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Meatpacking District: idk tonight’s Top 10 Date Night Picks

By: Jennifer Friedel

There’s more to the Meatpacking District than meets the eye (no pun intended). This part of the city melds old and new, and in some cases what’s old is new again. From overlooked bars and museums, to old school steakhouses and the future in tech, here’s a variety pack of downtown dates.

idk tonight's Top Ten Date Night Picks: The Meatpacking District

Pastis
52 Gansevoort Street, Manhattan

Everyone loves a good comeback, and Pastis, credited with kicking off the transformation of the neighborhood, is back after shuttering its doors a few years ago. In a new location with new décor and a slightly tweaked menu, this Pastis is a bit lighter in more ways than one. Globe lights reign over colorful floral arrangements, subway tiles, oversized vintage mirrors and bistro styled chairs, prices haven’t gone up much, and you can even make reservations 24/7 on Resy (as opposed to the restrictive reservation taking hours in the past). The legendary French restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunches, and will most likely host old regulars but is hoping for a new crowd to also make their own fair share of Patsis stories.

Pastis
Credit: Grub Street
The Woodstock
446 W 14th Street, Manhattan

OK, this place is cute. Designed like a 1960s den, complete with living room set-ups (including a green couch and lava lamps no less), wood paneling and a pool table, the cocktail and pizza bar opened by the High Line in 2018. With an extensive menu of actually good, fairly cheap pizzas and cocktails named after 1960s stars and songs, such as the Aretha margarita pizza and the Lucy In the Sky cocktail with Leblon Cachaca, strawberry lime Oleo and agave, and live music (disco ball overhead!), The Woodstock is a great place to kick back after a day of wandering, or to fuel up before heading out.

The Woodstock
Credit: Haute Living
Coco J'adore
1 Little W 12th Street, Manhattan

The freshly minted French Mediterranean Coco J’adore, by veterans Mario Carta and Alexandre Scheer, is the perfect place to spill in for a weekend brunch, or to escape the bustling streets. The sleek casual jewel-toned plush seating and contemporary décor punctuated with fun art pieces aren’t the only appeal of this fresh take on a French bistro. The packed food and delicious cocktail menus boast French cookery with a twist including organic brick chicken and bone marrow with pickled red onions, with some Italian dishes woven in, such as the risotto with zucchini, zabajone, ricotta and pistachios. Complementing the neighborhood vibe, the sweeping window doors welcome diners to stay late (1 a.m. on school nights and 2 a.m. on weekends) with a DJ starting at 11 p.m. (but don’t worry, apparently the music is just loud enough to dance AND still have a convo).

Coco J'adore
Credit: Coco J'adore
The Old Homestead Steakhouse
56 9th Avenue, Manhattan

Meatpacking has seen many iterations, but one thing that’s always been a mainstay is The Old Homestead Steakhouse. If you’ve ever been in the neighborhood, you’ve seen its large cow and flashing neon sign. But did you know it’s the oldest steakhouse in the city, dating back to 1868? Is it old school? Yes. Is that part of its charm? Also yes. As you’d expect, it’s a warmly lit, carpeted dining room with red leather banquettes, although they have upgraded with iPads for the wine and dessert menus. While known for its steaks, there are also burgers, seafood and fish and a raw bar on offer. They only provide bread upon request so you can save some room since there’s an indulgent truffle mac & cheese, a lobster mac & cheese, and a truffle lobster mac & cheese on a long list of tempting sides and desserts to dive into. Old Homestead is part of what makes New York so great – though things may change, classics are always classic.

The Old Homestead Steakhouse
Credit: Zagat
The Tippler
425 W 15th Street, Manhattan

This hidden gem in the basement of Chelsea Market just exudes sexy and intimate. With the vibe of a carved out cellar thanks to its twilight lighting, wrought iron and repurposed wood decor and exposed brick, The Tippler seems like a secret getaway tucked under one of the city’s busiest areas. Signature handcrafted cocktails including the kind of healthy “Green With Envy,” and sweet-tart “Booty Collins” as well as local beers (among other alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages) complement a selection of small plates from grilled PB&J to its spin on avocado toast with Japanese 7 spice on pita. The Tippler is first come, first served and gets busy around 10 p.m. on the weekend, so plan ahead – they open everyday at 4 p.m., and are open until 1 a.m. Sunday – Thursday; 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

The Tippler
Credit: The Tippler

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Bubby's
73 Gansevoort Street, Manhattan

Sometimes you just need a comfy day-in, but like out of the house. Enter Bubby’s. The downtown sister of Tribeca’s comfort food institution also has the same satiating menu, and typical long wait. But, it’s so worth it. Open daily 8 a.m. until 11 p.m., and Midnight on Friday and Saturday, whenever you’re ready to make moves, Bubby’s has you covered. Save room for ice cream and its homemade pies, how Bubby’s got its start! And, hey, did you know they also have Happy Hour? Yep; everyday, 4 – 6 p.m.

Bubby's
Credit: Bubby's
Fabrique
348 W 14th Street, Manhattan

There are definitely no shortages of bakeries in the city, but you‘d be remiss to skip over the first U.S. outpost of the popular Swedish bakery, Fabrique. The open kitchen overwhelms the narrow bakery with seriously heaven scents. With an abundance of pastries to choose from, including vegan options, be sure to try its famous kardemummabullar, a gooey cardamom bun, similar to a cinnamon bun or the traditional cokladbolls, chocolate and oat balls covered in coconut. For something less sweet Fabrique is also known for its natural baked breads, including rye, walnut, and rye with walnut; they also offer sandwiches and other quick bites. There’s an assortment of coffee drinks based with Brooklyn Roasting, so grab two of 20 seats and take in the smells and sweetness.

Fabrique
Credit: Eater NY
Samsung 837
837 Washington Street, Manhattan

A little known secret, Samsung 837 is a tech lovers dream and definitely something a little different. Just a block and a half from the bakery, this huge space offers ever changing free interactive events like VR experiences, gaming sessions, photography classes and more. For those not so into the tech world, there’s also concerts, exercise classes like a Galaxy Watch Active boxing class at Shadowbox, interactive art installations, exclusive movie screenings and radio recordings. While there isn’t necessarily next generation culinary wonders offered, there is a French café inside serving breakfast, lunch and snacks.

Samsung 837
Credit: The Verge
Fig & Olive
420 W 13th Street, Manhattan

Always a great go-to, Meatpacking’s Fig & Olive location offers an airy respite reminiscent of the French Riviera, as also reflected in its well-crafted small plates and well-portioned Rivera and Mediterranean-inspired entrees. Live music is also a mainstay with performances each evening in the lounge, a DJ brunch on select Saturdays (which carry over into late night) and Jazz brunches every Sunday. While open for lunch, brunch and dinner, its large marble bar is a great spot for drinks with aromatic cocktails and over 30 wines by the glass or bottle offered. There’s even an Insta worthy Rosé Terrace, showcasing over 20 rosé drinks to choose from.

Fig & Olive
Credit: EVENTup
Museums of the Meatpacking District
Various Locations, Manhattan

For another non-food and drinks option, forget Museum Mile, Meatpacking is home to some wander-worthy museums as well, and they’re all conveniently in a few-block radius. You can start with the High Line, which is dedicated to making contemporary art more accessible, and then head over to the Museum of Illusion, packed full of mind-bending holograms, optical illusions and interactive displays. You’ll also pass the 9/11 Museum Workshop, which may be difficult for some, but truly is an important and breathtaking recounting of Ground Zero’s immediate and ongoing recovery period through images, artifacts and recordings. Next is the KGB Espionage Museum, so maybe this is technically Chelsea, but it’s still only a block away and if you think you’re great at social media sleuthing, check out what these top secret agents pulled off before the internet. You can then head West again to the Whitney Museum of American Art, home to an extensive collection (approximately 15,000 pieces) of modern and contemporary American art. The museum also offers two dining options with greatly elevated museum café fare, and each with sweeping views of the Westside skyline.

Whitney Museum
Credit: Whitney Museum of American Art

See Our Curated Date Ideas This Week