First dates can be nerve wracking, especially if you’re meeting someone from a dating app. The type of activity or place your date chooses can say more about him or her than you might realize. We’ve rounded up the best spots for a date, that are Bitch-approved with appropriate noise-for-conversation levels and won’t break the bank. Plus some of these are more elevated so you won’t be running into young 20-somethings drowning in mimosas.
This is one of our favorite spots for a bottomless brunch in a lively but romantic setting. The Hell’s Kitchen outpost has a gorgeous atrium with greenery that feels as though you’re basking outdoors in the sun. Old black-and-white movies are projected on a white brick wall for added ambiance. Bea is worth the $52 splurge for a bottomless brunch of unlimited small plates and free-flowing cocktails. It’s a great way to try the whole menu with your date and converse about your favorite items. A la carte with small plates for $9 is also available, bottomless food without drinks is available for just $28. Read about the highlights here.
Bea, 403 W 43rd St, New York, NY, (212) 602-1910
Enjoy brunch with a view with your boo at Celestine. The DUMBO hotspot serves up incredible Mediterranean fare with a stunning view of the Manhattan bridge. The brunch selections make for a perfect shared meal. Don’t forget to take a walk around the corner after wrapping up brunch to snap a photograph at the infamous spot made famous by Gossip Girl. Read about our brunch experience here.
Celestine, 1 John St, Brooklyn, NY, (718) 522-5356
Looking to impress someone who fancies a vegetarian diet? Look no further than Dirt Candy for an inventive take on vegetables and unlikely pairings found in classic brunch items. Lady boss and chef/owner Amanda Cohen has achieved serious success over the years including being recognized by the Michelin Guide several years in a row. The brunch deal at Dirt Candy is a good one: $35 includes a cocktail of your choice, an appetizer, and entree. Don’t forget to order cocktails prepared with freshly squeezed juices. Read about our veggie-centric brunch here.
Dirt Candy, 86 Allen St, New York, NY, (212) 228-7732
If you’re not the type to play it safe, spice things up at Gupshup in Gramercy. The opulent Indian restaurant is having a moment, plus your date will be impressed. Enjoy a range of brunch cocktails, and unique items ranging from classic to contemporary. We highly recommend ordering the masala chai for two. It’s fitting for a royal, and will heat things up between you and your date. Catch the full review here.
Gupshup, 115 E 18th St, New York, NY, (212) 518-7313
This Greenpoint restaurant is a cozy little spot for a brunch date. Grab a table or post up at the bar, either way you’re in good hands. The dimly lit space screams chill, and has an unassuming, but well-curated vintage vibe. From avocado toast to salads and burgers, Le Fanfare has something that both of you will be drawn to. Read the highlights here.
Le Fanfare, 1103 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY, (347) 987-4244
Mexicue may not immediately come to mind when you think of a brunch date. But with four locations throughout the city, it has become a rather convenient option. Mexicue takes bold risks with its menu. In particular, with the techniques they use like braising and charring, mixed with Mexican tradition and deep Southern barbecue twists. The atmosphere is lively and inviting which make it a solid choice. Read the full review here.
Mexicue, multiple locations, Chelsea, NoMad, Midtown West, Upper East Side
Tapas are wonderful for sharing on dates. Nai Tapas takes it up a notch and will even pair wines with each course for an unforgettable meal. If you’re looking to truly impress your date and show off your sophisticated palate, this is the place. Dedicated to Basque culture and cuisine, Nai Tapas prepares a Spanish feast for the senses, incorporating unique ingredients and cooking techniques. Read about our incredible experience here.
Nai Tapas, 85 2nd Ave, New York, NY, (212) 677-1030
With its cheerful bright blue exterior in the heart of Greenwich Village, Shuka is fitting from the start for a date. With Indonesian and Italian influences, Shuka is one of the hottest restaurants in New York right now, and for good reason. Treat your date to an overindulgence of pastries and mezzes. Don’t forget to read the review here.
Shuka, 38 Macdougal St, New York, NY, (212) 475-7500
This charming Nolita restaurant is a lovely restaurant to see and be seen at. On weekend it’s filled to the brim with impossibly stylish 20- and 30-somethings. Dine at a bistro-style table for two or cozy up in a plush booth. Shoo Shoo offers Mediterranean cuisine, with an emphasis on Israeli staples. Read about our experience here.
Shoo Shoo, 371 Broome St, New York, NY, (646) 590-6800
Uncle Chop Chop
This Australian all-day café’s bright colors, quality coffee and cocktails, and friendly, accented wait staff will brighten any day. Uncle Chop Chop serves up inventive and unique Southeast Asian fare worth sharing. The under-the-radar restaurant is inspired for an off-the-cuff choice. Check out the full review here.
Uncle Chop Chop, 7 Cornelia St, New York, NY, (917) 261-5346