Romantic Restaurants in Melbourne for the Perfect Date Night
Looking for a dinner spot where you can cosy up by candlelight? Feast your eyes on our edit of the best romantic restaurants in Melbourne.
When it comes to wining and dining your significant other, Melbourne presents no shortage of options for the lovestruck. Beautiful spaces, mood-setting ambience and breathtaking views get things off to a perfect start, before the dishes even begin to arrive. Next time you’re planning a date night to remember, consider our picks for the most romantic restaurants in Melbourne – these amorous spots are guaranteed to get you in the mood.
Is there anything more romantic than a classic French bistro? Scott Pickett's newest fine dining restaurant – which opened on Valentine's Day – puts the award-winning chef's signature spin on traditional French cooking in an elegant space which has been reimagined to transport diners to Paris. The opulent interior serves as a beautiful backdrop to an anniversary, engagement, or very flashy first date, and there's the option to choose between casual dining at the bar or more formal dining around marble tables on cosy red leather couches.
300 Smith Street, Collingwood
A successful date night involves great food and wine, an intimate ambiance and very few decisions over what to eat. Tipico delivers all of those things, and so much more. Reigning supreme as one of the most romantic restaurants in Melbourne, the contemporary Italian eatery has a dreamy grey and white terrazzo bar, greenery to soften the space, and two distinctive dining sections: one more dimly-lit and moody, and the other perfect for casual conversation and feasting. On the food front expect classic Italian flavours with a modern twist, from burrata with smoked peach puree to rich beef pappardelle and pillowy parcels of spinach and ricotta. Opt for the 'Decidiamo Noi' and let the experts do the ordering for you – less decisions, more time for romance. Win-win!
242 High Street, Windsor
A cosy neighbourhood wine bar at its core, WAYGOOD has date night written all over it. Buy a bottle (one of over 3500 options available) and slip beneath the archway into an intimate space, where a distinctly European sensibility awaits you and your beau. The menu changes weekly, but the focus is always on nourishing, approachable plates that will send your foodie hearts aflutter. Standout dishes on the current menu include Appellation oysters with Champagne mignonette, grilled market fish with charred cos hearts and chocolate, cranberry, and honeycomb terrine with raspberry sorbet.
213 Swan Street, Richmond
Escape to the city of love, even if it’s just for the night. Moody, intimate, and serving up a classic provençal Mediterranean menu guaranteed to impress, this cosy spot at the Paris End of Collins St is a local lover’s favourite. Settle in under the trompe l’oeil ceiling with a glass of champagne (French of course) and a charcuterie board to share before indulging in French Bistro classics such as Bouillabaisse and Coq Au Vin. You’ll want to save room for dessert - the vanilla crème brûlée is best enjoyed in two.
184 Collins Street, Melbourne
Let's be honest, no one does romance quite like the Italians. With their homey, hole in the wall trattorias, fresh pasta, and last but certainly not least, a wine for every occasion, it's impossible not to get sucked in by it all. Bringing la dolce vita to Melbourne's CBD is Foglia Di Fico. Aside from the overwhelmingly charming interior that lends itself perfectly to a little romance, Foglia's heart and soul is in their fresh hand-made pasta. Look no further than the ultra indulgent gnocchi w braised duck, sautéed forest mushrooms & white truffle oil. Seriously, it's divine.
585 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
Located in the up-and-coming suburb of Yarraville is one of the most innovative and romantic restaurants in Melbourne. Serving a degustation menu to only 25 guests a night has given chef-owner Julian Hills more space to flex his creative muscles, with the results speaking for themselves – weekends are usually booked out months in advance. The perfect hideaway for special occasions, adventurous diners are bound to love the genre-bouncing playlist and novel drinks list (think wattleseed espresso martinis and toasted rice kombucha.
83b Gamon Street, Yarraville
When it comes to date night, Marion is a triple threat; mouth-wateringly good food, an unparalleled wine list, and an intimate atmosphere that is perfect for two. While there is no mistaking that this northside institution is a wine bar (and a great one at that), the food certainly doesn't take a back seat. Stop in for a glass of wine before dinner or make it the main event with unfussy yet surprisingly elevated dishes that hero seasonal produce. With oysters, chocolate, and of course red wine on the menu, ramping up the romance has never been easier - if you catch our drift...
53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
South Melbourne’s Lûmé describes itself as a “foraging restaurant”, using plant and animal species that are endemic, indigenous, and abundant in Victoria. The experience could be described as Noma-esque, full of wild ingredients, mind bending creativity, and high technique that engages every sense. There’s a range of degustations on offer including short, vegan, full, and the Journey – a blockbuster, $390 menu billed as a ‘complete exploration’ of our state’s bio-regions.
226 Coventry Street, South Melbourne
Serving an artful blend of inventive Japanese and European cuisine, this Fitzroy fine-diner is an institution in its own right. Come date night – come to think of it, any night – this revered restaurant has couples queuing out the door. Not least for its seductively chic, industrial-style setting, but for its impressive food selection. It’s seriously next-level. If you’re looking to impress, Cutler & Co never disappoints.
Settle into the restaurant to work your way through sumptuous plates of yellowfin tuna crudo; Aylesbury duck breast glazed with smoke maple syrup; and fresh and candied cherries with vanilla yogurt and ginger snap biscuit.
55–57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Is it a restaurant? No. Is it breathtakingly romantic? Hell yes. Found on level 55 of the Rialto, Lui Bar is the gold standard of special occasion dates. Sure, you go for the view, but you stay for the out of this world cocktails that are some of the city's finest. For all the espresso martini lovers out there, proceed at your own risk with the Vodka Pour Over - it's that good you'll struggle to drink the basic version ever again.
We know what you're thinking, why not choose the more appropriate sibling venue Vue De Monde? Don't get us wrong, Vue De Monde is one of the most romantic restaurants in Melbourne, but you probably already knew that. Upstairs boasts a more relaxed energy where you can cosy up to your beau without the formal dining setting.
Rialto Tower, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne
A hipster wine bar that serves superlative snacks; a little restaurant boasting an eclectic selection of darn good drops. Whatever you’re in the mood for, Bar Liberty has you covered. Iterations of Old and New World wines guarantee endless tasting notes, whilst the fermented beverage list and selection of ‘sticky icky' drops will keep your date suitably entertained.
234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
For a fancy dinner-date for two, book a table at Flower Drum. With a focus on high-quality food and wine with top service, this intimate and elegant Chinese restaurant serves authentic Cantonese cuisine that will impress your significant other. Perfect for a mid-week rendezvous, to end the date on a sweet note we recommend ordering the banana fritters.
17 Market Lane, Melbourne
Rocking a modern fitout but harbouring an old soul, INES glows with frictionless chatter between lovers and friends. This classy European wine bar pleases all – there’s all your Italian favourites (like truffle mash) on the menu, French wine in the cellar and Ol’ Blue Eyes setting the mood. See the neon sign that says “sometimes you wine, sometimes you booze", though if you ask us, a date night at INES is always a safe bet.
150 Chapel Street, Windsor
When a dining experience kicks off with a ceremonial Champagne trolley, you know you’re in for a good night. And in the opulent setting of Grossi Florentino, they really pull out all the stops. Crystal chandeliers hang elegantly from the ornate ceiling and ancient murals decoratively line the walls. This has Italian romance written all over it. The food is exquisite, and though it’s on the pricier side, we guarantee it’s more than worth it. This is a dining experience like no other.
80 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Impress your date by taking things to the next level – the 89th level to be exact – with a degustation on top of the Eureka Tower. Feast on tiger prawns with tamarind, miso and sea herbs paired with some of Victoria’s best regional wines, whilst soaking up the sunset and dramatic 360˚ views. There’s a reason this innately romantic restaurant in Melbourne's CBD is high territory for anniversaries and proposals
Level 89, Eureka Tower, 7 Riverside Quay, Southbank
Cosy and casual yet effortlessly sophisticated, a reservation at Osteria Ilaria instantly signals good taste and serious intentions. Modern Italian plates like spelt pappardelle with braised duck and dark chocolate torta with liquorice and apricot sorbet will have you sighing with pleasure, while their list of ace European wines will buy you more date time after the last dish is cleared.
367 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Whether you choose to sink into a booth, cosy up at the bar or settle by the fireplace, Neptune is full of mood-setting vibes. From the warm lights and dark woods to the lush pan-Euro eats: think charred octopus amatriciana and twirls of spanner crab spaghetti, plus negronis on tap to really get the conversation flowing.
212 High Street, Windsor
Romantic by name, romantic by nature. Deep red leather booths, heart-shaped tables, low lights and natural wines set the scene – they’ve got the formula for date night down pat. Better yet, they serve Napoli-style pizzas and snacks until 12am on Fridays and Saturdays, so you can keep your lover’s company deep into the night.
52/54 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Epocha may physically be within the walls of a cosy 1800s Victorian terrace, but its spirit is far away in the regions of rural France. Start with a glass of sparkling before locking eyes over duck breast, beetroot, fresh fig and hazelnut jus. The intimate, homey feel of this romantic restaurant in Melbourne north lends itself to easygoing romance, and the antiques-filled Hannah’s Bar is just upstairs.
49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton
Bond over a shared love of good food and wine at this classy Fitzroy French bistro. While the fitout may be modern, the menu is full of classics like pork terrine and bavette with smoke beef fat and jus. End the meal on a sweet note with crème brûlée and head to nearby Smith St for drinks. Unlike the name suggests, Hell of the North will take you straight to seventh heaven.
135 Greeves Street, Fitzroy
Hidden down a laneway and under street level, you and your date will feel stowed away from the rest of the world. Dark wood, dim lights and a smart split layout afford a layer of privacy, while the modern European and Asian menu is full of bright and fresh flavours. Begin with the classic aphrodisiac of oysters shucked to order, topped with spanner crab and nam jim dressing.
141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Many a wearied office worker making the 5pm trundle to Parliament Station has peered longingly into the warm glow of Bar Lourinha. Here, couples share both conversation and plates of tapas, alternating murmurs and laughter with blue crab and turmeric butter montadito, and corn and smoked chilli croquettes. Intimate, buzzy and decorated with all sorts of conversation-starting bric-a-brac, it’s the perfect place for both a first date or milestone anniversary.
37 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Loved our edit of the best romantic restaurants in Melbourne and looking for more date night inspo? We've got plenty to keep you and your loved one entertained besides just romantic restaurants in Melbourne. From underground cocktail haunts and cosy Melbourne pubs, to quirky date ideas and boozy brunches, we've whittled down the coolest things to do in Melbourne to make sure your next dinner date is a complete success.
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