The Weekend Edition - Sleep In. Slow Down. Enjoy.

Dark Red, Fortitude Valley The Nixon Room, Fortitude Valley Single O, Newstead Florence Cafe, Camp Hill Snack Man, Fortitude Valley Alba Bar & Deli, Brisbane City Bar Francine, West End Gum Bistro, West End Ach Wine Bar, Hamilton Monal Dining, Newstead

The round-up: here’s where to go for your next date in Brisbane

It’s no secret that the world of modern dating can be tough. From profile anxiety to the timeless threat of awkward pauses, curating a good date is a delicate art. That’s why we've dusted off our cupid wings and rounded up Brisbane’s best date spots. Whether it’s casual coffee or an after-work tipple, we’ve got your perfect match sorted.

Let’s grab a coffee: casual spots with wholesome ambience and delicious goodies for a low-commitment date.

Single O, Newstead: You can always trust this Sydney-born roastery to serve up quality brews, but did you know it’s also a killer spot to find breakfast classics and Agnes Bakery pastries? Complete with oat-iced lattes on tap, Single O’s steady flow of caffeine addicts and run-club attendees create a bustling but not overpowering atmosphere. Positioned just a stone’s throw from the river boardwalk, it’s also in the prime position for a post-coffee wander.

Florence Cafe, Camp Hill: A gem of the southside’s growing cafe scene, this Camp Hill favourite is known for its impeccable coffee and brunch plates. Located inside a converted corner store, Florence’s warm-timber detailings and vibrant flower bouquets cultivate an always welcoming vibe. Grab a seat at its sun-soaked window bar or slew of dining tables and choose from a menu of approachable but still interesting dishes that’ll suit any-and-all palettes. 

Felix for Goodness, The City: Tucked just off Albert Street, Felix for Goodness offers a well-connected meeting spot for most of Brisbane. The Burnett Lane cafe has remained a Brisbane institution for its casual charm and all-day brunch service. The space features a centrepiece communal table with a mezzanine floor of more secluded tables and banquette seating. With a short-but-sweet menu of breakfast staples and drinks like coffee, shakes and juices, Felix for Goodness also has plenty of options for non-coffee drinkers as well.

Cordeaux Social Club, West End: Just one block back from the river, Cordeaux Social Club sits amongst the suburban outskirts of West End. Cordeaux serves up a humble menu of breakfast staples during the day, as well as a suite of stellar sandwiches (maybe you and your date can go splitsies?). With coffee by The Black Lab also on offer, the minimalist venue is sure to provide a satiating brunch session, with plenty of alfresco dining space available for catching some rays.

Honourable mentions: Kevin in New Farm, Straits and Snug in Coorparoo, West End Coffee House in West End, Mitch & Antler in Mitchelton.

Let’s get a drink: friendly haunts and moody bars that boast a touch of elegance without compromising on comfort.

Snack Man, Fortitude Valley: Nestled underneath a grove of fairy-lit trees, this East Street wine bar is positioned near the mouth of James Street. Known for its moody black interior, the space is anchored by a marble communal table that’s surrounded by an array of black banquette seating and even a mezzanine level. Inspired by the regional cuisine of China, Snack Man’s kitchen serves up a slew of share-style snacks – from house-made dumplings to Jiangsu-inspired beef ribs while the by-the-glass wine selection is always changing, so expect a curated menu to sample from. Snack Man also sits in walking distance to Gelato Messina James Street for a convenient post-date sweet treat.

Bar Hugo, West End: A newcomer to Brisbane’s bar scene, this wam and inviting wine and vermouth bar is just the ticket if you are seeking a date spot that scores top marks in vibes and offering. Here, you and your date can sip on low-ABV cocktails (sometimes it’s a good idea to keep it neat, especially if it’s a first-date situation), while nibbling on small share-style plates and charcuterie. While rubbing knees at the bar is always fun, Bar Hugo’s back deck is also a picturesque spot to get to know someone.

South City Wine, Woolloongabba: Paris is, perhaps, the most romantic city in the world. If you want to tilt the odds in your favour, take your date to a place that channels loads of Parisian charm – South City Wine. This chic nosh spot and wine bar has style in spades, plus it offers many cosy nooks for intimate couplings. Get snug and share shaved charcuterie, delicate portions of artisanal cheese, oysters, scallops crudo and pork croquettes, while splitting a bottle of something nice – perhaps a skin-contact wine from Chile or a South African chenin blanc? The staff here will make sure to steer you in the right direction.

The Nixon Room, Fortitude Valley: The sister venue to James Street restaurant ESSA, The Nixon Room is hidden off Robertson Street down an alleyway next to Libertine Parfumerie. Behind the bar’s unassuming brass door, you’ll find a 70s-inspired speakeasy, of sorts. Complete with walnut-wooden panelling, leather banquettes and low lighting, The Nixon Room has an intimate and cosy atmosphere. Unwind in the comfort of a booth with a menu of lip-smacking libations and share snacks while bopping along to a playlist of soul-soothing disco hits.

Alba Bar & Deli, The City: Next door to the much-loved Death & Taxes sits delicatessen-style tapas bar Alba. Inspired by the flavours and flair of the Basque region, Alba has fused the world of old-town San Sebastián with the hip-hop culture on New York City. The hideaway boasts a curated selection of sessionable beers and wine-based cocktails, as well as a bevy of bite-sized pintxos and Spanish delicacies. Alba lets you put a flamenco-twist on your date night, whilst also staying in close proximity to a bunch of other faves in The City.

Dark Red, Fortitude Valley: Probably the most casual pick out of this category, Dark Red slings a curated selection of natural wines from its outpost in Bakery Lane. With a moody vibe thanks to its blue-tinted lights, Dark Red offers a few indoor bar tables and a scattering of outdoor seating that sprawls into the laneway. Explore a top-notch menu of vino by the bottle or glass as well as a few cocktail specials and hand-picked beers. Beyond the cosy interior that’s decorated with a wall of wine and disposable-camera prints, Dark Red also partners with Gung Ho! Dumpling Ramen Bar across the way so you can order dumplings to your table.

Honourable mentions: Noir in Paddington, Zero Fox in Teneriffe, Before + After and Antico in The City, Patio by Range in Rosalie, Savile Row in Fortitude Valley, NIKY in Newstead, Maeve Wine, Maker and La Lune in South Brisbane.

Let’s do dinner: vibey joints with considered food menus and curated wine lists for a delicious date night.

Gum Bistro, West End: The latest addition to Boundary Street’s diverse line-up of bars and restaurants, Gum Bistro took over the old Pasta Club joint earlier this year. The laidback restaurant has quickly garnered a reputation for its immaculate vibes – mastered through small details like its impeccable needle drops and a Queensland produce-powered menu. Unpretentious with a touch of refinement, Gum Bistro’s food selection is led by share plates ranging from fried Falls Farm eggplant with tomato, shallot and herbs to Margra lamb rump and followed by delectable desserts. With a warm and inviting interior, Gum Bistro welcomes leisurely dinner dates.

Ruby, My Dear, Newstead: If you want to score some cool points, Ruby, My Dear is a great date pick. A nice central location? Check. Killer vibes courtesy of DJs spinning a hand-picked soundtrack of vinyl records? Check. A menu of easily shareable Japanese-inspired fare, such as school prawns with mayo and honey-fermented garlic, and wagyu kushiyaki with sesame leaf salsa verde? Check. A drinks list featuring the likes of sake negronis and natural wine? Check. Does all of this equal a winning date destination? You bet it does!

Ach Wine Bar, Hamilton: This Middle Eastern-inspired eatery boasts a diverse and region-spanning menu and wine list. Home to an even split of Australian wines and Middle Eastern wines, you’ll find an exciting drinks menu of unique drops and delicious cocktail concoctions. On the food side of things, Ach’s kitchen serves up a flame-licked Middle Eastern cuisine, from mezze plates to Margra lamb. At night, the restaurant’s woody textures and green hues create a moody atmosphere, with an alfresco dining area that’s primo if the weather is on point.

Bar Rocco, Coorparoo: This osteria-style joint is a dreamy destination for a date, especially if you and your counterpart love wine, Italian food and casual vibes. If you’re keeping things informal, Bar Rocco’s menu of snacks and hand-shaped pizzetta are perfect morsels to nibble on with a glass of vino or a cocktail within reach. As Bar Rocco is a more informal concept compared to its sibling Ramona Trattoria next door, you can linger a little longer for another round if the chemistry is palpable.

Bar Francine, West End: This neighbourhood wine bar is located on Vulture Street, embracing its converted-Queenslander space with a homey interior and welcoming vibe. After sunset, the 50-seat bar and nosh spot gains an intimate moodiness. On the menu, you’ll find mostly vegetarian plates with and a few seafood-centric additions. Coveted for its wine selection, Bar Francine offers an all-Australian list showcasing new-wave and established vino. Every month or so, the bar even hosts meet-the-winemaker nights and a complimentary wine-tasting evening that’s perfect for fans of an activity-based date.

Monal Dining, Newstead: This neighbourhood bistro is spearheaded by young-gun chef, Yogesh Budathoki – whose culinary prowess you might recognise from his stints at Greca, Yoko and as sous chef at Hôntô. Monal showcases Yogesh’s range with a fusion-style menu dedicated to tantalising creations and local flavours. Sample a selection of small plates such as wagyu skewers with labneh or Hokkaido scallops, as well as hearty main dishes like Riverina black Angus sirloins or molasses-glazed chicken. The drinks menu has a local inflection, with the majority of drops being sourced from Australia or New Zealand. 

Honourable mentions: Mrs Brown’s Bar & Kitchen in Newstead, Beccofino in Teneriffe, Hello Please in South Brisbane, La Lupa in West End, Cartel Del Taco in Hawthorne.

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.

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