As a Brunch Boy, I’ve been brunching my way through the boroughs for years now. Usually, I’m just looking for the best avocado toast and a bloody Mary, but today I’m here to help you find guys! So here is my top five list of brunch spots where you can find not only great food but also brunch boys like me!
If you don’t want to make it out on a Saturday night, go to Freehold, located in the heart of Williamsburg. This is not—and I repeat, NOT—a date spot, but it’s definitely a place to meet some potential suitors. There’s a nice grassy outdoor space and a DJ. And they have skeeball, a super approachable way to start talking to someone new. Why not challenge a guy to a game? It’s the perfect “chill” space to mingle. DO order the brunch burger; it comes with a fried egg on top, muenster cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and tots. If you’re trying to be healthy for beach season, try the impossible (meatless) burger. DON’T be the girl stumbling over on the street waiting for her Uber at 4pm. Pace yourself, it’s an all-day event.
Another Brooklyn brunch spot on my go-to list to meet new people is Pilot. The place is quite literally a docked boat, anchored at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, right on the East River. It’s not just any old boat; the Pilot was built to race as one of the fastest sailboats in the world and was a ferry for soldiers in WWII. The view you see of Manhattan is totally insane and makes a great backdrop for an Instagram photo. A nautical niche place, Pilot has oysters, rosé, lobster rolls, and fun beachy cocktails. They have six different types of oysters on the menu, and I would suggest trying them all. You know what say about oysters… ahem, aphrodisiac. The seaweed salt fries are also a must-have! Pilot is absolutely perfect for the summer. It closes in October, so make sure you check it out this summer into fall. The place is owned by the same people as Grand Banks and Island Oyster (other NY locations) and Seaworthy, if you ever find yourself in NOLA.
If you’ve lived in the city and haven’t been to Bounce, do you even live here? They have your standard typical brunch basics like eggs Benedict and french toast, but you should probably order some bar food. The BSC All-Star Combo gives you a little taste of everything: fried mozzarella sticks, grilled jumbo shrimp, mac and cheese bars, fried chicken strips, and two types of wings (classic buffalo and Korean). There’s always bouncers (haha) outside, giving it somewhat of a clubby vibe. The second you step inside this place, no matter what time of day or what season, it automatically becomes 2am. You end up dancing on tables and ripping shots like it’s nobody’s business. The entire floor fills up with people as the day goes on. I’d recommend going to Bounce during a sporting event—March Madness, World Series, World Cup, you name it. There are TVs on every inch of the bar, so it’s basically a giant indoor tailgate. Go in groups to meet other groups.
My next recommendation is a hidden gem in Williamsburg. If you go down Bedford Ave, a little past the main strip, you’ll find Spritzenhaus, an outdoor beer hall (biergarten). This place has high-quality micro-brews on tap: ales, wheats, lagers, ciders, Belgian-style, etc. It’s always slammed on the weekends and since it’s outside, now is the perfect time to go. You will find a ton of dudes hanging out at a long, shared table. The buzz from the beer will get you tipsy and talking. When brunching, you select your sausage first: Bratwurst, Krainerwurst, Biala Kielbasa…and then after a few more beers, you can select your next “sausage.” You name it, they have it. Since there’s not much space between parties, it’s the ideal atmosphere to meet someone new!
My final recommendation is a little more upscale. Magic Hour, at the top of the MOXY Hotel in Times Square, is owned and managed by TAO group. Once you’re on the roof you feel like you’re at a carnival for adults. The giant stack of pancakes with cotton candy on top is picture perfect. Yes, I’m talking about Instagram. And there’s a carousel that spins you around, slowly, as you drink. Magic Hour is a place where you either go big or go home. The drinks are the size of a soccer ball and are definitely made to share—another convo starter. See if a guy needs help finishing his drink, or maybe he’ll ask for your help to finish his. Drinks like the Disco Ball for All and Popcorn Anyone are among the most popular cocktails. Like Freehold, this outdoor spot has games. Specifically, a miniature putt-putt course called “Foreplay,” with animal statues in flirty poses instead of your typical windmills. If the drinks and fun atmosphere put you in the mood and you wanna make some magic of your own, check out the “Crash Pad” option on the menu. Yes, you can order a hotel room on the spot. If that’s what you’re looking for.
Follow Jeremy on Instagram at @brunchboys for more brunch porn!
Images: Jared Arango / Unsplash; Brunch Boys
The absolute worst part of being single is trying to find someone acceptable for dating. Seriously, where do you meet decent men these days? With our complete douchebag-appreciating society and all these guys that want to act like your boyfriend but also want to sleep with your friends, it can be hard to weed out the losers from quality men. However, you probably aren’t going to meet the love of your life in like… a club. Why? Because then you will be dating the kind of guy that hits on women in clubs. Usually kind of skeezy. I’m sure there are exceptions, don’t @ me, I don’t care. So where do you have the best chances of meeting a good dude? See below for a few suggestions on where to meet guys who aren’t trash.
Downtown (Or Where The Jobs Are)
This one came from my gynecologist. Seriously. Disappointed that I yet again will not be adorning her office with photos of my children that she delivered, because my uterus is a barren wasteland and no one loves me or wants to reproduce with me, she literally lectured me about my life choices. She told me that I should not be trying to meet guys around Hollywood where I live, because everyone is an “ACTOR” (she literally said it with air quotes and an eye roll). She said to meet ~real men~, I should hit up happy hours downtown because that is where the men with real jobs are and where they will go after work. (Joke’s on her, I never even try to meet men.) But anyway, I mean, it does make sense. Chances are the guys that have decent jobs are probably more likely to be actual adults and therefore will probably act like one in dating. As opposed to Chad. The male model. Whose parents pay for his apartment. That he shares with seven other guys. So wherever you live, hit up the downtown happy hours, or wherever the real jobs are.
Literally my Dr:
Caution: you may be in danger of hipsters, but otherwise, the cool guys probably hang out at the cool bars that aren’t super trendy or have lines wrapped around the block. Chill guys want to have a beer and talk to their friends, not dance to hardcore dubstep (is that still “in”?) and pay for $500 bottle service every weekend (which, let’s be real, is probs on mommy’s credit card). Try to find something relaxed and laid-back for your next outing with your friends and see if you can accidentally-on-purpose start talking to cool guys in this low-key environment.
I usually work from home, which gets really, really dull. I occasionally bring my work to local coffee shops just to get outside and have a reason to put on pants. There are always men writing, reading, working, etc. at cool coffee shops near me. I mean, if you’re into creative guys that care about something other than their appearance or their booming modeling career (sorry, Chad). Coffee shops are also an easy place to talk to people, since they are less likely to be surrounded by a bunch of douchebag friends.
If you want to meet someone laid-back and easygoing, the beach is a good bet. Guys who hang out in nature tend to be more relaxed and down-to-Earth. You will definitely find douchey guys there too—especially in the summer, but you can probably tell who they are easily by the fact that they’re shitfaced at 2pm and are aggressively wrestling their friends while chanting something frat-related. Find the guys having a good time with their friends, and bonus points if they have a dog.
Run very, very far from this:
Images: Giphy (2)
Brunch is obviously a worthwhile occasion any time of year—if just for the mimosas. But there’s something about digging into a towering stack of pancakes on an outdoor patio that makes us smile with satisfaction—vitamin D and all that. In fact, having an alfresco brunch attitude in the summer is the way to go for three reasons: you maximize your chance of seeing a Corgi waddle down the sidewalk, ensure sun exposure so you can get your glow on, and get tons of natural light for your Instagram food porn. (We all know how important that last one is.) Our recommendation? Make like the Europeans and relinquish yourself to the sun at our pick of the best outdoor brunches in NYC. Cheers to an endless summer…
1. Llama Inn
Sometimes you need to get the F out of dodge but don’t have any funds to travel. Head to Williamsburg to the Llama Inn for some urban oasis vibes courtesy of its rooftop patio that’s overflowing with plants, decorated with Peruvian décor, and just generally gorgeous. It doesn’t hurt that the food is inventive and delicious. Don’t sleep on the spicy pork shoulder sandwich; it’s one of our favorites. 50 Withers Street, Williamsburg.
2. Harlem Tavern
Into soccer on the big screen? Into large outdoor patios with picnic tables and umbrellas and pitchers of craft beer? Into being within walking distance of Central Park and Columbia? Yes, yes, yes! Great, head to Harlem Tavern, a restaurant and beer garden at 116 and Frederick Douglass Boulevard that will make you wonder why you don’t go uptown more often. During the live jazz brunch on the weekend, all brunch entrees include a free a drink, so you can buy three more and not feel guilty about spending money. 2153 Frederick Douglass Blvd, Harlem.
3. Mermaid Inn
So someone told you you’re In need of some Omega-3s, and now you’re freaking out. Head to brunch at the Mermaid Inn on the Upper West Side for a seafood-filled occasion that will drown out your worries in no time. This neighborhood staple just launched a new brunch menu that includes one of the best smoked fish boards we’ve come across in the city, which makes heading up there worth having to weave in and out of families with strollers and octogenarians with grocery carts. Sit outside on the sidewalk patio right on bustling Amsterdam Avenue and see how many oysters you can slurp down before the waitstaff starts to look at you funny. It’s fun, we promise. 570 Amsterdam Ave., Upper West Side.
You can’t talk about New York and not mention this iconic West Village institution with walls that open up to allow fresh air from the Hudson (it’s a stone’s throw away) to filter through the restaurant on warm summer days. You’re basically eating elevated Italian food in a garage, but it will be the best garage brunch you’ve ever had in your life—guaranteed. Start with a breakfast pizza, and don’t you dare skip dessert. 775 Washington St., West Village.
Head to Gilligan’s in the summer to get shipwrecked on their delish frozen watermelon margaritas. This seasonal outdoor pop-up at the SoHo Grand Hotel will have you feeling so tiki chic, you’ll forget we all actually are all stranded on a tiny island we can’t afford to leave, just like the folks in this spot’s namesake TV show. Our favorite part of this brunch locale? Getting dusted by misting fans while stuffing our face with lobster rolls. 310 W Broadway, SoHo.
6. Grand Banks
Pretend you’ve been whisked away into a French Riviera daydream while brunching on board Grand Banks. You’ll be surrounded by finance bros and attractive wannabe finance wives within the confines of a thoughtfully decorated sailboat—and to us, there’s nothing better. Sip on a heavy pour of rosé and shoot some of the freshest oysters in the city with an impeccable view and aspirations of one day getting to brunch without 50 random strangers on your schooner. Hudson River Park Pier 25, Tribeca.
7. Magic Hour
Magic Hour is this cheeky rooftop at the Moxy Hotel that is guaranteed to make you oddly uncomfortable and incredibly intrigued with its urban amusement park theme and a provocative putt-putt course cleverly named Foreplay. They recently launched brunch (look out for our review in July) with over-the-top versions of classic brunch dishes like a stack of 20 pancakes, Jenga-style stacked French toast, and a 200 oz. spritz—FYI, that’s gigantic. So whether you want to drink away your summertime sadness alone under the Empire State building or bring your lame friends from your hometown to an unforgettable rooftop brunch, we suggest Magic Hour. Oh and if you get too tipsy, you can literally order a mini hotel room labeled “crashpad” on the bar menu. 485 7th Ave 18th floor, Times Square.
8. Gallow Green
Live your best garden party life with your ladies at Gallow Green’s brunch. You’ll feel as if you’ve been dropped into a theatre production as you’re escorted up a silent elevator to a dark train station and finally emerge into a lush, secret garden-esque rooftop. Best part? This brunch comes with unlimited coffee, cocktails, and farm-to-table food in an elevated, non-germy buffet way. You’ll enjoy carbs on carbs and Southern fried chicken all with 360-degree views of the city and the Hudson river. Feeling posh under the sun and avoiding the summer stench of the NYC streets, the joy rooftops bring us is truly unbelievable. 542 W 27th St., Chelsea.
For more brunch reviews and recommendations, visit bitcheswhobrunch.com and follow them on Instagram at @bitcheswhobrunch.
Images: Bitches Who Brunch (4)
Follow Tess on Instagram @foooodieee for the latest in desserts to die for and all other Instagrammable foods
When it comes to ordering desserts, my first thought is like many of yours: “Can I Instagram this?” If you aren’t Instagramming your dessert to all of your soon-to-be-jealous followers, was it even worth the carb consumption? NYC has so many places to buy these kind of desserts that my mouth is watering just doing my research. By the time you have finished reading my rundown of the most Instagrammable desserts New York City has to offer, you’ll be grabbing your phone and heading for the door… Like me. Uh. BRB.
Taiyaki NYC is known for their Japanese ice cream in a fish-shaped cone. I can tell you firsthand that these are soooo delish and definitely stand out from everyone’s Starbucks pink drink pics on the ‘Gram. Taiyaki NYC is also known for their unicorn cone (pictured below and still in a fish-shaped cone… so like a unicorn fish? IDK, just go with it). Some of the flavors you can choose from include Matcha, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and black sesame. As far as toppings go, your soon-to-be fat ass can choose from sprinkles, fruit, and even mochi. You can also get mochi on a stick to add flavor to the ice cream and to the photo.
OKAY, SO THESE ARE SERIOUSLY THE BEST COOKIES IN THE WORLD. FIGHT ME ON THIS. Plus, we all know that the “warm cookie oozing with chocolate chips” photo is the money shot for any IG foodie. Ranging from chocolate chip to blueberry cheesecake, these cookies will change your life.
If this isn’t Instagrammable, I don’t know what is. WELCOME TO THE NUTELLA CRACK MILKSHAKE. Holy shit, I got a heart attack just writing that. Yep, these bad boys include Nutella, chocolate, pretzels, whipped cream, hot fudge, peanut butter, strawberry shortcake, OREO and a food-induced coma if you eat the entire thing (not included with your purchase). Some people even call them freakshakes. I can’t tell why, can you?
If you haven’t been to Magic Hour at the Moxy Hotel, you are 1000% missing out. Not only is this place super cute and Instagrammable, but these desserts are probably some of the most delish treats I’ve ever seen or tasted. Their most to-die-for dessert is their GIANT ice cream sandwich, pictured below, which is literally bigger than my head. This cookie sandwich is a mixture of sprinkles, ice cream, and overall deliciousness and probable diabetes.
CoolMess is another gorg place on the Upper East Side whose interior is enough to be ‘Gram worthy on its own. But the best part about this place? You get to make your own ice cream! Whether it’s a simple ice cream cone or a giant sundae, your Instagram will be rolling in with the likes. And there are toppings for all of your heart’s desires. Cookie dough, brownie bites, sprinkles, pound cake, fruit loops, gummy worms… AM I MAKING YOU HUNGRY? BECAUSE I’M MAKING ME HUNGRY. HELP.
If you’re looking to share a dessert after date night or simply just craving sweets in general (which okay, you caught me, I always am), these are the top 5 places I recommend. Not only for a delish dessert, but so your dessert post on the ‘Gram makes everyone else’s look like *insert poop emoji here.*
Follow Tess on Instagram @foooodieee for the latest in desserts to die for and all other Instagrammable foods
New York City is the best city in the entire world (fight me), but every now and then, it starts to feel
dirty crowded overrated like too much. What’s a betch to do? Give up in the face of adversity and binge-watch The Office for the 14th time? Or triumphantly plan a trip outside the city for a change of pace and enjoy a latte with an ocean view? Obviously, it’s the latte latter. The problem is, we don’t all have movie producer boyfriends with private jets, so our options can be a little limited. Here are some excellent and close-by weekend getaways to soothe your commuter agita, and get you the F out of the city without requiring a sugar daddy.
P.S. During my research, I took the liberty of immediately closing out of any tab/website with a child running around on the beach. There were a lot. You’re welcome.
Enjoy The Finer Things in Chesapeake Bay-Tilghman, Maryland
Why You Should Go: Tilghman, Maryland, adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay, is the perfect place to escape the neverending chaos of NYC. The seafood in Maryland is the best, but the sunsets are even better (for your Instagrams). Tilghman is only four hours from the city and has a population of roughly 854 people (as reported in the 2000 census), which means you have a negative 10 percent chance of running into your ex or observing a man urinating while waiting for public transportation.
Where To Stay: The biggest reason we’re including Tilghman, MD on our list is Wylder Hotel Tilghman Island. This new lifestyle resort looks insanely chic and private. The location on the Chesapeake Bay is v exclusive and sooo gorgeous. The hotel itself has a relaxed, seaside cottage vibe, mixed with a modern vibe. Also, there’s a new saltwater swimming pool, which just sounds bougie because like, where in the city are you going to find that? (Don’t comment with answers, thx. I’m hyperbolizing, not looking for recs rn.)
What To Do: Get ~blissfully~ wine drunk at the stunning Running Hare Vineyard, a little bit of Tuscany and Napa in Southern Maryland, and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy their live music in the outdoor tasting area. Or, if you’re looking for some stress relief, head over to St. Michael’s Studio for an aerial yoga class and stretch out the tension in your neck and back that’s built up from all of the shitty weather this “spring.” At night, check out The Big Owl Tiki Bar, a dock-side dive bar.
Live Like Taylor Swift in South County, Rhode Island
Why You Should Go: Want to spend a weekend living like an international superstar on the Rhode Island Coastline? South County, RI is the spot. South County is home to breathtaking beaches, nature trails, and eateries. Located only three hours from NYC, Rhode Island provides the ideal weekend getaway for anyone trying to vacation the way Tay spends her summers.
Where To Stay: Enjoy sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean inside the BEYOND GORGEOUS Lilly Pulitzer Suite at the Watch Hill Inn. BTW, Watch Hill is where Taylor’s big house is—you know, the one where she has her 4th of July parties with whoever she’s decided is in her “squad” that year. Where the famous “I <3 TS” shirt originated?! I digress. Have a glass of wine on your private terrace and enjoy the RI sunset while you scope out Taylor’s BFF of the week (I CAN’T STOP).
What To Do: The “Ocean State” is the perfect spot to enjoy seafood and Matunuck Oyster Bar boasts the local seafood sure to satisfy your cravings. Wash down the clam chowder and oysters at one of Rhode Island’s first commercial hop farm breweries, Tilted Barn Brewery. A trip to Tilted includes a firsthand look at the process and ingredients that go into making handcrafted beer, but more importantly, tasting opportunities. You’ll come back ready to take on the hipsters in Brooklyn who like to wax poetic about the superiority of craft beer.
Reconnect with Yourself in Cape Cod-Chatham, Massachusetts
Why You Should Go: Chatham is a quaint little beach in the Cape Cod area that has plenty of cute shops and amenities. The beaches are never crowded, and neither are the gorgeous biking and hiking trails, if you’re into that sorta thing. Although it’s a five-hour drive from NYC and yes, unfortunately, has a fair amount of vacationing families with young children (it’s not like you have to interact with them, okay? I tried), it’s totally worth it for the seclusion and privacy without the feeling completely isolation.
Where to Stay: The Chatham Bars Inn & Resort encourages you to reconnect your mind, body, and soul. Enjoy exclusive access to a beachfront cabana, poolside food and beverage services, or play a quick game of tennis, golf, or croquet (I laughed typing croquet. Is that a real thing people do or is it just for rich people in movies? Lmk). If you’re looking to get in touch with nature, take a morning beach launch tour to watch the local seals explore, or go whale watching (not a euphemism). At The Spa at Chatham Bars Inn & Resort, treat yourself to one of several massage therapies (the “Summer at The Shore” seasonal massage using Ocean Rose Foaming Body Polish looks really good RN), body scrubs and wraps, or facials.
What To Do: If you’re looking to get in touch with your spiritual side, check out The Sanctuary for all your mystical needs. They do aura photography, various types of natural healing, and even have an “etheric crystal light table” which I’ve honestly never heard of, but, based on the description, seems cool af and is probably Instagrammable. Also, if you’re in Cape Cod and can’t afford a trip to Martha’s Vineyard because you’re not a 65-year-old tycoon of wealth (yet), head over to Truro’s Vineyard and enjoy the local wines of Cape Cod.
Bring Brooklyn to the Beach in Asbury Park, New Jersey
Why You Should Go: Asbury Park makes for a great weekend getaway for Tri-State locals who can’t stand how fucking crowded and noisy Manhattan is. Just a short hour and a half from the city, Asbury Park prides itself on being one of the most eccentric boardwalks at the Jersey Shore (even more eccentric than the Jersey Shore cast themselves, which is like really hard to do), with novelties like Korean tacos, vegan ice cream, and locally-sourced oysters. (Look, they’re novelties for Jersey, ok?) Asbury Park also has a great music scene, prompting The New York Times to describe Asbury Park as “Brooklyn on the beach,” and it has amaze wall art backgrounds for your impromptu Insta modeling shoots.
Where To Stay: Stay at the 110-room Asbury Hotel, with a v past-meets-present interior inspo. It’s got a lively lobby bar called Soundbooth where you can get (classily) shitfaced while playing board games and vintage pinball, or check out Salvation, their gorg rooftop bar (pictured here). Let’s be real, though, you’ll probs spend your whole time taking cheers Boomerangs on the roof.
What To Do: Memorial Day marks the official reopening of Asbury Lanes, the iconic 1960s bowling alley-turned-music venue. With programming by The Bowery Presents (you defs have like 16 email blasts from them sitting in your inbox because they always book killer well-known acts), there will be tons of performances to enjoy. Also check out the summer lineup at The Stone Pony with artists like Band of Horses, Franz Ferdinand, and Slightly Stoopid for a perfect #fbf photo.
Party Harder in Atlantic City, New Jersey
Why You Should Go: I mean, this is a no-brainer. Atlantic City is where people go to party and gamble when they can’t afford a trip to Vegas. There’s a reason people call this place the entertainment capital of the Jersey Shore, people.
Where To Stay: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is the perfect destination for a more turnt summer getaway. Borgata Beer Garden & Outdoor Pool will be your tanning spot, with the option to choose between one of 400 chaise lounges, daybeds and cabanas for prime tanning hours. Then dance the night away at Premier Nightclub, or enjoy the hotel’s Borgata Event Center with an expansive entertainment schedule throughout the summer (hello, Britney Spears in July!). There’s also three other nightlife venues, including Gypsy Bar, a tequila bar (say goodbye to me now). The hotel is home to award-winning spas Spa Toccare and Immersion Spa, fine dining restaurants from celebrity chefs such as Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Wolfgang Puck, and Geoffrey Zakarian, and over 161,000 sq. ft. of gaming space, and so much more.
What To Do: There’s already so much to do at the hotel between spa treatments, gambling, and concerts, that you might not even want to leave. But if you do, hop over to Haven or The X Bar at Harrah’s. When in doubt, your best bet is to head to the boardwalk and get drunk with the locals. Nobody ACs harder than AC.
Images: courtesy of hotels
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been seeing someone for two months or three years: deciding where and what to eat for dinner almost always becomes a legitimate argument, regardless of where you live. You’d think that living in one of the best cities in the world would help this issue, but you would be wrong. Actually, New York City offers too many options, so it’s hard to know where to even start, especially with Valentine’s Day coming up in just a couple of days. This isn’t Gossip Girl or Friends With Benefits; chances are, your current fling’s romance skills are not straight out of a cheesy rom-com, so it’s now or never for you to find a place and make reservations for two. Or, scratch that—even just find a table for one, because who the fuck says you can’t dress up and wine and dine yourself to a candlelit dinner in a bougie restaurant? NO ONE. Whether you’re spending V-Day solo or going on a classy af date this year, here are five romantic restaurants in NYC to have Valentine’s Day dinner at.
1. The Park
Everyone who lives in New York knows what the High Line is since it’s probably the one place you bring your parents and out-of-city friends who want to be tourists. What you’ve probably yet to see is this cute little restaurant right on 10th Ave. The ambiance is, like, so worth an Instagram (or 10) since it’s lit tf up from ceiling to floor. It has an indoor and outdoor garden, amazing food, strong drinks, and decent music you’ll find yourself nodding to from time to time. Tables are surrounded with trees and full of classy centerpieces that set the mood.
2. Sofia Wine Bar
Nothing goes with Valentine’s Day better than a fuck ton of wine and good-ass pizza. Fucking obviously. If you plan on spending the day with your anti-Valentine’s Day GFs, by yourself (because less people = more for you), or keeping things low-key with your latest Hinge guy, you’ll want to grab a table in this cute little Midtown East spot. The wine options are endless, the menu is worth salivating over, and like, the service is actually good. I know, am I sure this is in the city? YES.
If you live in Queens, you already love this place. If you don’t, then you’ll at least consider borough hopping. Maiella sits in Long Island City, right on the water with a ‘gram-worthy view of the skyline. It serves carb-loaded Italian dishes and yummy drinks. For Valentine’s Day, they offer a special menu that includes lobster, spaghetti, and chocolate covered strawberries for just $75.
4. The River Cafe
Some of you hate trekking to Brooklyn for fear of the hipster apocalypse, but honestly, there are some hidden gems with fucking amazing food that seriously makes the trip all worth it. This place sits right on water and hosts quite a few weddings, so you know you’re heading into lovey-dovey central. However, the view and atmosphere are to die for, so you’ll probably consider having your own here. They have a special Valentine’s Day menu with bougie af foods like caviar, truffle, and filet mignon, but they do ask you look your best in their dress code, so maybe you’ll feel like you’re kind of a big deal.
5. La Grenouille
This restaurant has definitely been in New York for like, decades. Like, your great-great-grandpa used to come here all the time or some shit (IDK, I don’t know your family history). This French restaurant has long been known for its totally gorgeous flower arrangements and high-end cuisine. For Valentine’s Day, they’re offering a four-course dinner and a complimentary bottle of really classy Champagne that I can’t pronounce. Obviously, seats are limited so if you’re looking to be blown away, you’ll want to reserve ASAP.
If you grew up watching Sex and the City or Gossip Girl, you probably had a pretty warped idea of what dating in NYC looked like. (If you didn’t, cancel whatever date you had in mind. You have some catching up to do).
In a perfect world On TV, your handsome (if soulless) evening companion just picks you up in a town car and whisks you off to a mystery location—for which you happen to be perfectly dressed, of course—and logistics never really come into it. But in the real world (SIGH) of office jobs and medium-cute (but definitely soulless) Hinge dates, date nights are not only significantly less glamorous—they can actually start to resemble real work. IMO, one of the most anxiety-producing aspects of dating in the city is the dreaded “ok where do you wanna meet” text, because now in addition to finding an outfit that perfectly captures how cool and desirable I am my essence, I need to find a location that matches it too. Since I assume you hate doing work as much as I do, I went ahead and made you a list of chicest date bars in NYC to save you those pre-date panic attacks. Read on and thank me later.
1. Tanner Smith’s
Pretty much every part of Tanner Smith’s is a win—great drinks, great food (if you’re into that), and decor that is pretty without being overwhelming. Since the upstairs can get a little packed, take your dates through the red door to the cocktail bar downstairs—it’s much more intimate, with sexy lighting and even sexier bartenders (in case your date turns out to be a dud). Also, if you don’t like whiskey but always wanted to pretend you did, order the Brown Eyed Girl—it’s so delicious you won’t care what kind of liquor you’re drinking, and you’ll look and sound like even more of a badass for ordering it.
2. Library Bar at Hudson Hotel
This is a perfect date bar for a few reasons: it’s quiet, which means you won’t be awkwardly screaming your hometowns at each other; it’s sexy without being trashy, since it’s basically a place of learning (library, duh); and it’s so spread out that you’re absolutely guaranteed privacy in whatever plush armchairs/couches you choose. Since the entrance is lightly difficult to find, you get the bonus of seeming like a quintessential New Yorker as you lead him to this secluded spot—and it goes without saying that the cocktails themselves are amazing too.
3. Dear Irving
While the speakeasy theme has been done to death in New York, Dear Irving is one of the few places that really pulls it off. This means that “hidden entrance” isn’t code for “unmarked door with rude-ass bouncer”; the outside just looks like the entrance to a fancy brownstone, and then it opens up into a bar so gorgeous that you should probably go with friends a few times first and rid yourself of the need to ‘Gram it to death. This spot just off Union Square is both conveniently located and 10 times as classy as anything else in the area—the only downside is that there can be a bit of a wait if you don’t make a reservation, so maybe save this one for someone’s who’s commitment-friendly enough to actually call and set a definitive time to meet.
4. PHD Terrace Midtown
Midtown PHD is basically like going to a downtown club on a night when it’s reserved for a private party. Since it’s not packed with
versions of you on a Saturday night the trash you’d find in Meatpacking, you can actually notice how pretty it is, not to mention actually find seating and enjoy the stunning views of the city. This spot is on the pricier side, so come here a few dates in when you’re feeling confident enough that he’s not the kind of guy who will make you split the check roll his eyes at the vibe (notably, the neon pink “it was all a dream” sign at the entrance), then enjoy making out in a corner with the world’s best skyline behind you.
5. The Roof
While this is ideally saved for summer so you can enjoy the outdoors (one of the best rooftops in the city, and never overly packed), the old-school bar and leather couches inside are still cozy and old-New-York enough to merit a visit year-round—and the floor-to-ceiling windows won’t disappoint on view no matter the season. While small (and also a little pricey), this bar on top of the Viceroy Hotel is blissfully tourist-free and once again, something you wouldn’t really know is there unless you’d been before, giving you another opportunity to impress your date with your insider tour of the city. It’s an absolute must for any European Hinge matches in town for 48 hours, and (like every bar on this list, because I’m amazing), everything about the vibe just makes you feel sexy. Basically, it’s the perfect place to split a bottle of champagne and fall in love with New York all over again.
For what it’s worth, you should always remember that it’s perfectly acceptable to fake a work emergency in response to a “where are we meeting” text until they take the hint and pick a place themselves. But since they’ll probably pick a shitty sports bar that you judge so much you end up cancelling, I’d go ahead and just start suggesting these spots instead—even if the guy sucks, you’re basically guaranteed to have a good night. Also, please do me a favor and coordinate what nights you go here; I’m not trying to find a new set of places where the bartender knows my name.
Images: Wine Dharma / Unsplash; Hudson Hotel, PHD Terrace New York / Instagram
Honestly, go you. You clicked on this article because you’re not going to let those brutal NYC temps be your excuse to lay in bed all weekend. New York may be the greatest city in the actual world, but it’s also cold as shit in the winter. And we both know that going to Coney Island, blacking out on a rooftop, or tanning/smoking in the park no longer sounds super enjoyable. Unless you’re psycho. In that case, a cute winter date idea for you may be you and a therapist. Anyways, here are some awesome places where you and your bff of choice can talk shit, grow deeper in friendship, and totally take shots beforehand.
Paint And Sip At Muse PaintBar
Painting is therapeutic af. And so is chilling with your favorite non-male. So what better to do on a freezing NYC night than
chug sip wine while getting all artsy with your bff? Don’t be scared if you’re creatively challenged—there’s a professional artist leading you step-by-step, so it’s kind of impossible to fuck it up. Until the point when you’re both drunk and you’re trying to finish your masterpiece but can’t really see clearly and then you add some weird-ass colors but it ends up looking fantastic anyway. But whatever, their wine selection rocks. And when you’re done you can put your painting somewhere in your half-decorated apartment and make it less blah. Win-win!
The Museum At FIT
If there was ever a place we want to admit is more Instagrammable than our office, we would probably admit that it was the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Who isn’t up for admiring the monumental fashions that historical betches have worn over time? Plus, you can totally get inspired for what to wear on your next night out and def go for drinks after when you realize you can’t even remotely afford anything in the museum.
Rolf’s German Restaurant
If you’re feeling your *holiday spirit* self, you have to get dinner and drinks at Rolf’s. During the holidays, they are so extra with their decorations. Like, chill? Kidding, it’s the best type of extra there ever was. The place is covered in super dramatic garland, Christmas lights, and ornaments. Give your non-bff friends hella FOMO with your festive af Insta and Snap stories. Plus, the vanilla spiced eggnog gets you lit.