"Wanna Grab a Bite... and a Drink?" 8 Best NYC Spots for Your Next First Date

Dating in New York City? Well, we're happy for you and we wish you the best of luck, but isn't all about luck. There are definitely moves you can make to tilt the scales in your favor.

It's true what they say: first impressions matter, and the spot you choose for your first date can weigh heavily into your romantic prospect's first impression.

The main goal for a first date is to get to know the person you're on the date with, and for the two of you to have a really, really good time.

What creates a good time? Well, obviously bars with excellent atmospheres, restaurants with amazing food, and games.

Games are the best on first dates, because competition is the sexiest factor you could add to your date. Well, besides alcohol that is. 

Anyway, read on to find out which bars and restaurants in NYC are the absolute best for first dates.

1. Ryan's Daughter (350 East 85th Street)

This completely unpretentious, fun, uproarious bar is the perfect place for your first date.

Well, if you're going on a date with a pretentious person, you should go to someplace fancier, but if you're looking to get wasted and have a great time, we think this is your move.


They've got games at Ryan's Daughter: a basketball shoot-out contest, a pool table, and darts. If you ask us, games are essential on a first date. There's nothing sexier than competition, and playing games takes the pressure off conversation.

Plus, the drinks at Ryan's Daughter are cheap, they pass out free chips toward the end of the night, and everyone is relaxed and having a good time. Ryan's Daughter is definitely a winning first date choice.

2. 169 Bar (169 East Broadway)

169 Bar is also of the dive bar variety, so again, if you're looking for a fancy first date, this isn't it.

Still, it's definitely the move for a relaxed, wild night where you both get completely buzzed. They've got leopard print pool tables, $3 beers, and amazing music.

Plus, they've got completely delicious food in addition to completely underpriced drinks. The dumplings are incredible, and the mac and cheese is a special variety of an already-excellent cuisine.

If fun is your priority, then 169 Bar is an absolute must.

3. Momofuku Noodle Bar (171 1st Avenue)

This is the first date option those who'd like to spend a first date indulging in transcendent cuisine.

We mean, you've heard some of the hype about the pork buns at Momofuku, right? Well, we're here to profess: those pork buns live up to every bit of that reputation.

Then, there are the house special noodles. We dream about them. They've got pork belly and a perfectly poached egg swimming in a delicious broth.


Also, you have to get dessert on a first date, don't you? So, there's the peach cookie, and there's PB and strawberry soft serve, both mind blowing options.

Spending your first date at Momofuku Noodle Bar will definitely guarantee some instant bonding about how wonderful the food is.

4. Bleecker Street Bar (56 Bleecker Street)


We're still abiding by the "games are essential" principle here. If you take your first date to Bleecker Street Bar, you can spend the night playing darts and pool.

Pool requires a special set of skills, so don't get yourself involved in this one if you're not up to the challenge, but darts is a great first date game.

Bleecker Street is a nice sized bar, with plenty of space to move around, and the best part is that it never gets too loud. You'll definitely be able to hear your date tell you their life story while you throw back tequila shots.

Basically, Bleecker Street Bar is the perfect combination of a fun, relaxed bar that doesn't get so crazy that you won't be able to bond with your date.


5. The Gutter (200 North 14th Street - Brooklyn)


Bowling, amazing music, and a rockstar bar? Yeah, The Gutter is one of the coolest places to hang out in NYC, and you'll definitely get some props for knowing about it.

They've got an extremely large selection of beer, and a totally vintage vibe in the actual bowling section.


Looking to get drunk and totally dominate your date in bowling? Well, maybe total domination isn't the smartest move, because you want to stay friendly. Like we said, though, there's nothing like a little friendly competition to keep a date moving forward.

If you're looking for a fun dive bar with chill prices attached to a really, really fun bowling alley, The Gutter is all that and more.

6. L'Amico (851 6th Avenue)


L'Amico is comfortable and romantic, and its decor is pretty adorable. So, it makes a good first date spot. Especially because once you're in an adorable restaurant, it's pretty easy to think of your date as adorable too.

It's also got that delightful, earthy, healthy feel.

Now, the giant, huge windows are great, but want to know what's even better? You guessed it. The food. At L'Amico, the eggplant and crab crostini rock our worlds, and the braised short ribs are too tasty to handle.

Also, try the Brussels sprout salad. It'll be the best Brussels sprouts salad you've ever had, we guarantee it.

7. Cook Shop (156 10th Avenue)

Coming to Cook Shop is always a great idea, because all the food they serve is fantastic. 

From the huevos rancheros to the cookshop scramble to the pulled pork corquettes, we've got to say, it doesn't matter what you order. You'll be delighted whatever you choose.


The fish tacos are always a great choice, especially if you wash them down with one of their creamsicle sundaes with blood orange granita.

When we're thinking about this gem of a restaurant, we can't help drooling a little. We promise, we're only drooling a little bit.

8. The Meatball Shop (various locations)


There are plenty of Meatball Shop locations scattered through NYC, and they're all equally delicious.

We mean it, the food here is delicious. It's one of the most excellent spots to grab a meal in NYC for any occasion. Coming here on a first date is an absolute home run.

The main plus of hitting The Meatball Shop on a first date? Well, if the conversation is bad, you'll have the consolation of incredible meatballs, and even more divine ice cream sandwiches. 

Like, they make the ice cream in-house, and the cookies are homemade too. Save room for the ice cream sandwiches, they're truly revolutionary.

Check out 8 Best Cheap Date Ideas in NYC This February

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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