Love stories set in the Big Apple are nothing new, but when it comes to choosing a perfect rom-com, these New York-centric tales make the list every time. Just in time for love’s big day, we’ve compiled a guide of must-watch romantic movies set in NYC. And whether you’re single or coupled up, grabbing a bottle of wine and flipping on one of these titles makes for the perfect Valentine’s night in.

West Side Story 

First up is the evergreen musical triumph, West Side Story (1961). Watch as Tony and Maria traipse around 1950s West 68th Street tenements ensnared in forbidden love. Well-known tunes like “I Feel Pretty” and “Jet Song” might necessitate a singing break, while “Somewhere” might even bring out the tissues.

Top 7 Romantic Movies In NYC: West Side Story

United Artists

An Affair to Remember 

Moving on to one of the most classic romantic films of all time, An Affair to Remember (1957) has crystallized the Empire State Building as a meet-up spot for distant lovers in our national lexicon. An irresistible love affair is fraught by existing relationships, but love finds a way to prevail. It’s such a classic that it even inspired the next film in the line-up: Sleepless in Seattle (1993). 

Twentieth Century Fox Entertainment 

Sleepless in Seattle 

While the title tells a different story, the film’s defining moment happens in New York atop the Empire State Building, where an Annie, a writer looking for a romance reminiscent of An Affair to Remember, meets widower Sam. The rest is history.

Top 7 Must-Watch Romantic Movies Set In NYC: Sleepless in Seattle

TriStar Pictures

You’ve Got Mail 

The Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks duo seems to be the magic rom-com ingredient. If a movie marathon is in order, queue up their hit flick You’ve Got Mail (1998) next. It’s a classic love-hate plot of email pen pals who discover that they’re real-life rivals as independent bookstore owners in NYC. Love wins out in the end, proving the duo’s on-screen chemistry once again.

Top 7 Romantic Movies In NYC: You've Got Mail

Warner Bros.

New York, I Love You

Moving into the mid-aughts, New York, I Love You (2008) is next. With a title like this, we can’t ignore this compilation of 11 mini plots spread across the entirety of New York City. Multiple directorial styles and a deep line-up of stars — Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Blake Lively and Ethan Hawke — make for an entertaining entanglement of love in the city that never sleeps.

Top 7 Romantic Movies in NYC: New York, I Love You

Vivendi Entertainment


Finally, if you’re of the opinion that laughter and love pair perfectly together, turn on Hitch (2005). Will Smith’s role as an NYC dating expert to Kevin James makes for some truly laugh-out-loud scenes. Or opt for a tongue-in-cheek look at modern dating habits with Friends with Benefits (2011). Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake’s friendship heats up, portraying the complications of dating, especially in a city as big and bustling as New York.

Top 7 Romantic Movies in NYC: Hitch

Columbia Pictures