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The 5 Best Bars For A First Date In NYC

With the launch of in the summer of 2010, we brought you our picks for the best first-date bars and restaurants in NYC. But this city is a big place with plenty of first-date friendly venues to offer. Here's part two.

First dates are tricky enough, so hopefully by choosing a comfortable setting, things will veer more towards casual than creepy. Meeting at a bar for drinks gives both parties the opportunity to loosen up and get to know each other without committing to a full meal. What's the worst that can happen? If your date disappoints, at least these bars won't.By Selena Ricks-Good

Roof Garden Cafe at the Met

Roof Garden Cafe At The Met

1000 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY

On Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:30 to 8 p.m., weather permitting, the Met opens its rooftop for one of the most scenic drinking spots in the city. After soaking up a martini or three, take advantage of the museum's late hours on weekends and tour the galleries until 9 p.m. The current Alexander McQueen exhibit, Savage Beauty, is sure to ignite some conversation on romanticism and the human form.


1534 Bar
Credit: 1534

20 Prince St.
New York, NY

Tucked underneath Jacques bistro in Nolita, this cozy cocktail den feels like a hidden oasis. The subdued setting means you'll actually get to hear each other speak while you sip on cocktails inspired by the French colonies including Vietnam, French Polynesia, Africa and The Caribbean. Feel like staying a while? The bar offers bowls of punch (starting at $35 for 2-3 people) as well as nibbles from the restaurant upstairs like salt cod fritters and mini Crosque Monsieurs. Try the Haloong Bay punch: yuzu juice, green tea-infused gin, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, and ginger-agave syrup.

The Summit Bar


133 Avenue C
New York, NY

Off the beaten track on Avenue C, The Summit Bar has all the makings of a top NYC cocktail bar minus any attitude. Enter a scene of exposed brick and chandeliers and rest assured that the bartenders will take good care of you. Tipples range from a menu of classics like the French 75 to the "alchemist" list of concoctions such as the Ground to Glass: blanco tequila, red pepper puree, cucumber, fresh lime, orange bitters and hickory smoked salt. Come early to claim a spot on the cushy back patio, perfect for cuddling if things between you and your date progress.

The Ten Bells

The Ten Bells
(credit: The Ten Bells)

247 Broome St.
New York, NY

Don't be turned off by the lack of a sign out front or overwhelmed by the sprawling wine list written on wall-sized chalkboards—the unpretentious staff at this dimly-lit romantic wine bar are quick to help you relax. Settle in for relatively affordable organic wines by the glass or bottle and delectable tapas. The $1 oyster happy hour (5 to 7 p.m. daily) brings a crowd, so you may want to come earlier or later for a quieter atmosphere.

Madam Geneva

Madam Geneva
(credit: Madam Geneva)

4 Bleecker St.
New York, NY

Gin, vodka and jam make up most of the cocktails at this sultry 19th century Singapore-themed lounge adjacent to Double Crown. Seating options range from a long bar to intimate candlelit nooks, and a midweek visit is best for avoiding the crowds. Bar snacks include steamed duck buns and sashimi. Not into gin? There's a selection of wine and craft beer here as well.

Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.

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