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15 date places in London that aren’t Nandos

1. Cabana Brazilian 

With a really relaxed vibe and options for even the fussiest of eaters, this is a great place for a first or second date. There are cute cocktails, barbecue chicken dishes, sweet potato fries and Brazilian music.

Location: 7 restaurants in London, including both Westfields and Brixton

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £36*

*All prices based on one main meal and one drink per person

 

2. Gazette Brasserie

The first time I went to the Balham branch of this restaurant I was won over, I sat outside as it was warm enough and the great service only added to the delicious, and reasonably priced, food. There are some super swanky French menu items here, but you can easily choose something simple too.

Location: Balham, Battersea and Putney

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £52

 

3. Rosa’s Thai Cafe

Always super busy as it’s quite a small place, but the food is great and it’s perfect for an informal first or second date – no starched white tablecloths or extensive wine lists here.

Location: 8 locations in London, including Soho, Chelsea and Brixton

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £40

 

4. Pho

Absolutely delicious Vietnamese food, and especially good for people who like fresh healthy dishes. A good option for a lunch date as you can be in and out pretty quickly.

Location: 14 London locations including Wimbledon, Oxford Circus and Stratford

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £36

Lunch at Pho: Pork Chả giò spring rolls and Gỏi xoài mango salad 🍴 #vietnamese #foodie #lunch @phorestaurant

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5. Shake Shack

If you know you and your date are burger and fries people, then Shake Shack is one of the best burger places to visit. You can makes eyes at each other over cheesy fries and share a milkshake without worrying about pronouncing the names of any fancy wines.

Location: 6 London restaurants including Canary Wharf, Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £30

 

6. Ping Pong

If you know how to use a pair of chopsticks and love dim sum, Ping Pong is a super chic date option. They also have a cheaper lunch menu if you want to meet during the day, and a great range of teas and cocktails.

Location: 9 restaurants in London, including Soho, Southbank and Wembley

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £28 for lunch, and £42 for dinner

 

7. Madison Roof Bar

The view from this place is enough of a reason to visit, but the cocktails and food are also worth trying. It’s totally acceptable to just get drinks here as the restaurant and terrace bar are separate, and there are outdoor heaters and sofas at the bar. Make sure you dress up (think smart shoes, dresses and shirts) to go here as there are several door men and a strict dress code.

Location: St. Pauls

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £56 for dinner, and £22 for drinks

Totally obsessed with the view last night at @madisonlondon1 😍✨

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8. Burger and Lobster

As you might have guessed, this place only serves burgers and lobster dishes (but the lobster is so good, I don’t know anyone that gets the burger.) If you’re not a fan of getting messy, there’s a neat lobster roll you can order that’s just as tasty. For a cheaper alternative to this place, try Steak and Lobster.

Location: 10 restaurants in London, including Oxford Circus, Leicester Square and Canary Wharf

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £52

 

9. Las Iguanas

One of my favourite places to eat on the Southbank – you always know what to expect and the service is good, no matter how busy they get. If you or your date are vegan or vegetarian, there’s a whole other menu for you to choose from, and unlike most restaurants, there’s more on there than a stuffed pepper and a mushroom burger.  Plus point: the cocktails here are well-made and it’s happy hour all day, every day.

Location: 6 restaurants in London, including Greenwich, Southbank and Stratford Westfield

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £54

 

10. London Aquarium

This is the kind of place you definitely have to check with your date before booking, but if you’re both into underwater critters, it’s a great date place. Pro tip: check out the penguin feeding times and make sure you’re there for them – it’s ridiculously cute.

Location: Southbank

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: £40

Celebrated my birthday by going to the aquarium instead of having a big party, because I'm a child 😭 🐬

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11. Bounce

If you and your date are the adventurous types,  this Ping Pong bar is a something a little different. Best to go/book at a time when it’s a little quieter like a weekday so you can actually get a table to eat, some room at the bar, or a ping pong table to yourself.

Location: Farringdon and Old Street

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £48 if you choose to eat, around £20 if you don’t

 

12. Busaba Eathai

Love this place for quick Thai food, but don’t love that they always put you on a table with other people so you can’t have a private conversation. I guess it’s supposed to create a communal and friendly vibe? IDK. P.S. I highly recommend the fish cakes as a starter.

Location: 14 places in London, including Shoreditch, Chelsea and Covent Garden

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £42

Busaba Eathai. 🍤🍚🍃

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13. Clapham Picture House 

This independent cinema shows both mainstream films and the classic and cult ones too, and it feels more like a old school theatre than a cinema.

Location: Clapham, but there are similar venues in Crouch End, Brixton, East Dulwich, Hackney and Greenwich

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £35

 

14. Benihana

More an experience than a restaurant, Benihana is the place to take someone you really want to impress. They do great seafood, sushi and steaks, all prepared, with flare, in front of you.

Location: Kings Road or Piccadilly Circus

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £54

 

15. Brooks and Gao

If you’re looking for somewhere low key for a day date, Brooks and Gao is a cute lunch/coffee option. They have a small menu but everything is made with real care and attention, perfect for a private conversation in a casual setting.

Location: Streatham

If you pay for your date you’ll spend: Around £36

Lunch at Brooks and Gao, Streatham.

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“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” – Proverbs 31:10 – 11 

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