Our top date ideas: Melbourne
Whether you want to get outdoors, cuddle-up in a corner bar or nibble your way through Melbourne’s laneway restaurants, there’s something for everyone:
If you’d like to stick to script and go for a dinner date, an uber-cosy option is Noir in Richmond’s Swan Street. The French inspired food is presented exquisitely and the flavour combinations are truly show-stopping – and the locals all know it – so make sure to reserve a table. If it’s a lunch date but you’d like to keep it classy, Ciao Cielo, fits the bill. Think Art Deco elements, stunning lead light windows and all the Italian menu classics.
For the quintessential Melbourne experience, head to Sista Bella, one of Melbourne’s best hidden bars. Fit with unique antique decor and bespoke bar, it’s perfect for an intimate date experience. For a different look and feel, set your sights on Aer Bar, where you’ll find lip-smacking cocktails and glorious sights of the city. There’s also a hearty tapas menu for when you get a bit peckish.
Swap the traditional dinner date with some Sunday morning market-place activity; the Camberwell Markets allows for a wonderfully casual dating atmosphere, not to mention an opportunity to peruse the odds and ends on offer! But wake up early – the market’s all done and dusted by 12.30pm
If your date is in to films, skip the ho-hum cinemas and go for something a bit special. The Astor is one of Melbourne’s most loved Art Deco cinemas, where you’ll find both new releases and art house favourites. Or turn the clock back in time and head to the Coburg Drive-in. It's a bit of a drive from Melbourne, but there's nothing like old-fashioned romance.
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READ MORE: Want to forget the city for a couple of days? Check out our top Melbourne weekend getaways!
Appease your inner thespian and head to the Melbourne Theatre Company, where the mix of classic and contemporary theatre never disappoints. Another option is Malthouse Theatre at Southbank, which is housed in a stunning 19th century brewery that exudes that perfect mix of charm and cool - a top Melbourne date idea for the culture vultures.
Parks tend to really put people at ease, making them a wonderful first date option. And with Melbourne boasting hectares of picture-perfect parks, you’d be nuts not to get in on the action. Pack a picnic and head to your nearest patch of grass – whether that be the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy or Lysterfield Lake Park, where you can jump in a canoe to give your date that little something extra.
Cooking is a great natural way to test your chemistry. But if you’re not much of a chef, a cooking class makes for a great date idea. Head to South Melbourne Market’s The Neef Market Kitchen, where you can learn everything from Vietnamese bahn mi to simple spring seafood. Those sweet-toothed souls should head to the ‘hidden chocolate secrets’ class, where even the most hedonist hankerings will be appeased.
Test your potential as a two-some by hiring a tandem bike from St Kilda Cycles. Follow the Yarra River trail on to Yarra Bend Park – and keep on the lookout for local wildlife as you go.
We’ve done our bit – now it’s time for you to do yours: choose an activity and get dating!