You swiped right, matched, messaged and now it’s date-decision time. Or, maybe you met by more traditional means? Either way the rendezvous choice is yours and a location needs to be set. No pressure! Hopefully, these top hangouts will help you choose that all-important first date spot.
Met in the dog park? Bring your furry friend and sit outside.
1 Blackbird, Rathmines
With nerves likely, this dark, fun and buzzy bar will help you relax. That is of course until your competitive streak is released trying out the board games – a great alternative to awkward small talk, though. The large craft beer menu may have you linger longer too.
Date Tip: Don’t wear a Bodycon dress unless you really want to stand out.
2 Project Arts Centre
Nothing says romance more than a night of Shakespeare or art. Impress your culture-vulture date with a selection of art, theatre, music or dance displays followed by a cosy post-performance review – ideal bonding time. projectartscentre.ie
Date Tip: Book tickets in advance.
3 sister sadie
Daytime dates can often lead to evening escapades, so why not book brunch? Growing from the love of its older ‘sibling’ brother hubbards, this casual dining delight is a safe choice if your chats haven’t quite reached the ‘what’s your favourite food?’ level. sistersadie.ie
Date Tip: Wear a warm jacket in case you have to sit outside.
4 Grand Canal Dock
Sometimes activities can bring out a person’s true colours. There’s nothing like making someone wear a wetsuit and fly through the air to tell if they mind their hair being tossed. Grand Canal Dock is home to many watersports so try a lesson in cable wakeboarding or test the waters with a Kayak (in every sense of the word). surfdock.ie wakedock.ie
Date Tip: Impress with a flask of hot liquid of your choice.
5 Laughter Lounge
Let’s face it, some laughs are just down right irritating. A comedy gig is a sure way of drawing out that deep belly chuckle, high-pitched squeak, or never-ending giggle. Keep an eye out for top international performers taking to the stage in the Laughter Lounge. laughterlounge.com
Date Tip: Don’t sit in the front row.
6 Phoenix Park
1752 acres, the tallest obelisk in Europe and rental bikes – what more do you need? Okay, maybe you should also pack a picnic, along with some bug spray, and then chill out for plenty of people-watching and nibbling. You can also mingle with the deers roaming around, but petting isn’t advised – animals or date. phoenixpark.ie
Date Tip: If it’s sunny, climb the steps of The Wellington Testimonial AKA the obelisk, for a rest or chat.
Not sure if your date is a pure carnivore or a fish fan? This stylish Baggot Street eatery is a safe bet with an extensive seafood and meat menu. And, if all goes well there’s an equally appealing cocktail list for post dinner drinks. It’s a very appropriate place for those new shoes but not if you’re counting the euros until pay-day. brookwooddublin.com
Date Tip: The Lobster and Chorizo salad to start. Enough said.
8 Dublin Zoo
Yes, the Zoo. You can walk and talk with guaranteed pit stops to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at some of the cute creatures. It’s also quite limited in terms of food offerings so there’s the excuse to find somewhere else to hang out after – or not! dublinzoo.ie
Date Tip: Wear comfortable shoes.
9 The Happy Pear
Going on a driving date? Head south of the city towards County Wicklow and turn off at Greystones. Park, and pull a pew at one of the most cheerful and popular vegetarian cafés that bakes the best healthy goods and serves the scrummiest salads. The service with a smile and positive affirmations surrounding the two-storey haunt should guarantee a second date. thehappypear.ie
Date Tip: No car – hop on the DART, it’s worth it.
10 Two Fifty Square
Then again, one could always go back to basics and arrange a safe, coffee get-together. If you don’t want to be spotted and fancy yourself a coffee connoisseur, this funky joint is ideal. Hiding off the main street in Rathmines, it serves not one but three types of coffee; Espresso, V60 and Aeropress along with loose leaf teas for non-fans of the bean. Should you converse long enough to get hungry, the food options are yum.
Date Tip: Met in the dog park? Bring your furry friend and sit outside.