Paris may get top billing, but the city of Lyon is the destination for food lovers with romance on the mind. In this gastronomic center of France there's no shortage of fantastically delicious and cozy restaurants. You could dine in, or simply pick up a basket of cheese and charcuterie at the market, throw in a baguette and a bottle of beaujolais, and climb the curvy road up Mont d'Or for a sunset picnic overlooking the city lights.
The medina (old town) of Fes is a vibrant labyrinth of more than 9,000 twisting, narrow streets. Stop for a glass of mint tea in one of the cafés in the spice market, known as the Souk el Attarin, and then stroll through the dyer's souk to soak in the fantastically colored fabrics. The street food in Fes is phenomenal — pigeon pie is a staple — and there's no shortage of fabulous restaurants serving classic Moroccan dishes like couscous and tagine. Since Fes is said to be the capital of Moroccan cooking, you and your sweetie can even take a cooking class together and bring a little of the exotic back home with you.
Though this city has been through a lot, it remains one of the most beautifully romantic places, with some of the finest food. Start off your evening with aphrodisiac-packed grilled oysters from Acme, move onto French comfort food at the most romantic restaurant in town, La Crepe Nanou, and then dance to some great live music at Mimi's in the Marigny. When you realize your night has turned into morning, join the other recovering revelers with beignets and chicory coffee at Café du Monde.
The city known best for deep-dish pizza and the Bears may not seem like a romantic destination, but trust us — it is. Take advantage of beautiful Lake Michigan by enjoying a sunset architectural tour to get the lay of the land. Once you've worked up an appetite, you'll have plenty of choices. There are 77 different neighborhoods in Chi-town and the variety of ethnic eats seems endless. There's the aforementioned pizza — Lou Malnati's for traditional or Bacino's for stuffed — but you can also go all-out at four-star destinations like Alinea or Moto.
The Italian town that gave us two of the most delicious foods on the planet, Parmigiano-Reggiano and prosciutto di Parma, is also one of the most romantic places on Earth. Stroll through piazzas and visit the birthplace of the great Arturo Toscanini. Maybe hit the Teatro Regio for an opera in the evening, after stopping for drinks under the frescos at Cavour Gran Caffè. But whatever you do, don't forget to stop and eat. You're better off scrimping on accommodations than missing one of the unforgettable meals you'll find here.
This place is so romantic, it's even shaped like a heart! The Croatian peninsula that gave us Lidia Bastianich borders Slovenia by land and Italy by sea. It's made up of a series of little resort towns along the Adriatic, each more charming than the last. The area is well known for its delicious food and as you might expect, seafood is a specialty. Start off with oysters to get you in the mood and then move onto briny mussels, prawns, and clams in a light tomato sauce, accompanied by one of the area's wines. Truffles are another Istrian specialty and you can find them in oils, shaved over pasta, or ground into paste.
Maine's craggy coastline doesn't have endless sandy beaches like the Jersey shore, but with less sand, comes less tacky. Instead of roller coasters and cotton candy, you get charming lobster fishing boats. Check into a cozy inn and tuck into a lobster dinner that's been pulled from the sea that day. How can anyone be in a bad mood with a tub of melted butter? Work up your appetite by kayaking amongst the area's seals and finish up by enjoying some of the other native cuisine — namely, potatoes. You'll find potato doughnuts, cookies, and several different kinds of potato cake.
This Japanese city has long been called "kuidaore," which translates to "bringing ruin upon oneself by extravagance in food." You can begin your descent into ruin with dinner at one of the restaurants in the high-rise "sky gourmet," Hankyu 32-bangai, looking down at the twinkling city lights. Osaka Castle Park at twilight is another romantic must-see, full of fragrant cherry and apricot blossoms. Don't leave Osaka without trying one of the high-end places — maybe a chef's choice dinner at the tiny jewel box, Isshin. Once you're revitalized by exquisite sashimi and premium sake, check into one of the many "love hotels."
With its exquisite architecture and breathtaking views, it's no wonder that many travelers who stumbled upon Kathmandu believed it to be the mythical Shangri-la. Winding paths lead you through exotic markets, depositing you into tiny restaurants that serve dishes that are a sort of Indian/Tibetan fusion. These might include lentil soups or stews, curries, tender grilled meats, and fragrant cups of hot tea. Depending on your budget, you might want to opt for a more upscale restaurant like the Krishnarpan in the Dwarikas Hotel, and enjoy an organic, slow-dining experience, lasting anywhere from six to 22 vegetarian courses.
Spain is made for eating, drinking, and falling in love, and no place in Spain is as exquisite as the capital city of Andalucia. Home to nearly 4,000 places to eat tapas, Seville's bars offer up glasses of garnacha or tempranillo, alongside bite-sized morsels of salty olives, garlicky shrimp, crusty breads, and creamy croquettes. Is there anything more romantic than sitting under the stars, sipping red wine and feeding each other bits of manchego? Probably not. The city lends itself to romance, with warm sunny days and flamenco-filled nights.