Round table booth with eccentric green tropical decor at The Happiest Hour in NYC
Romance

10 Fun Places to Take a Hinge Date in Manhattan

Deep in the dating app game? From stellar bars to unique NYC experiences, we rounded up 10 spots to make a great first impression with your Hinge date in Manhattan.

When it comes to dating apps, Hinge sets itself apart. Billed as “the dating app made for dating,” Hinge was designed for building relationships that last (which might not sound revolutionary, until you discover many other “dating app” users have less promising intentions). Here’s why it works: on Hinge, you do more than just swipe left or swipe right; you respond to question prompts on your profile and match with others by liking specific answers or photos, which naturally jumpstarts conversation.

That extra personalization goes a long way: more Hinge users plan dates that are genuine and low-key, in hopes of actually getting to know the person they’re seeing, rather than going all out at an over-the-top restaurant or exclusive bar. If this is the case for you and your potential new S.O., here are 10 date spots in New York worth setting aside a night for.

alcohol drinks, people and luxury concept - bartender with glass and lemon peel preparing cocktail at bar
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For cocktails: Fig 19, Lower East Side

A cozy speakeasy located in the back of an art gallery, Fig 19 is a perfect date-night spot if you're looking for delicious cocktails. (We especially love the Vanishing Point, made with vanilla bean and cinnamon infused gin, lemon, agave, egg white, and sea salt.) The place is small, but usually quiet enough to enjoy an intimate conversation, while its ornate décor adds lots of charm—think beaded chandeliers, antique cash registers, and art-adorned walls. On a weekday, plan to meet right when the bar opens, so you can snag a seat along the couch or at a candlelit table for two.

Communal seating area at Corkbuzz in Union Square
Assorted food platter paired with white wine at Corkbuzz in Union Square
Wine bar at Corkbuzz in Union Square
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For wine: Corkbuzz, Union Square

Take drinks a step further at Corkbuzz, where you and your date can participate in a $15 blind tasting happy hour (offered weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m.). After choosing between a red or white flight, you'll guide each other through a deductive tasting process using Corkbuzz’s tasting grid. If you've had so much fun that you make it to a second date, up the ante with a class like “Pinot Noir Around the World,” where you’ll become wine experts together while sipping on vintages from locations across the globe.

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For beer: Valhalla, Hell's Kitchen

Valhalla, a rustic tavern in Hell’s Kitchen, is a beer lover’s paradise, featuring 48 craft brews on tap and over 40 varieties of foreign and domestic beers. While the place doesn’t scream romance (it can get a little loud), it’s laid-back, fun, and the perfect place to take someone who just loves to have a good time. Even the bar bites are yummy; you can’t go wrong with toasted Bavarian pretzels.

RELATED: 13 Non-Touristy Things to Do in New York City

Dining area with wacky tropical decor at The Happiest Hour
Door with writing "Greetings from Paradise" with palm tree decal at The Happiest Hour in NYC
Bar area with gay pride flag at The Happiest Hour in West Village
Round table booth with eccentric green tropical decor at The Happiest Hour in NYC
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For drinks and burgers: The Happiest Hour, West Village

You don’t need to treat your date to a swanky five-star restaurant to make a good impression. The whimsical bar and restaurant The Happiest Hour will leave you both feeling fancy without dropping too much dough, thanks to its quirky tiki theme and elevated yet affordable diner-style menu. (Psst—go for the signature Happiest Burger, a delicious double patty with cheese and special sauce). As for drinks, we recommend the Belle of the Ball, a spicy concoction featuring red pepper, lemon, Habañero shrub, and the choice of mezcal, tequila, or gin.

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For drinks and board games: The Uncommons, Greenwich Village

Break the ice on a first date with a little bit of competitive Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, or one of the 1,906 other games in the collection at The Uncommons, Manhattan’s first board game café. The spot also offers delicious ice cream sandwiches and serves over 20 craft beers along with wines, shandies, and ciders. Loser buys the next round!

Outside of Tarallucci e Vino in Union Square
Bar with stools at Tarallucci e Vino in Union Square
Boutique City Drink Eat Modern plate food cup coffee breakfast dessert flavor
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For coffee and pastries: Tarallucci e Vino, East Village

If the weather’s cooperative, grab an outdoor table for two at Tarallucci e Vino in the East Village. Their Italian espresso and pastries are top-notch (especially the bomboloni), and the location is prime for people-watching—making for easy conversation starters.

RELATED: JS Editors’ Favorite NYC Restaurants and Dishes 

A man and woman using a telescope at night at The High Line in NYC
The High Line in NYC at night
CROP of The High Line at twilight with a view on 10th Avenue with skyscrapers and building illumination. Chelsea, Manhattan, new York City, USA
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For an evening stroll: The High Line, West Side

Sometimes, the best way to really get to know someone is during an old-fashioned walk-and-talk. Stroll along the 1.45-mile-long elevated High Line, which is sprinkled with various overlooks, greenery, art, food and drink vendors, and seasonal special programming like salsa dancing and stargazing.

Dark empty comedy cabaret stage. 3d illustration
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For jokesters: Dark Horse Comedy Club, TriBeCa

One hallmark of a great date: sharing lots of laughs. While some comedy clubs can err on the grimy side, the Dark Horse venue in TriBeCa is clean, seldom overcrowded, and more intimate than most. Plus, while food is an afterthought at some clubs, Dark Horse features a diverse menu full of appetizing bites and entrées.

RELATED: 2018’s Best New Hotels in NYC

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Entrance to Metrograph in NYC
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Theatre at Metrograph in NYC
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For cinephiles: Metrograph, Chinatown

Going out with a movie buff? Skip AMC and head to Metrograph instead. The artsy theater showcases curated archival selections (everything from 1954’s The Barefoot Contessa to 2017’s Okja), hosts special events (like Q&As with screenwriters), and features a fantastic food and drink menu (hello, cheese plate). Sounds like a winning date to us!

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