10 date ideas for winter in Melbourne
It can be stressful coming up with date ideas, so whether you’re looking for something playful and fun, cosy and romantic or somewhere that will really impress – this list has got you covered for the Melbourne Winter.
The Ugly Duckling
238 Swan Street, Richmond
Great for: a stylish evening drinks date.
This is an effortlessly cool wine and cocktail bar with table service that will impress your date. You can order from a long list of beverages and graze on some delicious food ranging from larger platters to smaller dishes such as marinated olives or black truffle potato crisps. You can’t ask for better atmosphere that straight away just puts you in the mood to settle in, sip on your drink of choice and embrace whatever the night brings.
Tuesday – Friday 5pm – Late
Saturday 4pm – Late
Sunday 2pm – Late
Jungle Boy (aka Boston Sub)
96 Chapel Street, Windsor
Great for: first date early evening drinks any night of the week.
Hidden behind the commercial fridge door of Boston Sub is a jungle bar paradise known as Jungle Boy. From the outside this venue looks like a simple sandwich bar but there is so much atmosphere packed into a relatively cosy space behind the fridge door. Time seems to stand still in this little hidden-away bar that will wow your date. Surprise-factor aside, this place really does have fantastic, intimate and exotic atmosphere plus…an excellent cocktail list and bartenders.
Open: 5pm – 1am every night of the week.
Basement 114 Russell Street, Melbourne
Great for: seductive Japanese dinner oozing ambience
When you make your way down into Izakaya Den, you’re instantly transported to a mysterious Japanese-inspired basement. The long, dimly lit restaurant gives all of its diners a great view of the open kitchen. It’s like being at one really long chef’s table which creates a vibrant backdrop to your date. You can order from a delicious menu either a la Carte or enjoy one of several set menu options.
Lunch Mon – Fri 12 – 2.30pm
Evenings Mon – Sat 5.30pm – Late
(Kitchen closes 10pm Monday – Thurs, 11pm Friday & Saturday)
304 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Great for: starting or finishing the night like you mean it
This uber-cool, cosy bar is an excellent choice for a date venue all-year-round. This place is famous for the skill of its bartenders and for coming up with some simply awesome cocktails that will be a talking point for sure on your date. Even though this bar is undeniably slick, it still retains a friendly vibe, largely due to the fantastic staff, that is great for putting you and your date at ease while you sip on drink and nibble on a bar snack.
Open: 5pm – 3am every night of the week.
The Winter Village at Fed Square
Federation Square, Corner Flinders and Swanston Streets, Melbourne
Great for: breaking the ice on a first date.
This is a multi-faceted winter pop-up at Melbourne’s Fed Square that has something for everyone. It’s something different. You can head to the Mega Igloo to graze on some yummy food and drink or, for the more adventurous, there’s ICE SKATING. Yes, that’s right. ICE SKATING. Sharing an experience like ice skating can spark a bit of playful physical comedy but also what’s not romantic about a spot of ice skating in the dead of winter?
Open: May – September 2019 for coffee, lunch, dinner or drinks.
1A Crossley Street, Melbourne
Great for: getting cosy by the fire with a cocktail in hand, any night of the week.
This bar has a cosy, old-fashioned feel that is comforting in the dead of winter! You and your date can keep warm by the fire on a cold evening and enjoy one of many cocktails, expertly and passionately made. The interior has an intimate, inviting and dimly lit atmosphere that bodes well for infusing that romantic feel into the whole experience.
Monday – Wednesday 5pm – 12am
Thursday 5pm – 1am
Friday & Saturday 3pm – 1am
Sunday 5 – 11pm
590 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Great for: injecting play into your date.
What better way to take the edge off first date nerves than a bit of fun and playful mini-golf? Holey Moley has created a super fun and entertaining space. This is an excellent first date idea because you can both get to know each other while putting a few golf balls around and having a laugh.
It’s a good idea to plan ahead and book with this one!
Monday – Thursday 1pm till Midnight
Friday: Midday – 2am
Sat: 11am – 2am
Sunday: 11am – Midnight
Il Solito Posto
113 Collins Street (enter George Pde) Melbourne
Great for: a DELICIOUS dinner date
This is a cute and cosy Italian restaurant with great food and atmosphere that isn’t overly formal nor too casual. You and your date can choose from a mouth-watering Italian menu ranging from a delectable plate of Squid Ink Linguini to comforting slow braised Lamb in white wine, chilli, garlic, herb and tomato, right through to a classic Affogato for something sweet to finish. In the words of Federico Fellini “Life is a combination of magic and pasta”. You and your date can find both at Il Solito Posto. YUM.
Mon – Friday 7.30am – 12am
Saturday 9am – 12am
525 Collins Street, Melbourne (55th floor of Rialto building)
Great for: a classy grown-up date
This bar is all class. In fact, make sure you leave your ripped jeans or active-wear at home! The views from this bar are amazing so if you can get there before sunset, the sight out over Melbourne makes for an impressive backdrop to any date. You feel when you’re here that you’ve kind of escaped the city and found a high-rise hideaway 55 floors above ground to take in the night.
A spectacular photo of this bar features as the cover photo of this article.
Monday – Wednesday 5.30pm till Midnight
Thursday 11.30am – 1am
Friday & Saturday 11.30am – 3am
Sunday 11:30am until Midnight
Milk the Cow
323 Lygon Street Carlton OR 157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Great for: a mid-afternoon/ early evening nibble
This is a great option if you and your date like cheese! You can sit down, order a cheese selection matched to some wine (or if you want, a non-alcoholic beverage) and share a gourmet experience. The thing I like about this date choice is it gives you an engaging, intimate shared experience to connect over.
I’m NOT a supporter of coffee dates when they equal daytime + café. But if you’re looking for a first date venue with atmosphere that is day-time appropriate, look no further than Milk the Cow. There are two great venues to choose – one in St Kilda, one in Carlton.
Open: 7 days 12pm – 11pm (1am on Fri & Sat)
Updated 5 June, 2019
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