Winter is well and truly in the air (and clawing at our faces every time we leave our houses), but that doesn’t mean the romance has to stop. We’ve scouted out the most romantic budget evenings in the city to bring you a list of dates that’ll knock that socks of your partner without knocking a hole in your wallet.
Here are Melbourne’s most romantic dates for under $50.
1. Baked Brie & Brilliant Wines
How does Yarra Valley Yering brie bathed in French cider, Armagnac, truffle honey, macadamia nuts, fig & pistachio, paired with wine sound? You can enjoy it together at Milk The Cow in Carlton or St Kilda.
2. Plentiful Pizza & Prosecco
If money is stressing you out this month, then we have a tasty solution to your romantic woes. Grab a pair of $10 margherita pizzas and three rounds of prosecco at Ladro in Prahran or Fitzroy for a clean pineapple.
3. Oyster & Espresso Martinis
Name a more iconic duo, we’ll wait. But seriously, we’ve just found the answer to your budget date night prayers, and it doesn’t even compromise on class. For a flat fiftty, you can enjoy a pair of espresso martinis and THIRTY oysters at Melbourne Republic in South Wharf.
4. Bottomless Brunch
Just whispering the phrase into your loved one’s ear will get their blood pumping. Fortunately, bottomless brunches exist. More specifically, bottomless pancake brunches. Simply grab your partner and take them to Carton’s Prince Alfred Hotel where the two of you can enjoy all the flat cooked batter your bodies can handle.
5. Loaded Pizzas & Laughs
The best cheap date nights start and end with $4 pizzas. And fortunately, the Lucky Coq in Prahran can deliver. It can also seal the deal with free comedy on Tuesday nights from 9pm (just in case your own jokes aren’t doing it for them these days).
6. Snacks & Flicks
Nothing screams romance like a trip to the flicks. But also, nothing scream BURN A HOLE THROUGH MY WALLET quite like going to the movies. Fortunately, you can catch a new release and even enjoy some candy bar snacks as well at the Star Cinema in Yarraville for less than a fiddy.
7. Quiet Culture
If you’re looking to class it up a little, a trip to the NGV to appreciate the new MoMA exhibition will certainly do it. (A pair of concessions will be under $50 but adults will need to fork out a couple of extra dollars).
8. Vintage Films & Old School Snacks
If the limit does not exist for you in terms of cheap trips to the movies, then you’ll be interested to hear that a couple of session tickets and choc tops at Melbourne’s resident vintage cinema—The Astor Theatre in St Kilda—won’t break the bank. It won’t even break a fifty dollar note.
9. Silky Spirits & Bitey Cheese
Nothing says I love you quite like a shared whisky and cheese flight, which is why a little ol’ CBD-based venue is calling your name. Sample some silky spirits and delicious cheeses in the Gatsby-esque surrounds of Bar 1806.
10. Saucy Salsa Dancing
Sweep your loved one off their feet with some killer dance moves. Every Wednesday and Thursday night, The Salsa Foundation hosts FREE beginner salsa classes that teaches couples the basics of love in motion.
11. Playful Cocktails
If you and your partner prefer something a little playful, head on down to the Pixel Bar in Fitzroy where you can enjoy a round or two of their delicious game-inspired cocktails inside their arcade-style venue.
12. Cold Weather Eats & Bevs
Now that winter’s here, it’s the time of year where people line up for hours to enjoy a simple glass of mulled cider and a small bowl of raclette carbonara at The Night Market. Why? Because the time together is romantic, the mood is cheerful and the food is bloody good. Plus, it doesn’t break the bank.
If you've got cash to splash and these are a bit budget for your liking, here's a rundown of every best date night hot-spot in Melbourne.
Image credit: Griffin Simm