The best date-night restaurants in Melbourne

Our favourite places for frocking up and impressing someone's pants off
Pasta dish at Arlechin Melbourne
Photograph: Carmen Zammit
By Time Out editors |
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"You choose the place," is a phrase that hardly anyone wants to hear when it comes to arranging the perfect date (the pressure!) – unless you're armed with a fail-proof list of romantic spots. You can't go wrong at any of these restaurants (unless you can't afford the more expensive ones: check the menu first!). Good luck, daters.

Melbourne is a city never short of romantic locales; check out our list of the best places for Tinder dates, or if the mood takes you, the most romantic hotels

Super fancy

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Restaurants

Rosetta

icon-location-pin Southbank

You may be taking your date to the casino, but it's everything you won't expect. Exceptional cocktails, carefully prepared hand-made pasta and ridiculously fresh seafood is guarnateed to romance the harshest of critics.

Time Out says
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Restaurants

Vue De Monde

icon-location-pin Melbourne

It always pays to book ahead if you're going to impress sky-high. If you can't drop that much cash on dinner, you can also hit up Lui Bar next door for a cocktail at sundown over some very smart snacks.

Time Out says
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Restaurants

Attica

icon-location-pin Ripponlea

This is the restaurant anniversaries are made for. You'll be receiving some of the tightest service served alongside an impressive winelist and a modern interpertation of Australian cusine by an internationally celebrated Kiwi chef who we've adopted as our own. It's fine dining without the stiff service.

 

Time Out says

Hidden gold

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An interior shot of the dining room at Estelle Bistro with peopl
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Restaurants

Estelle Bistro

icon-location-pin Northcote

Mod-Oz in an Art Deco diner. This is the hottest piece of eating action in Northcote if you like all things molecular.

Time Out says
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Lupino
Restaurants

Lupino

icon-location-pin Melbourne

Classic food in a modern venue. The high energy and fast pace of this restaurant will keep your date in good spirits. Approachable food and smart drinks means it's one less thing to think about, too.

Time Out says
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A glass tray with grilled meat topped with poached pear at Epoch
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Restaurants

Epocha

icon-location-pin Carlton

It may be in an old gentleman's club (you know what we mean), but a lot has changed since those days. The service here is the best in Melbourne and perfect for romancing the one you've been crushing on for years.

Time Out says
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Restaurants

Tempura Hajime

icon-location-pin South Melbourne

Tiny, hidden, intimate; this 13-seater tempura bar in a side street of South Melbourne is our pick for dining without a crowd. Just be confident in your conversation because there will be nowhere to hide.

Time Out says

Wine and snacks

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Restaurants

Ombra Bar

icon-location-pin Melbourne

It's dark, convivial and intimate, what could go wrong? Learn your salumi from your salami over a few carafes of wine and lean in over a pizza.

Time Out says
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Bars

Bar Di Stasio

icon-location-pin St Kilda

If southside, it's only natural to head to Bar Di Stasio. Sit up at the marble bar and watch the bartenders craft your cocktails over a plate of fritto misto and people watch the who's who of St Kilda. 

Time Out says
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Bars, Cocktail bars

Hihou

icon-location-pin Melbourne

Ring the doorbell and be led upstairs to indulge in Japanese whiskies and sake while overlooking the Treasury Gardens. Perfect for a nightcap when you don't want the world to find you.

Time Out says
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Food at French Saloon Melbourne
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Restaurants, French

French Saloon

icon-location-pin Melbourne

A wine-lover's haven with food to match. This sophisticated wine bar is off street level and serves until 1am. Share some caviar over grower champagne and move to the balcony for an intimate, moonlit end to your evening.

Time Out says

Fancy a drink after dinner?

Whisky and Alement bartender
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Bars, Cocktail bars

The 50 best bars in Melbourne

Time Out's editors tortured their brains (and destroyed their livers) to bring you this: the definitive guide to drinking in Melbourne.

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