Not to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you (although, hey, if the Manolo fits…), but we like to think we know a thing or two about dating in New York City. In fact—after, oh, who’s counting how many years of mostly single life in New York—we kinda consider ourselves the experts. If shopping was Carrie’s cardio, dating is ours. Just kidding, cardio is our cardio—believe it or not, being wined and dined throughout Manhattan is not exactly a workout—but you get what we mean. Dating is our favorite pastime, and there’s no place we’d rather do it than New York, New York.

Why? Because in addition to the city’s seemingly bottomless dating pool (not that they’re all winners, of course), there’s also nowhere in the world you’ll find a more diverse array of date plans at your fingertips. Whether you’re looking for a classic NYC date night dripping with old-school romance, a cool yet casual vibe for a chill first date, or a trendy, one-of-a-kind outing for a night to remember and/or Instagram the hell out of, you’ll find it in New York, trust.

That said, the sheer number of potential date night options the city has to offer can get, shall we say, a tad overwhelming. If you need a little help narrowing it down, help yourself to this list of expertly curated NYC date ideas. Whether it’s a first date with a promising Hinge match (good luck/thoughts and prayers, babe) or a much-needed night out with your partner of forever-and-a-half years, we’ve gone ahead and made your plans for you. (Yes, you can totally take credit for them—we won’t tell.)

  1. Drinks, dancing, and views at Somewhere Nowhere + a nightcap at The Flatiron Room: Head to Somewhere Nowhere’s Gotham Jazz on Wednesday nights to swing dance, drink, and scope out the stunning views. After a night of live music, cool off with cocktails and classy vibes at The Flatiron Room.
  2. Brunch and burlesque at Duane Park: What’s better than a brunch date? A brunch date with sexy showgirls, duh. Duane Park is the city’s go-to destination for burlesque at its most opulent. The supper club offers lavish dinner shows featuring four-course meals and themed cocktails (allow me to recommend the Red Stiletto), but hit up their Sunday brunch if you like your mimosas with a side of tassel twirling.
  3. Museum date at the New Museum + dinner at Ainslie: Admire art (and/or pretend to admire art so you seem worldly and well-educated even though you don’t really get it—just me?) at the New Museum and then head over to Ainslie on Bowery for delectable dishes like cacio e pepe and a shareable pizza for two. In more of a sushi mood? Hit up Kissaki for one-of-a-kind omakase straight from Japan.
  4. Drinks at Wilfie & Nell + Dinner at Bell Book & Candle: Enjoy a first round at Wilfie & Nell, then hop over to the romantic, subterranean Bell Book & Candle in the West Village for dinner. Insider tip: Try and score the secret private booth next to the bar.
  5. Sushi at Sushi Lab + a Broadway show: Head to Sushi Lab Rooftop for sushi rolls in the sky, then catch the buzzy Broadway show of your choice. Finish off your night out in Midtown with a nightcap at the sex shop-themed speakeasy (yes, you read that right), The Woo Woo.
  6. Drinks and Dinner at The Bonnie + comedy at QED: Pay a visit to neighborhood fave The Bonnie for dirty pickle martinis (yes, that’s what you’re getting, just trust me) and spicy chicken sandwiches, then prepare to laugh your ass off at Astoria’s very own comedy club, QED.
  7. Drinks at Lost Spirits + Irving Plaza concert: Grab some expertly crafted cocktails like the Giggle Water (made with tequila) and spicy chicken Sandwiches at Lost Spirits followed by a concert at Irving Plaza. (Optional nightcap in the secret garden at Hidden Lane is highly recommended.)
  8. MoMA date + dinner at Nerai: Hit up the Museum of Modern Art followed by a Greek dinner to remember at Nerai. The always swanky Monkey Bar is on the same block, FYI, if you find yourselves in need of a last round to end the evening.
  9. Drinks and Bites at Grotto + burlesque at the Slipper Room: In case you haven’t heard, Grotto’s sapphic cocktail bar at Ludlow House is the city’s hottest space for queer women, trans and non-binary folks to enjoy a night out. Soak up the ambience of this one-of-a-kind bar concept, then head to the Slipper Room for a sultry burlesque show.
  10. Dinner at Primal Fusion + live (ahem, *adult*) entertainment at Sapphire 39: Grab drinks at Clinton Hall on W. 36th Street and then head out for a night of adult fun at Sapphire 39. Grab dinner at the club’s new Japanese steakhouse, Primal Fusion, and stick around for some lap dances (or just enjoy the, uh, views).
  11. Cocktails and oysters at Daintree + a walk through Bryant Park: Enjoy some stunning sunset views from Daintree’s open-air rooftop, then take yourselves for a romantic little stroll through Bryant Park.
  12. Dinner at Katsuya + a game at Madison Square Garden: Did you know buzzy LA hotspot Katsuya now has a home in NYC? Well, now you do. Impress your date with a swanky sushi night before heading to MSG for a Rangers or Knicks home game.
  13. Cocktails at The Last Word + dinner at Taverna Kyclades: Soak up the ultra romantic vibes over drinks (and sometimes live music) at this prohibition-style speakeasy in Astoria, then head a few blocks up Ditmars Blvd for the best Greek food the city has to offer at the ever-iconic Taverna Kyclades.
  14. Drinks at Loulou + live music at Coby Club: Feast on French fare and *highly* Instagrammable drinks at Loulou’s Chelsea speakeasy (found behind a Coca-Cola vending machine door on 8th Avenue, FYI), followed by an underground musical performance at Coby Club
  15. Brunch at Hole in the Wall + thrifting at L Train Vintage: Start your day with Hole in the Wall’s extensive list of coffee and cocktails and Australian inspired dishes like Wild Mushroom Toast, then spend an afternoon getting thrifty at L Train Vintage.
  16. Club night at Nebula + optional drunk pizza at Joe’s: Who goes clubbing on Tuesdays? You do, because Nebula’s Tuesday Baby Tuesday party is a can’t miss. Dance your little hearts out, then grab a drunk slice at Joe's Pizza, because you can.
  17. Dinner at Laser Wolf + night out at Schimanski: Get a late dinner overlooking the best of the NYC skyline at Laser Wolf and then party hop over to Schimanski to dance until the lights come on. The club hosts a string of electrifying parties with themes like the Nevermore Goth Rave, and Amapiano Lights. (You don’t have to know what that means, you just have to show up ready to party.)
  18. Drinks at Jimmy + Omakase at Kintsugi: Head to The James Hotel’s chic rooftop bar Jimmy for poolside cocktails in SoHo, then end the evening with an omakase and sake pairing (and optional Uni tasting) at Kintsugi.
  19. Coffee & Tiramisu at Via Quadronno + a Central Park stroll: Via Quadronno is a cute little cafe with hands-down the best tiramisu in the city. Grab a sweet bite there and head on over to Central Park for a little digestive stroll.
  20. Drinks at Gallow Green + Chelsea Gallery walk: Gallow Green is a rooftop bar with a gorgeous, lush botanical rooftop. Take in the greenery, then head downstairs and explore the hundreds of art galleries in the area after your drinks.
  21. Dinner at Nom Wah Tea Parlor followed by drinks at Apotheke: Nom Wah is one of the oldest restaurants in the city and their dumplings majorly slap. Go stuff your face with dim sum, then top off the night with drinks at their neighbor, Apotheke, a super vibe-y cocktail bar that whips up drinks according to how you want to feel.
  22. Brunch at Bubby's + exploring Meatpacking: First, you're going to have a freaking delicious brunch at Bubby's. Next, you're going to take Meatpacking by storm. If you like beer, enjoy some brewskis at The Standard Beer Garden. If you want to have some technological fun, check out whatever exhibits they have going on at Samsung 837. Heck, you can even get your art fix in by exploring The Whitney.
  23. Dinner (Party) at Niche Niche: Want a gourmet dinner date sans the stuffiness of your typical white-tablecloth affair? Niche Niche is the answer. They have great food, but the vibe is way more casual. The restaurant is designed to feel like a dinner party, so you're served with a glass of wine as soon as you walk in.
  24. Tea at Alice's Tea Cup, Chapter 2 + day at Central Park Zoo: Have yourselves a cute little tea party at Alice's Tea Cup, Chapter 2, then take the short walk over to the Central Park Zoo to hang with all of the cute animals.
  25. Dinner at The Greek + live music at Django: The Greek has, you guessed it, great Greek food. But more importantly, it has a super dark, cozy, romantic atmosphere that makes it a perfect date spot. Go there for a nice dinner, then stroll on over to The Roxy Hotel to catch some live music at their jazz bar, Django. Pro tip: You’re going to want to reserve tables at both beforehand.
  26. Omakase at Sushi by M + live music at Bowery Electric: Omakase sushi is usually crazy expensive, but it's only $50 a head at Sushi by M. In other words, it's perfect for a casual date that you want to feel somewhat special without breaking the bank. Go there for some unreal fish, then cap the night off with live music at Bowery Electric.
  27. Oysters at Maison Premiere + an artsy movie at Nitehawk Cinema: Maison Premiere is a v good Brooklyn restaurant with a really chic, dark, romantic vibe. Toss back some oysters (aphrodisiacs, baby!!) then head over to Nitehawk Cinema for an artsy flick.
  28. Cocktail Making Class at Raine's Law Room + dinner at Basta Pasta: Raine's Law Room is a sexy cocktail bar that literally has little drawings of people boning on the wallpaper. They also just so happen to offer cocktail making classes. Take a class, and if you're not too horny from the sexy atmosphere, head over to Basta Pasta across the street for a good ol' fashioned carby meal to soak up all that alcohol.
  29. Ice Skating in Winterland + dinner and a movie at IPIC: Winterland is a rooftop skating rink at Pier 17 that boasts views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Skyline. Once you've snagged your Insta there, you can defrost at IPIC across the street, a movie theater complete with reclining chairs and a chef-curated seasonal menu.
  30. Brooklyn Botanical Garden stroll + a meal at Olmstead: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is literally a garden full of gorgeous flowers that are constantly blooming, so you can only imagine how Insta-worthy it is. Once you've snapped your pic and seen all of the flowers the massive garden has to offer, it's time to get a fantastic meal at Olmstead. Pro tip: It’s a Michelin-rated restaurant, so make sure you make a rezzy beforehand.
  31. Go for a sunset carousel ride in Brooklyn Bridge Park + grab dinner at Superfine: Brooklyn Bridge Park isn't just any park; It's a park with a bomb-ass view. Ride the carousel as you watch the sun set over the city, then head over to Superfine for a delicious dinner.
  32. Drinks at Mr. Purple + dessert at Kinky’s: Mr. Purple arguably has one of the best rooftop views of the city in Manhattan. Go there for drinks and vibes, then end the night at Kinky’s, the Lower East Side’s resident erotic dessert bar. (Worth stopping in to check out the ultra-on-brand aesthetics inside, even if you’re too full for a penis waffle, trust.)
  33. The Museum of Sex + drinks at 230 5th: I mean… it's the Museum of Sex. Of course it's going to make for a sexy date and great inspo for later. Take a quick tour there, then head over to 230 5th for some rooftop drinks featuring sceney vibes and A+ views.
  34. Brunch at Locanda Verde + spa day at Aire Ancient Baths: Hit peak relaxation by starting your day with a to-die-for brunch at Loncanda Verde. Then, spend the rest of the day bathing side-by-side in the romantic caves at Aire Ancient Baths.
  35. French fare at La Boite en Bois + ballet at Lincoln Center: Cozy French bistro La Boite en Bois is a long-time favorite of pre-show diners en route to a show at Lincoln Center, and the New York City Ballet is, well, the New York City Ballet. Let’s get cultured, shall we?
  36. Sunset Drinks at The One Hotel in Dumbo + dinner at The River Cafe: The One Hotel's rooftop bar overlooks all of Manhattan and the view is so good that, for once, it feels like a $17 cocktail might actually be worth it. Once you've taken in the views and vibes, walk over to The River Cafe, what might possibly be the most romantic restaurant in the world (Pro tip: You’ll need reservations and fancy clothes).
  37. Dinner at Little Owl + live music at Cafe Wha: Little Owl is the adorable restaurant inside of the Friends apartment building. In addition to being a landmark, the food is great, and the service is even better. Go there for a truly perfect date night, then walk over to Cafe Wha for some unreal live music.
  38. Take a Private CozyMeal Cooking Class: You can pick how you want to do your CozyMeal cooking class: You can have the Michelin-rated chef come to your place, or, because you probably live in an NYC apartment the size of a shoebox, you can also go to their loft in Flatiron. Make a full, three-course meal with your private instructor based on your personal dietary preferences.
  39. Dinner at Morandi + jazz at The Village Vanguard: Enjoy a cozy Italian meal at West Village mainstay Morandi, then hop over to the Village Vanguard for live music at one of the city's oldest and most iconic jazz clubs.
  40. Steaks at Gallager’s + a Broadway show: If you're looking for that classic NYC experience, than nothing beats a pre-show dinner at an old-school icon like Gallagher’s followed by a little trip down Broadway.
Headshot of Candice Jalili
Candice Jalili
Candice is a dating expert and the author Just Send The Text, out Feb. 2, 2021, which she likes to think of as a 70,000-word-long reminder to be yourself. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @candicejalili.
Headshot of Kayla Kibbe
Associate Sex & Relationships Editor

Kayla Kibbe (she/her) is the Associate Sex and Relationships Editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers all things sex, love, dating, and relationships • She lives in Astoria, Queens and probably won’t stop talking about how great it is if you bring it up • Follow her on Twitter and Instagram