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Best places for a first date

31/05/2023

You’ve swiped right, asked out a longstanding crush, or caved to your persistent friend’s requests to set you up on a blind date. So, here’s where to head for the all-important first date, so even if your date is less than impressive, at least you know the food will be good.

  • House of Chow

    Adelaide CBD, Adelaide, South Australia

    First dates can be awkward. So, the enormous aquarium that runs through this Adelaide institution can provide a welcome distraction. Plus, the impeccable service and fine Chinese fare make it a fail-safe option. Courting a coeliac? House of Chow also have one of the best gluten-free menus out.

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  • Cantina OK

    Sydney CBD, Sydney, New South Wales

    You’ll have no choice but to get cosy in this pink-hued hole-in-the-wall bar that fits just 20 punters. Luckily, tequila and mezcal are in high supply if you need some liquid courage. In between sucking on complimentary watermelon and hearing travel stories from the highly entertaining barmen, you can throw back the weekly cocktail special (past editions have featured rice bubbles, bee pollen, and lemon jelly). It’ll be a night to remember – or not, depending on how many you have.

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  • Bar Romantica

    Brunswick East, Melbourne, Victoria

    Your date may groan when you tell them the name of where you’re headed, but don't worry – this dimly lit Italian joint is far from cheesy. Sink into the red leather booths for creative aperitivo, hand-rolled pasta, and simple but elegant woodfired pizzas. Wine connoisseur? You can show off your knowledge by asking about some of the 200-plus varieties in the cellar.

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  • Rubicon

    Griffith, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

    Got someone you really like? Wow them with a candlelit dinner under a canopy of fairy lights and greenery at this secret gem. Plus, you'll find an array of oysters (AKA aphrodisiacs) on the creative French-leaning menu.

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  • Beccofino

    Newstead, Brisbane, Queensland

    This cosy trattoria – with its refined Italian menu, excellent wine list, and pleasant buzz should the conversation run a little dry – has all the fixings for a great first date. Linger over stuffed zucchini flowers, duck pappardelle, and a heavenly tiramisu. And if your date fails to impress? The charming waitstaff will win you over.

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