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Lower East Side: idk tonight’s Top 10 Date Night Picks

By: Sarah Saxty

The Lower East Side has expanded in recent years and now dips deep into Chinatown territory, which is something we’re totally on board with when it brings a plethora of new restaurants and bars to explore. An area rich with history, culture and the perfect amount of “grit”, the LES is the perfect place to spend a few hours with your person. Explore the art galleries, indulge in Instagram famous baked treats, sip on cocktails, take in a rooftop view of Manhattan, and even see an original 35mm film in a luxurious theatre. And that’s only just scratching the surface.

idk tonight's Top Ten Date Night Picks—The LES

Supermoon Bakehouse
120 Rivington Street, Manhattan

Hold up one sweet minute—we dare you to try walking past this place and its famous, pimped up pastries without treating yourself to one of ’em. Perfectly crisp, buttery and flaky croissants, cruffins, and donuts are filled with decadent and seemingly crazy flavors like banoffee pie, hot apple pie. They even have savory hits like the Reuben or eggplant, hummus & za’atar croissants. Each piece is truly a work of art, but the treat doesn’t stop there. The store is a visual feast for the eyes (and your Instagram feed) with iridescent boxes and a neon “Bite me, NYC” sign.

supermoon bakehouse nyc
Credit: Stephen Yang for Eater NY
Metrograph
7 Ludlow Street, Manhattan

This is the ultimate place for movie enthusiasts. Paying homage to the great New York movie theaters of the 1920s, the Metrograph projects archive quality 35mm and state of the art digital video. Don’t expect to find your run of the mill movie snacks or popcorn here either, with a colorful candy bar and snack station, the building also has its own specialty bookstore, restaurant, and balcony lounge—we’re talking champagne and a movie. Hello.

metrograph nyc
Credit: Metrograph
Forgt Me Not
138 Division Street, Manhattan

We shall not. And no, that’s not a spelling error. An older staple in this newly populated corner of the LES, Forgt Me Not is like the friend that’s just always there for you. Frozen margaritas outside on the sidewalk in the summer, and cozy beers and wines in the winter, it’s an intimate space that feels like you’re just at a friends’ place hanging out. The food is good, the vibe is high; the bar itself looks like an old-school dive bar (which is actually by design) filled with neon lights, band stickers, and taglines. Settle in, feel at home.

forgtmenot nyc
Credit: The Infatuation
Bacaro
136 Division Street, Manhattan

Known for spinning out authentic high-quality Italian food to a well-styled Downtown crew in its basement restaurant, Bacaro also has one of New York’s best secret happy hours upstairs at the bar. How fitting, given that the Italian definition of Bacaro is the Venetian version of an Italian osteria (the type of bar in Italy where you can drink a glass of wine standing at the bar and eat a small snack.) So, take a trip to Venice, sip on an Aperol Spritz and snack on a selection of crostini for $1 each. Not joking. Find our date night featuring this incredible spot here.

bacaro nyc
Credit: Bacaro
Ludlow Coffee Supply
176 Ludlow Street, Manhattan

Definitely some of the best espresso coffee being made in the city, Ludlow Coffee Roasters is low-key and just—solid—offering a full espresso menu, pastries, and a mean avo toast. Outdoor benches are the perfect spot to soak in the rays, or just people watch on busy Orchard Street. Inside you’ll find communal benches, bistro tables, and comfy couches out back where the freelancing community is mad at work.

ludlow coffee supply nyc
Credit: Ludlow Coffee Supply

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Mr. Purple
180 Orchard Street, Manhattan

If you’re up for a good time featuring cocktails and a view of Manhattan that is pretty hard to beat, visit the Mr. Purple bar during sunset hour. The roof terrace is decorated in a modern industrial style, with a concrete floor, free hanging lights, contemporary wooden furniture, and a very impressive pool. Now, this spot is definitely a go-to for a Saturday night. If you’re looking to catch the view without the party—you can sneak a peek during the day at the lounge and cafe on the 15th Floor. 

mr purple nyc
Credit: Mr Purple
Ludlow Hotel
180 Ludlow Street, Manhattan

Pretend you had a grandparent with a big ol’ West Village brownstone—think an atrium courtyard garden, a sprawling living room centered around a big fireplace, and elegant furniture like you usually only see in the pages of Vogue Living. Welcome to the lobby at the Ludlow Hotel. Order wine from the bar, and settle into one of the gorgeous sofas or armchairs by the fire, plotting how to make your own home feel more like this one. Or maybe just take a few hours out to read a book, or work on your side hustles (it’s laptop friendly). 

ludlow hotel nyc
Credit: Booking.com
The Frankie Shop
100 Stanton Street, Manhattan

If you wanted to get an LES appropriate wardrobe, Frankie is your shop. Perhaps after the croissant, and after a few cocktails, your S.O. will happily accompany you to this boutique—and depending on just how many cocktails, feel like spoiling you with a new purchase. A well-curated edit of both local and international emerging designers, Frankie has you covered for everyday basics, unique and innovative designs to stand-out from the NY crowd, and outfit-making accessories.

the frankie shop nyc
Credit: The Style Line
Good Thanks
131A Orchard Street, Manhattan

“We’re good thanks.” And you will be too after breakfast at this Aussie café. If you’ve heard the term “an Aussie breakfast” this is the example—elevated plates like Green Fritters (zucchini and broccoli fritters w/ a crispy egg and salsa verde) or the Blue Bowl (banana, mango, coconut, algae and collagen, topped with blueberries, pomegranate, and granola) are full of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and the coffee is up to the standard you’d expect to find in Melbourne, the coffee capital of Australia. Breakfast is served all day and they do good dinner too.

good thanks nyc
Credit: Good Thanks, Facebook
Perrotin New York
130 Orchard Street, Manhattan

Part bookstore, part gallery, this impressive, 3-story space is just like one of those modern art galleries you saw on SATC. Opened in 2017 after relocating from Madison Ave, Perrotin galleries were started by Emmanuel Perrotin, a “hipster art dealer from Paris”, with galleries in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul. He’s said to have started the careers of multiple artists and his attention-grabbing installations have garnered loads of global recognition. Expect to see installations by modern artists taking a stance on modern culture—it’s a dynamic art destination in downtown Manhattan.

perrotin nyc
Credit: Galerie Perrotin, Photo by, Guillaume Ziccarelli

See Our Curated Date Ideas This Week