Going on your first date with someone can be SO awkward. Picking a venue that's not going to add to that is very important. You want somewhere open, friendly, casual and preferably with an easy escape route in case it goes bad. Here are some options in the city:
Maybe you’re after a more vibrant yet cosy setting that still allows for good conversation while you and your date sip on some amazing sangria and munch on delicious pizza? In that case, 86 Public is calling your name! This restaurant has a few locations including Braamfontein, so a great vibe and a good time are almost always certain. What’s great about this location is that the atmosphere increases the chance of a successful date — in fact, it might even prompt the date to progress to a night of dancing in Braam. Dancing evokes happy hormones so it’s a win-win!
Want milk? They’ve got milk. Well, not really, but I’m almost certain it can be arranged if you ask nicely. Milk Bar is great for afternoon and evening dates. However, if the main objective is to get know each other better, afternoons are recommended. The setting is comfortable, the décor rich with different cultural elements and they have an epic food and drinks menu. Plus, they’ve got soft music in the background by day, and louder music in the background at night. Evening dates at the Milk Bar can be advantageous if you want to go dance up in Katy’s Palace Bar after food and drinks – good vibes only.
So maybe you think going to a restaurant for a first date is too mainstream and overtly overdone? In that case, try a morning or afternoon picnic at Emmarentia Dam. Buy yourself a picnic basket, pack some yummy treats and drinks in there and you’re done. Have yourself a lovely picnic by the dam, enjoy nature, good conversation, and a peaceful atmosphere. This setting is also great for capturing memories, so pack your camera (or charge your phone) and have fun with it.
Nice On 4th
If you’d like to take your date to a place where you can share and enjoy literature, before or after indulging in some divine food and drinks, Nice on 4th is a must-visit! Not only will your taste buds be tantalised, but your mind will also be pleased with all the amazing literature in the neighbouring Nice Books. So here’s what you could do – get there, grab a drink, chat a bit, go to Nice Books, pick out a book to read or browse through as a conversation starter, sit back at your table, grab a bite and let the conversation flow. Successful date, done and dusted!
RollEgoli Roller Rink
When was the last time you went roller skating and had some good old fun with someone you really like? Why not go to RollEgoli Roller Rink for your first date? It's the quickest way to bond and get to know each other in a non-conventional way, plus it's tons of fun! There's even a garden where you can sit and relax in-between skating sessions, which will give you the perfect opportunity to talk, laugh and people watch. And don't worry about refreshments, the rink has a self-service cafeteria with all sorts of yummy food, from wood-fired pizza to hot and cold beverages.
The Ice Rink
If roller skating isn't really your thing, try ice skating instead. There are several great Ice Rinks to choose from to have your perfect first date. Nothing like some skating fun to break the ice. For a first date, definitely book online or book ahead before showing up, you'll get a few brownie points to throw in the bag and win over your date's heart! The most central ice rink to give a try is the one located at Northgate. There is always a great vibe and tons of people enjoying themselves, and well, fun is contagious. Since the rink is located in the Northgate Mall, you can even grab a bite or catch a movie afterwards. Show your date how diverse your fun having can be!
We might not be in the beautiful mountainous Cape Town but we still have some picturesque hills in Joburg where we can enjoy breathtaking views of our city. Why not treat your date to a lovely afternoon on Northcliff Hill and let the romance unfold? Pack a few treats and drinks and prepare to have your date admire the city in awe. The Hill is peaceful but, if you like, you can even take some music with you and, of course, capture a lot of photographs to remember the day.
Fourways Farmers Market
Open every Sunday from 09:00 until 16:00, the Fourways Farmers Market is a great pick for a successful first date. Located right across from the famous Monte Casino, the market is frequented by food lovers and social folks alike. The place has a great vibe and there is even a stage where live music gigs are usually held at the delight of regular and new-time customers. With great music, great food and a great atmosphere, the market definitely works in your favour for a successful first date!
Eat Your Heart Out
Lunch and dinner can be so overrated! Why not try to have a breakfast first date at Eat Your Heart Out in Maboneng? Catch the morning breeze and indulge in some delicious breakfast foods. And there's no cut-off time to the breakfast menu — it's all day! Lunch meals are also available should your breakfast turn into lunch because you're enjoying each other's company so much. To top it off, they also have scrumptious daily cakes and sweets, just to add some extra sugar to the date. Hot and cold drinks are available to cater to any weather conditions the city might throw at you.
Have we left out your favourite first date venue? Let us know which one below!
Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.