HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Romance on a Budget? Help!

Hello! Could anyone suggest a romantic dinner spot in the Boston area that won't be too pricey? Husband and I are trying to get out more, rather than just a "once every two months" dinner date...so we'd like to keep it reasonable - but delicious and romantic. Does such a place exist?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. south shore is okay, too!

    1. What's your idea of pricey? In any case, I like Petit Robert Bistro in Kenmore - good atmosphere for a date, attentive but not intrusive service, and very good food. The entrees are all under $20 and the wines are also pretty reasonable. They have a few other locations, but I haven't been and from previous threads it seems they may be a bit less consistent than the Kenmore restaurant.

      Petit Robert Bistro
      468 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215

        1. re: pollystyrene

          PRB and Grotto were my first thoughts too. Church is dark and you can find a nice table for two. Franklin Cafe too in a dark comfy booth kind of way. West Side Lounge in Camb.
          And Tosca in Hingham is amazing if you split some apps and an entree, it won't be too pricey. Maybe too big and bustling to be romantic. What about the Snug or whatever that little place is called?

          West Side Lounge
          1680 Mass Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

          1. re: pollystyrene

            Got to second Grotto, offbeat, Romantic and has prix-fixe

          2. Petit Robert Bistro is good. I am also a fan of Franklin Cafe.

            Petit Robert Bistro
            468 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215

            1. Pescatore in Somerville

              158 Boston Ave, Somerville, MA 02144

              3 Replies
              1. re: joth68

                Oleana on the patio, once the weather's nice enough.

                134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                  1. re: Allstonian

                    A couple of prets, a couple of appetizers or an app and a main to share?
                    Depends on your budget. Check the menu OL, OP.

              2. How about Helmand near the Galleria in Cambridge>? I think this is a place best enjoyed as a couple/small party and have always found it to be a good value for the $.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Pemmican

                  Yes! The Helmand runs a bit crowded for a really romantic-with-a-capital-R dinner, but it's a favorite for special occasions for Barmy and me.

                2. I read something that suggested that it's the experience of trying new things together is what really feeds continuing romance in couples. So by that measure, trying new places, regardless of if they fit the traditionally "romantic" idea is a good date.
                  My soon to be husband and I have done a couple of things to look for new experiences together that I think were really successful. 1) pick a town you don't go to often (Medford, Woburn, JP, Charlestown, wherever that is for you. The great thing about the Boston Metro area is that every town has a center. Go to town center and wander around until you find something to eat. (alternately pick a town and find something on Chow as a target) 2) We had a good book called "cheap eats" that was a collection of reviews from the Globe, and we'd pick one (many were places we don't go everyday) and trek out there. 3) a variation of #1 is to pick a town and go for breakfast. You get a completely different look at people at breakfast than at a fancy dinner. #3 is what we did when trying to find a place to rent an apartment, and later when we wanted to buy a house.

                  Finally, pick a type of food (i.e. Indian) search a listing here, and find a place you've never been, preferrably in a place you aren't familiar with, and go check it out. Recently we've been working through the "best burger" threads and the best Indian threads, and I'm pushing for starting on a best Thai thread.

                  It's something we really enjoyed and I really think it was a great way to make a fun and romantic date.

                  1. Here are a few that might be worth checking out: Marliave (downtown), 88 Wharf (Milton), Sophia's Grotto (Roslindale), Elephant Walk (Cambridge, Boston), Alia (Winthrop), Shanti (Dorchester), Vecchia Roma (Newton), and Assaggio (North End).

                    Elephant Walk
                    2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140

                    10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

                    29 Prince St, Boston, MA 02113

                    Sophia's Grotto
                    22 Birch St, Roslindale, MA 02131

                    Vecchia Roma
                    310 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      Another idea (Along the same idea of cpingenot), my husband and I went to Costa Rica on our honeymoon, so when I was looking to plan a special night I surprised him and took him to Boca Bar in Waltham which is a Costa Rican restaurant. We probably spent $50 total and it definitely wouldn't fit the traditional 'romantic' definition. But for us it was because the food was exactly what we ate on our honeymoon.

                      Boca Bar & Restaurant
                      11 Pine St, Waltham, MA 02453

                    2. TW Foods offer a $39 prix fixe menu on Tuesdays, and currently are running a Wines of Spain wine-food pairing. Absolutely romantic, awesome deal (IMO) and excellent food.

                      EDIT: Oops, prix fixe Sundays thru Thurs. Wine series is Tuesdays, and is 4 course with wine for 49. Even better.

                      1. Trattoria Toscana in the Fenway area is cute, and reasonable. Food's really good, too.

                        75 Chestnut is also pleasant, although casual, with decent prices. It's pretty romantic to walk the Charles St. area, too.

                        Trattoria Toscana
                        130 Jersey St, Boston, MA 02215

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bear

                          Haven't been in a while, and I've heard tell the food isn't the best Spanish you can get in the area, but Dali definitely has a "romantic" atmosphere, perhaps over the top-edly so.

                        2. I know that a lot of different restaurants are doing prix fixe nights or other deals for the economy. This is a good link to find out what deal is being offered on what day: http://www.hubeats.com/

                          One of my favorite date spots is Myers and Chang. On Monday and Tuesday nights, they offer "Cheap Date Nights" with a bunch of different options for $40 per couple. M+C offers a lot of fun Asian small plates and the environment always makes a great time...

                          1. thank you all for the great suggestions!