First Date Restaurants in London
So, you’ve worked up the courage to ask out your crush, and now you’re looking for a show-stopper of a restaurant to impress. Discover some of the best restaurants for a first date in London with our recommended picks; it’s a handy pocket-sized list featuring bustling tapas bars, interactive dining experiences and intimate seafood eateries guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. Take your pick from this curated list, then get planning for next time if romance is on the cards!
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our definitive guide to eating out in London hub page.
Last updated on 22nd July 2016
Bringing delightful street food and award-winning cocktails to a unique Shoreditch setting, the Magic Roundabout is a must-try for those looking for quirky first date ideas in London. Get stuck into towering patties from the infamous Burger Bear, sip drinks designed by White Lyan and finish with a boogie if things are going well; DJs play disco and house grooves until late.
Already one of the most popular restaurants in Battersea, step back in time for a first date stirring up the best memories from your school days. A rustic and intimate space with a confiscated collection of over 60 craft beers and a science lab of weird and wonderful cocktails, The Schoolhouse offers a playful and nostalgic date night dinner in London.
If you’re looking for a good old-fashioned trip to the pub for the big first date, The Fellow is a stylish and friendly place to get started. Located just around the corner from King’s Cross, discover a romantic retreat with a focus on the finer things, some wholesome gastro foods and great cocktails.
Worried it might be a touch awkward to start with? Inamo’s interactive dining experience will take uncomfortable silences out of the equation, as you set your own digital placemats and watch the kitchen team do their thing via chef cam. Perfect for an innovative, playful first date meal in London, enjoy pan-Asian cooking at its finest then head for Oriental-themed cocktails in the intimate basement sushi bar.
Whisk that potential suitor of yours away to the bodegas of Catalonia with a date at Copa de Cava. A venue characterised by its raw brick and flickering candles, enjoy a night full of the finest cava, Spanish wines, creative tapas and hand-carved jamon dishes at this warm Blackfriars restaurant.
While we know that the word 'dirty' won't technically make first daters comfortable, these burgers and drinks surely will. Hailed as having some of the best street food inspired grub in London, Dirty Bones is not only cool, they're brimming with the very best in casual Americana bites.
Looking for your own version of Forrest Gump and Jenny’s relationship? Bubba Gump Shrimp would be the best place to start, offering a quirky experience dedicated to this cult classic film. Feast on delicacies from Forrest’s native Alabama, test your trivia between courses and take in the eclectic film fan interiors at this unique idea for a first date in London.
Serving up sweet tea brined fried chicken, soft shell crab and their signature beer can chicken; Joe’s offer deep-south cooking done right. Perfect if you’re seeking a date night restaurant in Covent Garden, fill up on indulgent fried chicken plates then impress further in the Cocktail Baby basement bar, where the disco beats ring true and the classic cocktails start from just £5.
Meat People makes for the ideal 'first date location' - it's sure to impress with its endless character and charm, and it's casual enough to keep the conversation flowing freely. The menu here is sure to please too - tuck into the likes of 'Slow roasted pork belly' or share the 'Spiral cut rib eye (800g)'. Accompany you meal with bottle of vino (of which there is an exceptional selection) and enjoy getting to know each other.
Slick, contemporary and offering bundles of personality, the Haymarket Kitchen offers a fun setting for a first date in the West End. It’s part of the Tiger Tiger party set-up - so expect a bustling vibe - and you can get everything from BBQ beef short ribs to burgers and 17oz Tomahawk steak at this indulgent venue. All great food needs great drinks in support, and the Haymarket Kitchen offers a lovely array of cocktails to help ease those first date nerves.
Bienvenido a Tequila! El Patron is Putney’s Latin-inspired neighbourhood retreat, where guests gather in a communal atmosphere and enjoy a wholesome Mexican feast. Perfect for a first date meal in London if you’re looking south of the river, order in the burritos and settle those first date nerves with a swift shot of tequila.
Looking for a relaxed, unassuming restaurant for a first date near London Bridge? Your name is all over Village East, the super chilled out brasserie and cocktail bar inspired by the modern establishments found in its Manhattan namesake. Come for a sit-down meal or just grab something from their extensive cocktail list at the bar.
Perfect for a fun first date meal in London, Blues nails that balance between indulgent foods, strong cocktails and live blues tunes. Forget playing it cool and politely nibbling your way through dinner; get stuck into stacks of the juiciest, most tender Texan BBQ going, then make for the bar where there’s over 100 bourbons to top up your cocktail. Finish a cracking first date with a sing and a dance to some of the best live blues, funk and soul music.