Scores of couples Valentine’s night were forced to leave the Yoko Bistro and Noodle Bar when the blaze broke out around 6.30 pm.
Six fire appliances from Coleraine and Portstewart along with the emergency services raced to the scene.
Police evacuated a number of other shops and restaurants in Coleraine’s Riverside Regional Centre.
Fortunately, no-one was injured.
The fire is thought to have started by accident in the restaurant’s kitchen.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus battled for several hours to bring the blaze under control.