Great dates 2013: Your guide to the best date spots in NYC

If you’re looking for a fun date spot this Valentine’s Day, look no further: these great date spots in NYC are perfect for a romantic rendezvous.

Dating is rough—trust us, we know. But Time Out has simplified the process (sort of) with our guide to the great dates in New York City, whether you’re meeting someone for a first date, trying to rekindle a long-term romance, or hate dating altogether. Plus, we’ve compiled a few tips to help make your next date go smoothly. If you’re still looking for a partner, we’ve got advice from Erika Christensen, a matchmaker who pairs up single ladies and gents on the subway. Or take a spin through our roundup of single New Yorkers to find someone that you can take on one of these great dates.—Edited by Amy Plitt

RECOMMENDED: The best date ideas and romantic spots in NYC

Great date ideas in New York City

Sex and dating

Great first date ideas in NYC: Where to have a fun first date

Don’t overthink things for an early date: If you need a first-date idea, use our guide to find the perfect, casual spot. Go on a virtual vacation at Bikini Bar Stepping into this Tribeca coffee shop is almost like walking into a hidden island oasis. Vintage surfboards are propped against the wall, a pineapple-themed chandelier hangs from the ceiling, and coffee cups adorned with palm trees add to the “we’re not in New York anymore” ambience. Swap vacation stories while sipping a cappuccino ($4) at the retro tiki bar; coffee, made from Counter Culture beans, is prepared by regional barista champion Danielle Glasky. 212-571-6737 Grab postwork drinks and dinner A solid happy hour ($2 off drafts and $5 well drinks until 7pm), bowls of mini candy bars and plenty of board games give neighborhood joint Dive 75 (101 W 75th St at Columbus Ave, 212-362-7518) the low-key atmosphere that lets conversation take center stage. Prolong a successful pairing by suggesting dinner at Celeste (502 Amsterdam Ave between 84th and 85th Sts, 212-874-4559), a bustling spot serving Italian cuisine without the Lady and the Tramp–style trappings that can sink an early-in-the-relationship dinner date. Quaint and comfortable, it’s also inexpensive—every pasta dish is $10–$15. Sample new brews at Jimmy’s No. 43 Loosen your inhibitions and expand your horizons at the same time: Every Tuesday, this East Village drinkery offers a $20 tasting focusing on a specific region (recently, it’s explored Spanish

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Sex and dating

Best blind date spots at bars and cafes in New York

Ensure that your blind date goes smoothly by planning to meet at one of these casual NYC bars or cafés. Blind dates involve enough guesswork—will the person look like his or her dating-site profile photo? will we actually have anything to talk about?—without having to pin down the perfect venue. Use this guide to the best blind-date spots to make your life a little easier: Bars like Alphabet City Beer Co. or Pacific Standard are laid-back and cheap, so you can linger if things go well (or make a break for it if they don’t). Sip an alcoholic smoothie at Cocktail Bodega Once the initial inspection is over, suss out whether you and your date’s tastes are simpatico by ordering a make-your-own cocktail ($11), combining your choice of liquor and fruit or veggie juices. Or calm your jitters by ordering one of the specialty drinks ($13), such as the Energy Memory Punch, which mixes rum with pineapple and orange juices, mango nectar and fresh mint. Bliss out with a beer nerd at Alphabet City Beer Co. This laid-back East Village beer bar and shop offers 12 frequently rotating taps, which often include brews from local outfits (such as Rockaway Brewery), along with Alphabet City’s own Easy Blonde ($6). If you’re picking up a bad vibe, order a half-pint ($3–$3.50) to save time, calories and cash. And if it goes really poorly, console yourself by choosing from the more than 350 bottles available to make a custom six-pack ($8–$14). You deserve it. Keep things low-key at Pacific Stand

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Sex and dating

Great second-date ideas in NYC: Where to have a fun second date

Now that you feel more comfortable, plan a more involved outing at these great spots for a second date in NYC. Once you get past first-date awkwardness, planning a second date can actually be kind of fun. Use these great second-date ideas to craft a fun outing: Get to know each other by looking through the shelves at Molasses Books, or plan a classy outing at the French Institute Alliance Française’s free First Tuesdays. Giggle (and pig out) at the Stand If you ended the first date swapping lines from your favorite episodes of Mr. Show, keep the comedy-nerd sparks going at this new club. The lack of a drink minimum at the tables is as refreshing as the signature cocktails, which include the Boozler ($13), a combination of Ransom Old Tom gin, tarragon, ginger liqueur and pear puree. Snack on small plates, such as Tater-Tot nachos ($13), while watching local comics, such as Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo and Wyatt Cenac. Share your shelf recommendations at Molasses Books Afternoon dates are ideal: You can make it clear that you’re into more than hooking up and remember your conversation the next morning. Turn browsing into an all-day activity at this new Bushwick indie shop, whose trade-in program allows you to swap used books for store credit (which you can spend for more books or at the café). The informal space is ideal for disarming the pretension that comes with comparing favorite novels. Use your credit to grab a couple cans of Genesee cream ale ($3/can), then

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Sex and dating

Offbeat date ideas in NYC for people who hate dating

Flowers? Chocolates? Romance?!? Yuck. If you hate the traditional trappings of dating, try one of these fun, casual date ideas. We don’t blame you for eschewing traditional date ideas, like candlelit dinners or romantic walks. Who needs the pressure? Instead, invite your crush on one of these casual outings. These date ideas, including zombie-themed laser tag or a tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, are quirky, fun, and—most importantly—will let you bond over your shared dislike of all that gooey, romantic stuff.  Belt show tunes mob-style at Marie’s Crisis Café If you detest small talk but love sing-alongs, consider a visit to this legendary West Village piano bar. Each night, scores of musical lovers warble along to an ivory-tickler playing Broadway faves. Flag down a server to order a dirt-cheap drink ($7 for a Cosmo), and don’t be surprised if they later show up at the front of the room to solo on “As Long as He Needs Me.” If your date can handle your off-key rendition of all ten parts in “One Day More,” they’re definitely a keeper. Kill the undead and save your love during Zombiefest Join forces against the shambling hordes in an imaginary apocalyptic wasteland at Indoor Extreme Sports’ Zombiefest. After a round in which teams of five are pitted against one other, you’ll have nine five-minute “missions” inside IES’s laser-tag maze. The goal is to take out as many of the walking dead—eight performers in F/X makeup—as you can before they eat your b

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More dating tips and advice

Sex and dating

Meet the Love Conductor: Brooklyn matchmaker Erika Christensen

Since starting her business, Train Spottings, in 2011, Brooklyn matchmaker Erika Christensen has paired up single New Yorkers that she meets on the subway. Brooklynite Erika Christensen caught the matchmaking bug after setting up her best friend with her future husband. Hoping to become a professional relationship broker, she reached out to E. Jean Carroll of Elle’s “Ask E. Jean” column. The two women hit it off, and in October 2011, Carroll helped Christensen start Train Spottings (trainspottings.com), an underground take on analog dating services. Christensen, who calls herself the Love Conductor, rides the subway looking for ladies and gents in all five boroughs to set up on blind dates. She strikes up a conversation with a straphanger and, if they have potential, offers them a card reading you’ve been spotted. After they register (one-month membership $100, three months $250, six months $475), she plans a date for the person and one of her other clients based on their shared interests, passions and goals. TONY spoke with Christensen about her work. Why did you decide to target people on the subway?It was such an untapped market. I go fishing for eligible singles because someone always catches my eye; maybe they have a sexy swagger, unique style or great eyes. The subway is ideal because it is so quintessentially New York. There are endless opportunities for conversation among strangers. It can be hard to compete with everyone using technology, but you know when someo

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Sex and dating

The dater’s handbook: Dating tips to help you prevent a bad date

Before Set up a Google Voice numberYes, you should definitely keep an open mind when you’re looking for the right person, but it’s equally important to protect yourself from under-the-radar stalker types. If you’d prefer not to receive random 2am texts, mask your cell number by registering for a free Google Voice account (google.com/voice). After linking it to your legit number, you can have the system forward both calls and texts, which you can respond to without giving away your real digits. (But if things go well, be sure to come clean as soon as possible.) Memorize your local Rejection Hotline numberThese days, striking up a conversation with an attractive stranger in a bar or other public locale sounds more like a meet-cute than real life. More often than we’d like, that good-looking someone is actually an overzealous, liquored-up weirdo. Should things get desperate, save yourself by doling out the number of the Rejection Hotline’s New York branch (212-660-2245). When the soon-to-be rebuffed party calls, they’ll hear a recorded message asking them to consider why they were given the number in the first place.   During Have conversation fodder ready for moments of silenceAwkward pauses can turn an uncomfortable situation into a downright miserable night. Prepare a few icebreakers to avoid wallowing in silence. It’s best to start  with topics you’ve gleaned from each other’s online-dating profiles (or subsequent Google stalking). If you’re concerned you’ll exhaust tha

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Sex and dating

Where to break up in NYC: best bars and venues to break the news

You’ve decided to dump your significant other in public (you bastard!), but don't know where to break up. Here are a few bars and venues to get it over with. We don’t really want to make it easier for you to break up with someone in public; that’s just cruel. However, sometimes things have to end, so here’s a guide on where to break up in New York. You’ll avoid an awkward encounter—maybe—at these NYC bars and out-of-the-way venues, including Canal Bar and Ikea. Canal Bar If you’re going to potentially humiliate your soon-to-be-ex, it’s good to do the deed in an out-of-the-way spot. This Gowanus dive fits the bill, providing tables in the back where you can have an awkward conversation, along with drink specials during the week ($1 off drafts on Mondays; $4 Goose Island pints on Wednesdays). Ikea Brooklyn In 30 Rock’s sixth season, Liz and Criss go to Ikea for a table and end up questioning their entire relationship. If you need a slight push to start the breakup process, bring your no-longer-beloved to the Swedish chain’s Red Hook outpost.  You’ll have ended things with a screaming match by the time you reach the miles-long checkout lines, guaranteed. And you can get away with not blaming yourself—as Liz says, “Ikea tested us—we failed!” East River State Park This Williamsburg space will match your mood by the time you’ve parted ways: In the winter, it’s a little bleak. Have a seat on a bench, where you can stare at the Manhattan skyline and take a few deep breaths. The

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Sex and dating

Dating horror story (video)

Watch an animated video of one TONY reader’s worst romantic rendezvous. brightcove.createExperiences(); Earlier this month, we asked you to e-mail us your most awkward, disastrous or super-weird Gotham-set date. (And boy, have you experienced some stinkers—like a lot. Wow.) Our favorite of these tales is above, animated by Chicago artist Dan Henrick. But wait—what’s the worst date you’ve been on? Sound off in the comments. And although dating can be tough in NYC (really tough), we’ve rounded up some great ideas for intimate meet-ups, as well as a host of local singles to make things easier. You might also like Video: Joan Rivers shows off her closet Video: Downtown from Behind photo shoot Video: Kurt Braunohler interview Video: What's the best New York pizza?

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Find a date in NYC

Sex and dating

Single men seeking women in NYC

We’ve found 13 single men seeking women in NYC, each waiting for you to ask him out. Plus, each reveals his perfect date—so wooing these guys will be easy. It’s something of a myth that single New York men drastically outnumber their female counterparts (at least according to an interesting analysis of census data by the New York City Economic Development Corporation). Still, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find eligible men seeking women. You can try these pickup spots, dating events and other ideas for where to meet singles, or you could browse through our slide show of 13 gentlemen and e-mail one for a date. Each one has even described his ideal date, so there’s no need to worry over where to go or what to do. RECOMMENDED: Meet more New York singles and find a date You might also like Great first date ideas in NYC: Where to have a fun first date Don’t overthink things for an early date: If you need a first-date idea, use our guide to find the perfect, casual spot. Go on a virtual vacation at Bikini Bar Stepping into this Tribeca coffee shop is almost like walking into a hidden island oasis. Vintage surfboards are propped against the wall, a pineapple-themed chandelier hangs from the ceiling, and coffee cups adorned with palm trees add to the “we’re not in New York anymore” ambience. Swap vacation stories while sipping a cappuccino ($4) at the retro tiki bar; coffee, made from Counter Culture beans, is prepared by regional barista champion Danielle Glasky. 212-

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Sex and dating

Single women seeking men in NYC

Take some of the guesswork out of dating: 21 single women seeking men in NYC reveal their ideal dates—all you need to do is ask them out. What to single New York women want from a date? If the answers of these 21 women seeking men in NYC suggest anything, it’s that they just want to have fun in a casual environment. So put down that bouquet, ask one of them out and plan an excursion to play minigolf then sing your hearts out at a karaoke bar, before finishing up at a dive bar. RECOMMENDED: Meet more New York singles and find a date You might also like Great first date ideas in NYC: Where to have a fun first date Don’t overthink things for an early date: If you need a first-date idea, use our guide to find the perfect, casual spot. Go on a virtual vacation at Bikini Bar Stepping into this Tribeca coffee shop is almost like walking into a hidden island oasis. Vintage surfboards are propped against the wall, a pineapple-themed chandelier hangs from the ceiling, and coffee cups adorned with palm trees add to the “we’re not in New York anymore” ambience. Swap vacation stories while sipping a cappuccino ($4) at the retro tiki bar; coffee, made from Counter Culture beans, is prepared by regional barista champion Danielle Glasky. 212-571-6737 Grab postwork drinks and dinner A solid happy hour ($2 off drafts and $5 well drinks until 7pm), bowls of mini candy bars and plenty of board games give neighborhood joint Dive 75 (101 W 75th St at Columbus Ave, 212-362-7518) the l

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Sex and dating

Single men seeking men in NYC

Hello, is it single men seeking men in NYC you’re looking for? We’ve found 11 guys you can ask out over e-mail. Ever get stuck for date ideas? For this edition of date these single men seeking men in NYC, we asked our eligible bachelors for their ideal nights out. Browse their profiles for great date recommendations, such as sipping a “beautifully crafted drink” next to the fireplace in Freemans, or taking in a jazz set at Arthur’s Tavern. And why not thank them for their advice by inviting them out on the date of their choosing? It’s only polite. RECOMMENDED: Meet more New York singles and find a date You might also like Great first date ideas in NYC: Where to have a fun first date Don’t overthink things for an early date: If you need a first-date idea, use our guide to find the perfect, casual spot. Go on a virtual vacation at Bikini Bar Stepping into this Tribeca coffee shop is almost like walking into a hidden island oasis. Vintage surfboards are propped against the wall, a pineapple-themed chandelier hangs from the ceiling, and coffee cups adorned with palm trees add to the “we’re not in New York anymore” ambience. Swap vacation stories while sipping a cappuccino ($4) at the retro tiki bar; coffee, made from Counter Culture beans, is prepared by regional barista champion Danielle Glasky. 212-571-6737 Grab postwork drinks and dinner A solid happy hour ($2 off drafts and $5 well drinks until 7pm), bowls of mini candy bars and plenty of board games give neighb

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Sex and dating

Single women seeking women in NYC

E-mail these single women seeking women in NYC and join them on a no-pressure date, be it singing karaoke or playing bingo. Ever get stuck for date ideas? We asked single women seeking women in NYC what their ideal night out would be. Browse their profiles for great date recommendations, such as Rock ‘n’ Roll Karaoke at Arlene’s Grocery or playing bingo at Tortilla Flats. And why not thank them for their advice by inviting them out on the date of their choosing? It’s only polite. RECOMMENDED: Meet more New York singles and find a date You might also like Great first date ideas in NYC: Where to have a fun first date Don’t overthink things for an early date: If you need a first-date idea, use our guide to find the perfect, casual spot. Go on a virtual vacation at Bikini Bar Stepping into this Tribeca coffee shop is almost like walking into a hidden island oasis. Vintage surfboards are propped against the wall, a pineapple-themed chandelier hangs from the ceiling, and coffee cups adorned with palm trees add to the “we’re not in New York anymore” ambience. Swap vacation stories while sipping a cappuccino ($4) at the retro tiki bar; coffee, made from Counter Culture beans, is prepared by regional barista champion Danielle Glasky. 212-571-6737 Grab postwork drinks and dinner A solid happy hour ($2 off drafts and $5 well drinks until 7pm), bowls of mini candy bars and plenty of board games give neighborhood joint Dive 75 (101 W 75th St at Columbus Ave, 212-362-7518) th

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Sex and dating

Single New York bisexual women

Meet six single New York bisexual women who are looking for a date. See photos of them, read about their ideal dates, and ask them out. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, our minds inevitably turn to dating. Before the big day (who wants a first date on February 14? Way too much pressure) get to know one of these single New York women. They’ve even suggested date ideas, what are you waiting for? RECOMMENDED: Meet more New York singles and find a date You might also like Great first date ideas in NYC: Where to have a fun first date Don’t overthink things for an early date: If you need a first-date idea, use our guide to find the perfect, casual spot. Go on a virtual vacation at Bikini Bar Stepping into this Tribeca coffee shop is almost like walking into a hidden island oasis. Vintage surfboards are propped against the wall, a pineapple-themed chandelier hangs from the ceiling, and coffee cups adorned with palm trees add to the “we’re not in New York anymore” ambience. Swap vacation stories while sipping a cappuccino ($4) at the retro tiki bar; coffee, made from Counter Culture beans, is prepared by regional barista champion Danielle Glasky. 212-571-6737 Grab postwork drinks and dinner A solid happy hour ($2 off drafts and $5 well drinks until 7pm), bowls of mini candy bars and plenty of board games give neighborhood joint Dive 75 (101 W 75th St at Columbus Ave, 212-362-7518) the low-key atmosphere that lets conversation take center stage. Prolong a successful

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Time Out offers: Great date deals

50% off a night of jazz and drinks for two at Zinc Bar

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54% off three-course dinner and drinks for two at Little Town NYC on Restaurant Row

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70% off date night package for two at The Metropolitan Room

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Get kinky with 36% off sexy workshops for one or two at SHAG Brooklyn

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Comments

4 comments
Sui P
Sui P

Book a massage in. That is the Valentines Day dream! LookBooker (www.lookbooker.co) will sort you out if you are unorganised like me - it's kind of like OpenTable for salons. 

Jack
Jack

Can't see ANYTHING!

ugh!!
ugh!!

wth?? cant see anything!!

mike
mike

where is the article?