News flash: It’s almost Valentine’s Day. As everyone in the Seattle area scrambles to make reservations for the biggest date night of the year, we are swooping in to make your life a little easier. Check out our tiered guide below, where we highlight everything from staying home in your comfy clothes to getting dolled up and hitting the swankiest joints in the city.
You know what’s better than dealing with long wait times and hordes of people in the restaurant lobby? Making dinner at home with your special someone. Seattle boasts some of the best fish markets and fresh produces, so why not go buy a beautiful filet and make an evening out of it? While you’re at it, pick up something sweet from Bakery Nouveau or Cupcake Royale to finish off the meal.
Or, take the fancy takeout route and order your favorite five-star meal. Pair it with a bottle of wine from a local wine shops, such as Champion Wine Cellars in Greenwood or Bin 41 in West Seattle. Note: Some restaurants may not be doing to-go service on Valentine’s Day due to the sheer volume of people they will be serving in-house, so call your favorite spots a few days ahead.
Going Out But Keeping It Casual
So you want to leave the house but don’t want to spend a boatload? No problem. Have dessert for dinner (because holidays mean there are no rules). Check out Hot Cakes for their renown molten lava cakes and Bling Blings (think Hostess Ding Dong but not a sugar bomb), R&M Dessert Bar never disappoints with their selection of tarts and bread puddings or, better yet, get a scoop of your favorite ice cream from Salt & Straw, Shug’s, Cookie Counter or Molly Moon’s.
Or, bundle up and take your celebrations outdoors. Bainbridge Island’s Bloedel Reserve is holding its annual Cupid’s Walk, where you will follow a map to discover tucked away romantic spots along the trails of the public garden and forest reserve. Bonus: You get a little sweet treat before starting the journey. The self-guided tour will be available from February 8 to 17 and is $17 for adults.
Taking the Fancy Route
Looking to have the most quintessential Valentine’s Day experience? Head over to Century Ballroom for some salsa dancing and dinner. The evening will start with a three-course meal followed by a dance lesson for the newbies out there. After you brush up on your moves, dance the evening away with your date to live music from Buena Vibra, a Seattle-based salsa band. This is a 21+ event with varying prices.
A night of romance calls for breathtaking views and some bubbly (sorry, we don’t make the rules). All month long, Smith Tower is offering “sweetheart specials” where you and your date can enjoy a glass (or bottle) of bubbles while also taking in the views from the Observatory. Feel free to stay awhile—the speakeasy-style bar has plenty of nibbles and cocktails for you savor. Sky View Observatory is also offering a similar deal ($48) starting February 9, if you want to raise a glass at the highest possible point in the city.
We get it— Valentine’s Day is a day to show your love, so why not do it big? Cue a scenic seaplane ride. Local Seaplane Scenics offers 20 minute flight tours featuring downtown high rises, the Space Needle and the Ballard locks. Just don’t forget your camera! $109 for adults, flight times vary.
Though most fine dining restaurants (looking at you, Canlis,) are completely booked on Valentine’s Day and the weekend following, there are a few spots that still have room. Art of the Table, Metropolitan Grill, Lark and Copine all have a few late-night seatings available (as of February 3), along with availability into the weekend. Make those reservations, stat.