Central Park Boat Ride
Corkbuzz Wine Studio
Bushwick Country Club
Planning the perfect first date in New York can be a terrifying endeavor. But fear no more: We’ve gathered some of the best first-date spots in NYC, including low-key bars, quirky comedy shows, and a spot to get dinner and a movie in Brooklyn. If you take your crush to these first-date spots, we’re sure you’ll be on a second date in no time.
You’ll actually be able to hear your conversation at this candlelit pub, where placards on the walls instruct patrons to keep their voices low. Get to know each other over drafts from the Belgian-heavy beer list ($6–$10). 41 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves (212-982-4576)
If it’s going well… Share a few of the small plates, such as crispy beer sausage ($7) and shishito peppers ($9), at subterranean gastropub Jimmy’s No. 43. 43 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves (212-982-3006, jimmysno43.com)
Instead of disclosing your own embarrassing stories, giggle over the misadventures of others during this comedy-karaoke hybrid. Funny folks, storytellers and other performers pick a song in line with each month’s theme—June’s is “Guilty Pleasures”—tell a related tale (or other form of ), then do their best balls-to-the-wall karaoke interpretation. Union Hall, 702 Union St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (thejukeboxshow.com). Second Monday of every month 7:30pm; $5.
If it’s going well… Snag one of the outdoor tables at Mission Dolores, an auto garage turned beer bar, and discuss your own guilty pleasures over brews from the 20-strong tap list. 249 Fourth Ave between Carroll and President Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (347-457-5606, missiondoloresbar.com)
Central Park Boat Ride
Sure, it’s a little goofy, but look at it this way: You’ll both be too busy checking out the pretty scenery—and making sure the rowboat doesn’t tip—to feel any first-date jitters. E 72nd St and Park Drive North (212-517-2233, centralparknyc.org). First hour $12, each additional 15 minutes $2.50, plus $20 deposit.
If it’s going well… A quick trip on the 6 train will deposit you near ABV, the wine-focused cousin of UES hot spot Earl’s Beer and Cheese. Choose a glass from the accessible list, and pair it with nibbles like wasabi rock shrimp ($7). 1504 Lexington Ave at 97th St (212-722-8959, abvny.com)
Thursday Night Out
Frugal daters, take note: A $7 ticket to the Magnet Theater’s Thursday-night improv bonanza gives you access to five hours of hilarious off-the-cuff skits by students and seasoned vets. That means you can be chivalrous and spring for your companion’s can of PBR ($2). 254 W 29th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (212-244-8824, magnettheater.com). Thu 7pm–midnight; $7.
If it’s going well… Split one of chef Jim Lahey’s Roman-style thin-crust pizzas—we like the Popeye, topped with spinach, mozzarella and Gruyère ($17)—at Co. 230 Ninth Ave at 24th St (212-243-1105, co-pane.com)
Corkbuzz Wine Studio
This chic wine bar offers blind tasting sessions on Mondays and Fridays (5–6pm): Order a flight of three wines ($15) and see if you can tell the difference between the Côtes du Rhône and the sangiovese. Once you’ve bonded over your vino knowledge (or lack thereof), kick back with a glass in the wingback chairs at the front. 13 E 13th St between Fifth Ave and University Pl (646-873-6071, corkbuzz.com)
If it’s going well… Take advantage of summer’s later sunsets and head south on Fifth Avenue to Washington Square Park, where you can continue your conversation and indulge in a little people-watching. W 4th St to Waverly Pl between MacDougal St and University Pl (nyc.gov/parks)
Each theater here features paired seats and tables, where twosomes can nosh on nouveau concession fare while enjoying first-run indies and retro flicks. Split an order of the signature popcorn ($7) or a bowl of the Nitehawk Queso ($10), a gooey blend of melted cheese, black beans, spicy chorizo and cooling guac, served with crispy tortilla chips. 136 Metropolitan Ave between Berry St and Wythe Ave,Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-3980, nitehawkcinema.com)
If it’s going well… Exchange playful banter about the flick you just saw over cocktails—including a summery selection of four different juleps ($12–$15)—at Maison Premiere. 298 Bedford Ave between Grand and South 1st Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-335-0446, maisonpremiere.com)
Bushwick Country Club
There’s plenty to do besides tossing a few back at this Billyburg bar, which features a six-hole minigolf course in the backyard. Just be sure to limit yourself to one sweet-tea-and-vodka slushie ($6), lest you drunkenly shoehorn your date into the photo booth to make awkward faces. 618 Grand St at Leonard St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-2114)
If it’s going well… Just down the block, Huckleberry Bar offers both well-crafted drinks—if you’re looking to class the date up—and a selection of sandwiches (like one with ham and beer-soaked cheddar; $10) to sop up the booze. 588 Grand St at Lorimer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-8555, huckleberrybar.com)
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 Great date ideas in New York City 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 GlaskRead more
We asked New Yorkers where they go to meet people, and then compiled this list of 100 pickup spots to help you find a date. Whether you want to find a date, a one night stand or something deeper, here are 100 tried-and-tested pickup spots recommended by real New Yorkers. RECOMMENDED: See all Sex issue 2012 coverage You might also like75 fall pickup spots 201175 warm weather pickup spots 2011Pickup spots for singles over 40See more in Sex & Dating See more in Sex issue 2012Read more
Here are dating tips that you need to know to help you survive a horrific date—and tips to protect yourself before one even happens. We’ve all been on terrible dates—and they suck. But with our dater’s handbook, you just might be able to prevent a bad date from happening. Our dating tips include apps to download that can help boost conversation, and services that send robocalls to get you out of a bad date. Plus, find out how to graciously decline another outing. 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, thRead more