It can be hard in the winter months to make that extra effort on date night – we are all guilty of defaulting to staying in, on the couch with a takeaway and Netflix. But on night when you do feel like doing something special or a bit different we’ve got a great range of date night ideas in the city centre.
A progressive date around Britomart
Known for its delicious and award winning eateries, Britomart is a prime date location that’s sure to impress that special someone in your life.
For dinner, grab a table at Cafe Hanoi, inspired by the streets of Vietnam, the atmosphere is casual, yet lively and the staff are very attentive and knowledgeable. To share with your date, we recommend the tiger prawn cutlets coated in young green rice, with a fiery house chilli sauce on the side.
Follow dinner by heading into Talulah, an upbeat and modern take on a Tiki bar on Tyler Street, with a tiny rootop featuring fantastic views across Auckland harbour. With a fit out that depicts a stunning and almost mystical tropical scene, inside you'll find colourful murals and a funky bar counter with a multitude of exotic flowers captured in liquid glass. It's the perfect place for a cocktail if you're both into 'the night is young' mantra.
Make sure to leave enough room for a sweet treat, as just across the road is Milse, an intimate dessert bar serving a selection of decadent high-end delights. Order something from their ever-changing sit down menu to share, or pick a gelato stick to go and enjoy beneath the magical fairy lights.
Learn a sweet new skill together
We all know how good the desserts are at Giapo, so why not create one together? At Giapo's you can walk in, describe what flavours and textures you like to the knowledgeable and friendly staff and they’ll whip up a delicious ice cream creation according to your requests.
It is the perfect way to get creative and at the end you get to devour the tasty and memorable sweet treat you thought up.
Bundle up your winter gears and get cosy at the Viaduct
Start the date with a romantic walk alongside the glistening lights reflecting off the ocean at the Viaduct Harbour. To warm things up, stop for a drink at The Parasol & Swing Company, known for their creative cocktails, we recommend trying the Crimson & Clover Club cocktail. Get cosy and enjoy your drink as you look out at the view of the Viaduct Harbour.
As the hunger starts to kick in, walk down to North Wharf to share a lovely meal together. Our pick? We cannot go past the big flavours and good ol’Southern soul food at Miss Clawdy to warm up against that winter chill. The menu is designed for sharing, so pick a few of your favourite dishes each and enjoy as you spend some quality time with one another.
The classic dinner and movie or comedy date
Head to Lorne Street and catch a film at the boutique Academy Cinemas, where they specialise in arthouse and independent movies. Definitely one of the city centre’s hidden gems!
After your film has finished, make your way down the road to The Kimchi Project to enjoy the beautiful courtyard setting adorned with lush greenery (all undercover which is handy with the unpredictable winter weather!). Settle in and pick a few items from the Korean inspired menu, the Kimchi Waffle Fries are a must try and if you can fit it in, end the night on a sweet note by sharing the divine Lemon Mousse for dessert.
If a film doesn't tickle your fancy, head along to a comedy gig at The Classic Comedy and Bar. The Classic seats 120 people in a cabaret style with a licensed bar offering a selection of beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. The venue boasts a regular programme of live comedy from Wednesday to Saturday, and in addition it regulalry hosts local bands, private functions and festival events.
Federal Street date
A date night is a great excuse to finally visit (or revisit) some of the amazing Al Brown eateries on Federal St. Experience some top class flavours, textures and presentation amongst an energetic, relaxed environment at Depot. To accompany a cheeky drink, order a selection of small plates to enjoy together, we highly recommend their great Oysters - they don’t get fresher than the ones served here!
Just when you thought your night couldn't get any better, head next door to the Federal Delicatessen and sink your teeth into one of their famous dessert pies. Take your pick from Choc-Cherry, Banana & Toffee and Lemon Meringue pie or opt for the ‘3-Way’, where you’re served all three.