Where to Go on Your Online First Date (By Site!)
Online first dates are stressful enough -- will everyone know we've never met? What if his/her photos lied? -- but in this city you've got the added challenge of picking a perfect spot for a rendezvous from thousands of potential locations. So we present you with our handy guide, for which we've zoned in on the best options for that important first meeting, all based on which site you used to facilitate this (hopefully) excellent pairing. With these evening plans in your back pocket, it's only a matter of time before the lonely selfies, ironic but self-congratulatory profiles, and monthly member fees all go out the window.
The Shanty Ideal for an OkCupid first date.
Match: Art Bar
Art Bar Where to go to spark a Match.
Off-beat, intimate, and cozy settings are the ideal for Match.com-ers who want to wink and flirt in person. And there is no better spot in the city to share your life story, order a Stella, and discover your mutual match percentage than Art Bar. Lit like a gallery no one wants you to see, the Greenwich Village bar is chock full of first-, second-, and possibly third-daters cuddled into plush couches. Order a brew, and if the night is going well enough (you've discovered your date was in the PeaceCorps, they make their own bread, and love Wilco), move on to guac and brie later in the evening. If things flounder, you're close to subway lines or Eighth Avenue, full of cabbies to take you back to your friend's apartment to cry over one more failed date. Take solace: another email of 15 more matches is just a day away.
OkCupid: The Shanty
The Shanty NY Distilling's laid back bar.
The OkCupid dater who actually goes on dates is an elusive breed, but there are a few willing to run the hug-or-handshake gauntlet and settle in for a drink or five. No place to head but Williamsburg, where you should start at The Shanty for some stiff gin cocktails. Impress your date with your distillery knowledge and your knowledge of all those bands you both put in your profiles, and soon, you might be off to The Commodore for some fried chicken and Six Point Sweet Action. If your date is still passing all the tests, move on to Union Pool for some late-night dancing. Where you go from there is entirely up to you, we just hope it's better than OK. And, by the way, if you're worried about how much this will cost, just think of all the money you saved by avoiding Match.com's monthly membership -- and by asking all those other OkCupid-ers out on dates only to have them suddenly disappear.
Alta Tapas galore.
Going on a date with a group of six in this city is just awkward. Forget getting along or getting caught in the crosshairs of your friend's love interest; finding the space and an affordable meal is challenge enough. Being shoved in some cramped corner is not very romantic, so if you are a Grouper dater, head to a tapas joint where groups are encouraged to share everything: Alta. Order The Whole Shebang, a meal of every single small plate on the menu (it's a lot of tapas); your evaluations of each plate will be an immediate conversation starter in case you need something to talk about besides the fact that you're too afraid to go on a blind date by yourself. A close second to this plan that requires less chatting: Get your bowl on at Brooklyn Bowl.