Feature

The Sexiest Restaurants in 15 U.S. Cities

By Zagat Staff  |  October 11, 2016
Credit: Anjali Pinto

While there are plenty of reasons to visit a restaurant for the dishes alone, you'll find that some restaurants seduce diners with the decor as well. Here are 15 super-sexy restaurants around the U.S.

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  • Credit: Casey Dunn

    Austin: Boiler Nine Bar & Grill
    If you're looking to tuck into the darkest booth in town (for whatever reason), head to Boiler Nine's basement bar, where it's nighttime all the time. Start off with a Night Train (a shot of Amaro Meletti with a Miller High Life pony bottle) before moving through bar director Jason Stevens' sultry music-inspired cocktail "playlist," with creations like An Old Fashioned Love Song (rye blend, spiced cherry, amontillado sherry).

    800 W. Cesar Chavez St.; 512-220-9990

  • Credit: Emily Andrews

    Atlanta: Himitsu
    It's not just Himitsu's atmosphere of exclusivity, what with the hidden entrance and hush-hush vibe, that contributes to the sexiness of this Japanese-inspired bar (a sister spot to top ATL sushi den Umi). The dim lights, the beckoning bar, the elevated loft seating and the imposing artwork are all stunning. Though you may prefer to gaze at your cocktailing companion — or, let's face it, at the snappily dressed Buckhead crowd murmuring over low tables — we dare you to keep your eyes off the sultry copper light fixtures from UK designer Tom Dixon floating overhead.

    3050 Peachtree Rd NW

  • Credit: Courtesy of Eric Levin/Yvonne's

    Boston: Yvonne's
    When it opened last fall, Yvonne's gave the space that formerly housed Locke-Ober, one of Boston's longest-running fine-dining establishments, a sexy modern edge: raw brick, damask wallpaper, white marble, a hand-carved mahogany bar and a gilded fireplace. The piece de resistance, though, is the nude portrait of Mademoiselle Yvonne, an updated take on the painting that hung rather infamously on the walls in the Locke-Ober era. 

    2 Winter Pl.; 617-267-0047

  • Credit: Anjali Pinto

    Chicago: Ēma
    With its flattering white tones, heaps of plants and generally cool California vibe, Ēma has succeeded in creating a thing of beauty. The Mediterranean small plates are fresh and clean, and it’s fun to share spoonfuls of frozen Greek yogurt (drizzled with olive oil, of course) with your dining companions. If you can pry your eyes off the gorgeous plates, you’ll also notice this is one of the best-looking crowds around. 

    74 W. Illinois St.; 312-527-5586

  • Credit: Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House

    Dallas: Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House
    When the iconic steakhouse made its move from Far North Dallas to Uptown last month, it ditched the stuffy white tablecloths and debuted an alluringly sophisticated space marked by tall, sweeping curves and red leather accents. Rich woods dominate the dining room where well-heeled diners slurp on fresh oysters and cut into thick slabs of prime beef. 

    2323 Olive St.; 972-490-9000

  • Credit: Adam Larkey Photography

    Denver: Departure Restaurant + Lounge
    Never mind the celebrity of exec chef Gregory Gourdet: The very architecture of this Pan-Asian destination in Cherry Creek exudes the sex appeal of star power. The aerodynamic thrust of the island bar. The shimmering-sunburst tile work of the open kitchen. The captains’-club feel of the dining rooms on either side. The racy X-rays lining the private tatami room (pictured). Departure's jetsetter-chic vibe just doesn’t stop until you hit the top — the rooftop, that is, where poolside and skyline views intoxicate as much as the cocktails.

    249 Columbine St.; 720-772-5020

  • Credit: Julie Soefer

    Houston: State of Grace
    Luxurious tones and textures surround guests at this River Oaks retreat in a space once occupied by a dry cleaner — it cleans up well, apparently, as do the well-heeled crowds that flock there on the regular. Southern charm meets high-class in a multiroom setting full of brass, wood, stone and game trophies anchored by the prettiest oyster bar one ever did see. 

    3258 Westheimer Rd.; 832-942-5080

  • Credit: Wonho Frank Lee/Gwen

    Los Angeles: Gwen
    Hollywood taps into its primal instincts at the meat-centric spot from brothers Curtis and Luke Stone. The rooms seamlessly blend art deco gorgeousness with soft velvets, pink marble and exquisite glassware and cutlery with beautifully butchered meats hanging behind glass. A flaming spit of flesh anchors the room like an altar to all things carnivorous. Two words come to mind: sexy beast.

    6600 Sunset Blvd.; 323-946-7500

  • Miami: El Tucan
    To walk through the doors of this glitzy Brickell cabaret (pictured at top) is to enter another world. The glamorous, 1940s Cuba–inspired space features glass chandeliers, trompe l’oeil murals, moody lighting, feather-clad dancers and an 11-piece house band. Book your table in advance and pencil in at least two hours to savor the vibrant, Latin-style menu and craft drinks, which mirror the vivacious surroundings.

    1111 SW 1st Ave.; (305) 535-0065

  • Credit: Ditte Isager

    NYC: Le Coucou
    Undoubtedly the sexiest new restaurant of the year, this SoHo stunner offers takes on French fare within a gorgeous Roman and Williams–designed space. The old-school glamour is achieved with triple-hung glass windows, pewtered-steel chandeliers (with hand-blown glass shades), blue-grey banquettes and vintage chairs. The white-tableclothed space evokes an early 20th-century manor house...with an exciting open kitchen to boot. 

    ​138 Lafayette Street; 212-271-4252

  • Credit: James Narog

    Philadelphia: Mission Taqueria
    Anyone who remembers the well loved but painfully dingy Nodding Head Brewery will be blown away by the remarkable transformation that Sam Mink and the Oyster House folks unleashed on their new upstairs Sansom Street endeavor. Whitewashed walls, a greenhouse filled with tropical plants and a glassed-in breezeway featuring a neon-haloed statue of Mary bring sunshine into a room that felt downright subterranean for so many years.

    1516 Sansom St.; 215-383-1200

  • Credit: Rachel McFarlin and Victoria Pearce

    San Diego: One Door North
    If you prefer glamping over plain old camping, head to this North Park restaurant that proves you can bring a little bit of the outdoors inside without having to don a pair of hiking boots. Restaurant highlights include safarilike tents separating tables for intimate dining, camping lanterns, forest imagery on the walls and, of course, the dishes served in cast-iron skillets. 

    3422 30th St.; 619-618-1285

  • Credit: Eric Wolfinger

    San Francisco: Bird Dog
    Who knew the Peninsula could be so stylish? Swipe left at those misconceptions about cities like Palo Alto. This runaway hit has serious bite, both in terms of food and decor. There is the cuteness factor of multicolored ducks hanging from the ceiling and on the walls (first-date conversation starter!) and the cosmopolitan appeal of scuffed white concrete walls, tatami screens and alluring black tones. Add in many VC and tech power-hitters to the fashionable mix, that is, the sport-coat and nice-jeans crowd, not the hoodie set.


    420 Ramona St., Palo Alto; 650-656-8180

  • Credit: Vestal

    Seattle: Vestal
    The name of this Huxley Wallace (Scout, Westward) spot comes from the Roman goddess Vesta and her Vestal virgins, the women responsible for keeping sacred fires burning in Vesta’s temples. We can’t think of anything hotter than that — except perhaps the large wood-burning hearth manned by Josh Henderson and his team of chefs. Expect charred vegetable dishes alongside slow-roasted meats and a tight cocktail and wine list.

    513 Westlake Ave. N; 206-456-2660

  • Credit: Pennsylvania 6

    Washington, DC: Pennsylvania 6
    With sumptuous red velvet, sexy lighting and plenty of nooks, there are many opportunities for privacy at Pennsylvania 6. Reserve a table in one of the two secluded rooms or book a semi-private nook — called the Perch — that overlooks the dining room. If you're fine hanging with the masses, the lounge's plush seating and fireplace make it perfect for the sexiest of all possible orders: oysters and champagne. 

    1350 I St. NW; 202-796-1600