower Bateaux New York, boarding at Chelsea Piers and featuring delicious food, skyline views of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, and live music. Or the Spirit of New York Valentine's Day Dinner Cruise is sure to impress, with packages that include DJs, roses, champagne, and a dinner buffet.
  • Celebrate Love in Times Square on Valentine's Day: Weddings, vow renewals, hot chocolate, and a Valentine's heart art installation are just some of the treats you'll find on Valentine's Day in Times Square. All the events are free and take place in Duffy Square at 46th Street and Broadway.
  • Naked at the Met Scavenger Hunt: No, you won't be getting naked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But you will spend a fun evening with your Valentine and Watson Adventures hunting out some of the museum's famous works of art that feature nudes.
  • Valentine's Day at the McKittrick Hotel: Fans of the British play "Sleep No More" need to look no further for their Valentine's Day plans. The McKittrick Hotel hosts a Valentine’s Day event, complete with packages including a champagne table and dinner reservations at The Lodge at Gallow Green.
  • The Empire State Building: Couples can enter an annual wedding contest in hopes of being selected to get married on February 14 on the 86th-floor observatory of one of the world's most romantic buildings. One couple typically receives a Valentine's honeymoon stay at a local resort as well.
  • Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge: Put on some cozy clothes and enjoy a romantic and free walk with your sweetie across the Brooklyn Bridge—one of the oldest suspension bridges in the U.S.—which is especially lovely at sunset time. The bridge is almost 1,600 feet (488 meters) long and connects Brooklyn and Manhattan.
  • Catch a Comedy Show: For some giggles, head to Gotham All Stars' special 2020 Valentine's Day event with comedians Chloe Hilliard, Mike Yard, Daniel Tirado, Casey Balsham, and Jon Fisch. If you splurge on the Valentine's Day package, it includes an open bar or a bottle of champagne, a dessert, and a rose.
  • Central Park Conservancy Valentine's Day Stroll: From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on February 14, 2020, go for a walk through some of Central Park’s romantic spots, including the Alice in Wonderland statue plus Bethesda Terrace and Bow Bridge which offer views of the Lake. Lovebirds will receive a free hot drink from Le Pain Quotidien restaurant and a holiday gift from the conservancy.
  • Take a Dance Class: On Valentine's Day 2020, grab your date and have a fun time in a dance class through Ailey Extension. Try New York-style Cuban mambo with African roots, contemporary dance, or a traditional West African style with live drumming.
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