75 fall pickup spots

We asked New Yorkers where they go to meet people, and got recommendations for barflies, sporty types, the culturati and more.

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  • Photograph: Marielle Solon

    LP & Harmony

  • "Any of the bars around the Lorimer stop on the L train. Barcade (388 Union Ave between Ainslie and Powers Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-6464, barcadebrooklyn.com), Union Pool (484 Union Ave at Meeker Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-609-0484, union-pool.com), those are really good places to meet people."---Laura Godek, 24; nonprofit office manager; Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

    Pictured: Union Pool

  • "I'm on the Lower East Side a lot. The Living Room (154 Ludlow St between Rivington and Stanton Sts; 212-533-7235, livingroomny.com) is a really cool place to see live music. It's a good social space."---Laura Roberts, 22, paralegal, Financial District

  • "The Stumble Inn (1454 Second Ave at 76th St; 212-650-0561, nycbestbar.com/stumble) on the Upper East Side. There's just so many people in there, all the time---especially for Monday Night Football, or Sunday night football, or Sunday day football...or anytime there's football."---Steve S., 25, analyst, Upper East Side

  • "Washington Square Park (W 4th St to Waverly Pl between MacDougal St and University Pl; nyc.gov/parks). There's a lot of people-watching, so you can sit down on a random bench and start a conversation with someone sitting next to you about something you see there."---Julie G., 25, recruiter, Midtown West

  • "I like the promenade (Columbia Heights between Middagh and Montague Sts, Brooklyn Heights; nyharborparks.org) in Brooklyn Heights. Everyone who goes is usually there for one thing, to see the skyline, and they're all really happy with the view! Sparking up a conversation's easy."---Laurel N., 22, online marketing coordinator, Brooklyn Heights

  • "Turtle Bay (987 Second Ave between 52nd and 53rd Sts; 212-223-4224, turtlebaynyc.com)---everybody there is just having a good time. There's that and Jake's Dilemma (403 Amsterdam Ave between 80th and 81st Sts; 212-580-0556, nycbestbar.com/jakes) to chill out at. Well, it might be crowded, but it's not like these other bars where people don't want to talk---it's a good place to meet new people."---Jonathan Sanchez, 23, customer service, Harlem

    Pictured: Jake's Dilemma

  • Photograph: Lee Magill

    "You know what's a great spot? Empire--Fulton Ferry State Park (26 New Dock St...

  • Photograph: Brooks Walker

    "The place where I have met the most interesting strangers---just walking around, meeting people and talking---is at the Met (1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St; 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org). You meet people who have similar tastes. More than any other museum in the city that I go to, I meet some stranger that I chat to. One time I got lunch with somebody that I met walking through exhibits."---Laurie Bresnick, 61, retired, Midtown

  • "The running loop at Central Park would be the best spot. When you're done and you're stretching, you can start up a conversation."---Rob Goosk, 28, engineer, Upper East Side

  • "230 Fifth Avenue (230 Fifth Ave between 26th and 27th Sts; 212-725-4300, 230-fifth.com). You have the open rooftop with people hanging out on benches---it's nice."---Marco Mondaini, 26, engineer, Upper East Side

  • "McCarren Park (Bayard St to Nassau Ave between Leonard and North 12 Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 718-599-0440, nyc.gov/parks): There's always people there, always something going on."---Erin O'Hara, 36; art handler; Williamsburg, Brooklyn

  • "Every time I go to Alice's Tea Cup (102 W 73rd St at Columbus Ave; 212-799-3006, alicesteacup.com), I become friends with the person sitting next to me; it's just a friendly place. And it's mostly girls who go there, so it would be a good pickup spot for guys."---Kristie Dash, 19, intern, Brooklyn Heights

  • "I would definitely say Verlaine's (110 Rivington St between Essex and Ludlow Sts; 212-614-2494, verlainenyc.com) downtown. Cheap drinks, good people."---Justin Leung, 25; architect; Douglaston, Queens

  • Museums are good places to spark up a conversation, MoMA (11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-708-9400, moma.org) especially. There are a ton of people that are always bumping into each other, and it's easy to see somebody looking at something and say, 'Hey, what do you think?,' or 'I noticed that also.' People have done that to me before."---Chris Bradley, 34, principal at a private equity company, Upper East Side

  • Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

    "Dutch Kills---it's awesome. They serve absolutely fabulous cocktails. It's the kind of place you can go in and be like, 'I'm feeling girly and fun tonight,' and they'll be like, 'Cool, we know what to make you.'"---Sarah Jacobs, 23, intern, Long Island City, Queens

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    "ZogSports (57 W 38th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, zogsports.com/nyc) for intramural sports teams. I did a baseball league one summer---my friend that was single wanted to meet a man."---Liz Fennell, 23, sales assistant, Upper East Side

  • "I usually meet people at networking meetings. They're all around the city; I went to one at 48th Lounge (1221 Sixth Ave between 48th and 49th Sts; 212-554-4848, 48nyc.com). Also, the lounge at the Roosevelt Hotel (45 E 45th St between Madison and Vanderbilt Aves; 212-661-9600, theroosevelthotel.com) and the Stone Rose Lounge (Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle at Eighth Ave; 212-823-9769, mocbars.com) are great."---Lori Cammon, 34, credit administrative assistant, Bronx

    Pictured: Madison Lounge at the Roosevelt Hotel

  • "I like the Ace Hotel (20 W 29th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 646-214-5742, acehotel.com/newyork). There are two restaurants between a lounge and a store---there's people on their laptops, people drinking coffee, it's just a great hub. And you can fake being a hotel patron and hang out all day!"---Chaz Requina, 28, designer, Murray Hill

  • "When I was at NYU I used to go to the Bleecker Street Bar (58 Bleecker St at Crosby St; 212-334-0244, bleeckerstreetbarnyc.com) in the East Village. It's just a relaxed bar, cheap drinks, and a younger crowd. I don't think I have, but I feel like it'd be a good spot to start up a conversation with a guy."---Sarah Wilson, 22, singer-songwriter, West Village

  • "When I go out at lunch, there are so many people, and everyone's just waiting. So you're standing there and you meet people, like at Duke (99 E 19th St between Park Ave South and Irving Pl; 212-260-2922, dukesnyc.com), where I got my lunch today! I talk to strangers all the time."---Holly Monahan, 26, administrative assistant, Broad Channel, Queens

  • "Mad River (1442 Third Ave at 82nd St; 212-988-1832, madrivergrille.com), that's on the Upper East Side. And Wicker Park (1469 Third Ave at 83rd St; 212-734-5600, wickerparknyc.com). Those are the two bars that come to mind. Great food, and then it turns into a dance thing."---Gerald Martins, 30, IT, Upper East Side

    Pictured: Mad River

  • Photograph: courtesy www.flickr.com/sean_marshall

    "I like Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, right off the L train. There are a lot of cool, hip people and the bars are really awesome---they're cheaper than most places in Manhattan."---Michael Smith, 22; fund-raiser; Williamsburg, Brooklyn

  • Photograph: courtesy www.flickr.com/Patricil

    "Nice Guy Eddie's (5 Ave A at Houston St, 212-253-1666). It's a nice sports bar, good food, and it's always busy there. You can meet crazy fans."---David Muentes, 29, driver, Staten Island

  • The gym---Gold's Gym (250 W 54th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-307-7760, goldsgym.com). People usually feel good when they're at the gym. Or maybe right here [standing shirtless in the doorway of Hollister as a model]."---Alex Geerman, 22, model, Westchester

  • "The High Line (Washington St at Gansevoort St; 212-206-9922, thehighline.org)! You can just lounge and people-watch, and then when it gets dark, those wonderful reclining seats serve a whole other purpose."---Jan-Dick Heys, 36, events organizer, Amsterdam

  • "Columbus Circle (Central Park South at Central Park West, 212-823-6300 shopsatcolumbuscircle.com), Battery Park City (South End Ave at Rector Pl; 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org) and 34th Street are my top three. Wherever a lot of people congregate, places that are people magnets---that's where you have the best luck."---Sterling Hernandez, 38, physical therapist, Lower East Side

  • "My gym, David Burton (215 W 23rd St between Seventh and Eighth Ave; 212-414-2022, davidbartongym.com), and the Crunch (404 Lafayette St at 4th St; 212-614-0120, crunch.com) on Lafayette are always good. All it takes is a smile."---Tim Reid, 40, performer, Harlem

  • "South Street Seaport (Fulton St at South St; 212-732-7678, southstreetseaport.com). There's a beautiful view of the Brooklyn Bridge, and people are just eating and relaxing everywhere."---Bill Wheeler, 47; customer-service representative; Middle Village, Queens

  • "Latitude (783 Eighth Ave between 47th and 48th Sts, 212-245-3034) and Marquee (289 Tenth Ave at 27th St; 646-473-0202, marqueeny.com) both have a trendy and sophisticated feel to them. I did once pick up a girl on the crosswalk, just crossing the street, though, and we went on a successful first date."---Jacques Dominic Brown, 26, marketing manager, Bronx

  • "The Queens Mall (90-15 Queens Blvd, Elmhurst, Queens; 718-592-3900, shopqueenscenter.com). If you go on weekends, there are tons of young people hanging out."---Latoya Johnson, 22; cashier; Far Rockaway, Queens

  • "Fashion show after-parties. A lot of networking goes on there."---Erik Vulaj, 21; model; Williamsburg, Brooklyn

  • "Madison Square Park (Madison Ave at 23rd St; 212-538-4071, madisonsquarepark.org) and Bryant Park (Sixth Ave at 40th St; 212-768-4242, bryantpark.org)---Bryant Park is especially great during lunch hour. All the businesspeople take over during their break."---Steve Romano, 51, doctor, West Village

  • "The Townhouse Bar of New York (236 E 58th St between Second and Third Aves, 212-754-4649, townhouseny.com). This is the best way I can describe it: It's as fetishistic as a leather bar, but it's all about blazers, khakis and Botox. It's a little surreal, but people can still be playful about it at the same time."---Jesse G., 28; law student; Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

  • "Bar 13 (35 E 13th St at University Pl; 212-979-6677, bar13.com) is a good spot. They have three floors and a rooftop. Honestly, though, it's the nooks and crannies. The bars with no names are sometimes the best places to meet somebody."---Jonathan Duhon, 29, poet and playwright, Bronx

  • "I used to like Diablo (189 W 10th St between Bleecker and W 4th Sts; 212-620-0223, diabloroyale.com) in the West Village. Now there's Chloe (81 Ludlow St at Broome St; 212-677-0067, chloe81.com) on the Lower East Side, but it's hard to get in. The Box (189 Chrystie St between Rivington and Stanton Sts; 212-982-9301, theboxnyc.com)? It's freaky. Google it. It's New York--style entertainment."---Megan Niemczyk, 26; interior designer; Williamsburg, Brooklyn

  • Photograph: Emilio Guerra

    "Right off Christopher and West Streets there's a park by the river (Pier 45, West St at Christopher St; 212-255-5051, hudsonriverpark.org). It's absolutely great for sitting and relaxing. The park also is a hangout for the LGBT community."---Rob Jeter, 28; customer service manager; Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

  • "Brooklyn College (2900 Bedford Ave at Campus Rd, Flatbush, Brooklyn; 718-951-5000, brooklyn.cuny.edu). We've got a pretty active campus, and it doesn't feel like a city college. Just sit on the quad and people-watch...see what happens."---Gabriele Liendo, 20, TV and radio student, Bronx

  • "Spice (60 University Pl between 10th and 11th Sts, 212-982-3758). I like the ambience there."---Tangier Lemon, 24; legal assistant; Brownsville, Brooklyn

  • "Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Ave at 16th St, chelseamarket.com) is a good place, and I say that because that's the first place somebody hit on me after I moved here. If someone approaches you, you don't have to worry, because it's not like it's at 3am at a bar."---Susan Billingsley, 28, marketing associate, Union Square

  • "La Esquina is a great place to meet people because, well, I met a lot of cool people there on Friday night! It's really hard to get in and get a reservation. It's a restaurant with bar scene as well. It's a late-twenties, early-thirties crowd."---Rob Etre, 26, hedge-fund risk-management analyst, Union Square

  • Photograph: Jay Muhlin

    "Stop into some vegan restaurants. The food is good and you'll meet people with similar interests. One of my favorites is Counter (105 First Ave between 6th and 7th Sts; 212-982-5870, counternyc.com); they've got amazing carrot cake."---Lindsay Woodall, 20, psychology student, East Village

  • Photograph: Scott Beale

  • "Tompkins Square Park (Ave A between 7th and 10th Sts; 212-274-1111, nyc.gov/parks), but you have to be kind of...careful there. The guys are very friendly."---Euphrosini Saliaris, 26, social media correspondent, East Village

  • "I like Gold Bar (389 Broome St between Baxter and Mulberry Sts; 212-274-1568, goldbarnewyork.com). Its cool, a really sexy place. Everything is literally covered in gold. The ceiling, the floor..."---Kris Carr, 31, food and beverage management associate, Gramercy

  • "The Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Pkwy at Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org) on Target First Saturdays. It's packed and there are so many interesting, free things to do."---Monroe Labie, 24; musician; Flatbush, Brooklyn

  • "Think Coffee (123 Fourth Ave between 12th and 13th Sts; 212-614-6644, thinkcoffeenyc.com) on Fourth Avenue is very nice. I went there for the first time the other night, and there are a lot of people there to socialize with. There's a good atmosphere, and the people working there are friendly."---Josephine O, 19, film and TV student, Union Square

  • Photograph: Jon Klemm

    "Terminal 5 (610 W 56th St at Eleventh Ave; 212-582-6600, terminal5nyc.com), because the music is a ready-made conversation starter. There's a cool roof garden with a hot-dog stand that's a bit quieter, so you can get things rolling."---Alice B. 30; journalism student; Bushwick, Brooklyn

  • "How about a karaoke bar? Japas 55 (253 W 55th between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-765-1210, japas55nyc.com) has private rooms and open spaces, too."---Robbie Macaraeg, 23, graphic-design student, Upper West Side

  • "CVS/Duane Reade. There are people that will definitely approach you and make it seem like they have a question about a certain product when they really just want to ask for your number."---Vickie Han, 22, advertising associate, Upper West Side

  • "The rooftop bar at Empire Hotel (44 W 63rd St between Broadway and Columbus Ave; 212-956-3313, empirehotelnyc.com). It's hard to get in if you're by yourself, so get there early, around 9 or 10pm. I usually find a girl that's in line already and say, 'Hey, let's go up together.'"---A.K., 30, consultant, Jersey City

  • "Shake Shack (366 Columbus Ave at 77th St; 646-747-8770, shakeshack.com)! That's where everybody goes. There's always a huge line and you can usually strike up a conversation with somebody about how good the food is."---Zach Hirsch, 28, advertising associate, Chelsea

  • "Oceans 8 [at Brownstone Billiards] (308 Flatbush Ave at 7th Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-857-5555); meet someone new while playing pool. And Honey Lounge (243 W 14th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-620-0077, honeyny.com) is nice too."---Celina Nixon, 23; massage therapist; Brownsville, Brooklyn

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    "Union Hall (702 Union St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-638-4400, unionhallny.com). It's a slightly older crowd."---C. Yu, 28; graduate student; Greenpoint, Brooklyn

  • "The girls I like to date I meet at church. There are a lot of singles over 30, too."---Mickey McElroy, 22, filmmaker, East Harlem

  • "Go to the Bronx Zoo (2300 Southern Blvd at Boston Rd; 718-220-5103, bronxzoo.com); there's a really diverse mix of people there. Or try West 4th Street, where the guys play basketball."---Louis Isaac, 46, factory worker, Bronx

  • "Inside Eataly (200 Fifth Ave between 23rd and 24th Sts; 212-229-2560, eataly.com), at the cheese counter. It's always busy, and you can meet people pretty easily food shopping."---Kevin Burke, 43, writer, Hell's Kitchen

  • "A really cool place that a lot of people might be hesitant to go to is the Shrine (2271 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd [Seventh Ave] at 134th St; 212-690-7807, shrinenyc.com) in Harlem. They've got live jazz until 3am, really good vibes and really nice people."---Sean Shea-Clark, 27, computer technician, Harlem

  • "I can tell you where I've picked up people before: Lit Lounge (93 Second Ave between 5th and 6th Sts; 212-777-7987, litloungenyc.com). It's sort of like a hipster rock scene. Or try to Canal Room on '80s night."---Jeff F., 26, finance associate, Midtown East

  • "Webster Hall (125 E 11th St between Third and Fourth Aves; 212-353-1600, websterhall.com)---it's really nice. There are three floors: the reggae, the house music and then the drag queen area. It's worth the cover charge."---Donna Forbes, 42; hotel supervisor; Park Slope, Brooklyn

  • "Bamboo 52 (344 W 52nd St between Eighth and Ninth Aves; 212-315-2777, bamboo52nyc.com), on 52nd between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. It's a mixed crowd, they've got a DJ and an awesome back patio. You can have cocktails in the back or a more intimate one-on-one over sushi in the front."---Samuel Turner, 26, ballet dancer, Harlem

  • "Pop Burger (58--60 Ninth Ave between 14th and 15th Sts; 212-414-8686, popburger.com) is great because they play all types of music, and it has a relaxed lounge feeling. Also, Caf Wha? is classic. The feeling there is always right."---Avinah Evans, 24; pharmacy supervisor; East New York, Brooklyn

  • "Anywhere on Restaurant Row. On the weekends, you might meet someone from Jersey, which is weird, but otherwise, it's mostly people who are laid-back and know a lot about the city. [Or] try Posh (405 W 51st St between Ninth and Tenth Aves; 212-957-2222, poshbarnyc.com)."---John Paul Coleman, 27, server, Harlem

  • "The bus stop. You can meet someone going the same way as you, or just make something up and ask for directions."---Jordany Martinez, 21, business administration student, Queens

  • "I'm single! I think about this all the time. Black and White (86 E 10th St between Third and Fourth Aves, 212-253-0246)---it's dark and they play really good music. Plus, it's on a completely residential block, so there's a more chill, local crowd. Also, depending on what type of guy you're looking for, Employees Only (510 Hudson St between Christopher and W 10th Sts; 212-242-3021, employeesonlynyc.com) is a great place. It's such a meat market."---Emily R., 26, gallery associate, Gramercy

  • "The Shakespeare Gardens [in Central Park] (E 79th St between Fifth Ave and Central Park West; 212-310-6600, centralparknyc.org). There's a castle right there that people hang out around."---Heather Penfield, 32, ballet dancer, Bronx

  • "Any Laundromat...nothing is sexier than seeing a man do his own laundry."---Paula R., 45, loan administrator, Queens

  • "I have a boyfriend, but Brother Jimmy's (various locations, see brotherjimmys.com for details) is a big place where a lot of my single friends go. It's all guys. Seriously, it's like a frat house. They're all young, they're all hot, and they always go to watch games and stuff so it's like a 9:1 ratio."---Stephanie, 22, account executive, Murray Hill

  • Photograph: courtesy of Sunswick

    "Sunswick [3535 bar] (35-02 35th St at 35th Ave, Astoria, Queens; 718-752-0620, sunswick3535bar.com) in Astoria. It's just a neighborhood dive bar with an eclectic crowd. It's fun!"---Katie Riordan, 27; server; Astoria, Queens

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    "Marshall Stack (66 Rivington St at Allen St; 212-228-4667, themarshallstack.com) on the Lower East Side. It's a good little bar where a lot of people hang out."---Rachel Frederick, 31, art director, Hell's Kitchen

  • "I like Calexico (645 Manhattan Ave at Bedford Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 347-763-2129, calexicocart.com) a lot---it's a bar and restaurant. There's usually a lot of people there and the food is really good, especially the fish tacos.---Philip Pierce, 31; office administrator; Greenpoint, Brooklyn

  • Photograph: Lindsay M Taylor

Photograph: Marielle Solon

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3 comments
Anonymous Banana
Anonymous Banana

OK, so I'm old and not single anymore, but the places I used to get the "pickup" vibe and/or get approached at were: Whole Foods (before it was everywhere - easy to start a chat about food), Virgin Megastore (easy to start a chat about music) Strand Books (easy to start a chat about books), Central Park (becoz people are in "play" mode when in the park), art galleries, museums (easy to start a chat about art), and on street corners at 2am just because I gave someone a "look"... Whee!

Zaftig
Zaftig

Actually, I have had luck in the Whole Foods bathroom. Don't knock it!

Aric
Aric

Its like someone assigned every random location and bar in NYC a number and then the dice were thrown 50 times. I suppose everywhere excluding the whole foods bathrooms can be considered a "pick up" spot. I mean come on- Duane Reade? Spice? Really???? Any Vegan restaurant? Ok- I suppose vegans sort of deserve each other....