Best date spots: Lower East Side

 (Photograph: Lizz Kuehl)
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Photograph: Lizz KuehlCasa Mezcal
 (Michael Harlan Turkell)
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Michael Harlan TurkellKuma Inn
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Landmark's Sunshine Cinema
 (Photograph: Mimi Ko)
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Photograph: Mimi KoTammany Hall    
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Restaurants

Casa Mezcal

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

Get cozy in a velvet booth at this mescal bar, which is adorned with folk art, statuettes, masks and other mementos of the co-owners’ travels. The namesake spirit, made from roasted agave, is the thing to try here: Taste it in a flight, or try it in one of the bar’s flavor-packed cocktails.

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Restaurants, Spanish

Culturefix

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

Escape the Lower East Side’s main drag and duck into this subterranean bar, gallery and performance space, which offers plenty of conversational fodder (and a noise level that facilitates discussion). Order a beer or wine off the rotating list and head into the gallery curated by Recession Art, where you can sit and sip while admiring work from emerging local artists. The space also hosts music and comedy events.

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Restaurants, Filipino

Kuma Inn

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

Impress your date at this intimate dinner spot, a perennial food-writer favorite. Chef King Phojanakong channels his culinary pedigree (including stints at Daniel and Danube), along with his Thai and Filipino heritage, into elegant small plates.

Movie theaters, Independent

Landmark's Sunshine Cinema

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

Couples visit this art-house theater as much for a chance to canoodle in the dark as for the quality indie fare. If the date’s going especially well, consider making it a double bill: Landmark hosts one of the best midnight-movie series in town, screening cult favorites and classics every Friday and Saturday night.

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Restaurants

Tammany Hall

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

This live-music venue has installed a restaurant, allowing indie-rock and hip-hop enthusiasts to fuel up while taking in a show. The tavern serves New American cuisine alongside beer, wine and cocktails. The design (antique advertisements, mahogany paneling) takes its cues from the 19th century, when Boss Tweed’s corrupt Tammany Hall political machine was in full swing.

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