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Skip The Hinge Cringe With These Best First Date Spots

by Annabelle Evans

You did it, you downloaded Hinge. Maybe your friends peer pressured you into it, or it was time to get back on the horse after a nasty breakup. Either way, you’ve probably still sat through endless denied matches, awkward pickup lines and incessant small talk.

But one day it finally happened: you scored yourself a date with the person of your dreams. But while you may have the best chat in the game, when it comes to first dates, you kind of struggle in getting past the small talk.

Its okay, we’ve all got a painful online dating story. Whether it’s a failed pickup line, a dodgy attempt at rizzing up a match, or maybe even an unfortunate catfish experience, there’s nothing worse than an awkward date. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the perfect first date spots in Melbourne, guaranteed to ensure you a second date.


Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000

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Guarantee yourself a constant flow of things to talk about at ACMI, Australia’s Centre for the Moving Image. As Australia’s national museum of screen culture, it is one of Melbourne’s most versatile venues, keeping both parties on a first date entertained.

ACMI offers an experience that curates narratives and ideas that challenge preconceptions and force you to question your own philosophies. Whether your vibe is to sit in silence and immerse yourself in the experience, or engross yourself in a debate about the arts with your date, this is the perfect place.

ACMIs exhibitions cover a broad spectrum, assuring that both you and your latest Tinder have something to talk about. With historical collections from Indigenous artists, screenings of recently produced films, and exhibitions showing only female made works, ACMI presents exclusive shows that feature costumes, sketches and stories from past and present motion capture favourites. Who knows, it can even be a great ice breaker talking about your fav Aussie TV shows…

Open from 10am-5pm every day, pop on over in the afternoon before heading to your favourite CBD bar for the cherry on top of an already perfect date.

[More Info] | [Contact Venue]

Bird’s Basement

11 Singers Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Even if you’ve apparently got nothing in common with your Bumble date, Bird’s Basement will instantly make you forget those first awkward 10 minutes of silence as soon as you sit down. Sister to New York’s famous Birdland, Bird’s Basement offers a musical experience paired with dinner and a cocktail.

No matter your taste in music, Bird’s Basement’s jazzy tunes adds a welcomed uniqueness to the classical bar date – even their drinks are jazzed up! Pick from cocktails inspired by your favourite musician, including the Queen of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald. Sip on Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” cocktail, with Gordon’s gin, maraschino liqueur, Vok Parfait Amour and lemon juice whilst you take in the show.

From renowned artists such as Ravi Coltrane, Kurt Elling and Cindy Blackman Santana, sit down and enjoy an evening filled with soulful tunes that will make you want to jump out of your seat and join in with the fun on stage.

[More Info] | [Contact Venue]

The Butterfly Club

5 Carson Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000

Forget enduring ANOTHER first date at your run of the mill Melbourne bar, and check out The Butterfly Club instead. Instantly ditch the first date nerves and the butterflies in your stomach when you enter this intimate theatre venue in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

Plastered with kitsch artworks and eclectic decorations that make the venue feel like a licensed vintage shop, grab a cocktail and sit down in a cosy arm chair to enjoy shows that vary from comedy and theatre to cabaret and burlesque.

Want an excuse to show off to your date? The Butterfly Club are always looking for new shows! Sign up ahead of time and blow your date away by showcasing a performance of your own!

[More Info] | [Contact Venue]

The Comic’s Lounge

1/26 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC 3051

There’s no better way to assess your compatibility with a new Hinge match than watching a crude comedy show together at The Comic’s Lounge. Laughter is definitely the best medicine in curing and endless bout of small talk.

With a range of shows featuring stand-up, improvisation, and sketches, The Comic’s Lounge showcases performances from internationally renowned comedians. Book your tickets ahead and grab a bite to eat before you enjoy a night full of laughing your ass off.

[More Info] | [Contact Venue]


188 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

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Hidden amongst one of the many alley ways of Melbourne’s CBD, Heroes is the perfect place to ensure a great meet-cute story to tell the kids one day. Heroes combines delicious Asian inspired food and drink with Karaoke. If your date sticks around after watching you sing an off key version of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” then you’re definitely set for a second.

Decked out with hanging cyber-punk decorations and covered head to toe in neon lights, Heroes is a bustling and lively venue that adds a element of fun to your evening. From just $10 to book a karaoke room for 2 hours, sip on a couple of cocktails before you impress your date with some Mariah Carey-esq vocal runs.

Singing not your cup of tea? Head on up to their rooftop bar, and enjoy an evening of getting to know your date over a burger and margarita.

[More Info] | [Contact Venue]

Holey Moley

590 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

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As the ideal spot for those competitive couples out there, Holey Moley is the best venue by par to try your hand at a boozy round of putt-putt. Boring dates? Green there, done that. From only $16.50 for nine holes, Holey Moley guarantees a night full of fun, laughter, and drinks.

Tackle the obstacles together, enjoy the competitive banter, or challenge your date to see who can get the lowest score while enjoying a couple of drinks. Whoever loses buys the first round! Or, reward yourself with the Long Island Ice Tea Trophy – a long island made in a trophy!

After this date, we promise you’ll both be on par for a second one!

[More Info] | [Contact Venue]

Don’t want the date to be over?

Check out these best date bars in Melbourne.

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