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Sycamore Sycamore [Official Photo]

30 Reliable First Date Spots in Brooklyn

A collection of dimly lit watering holes for getting to know someone new

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Picking a venue for date number one rounds out the worst parts of going on a first date. Factors like price, neighborhood, vibe, and aesthetic need to be considered equally, all while coming off as effortless.

Since Brooklyn has endless bars and restaurants that fit these categories, this map spotlights the best of them throughout the borough. It’s a collection of bars that are very well populated, dark and cozy, and somehow fun in and of themselves.

Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in 2017.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Goldie's Bar

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195 Nassau Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-2348

Goldie’s and its 1970s, Las Vegas casino motif are a welcome addition to the Greenpoint neighborhood. The cocktails here are memorable, but what makes it a solid date bar is all the seating options, like stools that aren’t fixed to the ground and the kind of leather booth with sitting across from one another or sharing a side both as options. The crowd is local and convivial, and the drinks well-priced.

Goldie’s/Facebook

2. Night of Joy

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667 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 388-8693
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Night of Joy is the charming bar that’s a date-night go-to for Williamsburg dwellers, where the weeknights are more quiet and a patio’s available in warmer weather. Supremely low lighting, cozy seating, and a moderate noise level that will round out any lags in banter are the winning combo. Happy hour pricing lasts until 8 p.m., too.

Night of Joy [Official Photo]

3. Dardy Bar

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245 S 1st St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 599-2455
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Arrive just about anytime to this South First Street bar to find that it’s definitely divey and a lot of fun, but quiet from the rest of the bars in the area — lending itself so well to an effortless first meet. The cocktails are just $10 at this Williamsburg bar so go ahead and stay for hours before ending the night at the bar’s photo booth.

dardy bar Photo via Darby Bar [Official Photo]

4. Noorman's Kil

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609 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(347) 384-2526
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If there’s a shared interest in grilled cheese and whiskey — or there’s just a need to impress a whiskey drinker — Noorman’s Kil is the ideal place to meet up. The Williamsburg bar also gets high marks for rarely being too crowded or too loud, but still lively enough with whiskey devotees that the room won’t fall silent.

5. Loosie Rouge

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91 S 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(718) 309-0231
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Maybe there’s some anticipation going into this first date, in which case this wood-paneled bar underneath the Williamsburg Bridge is a fine choice. The bartenders at Loosie Rouge are highly charming and everyone else in the room will be too focused on their own date to be worried about yours.

Loosie Rouge Loosie Rouge [Official Photo]

6. Pearl's Social & Billy Club

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40 St Nicholas Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(347) 627-9985
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Bushwick dwellers know and love Pearl’s for its friendly staff and cozy, neighborhood mood. There’s board games for playing, cocktails that are stiff, and on most nights a dog or two will be hanging around. There’s no food, but Los Hermanos’ standout tacos are just up the block.

Photo via Pearl’s [Official Photo]

7. Dromedary Urban Tiki Bar

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266 Irving Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(347) 715-4255
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Tiki bars tend to be casual and fun, making them effortless picks for a first date. Coupled with the fact that this Bushwick hang serves unique and very solid cocktails, plus a menu of peak sharing snacks, it’s hard to be beat so close to Myrtle Avenue.

8. Birdy's

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1215 Myrtle Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11221
(646) 555-1212
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Bushwick’s Birdy’s leans divey, but it’s a smart choice for an easy and casual first date. It gets a little loud, which is often a first date plus, and it can also be a solid starting point for a date that begs for a second location. If so, Mood Ring is just a few steps away on Myrtle Avenue. Know before: Birdy’s is cash only.

9. Floyd, NY

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131 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 858-5810
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Floyd is a popular hangout for birthday parties, so a nightly lively crowd is guaranteed to help ease first-date jitters. An indoor bocce court awaits, plus cheap beers, friendly bartenders, and a juke box. Plus, it closes at 4 a.m. daily, so there’s no rush to part ways.

Floyd [Official Photo]

10. Dick and Jane’s

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266 Adelphi St
Brooklyn, NY 11205

This Fort Greene bar sets itself up with first-date potential thanks to a very dark and relaxed interior. Cocktails are pricier at $14, but they’re stiff and always on the nose.

11. Dynaco

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1112 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216

Near the Bed-Stuy border with Clinton Hill is the dimly lit, cash-only Dynaco. It can get busy with the neighborhood pouring in, but it’s never too loud that joke attempts are missed. Grab cocktails, and sit under the bar’s soft glow for hours at a table tailor made for two.

12. Bar Lunatico

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486 Halsey St
Brooklyn, NY 11233
(718) 513-0339
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For a first date with a touch of anticipation, stop in any night of the week to this Bed-Stuy bar. There’s live music every night that ranges from folk to gypsy jazz, and a casual vibe that’s still intimate. Do note that Bar Lunatico closes relatively early during the week, at 12:30 a.m.

Bar Lunàtico [Official Photo]

13. Doris

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1088 Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(347) 240-3350
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File Doris under candlelit cocktail bars, sure, but the Fulton Street bar stands out for more than just memorable drinks. There’s also an outdoor patio with a ping-pong table and a live DJ who isn’t the center of attention.

14. Wolf and Deer

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74 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 398-3181
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Showing up to Wolf and Deer with more than three people is a mistake, so just stick to wooing a first date here during the week. Cocktails are on the pricey side ($14 each), but they’re easy to sip — or maybe just arrive before 8 p.m. when they’re $10 each.

Wolf and Deer Wolf and Deer [Official Photo]

15. Brooklyn Social

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335 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 858-7758
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On the small side and fairly intimate, Brooklyn Social is the Carroll Gardens first date for a date with a little more excitement. Perfect for an evening spent drinking and playing pool. Note: It’s cash only here.

16. Bearded Lady

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686A Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(469) 232-7333
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Retro, 50s-diner-style motif is the backdrop at Bearded Lady. It’s casual and a little quirky, with bartenders serving drinks that are actually boozy. There is plenty of snacks that are easy to share too, like a cheese plate or crudite.

Bearded Lady Bearded Lady [Official Photo]

17. Blueprint

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196 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 622-6644
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Drink options at Blueprint are expansive, so there’s definitely something for everyone, though there’s particular finesse in the mezcal cocktails. It’s dimly lit, and tables are ideal for two. Plus, the kitchen stays open until 2 a.m., for when the date goes so damn well it’s now midnight and hunger strikes.

Blueprint [Official Photo]

18. Dirty Precious

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317 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(646) 685-4481
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The cocktails at Dirty Precious are a big draw for neighborhood dwellers and non; and the cozy, dimly lit environment is what keeps pairs filing in regularly. There’s real effort put into non-alcoholic drinks for those who want to skip the booze, as well as easy-to-share snacks like Marcona almonds and a pickles plate.

Dirty Precious [Official Photo]

19. King Tai

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1095 Bergen St
Brooklyn, NY 11216
(718) 513-1025
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Excellent cocktails in a homey space is the ideal match for a first date bar. Grab bar stools, and sip on fun tropical drinks like the Spa Day with mezcal, pineapple, and cayenne. King Tai stays open until 2 a.m. during the week, so there’s little rush if the date is going particularly well.

King Tai King Tai [Official Photo]

20. Two Saints

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753 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216
(347) 627-8444
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There’s a heavy vintage feel to the Two Saints space, in a way that’s not overtly cute or too aggressive for a first date. The wine and beer lists are just as long as the cocktail options, and renovated windows are ideal for people watching if some help is needed with conversation.

Two Saints [Official Photo]

21. Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse

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529 E New York Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225
(718) 872-5155
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Dates surely do not require booze, and pastries and coffee at this Crown Heights shop prove that expertly. The house-baked breads are among the other specialities here and definitely shouldn’t be missed.

Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse [Official Photo]

22. Erv's

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2122 Beekman Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11225
(916) 936-2122
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This Prospect Lefferts Gardens bar recently expanded wildly in size, turning from a tiny space for a date with someone familiar into an ideal option for a blind date. Erv’s hosts events and live music often, so maybe check the night’s schedule to avoid any music that doesn’t match the mood.

honey, I'm home, but you look different (@leoczrsbar, missed you!)

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23. Judy's

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4022 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11232
(929) 337-6252
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This low-key Sunset Park hang is a newer addition to the neighborhood, but already has locals swarming. Cafe by day and bar by night, Judy’s is a supremely chill place to get to know someone new. Plus, get a dollar off draft beer and wine from noon to 7 p.m. daily. Bien Cuit croissants are stocked in case needed.

Judy’s Judy’s/Facebook

24. Suede

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5610 Clarendon Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11203
(347) 474-7328
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Chances are someone is celebrating something on any given night at Suede, a Carribbean bar and restaurant with a devoted local following. The celebratory yet relaxed environment makes it an exciting backdrop for meeting someone new.

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Brunch!!!

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25. Sip N Chat Cocktail Lounge

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2910 Avenue D
Brooklyn, NY 11226
(718) 675-4377
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Sip N Chat is a neighborhood favorite, with most locals clued-in on the fact that the vibe any night of the week will be lively and welcoming. There’s a dance floor lit with strobe lights, satisfying fries and jerk wings, and most nights there’s live entertainment — all sure to make a memorable first encounter.

26. Sycamore

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1118 Cortelyou Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11218
(347) 240-5850
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A bar and flower shop hybrid that manages to never feel kitschy, Sycamore is instead cute, dark, often busy, and keen on not taking itself seriously. Pluses: food can be ordered from the Farm on Adderley next door, and there’s a $10 deal for a pint of beer and a bouquet of flowers.

Sycamore [Official Photo]

27. The Owl's Head

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479 74th St
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 680-2436
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This Bay Ridge standby is a fantastic neighborhood wine bar with zero pretension. The brick-walled space is as welcoming as the knowledgeable staff that works there. If a stomach liner is necessary: there are plenty of choices from the cheese- and charcuterie-forward menu. Plus: the sole dessert option is pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds.

The Owl’s Head

28. Di Fara Pizza

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1424 Avenue J
Brooklyn, NY 11230
(718) 258-1367
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The indelible pro move for a casual first date in this stretch of Brooklyn is to BYO wine or a six pack to accompany the famed pizzas from Dom DeMarco and his team of lovely pizzaiolos. If bringing wine, focus on reds like a nebbiolo from the Langhe or a cabernet franc that’ll prove blissful with meaty toppings.

Fresh basil being tossed atop a big pizza pie. Nick Solares

29. Anyway Cafe

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1602 Gravesend Neck Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11229
(718) 934-5988

Like its East Village sibling, the Sheepshead Bay location of Anyway Cafe is ideally date-y. Stellar martinis go well with the live jazz Anyway is boasting nightly; but the space manages to feel low-key and welcoming, and is certainly not trying too hard.

Anyway Cafe [Official Photo]

30. Draft Barn

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317 Avenue X
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 285-2356

The beer variety at Draft Barn is endless, with a seasonally changing rotating lineup that pays close attention to rare and obscure beers and ales. If ever overwhelmed by the choices, the knowledgable and friendly staff is ready with recommendations. The food menu is also extensive, with most surrounding tables ending with a slice of crepe cake.

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1. Goldie's Bar

195 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Goldie’s/Facebook

Goldie’s and its 1970s, Las Vegas casino motif are a welcome addition to the Greenpoint neighborhood. The cocktails here are memorable, but what makes it a solid date bar is all the seating options, like stools that aren’t fixed to the ground and the kind of leather booth with sitting across from one another or sharing a side both as options. The crowd is local and convivial, and the drinks well-priced.

195 Nassau Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222

2. Night of Joy

667 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Night of Joy [Official Photo]

Night of Joy is the charming bar that’s a date-night go-to for Williamsburg dwellers, where the weeknights are more quiet and a patio’s available in warmer weather. Supremely low lighting, cozy seating, and a moderate noise level that will round out any lags in banter are the winning combo. Happy hour pricing lasts until 8 p.m., too.

667 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

3. Dardy Bar

245 S 1st St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
dardy bar Photo via Darby Bar [Official Photo]

Arrive just about anytime to this South First Street bar to find that it’s definitely divey and a lot of fun, but quiet from the rest of the bars in the area — lending itself so well to an effortless first meet. The cocktails are just $10 at this Williamsburg bar so go ahead and stay for hours before ending the night at the bar’s photo booth.

245 S 1st St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

4. Noorman's Kil

609 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

If there’s a shared interest in grilled cheese and whiskey — or there’s just a need to impress a whiskey drinker — Noorman’s Kil is the ideal place to meet up. The Williamsburg bar also gets high marks for rarely being too crowded or too loud, but still lively enough with whiskey devotees that the room won’t fall silent.

609 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

5. Loosie Rouge

91 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Loosie Rouge Loosie Rouge [Official Photo]

Maybe there’s some anticipation going into this first date, in which case this wood-paneled bar underneath the Williamsburg Bridge is a fine choice. The bartenders at Loosie Rouge are highly charming and everyone else in the room will be too focused on their own date to be worried about yours.

91 S 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249

6. Pearl's Social & Billy Club

40 St Nicholas Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Photo via Pearl’s [Official Photo]

Bushwick dwellers know and love Pearl’s for its friendly staff and cozy, neighborhood mood. There’s board games for playing, cocktails that are stiff, and on most nights a dog or two will be hanging around. There’s no food, but Los Hermanos’ standout tacos are just up the block.

40 St Nicholas Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237

7. Dromedary Urban Tiki Bar

266 Irving Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237

Tiki bars tend to be casual and fun, making them effortless picks for a first date. Coupled with the fact that this Bushwick hang serves unique and very solid cocktails, plus a menu of peak sharing snacks, it’s hard to be beat so close to Myrtle Avenue.

266 Irving Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237

8. Birdy's

1215 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221

Bushwick’s Birdy’s leans divey, but it’s a smart choice for an easy and casual first date. It gets a little loud, which is often a first date plus, and it can also be a solid starting point for a date that begs for a second location. If so, Mood Ring is just a few steps away on Myrtle Avenue. Know before: Birdy’s is cash only.

1215 Myrtle Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11221

9. Floyd, NY

131 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Floyd [Official Photo]

Floyd is a popular hangout for birthday parties, so a nightly lively crowd is guaranteed to help ease first-date jitters. An indoor bocce court awaits, plus cheap beers, friendly bartenders, and a juke box. Plus, it closes at 4 a.m. daily, so there’s no rush to part ways.

131 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201

10. Dick and Jane’s

266 Adelphi St, Brooklyn, NY 11205

This Fort Greene bar sets itself up with first-date potential thanks to a very dark and relaxed interior. Cocktails are pricier at $14, but they’re stiff and always on the nose.

266 Adelphi St
Brooklyn, NY 11205

11. Dynaco

1112 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Near the Bed-Stuy border with Clinton Hill is the dimly lit, cash-only Dynaco. It can get busy with the neighborhood pouring in, but it’s never too loud that joke attempts are missed. Grab cocktails, and sit under the bar’s soft glow for hours at a table tailor made for two.

1112 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216

12. Bar Lunatico

486 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233
Bar Lunàtico [Official Photo]

For a first date with a touch of anticipation, stop in any night of the week to this Bed-Stuy bar. There’s live music every night that ranges from folk to gypsy jazz, and a casual vibe that’s still intimate. Do note that Bar Lunatico closes relatively early during the week, at 12:30 a.m.

486 Halsey St
Brooklyn, NY 11233

13. Doris

1088 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

File Doris under candlelit cocktail bars, sure, but the Fulton Street bar stands out for more than just memorable drinks. There’s also an outdoor patio with a ping-pong table and a live DJ who isn’t the center of attention.

1088 Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY 11238

14. Wolf and Deer

74 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Wolf and Deer Wolf and Deer [Official Photo]

Showing up to Wolf and Deer with more than three people is a mistake, so just stick to wooing a first date here during the week. Cocktails are on the pricey side ($14 each), but they’re easy to sip — or maybe just arrive before 8 p.m. when they’re $10 each.

74 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217

15. Brooklyn Social

335 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

On the small side and fairly intimate, Brooklyn Social is the Carroll Gardens first date for a date with a little more excitement. Perfect for an evening spent drinking and playing pool. Note: It’s cash only here.

335 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

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16. Bearded Lady

686A Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Bearded Lady Bearded Lady [Official Photo]

Retro, 50s-diner-style motif is the backdrop at Bearded Lady. It’s casual and a little quirky, with bartenders serving drinks that are actually boozy. There is plenty of snacks that are easy to share too, like a cheese plate or crudite.

686A Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

17. Blueprint

196 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Blueprint [Official Photo]

Drink options at Blueprint are expansive, so there’s definitely something for everyone, though there’s particular finesse in the mezcal cocktails. It’s dimly lit, and tables are ideal for two. Plus, the kitchen stays open until 2 a.m., for when the date goes so damn well it’s now midnight and hunger strikes.

196 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217

18. Dirty Precious

317 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Dirty Precious [Official Photo]

The cocktails at Dirty Precious are a big draw for neighborhood dwellers and non; and the cozy, dimly lit environment is what keeps pairs filing in regularly. There’s real effort put into non-alcoholic drinks for those who want to skip the booze, as well as easy-to-share snacks like Marcona almonds and a pickles plate.

317 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

19. King Tai

1095 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
King Tai King Tai [Official Photo]

Excellent cocktails in a homey space is the ideal match for a first date bar. Grab bar stools, and sip on fun tropical drinks like the Spa Day with mezcal, pineapple, and cayenne. King Tai stays open until 2 a.m. during the week, so there’s little rush if the date is going particularly well.

1095 Bergen St
Brooklyn, NY 11216

20. Two Saints

753 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Two Saints [Official Photo]

There’s a heavy vintage feel to the Two Saints space, in a way that’s not overtly cute or too aggressive for a first date. The wine and beer lists are just as long as the cocktail options, and renovated windows are ideal for people watching if some help is needed with conversation.

753 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216

21. Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse

529 E New York Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse [Official Photo]

Dates surely do not require booze, and pastries and coffee at this Crown Heights shop prove that expertly. The house-baked breads are among the other specialities here and definitely shouldn’t be missed.

529 E New York Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225

22. Erv's

2122 Beekman Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11225

This Prospect Lefferts Gardens bar recently expanded wildly in size, turning from a tiny space for a date with someone familiar into an ideal option for a blind date. Erv’s hosts events and live music often, so maybe check the night’s schedule to avoid any music that doesn’t match the mood.

2122 Beekman Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11225

23. Judy's

4022 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Judy’s Judy’s/Facebook

This low-key Sunset Park hang is a newer addition to the neighborhood, but already has locals swarming. Cafe by day and bar by night, Judy’s is a supremely chill place to get to know someone new. Plus, get a dollar off draft beer and wine from noon to 7 p.m. daily. Bien Cuit croissants are stocked in case needed.

4022 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11232

24. Suede

5610 Clarendon Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11203

Chances are someone is celebrating something on any given night at Suede, a Carribbean bar and restaurant with a devoted local following. The celebratory yet relaxed environment makes it an exciting backdrop for meeting someone new.

5610 Clarendon Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11203

25. Sip N Chat Cocktail Lounge

2910 Avenue D, Brooklyn, NY 11226

Sip N Chat is a neighborhood favorite, with most locals clued-in on the fact that the vibe any night of the week will be lively and welcoming. There’s a dance floor lit with strobe lights, satisfying fries and jerk wings, and most nights there’s live entertainment — all sure to make a memorable first encounter.

2910 Avenue D
Brooklyn, NY 11226

26. Sycamore

1118 Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11218
Sycamore [Official Photo]

A bar and flower shop hybrid that manages to never feel kitschy, Sycamore is instead cute, dark, often busy, and keen on not taking itself seriously. Pluses: food can be ordered from the Farm on Adderley next door, and there’s a $10 deal for a pint of beer and a bouquet of flowers.

1118 Cortelyou Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11218

27. The Owl's Head

479 74th St, Brooklyn, NY 11209