Couples looking for a romantic evening out can choose from a plethora of dining destinations highlighting cuisines and culinary experiences from around the world, ranging from traditional Japanese-style izakayas and full-service teahouses to French-influenced food halls and Israeli-fusion cafes. Elegant cocktail lounge spaces showcase romantic ambiance and unparalleled city skyline views.
© Cha-An Teahouse
Cha-An Teahouse is a unique Japanese-style teahouse that has been acclaimed by The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, and Zagat as one of New York City's best dining destinations. The restaurant, which was opened to the public in 2004 by restaurateur Bon Yagi, focuses around the hospitality concept of omotenashi, showcasing authentic Asian-style decor such as tatami benches, washi-paper lamps, and seasonal floral displays. An extensive list of teas from around the world are served up at formal afternoon tea service or throughout the day, including Japanese-style matchas and senchas, Darjeeling black tea, and Tieguanyin oolong tea prepared Gongfu-style. Lunch donburi specials are also available, along with kayu and chakura-style prix-fixe menus and a selection of unique Japanese desserts such as yukimi zenzai and hojicha anmitsu.
230 E 9th St Floor 2, New York, NY 10003, Phone: 212-228-8030
L'Appart is a stellar Michelin-starred dining experience by executive chef Nicolas Abello, located within an exclusive chef's apartment setting within the hip Lower Manhattan French-focused food hall Le District. The fine dining destination presents personalized tasting menus for all guests, recreating the experience of an intimate upscale dinner party. Rotating menus change constantly with seasonally-available ingredients, highlighting fine cheeses and charcuteries, elegantly-prepared land and sea entrees, and high-quality French-influenced dessert offerings. For an additional fee, wine pairings may be showcased with all menu items. Caviar service is available from premium French cultivators Sturia, including a three-variety caviar flight tasting paired with champagnes, white wines, and vodkas.
225 Liberty St, New York, NY 10281, Phone: 212-981-8577
3.Ophelia Lounge NYC
© Tim Porter/stock.adobe.com
Ophelia Lounge NYC is the exclusive rooftop lounge at Manhattan's Beekman Tower, showcasing unparalleled views of the city's skyline from a 360-degree greenhouse terrace. The year-round dining destination, housed within the iconic Art Deco-style skyscraper originally constructed as the Panhellenic Tower in 1928, serves up a delicious five-star menu of light cocktail fare, including Maine lobster spring rolls, upscale grilled cheese sandwiches, beef sliders, and avocado toasts, along with high-quality entrees such as prime beef tenderloin prepared with Brooklyn bourbon and potatoes. Creative handcrafted cocktails include the West Side Crusta, prepared with cognac, ras al hanout, and salted butter caramel tea, or the Purple Tuxedo, which features Empress gin, Aquavit, absinthe, and plum bitters.
3 Mitchell Pl 26th floor, New York, NY 10017, Phone: 212-980-4796
4.Artists and Fleas
© Artists and Fleas
Artists and Fleas is an independently-curated artist marketplace that offers three locations in New York City, originally founded in 2003 in Williamsburg by Ronen Glimer and Amy Abrams. Today, the marketplace offers additional locations in SoHo and within the upscale Chelsea Market, striving to foster direct relationships between artists, curators, and customers and encourage local, independent shopping. A plethora of independent artists and vintage curators sell each weekend at the chain's Williamsburg location, including Brooklyn brands such as Gypsy Nation Vintage, EAT Records, and Curated Basics. More than 30 retailers showcase goods at the SoHo location, which is open daily and presents creative workshops, tasting events, and other public special events.
70 N 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249, Phone: 917-488-4203
© The ELK
The ELK is a unique hybrid cafe and general store in Manhattan's West Village, opened to the public in 2014 by Vancouver native Claire Chan. The charming coffeehouse shows its Pacific Northwestern roots in its rustic decor, with carpentry elements designed by Ennis McIntosh, known for his work at popular pop-up shop Saturday Surf NYC. Couples can choose from a variety of sustainably-sourced single-origin pourovers or enjoy delicious espresso-based beverages such as Americanos, cortados, and specialty lattes. Other beverage options range from hot and iced looseleaf teas to lemon steamers and superfood-infused smoothies. Cafe fare is available throughout the day, ranging from delicious baked egg toasts to brûléed grapefruit. At the cafe's general store, shoppers can peruse locally-produced home items such as succulents, candles, and pantry goods.
128 Charles St, New York, NY 10014, Phone: 212-933-4780
6.Lolo's Seafood Shack
© Lolo's Seafood Shack
Lolo's Seafood Shack is a delicious Caribbean-inspired restaurant offering from executive chef Raymond Mohan, opened to the public near Morningside Park in 2014. The restaurant serves up a wide variety of Atlantic Ocean coastal fare, ranging from Cape Cod comfort fare to Caribbean-inspired street food. Couples can enjoy a full chef's tasting menu at lunch or dinner, featuring options such as Belizean conch fritters, Jamaican jerk ribs, peel-and-eat crawfish, and crispy shark bakes. Fish fry baskets showcase the restaurant's signature homemade remoulade, while smoked meat platters combine smoked wings with jerk ribs. Other options include softshell crab sandwiches, jumbo lump crab cakes, and seafood boils and steampot combos. House specialty cocktails emphasize tropical tequilas and rums, with bottled and canned beers and house wines by the bottle also available.
303 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026, Phone: 646-649-3356
7.Apothéke Cocktail Bar
Apothéke Cocktail Bar is a clever cocktail bar near Manhattahn's lower East River waterfront, melding influences of the rise of European apothecaries and Parisian absinthe dens in the 19th century. The hidden-away gem serves as a mixology showcase, featuring a plethora of creative concoctions served up in uniquely-shaped Austrian crystal glasses. An extensive cocktail program is designed as a prescription list, showcasing organic produce and herbs and ingredients prepared in house daily. Cocktail options range from the Huntsman, which mixes scotch with duck fat, fresh fig, and chocolate, to the A Daisy if You Do, which infuses pisco with dandelion root, egg white, daisy flower, and lemon verbena syrup. Special Prohibition-era cocktails are served up on Wednesdays, while a Belle Époque cocktail list is available on Wednesdays.
9 Doyers St #1, New York, NY 10013, Phone: 212-406-0400
8.Bar A Vin
© Bar A Vin
Bar A Vin is an excellent wine and charcuterie bar located within the upscale Lower Manhattan French-centric food hall Le District, showcasing a rotating seasonal menu of high-quality cheeses and house-prepared charcuterie selections. Couples can craft their own charcuterie boards, choosing from French and American cheese offerings and cured meats such as salmon or duck rillette, pâté de campagne, jambon de Bayonne, or foie gras terrine. Hand-cut steak and fish filets are also available prepared à la minute, served up with herb French fries and dinner salads. Other menu offerings include steak frites, duck confit, boudin noir aux pommes, and the restaurant's signature Le District burger, prepared with gruyere cheese and tarragon aioli. Fine French wines are available by the bottle or by the glass, along with regional draft beers, ciders, and a selection of French-inspired craft cocktails.
225 Liberty St, New York, NY 10281, Phone: 212-981-8588
Beaubourg is a phenomenal in-house restaurant at Manhattan's French-focused Le District food hall, combining French and American cuisine and ambiance elements in an unparalleled setting overlooking the Hudson River promenade and waterfront. The restaurant, which serves up breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, offering indoor and outdoor terrace seating, showcasing upscale brasserie fare such as coq au vin, cassoulet, bouillabaisse, and duck à l'orange. Charcuterie plates prepared in house offer cheese options such as roquefort papillon and p'tit basque paired with fine meat preparations such as foie gras and pâté de campagne. Extensive beer, wine, cocktail, and after-dinner drink menus are available from the restaurant's full-service Le Bar, which also showcases a light bar menu of snacks and hors d'oeuvres.
225 Liberty St, New York, NY 10281, Phone: 212-981-8589
© The Eddy
The Eddy is an upscale neighborhood restaurant in Manhattan's East Village, showcasing the culinary talents of executive chef Jeremy Salamon, a two-time winner of American Culinary Federation competitions and one of New York City's youngest and brightest culinary stars. The restaurant's globally-influenced cuisine pays tribute to Salamon's Eastern European heritage, showcasing dishes such as coriander-crusted lamb ribs, stuffed cabbage, and celery root schnitzel prepared with shaved turnips and black garlic mostarda. An extensive list of classic and natural wines highlights Eastern European imports, while an international spirits list showcases fine brandies, amaros, and herbal liquors. On Mondays, couples can bring their own bottles for free corkage service.
342 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003, Phone: 646-895-9884
11.Solomon and Kuff Rum Hall
© Solomon and Kuff Rum Hall
Solomon and Kuff Rum Hall is a Caribbean-style restaurant and bar named in honor of the story of 18th-century enslaved African Venture Smith, who went on to purchase his family's freedom and become a successful entrepreneur and landowner prior to the emancipation of African Americans. The industrial-style bar serves up more than 100 international varieties of rum, including authentic Caribbean-style liquors, French-Caribbean rhum agricole, and sugarcane-derived cachaça. Entree options include Caribbean fare such as yuca fish frys, sangria-braised short ribs, Jamaican jerk-style chicken, and curried goat, served up with side dishes such as sweet-chili-infused plantains and Caribbean-style rice and peas. At brunch, diners can enjoy small plates such as potfish cakes with ackee remoulade or choose from entrees such as banana bread waffles and boricua hanger steak sandwiches. Tasting menus are also available, served with complimentary mimosas or glasses of rum punch.
2331 12th Ave, New York, NY 10027, Phone: 212-283-1819
June is a cozy European-style wine bar in Brooklyn's trendy Cobble Hill neighborhood, owned and operated by restaurateurs Tom Kearney and Henry Rich. The intimate restaurant features dramatic lighting and spacious booths, creating a perfect date-night atmosphere for first or 50th dates alike. A limited food menu focuses on locally-sourced small plate fare such as chicken liver mousse, smoked beets and chestnut puree, and charcuterie boards, also showcasing shareable dessert options such as coffee pavlova, carrot olive oil cake, and chocolate-tahini gianduja. An impressive wine menu highlights natural European favorites alongside unique hybrid and experimental fare such as Threes Brewing Company's Eternal Return wild ale and Cabernet sauvignon blend. At happy hour, couples can enjoy bar bites at a discount served up alongside seasonal cocktails and discounted draft beers.
231 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Phone: 917-909-0434
Ruffian is an intimate dining spot in Manhattan's East Village Historic District, opened to the public in 2016 in a renovated 1861 home formerly owned by William B. Astor. The 400-square-foot restaurant, which features light, airy decor designed by Elena Hull Cournot, showcases an eclectic daily-rotating menu of Eastern European-influenced fare, prepared directly in front of diners at the restaurant's bar. Entree options range from health-conscious vegetarian and vegan fare such as pomegranate and lentil salads to European-style delicacies such as fried frog legs and chicken beer pie. An exceptional curated wine list highlights more than 250 bottle selections, including an extensive list of natural orange wines. Diners should note that due to the restaurant's small size, reservations of any kind are not accepted.
125 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009, Phone: 212-777-0855
Boucherie is a traditional two-story French-style brasserie and steakhouse in Manhattan's West Village, helmed by executive chef Jerome Dihui, best known for his work at acclaimed Parisian-style restaurant Pastis. The restaurant is located within the former 320-seat theater space of the Circle Repertory Theater, offering unique dining areas including a butcher's counter, an outdoor cafe space, and a second-floor private dining gallery. High-quality French bistro fare includes excellent dry-aged steaks, house specialties such as cassoulet maison and sole meunière, and more casual bar fare such as steak frites and the restaurant's signature wagyu truffle burgers. A fantastic wine list is complemented by an extensive absinthe-focused cocktail menu cultivated by Maison Premiere's Anthony Bohlinger. The restaurant group also oversees a location in Gramercy Park and a second West Village location, Petite Boucherie.
99 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014, Phone: 212-837-1616
Clay is a locally-driven farm-to-table restaurant near Manhattan's Morningside Park, showcasing seasonal menus of New American fare at dinner Tuesdays through Thursdays and brunch service on Sunday mornings. The restaurant showcases gorgeous interior design by Roberto Sosa and a unique curated playlist selected by DJ and restaurant music director Javier Peral, creating a unique ambiance perfect for dates looking to explore Harlem's hip, revitalized culinary scene. Entrees celebrate the region's seasonal bounty, ranging from tender lamb shanks and upscale dishes such as duck leg confit to seasonal pasta preparations such as fava bean gnocchi and paccheri with Parmigiano and short rib ragù. Couples can also share small plates such as fried sage and buckwheat or pork belly prepared with fermented cabbage, mustard seed, and kombu seaweed glaze. For dessert, unique concoctions such as chocolate budino pudding and lemon verbena doughnuts can be paired with a carefully-curated selection of dessert wines.
553 Manhattan Ave, New York, NY 10027, Phone: 212-729-1850
Rahi is a Greenwich Village spot named for the Hindi word for "traveler," showcasing a menu of authentic regional Indian fare prepared with clever modern twists. The restaurant, which is helmed by restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and executive chef Chintan Pandya, offers nightly dinner service along with weekend brunch offerings and daily happy hour service at its full-service bar. Vibrant dinner menus showcase regionally-sourced produce prepared in dishes such as spaghetti squash kofta, Mangalorean duck, and kadak goat curry, served up with creative naans and sides such as bamboo rice and seasonal saag. Two- and three-course prix fixe menus are available for sampling at brunch, served up with bottomless Bombay bellinis and a la carte entrees such as masala cheese omelettes and Uttapam waffles. Diners can also choose from a selection of unique Eastern-influenced cocktails, including garam-infused mezcal drinks and alcoholic masala chais.
60 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 212-373-8900
17.Adda Indian Canteen
© Adda Indian Canteen
Adda Indian Canteen is the latest Long Island City outpost offering from executive chef Chintan Pandya and restaurateur Roni Mazumdar, the team behind Greenwich Village's popular Indian restaurant Rahi. The restaurant, which is named for an Indian word referring a community hangout place, showcases bright, casual decor, including a unique collage wall featuring newspaper covers from Indian publications. Rustic, authentic Indian entrees showcase housemade spices have been acclaimed by publications such as Gothamist, Thrillist, and The New York Times as some of the city's best dinner offerings. At dinner, couples can choose from entrees such as tandoori macchi, jhinga kalimirch, lotus root kofta, and masaledar lipatwan murgh, complemented by a selection of creative naans. Imported Indian beers are available throughout the day, along with non-alcoholic beverages such as mango lassi and masala chai.
31-31 Thomson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101, Phone: 718-433-3888
© Shoo Shoo
Shoo Shoo is a clever Israeli-influenced Mediterranean restaurant in Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood, showcasing a menu reminiscent of bohemian-style Tel Aviv cafes infused with a distinctly modern New York sensibility. Health-conscious fare showcases whole grains, seasonal vegetables, and grass-fed organic proteins, focusing on shareable and communal table plates perfect for splitting with dates. Small plates range from gluten-free falafel latkes and Moroccan-style beef cigars to hummus lamb ragu and stewed fish mademoiselle. Entree options include Middle Eastern-style daal, chicken thigh schnitzel, and signature Shoo Shoo burgers, prepared with pickles, roasted ketchup, and aioli. At brunch, diners can enjoy shakshuka, purple smoothie bowls, or avocado toasts paired with an extensive wine list, regional draft beers, and unique cocktails with ingredients such as pomegranate juice and chai-infused vermouth.
371 Broome St, New York, NY 10013, Phone: 646-590-6800
19.Jack's Stir Brew Coffee
© Jack's Stir Brew Coffee
Jack's Stir Brew Coffee was New York City's first entirely organic fair-trade coffee shop and vegan bakery at its 2003 opening in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Today, the local chain helmed by Jack Mazzola serves more than 50,000 customers each week, offering six locations across Manhattan and Long Island, along with two outposts in nearby Hampton Bays. It is best known for its unique stir brew coffee preparation method, which was patented in 2003 and inspired by cooking techniques from Mazzola's Italian family. Excellent crop-to-cup coffee selections have been acclaimed by international publications such as Food and Wine, New York Magazine, and Time Out, with vegan and gluten-free baked goods served up in all locations since 2013. The coffeeshop has also helmed the Happy Jack clothing line since 2014 and is known for its beachfront pickup community activism in Amagansett facilitated through its Pick It UP campaign.
138 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014, Phone: 212-929-0821
© The Wayfarer
The Wayfarer is the flagship American-style grill and restaurant of Midtown Manhattan's Quin Hotel, offering bi-level seating in an elegant Gilded Age-style dining space designed by award-winning firm Meyer Davis Studio, Inc. The restaurant, which opened in 2014 in a space adjacent to Central Park's lower border, showcases fine American dining crafted from locally-sourced ingredients, served up at breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. Artisanal entrees include short rib and mushroom macaroni and cheese, mango chutney pork chops, and Scottish salmon with glazed carrots and puffed amaranth. Classic steaks and burgers are also available, along with shareable plates such as roasted beet tartare, buffalo meatballs, and caviar tater tots. An award-winning custom cocktail list is crafted by Evelyn Drinkery mixologist Christian Sanders, served up alongside bottled beers, imported sakes, and wines by the glass.
101 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-691-0030
Yopparai is an intimate Japanese-style izakaya in Manhattan's Lower East Side, offering 30 seats in a modern, cozy dining space designed by world-renowned architect Richard Bloch. The restaurant pays tribute to traditional Japanese culinary methods, offering a high-quality menu of fare such as fresh sashimi, chinmi snacks, and Tokyo-style oden soul food fare. Couples can enjoy Japanese barbecue entrees such as tsukune, butakushi, and Jidori livers or select from rice and noodle entrees such as yaki onigiri, seiro meshi, or inaniwa udon. Simmered clay pot dishes such as ebi shinjo and anago yanagawa are also available, served with white rice. Licensed sommeliers are on hand to help diners select from a wide variety of imported fine sakes, served in traditional Japanese glassware at ideal temperatures.
151 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002, Phone: 212-777-7253
OatMeals is a unique concept eatery helmed by Fairfax, Virginia native Sam Stephens, who developed a love for the health benefits and culinary possibilities of oatmeal during her time at Baruch College and New York University. Since the restaurant's opening in 2012, Stephens has been named as the official "Creative Oatmeal Officer" of popular brand Quaker Oats and has released an oatmeal-focused cookbook. The restaurant, which has been showcased in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and ABC's Eyewitness News, offers more than 30 types of creative sweet and savory oatmeal bowls, along with a selection of oat-focused pastries. Diners can build their own eight, 12, or 16-ounce oatmeal bowls, choosing from more than 80 topping selections, ranging from bacon and Nutella to goji berries, pumpkin seeds, and Furikake seasoning. A full menu of coffee shop beverages is available to complement all meals, including matcha lattes and fine teas.
120 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012, Phone: 646-360-3570
23.Cha-An Tea House
© Cha-An Tea House
Cha-An Tea House has been acclaimed by international publications such as Zagat, Harper's Bazaar, and The New York Times as one of New York City's unique dining destinations, serving up traditional Japanese-style tea house fare at lunch and dinner. The restaurant was opened in 2004 by restaurateur Bon Yagi, styled after the traditional Japanese omotenashi hospitality concept and featuring lush Asian decor like washi paper lamps and tatami benches. Diners can enjoy an immense selection of international teas served up daily at formal tea service, ranging from classic Darjeeling black teas and Japanese-style senchas and matchas to Tieguanyin-style oolong tea prepared according to Gonfu tradition. Donburi specials are served up at lunch, while chakura and kayu-style prix fixe menus are available at dinner, complemented by a selection of traditional Japanese desserts like hojicha anmitsu and yukimi zenzai.
230 E 9th St Floor 2, New York, NY 10003, Phone: 212-228-8030
© Whitman's Restaurant
Whitman's Restaurant is a popular restaurant chain in New York City, offering three locations throughout Manhattan, including a location within the hip East Village. The restaurant is known for its specialty artisanal burgers, including Minneapolis-styled favorite The Juicy Lucy, which sandwiches pimento cheese between two thin beef short rib patties. Other craft burger variations include The Hound, which pairs applewood-smoked bacon and potato chips on a potato bun, and the PB&B, which tops beef short rib patties with peanut butter. A selection of clever sandwiches includes the restaurant's signature East Villi Cheesesteak and the Mama's Boy, which pairs pulled free-range chicken with coffee-infused barbecue sauce and fennel-jalapeno slaw.
406 E 9th Street at 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009, Phone: 917-261-2858
25.MIFUNE New York
© MIFUNE New York
MIFUNE New York is an elegant minimalist restaurant opened in New York City in 2017 by executive chefs Hiroki Yoshitake and Shino Uino. The restaurant, which is named in honor of famed Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune, takes American Japanese cuisine to the next level with high-quality tasting menus that rotate seasonally. Diners can enjoy a la carte sushi, sashimi, and nigiri options or select from a full menu of tempura and seafood entrees like broiled miso cod, Japanese Miyazaki wagyu, or Yu-An-style roasted chicken. Tasting menus feature daily sashimi selections paired with fine entree and appetizer selections and seasonal desserts.
245 E 44th St, New York, NY 10017, Phone: 212-986-2800
25 Unique First Date Ideas in NYC
- Cha-An Teahouse, Photo: Cha-An Teahouse
- L'Appart, Photo: L'Appart
- Ophelia Lounge NYC, Photo: Tim Porter/stock.adobe.com
- Artists and Fleas, Photo: Artists and Fleas
- The ELK, Photo: The ELK
- Lolo's Seafood Shack, Photo: Lolo's Seafood Shack
- Apothéke Cocktail Bar, Photo: Crin/stock.adobe.com
- Bar A Vin, Photo: Bar A Vin
- Beaubourg, Photo: Beaubourg
- The Eddy, Photo: The Eddy
- Solomon and Kuff Rum Hall, Photo: Solomon and Kuff Rum Hall
- June, Photo: June
- Ruffian, Photo: Ruffian
- Boucherie, Photo: kichigin19/stock.adobe.com
- Clay, Photo: Clay
- Rahi, Photo: Rahi
- Adda Indian Canteen, Photo: Adda Indian Canteen
- Shoo Shoo, Photo: Shoo Shoo
- Jack's Stir Brew Coffee, Photo: Jack's Stir Brew Coffee
- The Wayfarer, Photo: The Wayfarer
- Yopparai, Photo: Yopparai
- OatMeals, Photo: OatMeals
- Cha-An Tea House, Photo: Cha-An Tea House
- Whitman's Restaurant, Photo: Whitman's Restaurant
- MIFUNE New York, Photo: MIFUNE New York
- Cover Photo: Touch/stock.adobe.com