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Nolita: idk tonight’s Top 10 Date Night Picks

By: Rachel Clayton

Nolita is an incredibly charming area, and not just because John Mayer owns an apartment there. A true blend of the neighborhoods surrounding it, Nolita has the quaint loveliness of Little Italy with the trendy vibe of SoHo. Home to chic cafes and restaurants, a veritable art scene, and a growing Little Australia, it’s hard to go wrong with any place in this area, but our guide will take you through the best of the best.

idk tonight's Top Ten Date Night Picks: Nolita

Uncle Boons
7 Spring Street, Manhattan

Uncle Boons is not only the best Thai place in Nolita, but one of the more popping restaurants in the neighborhood. Tuck into the doorway of this small Thai eatery and you’ll be greeted with a hip basement vibe with brick walls covered in framed eccentric Asian art. The spot is built around their long L shaped bar, which makes their beer slushy machine a major attraction. On the menu are accessible Thai favorites, from mango salad to golden curry, grilled baby octopus, and a perfect crab fried rice.

Uncle Boons
Credit: Uncle Boons
Tacombi
267 Elizabeth Street, Manhattan

Getting tacos from a van may not sound appealing, but it’s all part of the charm at Tacombi. This Mexican spot is inside a converted garage space, which feels youthful and summery with an exposed ceiling, folding chairs, and string lights. The aforementioned van is a vintage VW (so it’s cute, not creepy) which dispenses street-style tacos like barbecoa, carnitas, and vegetarian options like black beans and sweet potato. To wash it down they have fresh pressed juices and Mexican sodas, but the best option if their homemade horchata.

Tacombi
Credit: Tacombi
Pasquale Jones
187 Mulberry Street, Manhattan

When the streets of Little Italy are too clogged with tourists, places like Pasquale Jones provide a nearby respite for great Italian food. In addition to their outdoor seating which provides excellent people walking, their interior resembles a classy lounge with sienna booths, orderly tables, and a crisp wood bar. Speaking of wood, their specialty is wood-fired pizza, which comes with a beautifully blistered crust. The portions are small so don’t be afraid to supplement your pie with a cauliflower and beet salad or creamy tortellini.

Pasquale Jones
Credit: Eater NY
Elizabeth Street Garden
Elizabeth Street, Manhattan

A splash of gorgeous nature, 200 year history, and no money spent? That’s what makes Elizabeth Street Garden the hidden gem on this neighborhood. The garden is a one acre space that’s open to the public every day and offers not only greenery and flowers, but a number of marble and metal statues for you and your lover to admire. They host frequent events, so you could catch a poetry reading, a movie screening, yoga, or their iconic orchid display.

Elizabeth Street Garden
Credit: Elizabeth Street Garden
The Musket Room
265 Elizabeth Street, Manhattan

Not to be confused with some of the spots making up Little Australia, The Musket Room provides an adjacent experience by bringing New Zealand dining and a Michelin star to Nolita. The Musket Room embraces rustic chic, emphasis on the chic, with distressed white walls and unadorned light fixtures balanced by dark wood elements and shelves lined with gleaming wine bottles. As you might guess, their wine menu is legit, packed with both New Zealand bottles and international picks. They provide a series of tasting menus for different price points and hunger levels, based on land and sea gods while highlights like an asparagus tart, diver scallops with Asian pear, and New Zealand striploin.

The Musket Room
Credit: The Musket Room

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The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral
263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan

Don’t let your partner get worried you’re trying to get them to an altar – this cathedral is a veritable New York City landmark anyone can appreciate, regardless of religion or intention. The church was built in the 19th century and shows off gorgeous architecture inside and out, including elaborate stained glass windows and a giant organ. Three times a day they have candlelit tours of the catacombs beneath the church where wealthy New Yorker were buried – think equal parts creepy and interesting. The guides are knowledgeable and full of good stories, and totally won’t judge if you get scared and need to hold hands.

The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral
Credit: The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral
Spring Lounge
48 Spring Street, Manhattan

The go-to bar in Nolita since the 1920’s and still going strong today is Spring Lounge. This neighborhood bar tips you off to it’s theme with the giant shark painted on the exterior, and continues with a dive-bar-meets-weathered-ship vibe with chipped wood, a hodgepodge of postcards and pictures showing it’s history, and giant fake fish mounted on the walls. They have a great selection of beers, many of which are off the beaten path and some of which require you to salute the bartender when you order (Captain Lawrence IPA, obviously). This place opens at 8 am, so it’s a go hard locals bar, aka an escape from tourists.

Spring Lounge
Credit: The Infatuation
Ruby's Cafe
219 Mulberry Street, Manhattan

Test your Australian accent that your lover totally isn’t annoyed by at Ruby’s Cafe, a sterling example of the delights Little Australia has to over. This cafe leans on the hipster side, drawing in a stylish crowd to fill it’s ambient location. The food leans healthy and hearty, like a lot of Aussie cuisine, with pumpkin salads, chicken burgers topped with beets, and vegemite toast for those longing for a truly authentic experience. True to form, they also have solid beer options and the best flat white you’ve ever tasted, so you can pep up or chill out.

Ruby's Cafe
Credit: Ruby's Cafe
Nolita Flea Market
Prince Street, Manhattan

The artsy scene of Nolita comes alive every weekend at the Nolita Flea Market, which is open March through December – the only month’s you’d even want to wander through an outdoor market. Their emphasis is on locally made, small batch items and leans on the fashion side, offering silk screened t shirts, jewelry, and organic baby clothes (a thing, apparently), as well as art items. The artisan quality means things can be a little pricey, but the market is small enough you won’t get overwhelmed with choices.

Nolita Flea Market
Credit: Sola en Nueva York
Chefs Club
275 Mulberry Street, Manhattan

A celebration of Nolita’s shifting vibe, picturesque architecture, and trendy interiors all goes down at Chefs Club. This restaurant is inside the historic Puck Building, and offers some of the best chefs in the world residencies to come and cook for a few months. Though the chefs and the menus are ever changing, they always have an open kitchen so you can watch the magic while in the spacious, brick and marble dining room. This place is pricey, but it more than delivers with its ambiance, international famous chefs, and solid wine list.

Chefs Club
Credit: ArchDaily

See Our Curated Date Ideas This Week