The Best Romantic Restaurants In Melbourne For Date Night
— Updated on 3 April 2023

The Best Romantic Restaurants In Melbourne For Date Night

— Updated on 3 April 2023
Daisy Slade
WORDS BY
Daisy Slade

Whether you’re after a last-minute table for Valentine’s Day, or just location scouting for some new fun date ideas to keep on rotation, it can be tricky to balance that fine line between intimate and lively – cool enough to impress, but low-key enough that you don’t risk running into every mate (or ex) you’ve ever met (ie avoid Mt Erica Hotel).

Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of Melbourne’s best venues to wine and dine for those you pine.

Are these the most romantic restaurants Melbourne has to offer? Maybe. But then again, it doesn’t matter. Too many people feel under pressure these days to get creative with date night, scouring date ideas in Melbourne anxiously looking for something to impress.

Keeping it simple with a nice restaurant or wine bar will almost always trump a stroll through the Queen Victoria night market, a day at Albert Park driving range (it constantly comes up in suggestions), a session at Miss Fox Day Spa (again, common suggestion), an escape room or a life drawing class. It’s a classic perfect date night for a reason, so you don’t need any unique date ideas to impress.

Put down that list of romantic date ideas and make the booking.

RELATED: The Best New Restaurants In Melbourne

Romantic Restaurants In Melbourne – Table Of Contents

10 Best Date Night Spots In Melbourne

Lilac, Cremorne

(Photo via Lilac, Instagram)

The newest addition to the Mulberry Group’s repertoire (sibling venues Hazel & Dessous also provide decent date night options), the romance is already in the name – a classic 90’s Jeff Buckley hit – but the sexiness arrives in droves via ambience and menu offerings.

Australian/French-bistro leaning, you can play it safe with classically cooked fish or veg, or roll the dice with their chicken mousse éclair (at the very least, an excellent conversation starter).

Address: 31 Stephenson St, Cremorne VIC 3121
Contact: (03) 9973 2061
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Thursday (4 PM – 12 AM); Friday – Saturday (12 PM – 12 AM); Sunday (12 PM – 5 PM)

Clover, Richmond

(Photo via Clover, Instagram)

Around the corner and up the road from Lilac, Richmond hums with the roar of good-time punters. The menu may seem trend-driven (natural wine and food cooked solely over fire), but the offering is 100% genuine and extremely flavour driven.

There are no misses on this ever-rotating food menu. Grab a table in front of the kitchen to watch the chefs in action (and fill any awkward silences), or head to the courtyard for a more chilled out, private-ish vibe.

Address: 193 Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday (5 PM – 10 PM); Thursday – Saturday (12 PM – 11 PM); Sunday (12 PM – 5 PM)

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Harley & Rose, West Footscray

(Photo via Harley & Rose, Instagram)

Real ones know that a trip over the Westgate is to be soaked in reward. A quick car ride timed at sunset? Gorgeous. Destination Harley & Rose in West Footscray? You are in and it is on.

A neighbourhood restaurant that offers extremely good-yet-casual food, beer, wine and cocktails, it’s just as suited to dinner with mates as it is to mono-e-mono. Harley & Rose is the kind of place that the city’s best chefs and some will go to for a night out, and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for homegirl. Grab a table upstairs by the window if you can.

Address: 572 Barkly St, West Footscray VIC 3012
Contact: (03) 9689 9752
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday (5 PM – 9 PM); Friday – Saturday (5 PM – 10 PM)

Greasy Zoe’s, Hurstbridge

(Photo via Greasy Zoe’s, Instagram)

Sometimes you want a little bit of adventure, but that doesn’t always have to mean getting out into nature. Sometimes that adventure is jumping on the train to the end of the Hurstbridge Line and finding yourself at tiny fine-diner (eight seats tiny) Greasy Zoe’s.

Forget what you know from Bias B’s classic hit/tribute tune, and settle in to enjoy a menu that’s hyper focused on local, seasonal produce. The menu changes daily, so should this date not work out, you can come back tomorrow with a new lady on your arm and expect to be wowed all over again. 

It’s not exactly one of the most romantic restaurants Melbourne has to offer. But at this point, that doesn’t matter one bit.

Address: Shop 3/850 Heidelberg – Kinglake Rd, Hurstbridge VIC 3099
Contact: (03) 9718 0324
Opening Hours: Friday (6:30 PM – 10 PM); Saturday (3 PM – 10 PM); Sunday (12 PM – 3 PM)

Poodle Bar & Bistro, Fitzroy

(Photo via Poodle Bar & Bistro, Instagram)

With its moody marble décor, killer cocktail list, and seafood towers brimming with oceanic aphrodisiacs, Poodle might just be the ultimate location for Valentine’s day.

Two levels filled to the brim with nooks for nookie, the vibe is kitsch-meets-modern Italian thanks to Chef Josh Fry (ex-Marion & Cumulus), and the energy in a room full of boujie northsiders is nothing short of horny (in a good way).  Come for fresh and baked oysters, stay for the all-round great experience.

Address: 81-83 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Contact: (03) 9086 8971
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday (5 PM – 11 PM); Thursday (5 PM – 12 AM); Friday (4 PM – 12 AM); Saturday (12 PM – 12 AM); Sunday (12 PM – 6 PM)

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Miznon, Melbourne CBD

(Photo via Miznon, Instagram)

Miznon might just be the culinary equivalent of receiving an invitation after sending a ‘U up?’ text. Consider a Michelin-starred chef plating up his favourite food inside a pita pocket, roasting entire cauliflowers and throwing a paper bag filled with slow-cooked meat on the table as a side dish, Every visit is a thrill.

Miznon absolutely pumps, is a bag of fun, and is just really very, very good. If the budget is skint but the appetite for great food, relaxed service and loud music is heavy, this is your date spot… Probably third date material – perfect for when you want to go out on Valentine’s Day but don’t want to make a ‘thing’ of it.

Address: 59 Hardware Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9670 2861
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (12 PM – 3 PM, 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM)

Caretaker’s Cottage, Melbourne CBD

(Photo via Caretaker’s Cottage, Instagram)

First date fever? Nervous about committing to a proper sit-down meal? There’s nothing wrong with keeping the arvo/night to a strictly drinks-only affair, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better spot than Caretaker’s.

A former tiny literal bluestone caretakers cottage, this venue is now a tiny, world’s fifty-best longlist bar, where the vinyl plays loud, the drinks are made to order, and the Guinness pours crisp and fresh. Good times are guaranteed, just make sure you get in early to get yourself a seat.

Address: 139-141 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (4 PM – 1 AM)

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Albert’s Wine Bar, Armadale

(Photo via Albert’s Wine Bar, Instagram)

Albert’s is the kind of place you head to for a quick one off the wood on a quiet afternoon, but five hours later you haven’t moved and there’s nowhere else in Melbourne you’d rather be.

What was once a sleepy, leafy retail strip is now an entire footpath dedicated to new-world wine, tasty little share plates, and beautiful people. The team here embody hospitality, and the devout local fanbase is a testament to their ability to deliver time and time again.

Address: 17 Morey St, Armadale VIC 3143
Contact: (03) 9509 2574
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday (5 PM – 11 PM); Thursday (12 PM – 11 PM); Friday (5 PM – 11 PM); Saturday (12 PM – 11 PM); Sunday (12 PM – 9 PM)

Bar Romantica, Brunswick East

(Photo via Bar Romantica, Instagram)

The name says it all, but as soon as you walk in the door and cop the interiors, there’s no mistaking that Bar Romantica is one for the lovers. Cosy little booths upholstered in hallmark red vinyl, candlelight, and heart-shaped marble tables. It might read a little novel, but the menu is legit as they come.

The drinks offering is thoughtful (particularly wines by the glass), and while you can kick a goal with a bowl of blue swimmer crab spaghetti and call it a night, we’d recommend ordering every snack (don’t skip the raw beef) and sharing a couple of wood-fired pizzas. At Bar Romantica, there’s no rush.

Address: 52/54 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057
Contact: (03) 9191 9410
Opening Hours: Sunday – Monday (5 PM – 10 PM); Tuesday – Thursday (5 PM – 11 PM); Friday – Saturday (5 PM – 12 AM)

Kazuki’s, Carlton

(Photo via Kazuki’s, Instagram)

Ready to pull out all the stops? Lygon street might not leap to the forefront when considering refined dining experiences, but Kazuki’s is an oasis above the chaos. Seven-plus courses of Japanese-European food balanced and plated to perfection pair perfectly with the quiet, warm, knowledgeable front-of-house staff.

Wine and sake lists are presented as expertly as the food and service. You could feel like you’re in a scene from Lost in Translation, but if you’re taking someone to Kazuki’s there’s a good chance you’re doing better than Bill and have graduated from the Friend zone.

Address: 121 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Contact: (03) 9349 2223
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Thursday (6 PM – 10 PM); Friday (12 PM – 2 PM, 6 PM – 10 PM); Saturday (6 PM – 10 PM); Sunday (12 PM – 2 PM)

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Romantic Restaurants Melbourne – Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I go for a date in Melbourne?

Check out Bar Romantica in Brunswick East for a great date in Melbourne, or hit up Miznon in Melbourne CBD.

What's a good place to take a date in Melbourne CBD?

You can’t go wrong with Miznon in Hardware Lane if you’re looking for great date spots in Melbourne CBD

RELATED: Best Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne

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Daisy Slade
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