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Two people holding cocktails in front of the view at Lui Bar
Photograph: Supplied/Lui Bar

The best bars for first dates in Melbourne

Take your date out for a drink at one of these bars and shake off those first date nerves

By Sarah Gamboni

You swipe right and hit it off, but then what next? Picking the right bar for a first date isn't easy; especially in a city like ours. With so many bars to choose from, finding the perfect spot to get to know someone can be a real headache. That's why we've put together this list of Melbourne's most sure-fire bars for a winning first date. For more dating help, check out our guide to Melbourne's best date-night restaurants, or our tips on where to take your Tinder matches.

Top bars for first dates

1. Romeo Lane

Bars Cocktail bars Melbourne

With a name that was made for lovers, this intimate laneway bar is ripe for romancing.

2. The Lui Bar

Bars Melbourne

If you're out to impress, scoot on up to the 55th floor of the Rialto for well-crafted cocktails and knockout city views.

Charcuterie board at Joanie's Baretto
Photograph: Graham Denholm

4. Joanie’s Baretto

Bars Thornbury

A European-style bar with heart and soul has Aperol spritzes, an Italian-only wine list and crisp fritto misto.


5. Bar Lourinha

Restaurants Melbourne

Sit at the bar counter and you'll have plenty to talk about while you imagine you're in Spain in this romantic bar. Share tapas dishes (get the oysters) over delicious cocktails or a bottle of Portugese wine.  

6. Beneath Driver Lane

Bars Cocktail bars Melbourne

Cocktails, whisky, blues, good service and Reuben sandwiches until 2am: Beneath Driver Lane has all of the ingredients for a perfect first date. The venue is cosy, with dim lighting that makes everyone look great and plenty of private booths for earnest conversation (or canoodling).


7. Whitehart Bar

Bars Cocktail bars Melbourne

This shipping container bar in a CBD laneway is made for fun and low-stakes first date. The DJ keeps the party mood alive all night and the upper deck is a great spot for people watching. Food comes by way of visiting food trucks serving cheap eats.  


10. Bad Frankie

Bars Cocktail bars Fitzroy

With all-Australian spirits, inventive cocktails and toasted jaffles, Bad Frankie brings good times to Fitzroy.


11. The Collection

Restaurants Richmond

For when you want to get down and dirty, this New Orleans-inspired bar dishes out dirt-cheap happy hours and saucy chicken wings.

Or try a restaurant instead


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