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The Best Date Spots Insanely Close To Subway Lines: Part II

By: Sarah Saxty

We promised, and we’re delivering. Part 2 of our favorite dates that are insanely near the subway. Being close to the subway comes in useful for so many reasons—to quickly reach your destination during the spring rain or unbearably melting hot summer sun, to quickly reach your destination when suffering a serious dose of “hangry-itis” and on the verge of a break up, or even just because it’s easier and more efficient—it is New York after all. From Bed-Stuy to the Upper West Side, Harlem, Tribeca, Fi-Di, Bushwick, Chelsea and the East Village, we have you covered.

The Best Date Night Spots Insanely Close To Subway Lines—Part II

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OPS
L — DeKalb Av. | 346 Himrod Street, Brooklyn | Bushwick

Pizza in New York isn’t exactly hard to come by, but pizza that blows your mind, not so easy. At OPS, in Bushwick, be prepared to have your mind blown. The small and friendly team fire up naturally leavened pizza with a sourdough crust—chewy, crispy perfection pulled straight out of an impressive brick, wood-fired oven and onto your table. The pizza is paired with market-driven antipasti & salads that also promise to rock your world, along with cocktails, beer, and natural wines. It’s hard not to feel like a local here—the restaurant is light-filled, with big warehouse style windows, a wooden bench seating and a beautiful big bar you’d be just as happy to sit at if the tables were full.

ops nyc
Credit: OPS
AP Cafe
L — Jefferson Stop | 420 Troutman Street, Brooklyn | Bushwick

AP Cafe AKA A Place Creative is the type of space you dream of when you hear the words “Brooklyn warehouse loft” with its full frontal floor to ceiling windows, polished cement floors splattered with paint from its time as an artist’s studio, huge tall ceilings and plenty of good fiddle leaf fig action. Now, as a place to get creative and “do your thing” AP Cafe is also a place to eat good food, drink great coffee, and get inspired to do something cool with your S.O. Good looking hipster barista types serve X coffee and the brunch menu doesn’t disappoint, with delicious brunch things like the epic Cadi B rrito—chicken chorizo, scrambled egg, roasted potato and onions, pico de gallo, and Monterey jack jammed into a whole wheat tortilla or Thighs n’ Cakes—fried chicken with French toast topped with powdered sugar—something to rival the brunch menu you’d find at a cool bar in Austin or New Orleans. There is also an assortment of locally baked pastries, doughnuts and other treats to tempt. Lucky for sharing—get your cake, and eat it too.

ap cafe nyc
Credit: AP Cafe, Facebook
Little Tong Noodle Shop
L — 1st Ave Stop | 177 1st Avenue, Manhattan | East Village

A refreshing change from the plastic table covers and chairs Chinatown, Little Tong in East Village is serving up noodles that will stand up to any you’d find in Chi-Town, but in clean, modern, and intimate digs, featuring bamboo-lined walls and just a few seated tables. Little Tong serves up Yunnan-style dishes using a different type of Chinese rice noodle called Mixian, which you won’t find much of in New York. Tong’s popular grandma chicken Mixian—a noodle soup with chicken, black sesame garlic oil, flowers, pickles, and fermented chiles—is a favorite, as much for the tangy flavor hit, as for the beautifully arranged toppings (#bowlgoals). There are also small plates on offer showcasing local, seasonal ingredients, house-made pickles, and specially crafted condiments and sauces inspired by the villages and multi-ethnic regions of southwest China.

little tong noodle shop nyc
Credit: Little Tong Noodle Shop
Win Son
L — Montrose Ave Stop | 159 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn | Bushwick

Hipster Brooklyn meets contemporary Taiwanese with an American influence at Win Son. The team serving you up said feast is just, fun. They’re the kind of people you wish would invite you to their next house party, but this dinner party will do just fine. Honestly, you can’t go wrong… unless you’re on a diet, in which case we’re sorry to say you’re in the wrong place. Wash it all back with too many cocktails, like the palette cleansing and cooling Chiña Colada, a verdant mix of rum, cilantro, basil, and coconut. The space is open with exposed brick walls, black chairs, blonde wood tables, and a concrete bar. A mural of folks eating at a communal table adorns the wall, with a hip-hop soundtrack. The only kitsch is a trio of recycled soda-bottle chandeliers that gently glow red. The dining room itself is a little nicer than the one at your average neighborhood spot—there’s some outdoor seating, and they keep the mostly-hip-hop soundtrack at the exact volume where you can enjoy it but still have a conversation. All in all, this is one of the coolest places where you can eat in your sweats on a Tuesday.

win son nyc
Credit: The Infatuation
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Maison Harlem
2/3 — 125th Street Station | 341 St. Nicholas Avenue, Manhattan | Harlem

Feel like taking a trip to Paris? Skip the airline and jump on the A or C trains instead, up to 125th Street where you’ll be transported to the bustling Harlem, specifically Maison Harlem, a restaurant you could easily mistake for one in Pigalle or Le Marais. It’s a dimly lit, bistro-style den in a deep and narrow space bustling with happy people and music—but the type you are happy to hear and that gets you a little buzzed and in the mood. A true savoir-faire experience, you’ll find French homey classics like Coq Au Vin, Cassoulet, duck leg confit on the menu—plus delights like Petit Sale Aux Lentilles—slow cooked pork belly with garlic sausage in a lentil, carrot and potato stew. The cocktail menu is concise and covers all bases, from the French Negroni version of a Boulevardier to the Paloma—a Mexican inspired favorite, plus of course, plenty of free-flowing French wine.

maison harlem nyc
Credit: Maison Harlem

See More Of Our Curated Dates This Week

Weather Up
1/2/3 — Chambers Street Station | 159 Duane Street, Manhattan | Tribeca

The cool kids on the cocktail making block, Weather Up has three locations—here in Tribeca, over on Vanderbilt Ave in Brooklyn, and in Austin (yes, Texas). A cocktail bar kind of renowned for getting it just right, it’s the kind of cocktail spot where you and your date will both love your drinks and kind of fall in love with the bartender. The Tribeca location is intimate and inviting, you’ll find yourself surrounded by at least a few first dates, which makes for very good people watching and conversation while you sip on your drinks. As for the drinks, the world is your oyster (though there are also oysters here) where you can tell the bartender what you feel like and magically, your dream cocktail appears. The supplied menu is just as impressive, with takes on classics like the Negroni or the martini. Line your stomachs with some seriously good bar snacks: enough to keep you there a little longer and for just one more drink…

weather up nyc
Credit: Weather Up
A/C
The Binc
A/C — High Street Station | 60 Henry Street, Brooklyn | Brooklyn Heights

Just one stop out of Manhattan on the A/C/E trains—leave behind the two hour wait, jammed bar area and pushy peeps for The Binc, a dark, intimate speakeasy with a chill atmosphere, creative cocktails and delicious plates, the kind that cater to the cravings you get after feeling slightly cocktail buzzed. The Binc is one of those rare places that is ideal for snuggling in during the winter or taking in the warm evening breeze with big windows that open up to let the summer air float in. There’s ample room to grab a seat at the bar, or if you prefer at one of the few tables, and settle in for a cocktail or three. With a happy hour as good as theirs, it’ll be hard to walk away. If you’re hungry, we recommend splitting the burger, dripping with gooey fontina cheese, and topped with frizzled shallots and chimichurri and the shishito peppers, served with fire oven roasted peppers and lemon crème fraîche.

the binc nyc
Credit: The Binc
Gotham Comedy Club
A/C — 23rd Street Station | 208 West 23rd Street, Manhattan | Chelsea

A date night that is full of wine and laughing—what could be better? With a comedy show every night of the week, Gotham Comedy Club has you covered. And, with tickets starting as low as $15 it’s kind of a no-brainer. You’ll be spending the night with performers that have been seen on the famed screens of SNL and Jimmy Fallon plus some of the bigger stars like Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld, and Chris Rock. There is a two drink minimum but of course, you’ll be getting stuck into the cocktail menu, right? Gotham Comedy Club also offers a food menu, typical of the foods we’ve come to expect and love when at the comedy club—jalapeno poppers, burgers, spring rolls—think dive bar vibes. The stage is quite famous in itself, having served as the backdrop for many TV shows and movies. The tables and chairs are positioned to maximize the view from all angles and there is plush green carpet (of course). Originally opened in 1996, Gotham Comedy Club is a classic, stereotypical New York comedy experience, and one that we hope never changes.

gotham comedy club nyc
Credit: Gotham Comedy Club, Facebook
Bunny
A/C — Nostrand Ave Stop | 449 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn | Bed-Stuy

Bunny is like a little secret all the Bed-Stuy people want to keep to themselves. Sorry, not sorry.  The more the merrier, right? Their tagline kind of says it all “a neighborhood bistro with good food drinks and music”—Bunny is, in essence, a neighborhood bistro restaurant influenced by the era of our history where music was carefully chosen, food beautifully made, and service was as personal as one gets. Well curated tunes play from a record player spinning vinyl from the couple’s own personal collection. The space is small, intimate, and friendly; simple wooden chairs and tables sit under a disco ball on the ceiling. The menu is Turkish inspired, and one of their signatures is Bunny—a Turkish hot dog on brioche. You’ll also be able to try feta whipped with lemon, stewed chipotle zucchini and pistachio ice cream with tahini, but the menu does change slightly for new seasons, so don’t hold us to it. It might be the booze talking, but we bet you’ll feel cooler on your subway ride back to the city already.

bunny nyc
Credit: The Bed Stuy Blog
Hole in The Wall Cafe and Bar
A/C — Fulton Street Station | 15 Cliff Street, Manhattan | FiDi

It’s kind of well established in New York by now, but the Australians make great coffee and awesome food in Instagram friendly cafes. Hole in the Wall Cafe and Bar is no exception. The space itself is white, bright, and light with pops of that millennial pink restaurants (and we) all just can’t get enough of, with plenty of lush foliage. On the all-day menu, you’ll find really good variations on the Aussie favorites you’ve come to love, like avocado toast, with a twist of truffled fetta, roasted pepitas, radish, tomato and lime, and other things like chili scrambled eggs—think soft and buttery eggs, with sambal emulsion, tomato salsa, parmesan, crispy basil, and lemon. The coffee is on point, and you’ll also see a good selection of Australian wines, plus a couple of iconic Australian drinks, like the Tim Tam Shake, and the Aussie iced coffee, plus we can’t forget to mention the cocktails and smoothies. Well worth the visit to FiDi, an otherwise void kind of area outside of office hours, we like to take a ride on the East River afterward, or hit South Street Seaport for a little window shopping.

hole in the wall nyc
Credit: Yelp, Photo by: Jenni J.

See Our Curated Date Ideas This Week