In New York City, there’s something new to do and see around every corner. This can make dating in NYC genuinely special. But, even with all that opportunity, finding the best date night restaurants in NYC isn’t always straightforward and it’s easy to get stuck into a habit of going to the same places over and over again.
So, if you’re looking to break out of that rut, return to healthy dating habits, and re-energize your love life, we’re here to help! We’ve put together a list of 22 of the best date night restaurants in NYC for every occasion. Whether it’s your first date or your 20th anniversary, this list is sure to spice up your next romantic night out!
22 of the Best Date Night Restaurants in NYC That You Can Try
With so many potential choices out there, knowing where to start when it comes to finding the best date night restaurants in NYC isn’t always straightforward. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 22 of our favorites to get you started. Check out our top picks below!
Hidden behind an unmarked door on Manhattan Ave, Eavesdrop is a cozy restaurant and cocktail bar that’s all about acoustics. If you’re fed up with having date night in bars that pump up the music and drown out your great conversation starters, Eavesdrop is the perfect place for you.
The restaurant has a state-of-the-art sound system, but that’s not so they can play music for dancing. Instead, this neighborhood bar is all about creating an atmosphere that focuses on listening to great music while still being able to hold a conversation with your date. For us, this definitely makes it one of the best NYC restaurants for date night.
2. Bibi Wine Bar
Looking for an affordable date night restaurant in NYC? Bibi Wine Bar has you covered! Located in the East Village, this wine bar is equipped with the perfect lighting for a little romance and has happy hour until 8 p.m. every day. And even if you don’t go during happy hour, no bottle tops $60. Treat your date to some fancy wine without the fancy price tag.
There’s a reason why this Lower East Side gem is considered one of the best date night spots in NYC. Forsythia is an airy Italian restaurant serving up some of the best carb-heavy dishes you’ll have in the city. This Roman comfort food will put a smile on your date’s face from their very first bite.
4. Peasant Wine Bar
Although Chef Marc Forgione’s Peasant is a New York staple, he recently turned the restaurant’s wine cellar into one of the most romantic wine bars and restaurants in NYC.
You can get much the same food upstairs as you can downstairs, but what sets this new experience apart is the atmosphere. It’s designed to invoke the feeling of being in an Italian enoteca. Complete with stunning stonework, antique tables, and candles galore, your date will love the relaxing, romantic ambiance.
This French wine bar and restaurant over on the Lower East Side has a rustic vibe to it that’s sure to kick out those first date nerves. From the signature drinks to the French specialties, your date will love every sip and every bite.
You can dine indoors or out at Lena, with the outside patio having a fairytale feel to it thanks to its stunning decoration of beautiful blooms.
6. The Harrow
The Harrow may be in Hell’s Kitchen, but this contemporary American spot is pretty heavenly. Another more affordable option, the mood lighting and soft ambiance make this one of the best first date restaurants in NYC.
With a menu built for both adventurous and reserved eaters alike, any date you take here is bound to find something they’ll love.
7. Petite Boucherie Bistro
When it comes to cute date night restaurants in NYC, Petite Boucherie Bistro is easily one of the best. Located in the West Village, this French bistro looks like it jumped straight out of the pages of a storybook, with its intimate setting covered in vines, flowers, and twinkling lights. And for daytime dates, their brunch menu is drool-worthy.
8. il Buco
Offering a menu created with only the freshest ingredients and seasoning you’d otherwise find on a trip through Europe, there’s a reason so many people consider il Buco one of NYC’s best dining spots.
9. Rabbit House
Rabbit House may be as small as its name suggests, but this Lower East Side omakase and sake bar is big on flavor. Serving up traditional Japanese dishes alongside more American fare, Rabbit House is a perfect spot to share a meal. The décor is simple, airy, and cozy.
The newly Michelin-starred Rezdôra deserves all of its accolades. Boasting a menu brimming with Northern Italian fare, each dish in this beloved Flatiron District restaurant focuses on handcrafted cuisine. Every meal tastes like something your Nonna would have made, with time and care put into each ingredient.
11. Le Rivage
This charming French restaurant is easily one of the top choices when it comes to cute date night restaurants in NYC. From the classic brick walls to the paintings of the French countryside, Le Rivage is a place to fall in love. Live jazz is on offer every evening during their dinner hours, giving you some entertainment during your mouthwatering meal.
12. Casa Mono
Dine by candlelight in Gramecy’s Casa Mono and you can be sure that you and your date are eating some of the very best Spanish food NYC has to offer.
With a wine list that boasts bottles crafted from the finest grapes to be found on the Iberian Peninsula, you and your date will be sipping on drinks that perfectly pair with Casa Mono’s stunning dishes.
13. La Lanterna di Vittorio
You can find an Italian restaurant on just about every block in NYC, especially in Greenwich Village. But, what makes La Lanterna di Vittorio stand out is its gorgeous garden dining experience. And while you may think dining in a garden in New York’s famous winters wouldn’t be much fun, the warm glow of their fireplaces will change your mind.
That being said, no matter what season you’re dining in, your date will love the ivy-strung walls, multi-colored lanterns, and the feeling that this restaurant has been untouched by time.
Grab a cozy booth by the fire at Merakia and experience all the romantic potential that this authentic Greek restaurant has to offer. The décor is true to its roots, with a bit of a modern flare. And the eclectic menu will please even the pickiest of eaters.
Stepping foot in Bea is like stepping back in time. Situated in the atmospheric Hell’s Kitchen, the restaurant’s exposed brick walls provide the perfect backdrop for projecting old movies. Here, you and your date can dine while watching some of the greatest actors from the Golden Age of cinema. Their cocktail selection is inventive, and their dinner menu is filled with new twists on old American favorites.
16. Soda Club
This art deco spot in the East Village is a great find if you’re vegan dater, offering some of the best vegan Italian dishes in NYC.
Even if neither of you is vegan, the handcrafted pasta plates are still something pretty special, especially when ordered as part of the six-course tasting menu. Enjoy Soda Club’s vegan fare alongside their comprehensive wine list, which includes orange wines and plenty of bubbly varieties.
17. Serra by Birreria
A rooftop restaurant that gives you a stunning view of the city and that’s designed to look like the Italian countryside? Serra by Birreria is undoubtedly one of the best date night restaurants in NYC.
The restaurant changes seasonally, but it’s hard to go wrong with picking the right time of year to visit. Spring brings towers of blooming flowers lining every corner, while winter offers a wonderland of evergreens and twinkling lights.
18. The Loeb Boathouse Central Park
People visit from all over for the chance to dine at the Loeb Boathouse’s Lakeside Restaurant. Dine right on the water and take in the full-scale beauty of Central Park. This one-of-a-kind dining experience gives you one of the best views that NYC has to offer, as well as some peace from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Williamsburg’s Sauced is a wine bar and restaurant like no other. The back room serves as a low-key nightclub, while the backyard feels more like a public park. There are disco balls galore, as well as macramé chairs hanging from trees and lanterns lighting up the night sky.
In addition to the copious amounts of wine, there are small plates that are perfect for sharing with a date. Sauced is a perfect first date bar, but it’s also an excellent idea for a double date.
Located in the East Village, Pylos is traditional Greek fare, complete with an atmosphere that somehow feels both rustic and modern. Elegant and yet so cozy, Pylo’s ambiance has the makings of one of the best date night spots in NYC. There’s so much on the menu you’ll want to try, so be sure to order a few different dishes to share.
21. Four Horsemen
Another great Williamsburg find, Four Horsemen is world-renowned for its massive wine list, but their small plates are no slouch either. Easily one of the best first date restaurants in NYC, this spot is perfect for taking someone you’ve just started connecting with.
22. Black Mountain Wine House
Looking for the cutest winter date idea? Well, is there anything cozier than a mountain cabin? We don’t think so, and apparently, neither do the owners of Gowanus’s Black Mountain Wine House. Cuddle your sweetie by the fire while sipping on wines from all over the world and dining on homey cuisine.
Sample the Best Date Night Restaurants in NYC to Find Your Favorite!
The best date night restaurants in NYC give you the chance to experience a multitude of flavors and atmospheres. The city certainly doesn’t lack options and there’s a constant stream of new restaurants popping up that you and your date can try.
The best NYC date ideas are all about trying something new, so, sample as many of the restaurants from this list as you can to find your favorite. You never know which one will become your go-to date night spot!