There’s no denying that February 14 is one of the world’s most popular dates for, well, dinner dates. But it can be hard to get excited about Valentine’s Day when much of its buzz tends to feel slightly over-orchestrated and, at times, dare we say it, even commercially motivated. However, just in time for the holiday, OpenTable unveiled its list of the “100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2018”—and you can feel good about trusting this roundup’s sincerity. Here’s why.
OpenTable’s complete roster showcases the 100 highest-ranking restaurants for which “romantic” was selected as a key word in reviews of around 26,000 restaurants across all 50 states. The list, which highlights winners in U.S. cities both large and small, was generated solely from verified diner reviews (12 million of them, to be exact). So, in essence, the spots that are featured have been vetted by people who actually attended these restaurants and felt they were romantic—and how else can you quantify a level of romance other than based on how something makes people feel?
This year’s list, which includes restaurants from 32 states and the District of Columbia—among them classics like the River Café in Brooklyn, New York, and Circa 1886 in Charleston, South Carolina—is arranged alphabetically rather than by score or number (because we all know fondness is subjective). But, the best news yet: Some of these spots still have availability. See the full list of the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America in 2018.