Step one: Get her number, ask her out.
Step two: Find that perfect spot to take her for drinks and maybe a small bite or two. A place that’s not too loud, not too private, and not too distracting.
Don’t pull your hair out, lucky fella. This is New York City, and there are an abundance of awesome first date locales, way too many we can list here alone. But we’ll give you some help and offer some of our favorite places to head to for that all-important first date.
17 West 32nd Street (Betw. Fifth Ave. & Broadway)
The view alone from this rooftop bar at the La Quinta Manhattan should be enough to guarantee a second date, if you don’t blow it too bad once you get up there. Unlike so many other roof bars in Manhattan, Mé offers decently-priced drinks and an intimate setting that’s simply perfect for getting to know one another. Get there before sunset, and you’ll be sure to score extra points as the orange sky melts into night.
201 East 31st Street (At Third Avenue)
It’s hard to think that any bar in Murray Hill is quiet and romantic, but the new wine bar on 31st Street brought some much-needed intimacy to an otherwise rowdy just-out-of-college neighborhood. The acoustics of the cozy restaurant make it sound much noisier than it actually is, and the menu offers a sophisticated, yet light enough fare if you feel like noshing.
649 East 9th Street, (Betw. Avenue C & Avenue B)
It’s as unsophisticated as a wine bar gets, but that’s what makes this tiny jazz joint so great. You might feel a little uncomfortable at first once you’re seated – the tables are practically on top of each other. But the staff is helpful and friendly, the ambiance makes it feel like you haven’t really left home, and the unique menu is far from overwhelming. And if things go well enough, you’re smack in the middle of the East Village, a perfect place to get up and go for a walk around after you’ve had a couple of cocktails.
175 2nd Avenue (Betw. 12th & 11th Streets)
146 West Houston Street
Take your pick Bar Carerras: you’ve got one in the East Village and another in Greenwich Village. There’s plenty to love about the cozy confines of Bar Carerra. The fantastic menu full of pintxos, tapas, sangrias, and vinos will provide enough discussion between you and your date if your own conversation fare is lacking. If you really need some sparks to make this date fly, head to the back of the East Village joint for some free pinball.
2485 Broadway (Betw. 92nd & 93rd Streets)
What’s not to love about live jazz to during dinner and drinks? That’s what drew us to Cleopatra’s Needle on the Upper West Side. The atmosphere makes it perfect for that awkward first date. There’s nothing too fancy about the drink or dinner menu, though we certainly took a liking to the liquored-up coffee list. Head up on a Sunday night and you’ll have plenty to discuss during Open Mic Night from 4-8.
13 East 17th Street (Near Fifth Avenue)
Head to Union Square for this super chill meet-for-drinks spot. Like the late-19th century socialite Lillie Langtry, for whom the bar was named after, Lillie’s has it all: posh Victorian décor, 25 beers on tap, a hopping crowd of all ages, delicious Irish pub fare served until 4 a.m., the occasional live Irish band strumming and stomping away, and even a $10 brunch on the weekends that makes for a great daytime date destination.