We've all been encouraged to put ourselves out there at one point or another when it comes to dating, which begs the question: Where exactly is there? Whatever your idea of romance is, we're here to help you find that love in a hopeless place. Whether it's a decadent high-end meal, throwing back pickle-back shots at a local dive bar, or going out and trying something totally different to wow your significant other, we know the perfect date spots around the city to help spice things up.
The Dinner Date
PHOTO VIA ST. MAZIE FACEBOOK PAGE
93 Macdougal Street, Greenwich Village
This famous landmark Italian food spot has so much more to offer than just its mouth-watering, thin crust pizza. If you're looking for the perfect weekday dinner spot, head over to the Greenwich Village trattoria on Tuesday nights and take advantage of their $10 pasta nights. Choose from any of their five pasta options so you can spend your cash on more wine.
7 Spring Street, LES
Uncle Boons is a Michelin-star Thai restaurant that will take you out of the Lower East Side and bring you to what feels more like a Bangkok flea market. With plenty of small plates, sides, and even drinking snacks to choose from along with their classic Thai menu options like pad thai, it's the perfect spot to share with someone special.
76 Varick Street, SoHo
Tulum, Mexico's favorite Instagram-worthy restaurant destination has made a pit stop in SoHo for its brand new second location. Gitano is packed with lush palm trees and zesty Mexican fare, like their banana roasted trout. If you're looking to vacation on a budget with your BF or GF, just spend an evening under the jungle-like indoor seating area or spend time outside during the warmer months.
415 Tomkins Avenue, Bed-Stuy
There's nothing like sharing soul food with your soulmate, and Bed-Stuy's Peaches Hot House offers some of the best around the city. Head over with your date and bring your appetite with you; be prepared for some smoky ribs, cake-like cornbreads, fried green tomatoes and even blackened catfish with mayo.
345 Grand Street, Williamsburg
Williamsburg's St. Mazie is an inviting, cozy bar that always seems to be the quintessential amount of busy, which makes for the perfect first date spot. You'll be able to grab a pair of seats so you can sit back and chat while still enjoying the frequent live music nights along with an order of fresh oysters.
5 West 32nd Street, Koreatown
Koreatown, conveniently located in the Herald Square area, is lined down a few blocks with some of the absolute best Korean BBQ and dim sum spots in the city. BCD Tofu House is as real as it gets, offering everything from bibimbop, BBQ pork, kimchi, and everything in between. Just be prepared to arrive early or be patient, as they don't take reservations.
Meet For Drinks
photo via the breakers facebook
307 Meeker Street, Williamsburg
Tucked away right below the BQE, Williamsburg's The Breakers transforms your date night into a 1980s night out, surrounded by neon signs, saturated colors, and tons of other surf and skate decor. $10 tiki-inspired, draft cocktails are always available to order, including ginger mai tai, Paloma, and even a sex on the beach for only $5. Make sure to end the night with a burger order at their food window and a photo-op in the photo booth.
75 Christopher Avenue, West Village
The best way to distract yourself from the dating nerves is by keeping busy, and if swapping embarrassing high school stories with a stranger over drinks isn't your thing, then Fat Cat might be more up your alley. With 10 pool and ping pong tables, three shuffleboard and foosball tables and more, your competitive streak will come out to help show you off. Plus, you can end the night with something more low key with their nightly in-house live music performances.
293 3rd Avenue, Gramercy
This intimately set bar spot is great for an after-work rendezvous, tempting its patrons with daily happy hour cocktail deals and complimentary bites to go along with it. If you're looking to make an impressive statement with your order on a date, go with "The Hot One", jalapeño infused tequila blanco and a side of chips and guac.
1140 2nd Avenue, Upper East Side
The Subway Inn has been around since 1937, and while it's an old bar, it has a relatively new location and offers as a great spot for a casual date. The Upper East Side spot keeps things classic with a wide-variety drink menu, classic bar bites, and plenty of local people watching to enjoy.
41 1st Avenue, East Village
Is there any better way to break first date tension than with a round of your favorite beer and dogs? d.b.a., located right in the East Village, offers a low-key spot with reasonably-priced brews and an open door policy for patrons with pooches to come inside or hang out back on their nicely sized patio during warmer months.
724 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights
Crown Heights' bustling Franklin Avenue is filled with tempting restaurant spots, lively watering holes, and more, but The Crown Inn stands out as the date spot in the up-and-coming Brooklyn neighborhood. With plenty of regulars, an inviting seasonal back patio and plenty of beverages to choose from, you'll feel right at home when you walk in.
For Music Lovers
PHOTO VIA ELSEWHERE FACEBOOK 1. The Vynl
100 3rd Avenue, East Village
If you're looking for a spot that offers a lavish, sophisticated vibe that doesn't feel overly pretentious to take your person of interest to, the East Village's The Vynl offers just that within its four stories of music-inspired decor, made-to-order cocktails, and weekly live music.
152 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg
With all of the pressure that we put on ourselves on dates, it's easy to forget they're supposed to be fun. Skinny Dennis is a vibrant reminder of that any time you stop in. They always offer a selection of 18 beers on tap and plenty of bluegrass/country inspired musical acts to get down to on the dance floor.
3. Bowery Electric
327 Bowery, LES
The Bowery Electric is a city-staple for lovers of all things music and NYC nightlife. Impress your significant other with a night of live music and dancing at the iconic Lower East Side's location-- just make sure you do your calendar research before heading over so that you pick out the perfect live rock band or electronic DJ dance party to impress your date with.
599 Johnson Avenue, Bushwick
Elsewhere is where live music, a fun nightclub vibe, and a visual art experience meet to make for one incredible space. With three floors and multiple stages including a picturesque NY-skyline rooftop for summer shows, it's a great Brooklyn spot to mingle with a plus one and rock out to some of the city's most buzz-worthy musical acts.
486 Halsey Street, Bed-Stuy
Part coffee shop, part cocktail bar, part restaurant, and part live music venue including weekend gospel brunches, Bar Lunatico is by far an A+ Brooklyn spot that will get you a second date. Its offerings of versatile musical acts and a warm ambiance make up for its narrow-sized space and makes for an unforgettable date spot.
photo via fig19.
1707 2nd Avenue, Upper East Side
If you're looking for "the scoop" when it comes to the city's best unheard of speakeasies, look no further than the bright pink storefront ice cream parlor on the Upper East Side's 2nd Avenue. This already seemingly appropriate ice cream shop date spot doubles as an intimate speakeasy bar, hidden discreetly behind a door covered by over a hundred empty ice cream cartons.
131 Chrystie Street, LES
This art gallery front speakeasy appears like your typical thought-provoking and minimalistic gallery as you enter, but includes a hidden door to the actual bar that's easy to miss against the white walls. Once you find your way, however, the warm and dimly lit ambiance makes way for romance and some of the best cocktails in the downtown area.
296 Bleecker Street, West Village
If you're planning to meet your date at this deceptive spot, make sure to specify a meeting area so they don't think you're taking them out for a hamburger and fries at the Five Guys storefront. Once you pass through the smell of delicious fast food, you will find yourself in a totally transported cocktail bar area that you will be sure to impress both of you.
8 Stuyvesant Street, East Village
Angel's Share is undoubtedly one of the East Village's best-kept secrets, only accessible by entering through an unmarked side door of the Japanese restaurant Village Yokocho. Groups of more than four aren't allowed, which makes for a perfect excuse to stop in for some romantic one on one time.
113 St. Marks Place, East Village
If you're really looking to impress someone of romantic interest, take them to PDT, or Please Don't Tell, one of the city's most notoriously known Prohibition Era-inspired speakeasies. Enter your way through the next door East Village hot dog joint, Crif Dogs-- just step inside of their vintage phone booth and you're in. Once inside, assuming there's no wait, you and your company can take a seat and enjoy high-quality cocktails in a unique setting.
photo via Littlefield facebook
241 East 24th Street, Midtown
There's nothing like a good laugh to break the ice on a first date or even a fifteenth. A variety of shows happen every single night of the week at the New York Comedy Club, so there's plenty to choose from and plenty of laughs waiting for you and your laughing partner.
154 West 29th Street, Chelsea
The Peoples Improv Theater, or The PIT, is home to some of the most famous comedy alumni out there, including Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, and even Lin-Manuel Miranda. Whether you decide to drop into an amateur improv night show or one of their top-leveled performances, you and your date will not be able to contain your laughter while you watch.
167 Bleecker Street, West Village
There's nothing funny about free stand-up comedy and $5 margaritas, but you will have plenty of laughs when you and your date check it out for yourself. Every night offers a variety of different impressively talented stand-up comedy shows and a menu of cheap bites, including $2 cheesesteak sliders, 2 for 1 wells, and more.
635 Sacket Street, Gowanus
Littlefield is a welcoming space that offers live music, film, theater, and of course, great comedy shows. With a welcoming and friendly staff, signature cocktails and plenty of events to check out on the daily, it's a must for scoping out on a night out with that special someone.
Off The Beaten Path
PHOTO VIA DREAMLAND ROLLER DISCO FACEBOOK
274 36th Street, Industry City
If you've ever dreamt of going on a date that looks straight out of your favorite rom-com, you can make it a reality at the Dreamland Roller Disco in Brooklyn's Industry City. Every skate night (Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays) offers a fun and unique theme to practice your spins, twirls, and falls.
2. Aunt Jake's
47 West 8th Street, Greenwich Village
Hard work pays off, and that absolutely includes a pasta-making class that you get to eat generous-sized portions of pasta afterward. Aunt Jake's Pasta Lab is a great date spot where you and your plus one get to put in the elbow grease and concentration to create some of the freshest pasta you will ever taste and get to take home with you.
217 East 26th Street, Kips Bay
Sometimes it's tough to decide between cocktails and dessert-- especially at the end of a great date to wrap things up. Tipsy Scoop is one of the only places you'll find that offers both in one delicious cone: their artisanal, hand-crafted ice cream is the perfect match for their mixed cocktail flavors. Their boozy ice cream includes strawberry rhubarb bourbon, mango margarita sorbet, bacon bourbon, and so much more.
1000 Washington Avenue, Prospect Park
When the weather is finally warm and inviting, the doors to the 52-acres of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden open for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Take a step out of the usual musty bar dating scene and stop and smell the roses in Prospect Park. With plenty of seasonal flower shows, exhibits, and other surprises, it's a must if you're looking to step up your romantic game.
1301 Sinatra Drive North, Hoboken
Extending out into the Hudson and overlooking the stunning NYC skyline, Pier 13 is a warm-weathered beer garden that offers a variety of food, beverages (including their house-made sangria), and daily activities. Whether you're a Hoboken local or looking to explore outside of your usual area for a date, the Pier has got it all, including movie nights, live music, and a lot more.
Seeking a date idea that is happening tonight? Make sure to check out What's Happening This Week so that you're always caught up on the best events going on every day.
Written by: Julia Gomberg