I’m not going to sugarcoat it, finding a bar in a big city is hard. It’s especially hard if you’re looking for a date spot, and you want to
fool convince your date that you are a classy individual who does not choose establishments solely based on happy hour prices. Life is hard, but there is good news! If you’re based in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Miami, Nashville, Dallas, Washington DC, Phoenix-Scottsdale, Houston, Seattle, Orange County, or Toronto, there’s an app to help you out. Skorch is a new app that can help you pick bars, restaurants, lounges, and other hotspots in your city.
And the best part? Every locale is specifically curated to what you’re looking for. You can refine your results based on “hotness” and distance (which is, incidentally, how I choose my dating app matches), plus you can filter by category: bar, club, lounge, cafe, restaurant, event, attraction, and outdoor.
Basically, Skorch takes all the effort, difficulty, and indecision out of picking a place to eat and drink. So I decided to put Skorch to the test and see what classy date spots I could find in NYC using the app. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
When Gallow Green came up on Skorch I knew I had to include it, because it’s so classy I could only afford to go there when my cousin was the bartender. Excuse me, the mixologist. Thanks for the free drinks, Kev!
Gallow Green is a rooftop bar at the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea, and it makes you feel like you are in a secret tranquil garden atop this dirty trash city. You can order drinks or dinner, or drinks AND dinner. Plus, you can say things like, “I’ll have the Scottish Law. Do you only have Glenlivet 18-year, or can you substitute with Glenlivet 21-year?” and then throw a suggestive wink at my guy. Locked. It. Up.
Jack’s Wife Freda
Jack’s Wife Freda is located in my absolute favorite part of New York City, the West Village. You can’t get much classier than a neighborhood where I saw Liv Tyler every morning on the way to work, am I right?
Not only is Jack’s Wife Freda in a great spot, but it also has a menu that’s the bomb, relatively reasonable prices, and is in a small space, so you’ll be able to get pretty close to your date. So ideal! And when you’re finished, you can stroll down the quaint streets together, pointing out all the beautiful brownstones and pick out the one you’ll buy together once you’ve scraped together $12 million.
Oh HELLO, do my eyes deceive me or is this a still from a rom-com?
The Standard Biergarten
Just admit it, we all love to day drink. The sun is shining, the possibilities are endless, and you can get to bed at 9pm. I know you’re thinking that day drinking might not be all that elegant, but you’re wrong. Sure, maybe it’s not classy when you’re in the backyard of the Sigma Chi house doing keg stands, but at a luxury boutique hotel where you might find Solange assaulting Jay-Z in an elevator? Abso-f*cking-lutely.
At the Standard Biergarten you can get, you guessed it, beer, as well as the other traditional German fare. And if you like a little competitive element to your dates, you can pass the time at the ping-pong table, since every dude likes a girl that can hit a winner.
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge
Sure, Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge is in Times Square, but some of us work in Midtown! And everyone likes a quick commute to their cocktail. Magic Hour is owned by the Tao Group, who also own Tao and Lavo, two of my favorite high-class places. The $19 dumplings are to
go broke for die for.
Magic Hour has expensive cocktails and a great view, but it also has cheeky elements that make it a perfect date spot. It’s got a mini golf course that is called Foreplay and features sexy animals in suggestive poses. Yes, I did just say “sexy animals.” And sure, a mini-golf course called Foreplay might not be coy, but sometimes you just have to be forward about what you want. Am I right, ladies?
And those are just a few of the many ideas that Skorch gave me for my classy date night! It’s available in a bunch of cities, so if you’re trying to snag husband material in say, Austin, you should definitely check it out. And you can use Skorch for way more than bars, like planning your next group dinner, finding a cute cafe to work at, or deciding where to go for your best night out.
Imags: Shutterstock; magichourny, standardbiergarten, jackswifefreda, gallowgreen / Instagram
There’s something about lunchtime in New York City that’s just so tough. I mean, the line at every salad bar within a 20-block radius is more painful than starving till dinner, and as much as we love our Sweetgreen, sometimes we just need a break from salad. Like, if Chrissy Teigen can eat fried cheese for lunch, we can have our raw kale hiatus. In the meantime, it can be tricky to find good lunch spots that are healthy and affordable, so we tried like, every restaurant in the city and found the best ones around. If you’re looking for a healthy lunch that won’t make you hate yourself, try out these spots:
Westville isn’t new or particularly trendy, but the menu is amazing and the ingredients are healthy, so we’re down to keep going back. However, they don’t take reservations, so you should probably go during an off hour to avoid waiting in line with a bunch of bloggers debating between the dijon brussels sprouts or the Asian bok choy. Either way, Westville has a ton of options for anyone, whether you’re hardcore dieting or literally just want a burger and fries. If you’re trying to be healthy but don’t want a salad, get their grilled chicken, salmon, or veggie burger, and their list of vegetable sides is longer than Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir. You won’t leave hungry.
Usually when someone suggests getting a poke bowl for lunch, it’s a hard no. I mean, I’d rather die than eat raw salmon out of a tin that looks like the clearance bin at Sephora. Luckily, we’ve found a gem that actually makes poke bowls classy, and that gem is Chikarashi. Unlike most poke places in the city, Chikarashi isn’t buffet style or gross, so you just order something off the menu and don’t have to waste your time choosing ingredients to go in your bowl. The genius behind this place is the former executive chef of Neta, Michael Jonh Lim, and there’s a reason for the long lunch line. Chikarashi even offers seared toro, which you won’t find at any other poke spot. Right now they’re only on Canal street, but apparently there’s a NoMad location on the way, and we’re pumped about it.
If you love the taste of curry but won’t admit it because Indian food is unhealthy AF, meet your new Indian bff, Inday. Inday is build-your-own bowl style, and all of their food is antibiotic-free, local, and organic. Their slogan is “Good Karma Served Daily,” and we’re totally on board. Inday is all about healthy food with good vibes. Their traditional Indian flavors will destroy the bland salad you’ve been eating everyday, and the food is legit healthy. Think cauliflower rice, coconut tahini, golden curry chicken, and herb quinoa. For dessert, get their dairy-free dark chocolate avocado cocoa bowl. Sounds funky, but don’t knock it till you try it.
4. Mulberry & Vine
Mulberry & Vine is one of those places that are perfect if you’re out to lunch with the healthiest friend you have, or the friend who would rather die than eat a salad. You basically make a plate or a bowl, and you can pick a protein and sides. They let you sample anything before you get it, which is a huge plus since we tend to have commitment issues. In terms of ordering, people love the chicken and salmon, but the tofu is also amazing if you’re vegetarian. Plus, the roasted sweet potatoes with coconut oil are low key crack. Like, better than sweet potato fries.
5. Beyond Sushi
If you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just need a break from your regular salmon avocado roll, Beyond Sushi offers amazing plant-based sushi rolls that are super healthy, obviously. First of all, they use black rice and six-grain rice instead of regular sushi rice, and their rolls are filled with roasted veggies, tofu, and really interesting combos. I mean, your lunch will literally look like a rainbow-colored sushi platter, so it may seem slightly extra, but the food is actually really good. They have a few locations in Union Square, Chelsea Market, Midtown West, and Herald Square, so there’s definitely one close to you.
6. Bluestone Lane Cafe
Bluestone Lane is one of those West Village Instagrammable spots with Free People models and Australian food bloggers, but don’t let the crowd deter you. I mean, at least it’s not tourists, or even worse, families with small kids. We love Bluestone because the dishes are super simple and not boring at all. Like, I think they have a salad on the menu, but people only order that to add some color to their Instagram. The avocado smash is obviously a go-to, but if you’re feeling adventurous, go for the portobello mushroom toast with pesto or the Balthazar toast with ricotta and berry jam. You could also just order everything and convince your friends to split it with you.
7. The Hall at Union Fare
When Union Fare first opened, everyone thought all they served was a croissant that looked like the result of a one night stand between the gay pride parade and a Funfetti cake. But after everyone finally got over the photogenic 5000-cal baked goods, people started realizing The Hall at Union Fare is actually pretty healthy without making you feel like you’re eating a bowl of rabbit food. If you’re into cute toasts, the avocado smash and banana berry toasts are really good, and if you want seafood, we recommend the tuna tataki or salmon skewers. The brussels sprout flatbread is amazing if you want to split with friends and pretend you didn’t realize it came with bacon on top.
READ: The Perfect Summer Bucket List For Getting Lit In NYC
New York fucking City is not only the best city in the entire U.S., but in the entire world. I’ll pretend like you didn’t already know that, though. If you live here, you know that putting up with a disgusting amount of man buns, rat-infested subways, and questionable drug pushers is all worth it because no other place will ever be good enough. If you don’t live here, then I know you wish you did—otherwise, you would’ve never applied to NYU for grad school to begin with. The city is home to rooftops you can simultaneously tan and blackout at (a betch’s two talents), Instagram-worthy food you won’t find anywhere else, and a shit ton of your favorite celebrities because all those songs about NYC aren’t just for nothing.
Whether you’re a true New Yorker or (annoying) tourist, I’m sure you think you’ve hit up plenty of boujee rooftops and overpriced festivals in the past few months but there’s only six weeks of this
life-threatening heat wave summer left. It’s time to really amp up the crucial areas of your life (social, sex, Instagram) with the most perfect (and only) summer bucket list you’ll need. Realistically, if you’re seriously bored in New York City, then it’s your own goddamn fault.
^^^ Literally every time someone gets kicked out of a bar in the city.
1. Watch An Outdoor Movie With A View
Since suburbs or anything resembling John Deere-obsessed hicks are a foreign concept to those of us who are only outdoorsy in the sense that we enjoy blacking out on rooftops, that means drive-in theaters are pretty much non-existent, too. That is unless you’re willing to drive like, an hour away, aka
I literally don’t have my license that’s not happening. Get the same experience, only better, by visiting Bryant Park on Monday nights or Brooklyn Bridge Park on Thursday nights for free film viewings. Ditch the Netflix and chill for once and bring the blanket here instead. Best part? It’s free.
2. Buy Something With Too Many Calories At Smorgasburg
Even if you go every
weekend year, there will always be new additions to the city’s most Instagrammed food market in Brooklyn. This summer, find something you haven’t tried yet at Smorgasburg and get it for the likes. I’m not saying you actually have to eat it (does anyone eat the food they Insta?), all I’m saying is you’re guaranteed triple-digit likes.
3. Attend A Free Outdoor Concert In One Of NYC’s Parks
This really grool program, SummerStage, hosts hundreds of free concerts scattered across the five boroughs. In efforts to represent diversity and other good deeds for the city, the summer festival brings in a wide range of artists and genres to perform. Whether you’ve heard of them or not, it’s free fucking live music where you can buy beers and call yourself cultured or some shit.
4. Soak Up The Sun With Wine In The High Line Park
Despite all of the nightclubs we love in Meatpacking, it’s also the start of an elevated public park that’s built right on a historic train line. The High Line (don’t get it twisted with the hotel) runs from Gansevoort Street all the way to West 34th. It’s a little under 2 miles long so if you walk the whole thing, it totally counts as cardio for the week day. The park features perfect sunbathing chairs, cute little carts with famous popsicles, and most importantly, an outdoor cafe with a huge selection of beer and wine. Watch the sunset and stay for their stargazing events. You’ll have enough Instas to last you like, a week.
5. Order A Beer Pitcher From The Oldest Beer Garden In NYC
It may be a tad out of the way but, once again, YOLO. So if it means venturing out to Astoria by taking the N or the Q, you’ll live. The oldest and one of the biggest beer gardens in the city is right in Astoria, Queens. They have a menu full of dozens of beers and wines, so even if you just “don’t like beer,” you’ll def find one that tastes almost like Bud Light. Or, you can just resort to your usual wine. Their happy hours consist of $4 mugs and $14 pitchers—a deal you can’t pass up in a city that’s expensive af.
6. Score A Poolside Pic At One Of JIMMY’s Summer Pool Parties
This exclusive hotel in SoHo only opens its pool to the public without a cover charge on Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm. A Jimmy Pool Party has everything you need for a solid pregame or curing a bad hangover. With live DJs, stocked bar, too many guys in finance, and a pool with stunning views, it’s everything you need for the perfect photo op. Use your own discretion for risking possible STDs in the pool, but other than that, you’ll have no problem finding enough room for a Bambi candid on the poolside. While you’re at it, use our guide for other rooftop bars you should blackout at ASAP.
7. Visit “The Happiest Place On Earth” At Least Twice
This is a must-do for any Hamptons- or beer-lover—so like, everyone. Have you had your Instagram flooded with people covered in yellow fucking smiley face stickers, looking like they’re having the time of their lives? Well, they’re def at The Boardy Barn. Open only on Sundays (rain or shine), this outdoor tented bar is the place Long Islanders love to get wasted by 3pm at. Its specials are basically “dollar beer nights” on crack. So, like a shit show. Be prepared to get beer for no more than a couple dollars accompanied with some mud, 90s hits, and a pizza counter for those drunchies. Admission is $20 but all so very worth it. No wonder this place closes at 8pm, you’ll be blackout by like, 6pm.
8. Get Buzzed Off Of Ice Cream
The gods have heard us. Alcohol + ice cream is now very much a thing. Located in Kips Bay, Tipsy Scoop features a plethora of flavors all infused with alcohol up to five percent. They range from Mango Margarita Sorbet, Cake Batter Vodka Martini, to Spiked Hazelnut Coffee. If you come during their afternoon happy hours, you can get two for the price of one. What a pregame game-changer.
9. Eat On The Water
The Frying Pan, a literal floating lighthouse, is located on Pier 66 on West 26th. Impress your friends with serious brunch upgrades by opting to eat and drink on this docked bar with an unreal view of the Hudson River. You can choose from a number of beers, wines, and liquors, as well as a variety of food to hold you over. Since The Frying Pan is right on the water, you probs won’t be able to tell the difference between you actually being drunk or just moving along with the waves. Either way, you won’t even care, just try not to vom.
10. Splurge On An Overpriced Music Festival On Some NYC Island
Your summer isn’t really complete until you pay like, $300 for a music festival you hardly remember in New York. With Panorama coming up this weekend, what better time to spend an obscene amount of money on a festival full of good music, wannabe hippies, and an unhealthy amount of alcohol. The upcoming 3-day music fest will take place on Randall’s Island, featuring artists like Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, Kiiara, Tyler the Creator, and tons of other people you probably don’t know. The creators of Coachella came up with this festival too so, this is as close as you’ll get to being Vanessa Hudgens on the East Coast anyway. See the full lineup and buy tickets here.
READ: Best First Date Bars To Take Your Next Bumble Bro
August is upon us, which means we’re about to enter that traumatizing stage of summer where it’s too hot to even hit the “continue watching” button on Netflix let alone actually leave your house to go outside and live your life tan. Nope, not gonna happen. That said, I can’t let my laziness this weather deter me from looking like the bronzed goddess I was never genetically supposed to be. My only options now are self-tanner, which puts far too much pressure on me not to fuck up the process, or spray tans, aka the reason I looked like a blond Snooki at my senior year semi-formal. It’s a real Sophie’s choice. But at the end of the day using self-tanner requires the bare minimum amount of work so you know I’m out. Spray tans it is then. And nothing is worse than having to scour through Yelp to see which salon is the least hated by Internet trolls. So lucky for you I’ve braved my friend’s reviews the trolls and picked the best places in NYC to get spray tans without looking like Snooki.
1. Beach Bum Tanning
Average Price: $25
We’re into this place mostly because the price is ridiculous. Like, the last time I found any sort of service for less than $25 in New York City it looked sketchier than a Lifetime movie about online dating. So ya know, I’m glad there’s places like Beach Bum Tanning out there to restore trust issues. Plus the spray tanners at this venue mist on a hydrating toner to help prolong the life of your tan before airbrushing you. Blessings.The staff are also huge fans of contouring while they airbrush. So basically they can spray you ten pounds lighter even though you’ve spent the last 2-3 months being a hedonistic asshole. And they say money can’t buy happiness.
2. Gotham Glow
Average Price: $75
The best part about Gotham Glow is that they offer both in-studio services and also house calls. So if you’re lazy AF but, like, still want to look tan (hi) then you have the option of booking the appointment at your home and having the technician come directly to your home to spray tan you. What a world we live in. The in-studio spray tan costs around $75 while the house call service is more like $160 and up, but Gotham Glow is usually worth it. Especially because they can spray you in broader strokes, getting the job done in half the time thus letting you do other important shit with your day like Google whether Cole Sprouse is actually dating his costar on Riverdale because important.
3. Urban Tanz
Average Price: $60
Urban Tanz claims to be the “best tanning in Brooklyn” but, like, it’s Brooklyn and the average person in that area has the complexion of an extra on the set of Twilight so is that really saying much? That said, this place has hella good deals and discounts for large group packages just in case you and your friends want to GTL on a Saturday before hitting the bars. Definitely hit up Urban Tanz before any bridal/bachelorette events to ensure that no one looks like Casper in the group photo.
4. Faux Glow
Location: Midtown East
Average Price: $90
This place is a little more high-end, but if you can afford to waste your money treat yourself then Faux Glow is definitely worth it. The spray tanners are literal artists and spray you with surgical precision. They’re known for their long-lasting glow, most of which last longer than my online dating relationships (think 10 days) and the glow looks authentic AF.
5. The Spa @ Equinox
Location: Upper East Side
Average Price: $70
If you’re already a member of Equinox then congratuFUCKINGlations you get to be skinny, rich, and tan. Boo, you whore. But if you’re a peasant more like me then you’ll get some sort of sick satisfaction out of going to Equinox knowing that over your dead body would you spend $70 on a gym class but you wouldn’t hesitate to give them all your money for the perfect beach glow. Equinox is brand new to the airbrushing business and, like, they’re v eager to please. They even offer coffee and scones before the session because nothing makes me feel more comfortable shedding all my clothes in front of a stranger than carb loading right before. The session takes about 15 minutes and it’s 100 percent the best 15 minutes you’ll ever spend at the gym because instead of leaving sweaty and feeling like you want to die inside (just me?) you’ll leave looking glowy AF.
READ: 8 Tanning Myths You Should Have Stopped Believing Like, Yesterday
There’s only one place you can go to cleanse your sins on a Sunday morning in NYC, and that is boozy brunch. Bottomless drinks aren’t just an institution in this city, they’re literally the only thing we’ll wake up for after accidentally staying out until 5 AM, otherwise known here as relaxing after a long work week. Like everything in NYC, there are tons of options to choose from, which means we had to thoroughly investigate all the best places to bitch about being rent-poor while chugging champagne. Here are our ten favorite boozy brunch spots in Manhattan, because there’s no fucking way we’re getting on the L train that early:
1. Calle Ocho
Apologies in advance for using this word, but Calle Ocho is fucking lit. If you’re looking for an amazing Mexican brunch for under $30, look no further. Come hungry, because you’ll gorge yourself on the bread basket they dole out before the entree comes. And that $30 price tag I quoted? It includes the drinks. YEP. I’m talking multiple brunch sangrias in various flavors such as tropical, fresas (that’s strawberry for those of you who failed Spanish), and something called Havana Banana—and it’s all included in the price of your meal. Can’t decide between a white, red, or rosé? Try them all (and then die—the dranks are strong af). It’s worth the trek to the Upper West side, just trust me. (From $20)
This spot in the West Village is a failsafe option for when you want something slightly more bougie that involves a lot of guac. This is a two-hour BB that gets you any entree plus unlimited mimosas, wine or frozen margaritas, and you should really get at least one frozen marg because they’re fire. Their Mexican food is also amazing, so you don’t even need to be wasted to enjoy it. Factor in the chill decor, good service quick refills, and prime location for post-brunch drinking, and this spot is a 10/10. Just remember to book in advance. ($33)
If you feel like going back to the LES where you were blacked out a few hours ago, head on down to Essex for a fun brunch scene with loud music that’s good for bigger groups. You’ll get unlimited Bloody’s, screwdrivers and mimosas here and they go heavy on the alcohol which is a huge bonus because fuck work tomorrow. It’s also a loft-style restaurant with lots of natural lighting for your Instagram which is very important for obvious reasons. ($32)
4. Crooked Knife
This place gets our glowing stamp of approval as another very solid brunch option in the West Village. The menu has entire sections dedicated to omelettes and eggs bennies, and also things like fried mac n’ cheese and creme brulee french toast if you really feel like falling off the wagon due to the Sunday scaries. If you come when the weather’s nice, there’s a cute outdoor patio which is pretty small, but also hello, you’re in New York. ($39)
5. Dos Caminos
There are five Dos Caminos locations in NYC, which means no matter where you live, you aren’t far from delicious Mexican food and margs around brunch time. You’ve likely already been here for birthday dinners or drinks since this chain is somewhat of a staple, but why not try it out earlier when you can get the same cocktails for less? When it comes to hungover brunch we’re really not trying to reinvent the wheel here. ($18 + entree)
6. Il Bastardo
If you’re trying to keep the party going then we’d recommend Il Bastardo in Chelsea, which is always packed and rowdy enough to make you forget that other people are getting their shit together at this hour. Each person gets their own bottle of champagne or rosé, or a full pitcher of mimosa. There are also shot girls walking around, and if all that won’t get you buzzed then we can’t help you. The music is loud and there’s a strict dress code, so it’s not casual by any means, but then again none of the best boozy brunches are. ($65)
By now you’ve probably gotten copped onto the fact that Mexican is the main cuisine for the best boozy brunches, and Maya is yet another example in the UES. The kicker here is that you get unlimited drinks and food for two hours, which is enough to fuck up your diet in a major yet justifiable way. They’ve got a bumping hip-hop playlist going so order one of everything and go to town (it’s not like you’re going anywhere after…you’re in the UES). ($45)
8. Cafe Cortadito
You don’t come to Cafe Cortadito for the food, you come to get wasted with a bunch of friends at noon in the East Village and not get judged for it. The venue is small and always packed but on the plus side they’ve got outdoor seating for when it’s nice out. They serve Cuban dishes here, and with any entree you get unlimited mimosas and sangria. They have also have a champagne mojito which you should definitely get like, at least five of. ($23)
Poco is another fun spot in the East Village with great decor and even better vibes for day drinking on FRIDAY (if you’re taking a “sick day” from work), Saturday or Sunday. This place gets booked up fast so you’ll need to make a reservation in advance and it’s cash only *eye roll*. Other than that it’s a solid spot to drink all the Bloody’s, mimosas and sangria that your heart desires and your liver can handle. ($32)
10. Yerba Buena
This place has two locations, one in the East Village and one in the West, and both are highly recommended for a reliable drunching experience with food that’s actually really good (we’d even recommend this place sober, if that was a thing we ever did). Their bottomless deal only lasts for one hour, so you’ve got to be efficient to get through their long list of great cocktails, but we’ve got faith you can take full advantage. ($17 + entree)