Ah, date night – two words that manage to simultaneously instill both excitement and fear in a person. Whether you’re single and ready to mingle (with nine dating different apps on your phone) or if you’re all loved up, there comes a time when you need to organise a date and with that comes a wave of panic. So, naturally, you start considering your options (and your bank balance) and then begin wondering if your date would settle for a few of bitter and sharing a bag of bacon fries down the pub.
What makes or breaks dates?
Now we know there are a few things that make a good date… First and foremost, excellent company is a must. Then it’d be pretty fair to say that it’s a tie with great food and drinks in combined second place. After that, it’s time to consider atmospheric factors – are you looking for a romantic candlelit spot? Do you want somewhere with a buzzing atmosphere so that your awkward first date convo won’t be overheard? Are you looking for a place that puts more emphasis on the drinks than the food, ensuring some liquid courage? These are all important questions to ask yourself when planning your date night.
Thankfully we’ve answered all these questions and then some. We’ve compiled a varied list of some of the best restaurants in London for dates, so that you don’t have to do any of the trawling. We’re talking first date restaurants, romantic restaurants, date night restaurants and everything else that London has to offer. It’s time to pull out all the stops and start impressing whoever your lucky date may be!
Ping Pong Southbank
Sharing food is romantic, right? Well maybe for some… At Ping Pong Southbank you can order a whole host of Chinese dim sum for you and your date, grab your chopsticks and tuck in. Sit in the Lotus Lounge or out on the terrace for truly atmospheric evening.
Inamo Soho is perfect for people who panic when the waiter arrives to take their order. Why you may ask? Well, because at your interactive table (yes, you read that correctly: INTERACTIVE TABLE) you can see what every menu item looks like on your plate virtually before ordering. Then you can order on screen, and play games with your date while you wait for your food. How’s that for an ice-breaker?
Nothing says date night like red wine and steak, amirite? Situated in Smithfield right across from the Barbican, this spot is ideal if you’re planning an evening of culture after your slap up meal.
Pied à Terre
You can’t get much more impressive than a Michelin starred date, now can you? The plates of food here are like works of art, and if you’re feeling super flush you can even opt for 10-course tasting menu. Bon appetit!
One of my signature dishes @asimakis @piedaterrerestaurant #london is Spring lamb coated with and intense tarragon crumb/globe artichoke purée/pickled violet baby artichokes/grilled green asparagus and a Ferrero Rocher made with braised neck and shoulders of lamb,Savoy cabbage and golden leaf ??? #restaurant #michelinguide @michelinguide @michelinguideuk #cook_love
Sometimes all you want in a date is a pub that serves up brilliant grub when you’re however many beers deep. The beauty of Belgo Centraal is that they have a huuuuge menu, complete with burgers, steaks and mussels served every which way. We love the mussels with spinach, cheese and pancetta. Just don’t blame us when your date starts looking at you funny cos you’ve got green goo dripping down your chin!
If you’re more about the drinks than the dinner, Floripa is the place for you. At this Brazilian spot in Shoreditch you can kick things off with a few cocktails and then move to the dancefloor later on if you feel like dancing. With live music and dancers – and a tasty food offering if you get peckish – Floripa is one buzzing spot for a date!