The Racketeer has a long history of mischief, and it's that kind of character that'll keep the sparks flying on a first date. Relaxed, welcoming and boasting its own secret garden, this charming Essex Road pub is the type of spot you stop in for a fwe pints and end up staying until closing time.
Best for First Date in London
Discover the best places for a first date in London with our hand-picked guide. As if first dates weren't stressful enough! The last thing you want to do is end up spoiling that big day by going to the wrong places at the wrong times. Whether you're looking for a snug speakeasy or something a bit different to get the conversation flowing, we've got it covered.
Stylish, relaxed and bursting with excellent bottles of wine, this unique bar brand is a top spot for making that first date a good one. With venues across South West and Central London, you're sure to find one that makes the perfect meeting spot, while their collection of around 100 wines are sure to impress even the most discerning drinker.
Did you happen to match for your love of footie? Celebrate the beautiful game at this quirky first date destination in Islington. Foosball Club will have you and your date hitting world-class foosball tables with a wide choice of craft beer and pizza to keep you refreshed between games.
Imagine rocking up to a first date and whisking your love interest 180 metres into the sky for cocktails atop one of London's most famous skyscrapers. We can make this happen. Normally reserved for private members only, we've had a word with the guys at Searcy's and secured exclusive access to the top of the glass dome for DesignMyNight users.
This secret restaurant and bar in the heart of Chinatown is the perfect place to impress that person you've always quite fancied. Tracking down Opium is by no means an easy task, but stumble upon this nondescript green door and make your way inside to find a winner of a bolthole known for its fire-cracker cocktails and delicious baskets of dim sum, with a lovely atmosphere to match.
A sister site to Chai Ki, Toddy Shop Bar takes its inspiration from the spirit of coastal drinking dens, serving a selection of quality drinks and enticing small plates. Open from dawn to dusk, the innovative Indian is a firm choice for a first date.
Blink and you might miss it, but this secret little bar beneath Bishopsgate is well worth the hunt. The barebrick walls, low lighting and wooden finish give the bar an intimate feeling. Try one of their beautifully crafted cocktails and get a bite to eat from the kitchen - the toasties are a real treat.
The world famous Long Bar in London is ready to welcome you into their expert cocktail making arms for an unforgettable first date in London. Sit at the 80 foot long bar and work your way through the delicious cocktails and admire the unique art work scattered around to get the laughter going. For more intimate conversation escape to the Courtyard, where candles will light up your date.
Quirky, classy and fun in equal measure, Clerkenwell & Social is one of London's best spots for a first date. A casual setting that certainly isn't lacking in atmosphere, this St John's Square spot is the perfect place to get to know your date a little better over 2-4-1 cocktails and hand-crafted pizzas.
Humble Grape is a truly charming little hangout that's sure to make your sweetheart swoon. Head down into multi-level, industrial-inspired hangouts and snuggle up on a pew together. Spend your evening chatting, laughing and flirting as you sip on some premium vino in this charismatic cavern.
A very slinky spot down on Kingsland Road, MAP Maison is the perfect choice if you've got a date with a cocktail lover. Home to some of the area's slickest concoctions, the expert bartenders are on hand to whip up almost anything your heart desires, including a selection of speciality Japanese cocktails made with spirits from their extensive bottle list.
Crazy golf has always been a date night classic, but Puttshack are doing things a little differently. One of the city's most high-tech golfing experiences, this Shepherd's Bush hotspot is keeping arguments to a minimum with interactive and detailed scoring - so let's just hope neither you or your date is a sore loser.
When it comes to first dates in London, you can't go wrong with that classic dinner spot. Not only is Cocotte promising interiors that'll really impress, but the menu is just as good. Think bottomless brunch on the weekend and casual eats during the week.
Keep that first meet-up cool and casual with a few drinks at King's Cross's Drake and Morgan. With a pretty alfresco terrace for soaking up some spring and summer sunshine, it's the perfect place to split a bottle of wine or sink some tasty cocktails until late into the evening.
Slick, sexy and a little bit secretive, Callooh Callay is renowned for its date night credentials. With a menu of signature concoctions, the drinks alone should add a little extra spark to conversation, but if you're really looking to impress, show your date their even more secret members bar, JubJub.
We've all heard of cuffing season, now why not really labour the bit and take your date down to the Jailhouse Bar for a few cocktails and charming conversation. Housed in a former Magistrate's Court, the Old Street this chic watering hole houses some extraordinary artworks, alongside a selection of hand-crafted cocktails and tasty bar bites.
Cool, casual and perfect for impressing that special someone, KIBOU is the Battersea restaurant with a passion for fresh sushi and steaming ramen. Their menu offers a range of bites for all budgets, but we'd recommend the bao if you're looking for something super tasty.
Renowned for its prowess on the London bar scene, Aviator at Hush is certainly one of the more esteemed first date bars in London. With a gorgeous 60s-inspired setting and a menu of globally-inspired cocktails, your date will feel like you've taken them far further than Mayfair.
Impress your date with an evening full of cabaret, jazz and burlesque accompanied by an exquisite British dishes and delicious cocktail concoctions. The 1920's themed bar provides an entertainment experience like no other and an evening oozing with glamour. With various shows on offer, choose the one that suits you the most and enjoy the amazing atmosphere - it's sure to get you a second date.
Based upon the HQ of the secret society that ran Victorian London, The Escapologist is a beautifully designed basement bar pegged as 'part modern-day Victorian men's club and part Masonic Lodge'. Ideal for a relaxed first date, this vintage-themed bar serves a fun yet refined list of cocktails and cheese-drenched pizzas in the heart of Covent Garden.
Located down in the already picturesque Hackney Wick, just a stone's throw from the Olympic Park, Barge East is a bar and restaurant aboard an 115 year dutch boat. Offering globally-inspired plates and an excellent selection of wine, cocktails and craft beers, it's a calm and quiet spot to get to know your date.
If you're after the kinda first date spot that will keep things chilled, then Laboratorio Pizza Fitzrovia should be on the list. With acclaimed Italian chef Ivan Simeoli in the kitchen, there's all sorts of traditional dishes like calzone, pasta and desserts.
Found is definitely a go-to for a first date in London. Hidden away down Ravey Street, an unobtrusive door leads into a room with barely enough room to swing a cat, however the cocktails are well worth a little cramp with one London's most renowned mixologists at the helm - and who knows, closer quarters might work out for the better.
Jack Solomon's is the first date bar in London designed for people who want to prove that they are cooler than cool. Head underground for a wonderland of velvet-decked sofas, wonderful cocktails, delicious small plates, and a live music soundtrack that'll get the conversation flowing like nobody's business.
This NYC-styled basement bar is cool and quirky, with an intimate feel that's neither stuffy nor formal. There's an unmistakable party spirit to the LCC that comes out to play no matter what time of the week you're visiting, and the cocktails are spot on. Perfect for impressing a date that doesn't take themselves too seriously.
This iconic little cocktail den in Covent Garden is awash with beautiful bespoke art and luxurious décor that'll make any first date happy. And when you've both indulged in a theatrical drink, and listened to the roster of live music or tunes from the best local DJs, the second date is all but guaranteed.
The Parisian chic of this luxurious Soho bar is certainly fit for impressing on a first date. Discover the indulgent dessert bar, Basement Sate and together you can reach a sweet Nirvana, lined with silky cocktails and handmade patisserie specials that are quite literally a piece of melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness.
A sumptuous space of warmth, mystery and magic, Oriole leaves the stressful streets of London behind in favour of a glorious, disconnected outside world. Settle in for drinks with an exotic influence, made using ingredients and flavours from all corners of the globe. There's grazing plates if you're peckish, and live entertainment comes in the form of live jazz, swing and blues music throughout the week.
Perched just off the main Islington strip, Little Bat is a cosy and comfortable neighbourhood bar that's brought to us by the cocktail whizzes behind the award-winning Callooh Callay. With banging drinks, charming vibes, plenty of quirks by candlelight and friendly service, Little Bat is an absolute must try date night venue in Angel.
This regal nook is a must-try for anyone looking for a place to impress. 68 and Boston is an intimate Soho bar with a basement space dedicated to specialist wines and discerning labels with a decadent cocktail bar stashed upstairs. Enjoy the best of expert mixology, beautiful wines and an ambience fit for bit of a swoon.
You and your date should head over to Artillery Lane where, hidden behind a fridge in The Breakfast Club, you'll find a quirky speakeasy fronting some seriously bold cocktails. Packed full of vintage furniture and tasty bar snacks, it's the ultimate icebreaker for any first date.
London's first dedicated video games and e-sports bar and restaurant has all you need to ace that first date. Giving you food, drink and a quirky activity, this spot is sure to make a lasting impression and give you just the right amount of healthy competition.
When it comes to finding a truly impressive location for a first date, rooftop bars are always an excellent shout. Head over to the City where Jin Bo Law is offering panoramas across London, alongside some vibrant drinks to get stuck into, and plush interiors to really set the scene.
If you're looking for a cool and quiet spot to take your date, look no further than this charming little bar on Camberwell Church Street. Offering a great list of wines, craft beers and cocktails, there's also a cheese and charcuterie counter to drool over.
Bounce's buzzing atmosphere and playful nature will quickly get rid of any first date nerves. Found just a little walk away from Old Street in the heart of Shoreditch, bond over a few games of ping-pong (remembering it's just a game throughout) then chat over delicious Italian cuisine and cocktails afterwards.
London is blessed with plenty of fantastic speakeasy-styled cocktail bars, and many would have Nightjar down as the very best in town. An elusive spot where discerning drinkers gather to enjoy spectacular prohibition-themed cocktails and a soothing programme of live jazz tunes, it goes without saying that a table for two here would knock the socks off that person you've always had a thing for.
With a stunning interior and a wonderful a la carte menu, The Jones Family Project in Shoreditch is a great place to take your leading lad or lady on a first date. Sit down over some prime rib, sip your glorious cocktails, and get to know each other. You'll have plenty of time, as you'll never want the night to end.
So you're into the finer things in life, and so what? Show your date what you're about with a trip to one of Steak & Lobster's beautiful London venues. Treat them to a taste of the high life with classic cocktails ready for the sipping, and a plate of juicy lobster and meaty steak.
First date? No problem with Swingers on your side. Combining a bar, eatery and activity in one go, the City spot provides two 9-hole crazy golf courses, three street food vendors and five cocktail bars to get stuck into, alongside a chic club house for that all important post-match debrief.