So you got a match. The next step is harder: finding the right place to impress your date.

These aren't places for quiet, white-tableclothed romance. They're fun, energetic restaurants and bars packed with atmosphere, where there's rarely a chance for an awkward silence. Good luck.

Yoko Dining


A two-storey Japanese izakaya from star restaurateur Jonathan Barthelmess.

Howard Smith Wharves 5 Boundary Sreet, Brisbane

Chu the Phat


A 300-seater with the heart of a late-night market stall.

111 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane

Mr Percival’s


The octagonal, overwater stunner with a fresh-seafood slant and an enviable view.

Howard Smith Wharves 5 Boundary Street, Brisbane

Za Za Ta


A gorgeous restaurant and bar at the centre of Brisbane's Middle Eastern moment.

1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley



Widely regarded as one of the country’s best Greek restaurants.

Level 1 48 James Street, Fortitude Valley



A two-storey Cantonese eatery with a star chef at the helm.

5 Boundary Street, Brisbane



Pizza that's been delighting Brisbane since 2004.

10 Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe

Super Whatnot


If you're planning a short, relaxed date, this is your best option.

48 Burnett Lane, Brisbane

Phat Boy


A neon-lit stunner from the owner of Phat Elephant and Chai Thai.

300 George Street, Brisbane



Refined share plates and mezcal on a classy corner of Brunswick Street.

211 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley



Family-style Greek from Jonathan Barthelmess, one of Sydney’s favourite restaurateurs.

Howard Smith Wharf Precinct 5 Boundary Street, Brisbane

Gerard’s Bar


The perfect warm-up for an extended date at Gerard's Bistro, provided things go well.

13A 23 James Street, Fortitude Valley

La Lune Wine Co


Sit at the bar, order a few wines and interact with the chefs. No chance of an awkward silence here.

Shop 5 109 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane



A European-style wine bar and bistro in South Brisbane.

Level 1 39 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane

The Gresham


This heritage-listed bar is a hot contender for the city's most elegant space. Ideal for a picky date, in other words.

308-322 Queen Street, Brisbane

Happy Boy Fortitude Valley


Modern Chinese food and a killer wine list from brothers Cameron and Jordan Votan.

826 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley



For dates that revolve around good wine.

336 George Street, Brisbane



Casual but classy Italian dining.

77 Grey Street, South Brisbane



Small, intimate and totally cool.

9 Fish Lane, South Brisbane

Cielo Rooftop Bar


A Fortitude Valley rooftop bar from the Salt Meats Cheese and Eterna crew. Come for small plates, stunning views and cocktails designed by Maybe Sammy – one of the world's best bars.

209 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
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Via a long marble bar, this moody 60-seat restaurant puts guests up close and personal with its woodfire grill, used to cook an ever-changing menu that might include Black Angus short rib or pickled kohlrabi.

181 Robertson Street, Fortitude Valley



Salt and pepper cuttlefish sangas, Moreton Bay bug char kway teow, fancy wines and spicy cocktails – all in a jaw-dropping three-storey space from the Rick Shores crew.

Fish Lane Town Square 63 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane



This beautiful, fast-paced and very fun Italian restaurant is from the Same Same and Agnes crew. Expect house-made pasta, stacks of antipasti and soft-serve gelato, accompanied by a 350-bottle wine list – all in one of Brisbane's most beguiling dining rooms.

Ada Lane James Street, Fortitude Valley

Same Same


Same Same is the successor to Longtime, one of Brisbane’s most celebrated Thai restaurants. And as the name would imply, none of Longtime’s DNA has fundamentally changed, it’s just been refined. The service is sharper, the space is more beautiful inside and out and the food is more vibrant than ever.

Shop AM3 Ada Lane 46 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Three Blue Ducks


W Brisbane’s flagship restaurant is a wholesome and hearty Sydney success story.

Level 3 81 North Quay, Brisbane
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Bar Tano


This beautiful marble and mirrored aperitivo bar complements Gemelli next door with a breezier, more laid-back energy. The open street-facing window is an excellent perch for Italian snacks, washed down with a Negroni or a spritz.

15 James Street, Fortitude Valley

Snack Man


A small plate-centric wine and cocktail bar from the Happy Boy crew.

Next to Happy Boy East Street, Fortitude Valley

Hello Please


Hello Please opened back in 2016. But since moving to its permanent Fish Lane location, it's had a real swagger. The fit-out is sleek and bold in equal measure, offset by a sunny awning that garlands the exterior. On the food front, old favourites such as the crispy chicken ribs are joined by new dishes such as katsu eggplant bao and cacio e pepe udon.

Fish Lane, South Brisbane

Sasso Italiano


Hit this south-side spot for soul-warming pasta, woodfired pizza and spinning Italo-disco tunes. For drinks, it’s birthday Negronis, an Aether-brewed Italian lager and 80-plus Italian wines.

4 148 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

1889 Enoteca


Real Roman food and the Italian treatment in Woolloongabba’s antique district.

819 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba

Naga Thai


This Anna Spiro-designed riverside stunner is from the Libertine crew. It's headed by Bangkok-born chef Suwisa Phoonsang. Come for milk buns stuffed with massaman beef, Moreton Bay bug pad thai and spiked house-made iced teas under a ceiling adorned with glowing white lanterns.

Upper Level 18/45 Eagle Street, Brisbane

Rothwell’s Bar & Grill


Old-school service and Eurocentric dishes anchor this elegant bar and grill. Visit for Moreton Bay bugs with cafe de Paris butter, a fancy cheeseburger, a globetrotting wine list and classic cocktails.

235 Edward Street, Brisbane