Competitive Socialising

8 Exciting First Date Spots in New York City

By Swingers

Choosing a good first date spot can make or break that all-important initial meeting. It needs to check a number of boxes: fun, relaxed, and interesting enough to get the conversation flowing Luckily, we’ve done the research and found some surefire first date spots, with aesthetics to suit any taste. Without further ado, here are […]

8 Exciting First Date Spots in New York City

Choosing a good first date spot can make or break that all-important initial meeting. It needs to check a number of boxes: fun, relaxed, and interesting enough to get the conversation flowing

Luckily, we’ve done the research and found some surefire first date spots, with aesthetics to suit any taste. Without further ado, here are our top picks of the best first date spots in NYC.

1. Swingers, the crazy golf club

Swingers takes mini golf to a whole new level, bringing it indoors and adding elaborate theming and delicious drinks for a totally immersive “crazy golf” experience! This lively activity from across the pond is not only a great way to get moving, but also the perfect choice if you’re looking for a unique date night out.

A hidden gem beneath the streets of NYC, Swingers conjures visions of a theatrical “country house” design and the 1920s British seaside. This lavish venue has three crazy golf courses, as well as four gourmet street food vendors and four cocktail bars. It’s both distinctive and versatile, the perfect place for first-date drinks or a bit of flirtatious rivalry – and whatever you end up doing, Swingers’ magical setting is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Perfect for: A luxurious yet lively evening of fancy cocktails and friendly competition.

2. Amelie

In search of a romantic European setting? Amelie is an ideal date spot in NYC for those who appreciate a touch of je ne sais quoi. This West Village French wine bar boasts indoor and heated outdoor seating to enjoy sublime Michelin-starred cuisine – you’ll be reveling in the atmosphere in no time.

With European classics like hand-cut beef tartare and grilled octopus (and brunch on the weekends), Amelie will delight you and your date with their upscale yet unstuffy dining experience. Opt for the ‘‘grand platters” if you’d like to sit and share, and pair with a bottle from their vast, international wines collection. It’s the perfect spot if your date is a bit of a wine connoisseur, and who knows – if all goes well, you might just be seeing France together someday!
Perfect for: Sipping leisurely glasses of wine and discussing your dream vacation spots.

3. Ophelia

Situated atop the 26-floor Beekman Tower, Ophelia Lounge is your go-to spot for stunning views of the city. This cathedral-esque venue serves five-star food and fancy cocktails all year, with a menu that includes leveled-up appetizers (burrata caprese salad, cauliflower steak with pistachios) and some truly impressive mains (Chilean sea bass skewers, foie gras).

They also offer a two-person “taste of the tower” prix fixe that starts with smoked salmon and whipped ricotta crostini and peaks with lobster and caviar sliders – and if your mouth isn’t watering by now, we don’t know what to tell you. In addition to the glorious food, if your date is relatively new to the city or hasn’t ever seen it from such a vantage point, Ophelia is the ideal spot to try in NYC.

Perfect for: Wide-eyed New Yorkers ready for their minds to be blown.

4. Leyenda

Celebrating the spirits and drinking traditions of Latin America, Leyenda is a unique – and legendary, as the name implies – venue. Here you’ll sample exotic drinks and exciting twists on traditional Latin food from across Central and South America and the Caribbean. In other words, if you’re looking for an inspired comida that goes beyond your typical street tacos, Leyenda is the place to be.

Opened by the same folks as the Clover (just across the road!), this pan-Latin flavorfest hosts brunch as well as dinner. For the former, you might start with a “leyenda bloody” (featuring their one-of-a-kind sangrita of carrot, papaya, lime and chili), followed by tasty breakfast tacos, pupusas or enchiladas with rich mole sauce. For the latter, make sure to try their tequila-flamed shrimp arepas or their poblano relleno of zucchini, tomato and salsa ranchera. All in all: for food that’s a real talking point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better spot.

Perfect for: Wooing a first date with Latin passion (and some exquisite empanadas).

5. Buvette

A beloved joint in Greenwich Village for over a decade now, Buvette’s part-bar, part-cafe is our final recommendation for great first date spots in NYC. It’s especially convenient for a casual lunch date or evening drink, and a lovely place to meet if you want to wander along the river or through Washington Square Park afterward.

Indeed, with its upmarket European brunch menu, delicate patisserie and splendid desserts, Buvette is a classic spot for New Yorkers to pass a morning or afternoon. The buttermilk waffles and croquets with cornichons are particularly unbeatable, though the coq au vin and steak tartare of the dinner menu are standouts as well. But if you and your date are short on time, you can always just head to the bar for custom cocktails into the early hours. With a fruity spritz or their signature Buvette Manhattan in hand, you can be sure that this will be a night to remember.

Perfect for: Classy yet casual brunch dates and evenings of understated elegance.

6. The DiscOasis

For a first date of bustling activity and retro fun, look no further than the iconic DiscOasis. Based at the Wollman rink in Central Park, DiscOasis provides a dynamic skating experience complete with funky art installations, guest DJ slots and musical offerings curated by none other than Nile Rodgers (known for his contributions to legendary 70s/80s albums by Donna Summers, Madonna and more).

This is also an ideal first date spot if you’re looking to blow off some steam after work, as they offer “Disco After Dark” sessions from 5:30 – 10 pm. Just make sure that you can hold your own on 8 wheels – otherwise, your date’s prevailing memory will be of you falling on your face. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Perfect for: A disco-lit date after dark, where you can subtly get away with holding your date’s hand for balance.7. Tokyo Record Bar

With an underground listening room, picture-perfect indoor and outdoor areas, and divine food and drinks, Tokyo Record Bar truly has something for everyone. If your date is a vinyl record nerd, you’ll naturally want to take them here – but even if not, you’ll both enjoy choosing records and seeing how they mesh with the other guests’ tastes via the bar’s custom playlist, which plays out in real time.

In terms of cuisine, the Izakaya menu is simply stunning. The bar’s “Japanese tapas” consist of small but flavor-packed dishes that are just the thing for a light but memorable first date meal.

Perfect for: Old souls in the mood for some creative collaboration – and some of the best Japanese food in town.

8. Oscar Wilde

If you’re a lover of sparkling wit and sparkling surroundings, we can think of no better NYC first date spot than Oscar Wilde in NoMad. This over-the-top watering hole contains New York’s longest bar (nearly 120 feet long) and a plethora of gilded Victorian decorations. It also hosts an extensive whiskey selection and 26 antique clocks (though hopefully, neither of you will be looking up at them!).

Oscar Wilde offers separate dinner and evening menus, featuring much of what you’d expect from a swanky gastro-bar. Favorites include the decadent truffle gnocchi and the steak frites; of course, there’s an extensive drinks menu to match. Brimming with ornate curiosities and rich food and drink, Oscar Wilde is certainly a place to indulge – and what’s better than doing so in the intoxicating company of a first date?

Perfect for: Those who love their rare whiskeys almost as much as they love their melodrama.

Swingers ~ The crazy golf club

We believe that life is more fun when there is an element of competition, and that competition is best enjoyed with friends.

Swingers, the crazy golf club takes the holy trinity that is crazy golf, street food and amazing cocktails and combines them all into one incredible social experience