Andrew and I have lived in Melbourne, Florida for twelve years, so as you can imagine, we have had a lot of date nights here. I still remember our first dinner out together at City Tropics Bistro which closed in 2016! So much has changed through the years, but there are still so many romantic restaurants in the area that I wanted to share today.
If you are looking for where to go for a unique rendezvous in Melbourne, Indialantic, Palm Bay, or Eau Gallie, this guide has all my recommendations. Hopefully, this guide will help you wow your significant other with an amazing meal at these impressive places to eat.
My usual recommendation to those going on a dinner date is to visit Downtown. This area has the most options, and you can also walk to different bars or see a sunset by the water while you are here. There are so many different places to choose from below!
1. Ember & Oak – All Around Date Night
One of my top five favorite restaurants in the area is Ember & Oak, which always delivers quality and flavor. Their steakhouse boards are shareable and perfect for a night on the town especially with savory sides like raclette and oak-fired oysters. This is a popular spot on the weekend and you will need a reservation, but if you go during the week, they often have deals!
This place screams romance with a large patio surrounded by twinkle lights, frequent live music, and a wine room where you can taste any bottle you like! Dining here is an experience and not just a meal. If you really want to impress your date, this is my top choice for an anniversary or Valentine’s dinner on the Space Coast.
2. Mangetsu – Korean BBQ
One Downtown restaurant we can’t resist is Mangetsu. This is a Korean barbecue restaurant and though that might seem like an odd choice of food for a date, it makes for a wonderful shared meal. They have pan-Asian specialties including sushi and noodles for whatever your preference.
However, for the full experience, you can cook dishes like bulgogi at your table! They also give you banchan, which are small side dishes traditionally served. For those craving an adventurous night out, I am sure you can find something on the menu you have never eaten before here!
3. Mister O1 – Creative Pizzas
For a pizza night with a twist, I love dining at Mister O1. This is a pizza spot that makes star-shaped pizza topped with creamy ricotta! They offer all sorts of pizza, but the star specialties are my favorite for a surprisingly unique pie.
There is both indoor and outdoor seating with a modern style. They also have an extensive wine list and a burrata bar. Though pizza may not seem fancy, this is an upscale Italian experience for couples.
4. Crush XI – Foodie Date Night
Another classic beloved option in Downtown Melbourne is Crush XI. This restaurant has one of the nicest atmospheres anywhere downtown, with rustic urban vibes. The food and drinks are impeccable, especially the craft cocktails!
Favorites here include the Creamy Shrimp Orecchiette and the Sriracha Marinated Flat Steak. They also offer sides and appetizers if you want to make your own tapas-style meal. For a big night out, make a reservation or if you want a casual date, the bar is always enjoyable to sit at too.
5. Jacqueline’s Bakery & Café – Baked Good Delights
I know French bread is one of the ways to my heart, so if your date is like me, head to Jacqueline’s Bakery. This café is a full-service spot for breakfast or lunch out. They are famous for their pastries, but you can also order sandwiches and quiches here for a hearty meal.
Locals especially love the Quiche Lorraine and the fresh baguettes. This may not be France, but an afternoon here just might come close.
6. The Landing Rooftop – Dining with a View
You can’t find a better view than at The Landing. Located on the 11th floor of Hotel Melby, this spacious rooftop is a gorgeous place to dine. Their craft cocktails are always stunning, especially alongside appetizers like the Tuna Tartare.
They offer both small plates and large plates for whatever experience you are in the mood for. Try and arrive just as the sun is setting photo-worthy views!
7. Backwater – Brunch
One potentially surprising option on the list is Backwater, as it is busy with families flipping their own pancakes on the weekend. However, I think if you go for breakfast or lunch during the week, the atmosphere is quite cozy. They have all sorts of delicious southern food to try and breakfast classics as well.
My favorites are the Gator and Okra Gumbo or the Grilled Mac and Cheese with Tomato Soup. Their different flavors of mimosas are always a fun treat. Whether you want a simple breakfast or an indulgent brunch, Backwater is my pick.
Restaurants by the Beach
Being Florida, many conjure up images of a moonlit meal by the ocean. However, Melbourne has kept most of the beaches undeveloped so you will not find many oceanfront restaurants here like there are on the gulf. Still, I have found these next six restaurants by the beach to be perfect for dinner and then a walk across the street by the water.
8. Djon’s Steak & Lobster House – Surf & Turf
One of the most well-known restaurants in Melbourne Beach is Djon’s Steak and Lobster House and I think the name explains why. This is the place to go all-out for a surf and turf meal with fine dining touches. Djon’s is always busy on weekends with couples out on dates, so make sure to make a reservation!
With both indoor and outdoor seating and a live pianist, the atmosphere is dreamy wherever you sit. Though they have an excellent happy hour menu with bites and cocktails, most go for the filet mignon, the lobster, or both. You can also find several appetizers and salads on the menu with seafood touches. Be sure to take in the views from the river before or after your meal!
9. Le French Restaurant (Previously Trend Kitchen) – Gourmet Cuisine
One beachside spot that offers an intimate setting is Le French Restaurant. This tiny restaurant has a curated French menu that changes seasonally. You need a reservation, and if you are vegan, you can let them know ahead of time and they will offer modifications.
This restaurant is known for some of the most elaborate food in town, with options like Octopus Carpaccio and Bone Marrow Escargot. They also serve classic French dishes like lamb shank and ribeye too. No matter what you get, make sure to order a side of black truffle mac and cheese for the table as well, because it is all the savory deliciousness you can imagine.
10. Ocean 302 – Classic Night Out
Another date night spot that Andrew and I frequent is Ocean 302. Foodie is probably the most apt way to describe it, as saying they just serve American cuisine would be a severe understatement. Ocean 302 has pizzas, sandwiches, steak, and fish on the menu all served in so many inventive ways.
No matter if you are in the mood for a casual pizza dinner or a fancy surf and turf meal, Ocean 302 does both excellently! They are always coming out with new and exciting dishes, in addition to inventive cocktails and many beer and wine options.
11. Café Coconut Grove – European Cuisine
Though this might be a hike for some, Café Coconut Grove is worth the drive down A1A. This waterfront restaurant is a surprisingly upscale German eatery with elevated European cuisine. It is right next to the inlet and you can enjoy the views from inside.
Whether you want a simple dish of Schnitzel or Sausage or a more striking dinner of Spice Rubbed Beef Shoulder, this spot impresses. It may seem a little quirky for a meal by the beach, but you won’t find an experience like it anywhere else!
12. CuiZine Restaurant & Lounge – Martinis and Shared Plates
Over in a Satellite Beach strip mall, CuiZine stands out as a restaurant perfect for a pair of lovebirds. Designed to look like a wine cellar, the low lighting and impressive menu make for a special meal. Their martinis are some of the best in town, along with an extensive wine selection.
For food, we love to do a shared meal of small plates and charcuterie. Though I am not usually a pate fan, I even enjoy their mushroom pate. CuiZine also offers a selection of steak, seafood, and pork entrees. Either way, do not leave without trying the dessert!
13. Too Cool Café – Brunch by the Beach
One place Andrew and I love for a lazy weekend brunch is Too Cool Café. This is a cute café in Indian Harbour Beach with a distinct menu. They are also open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all week, though Sunday brunch is my favorite,
Their selection of benedicts is unmatched and the bayou home fries on the side are heavenly. You can also get crepes, burgers, salads, pasta, and sandwiches. It is quite a diverse selection, but I have yet to have anything that I didn’t love at this funky indoor and outdoor spot.
If you want to go on a date without breaking the bank, these next six options are my picks. These restaurants offer sit-down meals and entrees under $15 per person. This way, you can enjoy a meal out together without worrying about the price!
14. El Ambia Cubano – Cuban Cuisine
For Cuban food, my favorite spot to eat at is El Ambia Cubano. This downtown restaurant is located right across from Crane Creek and has an extremely charming island atmosphere. Nothing is more relaxing than sitting here on the patio, listening to some salsa music while drinking a mojito.
This retro spot serves up Cuban dishes including ropa veja, Cuban sandwiches, lobster paella and plantains. El Ambia also has some authentic, appetizers like yuca frita and papa rejellna. For an extra good deal, check it out for lunch Monday through Thursday where there is a different special each day.
15. La Crepe de France – French Cuisine
If you are looking for an affordable breakfast or lunch date, La Crepe de France is a Melbourne hidden gem. This charming spot feels like you are in the French countryside complete with crepes, salads, and sandwiches. Though many think of crepes as a sweet treat, you can actually have them as a savory meal here too!
For just $12, you can get a homemade crepe filled to the brim with eggs or ham and all sorts of toppings. They also have classic brunch plates with the freshest fruit, bread, and cheese. This is just the place for those who want to feel like they are in France without leaving town!
16. Hemingway’s Cafecito – Breakfast or Lunch
Hemingway’s Tavern has been a favorite for me for ages, but they recently added a Cafecito window that makes for a quick and affordable date. This window is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has tables in the shaded courtyard to dine at.
For just $10 you can get a delicious Cuban sandwich made to order with all the fixings. They also have so many scrumptious sides like Ham Croquettes, Chorizo turnovers, and Guava and Cheese Pastries. It’s a simple menu but the flavors just melt in your mouth. For an unbelievable dessert, the beignets are a must!
17. Chez Quan’s – Fusion Street Food
For couples in the mood for some creative cuisine, Chez Quan’s is my pick for that. They are located in an unassuming spot-on Aurora Boulevard, but their food is anything but. Chez Quan’s is described as Asian-Latin fusion food and the menu has lots of choices for flavorful noodle and rice dishes.
Here, you can get lunch or dinner for less than $10 per person, with dishes like Mussaman Curry Chicken or Drunken Noodles. Spice lovers will also be in heaven with the hot pepper entrees here. Though it is a hole-in-the-wall kind of place, I definitely recommend checking it out for an unforgettable experience.
18. Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burrito – Surf Style Date
Most nights of the week, you will see a line out the door of Da Kine’s with so many people craving a burrito from here. Even with the crowds, it can still be a to eat giant burritos under the tiki hut with your sweetie. You can get a “Mini” b (which is anything but mini) starting at $6 or a giant “Insane” burrito for $9!
They also offer burrito bowls, salads, sandwiches, and tacos, so it is basically like a surf shack Chipotle. I love the super fresh salsa and guacamole, and there is a big hot sauce selection too. I always feel like I am dining at a little California dive bar when I am here, so check it out next time you both are in a surfer mood.
19. The Burger Place – Nostalgic Burger Date
There are a lot of good places to get burgers in the area, but none are as iconic as The Burger Place. Decorated like a 50’s diner, this burger stand has traditional milkshakes and burgers with any toppings you desire.
I always upgrade mine to a bacon and blue cheese burger, but there are plenty of other variations and even a veggie burger for vegetarians. This is the perfect spot to have a burger and shake date that feels like something out of Grease!
To end this guide, I wanted to share six more restaurants that didn’t really fit into the other categories. They are each their own thing with special qualities that make for a romantic meal for couples. If you haven’t found any restaurants that fit your cravings so far, this last part of the list has a little something for everyone!
20. Frigate’s – Seafood by the Water
Frigate’s is by far the favorite for a quintessential date night by the water! This riverfront restaurant has the nicest atmosphere I have seen with so many colorful plants and often views of dolphins in the marina. Of course, this is another seafood spot, but the options are quite impressive.
You can get a variety of fish cooked and topped any way you want, as well as poke and sushi! There are also chowders, grouper sandwiches, and chargrilled steaks. With the outdoor dining and the plethora of fish options, I can’t resist a tropical meal here.
21. Intracoastal Brewing Company – Brewery and Bites
Though not exactly a restaurant, Andrew and I have spent countless nights at Intracoastal Brewing Company. This is one of our favorite Florida breweries and lucky for us it is right down the street! I think couples will especially enjoy it, as it has a lively atmosphere, outstanding craft beer, and a delicious food truck.
A food truck is parked here and cooks up all sorts of flavorful dishes. In the past, I have enjoyed their burgers, ramen, tacos, and mac and cheese. With so many different things to order, I can always find something I am in the mood for and have a tasty beer to go with it!
22. Umami – Sushi and Japanese Cuisine
For sushi, Umami is without a doubt the top choice in Brevard County. You would not expect it from its strip mall location, but the atmosphere here is upscale and modern. What really sets Umami apart is the food and we have so far loved everything on the menu.
The menu ranges from extremely well-done classic rolls to crazy creations for adventurous eaters. Many feature ingredients I had never thought of like fried sweet potato curls or raw Japanese scallops. There are options for non-sushi eaters and vegan sushi, so everyone can find something delicious at Umami.
23. Paisley’s Vegan Kitchen – Vegan Cuisine
By far the best vegan date night spot in town is Paisley’s Vegan Kitchen. However, herbivores and carnivores alike will enjoy the plant-based comfort food they serve here. You will find this cozy spot off of Wickham, open for lunch and dinner.
I love the sandwiches, including the Mushroom French Dip and the Falafel Waffle Pita. In addition, they also offer tacos, salads, and even vegan pasta. Between this and sides of buffalo cauliflower and cheesy “bacon” ranch bites, you will not be missing meat here!
24. The Cottage – Irish Cuisine
My favorite restaurant in EGAD for couples is The Cottage. It is an Irish Pub with plenty of outdoor and indoor seating and very frequent live music. Andrew and I love sitting on the tree-covered patio for a relaxing dinner out.
We have tried most of the menu here, but our usual go-to’s are usually the Cottage Pie and the Guinness Beef Stew. If the Florida weather is just too warm for that, I also love the burgers and Irish Nachos (basically Loaded Fries). Not only is the food top-notch, but it is such a fun place to be while enjoying a Guinness and the live music.
25. Cedar’s Café – Lebanese Cuisine
A top Brevard County restaurant for trying something new, Cedar’s Café always has amazing options. This is a small, Lebanese restaurant with all sorts of dishes you can’t get anywhere else. Specialties include the Kafta skewers, Lentils and Rice, and Shawarma.
Though I could eat their Greek salad with pita bread and hummus any night of the week, they also offer seasonal dishes. My favorite is Blended Burger Month when they offer their delectable mushroom burger patties with some crazy toppings. This family-owned spot gets very crowded, especially on nights with a show at the King Center, so make sure to make reservations the night before.
Know Before You Go
For a date night on the Space Coast, you can’t go wrong with these places. Whether you are looking for a casual or extravagant meal, the list above contains something for whatever sounds like a romantic meal to you. Before going out, here are some tips for couples going out to eat in Melbourne, Florida.
- It is customary to tip at least 20% and most restaurants do not include this in the final bill unless you have a large party.
- Very few local restaurants accept reservations. You can check their website ahead of time to be sure if you are going on a weekend night.
- If you want to save money when going out to eat, go during Happy Hour or for a weekday lunch. There are not a lot of early bird specials here.
- Most places on this list are pretty casual, and you can wear shorts to all of them. However, for the upscale restaurants, I would err on the dress-to-impress side.
- Parking is plentiful, except for Downtown on weekend nights. If you can’t find parking near the restaurant, there is usually some on Melbourne Ave.
- Valet is rarely offered in the area so plan to park yourself.