"A great restaurant is Les Halles (411 Park Ave South between 23rd and 24th Sts; 212-679-4111, leshalles.net * 15 John St between Broadway and Nassau St, 212-285-8585). But dates where you don't just go to a restaurant are more fun. I went to Governors Island over the summer and that was really fun because you could just hang out on a big lawn. And I'm such a homebody, too—I love having a date at home."
Rebecca Minkoff, fashion designer (rebeccaminkoff.com)
"A good restaurant would be Freemans (Freeman Alley off Rivington St between Bowery and Chrystie St; 212-420-0012, freemansrestaurant.com); it's romantic and cozy and always yummy. [But the perfect NYC date would be] getting cupcakes and coffee at Magnolia Bakery (401 Bleecker St at Bank St; 212-462-2572, magnoliabakery.com), then walking to Commerce Street and sitting on the porch of a house dating back to the 1700s."
Nigel Barker, noted fashion photographer and America's Next Top Model judge
"Before [model Cristen Chin Barker] and I were married, our favorite date was to go to Sake Bar Decibel (240 E 9th St between Second and Third Aves; 212-979-2733, sakebardecibel.com) for a cheeky sake before heading up the street to a little sushi joint called Hasaki (210 E 9th St between Second and Third Aves; 212-473-3327, hasakinyc.com), hidden in a basement. Then we'd wrap the evening up with a few games of pool at Fat Cat (75 Christopher St between Seventh Ave South and Hudson St; 212-675-6056, fatcatmusic.org). Now, as a married couple, we start the evening with drinks at Soho House (29-35 Ninth Ave between 13th and 14th Sts; 212-627-9800, sohohouseny.com), head to the opera or the ballet and wrap the evening up with a deliciously romantic dinner at Del Posto (85 Tenth Ave between 15th and 16th Sts; 212-497-8090, delposto.com)."
Dylan Lauren, CEO of Dylan's Candy Bar
"The new Yankee Stadium (River Ave at 161st St, Bronx; 718-293-4300, yankees.com) [is the best date spot]—it's amazing to be outdoors watching a game. There's so much energy and it makes you feel good to be a New Yorker. Even if you don't know the sport it's still really fun and social. Plus, there are peanuts and Cracker Jacks, all those things I normally don't treat myself to."
Isaac Mizrahi, fashion designer and creative director of Liz Claiborne
"The best date place is Il Cantinori (32 E 10th St between University Pl and Broadway; 212-673-6044, ilcantinori.com). I have taken a million dates there over the years, being that it's the most romantic place in the world: the food, the atmosphere, that block on 10th Street."
Jessica Stam, runway fashion model
"I like Won Jo (23 W 32nd St between Fifth Ave and Broadway; 212-695-5815, wonjo32.com)—a Korean barbecue restaurant in K-town. They cook the food on a grill at your table, everything is delicious, and they are open all night."
DJ Berrie, celebrity DJ and recording artist
"I love the new burger joint Bill's Bar & Burger (22 Ninth Ave between 13th and 14th Sts; 212-414-3003, billsbarandburger.com), which replaced the old Hog Pit. Before I deejayed recently, I tested its date worthiness: not pretentious, delicious and close to some of my favorite hangouts. Eating a burger with your lady is definitely underrated."
Bethenny Frankel, star of The Real Housewives of New York
"If you're looking for a little bit of romance and intimacy, I really like the Little Owl (90 Bedford St at Grove St; 212-741-4695, thelittleowlnyc.com) in the West Village. I went there with my fianc on our second date; it was a very strong move on his part. There's also La Esquina (114 Kenmare St at Cleveland Pl; 646-613-7100, esquinanyc.com)—it's cheap and cheerful. It's downstairs in a cave, you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the restaurant as if you're in Goodfellas, and tequila is always going to make for a good date. But the best, most impressive place ever is Angel's Share (8 Stuyvesant St at 9th St, second floor; 212-777-5415). They take cocktails very seriously and they have all these exotic ingredients. The bartenders probably went to MIT for mixology."
Conrad Keely, lead singer of Brooklyn band ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
"The best date my girlfriend and I had was a day spent walking through Central Park, headed for the American Museum of Natural History. We cruised through the dioramas, ending ten minutes before closing time at the bottom level where the epic battle between the squid and the whale is frozen in time. Afterward, we snuck into a handicapped bathroom and waited until the museum closed, then snuck out at night and had the whole place to ourselves!"
Krysten Ritter, actor, Confessions of a Shopaholic
"Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave between North 11th and 12th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-963-3369, brooklynbowl.com) is a fun date spot if you go when it's off-peak hours and can actually get a lane. The food is fabulous and you can get milk shakes, too."
Chris Keating, frontman of Brooklyn band Yeasayer
"Grand Central Oyster Bar (Grand Central Terminal, Lower Concourse, 89 E 42nd St at Park Ave; 212-490-6650, oysterbarny.com). It's super old-timey and romantic; the lighting is perfect. When I took someone there on a first date she asked, 'Will these oysters make me horny?' I ended up marrying her, so I guess the oysters worked."
BACK TO MAIN PAGE
Dates for everyone
The best dates for every personality and mood.