Southwest Washington is usually overshadowed by its southern neighbor, Portland, Oregon when it comes to dining experiences, especially romantic ones. Still, there are a decent number of sweet restaurants in the area that don’t demand a trip south across the Columbia River. Enjoy these Vancouver-area eateries as a great romantic place to eat or just something fun for friends to enjoy!
Quay Restaurant and Bar
Red Lion Hotel, 100 Columbia Street, Vancouver, WA 98660
The Quay, unlike most other locations in Vancouver, on the Columbia River, is truly “on”
the River. It is located in a old “dockside” or “wharf” style building, with the windows looking right on the water. Diners will probably get to see plenty of recreational salmon anglers out in their boats and pleasure boaters on the water when the weather is nice. The atmosphere is really, really neat and the prices, while high, aren’t too terrible either. The large I-5 bridge is visible from the Quay and diners sometimes get the treat of watching this functional drawbridge actually rise up and down, occasionally, when large ships pass through. One of my favorite times to eat at the Quay is for Mother or Father’s day brunch, the food is usually fairly decent and the overall vibe of the place is definitely very nice!
Beaches Restaurant & Bar
1919 Southeast Columbia River Drive, Vancouver, WA 98661
Beaches is one of the best places in Vancouver, Washington for a romantic evening. Of course, Vancouver tends to be a rather “casual dining” city, and most of the finer dining is located in Portland, so don’t expect a stuffy black tie affair at Beaches. Instead, relax in the cozy atmosphere in this nice restaurant alongside the might Columbia River, looking across to the Jantzen Beach side of Portland, Oregon. It is even worth just dropping for a dessert date, if you are looking to save a little money but still enjoy the great view (I totally recommend this!).
McMenamins On the Columbia
1801 Southeast Columbia River Drive, Vancouver, WA 98661
Another popular riverside restaurant is McMenamins. It is not busy (usually) as busy as Beaches but it still can get crowded. Definitely try out the microbrews, if that is your sort of thing. The Pacific Northwest is famous for its variety of microbrews, so definitely consider this. Also, while their menu selection is not as large as some other popular restaurants in the area, they still have sold choices. Dress is casual, as pretty much everything in Vancouver, Washington is, but it still makes for a nice date location choice on a romantic evening.