7 Bars For That Awkward First Date

Whether you’re trying to impress that special someone or just trying to get past ‘first base’, OutInSydney has hand picked seven of the best bars for that exciting/dreaded first date.

AbsintheSalon - Surry Hills

No, we are not encouraging you to get your date absolutely sh#t faced, we do genuinely recommend this joint. Why? Because it’s quirky, unique and the drinks are seriously epic. Absinthe is an acquired taste but if you like it there’s a stack of different types you can try.

The drinks here are traditional so you get the full ice-cold water through the sugar cube display. The Parisian-themed décor sets the mood while an absolute legend of an owner talks you through your selection. Prices range from $16.00 to $22.00 and as absinthe is notoriously potent there is a three-drink maximum. Bookings are essential.

Pro tip: Buy your date the liqueur chocolates too!

Opera Bar - Circular Quay

The view here is kinda okay, which makes it Number Two on our list (and when we say kinda okay we actually mean probably the best in Sydney!). This place is perfect for that afternoon drink to impress. Aside from the view, it’s nothing out of the ordinary as far as bars are concerned so we wont waste time on décor and drink options.

Pro tip:  It’s pretty touristy so be prepared for seagulls and selfie sticks.

The Greens - North Sydney

It’s always Pimm’s o’clock at The Greens.  Still relatively new, this place is cute because not only does if have a spectacular view, plenty of day beds, and DJs on weekend but you can also lawn bowl here (which is a little bit cute for a first date).

We recommend this place because it’s not your average first date joint - you’ll both be drink in hand having a bowl or two and then can migrate over to the beer garden to enjoy the share platters and extensive cocktail options. The Salted Cube Libre and Watermelon Fizz are both worth trying.

Pro tip: Lawn bowls could be a bad choice if either of you are overly competitive.

Island Bar - Cockatoo Island

Not to be confused with The Island (which is also  AHHHmazing), this place involves a cute little adventure getting there. Once again it is something slightly different and likely to help assure you of Date Number Two. To get there you have to catch as ferry from Circular Quay (which takes about 20 minutes). Once on the island follow the signs to the bar. With bright umbrellas, faux grass and lounge chairs, this spot is another great one for afternoon drinking.

Pro tip: Be sure to check the times as they change based on the season

360 Bar - Sydney CBD

Okay, so this is one of the flashier options but is sure to impress. Re-vamped from what used to be a stale buffet restaurant, Sydney Tower now offers better food options and a place to go for just a few cozy drinks. The epic thing about 360 is that, as the name suggests, it offers 360-degree views of our fine city. From the Harbour to the Northern Penninsula to the Blue Mountains (and even down South) - you will get spectacular views of everything that Sydney has to offer.

Pro tip: Be warned the restaurant is slowly revolving and can feel weird at first.

Lazy Bones Lounge - Marrickville

Lazy Bones Lounge boasts a vibrant cocktail list, funky interior and live jazz every night. Even if you’re not a massive jazz buff there is something sexy about this type of music! We’re also betting it’s something different to where you’d usually head… so bonus points for being distinctive, right?

Leather lounges, velvet curtains and a selection of vintage knick-knacks make this place feel as though your miles from Sydney’s regular bar scene. Hopefully your date will dig it us much as we do!

Pro tip: Gigs are mostly free, however expect to pay on weekends


This place is also perfect for an afternoon tipple with your date and is a great starting point because happy hour is from 4.00pm-7.00pm everyday (1/2 price cocktails). With a funky décor and both indoor and outdoor seating there are options for something more social to help break the ice, or something close and intimae if you want to find out about them early.

Pro tip: It gets packed so get in and out early.  

Written by Rebecca Clark