First dates can be scary. There’s the whole debate on what to wear, rehearsing the conversations out in your head, and then the killer: deciding on what to eat. The criteria is hard—great ambience (but not too loud), flattering lighting, tables where you don’t need to sit awkwardly, a great drinks list, and food that you can look cute eating. Phew…told you it was hard. The good news, though, is that there’s a whole swathe of dining institutions, bundled together at the picturesque Eagle Street Pier, that tick each of those crucial boxes.
So, without further ado—here are the best spots for a first date in Brisbane.
Nagomi is full of ambience, subtle, soft lighting, and delicious Japanese bites. This quaint spot is perfect for first dates as you can pull your stool up as close to (or as far away from, if things are going badly) your date as you’d like. The crumbed oysters are the perfect date snack (for obvious reasons), while the gyoza will send your taste buds straight to heaven.
#2 Cha Cha Char
Cha Cha Char is a Brisbane institution, so you really can’t go wrong if you choose it for your date spot. The menu is small but delicious, so you’ll spend less time awkwardly perusing the menu and more time getting to the hard hitting questions, like if your date is a cat or a dog person. And let’s not forget how crucial the way someone orders their steak is in selecting a suitor. Oh, and order the Mayura Station Signature striploin—with a 12+ marbling score—it’s next level.
#3 Il Centro
If there’s one thing we can thank the Italians for, it’s romance. And, pasta (mostly pasta). Thankfully, Il Centro delivers both in spades. Book an outdoor table and wow your date with jaw-dropping views of the Story Bridge and watch their eyes light up as they take in the menu. The sand crab lasagna is famous for a reason, people, and the pasta offering is ridiculous. There’s also a vegetarian menu, so there’s no “oh, I don’t eat meat” moments.
#4 Pony Dining
If there’s one thing dates call for, it’s a dash of Dutch courage and the cocktail menu at Pony Dining is the perfect venue to take the edge off those first date jitters. Pony also has an excellent snacking menu, which makes it easier to choose – just get one of everything! If you’re feeling fancy opt for the twice baked camembert soufflé or the wagyu tartare, or the ocean trout gravlax, or anything on the menu, really.
For a fancy date in Brisbane you really can’t go past Aria, can you?! The set up here is stunning, with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing views out across the Brisbane river, as well as modern design and artwork throughout. If you’re looking to impress (and taste some world class food) go for the seasonal tasting menu. It changes with the seasons (funny that), but at the moment we’re crushing on the smoked veal short rib with beetroot and horseradish, and the Brussel Sprouts with parsnip, sherry, and garlic flowers will have you turning vego.
#6 Mr And Mrs G's Riverbar
Mr and Mrs G's Riverbar is a super stylish waterfront slashie—part wine bar, elegant cocktail lounge, and all round perfect date spot. It's the perfect spot to kickstart your date and wow them with some epic views.
#7 George's Paragon
Seafood is an aphrodisiac, so heading to George's Paragon is a no-brainer for a first date. The balcony is the perfect place to soak up Brisbane's stunning scenery, too. The garlic prawns here a classic, and are not be missed.
So, if you’re planning a first date, Eagle Street Pier is where you want to be. Plus, we’ve got some sneaky parking deals for you here.
Image credit: The Edit Suite
Editor's Note: This article is sponsored by Eagle Street Pier and endorsed by The Urban List Brisbane. For more information on our editorial policy, please click here.