So you swiped right and got a match. The next step is harder: finding somewhere both of you can feel at ease and focus on getting to know each other. We're not into quiet, romantic spots – not early on, anyway. At these fun, energetic restaurants and bars there's rarely a chance for an awkward silence. Good luck.

Related pages:
Best Restaurants in Melbourne
Best Wine Bars in Melbourne
Best Cocktail Bars in Melbourne
Best Neighbourhood Bars in Melbourne

Old Palm Liquor

The follow-up to Neighbourhood Wine is cool and comfortable. Take a seat at the bar or in front of an open fire and feel the tension melt off your shoulders.

133b Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Thirty Eight Chairs South Yarra

Small, intimate and delicious.

4a Bond Street, South Yarra

Cumulus Up Wine Bar

The slimmer version of Andrew McConnell's Cumulus Inc. has the same elegant charm.

Level 1 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Neptune Food & Wine

Canned seafood, wine and a moody, low-lit ambience. Perfect.

212 High Street, Windsor

Agostino

A modern take on the classic Italian enoteca, a 50-seat wine bar with house-made pasta, hard-to-find wines and waiters clad in head-to-toe white Japanese denim in an iconic heritage-listed building.

297 Lygon Street, Carlton

Bomba

Tapas on a rooftop, with vermouth on tap and killer city views.

103 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Lay Low Bar

The lights are low and the cocktails are good.

93 Buckley Street, Seddon

Leonardo’s Pizza Palace

A rollicking good-times pizzeria from the Leonard's House of Love crew.

29 Grattan Street, Carlton

Bar Romantica

The late-night bar that replaced a pizza institution pays respect to its legacy, and has an atmosphere of romance.

52 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Shadowboxer Bar & Kitchen

Wine, nibbles and plenty of tables for two.

302 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Bar Margaux

Walk down the nondescript staircase and let your eyes adjust. There’s no natural light at this bistro – that’s why it’s so easy to lose track of time.

Basement 111 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Etta

Sit in the front bar for a short date, or up the back if you're more confident the evening has legs.

60 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Park Street Pasta & Wine

Fresh, handmade pasta rolled from the best possible ingredients is the draw at this intimate osteria.

268 Park Street, South Melbourne

Marion

Utterly cool, and the meal can last as little or as long as you like.

53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Archie’s All Day

Turn a quick afternoon date into an entire evening.

189 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Prohibition Food and Wine

A restaurant and bar that's as classy or as casual as you need.

1395 Toorak Road, Camberwell

Bellota Wine Bar

For the wine-lover: there are 3500 bottles, with charcuterie to match.

181 Bank Street, South Melbourne

Radio Mexico

Make it a Monday-night date, when the Margaritas are two-for-one.

11-13 Carlisle Street, St Kilda

Copper Pot

Take a Euro trip together.

105 Victoria Street, Seddon

Luxsmith

Order a "lucky dip" wine and have fun guessing what it is.

5 Gamon Street , Seddon

Amarillo

Pairs a mid-century European fit-out with modern, effortless cool. Try toasties and coffee in the morning; and oysters and wine at night.

149 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Bar Josephine

Comfortable, kitsch and affordable.

295 Barkly Street, Footscray

Hotel Jesus

Fun, informal and always vibing.

174 Smith Street, Collingwood

Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria

Tacos, tequila and a party atmosphere.

339 Victoria Street, Brunswick

Joe's Shoe Store

The most comfortable bar in Northcote.

233 High Street, Northcote

City Wine Shop

A bottle shop and bar that hasn't forgotten the Europe of yesteryear.

159 Spring Street, Melbourne

Tipo 00

Relive Lady and the Tramp over some of the city's best handmade pasta.

361 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

The Valley Cellar Door

Get to know each other over one of 230 bottles of wine.

18 18-20 Hall Street, Moonee Ponds

Uncle Joe's

Cosy booths, great drinks and genuine service to set the mood.

325 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Sun Moth Canteen & Bar

Share a drink in the evening. If it goes well, come back for a coffee the next day.

28 Niagara Lane, Melbourne

Ombra Salumi

Share a crisp wine over some aged meats.

76 Bourke St, Melbourne

Izakaya Den

The best seats are at the bar in this subterranean Japanese restaurant.

Basement 114 Russell Street, Melbourne

The Everleigh

Skip dinner and head straight to the cocktails.

1 150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Black Pearl

Order cocktails; have them delivered to your plush seats.

304 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Gerald's Bar

For a quieter, less flashy date that's more about comfort.

386 Rathdowne St, Carlton North

LongPlay

Two-parts Danish minimalist furniture store, one-part Italian wine and cocktail bar.

318 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North

Joanie's Baretto

A bar that's all about Italian aperitifs and salumi boards.

832A High Street, Thornbury

Heartattack and Vine

Eat cicchetti (Italian tapas) then head to a movie at Cinema Nova.

329 Lygon Street, Carlton

Rita's Cafeteria

A down-to-earth pizzeria that's rarely quiet.

239 Johnston Street, Abbotsford

Bar None

A speakeasy-style bar that's all about cocktails.

72 Auburn Parade, Camberwell

The Ugly Duckling

Choose between this wine bar's moody and intimate front, or the sun-drenched back.

238 Swan Street, Richmond

The Woods of Windsor

Get to know each other over a couple of Negronis.

108 Chapel Street, Windsor