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Gowanus: idk tonight’s Top 10 Date Night Picks

By: Kimberly Lew

While Park Slope is chock-full of bars and restaurants that are great for a night out, Gowanus, just a bit farther east, also has lots to offer. While there are a lot of industrial places in the neighborhood and the Gowanus Canal is not exactly known for being a sightly attraction, there are a ton of hot spots for food, entertainment, and bars that are worth going out of your way for. Here are some of idk tonight’s suggestions for quality date nights in the area.

idk tonight's Top Ten Date Night Picks: Gowanus

The Bell House
149 7th Street, Brooklyn

The Bell House is an awesome live entertainment venue that boasts some of the best entertainment for moderate prices. See comedic acts like Michael Ian Black and Reggie Watts, or live shows like The Moth, The Macaulay Culkin Show, NPR’s Ask Me Another, and live shows of other podcasts that promise lots of talented guests (many of which you’ve probably seen on the stage or screen) and lively hosts. They also host themed dance parties, perfect for nights where you just want to let loose on the dance floor. Weeknights often offer food for purchase an hour before the show, and there is a fully stocked bar providing drinks throughout the events. There’s always something cool happening, so just take a look at their calendar of events here to get tickets.

The Bell House
Credit: The Bell House
Littleneck
288 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn

If the name of the restaurant makes you think of clams, you’re on the right track. Littleneck is an awesome New England-style seafood restaurant/bar featuring some of the freshest stuff in town. Order from their raw bar, which includes the spot’s namesake, along with oysters and uni. There’s even a whole fresh seafood tower you can split if you’re looking to indulge. The drink menu will also perfectly compliment with light, crisp wines and even a frozen cocktail of the day. Just be aware that everything is cash only, so be sure to hit up the ATM before heading over.

Littleneck
Credit: On the Grid
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
514 Union Street, Brooklyn

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club is known for bringing shuffleboard to a younger, hipper crowd, and it’s a fun place to play some games, observe other enthusiasts, and have delicious drinks and bites. Courts are rented for $40 an hour with a limit of an hour per party, so there’s regular turnover even if it’s busy. Even when your court time is over, you can watch other people playing, while also grabbing a bite from their rotating food trucks. It’s the perfect activity that will foster some friendly competition and give a chance to pick up some new skills.

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
Pig Beach
480 Union Street, Brooklyn

True to its name, Pig Beach is all about the meat and enjoying it in a laid back atmosphere. The food focuses on barbecue, everything from brisket to wings, inspired by styles from around the world with a focus on live wood fire. They have competition-style ribs glazed with brown sugar and honey, as well as melt-in-your-mouth pork shoulder with their signature rub and hatch vinegar. Elevated cocktails help offset the richness of the food, and it’s all best enjoyed in their outdoor space with its long picnic tables and strung lights. If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear you’re enjoying some one-on-one time at the best backyard party in town.

Pig Beach
Credit: Gowanus Hospitality Group
Lavender Lake
383 Carroll Street, Brooklyn

With the cheeky bar name referring to the less-than-scenic Gowanus Canal, you know this will be a fun place that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Lavender Lake is a bar/pub housed in a charming brick carriage house, featuring ample indoor and outdoor space, perfect for any kind of weather. Cocktails include the Royale With Cheese with mint-infused bourbon and cherry black pepper simple syrup and Foot F#%cking Master with Greenhook Ginsmith Beach Plum and ginger simple syrup. The food game is also strong here with a fried chicken sandwich and a “smashed” burger to compliment the drinks.

Lavender Lake
Credit: Lavender Lake

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Four and Twenty Blackbirds
439 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn

Pie is often an overlooked item in the dessert world, but at Four and Twenty Blackbirds, it’s the star of the show. Started by a sister duo, this place is famous for its top notch pies and its hit recipe book from 2013. Salted caramel apple pie is one of their top sellers, but they also have more unusual selections like salted honey and matcha custard that are just as comforting. Order a slice at the counter and grab one of the smaller tables in the homey eating area. Whipped cream and/or ice cream is a little extra but an added treat if you’re looking to go all out.

 

Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Credit: Cup of Jo
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
604 Union Street, Brooklyn

Stuff yourself silly at the Gowanus outpost of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a much-loved joint to get barbecue in the city. They have a big dining room to help avoid too much of a wait, with a rustic, down home charm. Go hog wild ordering their combination plates where you can mix and match ribs, brisket, wings, sausages, and lamb shoulder. They also offer a host of classic sides from simmered greens with smoked turkey to Harlem potato salad. With 20 beers on tap, they also have lots of refreshments to go alongside your food, and both of you can roll home when you’re done, full but also fulfilled.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Credit: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Freek's Mill
285 Nevins Street, Brooklyn

If you’re looking for a more refined dining experience in the area, Freek’s Mill is a great option, featuring seasonal American fare from their wood-burning oven. Inspired by locally-sourced ingredients, you can enjoy lots of fresh dishes that elevate ingredients like spring carrots and cauliflower into must-have appetizers. For mains, there’s a dry aged duck with crispy cranberry beans and lamb belly with fermented purple cabbage, blackberries, and honey. They also have a thoughtful wine, beer, and cocktail list that is perfect for sipping all night long.

Freek's Mill
Credit: New York Magazine
Dirty Precious
317 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn

Dirty Precious is a beautiful cocktail bar with lantern-like lights hanging overhead and even a handsomely wallpapered bathroom. But, as its name hints, it’s not in the business of being overly stuffy or upscale. Instead, this place believes in serving expertly made cocktails while also welcoming those looking for just a shot or a beer. The cocktail menu breaks its selection down by Easy, Boozy, and Booziest, and you can pick your poison accordingly. This is also the ideal place to let your bartender take the lead⁠—let them know what you like and they will mix something on the spot to fit your preference.

Dirty Precious
Credit: Dirty Precious
Threes Brewing
333 Douglass Street, Brooklyn

Threes Brewing is a brewpub and brewery with a fully-stocked bar offering a 24 line draught system and featuring both Threes beers and some rare third party ones as well. With its handwritten signs and heavily wooden accents, the place feels very rustic and inviting while still being a pretty huge space. As you make your way through the beer list either by the glass or with tasters, you can also eat burgers and sandwiches from the Meat Hook food counter down the hall. In addition to the great vibes, they also host DJs, mixers, and trivia nights, and a calendar of events can be found here.

Threes Brewing
Credit: Threes Brewing

See Our Curated Date Ideas This Week