15 DATE DESTINATIONS IN NYCWritten by: Lisa Crawford
The city that never sleeps may as well be the city where you fall in love. With so many amazing spots to stop in and enjoy with your significant other, you’ll wonder why “date night” isn’t every night. Here are our top 15 places to take your date in NYC.
1. Nai Tapas Bar
Do you and your other half like it a little spicy? And we aren’t talking about food! Nai Tapas Bar does have some amazing dishes, but this spot is the best for dinner and a show. The lively and illuminating décor attracts bustling crowds, due in large part to the free flamenco shows on Thursday and Saturdays. While you’re enjoying the show, be sure to try the Patatas Bravas, Gambas al Ajillo or the Churrasco. Then look across the table into the eyes of the one you love over a glass of Sangria de Mango. Nai Tapas Bar is located in the East Village at 174 1st Avenue.
2. Salt & Fat
In Queens, there is a charming store front with quiet corners and a light buzz of excitement. Salt & Fat is a great restaurant to spend some time with your lover. The BBQ Wrap, Pork Belly Buns and the Pork Belly Tacos are all delectable. The drink menu is pretty extensive, so this spot is good for those looking to have a little liquid courage on their dates. In Sunnyside, Queens, Salt & Fat is located at 41-16 Queens Blvd.
If you are one of those hip New York couples, then you must find yourself at Bozu. The ambiance is cozy meets trendy and your date will think they’ve hit the jackpot. The illuminating glow is the perfect backdrop for some soft conversation and falling in love. We suggest you share a plate (or 2!) and munch on “The Pork Betty”, a “Sushi Bomb” or the Shrimp Kataifi. Bozu is located at 296 Grand Street in Williamsburg.
4. Pio Pio 8
If you’re the type of couple that likes a calm and serene escape, Pio Pio 8 in midtown will make you feel as if you have been transported to a top-notch restaurant nestled within the mountains of Peru. The sleek lines and soft lighting make the perfect backdrop for an intimate affair. Lovers enjoy sharing Juanita’s Chicken with a side of tasty Yuca Fries. The musical sounds (classic Marc Anthony and Cuban rumba) also keep the mood romantic! And we hear the Sangria is great! Pio Pio 8 is located in Hell’s Kitchen at 604 10th Avenue.
5. Angel’s Share
The angel mural over the bar will catch your eye, but it makes not only for a conversation piece, but a lovely ambiance for falling in love. After all, who doesn’t want angels serenading them as you look into the eyes of your soul mate? Angel’s Share is a speakeasy-style bar offering exotic cocktails in a cool, hard-to-find space. The overall feel of this spot is heavenly and eclectic. The drinks are such an interesting mix of different tea flavors infused with vodka. Not much into drinking? They have “mocktails” that are out of this world. Here’s the secret to Angel’s Share: The bar is located on Stuyvesant St. between Second and Third Avenues. Enter through the door, and walk up the flight of stairs into the Japanese restaurant. The bar is located through an unmarked door on the left. The bar has a soft ambiance, with subdued lighting and jazz music playing through the sound system. Very cool, and definitely romantic! Located at 8 Stuyvesant St. in the East Village. Don’t forget the door on the left!
Picture rustic meets city life and you’ll feel like you never want to leave. The atmosphere alone is enough to make any couple feel at home. The candlelit tables add to the romance of the evening. You may even have your own Lady and the Tramp moment as you share their linguini with succulent clams. Cotenna is known for its friendly, engaging, and attentive staff that doesn’t rush you through your meal, so you can really get to know the one sitting across the table from you. If you love good italian food, then Cotenna is a must! Cotenna is located in the West Village at 21 Bedford St. (bet. Downing & Houston St.).
7. Fishmarket Restaurant
Dating is all about fun and Fishmarket restaurant is definitely that. The happy hour is extra happy, the oysters are delicious, and the owner makes you feel like a part of the family. Once you’ve enjoyed your meal, you’ll leave with your heart full and your appetite satisfied. It might not look like much from the outside, but once inside you’ll see what a gem this spot really is. We suggest you and your mate order the Drunken Fish Soup, Crispy Fried Rice or the Pork Belly with Bok Choy. The great food and service will definitely let you “hook” your lover at Fishmarket Restaurant! Located at the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, Fishmarket Restaurant is located at 111 South Street.
8. Pig and Khao
Don’t let the lime green wall fool you, Pig and Khao is one of the best and most romantic Filipino/Thai restaurants to spend a New York City evening. With the clean lines, the soft lights and delicious food like the “Pig Face” Pork Belly Adobo, the Sizzling Sisig with Coconut Rice, or Khao So will certainly impress your date and in turn make you look like Prince Charming. Be sure to finish off your meal with their signature dessert, Halo halo. Pig and Khao is located at 68 Clinton Street (bet. Stanton and Rivington St.) on the lower East Side.
9. Love Mamak
Perhaps you’re looking for a quaint spot for a romantic evening. Love Mamak says it right in the name. And yes, it is a cozy spot, but it also has an exciting vibe and tasty dishes! Lovebirds enjoy sharing the Nasi Lemak and the Roti Canai Planta. On a cool autumn evening, we suggest a bowl of the Curry Noodle soup to have a spicy beginning to your meal. This East Village eatery is a very popular nighttime spot that you’re sure to fall in love with! Love Mamak is in the East Village at 174 2nd Avenue.
10. Tia Pol
With its rustic and intimate vibe of the wooden interior and red door, it’s quite possible that couples who walk into Tio Pol somehow begin to feel just a little bit closer to each other.. Sharing tapas like Paquetitos de Jamón, Croquettas and the Fried Chick Peas is a [more than] friendly affair. Go on in and enjoy the excellent service and the chance to spend quality time with your loved one. Located in Chelsea at 205 10th Avenue, Tia Pol is known for being both genuinely Spanish and unmistakably New York.
Cozy, quaint and comfortable with a beautiful tree-lined view, Traif is a great place to bring a first date because it’s not too pretentious, but it will give the impression that you are trendy and sophisticated…and that you enjoy good food. Menu items like Bacon Donuts and Pork Belly Pork Chops are our personal choice. Traif also just re-opened for brunch, so if your date enjoys daytime fun, head to Brooklyn and enjoy each other’s company. Traif is located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn at 229 South 4th Street.
12. 5 Bar Karaoke & Lounge
If your date is fun and likes to get a little wild, you must take them to 5 Bar Karaoke & Lounge. This place is funky and energetic and will make even a wall-flower date get up and dance. This hotspot is great for those who want to see if their date can “shake it.” Couples also love to get on stage and sing a romantic duet. Located in Koreatown at 38 West 32nd St. on the 5th floor.
13. Shalel Lounge
Intimate evenings are what love affairs are made of. Shalel Lounge is the ideal spot to have one of your own. The red hues, the couches, the funky lamps and the textured walls make this lounge feel like you’ve found your own private love nest. The stairs lined with rose petals start your romantic evening and the delicious food only adds to the ambiance. Dishes like Butternut Squash Bruschetta is the perfect choice as you succumb to your lover’s enchanting eyes. Shalel Lounge is located on the Upper West Side at 65 West 70th Street.
14. VBar & Cafe
Another small and quaint spot on our list is VBar & Cafe. The beautiful surroundings, cute counter and bar area is the perfect atmosphere to get lost together in an afternoon of love with your mate. Imagine sitting side by side as you imbibe one of VBar & Café’s rotating selection of over 25 wines. You’ll sense the right amount of cozy and just the right touch of character for you to fall in love. Located in the Village at 225 Sullivan Street
15. MK Karaoke
This is a great spot for those couples who really want to let their hair down and sing duets together. The trendy and funky vibe will keep your date interested, and in your arms. Games like limbo and spin the wheel have brought New Yorkers from far and wide to check out MK Karaoke. Trust us, you’re both going to love it! Located in Koreatown, MK Karaoke is at 11 West 32nd Street on the 5th floor.