The Best Date Spots To Eat At The Bar In NYC
When you and your person are in the mood to keep it casual and simply link up for drinks at the bar, there’s no need to stale your date and sacrifice on the quality of the food, especially when it’s all about sharing plates at the counter. New York, of course, offers just about a million combinations for you and your love to fill up and drink up, so we’ve rounded up the best spots to enjoy the best of both worlds—fine cuisine and excellent drink—and hang out at the countertop as a couple. Whether you’re feeling luxe, bold or in the mood for fun, this guide details 10 perfect spots for a great bar night out, with drinks that flow and food that satisfies all in one place.
141 Broadway, between Driggs Avenue and 6th Street, Brooklyn
Grilled mango, star anise, cinnamon, thyme, rose water, passion fruit — these are just some of the delightfully eclectic components that make up the drinks at OTB, a playfully upscale bar with great grub and horse-racing era decor. Plush leather booths, tiled black and white counters, dark wood and gold accents create a lofty old-world feel that almost contrasts the straightforward American fare until you take a bite of their savory fried wings and realize just how high-end hot wings can be. Though they’ve got all the classics, it’s their unique array of cocktail creativity you’ll want to sip on, like the Botanist Cooler 14, made with lavender, rosemary, honey, spring 44 gin, lime, and rifol sparkling wine, or the Picante Maria Anne 14, which includes granny smith apple, chili, lairds bonded apple brandy, falernum, cinnamon, and mezcal. To top it all off, oysters are huge here, with dollar oysters available on late nights between 11pm and 2pm depending on the day, and all night long on Mondays. Elegant, impressive and devoted to making things interesting, this stylish bar promises one-of-a-kind drinks as well as deluxe Mac and Cheese, so giddy up and go get your fill.
132 9th Avenue, Manhattan
Dark, fabulously ornate and secreted away, Bathtub Gin boasts speakeasy perfection. The gin-centric cocktails build on classic drinks from 1920s America, keeping them classically styled while adding subtle modern enhancements and exquisite touches. Your average gin and tonic comes in several not-so-average varieties, with garnishes of juniper, lemongrass, wild foraged botanicals, mint and more, while drinks like The Musket, made with bergamot, housemade saffron syrup, and orange-apple bitters really do gin its justice. The menu spans a global variety of tasteful, elevated dishes, with an extensive selection of small plates that includes steak tartare, fresh burrata, and crispy calamari, perfect for picking a few to share and complement each round of drinks. Entrees are refined yet hearty, with options like grilled chicken paillard and roasted salmon prepared in satisfyingly straightforward elegance. You’ll find this same quality in their desserts, which include a Toast Your Own S’mores option that might just be the cutest thing you’ll ever do together at a ritzy, romantic cocktail bar. Tuesdays and Sundays promise live, sexy Burlesque performances, so if you’re fans of feeling like you’re living in the Golden Age, swing by for the best gin drink of your lives. Find our date night with Bathtub Gin here!
311, East 60th Street, Manhattan
311, East 60th Street, Manhattan
This is the craft beer and bites kind of heaven you’ve been waiting for, ‘cause the beers are really rare and the bites are actually fresh, delectable sandwiches. At The Jeffrey, a highly-advanced draft system is used to ensure the perfect temperature, pressure and pour on any of the 29 select beers they have on tap, each one unique and pleasantly interesting. Rustic and snug, it’s not hard to get comfortable under the chic hanging lamps and artfully rough wooden furnishings even as you try out new tastes, and a small interior means it’s basically necessary to sit as close as you can. While the beer selection is meant to push back on familiar flavors, the sandwiches are those you know and love — and with everything from a mean Roast Beef, to BLT’s, to Lobster Rolls, finding the right one to swish down with your beer is a guarantee. Sandwich or not, their bites are a must, with small plates like Red Beet Deviled Eggs or Spicy Tomato Basil Bisque nailing the savory, and Sigmund’s Pretzels offering salty or sweet based on your choice of garnish. Relax with pleasure and intrigue at this intimate cabin of a bar and do beer and a sandwich the right way — over a supreme beer in a rustic setting where the sandwich is made expertly for you.
Barn Joo 35
34 West 35th Street, Manhattan
For a twist on tapas and an exciting round of drinks, it’s the modern Korean fare at Barn Joo 35 that you and your S.O. are going to want to go for. In addition to all the usual wines, liquors and beers, striking Korean spirits and strong yet supple specialty Soju cocktails make the menu pop with exotic intrigue. To go along with those soju shots, farm-to-table small plates like crispy Korean wings brushed in soy-garlic sauce and tofu with caramelized kimchi deliver a zesty Korean flair to chase everything down.
231 Court Street, Brooklyn
Paneled in wood and modern metal accents, this dark little fusion bar has all the ritzy snack and drinks necessary for a night of interesting and intimate fun. Stylish, sexy and elegant, natural wine bar June is the classy dining and drinks experience you just need to indulge in from time to time. Dimly lit and gorgeously arranged to appear smooth and sleek, you and your love are guaranteed the intimate space and ideal ambiance for splurging on some high-end wines. Despite their dizzying selection from around the world, their creative cocktails are nothing to skip, and same goes for the cuisine — Brussel sprouts with sambar and salsa matcha, sweet potato mixed in with ricotta and cured egg yolk, or golden beet hummus are just a few of the unique options that grace this place. Tasteful and sophisticated, this wine bar offers the perfect setup for feeling classy and spinning some effortless romance over posh wines and innovative plates.
216 West 238th Street, Bronx
216 West 238th Street, Bronx
This loud and jolly beer spot is well worth the trek if you and your babe want to do some fun, gritty drinking without worrying about sacrificing the quality of the chug. At Bronx Alehouse, 16 taps of locally brewed beers, a rotating cask, and over 30 bottles give you plenty to choose from, while casual American grub made to greasy and savory perfection adds the ideal complement to your brew. House smoked pulled pork, various creative burgers using everything from gorgonzola to spicy coleslaw, and a mean fried Mac N Cheese are just a few of the guilty pleasures we highly encourage digging into, and since you get to taste the beer before you buy it, it’s easy to pair your pickings to food and drink perfection. Have a rowdy one out with your love and chug, chug, chug.
201 1st Avenue, Manhattan
The tropical funk and flare at Jeepney goes beyond its pinup girl plastered walls and colorful tables, with uniquely Filipino fare and Asian beers aplenty dominating the menu. Although their burger, made with Filipino sausage and spicy banana ketchup, is actually famous, it’s worth letting loose and going for the Batangas Bone Marrow, which comes with a side of garlic rice, or the Banana Ketchup Ribs while you get started on drinks. Aside from foreign beers, they’ve got a singular selection of cute, creative cocktails that’ll make you feel like you’re sunning in the tropics, mixing flavors like elderflower, lime, blackberry, coconut and ginger for drinks that truly pop. Show up on a Thursday for one of their Kamayan feasts, which means a huge spread of diverse foods, but no forks and knives-- use your hands to scoop up the goodness. Go ahead and get a little messy with your person at this richly authentic and fully fun Filipino food spot, and don’t hesitate to play with the deliciously foreign flavors.
765 Washington Street, Manhattan
You’ll be fully whisked away in the decadent yet rustic red hues and cherry wood tones at Entwine, a Mediterranean wine bar tucked in the West Village with a worldly selection, wildly good cocktails and refined plates. Whether it’s superior French wine or their acclaimed Moscow Mule, your drinks of choice are sure to warm you up for the meal to come: chicken liver pate topped with roasted pistachios, brie and honey toast, spicy Turkish beef sandwiches and oven baked chicken thighs made just right top the list, with many more Mediterranean delicacies available. Luxurious and cozy, this little gem is just right for a sensual, intimate night. Find our date night featuring Entwine here!
162 5th Avenue, Brooklyn
162 5th Avenue, Brooklyn
Take all the light, fresh and tangy flavors of Vietnamese food and imagine them embellishing your drink — cilantro, lime, egg white, pickled cucumber, and cardamom all expertly mixed, with excellent food to match. Cue Bricolage: Vietnamese crepes made of Carolina white shrimp, pork, onion and bean sprouts, house-made Bahn Cahn Noodles, and their famous Unshaking Beef, garnished with pearl onions, scallions and lime-pepper sauce are just a glance at their hearty and comprehensive menu, with portions perfect for sharing and drinks that’ll have you swooning in their cozy, chic space.
157 Bleeker Street, Manhattan
Velvety red and charmingly old-fashioned, Carroll Place is an intricate Italian wine bar that pairs their range of drinks with savory Italian specialties. Artisan cocktails and craft beer are top quality as the wine, and the meat and cheese boards, homemade pastas, woodfired pizzas and luxe burgers that make up their menu are top notch in terms of taste and authenticity, with just enough modern touch to make it special. Whether hanging in their tavern by the fireplace or upstairs in their cozy lounge sitting close on a vintage sofa, the food is sure to please, and the drinks are guaranteed to do the same.