Address: 150 E. 14th St. (at 3rd Ave.)
*Also located in Midtown West and UWS
Review: The newest 5 Napkin Burger has popped up in the Union Square area on the busy corner of 14th and 3rd. If you are in the mood for some hearty burgers with a slightly upscale setting this is a safe bet. Though tiled decor lends to a louder than desired setting, it is a cut above your dine and dash burger joints. With other options besides just charred beef, like sushi rolls and lobster roll sliders, 5 Napkin provides variety for everyone in your group. This spot is better suited for something very casual or a group dinner with friends/family.
Address: 517 Lexington Ave. (48th & 49th St.)
Review: Lexington Brass is a nice upscale bar located in Midtown East. It’s got a hopping after work bar scene, tasty small bites and great upscale bar food – burgers, truffle fries, fried chicken and everyone’s favorite – lobster mac and cheese. They also have a decent selection of cocktails and some great microbrews on tap. Being that it’s located in Midtown, it’s packed to the hilt with suits, but the friendly service helps dull the overall corporate feeling of the clientele. If you’re looking for a place to stop in and refuel after a long day of climbing the corporate ladder, this is the spot.
Address: 349 E. 13th St. (1st & 2nd Ave.)
Review: The Redhead is a cozy spot in the East Village for some tasty dishes that have that home-cooked feel. The service is quick and friendly and the buttermilk fried chicken was AMAZING, rivaling the fried chicken we had over at David Burke Kitchen. The duck confit flatbread was a great starter and they have some good specialty cocktails and craft beers as well. With the exposed brick, dim candlelit atmosphere and limited seating, this is a nice, intimate spot to bring your date for some good eats and some good conversation.
Address: 77 Irving Pl. (18th & 19th St.)
Review: Friend of a Farmer is a GREAT brunch spot! With it’s trendy atmosphere and classier decor than most brunch spots, Friend of a Farmer is a good place for a casual, cozy brunch with your beau or somewhere to bring the parents of someone special. They have a delicious and fresh farm to table type menu with tons of omelette options and tasty pancakes. We’ve never tried the dinner here but it looks like a pretty decent menu of classic american comfort food. There’s generally a wait during brunch so try to get there early since it’s first come first serve (you can make reservations for dinner though). Friend of a Farmer is always showing up on the top brunch spot lists for a reason!
Address: 24 W. 12th St. (5th Ave. & University Pl.)
Review: In the mood for some burgers and milkshakes? If you don’t want to wait on the crazy lines at Shake Shack and want some more variety when it comes to your burger toppings then head to Stand4 in Greenwich Village. You can create your own burger or choose from one of the 14 pre-made options. The milkshakes are fantastic, and the best part is, they have boozy options too! You can also catch the game on their big screen tv and they have some good craft beers on tap if you’re not in the mood for a boozy milkshake (but why would’t you be?) Stand4 is definitely a fun date spot if you’re not calorie counting.
Address: 380 3rd Ave. (27th & 28th St.)
Review: Tavern on Third is one of the nicer sports bars on 3rd ave. It’s a good bar to grab craft beers, a bite to eat and watch the game. Tavern has pretty solid, more “upscale” bar food and a large beer list. They have some pretty good specials throughout the week with $3 beers on Monday’s and Wednesday’s and $15 buckets on Thursday’s. Our favorite part of Tavern are the individual draft tables where you can pour your own beer right from the table – though beware, drinks add up quick!! Tavern on Third has a fun, young crowd, especially on Thursday nights or when there’s a big game on. Not a date spot, but definitely a fun spot to check out with all your friends.
Address: 45 E. 30th St. (Madison Ave. & Park Ave.)
Review: The Mason Jar falls flat on the brunch front. We came here to have some brunch while catching the football playoffs. The menu has your standard brunch items, some with a little southern flair. The food wasn’t terrible but it was nothing memorable. Also, the service was insanely slow for there only being 4 other tables occupied in the whole place. The Mason Jar is definitely better served as a sports bar, solely a spot to grab some beers, bourbon and wings with your bros while watching the game.
Address: 159 Lexington Ave. (at 30th St.)
Review: Penelope has an AMAZING brunch, as you can probably tell by the line out the door on weekends. Everything on the menu is delicious from the nutella french toast to the egg dishes to the chicken apple sausage to the cinnamon buns. They also do a little bit of a different spin on their brunch cocktails and they’re fantastic. You can also order for pick up to skip the wait, and this is usually a better bet unless you have a Saturday morning/afternoon to sit around waiting. All in all, Penelope is a cute, trendy brunch date spot that you’ll be craving every time Saturday morning rolls around.
Address: 113 St. Marks Pl. (1st Ave. & Ave. A)
Review: The only reason we’ve ever eaten at Crif Dogs is because we were waiting for our table at PDT, but this place warrants a visit on its own if you’re in the mood for a quick bite of amazingly delicious hot dogs and a cold can of PBR (and honestly, who isn’t in the mood for that every now and then?) As their site touts, they were voted NYC’s #1 Weiner and we couldn’t agree more. With several bacon wrapped hot dogs and ~23 topping options from fried egg to pineapple to jalapeños to cream cheese, Crif Dogs is definitely worth the visit when you’re in the East Village, and luckily for us their menu is available once you’re sipping your cocktails in PDT as well!
Address: 514 3rd Ave. (34th & 35th St.)
*Locations also in Greenwich Village, Chelsea and East Village
Review: Bare Burger is a great spot if you’re in the mood for some red meat and beers. It’s a great neighborhood burger place that now has multiple locations. Good craft beers and tons of different meat and vegetarian options (bison, elk, beef, chicken, veggie, portabella mushroom, etc.). It is one of our favorites for a more sophisticated beer and burger joint. The Jalapeno Express is great if you’re in the mood for something spicy and if not, the Western is a solid choice. Bare Burger is good choice for a casual date or a dinner with friends.
Address: 11 W 17th St. (5th & 6th Ave.)
Review: Rye House is a good spot for a strong cocktail in somewhat of a hipster/trendy atmosphere. They have a good specialty cocktail list and great selection of dark liquors. We’ve never been here for dinner but it’s a great spot for some apps and cocktails. Could be good for a more casual “let’s grab drinks date spot”, but also a fun place to grab a long table in the back to booze all night with friends. Truffle grilled cheese and truffle beer cheese are fantastic snacks to nosh on while enjoying your cocktails. They have a pretty solid Southern style brunch as well.
Address: 378 Park Ave. S. (26th & 27th St.)
*Location also in Midtown East
Review: Hillstone is a solid place for a more expensive date night. It’s generally populated by business suit wearing types after work and has round booths where you and your date can cozy up and have a romantic meal together. They have a very mixed menu from burgers to sushi to pan roasted salmon, so it’s a great spot if you don’t know what type of food your date likes or both are in the mood for different types of cuisine. The higher end, classy atmosphere, the eclectic menu and the large wine list make it a great spot to bring your date.
Address: 450 Park Ave. S. (30th & 31st St.)
Review: Steer clear of PS450 unless you’re here for a party. There’s a good bar scene but not the greatest brunch food. The boyfriend got sick after eating here and while they have cheap prices for brunch, its not worth it – there are much better brunch places in the area. Never tried the dinner here but can’t imagine it’d be much better, plus if you can botch something as easy as brunch I wouldn’t trust the dinner menu. So unless you’re grabbing beers with friends, we do not recommend PS450.
Address: 505 W. 23rd St. (10th & 11th Ave.)
Review: The Half King is perfect for anything post- Chelsea Piers area. This is our drink spot after the boyfriend’s hockey games. It’s a great neighborhood bar with surprisingly awesome food for a bar – specifically great wings and mac and cheese. There’s a fun lively crowd most nights of the week, a decent beer selection and it’s a good spot for a big group/your sports teams. So after your date watches you tear up the ice, court or soccer field, bring them here for some good eats and to meet all your buddies.