First dates can be nerve-wracking enough, without the added pressure of finding the perfect restaurant. If you’re looking for somewhere to wine and dine someone special, here are some of London’s best restaurant for first dates.
Clarette – This Marylebone wine bar has a quirky Art Deco style, a superb wine list, and a menu of French dishes designed for grazing and sharing. Forget your local pub – this is the ideal spot for getting-to-know-you drinks.
Paternoster Chop House – Better known as the First Dates restaurant from Channel 4’s hit series, this buzzy chop house serves rare breed beef cooked over charcoal, alongside fresh fish, plant-based dishes, and proper British puds.
J Sheekey Atlantic Bar – Tucked away from the bustle of Leicester Square, this elegant seafood bar is perfect for date night. Splash out on Champagne and oysters, share a shellfish platter, or cosy up with their famous fish pie.
Oldroyd – Restaurants come and go on busy Upper Street but this bijou spot has remained a local favourite since it opened in 2015. The European menu changes with the seasons but you should always order the croquettes.
Hutong – Explore the flavours of Northern China and enjoy panoramic views of the London skyline from level 33 of The Shard. Order some dim sum and their signature Peking duck and that second date is in the bag.
Margot – Taking inspiration from Italy’s diverse regions, Margot serves dishes like lobster taglioni and veal ossobuco with risotto Milanese. With over 350 wines to choose from and a refined but unpretentious atmosphere, you’ll never want to leave.
The Game Bird – Promising modern British cooking and a ‘seductive ambience’, The Game Bird is the perfect place to wine and dine your date in Mayfair. We recommend the venison Wellington for two, served with truffle mash.
Sette – Whisk your date to Knightsbridge for dinner at Sette, an upscale Italian from the team behind NYC’s Scarpetta. Their signature spaghetti with tomato and basil is all over Instagram, but don’t overlook the short rib agnolotti.
La Bodega Negra – Hidden behind a faux sex shop frontage, La Bodega Negra is a must-visit for tacos and tequila in Soho. The restaurant has live DJs and a party vibe at the weekends, while the café-bar is more relaxed – ideal for lunch.
Salt Yard – This Goodge Street gem serves top quality charcuterie, cheese boards, and tapas dishes with a Spanish and Italian influence. Perch at the bar for wine and snacks or grab a table and graze your way through the menu.
Scarfes Bar – If you’re looking for a bar where you can actually sit down and hear your date, this luxurious drinking den in Holborn is the place to go. Grab a cocktail, find a cosy corner, and see where the evening takes you.
Coal Office – Tuck into inventive Middle Eastern dishes at chef Assaf Granit’s restaurant overlooking Coal Drops Yard. It’s a great option for brunch and the roof terrace is worth keeping in mind for al fresco dates in the warmer months.
Dalloway Terrace – Snap the ultimate first date selfie under a canopy of flowers and foliage at this heated terrace restaurant in Bloomsbury. Be sure to save room for desserts like apple crumble pie and Black Forest sundae – two spoons, perhaps?
BaoziInn – This Soho spot is famous for its colourful dumplings, spicy dan dan noodles, and skewers of pork belly, prawn, and cumin lamb. Be sure to book ahead – it gets busy!
The 10 Cases – With its laid-back buzz, interesting wine list, and menu that encourages sharing, The 10 Cases Bistrot à Vin ticks all the boxes for a first date. We guarantee you’ll be back more than once.
If you’re still looking for the perfect romantic restaurant, why not check out our new Date Night Matchmaker? Tell us what sort of vibe, price point, and cuisine you’re after and we’ll provide a personalised selection of bookable restaurants.