Sure, it’s not Paris, but Sydney can be mighty romantic when it wants to be, especially with these special spots. With plenty of intimate cocktail bars and amazing eateries to help set the mood, we’ve collated some of the “if-you-know-you-know” locations so you can really impress your date.
Perfect for an anniversary, Valentine’s Day activity, first date, or standard date night, these Sydney date ideas will help you impress. From here, you just have to bring that loveable charm that we know you have.
Let’s start with the most-flashy, most-Sydney spot there is. Bennelong offers a world-class chef, waterfront dining, and the inclusion of the Sydney Opera House. When it comes to Sydney date night restaurants, this is the spot.
Get ready for an elegant night that can start early with the pre-theatre menu, allowing you to follow dinner with a show at the Opera House. This fine dining experience offers views of the Quay while you enjoy three courses paired with some of the best wine available.
If you don’t want to go too overboard on a first date, Bennelong allows you to visit the bar for cocktails, or the cured and cultured bar, a smaller version of the main menu’s full offering.
If you opt for the big dining experience, you’ll enjoy things like multipoint ravioli followed by the cherry lamington dessert. It’s all delicious, and Bennelong ensures the ultimate Sydney fine-dining experience. Date impressed? Check.
Marble Bar is the spot if you want to keep the date restricted to just cocktails (a great hack for first dates just in case things aren’t working out). This gallery-like bar is full of French realist-style paintings by Julian Ashton, making it a true sight to see.
It is, however, the fully stocked cocktail bar that makes this one of the finer date night ideas Sydney can offer. Marble bar was built in 1893, then moved across town and rebuilt in 2005. There is a snack list to couple some sliders with your elderflower liqueur, premium, and other wild and wonderful cocktails.
Come for the impressive Victorian-era surroundings and stay for the ridiculously talented bartender and the weird and wonderful drinks they make. A fun night will certainly be had by all.
Want something with a little less flash and a little more quirk? Newtown’s Bloodwood has you covered. This comfortable cocktail lounge doubles as a tapas bar primarily built using recycled materials.
Bloodwood feels like a locals-only joint but friendlier, with plenty of share plates and amazing cocktails to chat about babies and superannuation plans and all of the other fun date talk the kids have these days.
The handy thing about Bloodwood is that it sits next to Earl’s Juke Joint and Mary’s, two fun spots that prime you for a night of bar-hopping if things are going well.
The menu has a cheap Thai with loads of options for vegan and vegetarian requirements. We recommend the crunchy polenta chips; a particular stand out. If you want something relaxed but full of character, head to Newton and create some memories.
Alberto’s Lounge is a small Italian eatery in Surry Hills that will have you saying “that’s Amore” over a big pizza pie and candlelit table. This spot is tiny, so intimacy is guaranteed, but a table is not, so make sure you book in advance.
From the same people responsible for Shady Pines Saloon and Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice, Alberto’s sits in a hidden laneway on the CBD fringe, offering an aesthetic of Italian vintage posters and potato dumplings that are to die for.
Start your date with some spicy housemade potato chips and an Amaretto Sour or something from the detailed wine list. From there, the authentic pizza and pasta on offer will make you feel like you’ve transported to the Italian riviera as you woo your way to date number two.
When you think “date night” do you also think “Viking carvery”? If so, Mjølner will really suit your vibe. The Speakeasy group, who are usually big on theatrical settings for their venues (such as Eau De Vie), have created a spot where you can impress your date by acting as a true Norse god.
This subterranean restaurant in Redfern has Viking helmets in display cases, glass horn cups for your mead and a menu full of meat. It sounds a bit nerdy, but the aesthetic is actually very stylish, and you simply won’t find another setting quite like this.
The Speakeasy group are known for their high-class drinks menus, and the cocktail list at Mjølner does not drop the baton. If you are looking for a themed evening from the days of old, you’ll dig these surroundings. Maybe check that your date is also into this kind of thing first; we wouldn’t want you coming off as uncool.
Address: 267 Cleveland St, Redfern
For a date in Sydney with the finest of all views, head to Infinity at Sydney Tower, which will see you 81 storeys above ground level. Try the degustation menu over sunset as you look out to the Blue Mountains and beyond for a truly romantic evening.
This revolving fine diner sits 245 metres up, offering 360-degree views, a stunning menu and local wine pairings. You and your date will see all of Sydney if you can stand to take your eyes off the plates of pure art that will be placed in front of you. The chocolate mousse is particularly tantalising as a finisher, and the staff’s wine and food knowledge will ensure you only make the best choices.
When it comes to harbourside views, Infinity is the ultimate option. Every date goes well when all of Sydney is in your view!
Everything Spanish is instantly romantic, which is why La Salut, the Catalan-inspired spot along Walker Street, makes for s great date location. This wine bar has plenty of grazing options on the menu and a large range of vermouths, fortified wine poured over ice, and many more fun things to discover with your significant other.
As with other great Europe-inspired eateries, the goal here is less-is-more with humble ingredients that are packed full of flavour. The decor mirrors this idea with a minimalist approach heavy on the polished concrete, with fewer visual distractions so you can gaze on the beauty of your guest!
It may be difficult to get a spot in this popular little gem, but you’ll be set for the night if you do.
This is the sign that hangs in the large industrial space that is Riley Street Garage. The Art Deco-inspired venue pulls its theme from the 50s tinged Manhattan speakeasy where the best spot is at the bar.
You’ll find an eclectic menu (like the sashimi and potato crisps, imported beers and a range of unique cocktails. They have Guinness on tap, Bilpin pear cider and our particular favourite, the Drunk Uncle cocktail.
The well-dressed bartenders are also a good time and up for a chat if you are your date need an intermediary to settle some fun date debate banter.
With this list of great options, it should be easy to find the perfect spot for your next big date. If you want even more choices and feel like getting closer to a French romantic feel, read our best French restaurants in Sydney article.
Dining and drinking in Sydney is a lot of fun, with so many excellent options to discover. We’ll always do our best to give you quality shortlists to help you make the right choices for what to do with your time!