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Hell’s Kitchen: idk tonight’s Top 10 Date Night Picks

By: Rachel Clayton

Hell’s Kitchen is a New York neighborhood like so many others (and so many of us) that started from the bottom and now is chic, culturally enriched, and yes, gentrified. Though this used to have a reputation as a gritty area, it’s now a hip place to hang for both theater goers and locals. Unlike the similarly named show, you won’t see Gordon Ramsey running around shouting about raw meat – though there’s a small chance you could – this Hell’s Kitchen still has some of the best restaurants and gay bars in Manhattan.

idk tonight's Top Ten Date Night Picks—Hell's Kitchen

The Original Soupman
259 W 55th Street, Manhattan

Fans of both Seinfeld and soup can celebrate this location – and if your partner happens to be in the small niche of lovers of both the show about nothing and soup, they’re going to go absolutely wild. The Original Soupman is confirmed to be the soup place that the Soup Nazi episode was based on, and true to fiction has an array of delectable soups like corn chowder, lobster bisque, and Newman’s favorite, jambalaya. The soups are a smaller portion and there’s no seating area, so consider it a snack to help power your stroll through Hell’s Kitchen.

The Original Soupman
Credit: DNAinfo
Don Antonio
309 W 50th Street, Manhattan

Every neighborhood in NYC has it’s best pizza spot, and the best one in Hell’s Kitchen is Don Antonio. With a chef team from Naples, they serve up wood fired pies alongside decadent appetizers like a frittatine, a deep fried spaghetti cake. Their pizza options range from classics like margarita to more inventive takes like the pistachio pesto and sausage or rachetta, which is shaped like a tennis racket but way more delicious. The spot is tiny but makes the most of it with a classy row of tables, romantic brick walls, and a smattering of art.

Don Antonio
Credit: Don Antonio
Flaming Saddles Saloon
793 9th Avenue, Manhattan

Flaming Saddles Saloon is one of the iconic Hell’s Kitchen gay bars that’s also tourist friendly – which means if tourists can have fun there, anyone can. The bar is Wild West themed with a red bordello interior (brightened up with neon lights), boot-and-hat wearing bartenders that dance on the bar, and a cash only policy. Whether or not the cash comes from apprehended bandits is up to you, and it’ll buy you beers, unfussy cocktails, and Western eats like a chili burger or frito pie.

Flaming Saddles Saloon
Credit: The New York Times
Method Japanese Kitchen and Bar
746 10th Ave, Manhattan

If you want something with the elegance of date night but with a quirky touch, head to Method Japanese Kitchen and Bar. This sake bar and restaurant has a minimalist interior augmented by their projection of relaxed, seasonally appropriate YouTube videos. The menu is full of creative takes on izakaya, like edamame that’s been cedar roasted, prosciutto sushi, yuzu glazed sea bass, and chicken liver on a mochi waffle. The sake bar is attached so they also have plenty of the good stuff to keep you happy.

Method
Credit: The Infatuation
Rudy's
627 9th Avenue, Manhattan

Rudy’s is an old school bar with serious old school cred, having opened back in 1933. The main gimmick here is free hot dogs with every drink you buy, and with their selection of beers already running cheap, it means drinks and dinner on a dime in an area that tends to get expensive. The crowd is always lively here and can get a bit overwhelming on weekends, so if that’s not your vibe retreat to the outside area to enjoy eating your hot dog with your lover – Lady and the Tramp style if that’s your thing.

Rudy's
Credit: Rudy's

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Kashkaval Garden
852 9th Avenue, Manhattan

Tuck into the ambient Kashkaval Garden and you’ll find an unusual pairing that works just as well as you and your bae – Mediterranean food and fondue. The bar portion of this spot is all about softwood and candlelight while the eating area feels like a gorgeous tropical patio with windows looking out to a leafy garden and skylights for extra light. Along with a hearty wine list, they serve up a variety of tapas, spreads, and skewers so you can try everything. If all that hummus and turkish flatbreads can’t satisfy you, they have three fondues oozing gruyere, raclette, or special kashkaval cheese.

Kashkaval Garden
Credit: Kashkaval Garden
Terminal 5
610 W 56th Street, Manhattan

Terminal 5 is a venue made for memorable nights – though just how memorable is between you and their numerous bars. The giant warehouse-esque venue has three floors, with balconies on the upper floors and a proliferation of televisions so you can always see the action on stage. There’s a bar on every floor as well as a rooftop bar, which may explain why the dance floor is always packed – sometimes with a celebrity or two. They have smaller to mid sized bands playing at incredibly reasonable prices, and sick disco ball to bring everything together.

Terminal 5
Credit: nycgo
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
555 W 42nd Street, Manhattan

Are you and your partner a fan of Amy Pohler, Matt Bessar, Ilana Glazer, Chris Gethard, or Zach Woods? These are just some of the famous comedians who got their start at UCB. Their main location in Hell’s Kitchen is still serving up quirky but high quality comedy shows from improv to sketch to god knows what. The theater is cavernous with a bar attached so a drink and a seat are pretty much guaranteed, all for the low price of $7 most nights.

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
Credit: UCB Industries
Island Burgers & Shakes
766 9th Avenue, Manhattan

Though Hell’s Kitchen houses Restaurant Row with some amazing restaurants, it’s also home to great burger joints that keep it casual with quality. Island Burgers and Shakes has a nifty diner feel with art like Coke memorabilia and simple wooden tables marked with the classic ketchup and mustard bottles. The burgers are packed with local meat and come in fun specialty versions like the cheesy Mona Lisa or spicy napalm burger. For dessert, they have a variety of homemade milkshakes, but if you want a different kind of malt they also have beers and wine.

Island Burgers & Shakes
Credit: Island Burgers & Shakes
The Polynesian
400 W 42nd Street, Manhattan

Tiki bars may have recently come back into popularity, but The Polynesian feels like it never missed a beat. With bright turquoise walls and old world art to add color, as well as thatched lights and botanical print sofas, the interior feels as colorful and tropical as the drinks. Lounge on a sofa or check out the outdoor area as you wait for the giant shareable Kilauea Punch served in a conch, the Exotica Bowl that comes smoking from dry ice, or the Pinay Colada, their take on the classic drink with ube.

The Polynesian
Credit: Eater NY

See Our Curated Date Ideas This Week