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Long Island City: idk tonight’s Top 10 Date Night Picks

By: Sarah Saxty

You might know the Pepsi Cola sign, or the Amazon HQ debacle that happened earlier this year, the “other MOMA”, either way, chances are you know Long Island City. Once a hub of manufacturing, this modern borough is a quick train ride over the East River (or bike ride coming from Brooklyn) and now, a hub of condo buildings and renovated warehouse apartments that no-one can afford in Manhattan. LIC, as it’s fondly referred to, has been curated for living, with a good selection of great bars, highly rated restaurants, museums and galleries. Also, clean-lined architecture and serene public spaces that feel modern and sleek, but still charmingly under the radar.

idk tonight's Top Ten Date Night Picks—Long Island City

Casa Enrique
5-48 49th Avenue, Long Island City

One of New York’s best, and most authentic Mexican food experiences, Casa Enrique is worth a date night of its own. Michelin awarded Chef Cosme Aguilar, (also the chef  behind Manhattan’s Mexican chiquita, and finer dining experience, Cosmé) highlights fresh, seasonal ingredients with his elevated, homestyle cooking inspired by his mother’s passion for food. Inside the cocina expect a rustic, simple and inviting vibe, with worn polished cement flooring, colorful lights and clean white furnishings. Get there on the earlier side to secure a table for 2 or spot at the bar. 

 

Casa Enrique
Credit: Casa Enrique
The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Road, Queens

A source of inspiration and zen in LIC, the Noguchi Museum is a tribute to the iconic artist Isamu Noguchi, an LIC resident in the 1960’s. Noguchi opened the complex in 1985 himself, across the street from where he lived and worked. Now a Museum, it includes 27,000 square feet of gallery space, which is spread out over two floors in an old warehouse, as well as a serene sculpture garden, its many galleries display Noguchi’s work, along with photographs and models from his career. Noguchi is known for his unique artistic experimentation, creating sculptures, gardens, furniture and lighting designs, ceramics and, a few iconic public sculptures you may recognize in NYC.

The Noguchi Museum
Credit: The Noguchi Museum
Dutch Kills
27-24 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City

New York knows cocktails, and if you do – you’ll have heard about Dutch Kills. A craft cocktail bar (the kind with the fancy hand chipped ice) in LIC, with mixologists that shake, stir and pour up innovative, and classic way too easy to drink, cocktails using seasonal ingredients. One of our favorite bars, Dutch Kills is the ultimate spot for a date, with dim lighting, cozy bar stools, and vintage design details. From Sun to Thu, 5 – 7 PM enjoy their house classics for $11 – just another reason to get there sooner rather than later.

Dutch Kills
Credit: Dutch Kills
Lokanta
3116 Broadway, Queens

One of the newer restaurants to grace LIC, but one that still very definitely deserves a spot on our best of guide. Lokanta (Turkish for restaurant) serves up traditional Turkish food – a burst of flavor and culture in every dish, you can clearly imagine the spice market. Greeted by the owner himself, you’ll be welcomed into a modern and chic restaurant, including bold, palm print wallpaper, with wide open arms. Note, there’s no liquor licence, but don’t let that stop you – BYOB available. Even better?

Lokanta
Credit: Lokanta
Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria

New York’s only Museum dedicated to the art, technology and social impact of film, television and digital media. The Museum of Moving Image houses the largest collection of moving image artifacts, and screens hundreds of films, each with its own live experience, often a Q&A with the Producer or Director, plus various other featured exhibits – like the popular, and ongoing Jim Hensen showcase. The core exhibition, Behind the Screen, is one of our favorites though – an immersive experience inviting you into the creative process of making moving images AKA movies! Make your own Romcom?

Museum of the Moving
Credit: Museum of the Moving

See More Of Our Curated Dates This Week

Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge
23-10 41st Avenue, Long Island City

This one is for the active couple, maybe just a reason to reward yourself with all the cocktails and eats? Brooklyn Boulders is a modern rock-climbing and fitness space, imagine climbing a rock in the most chicest way possible, and you’ll be close. The 25 000 square foot facility includes a locker room, showers and a sauna, plus, a weight room and cardio equipment if hitting the wall isn’t enough for you. Check out Groupon for special deals.

Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge
Credit: Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge
Big Alice Brewing
8-08 43rd Road, Long Island City

A local and community driven small batch brewing company, with brews so good they had to open a taproom for drinking. At Big Alice Brewing, enjoy the beer in flights of 4 or 6 and single pints. Founders Kyle Hurst and Scott Berger connected with local CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) and Food Co-ops to find local, fresh, and organic ingredients with the idea of preserving seasonal flavors through beer. They collaborate with local Queens businesses for specialty ingredients such as cold brew coffee, donuts, honey, and more in an effort to innovate. The result is an extensive list of creative flavor profiles, and distribution across all 5 boroughs to meet the demand.

Big Alice Brewing
Credit: Big Alice Brewing
The Creek and the Cave
10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City

Burger and Beer Wednesdays – need we say more? One of our favorite ways to get through hump-day, The Creek and The Cave plays host to an amazing showcase of comics, be it a visitor passing through or some of the best stand up comics living in NYC. Serving up hundreds of laughs every day of the week, plus numerous open-mic nights, most shows here will only set you back a cool $5 too. A no-frills, exposed brick tavern style bar, this is one that will surely become a regular in your date rotations.

The Creek and the Cave
Credit: The Creek and the Cave
Court Square Diner
45-30 23rd Street, Long Island City

Diner fanatics align—the 24-hour, Court Square Diner is one of the best, quintessentially, old-school train-car style diners, and has been serving the Long Island City area since 1946. In 2009, the Court Square Diner was renovated with an all new retro look, but mindfully, in order to preserve its original flair. (Hello vinyl booths) A family run business, the Kanellos brothers, who lived in Greece from the ages of 5 to 15, grew up working in the restaurant industry so it’s not surprising, one of their best selling dishes is the Souvlaki platter.

Court Square Diner
Credit: Court Square Diner
The Baroness Bar and Kitchen
4126 Crescent Street, Long Island City

There are swords here. Order a bottle of champagne, and have it slashed open, Game Of Thrones style, with a real life sword. Inside, you’ll find tons of reclaimed materials from the neighborhood, a movie wall, screening old-school classics like Charlie Chaplin or Wizard of Oz and plenty of booze options, plus bar snacks like cheese (from Murray’s!), charcuterie, and flatbreads. Up for something bigger – you’re in for a treat, with a 2 page burger menu, and over 20 different variations including their signature beef brisket and rib blend or chicken, veggie and even an ahi tuna.

 

The Baroness Bar and Kitchen
Credit: The Baroness Bar and Kitchen

See Our Curated Date Ideas This Week