Cannibal

Cannibal NYC

Photo by Cannibal

Address: 113 E. 29th St. (Park Ave. S. & Lexington Ave.)

Link: http://thecannibalnyc.com/

Review: Continuing with the transformation of Murray Hill, this beacon of meat, cheese and beer has arrived on the scene.  But Cannibal does not have the cold cuts and bud lights of college dorm days past, rather an array of salumi and aged hams, carefully selected cheese and a selection of craft beers from brewers worldwide.  We ended our night here for some late night grub and some suds.  We sat at the bar and were served by the very friendly and helpful barkeep who pointed us in the right direction for both our food and drink orders.  So long as you don’t go crazy you can get your fill on a tasty selection with out feeling the pain in your wallet.  Cannibal is a good option for a first date for sure – start with some small plates to see how things go, then move on to something bigger if all is well.  Plus you can always judge a person by what drink they order from their massive selection!

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Hofbrau Bierhaus

Bierhaus NYC

Photo by Hofbrau Bierhaus

Address: 712 3rd Ave. (44th & 45th St.)

Link: http://bierhausnyc.com/

Review: Located in Midtown East, not to far from Grand Central, is one of our favorite watering holes.  Though the German food they make is authentic and generally pretty tasty, you come here for the beers, and lots of them, ranging from 1/2 liters all the way up to the sizeable 2 liter boot! You can come here with some buddies for a boozy night or some polka and hops.  Bierhaus could be a fun date spot for the outgoing and beer swilling, but is better served for a large group of pals ready to gulp down some of Bavaria’s finest.

The Stag’s Head

The Stag's Head NYC

Photo by The Stag’s Head

Address: 252 E. 51st St. (2nd & 3rd Ave.)

Link: http://www.thestagsheadnyc.com/

Review: The Stag’s Head is our new local watering hole.  It’s a great place to go grab a craft beer from their impressive selection – they have 16 rotating beers on tap and 50+ in bottles that you won’t likely find elsewhere.  Though we have yet to have dinner here, we have gotten a couple small plates which always go well with some tasty cold beers (who wouldn’t love truffle popcorn!)  The staff is super helpful in breaking down the diverse selection so you can find what you’re looking for.  This isn’t a sports bar per se, but TV’s dot the walls so you won’t miss the game while you’re trying out some new beers.  Grab a spot in the back, upstairs or out in the garden if you’re looking to cozy up to that special someone away from the bar.

Kingston Hall

Kingston Hall

Photo by Kingston Hall

Address: 149 2nd Ave. 2nd Floor (9th & 10th St.)

Link: http://www.kingstonhall.com/

Review: Kingston Hall is a nice break from the chaos that can be the East Village bar scene.  This sudo speakeasy is a great place to bring a date or a group (though avoid Thursday through Saturday for a date as it can get pretty loud/rowdy on weekends).  There’s comfy lounge seating, a pool table and a back room that’s great for groups.  Fun cocktails give Kingston Hall a classier feel than the standard East Village bar catering to the beer swilling masses.

Wilfie & Nell

Wilfie & Nell

Photo by NYCHDR

Address: 228 W. 4th St. (7th Ave. S. & W. 10th St.)

Link: http://wilfieandnell.com/

Review: Wilfie & Nell is a great local bar in the West Village.  It’s got that old tavern look and feel which attracts hipsters and suits alike.  It’s a great spot to meet a date or grab some drinks with your pals after work or on the weekends.  They have a good selection of craft beers and specialty cocktails to choose from.  We have yet to try the food here, which consists of somewhat upscale pub fare, but definitely want to make a trip back for their brunch ($5 bloody mary’s!) It can get pretty crowded/loud on weekends so only take a date here for drinks during the week if you want to be able to hear what they’re saying!

Top Hops

Top Hops

Photo by G.R.

Address: 94 Orchard St. (Broome St. & Delancey St.)

Link: http://tophops.com/

Review: Top Hops is a relatively new spot in the LES with an insanely huge selection of beers.  You can choose from over 20 rotating beers on tap and 700 bottles from around the world.  Thankfully, there’s a friendly, knowledgeable bartender to help you navigate the many great offerings.  Whether you are a beer connoisseur or you and your date want to try something new, this is an awesome spot.  They have tons of off the run beers you aren’t likely to find in many other bars.  They also have some small bar snacks/cheese plates and if you find a beer you absolutely love, they can fill up a growler for you to take home! Definitely a must try for all the beer drinkers out there.

The Redhead

Photo by The Redhead

Address: 349 E. 13th St. (1st & 2nd Ave.)

Link: http://theredheadnyc.com/

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.

Cask Bar + Kitchen

Photo by Cask Bar

Address: 167 E. 33rd St. (Lexington & 3rd Ave.)

Link: http://www.casknyc.com/

Review: Cask Bar + Kitchen is a fun spot to grab a bunch of small plates and drinks with friends in Murray Hill.  We went here with a group of friends for the boyfriend’s birthday, and had a great time.  They have long tables that are perfect for big groups, beautiful rustic decor and a solid selection of specialty cocktails and beers.  The spring rolls, truffle mac and cheese, meatball sampler, tuna tartare and kobe sliders were all delicious.  It gets pretty packed so make a reservation!

Rare View

Photo by Rare View

Address: 152 W. 26th St. (6th & 7th Ave.)

*Location also in Chelsea

Link: http://rarebarandgrill.com/rareview.php?page=lexington

Review: The Rare View rooftop is a good spot to bring a date in the spring/summertime.  Both locations have amazing, romantic views of the Manhattan skyline, though the Chelsea location has a little bigger space.  It’s the perfect spot to have a cocktail in the summer, as long as it’s not 100 degrees out – there’s no shade at the Murray Hill location so it can get pretty hot when the sun is still out.  The cocktails are pretty pricey – about $15 per cocktail, but you’ll always have to pay a premium at bars with great views of Manhattan.  Be warned that Thursdays get pretty busy after work and late night, so it might be hard to snag a table.

The Tippler

Photo by The Tippler

Address: 425 W 15th St. (9th & 10th Ave.)

Link:   http://thetippler.com/

Review: The Tippler is a speakeasy-type, underground watering hole in the old Nabisco factory underneath Chelsea Market.  It’s a break from your standard meatpacking club, though on weekends it does seem to get some of the the nightclub rejects who can sometimes ruin what could be a great scene.  The awesome cocktail list of intricate drinks, along with some good craft beers make it worth the walk over to meatpacking though.  The Tippler has a cavernous/romantic vibe, but it can get a little loud and hard to hear your companion later on in the night.  There is a line out front at times with a wait, so try and get there early to beat the rush.  All in all, it’s a fun and different spot to try if you enjoy trying out new specialty cocktails, and as long as you can snag a table in one of the dark/quieter corners, it can be a great spot to bring a date.