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Top 5 Sydney Restaurants for that Perfect Date

At Swanned we know that hitting a triple twenty on a date is the best way to make a memorable impression (especially if it’s a first date)….and it all starts with picking the right restaurant or bar.

Sydney... if you hadn’t noticed, is alive with a fab nightlife and unlike Melbourne we don’t hide all our cool venues in shifty looking alleys. But, unless you’re a regular in the city then finding that perfect spot can be a challenge.

Luckily, the Swanned team have been out and about to find the absolute best restaurants and bars guaranteed to serve up a swantastic date night in Sydney. We went looking for places that had that bit of spark, delicious food, perfect ambience and the right amount of lighting - daylight can wait! After a few top contenders, we narrowed it down... and this is our 5 top date places in Sydney. Enjoy lovers!

Dear Sainte Éloise | Potts Point

If you’re in need of a cosy place for a quiet drink (and you’re a bit of a oenophile) then you can't look past Dear Sainte Éloise and its huge wine list - its mega! We fell in love with this place for it’s cute location and menu which is carefully curated with delicious oysters, burrata, charcuterie and more all perfect for sharing.

It’s the perfect restaurant for that first date, or a catch up with friends. If you’re feeling adventurous, or even a little cheeky, then try the mystery wine; it's perfect for a conversation starter. As they don’t take bookings, it can be brilliant for spontaneous walk by date. “Oh I know a good place...”

Instagram: Dear Sainte Éloise

Doorknock | Sydney CBD

Walk down a long dark corridor and as the name suggests knock on the door (by following specific instructions) and if you’re lucky you’ll be let in. Doorknock is a fun bar in the heart of Sydney CBD full of vibes. If you’re into low lighting, great service and drinking oh so many cocktails whilst taking care of some premium chicken wings or mac & cheese croquettes then Doorknock is the answer.

They change their menu items frequently so no date is ever the same. Doorknock could become your go to bar/ restaurant regardless if it’s your first date, or a ten-year anniversary!

Instagram: Doorknock

Ester | Chippendale

Sister to Poly, Ester is a fine dine restaurant great for a fancy date. With a minimalist interior, great atmosphere and excellent food like baked cauliflower or king prawns, Ester’s great for a bit of a splurge, especially if you’re looking to impress. We were very happy sampling this little beauty- take us back nom nom nom.

Go for the tasting menu if you can...and if you're feeling frisky add on some oysters of course. With its casual, but upper-class vibe Ester won’t disappoint. We recommend booking in advance as they can get busy.

Instagram: Ester

Nomad | Surry Hills

Walk into Nomad and you’ll be hit with aromas of Spain and the Middle East from their open-fire charcoal grill. Choose from delicious produce from small growers all around Australia like Murray cod with artichokes and wood roasted eggplant. If the food alone doesn’t keep the conversation flowing, the wide range of Aussie wine will get you chatty.

The atmosphere at Nomad is positively buzzing, you can choose a more intimate table for two, or sit right up front and watch the chefs prepare your meal.

If you need that something extra to talk about over dinner, go for the shared banquet- it’s amazing! Booking ahead is recommended.

Instagram: Nomad

Riley St Garage | Wooloomooloo

Have you ever seen a garage turned into a restaurant? Well that’s Riley St Garage! This place is huge, with seating for over 150 customers, you’ll easily find a good place to sit and enjoy your company. Modelled on Manhattan style eateries, this restaurant goes for the full experience - great for a date!

The pork knuckle and slow cooked lamb shoulder are to die for and the cocktails ain’t half bad too! Why not cosy up at the bar for a relaxed vibe where you can get close up and personal to your date. The staff are fab and really knowledgeable about the menu too. Perfect for lunch or that evening meal with someone special. We know you’ll larrrve it!

Instagram: Riley St Garage

Well, that sure was hard picking the top 5 restaurants and bars in Sydney….but we had a blast sampling the food and getting sozzled in the process. It’s tough researching Sydney’s best places for dates (not!) Don’t worry, the tips don’t end here- check out all our other handy dating guides.