What are the best romantic restaurants near Brainerd MN?

By Product Expert | Posted in Community & Events, Just for Fun, Seasonal, Tips & Tricks on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 at 1:54 pm
Close-up of romantic red rose blossoms.

Best Restaurants for a Valentine’s Dinner in the Brainerd MN Area

That very special (and by some, particularly dreaded) holiday is coming up this month. It goes by many names- the Day of Love, the Feast of Saint Valentine, the Celebration of Affection, the big 2/14- but to most (okay, pretty much all) of us, it’s simply called Valentines Day.

We all want to give the perfect day to our special someone, but it can be awfully hard to decide what to do. Well, to give you a hand, we picked out five of the best restaurants for a romantic date in the Brainerd MN area. We hope this list can at least help you get a start on planning that perfect day. And hey, if it doesn’t end up perfect, no worries- that’s life.

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The Local 218

Our first restaurant offers a fun atmosphere amongst vintage-style décor. The food, of course, is delicious. It might be a little noisy, but some people like that; if this is a first date you might enjoy having less conversational pressure.

Table set with wine glasses, candles, and fancy cutlery for a romantic dinner.


Cru is an excellent, high-end restaurant with a romantic atmosphere. Its upscale quality means it has a higher price point too. But we’re suckers for the vast selection of wine, attentive service, and fresh-bread with homemade butter. The dishes are elegant and creative. We recommend the salmon, but be careful if you get it with the spicy noodles- this stuff can pack a serious kick. The old-school warm environment makes Cru the perfect place for a romantic dinner for adults, especially if your partner is a hard-to-please food snob.

The Classic Grill at Madden’s

Our third choice also comes in a higher price range, but we believe it’s worth it. Like Cru, it’s vegetarian friendly and offers gluten-free options. Keep in mind that The Classic Grill at Madden’s is a high-demand place and they only take reservations from mid-October through December 31st. Get here early to snag one of the forty seats available, which are given on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, this small setting contributes to the intimate atmosphere that makes it such a great place for a romantic dinner.

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Rafferty’s Pizza

Coming back to a more affordable option, Rafferty’s Pizza impresses us not only with its food but with its cozy atmosphere- the roaring fireplace coupled with pictures of Brainerd and its surroundings from the first half of the 20th century can’t help but prompt soft meditations on the enduring presence of love in this world, no matter how much our way of life may change over the decades. And did we mention the delicious hot pizza?

Black Bear Lodge and Saloon

If you’re not feeling pizza, our final choice has a different selection and still includes the fireplace, which is just unbeatable for providing romantic atmosphere. The prices too are delightfully reasonable.

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