couple dining

Image: Spaghetti Western

Busy couples are embracing ‘date night’ – the one evening a week dedicated to spending time with that special someone. So, you’ve had a good run throughout winter and saved money with Netflix-and-chill nights, it’s time to treat the ol’ ball and chain to the perfect evening enjoying the exquisite cuisine, wine, and spirits our city has to offer. We’ve collated some of our favourites from date night splurges, to fun food with friendly conversation and something a bit zingy to entice the more adventurous taste buds.

Hill of Grace Restaurant – Adelaide Oval

Dish from Hill of Grace

Image: Adelaide Oval

Depending on the budget, this one goes down as the perfect anniversary dinner, or an incredibly extravagant date night. Or, if you’ve found yourself in the dog house, treating your better half to an evening at Hill of Grace Restaurant will see you released back into the home through an arch of cascading champagne.   

You can choose from the a la carte menu, or from an 8 or 5-course degustation menu with vegetarian options and wine pairing. The restaurant’s namesake Henschke Wine’s Hill of Grace is available, as well as a huge variety of carefully chosen South Australian wines.

The restaurant is a celebration of South Australian sporting and viticultural icons and embraces a food philosophy of seasonal produce presented with creativity and flair. Every element of this experience is considered, intentional and extravagant.  

The Playford – North Terrace

7 course tasting menu

Image: The Playford

Whether you’re planning on staying the night or visiting for the pure culinary delight of the famous Playford Hotel for dinner –  a date night here – is a date to remember. The Playford is situated opposite the Adelaide Casino on North Terrace and always offers a sense of occasion.

There’s a reason The Playford has won award after award for its restaurant cuisine – even their sourdough gets the special treatment – baked for 18 hours before it hits the table.

Courses featuring Paroo Kangaroo with macadamia cream and saltbush dukkah celebrate the native flavours of South Australia whilst embracing cultural influences and techniques from around the world with sides, sauces and entrees that reflect our multicultural city.

Ask for a famous Phoenix cocktail from the lounge bar, the Playford’s signature cocktail and immerse yourself in the city for one spectacular evening.

If you play your cards right, a buffet breakfast of epic proportions awaits, and even though you’re still full – no one can say no, to breakfast at the Playford.

Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant at Mount Lofty House – Mount Lofty Summit, Crafers

Image: Meaghan Coles

Make the extra effort and escort your date to Mount Lofty House and discover a revelation in experimental dining at Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant. Enjoy views overlooking Piccadilly Valley or simply look into each other’s eyes – once you’ve looked longingly at the menu of course!

Food is grown and foraged on the property with Executive Chef Wayne Brown making it his mission to extract every ounce of flavour possible, from every single ingredient. The restaurant is all class, the venue is something magical and the food and wine tell an evolving story of what the Adelaide Hills is all about. Bookings for date night are Thursday through Sunday.

The Haus Hahndorf – Adelaide Hills

selection of plates

Image: The Haus Hahndorf

What better place to take your beau for date night, or hey, how about a date weekend? The Haus in Hahndorf is somewhat of an institution in Adelaide Hills dining and the family-owned and operated restaurant will welcome you with open arms – 7 days a week.

With perhaps the most versatile and yet affordable menus on our date night dinner list, The Haus prepares local, fresh produce and creates mouth-watering dishes for every palate. Our favourite is the Fleurieu Peninsula Lamb Shoulder – Slow cooked for 12 hours and marinated in fresh coriander, Italian parsley, extra-virgin olive oil, cumin seeds, lemon juice, fresh garlic and turmeric served with wild rice, dried cranberries, pistachios and a sticky jus. It’s a crowd-pleaser, as is the South Australian Grazing Board – to get you started.

The extensive wine list offers the very best South Australian wines, including date night pic – the Lake Breeze ‘Bernoota’ Shiraz.

Ruby Red Flamingo – Tynte St, North Adelaide

Image: Megan Voo

At Ruby Red Flamingo the emphasis is on fun, flavour and variety. Their menu changes with seasonality and the freshest availability, but is always packed with a flavour that makes you feel right at home. In fact, it’s so cosy and delicious here, you may not want to leave.

This is an Italian restaurant, but with a modern South Australian twist that’s delightfully unexpected. The decor is intriguing inside and out with a mix of classic, modern and yet rustic vibes with chalk menus filling the wall space.

Head chef Enzo will ensure your visit to the Mediterranean space on Tynte Street is filled with generous servings of fresh pasta, Frutti de mare, delicate sweet desserts and of course, beautifully complementary wine. What more could a dinner date ask for?

Nu Thai – Morphett Street

Fish Curry

Image: Nu Thai

Hong Kong born Chef, Thomas Ng is renown for creating fragrant, intensely flavoured Thai dishes at Morphet Street’s Nu Thai. His passion for food is a childhood legacy that he translates into culinary surprises for his guests.

With an extensive menu full of options for even the fussiest of partners, choose from the dinner menu, locals favourite ‘specials menu’ or if you still can’t decide –  ask your friendly waiter to feed you, and they’ll bring make all the decisions for you – no arguments on date night!

Whatever the choice you’re in for fresh locally sourced ingredients like Goolwa PiPi cooked in a way you’ve never tasted and won’t soon forget.

Spaghetti Western – King William Street

wine and chicken

Image: Spaghetti Western

They say Spaghetti Western is Jay Z meets Clint Eastwood – but whichever side of that fence you sit, this American/Italian blend of cuisine delivers the smoking gun of a dinner date fare.

Decked out like a western saloon, the atmosphere is eclectic American and whilst it’s not your traditional ‘la Cucina’ even Mamma would be hard pressed to fault the Italian flavours and presentation.  

Choose from a range of shareable small plates featuring the famous meatballs with parmesan or mouth watering mains including Satlinbunco veal with prosciutto, A Fishful of Dollars starring Crab Eastwood, or Roast South Australian Baby Snapper just to give you a glimpse of what your evening could have in store.

The bar offers a selection of local and imported beers, wines, spirits and ciders and for the ladies – they make a wicked espresso martini. Date night win!

Proof Bar – Anster St Laneway, off Waymouth St


Image: Proof Bar Adelaide

Oyster Bar – Holdfast Shores

9 different Oysters

Image: Oyster Bar

Although an acquired taste – you know what they say about oysters?

They’re to be enjoyed with the best company, and the best wine. That’s what you were thinking right?

The Oyster Bar at Holdfast Shores serves only the best Coffin Bay Oysters with so many different serving suggestions, you’ll never think of an Oyster the same way again. For those who cannot be converted to way of the shuck, the restaurant offers an array of delicious alternatives sure to impress. And when you’re serving some of the best oysters in the world, you’ve got to have the best wine in the world, which of course they do, in plentiful stock – sourced from cellar doors around South Australia. Enjoy the fruits of the sea and vines and if you make your date night a Wednesday or Friday, it won’t just be your tastebuds that get tantalised. Live musicians will entertain as you slam down those oyster shots.

Mestizo Cocina Peruana – Glenelg

selection of dishes

Image: Megan Voo

Just a couple of streets back from the esplanade in Glenelg South awaits South Australia’s first Peruvian restaurant and a decadent exploration of authentic Peru.

Mestizo offers the perfect vibe for a relaxed date night – close enough for a late night aperitif and stroll on the beach, yet cosy enough amongst the brickwork and terracotta to make it truly romantic. And, you’ll feel right at home – because technically you are – a 1930’s renovated home.

But let’s talk about the food! There’s such an impressive showcase of flavours, techniques and dishes made from seasonal South Australian produce that capture the heart of Peru and translate it to the plate.  Wines from South Australia and beyond are served to compliment your Huatia degustation but don’t leave without sampling barman Will’s best Pisco Sour.

Top tips:

  • Avoid the cost of parking and enjoy yourself responsibly by taking the train, tram, or booking your taxi or Uber
  • Make your reservations to allow room for a pre or post meal cocktail at one of the many fantastic bars scattered throughout the CBD and surrounds
  • Plan your date night on a weekday to avoid peak times
  • Ask your professional waiters and sommeliers about food and wine pairing to make the most of your dining experience.
  • Don’t eat a big lunch –  trust us, you’re going to need the room.