The East Village’s Best First Date Bars

You know what they say – it’s all about location, location, location. Why worry about where to go on a first date, when you should be worrying about what to wear? Here’s a list of the best first date bars in the East Village that won’t disappoint, just in case the person you’re meeting there does.

bigbarAllison Hertzberg Big Bar, 73 East Seventh Street.

Big Bar
73 East Seventh Street, 212-777-6969
This bar is tiny, and reminds me of an 80’s disco – only one that’s been shrunk down to the size of an East Village studio apartment. It never gets too busy at Big Bar, and most nights you can occupy one of their four booths for hours.

decibelAllison Hertzberg Decibel, 240 East Ninth Street.

240 East Ninth Street, 212-979-2733.
The word is out on this underground sake bar, but this is a great place to bring someone who just moved to the city or the “I-don’t-go-downtown” folk. The absence of a sign outside the bar gives your date a sense of “I’m with someone who’s in the know” – a great way to score you some points.

desnudaAllison Hertzberg Desnuda, 122 East Seventh Street.

122 East Seventh Street, 212-254-3515.
Nothing says “we might have a future” like complimentary truffled popcorn. It’s a classy joint, never too loud.

elsaAllison Hertzberg Elsa, 217 East Third Street.

Elsa Bar
217 East Third Street, 917-882-7395.
If Zooey Deschanel was a bar, she’d be Elsa. Quirky, charming and a bit retro. Elsa is an unpretentious bar for the sophisticated drinker. Come on a weekday to avoid the crowds.

louis649Allison Hertzberg Louis 649, 649 East Ninth Street.

Louis 649
649 East Ninth Street, 212-673-1190.
Inventive cocktails, good music, and great bartenders – who could ask for anything more? It’s all the way over on Avenue C, but if that’s a trek, it’s worth it for their Tuesday night free tastings.

immigrantAllison Hertzberg The Immigrant, 341 East Ninth Street.

The Immigrant
341 East Ninth Street, 212-677-2545.
Low key, never too crowded and affordable. Great benches to canoodle in, and dim lighting makes everyone look better.

mudAllison Hertzberg Mud Cafe, 307 East Ninth Street.

Mud Cafe
307 East Ninth Street, 212-228-9074.
So you’re not sure if your blind date is worth shelling out $10 bucks for a real drink, or you’re just cheap. Mud Cafe at least gives you the option between good coffee, wine or beer. The back covered garden, open all year round, is a charming place to casually discuss your future together.

scratcherAllison Hertzberg Scratcher, 209 East Fifth Street.

209 East Fifth Street, 212-477-0030
Any girl who will pound $4 PBRs on a first date is a keeper. The wooden tables and welcoming vibe make this bar a draw for locals. The cool crowd ensures that if you don’t like the one you’re with you can trade them in for someone new.

terriorAllison Hertzberg Terroir, 413 East 12th Street.

413 East 12th Street, 646-602-1300.
Organic wine, boxed wine, and Malbec are three of my favorite things. If you can snag a seat at this bustling wine bar you’re guaranteed a good time. Wines can be bought in half or full pours, and if you get through one round and still like each other, the food menu should not be missed.

Allison Hertzberg is owner and head designer at Accessories by Ash.

Mapping The Best Bars For A First Date

Compiled by Sam Kello

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