It might still be summertime here in the city – the heat certainly proves that – but autumn is fast approaching. After all, Starbucks just relaunched their fall drinks for the year. If there’s any sign that the leaves are about to start turning, this is it. And, that means just one thing: cuffing season is back in the city. Some get heart eyes just thinking about it, while the rest of us are looking forward to next spring.
While coming up with fun date ideas in NYC isn’t hard, it’s been a bit difficult to make it out and about for dates due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety precautions. Dating past the realm of the online world has been challenging, to say the least. Now, though, the city’s best date spots and opportunities are resurfacing. Even if you’re happy to be single, grab a friend and make your way to these totally rad, totally underground hangouts.
“Let’s grab coffee sometime”
A cup of coffee is the oldest date trick in the book. It’s cheap, it’s quick and you can always peace out after half an hour if you and your date don’t mesh well. Coffee dates are the best. But, well, they’re kind of played out. Especially in a city where every other storefront is a hipster cafe. We’ve got a few coffee shops that’ll reinvigorate this tried and true favorite, though.
If you’re looking for more unique date ideas in NYC, grab a cup of joe with Edgar Allan Poe at Edgar’s Cafe. Something for lovers of literature (or maybe just the macabre), this quirky cafe is just different enough to service some scintillating conversation between yourself and that special someone. With its strange, Victorian décor – yes, complete with crown molding – and teeming with two-person tables, Edgar’s cafe is just different enough to bring you out of your dating funk.
It’s located on what’s known as Edgar Allan Poe St on the Upper West Side, close to where Poe himself resided in the city. And with a menu that spans breakfast, lunch and dinner (plus some alcoholic beverages), you’re not just limited to coffee or tea. Edgar’s Cafe is known for its extensive selection of pastries and desserts that are perfect for sharing.
For more of an in-depth coffee experience, why not attend something a little different? Namely, give the “Latte Art Intensive” class offered by Coffee Project on the Lower East Side a go. This class is offered at a beginner, intermediate and advanced level, so everyone is welcome. Please learn how to use an espresso machine beforehand, though.
A combination of both art and coffee, going to this class with your significant other is bound to be interesting. Each class is two hours long and costs US$110 per person, so this is definitely more of a special occasion date option. Still, for coffee lovers, it could just be worth a “shot!”
Museum date, anyone?
New York City certainly isn’t wanting for any museums. Whatever you’re into, chances are there’s more than one exhibition about it here in the city. Museum dates, too, are pretty common. With many of the city’s museums having free or discounted days, they’re an amazing option for couples seeking cultural enrichment without breaking the bank. Still, going for a museum experience a little bit off the beaten path is bound to get you Brownie points with your crush.
Certainly, the Treasures in the Trash collection qualifies as obscure. Head over to Harlem to an active sanitation garage – Manhattan 11 – to locate this exhibition. Organized and curated by retired Sanitation Worker Nelson Molina “over the course of his 34-year career with the NYC Department of Sanitation,” the Treasures in the Trash collection includes over 40,000 items. Many of these items were personally restored by Molina himself.
There’s something sweet about seeing the care that has gone into the belongings which tell the stories of other people – other normal NYC residents. While this kind of place may, at first, not seem like the most romantic museum in the world, it offers an intimacy that’s hard to replicate. Make sure to make an advance reservation for a tour, though, as this museum is not open to visitors without one.
Grabbing a bite
A major food city, New York has all kinds of the world’s best cuisine on offer. But getting a reservation at a sushi restaurant is like, so 2011. Instead, enjoy these unique dining experiences which are date ideas in NYC for when you’re hungry, but also bored of the same old, same old.
Nowhere does pizza better than New York. And, nowhere in New York does it better than Brooklyn. Rather than just doing a quick Google search in hopes of discovering your new favorite spot for a slice, why not do a whole Brooklyn pizza tour? You can always make up a tour yourself with the spots you’ve been dying to try, or you can go with an organized group. Just make sure that you’re doing a lot of walking in between pizzerias so you won’t get too full too quickly. This’ll also guarantee maximum hand-holding time.
Seeking more of a hands-on eating experience? Look no farther than 99 Favor Taste, a Chinatown favorite that is both affordable and authentic. Serving Chinese Hot Pot and Korean Barbecue, guests can enjoy cooking their own food right at their table. They even offer vegan and vegetarian options, to please every diner who walks through their doors.
With a second floor and a balcony, this hot spot is perfect for date night in NYC, even if you’re on a tighter budget. Offering more conventional food like enoki mushroom, spinach and chicken, 99 Favor Taste is the kind of place you should visit to enjoy less common foods like duck feet and cow tongue. Their menu is expansive, so you’re bound to find something you’ll love!
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