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February 10, 2022

Adelaide’s best first date venues

After 18 months of appropriately distanced on-app dating, it’s time to meet your matches in the real world. We asked readers for their favourite first date venues in the city, as well as some tips on making a good impression.

  • Main image: Udaberri by Jonathan van der Knaap

Adelaide’s favourite first date venues

You told us your favourite places to take a love interest on a first date.


11 Leigh Street, Adelaide

With knowledgeable bar staff, a large selection of booze and low-key-cool DJs, Udaberri is ideal for first dates. If you met your date on an app and are yet to establish rapport, take a seat at the bar or out the back. If there’s already a bit of a vibe, snag a booth upstairs.



6 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide

LOC Bottle Bar has turned its corner of Hindmarsh Square into a buzzing meeting spot for the (relatively) young and interesting. The bar is also a place where you’re going to be seen, so setting up a LOC date tells your potential partner you’re open to meeting and mingling among each other’s friend groups.


The Wheatsheaf Hotel

39 George Street, Thebarton

If your date isn’t familiar with the inner-west’s cosiest brewpub, proceed with caution. Ideally, they’ll not only be able to name their favourite Wheaty brew, they’ll be known to and liked by the bar staff – a sure sign you’ve found a good egg.


Exchange Coffee

12/18 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide

First dates need not exclusively be nighttime endeavours. Switch the wine glass for a mid-morning cuppa, and take tu amor to Exchange, where the service rivals any of the city’s bars and restaurants. Keep it to coffee though – food can get messy and might lock you in to a bad time.



125 Gilles Street, Adelaide

Etica is always good for a first date, but the absolute best booking is on a Thursday when the restaurant hosts their weekly jazz night. If the conversation isn’t flowing by the end of the first glass, at least you’ve got the band to keep you company.


Adelaide’s best first date tips

As told to CityMag by you.

This picture: Julian Cebo

“Bar Peripheral has fancy drinks and kind lighting.”

“Dunfor Noodle Bar and LOC wine bar as a package deal.”

“Order a mystery bottle from East End Cellars (because attitude is more important than taste).”

“There should be no food on a first date, in case you need to flee!”

“Local pet nats are great openers, provided they’re tried and tested.”

“Order something easy to share. Nothing too expensive or fancy.”

“Sunny’s pizza has a generally horny vibe.”


First date dos and don’ts

Your most sage advice on making a good impression.

This picture: Johnny von Einem

Do take some of the pressure off by sitting where there’s action – at the bar, or at the chef’s table.

Do consider an interactive element – The Lost Dice has board games, Etica has jazz , and hot pot requires some interaction.

Do order according to your own tastes. You might find out local, seasonally sourced food is as important to your date as it is to you.

Don’t order food for the other person.

Don’t order heavy food that’s going to make you sleepy.

Don’t order food that drips or splashes.

Basically, we’re told, Don’t order food on a first date (unless you’re going to Etica).

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