So you made it through the dreaded first date, and have tried out all your best cheap dates ideas: now it’s time to introduce your new sweetie to old friends with the best double dates in NYC. Whether you’re looking for an amazing karaoke bar or dinner and a movie, let us be your professional date planners. You’ll not only impress the object of your affection but your friend and their date as well.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to date ideas in NYC
Best double date ideas for New Yorkers
One hour in a locked room together might not seem so bad, but the strength of your relationships (romantic and otherwise) will be tested with the brain teasing games at Escape the Room. Work together to try to solve the mystery of the room by putting together the hidden clues and working through the brain teaser. Just remember this is a team effort, not the time to prove that you and your partner are the smarter couple. The different themed rooms have space for six to eight people, so feel free to make this date a triple or quadruple date.
Is your partner a table tennis fiend? Does your best friend just want to sing his heart out? Are you looking for a Putt-Putt experience that’s like a Miami blacklight club? Is everybody hungry and in the mood for dancing? Then Brooklyn Night Bazaar’s new location, a three-story Greenpoint mecca for all things fun and cool, is the answer to all your various and eclectic desires. Plan to spend hours here with the city’s only arcade/karaoke/ping pong/mini-golf venue in the basement, the restaurant and artisanal/vintage market (weekends only) on the main floor and, up the mirrored staircase, a state-of-the-art concert space. Really, this place has enough going on for multiple double dates.
Chow down on barbecue, throw back some bourbon or beers and put those brains together at one of the indoor or outdoor picnic tables at Astoria ‘cue joint the Stand for the weekly Tuesday trivia night. It’s a popular one, so competition is fierce, but the questions lean toward pop culture and aren’t so hard that you need to keep a completely clear mind while answering—so go ahead and keep the drinks coming. Prizes include a free trip to the Cliffs at LIC and a tab at the bar, so you might just win a second double date if you play competitively.
No need to go the boring dinner-and-a-movie route when you have Syndicated, an all-in-one cinema/restaurant/bar hybrid. In this dine-in theater, trade stale popcorn and an overpriced soda to gorge on savory delights like smoked lamb ribs and buttermilk fried chicken and drink craft beers and specialty movie-related cocktails like the Steve McQueen or Cry Baby. And better yet, the screenings, which range from new indie flicks to nostalgic throwbacks, usually only cost $3 to $5, so you’ll have more money to spend of tasty treats and an adult (read: alcoholic) milkshake.
There’s a reason your grandparents can’t wait to go on their next cruise: shuffleboard is a delightful game anyone can play. At the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Gowanus, Florida fun meets Brooklyn cool in a massive game hall where you can rent a court for $40 an hour while sipping on tropical frozen drinks. Don’t worry if you’ve never played before; with the rental you can get a quick tutorial. Experts will love the quality of the regular-size courts, so grab a pole and get pucking!
For a low-key night of friendly competition and feeling like a kid again, there’s no play better than Uncommons, Manhattan’s only board game cafe. Prove which is the better couple with classic partner games like Pictionary or Axis & Allies, or play every man for themselves with goofy rounds of Apples to Apples, the strategy-heavy Settler of Catan or the excruciating epic-long Game of Thrones game. The cafe also has baked goods, coffee and beer in case your bout of Monopoly goes on for more hours than you were expecting.
As proof that you don’t have to be fancy or spend a lot of money to have a killer time, there’s the Gutter. Come right after work to this Williamsburg hot spot to share a pitcher of a domestic ale ($3 off during happy hour), shoot the breeze while shooting some pool and reserve a spot at one of the eight bowling lanes. The earlier you can get there the better—those $7-per-person lanes fill up fast, and it’d suck to strike out.
Sure, stopping by a karaoke bar with a few friends can be a blast, but wailing your favorite tunes to a live band at Hill Country on a Tuesday night will make you feel like a rock—or country—star. Convince your honey to sing that love duet, or team up with your buddy to make embarrassing your significant others a combined effort. There’s nothing like building a live-long couples friendship by watching each other nail (or totally miss) that high C note.
There’s no need to trek out to Long Island or the Finger Lakes for some quality locally made wines. At Hudson River Park’s City Vineyard, you can admire awe-inspiring views of the Hudson River from the roof deck or wine garden while clinking glasses of vino created from grapes grown across the country. Nibble on salads or cheese plates while celebrating a special occasion of just being an awesome foursome.