For a fancy meal
If your anniversary is on the horizon, there’s no better way to celebrate than by treating your other half to a luxe meal. With spectacular views of the Story Bridge, Alchemy Restaurant + Bar is a primo alfresco locale to lap up Italian-inspired eats with your loved one (trust us, the gnocchi is to. die. for.). Just remember to leave room for dessert, as the creme brulee with cinnamon zeppole doughnuts and pear compote is well worth sharing. A short stroll along the riverside will lead you to COPPA, where you can cheers with frozen negronis before digging into bites like pumpkin arancini, veal-and-pork meatballs, scallop crudo and pork-and-beef ragu. More sublime Italian sips and snacks await at Persone (love and Italian food go hand-in-hand, after all), where you can soak up river views, sunshine and an absolutely mouth-watering feast. We recommend going full Lady and the Tramp on a bowl of spaghetti with Western Australian lobster, tomato, chilli and garlic.
For sips in the afternoon sun
There is something extremely refreshing about sitting in the winter sun with a cool breeze keeping you at the perfect temperature – unlike the sweltering summer months. Another welcome winter benefit? The return of Customs House’s pop-up chalets. The riverside venue has once again teamed up with Veuve Clicquot to create a luxe winter wonderland complete with belly-warming eats, cosy igloos and flowing glasses of effervescent champagne – which sounds like a great way to spend a cosy afternoon with your romantic interest, if you ask us. If cocktails by the pool sounds more your style, then make tracks to the Pool Terrace at Hyatt Regency, an inner-city oasis situated several levels above Queen Street and right next to a 20-metre infinity-edge pool. A short wander will lead lovebirds to make a nest at City Winery’s Cellar Door at Eagle Street Pier, the perfect place for people watching in the sun, by the river, with a glass of vino in hand.
For a casual lovers’ lunch
Sometimes the best dates are the most casual ones – we’ll take burgers and chips all day, every day, thanks. Laneway bar and eatery Red Hook serves up the goods for hungry lovers – or to be more specific, New York street food and a swag of saliva-inducing cocktails. Those leaning towards a slightly more healthy option can hit up Cheeky Poké in Ulster Lane for poke bowls, tacos, nachos and slurp-worthy soups in the fresh air, or just around the corner is another choice spot where you can curb your alfresco-loving appetite – Comuna Cantina! Pull up a seat in the shaded outdoor area and devour a smorgasbord of South American flavours, from starters like crispy seasoned calamari, fried-chicken strips with chipotle dipping sauce and chargrilled corn, to tacos, cheesy quesadillas and filling arepas.
For a cute coffee tryst
They say coffee makes the heart grow fonder (that’s the saying, right?) so text your sweetheart for a coffee-shop rendezvous and pour your heart out over a well-made latte. Catch some rays at Jimmy’s on the Mall and people watch as you sip on a cup of Joe or, if the weather is on your side, stroll through the City Botanic Gardens and admire the bewitching beds of florals before stopping at The Garden’s Club for a caffeinated brew and a bite. More top-tier java awaits at Coffee Anthology, where you can take your darling for a date and enjoy the breezy outdoor vibes whilst you share a freshly baked croissant.
For a long-lunch rendezvous
How does a flavoursome Thai feast, killer river views and fruit-infused cocktails sound? If your answer is “great” and your mouth is watering, then a long lunch with your dearest at Eagle Street Pier restaurant Naga Thai is on the cards. Continue to dine like royalty at Rico Bar and Dining, where an open-air terrace area offers guests the chance to soak up river breezes in view of the Story Bridge, as well as the perfect place to perch whilst indulging in South American-inspired delights and worldly wines. If you’re craving Greek cuisine, then Opa Bar and Mezze offers a range of authentic dishes – think ouzo-soaked saganaki, flash-fried calamari, moussaka drenched in bechamel, airy taramasalata and lamb souvla fresh from the spit. Pair you scrumptious feed with a signature cocktail and embrace the shaded outdoor space that’s been inspired by the sun-soaked cities of the Greek Islands – no passport required, of course.
This article was written in partnership with our friends at Brisbane City.