So your efforts—asking/wooing/bribing/any combination of the three—have paid off, and you’ve conquered the first step of dating. High fives to you! A lucky someone has agreed to what should hopefully be an evening of good food, liquid courage and semi-decent banter, all with you by their side.
Not to crush your dreams, or send you into a frenzy of pre-date panic, but the real challenge is yet to come.
Whether you’re meeting another right-swiper, dining and wining the long-term love in your life, or, God forbid, introducing last weekend’s pash to your parents, your pick of location is key. After all, nothing spells ‘going home alone’ better than a basement trance party and a couple of Vodka Redbulls when you’re trying to impress.
Here are five of the best date spots in Auckland.
The Blind Date
Do Good Dating
Ah, the nerve-wracking gamble of a blind date. It’s either a tennis match of conversation, or a painful combo of drawn out sips of wine and silence. Thankfully, there’s a way to make sure the latter doesn’t happen (unless, of course, knocking back Sav during daytime tree plantings is your thing). While this isn't a restaurant, Do Good Dating is for those who want to meet likeminded people, avoid Tinder, and help out their community. Simply sign up on their website and you’ll be matched with a compatible man/woman/human (take your pick), and sent out to do some good at their next event.
The Meet The Parents Date
Le Vietnamese Kitchen
If you’re ready to present your SO to the olds, they must be doing something right. No meet the parents’ situation goes without a hearty dose of interrogation, so why not let it unfold alongside Saigon Rolls and a round or five of boozy iced tea? Unassuming at the front, quiet and cosy at the back, Le Vietnamese Kitchen is the perfect spot to have a chat without being forced to endure the ear-splitting shit talk of a girls’ night squad across the courtyard. This Auckland resturant is a solid win in our books.
The Mates Date
The Golden Dawn
You know the couples that ditch their mates, adopt a diet of Thai food and Netflix, and stay at home for eternity, or until the Thai food runs out, whichever comes first? Yeah, don’t become that couple. Smack bang in central Ponsonby (literally, it’s opposite Ponsonby Central), The Golden Dawn is all about bringing people together over platters (everyone loves platters, so don’t even think about it), craft cocktails and good vibes.
The Loved Up Date
When it’s just you and your boo out on the tiles, head to Orphan’s Kitchen. This casual bistro is just the place to snug up on a sheepskin-covered bench, and tuck into some of the best food in Auckland. If you’re in the mood to splash out, go on the first Tuesday of the month, where you’ll be treated to four-course set menu of new dish ideas for a humble $55. This is one of the best restaurants in Auckland for dates, just promise us you won’t be the vom-inducing spoon-feeding couple in the corner.
The Cheap-ish Date
Sometimes your bank account doesn’t belong in Ponsonby (seriously, go somewhere else for once). Mt Albert is pretty cool these days, and what’s even cooler is Chinoiserie’s reasonably priced yet damn tasty menu. Sink your teeth into a pork belly Gua Bao for $8 and wash it down with a crisp bottle of Asahi. Meat and beer never disappoints.
Looking for more of the best restaurants in Auckland? Search ‘dates’ in the Directory!
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