Can’t decide on where to go for a first date in London? Here are my TOP 5 CASUAL spots which are great vibe setters and quite reasonably priced!

Deciding on a place to go on your first date isn’t always the easiest when it comes to planning. Split in two minds because you don’t want to invest toooooo much money when getting to know someone you might not end up liking but you don’t want to make it seem like you’ve not put any thought into it either.

Sure, it’s down to the individual to make a successful first date but if you want to make the experience more’re going to have to look further than your local Nandos. I’ve short listed it down to my personal favourite places to go which I think would be ideal for a first date. Hope you find it helpful!

In no particular order:

Dirty Bones

Located in Shoreditch right opposite box park. A great chilled vibe with banging food and friendly service. Their playlist is the definition of “vibes” if you’re into hip hop then YAAAASSSS, they often play a bit of Biggie here and there. You could come for brunch, lunch or dinner the menu has a fair amount of dishes to choose from. The interior is like a refurbished swanky pub, so.. dress up or dress down? Either is suitable! I would describe their cuisine as American with pan-Asian influences. Having been here five times in the space of a couple months (with friends, not first dates) I think it’s safe to say that this is my ‘go to’ spot when I’m undecided.

The mac daddy ladies and gentlemen… *drops mic*

A post shared by Thuy Pham (@thuyypham) on


  • Short ribs on crumpets (Brunch menu)
  • MacDaddy burger
  • Skinny fries
  • Lamb fries
  • Ghost milkshake (alcoholic option available)

Price range: ~ £20-£30 pp without alcoholic drinks.

Kerb Camden Market

Going to eat on a date doesn’t always have to be indoors. Going to a food market is super fun, deciding on which stalls to try out and sharing different dishes would definitely help break the ice.

Camden is a quirky area, full of unique individuals and packed with cool places to check out. There are so many varieties to choose from with food from all over the world such as Spanish, American, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, French and even Korean infused with Mexican!

Price range: ~ Depends on which stall you go to. £3-8 on average per dish.


Now, there’s more to Japanese cuisine than just sushi kids. Get interactive and go for Japanese BBQ! Cooking for your date could seem a bit risky but I mean.. all you’re doing is turning the meat over a few times ~ easy peasy you could use this opportunity to gain a few brownie points from your lady/guy friend on your first date.

This place is also great if you’re on a double date. Not a meat lover? No problem! They have seafood alternatives and veggies too! You could end the indoor BBQ experience with s’mores and green tea ice cream. oh yea *boogies*…. could it get any better than that?!


  • Japanese style Sausages (I’m obsessed)
  • Buttered sweet corn
  • Wasabi popcorn
  • Hot stone garlic rice
  • S’mores

Price range: ~ This varies depending on how many dishes you order.

Meat lover’s SET MENU for two – £29 pp

Le Relais de Venise

My personal favourite steak & frites spot. I would say this has a more romantic feel to it compared to the other places mentioned. There is only ONE main dish on the menu : steak and fries. Served TWICE. You will be served green salad with mustard dressing for starters followed by steak (cooked to your preference blue/rare/medium/well done) and fries smothered in their famous special sauce!

I usually go to the branch in Canary Wharf specifically on a Sunday and never left disappointed. (I’ve tried the one in Hong Kong and Paris but still prefer this specific branch) Cozy classic Parisian vibes with an outdoor seating area perfect for summer. Situated quite close to Jubilee park so a walk by the water fountains would be a lovely way to end your day!

I Recommend: As there’s only one dish available, I would like to recommend how I like my steak cooked. RARE. Sounds scary but I promise your steak experience will be taken to another level.

  • Profiterole au chocolat
  • Creme brûlée
  • Sticky toffee pudding

Price range: ~ £24pp (not including drinks & dessert)

Granger & Co.

This one is a bit on the fancier side of casual. Located in Clerkenwell which sometimes means it is packed with workers from offices nearby. However, I think this is a gorgeous spot for a brunch date! (For my male readers, your date will definitely be impressed)

The large windows bring in natural light which compliments the neutral tones of the furniture, not to mention amazing lighting for your instagram pictures Perfect for dinner also but you might need to dress up a bit for the evening. They have a small section of daily baked goodies at the front so make sure to check them out.

I would recommend:

  • Ricotta hotcakes w/ bananas + honeycomb butter
  • Shrimp burger
  • Sweet corn fritters
  • Crispy duck
  • Espresso, avocado + vanilla frappe

Price range: £25-£35pp

Hope you guys found this list helpful, I chose these 5 places as I personally enjoy dining at. I tried to keep the variety as wide as possible to make it easier.. if you still can’t decide, check them all out 😀

Best of luck with your dates and do let me know what you thought of the places you visit!

Here is my profile and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: @thuyypham

My Website: