top of page

Where to eat for Valentine’s Day without a reservation

10 restaurants to visit when love is in the air but you haven’t booked a table.

By Devra First Globe Staff,Updated February 13, 2024, 11:00 a.m.

Honey, I forgot to make the reservations.

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and perhaps you thought you would actually cook a romantic dinner in the middle of the week but now see the foolishness of that idea. Or you believe that going out to eat on Valentine’s Day can be a rushed and overcrowded experience and you’d be better off waiting until another night, when restaurants really need your business — only to remember your loved one feels decidedly otherwise. Most likely, you didn’t realize it was already February, because time moves erratically: 2024, what even is that, and where are our flying cars?

Point being, if you’d like to squire a loved one to dinner at a restaurant tonight, but you haven’t planned ahead, you still have options aplenty. (Bear in mind, the tradeoff may be a bit of a wait for a table.) Here are a few to consider.

Spring Shabu-Shabu

What could be more romantic than eyeing each other over bubbling pots of spicy pork bone or vegetarian mushroom broth while stirring in fishcakes, vegetables, noodles, and more from the all-you-can-eat buffet? (Seafood and meat platters are a la carte.) There are many wonderful places for hot pot in town, but most of them take reservations. Spring Shabu-Shabu is first come, first served; get there early if possible, as there is likely to be a line. It also has a sauce bar and matcha soft-serve. Stuff yourself silly, then leave smelling like garlic together.

304 Western Ave., Brighton, 617-202-5422,


bottom of page