When a date involves a meal, you don’t want to pick anything too messy. Everyone wants to be on their best behavior when meeting a potential partner for the first time, and eating a greasy taco or large plate of spaghetti can be less than appealing on a date. You don’t want to look like this is your first time eating human food, after all. You want to make a good impression! It’s simpler than you think to choose places where you can show your more refined side. There are plenty of places that serve appetizers, bite sized portions, or just food that don’t require a sauce. If you’re struggling with this concept, never fear: CitySignal is here. We have all the best advice for eating well and good on your first date.
Easy First Date Food Ideas NYC
Feeling Fancy? Go with Charcuterie!
One of the easiest choices for a “round one” is charcuterie. If you are not familiar, charcuterie is a French term for the culinary art of preparing a plate of cured meats such as salami, ham, sausage, pâtés, and confit. They are usually paired with cheeses, fruit, olives, and some type of bread or cracker. Charcuterie is a good way to have assorted things brought to a table so everyone can find something to eat. Everything is in small portions and it makes for great conversation over a snack. This may feel like a large Lunchable to some people, but it’s really quite fancy. Your date will likely be very impressed should you get a Charcuterie board and pair it with a nice wine. The best part? There are plenty of places that serves these delicious treats!
Here are several options for charcuterie in NYC:
- Épicerie Boulud – 1900 Broadway at 64th Street
- Salumeria Rosi – 283 Amsterdam Avenue
- Boucherie – 99 7th Avenue South
Go For Some Delicious and Exciting Tapas
Another option if you’re seeking something light and easy is tapas, appetizers that are directly, or take inspiration, from Spain. Tapas can be served hot or cold and usually includes a selection of meats, cheeses, and savory small plates such as stuffed mussels, fried squid, sautéed vegetables, and an array of other Spanish delicacies. Again, it provides the diners with a fantastic selection of items so that everyone can choose something of their liking. Plus, some plates are shareable, which some people find romantic. Some of our favorite Tapas spots include:
- Boqueria Spanish Tapas – 53 W 19th Street
- Pil Pil – 265 E 78th Street
- Mercado Little Spain – 10 Hudson Yards
Love is Sweet so Try Some Desserts on a First Date!
There’s a reason people give their loved ones boxes of chocolates on special occasions. Sweet things are insanely romantic, so naturally grabbing a dessert on a date is great idea. Dessert is a phenomenal way to have an easy conversation over a sweet treat that pretty much everybody enjoys. The best part is, there are so many types of desserts to choose from, so everyone can get something they want! Your options are virtually endless and the likelihood of not being able to agree on a place is slim. The dessert someone chooses can also be very telling of their personality. For example, if you are a cookie lover you are probably quite warm and friendly. Donuts on your mind? You are most likely an optimist with a bright personality. Ice cream? You enjoy trying new things and will take whatever life throws at you. This can potentially be a very romantic situation for both of you, as you find someone who is completely compatible with you.
Here are a few places where we like to satisfy our sweet tooth:
- Veniro’s Pasticceria & Caffe – 342 E 11th Street
- Spot Dessert Bar – 13 St. Marks Place
- ChikaLicious Dessert Bar – 201 – 203 E 10th Street
Want to Avoid Eating? Drinks or Coffee are First Date Classics
Sometimes the idea of sitting down for an entire meal on the first date can seem daunting. It is never fun when you are on a date, the conversation is going poorly, but you are only halfway through dinner and you got the prix-fixe meal, so that means you have three more courses to go. It is understandable that people do not want to be stuck in such a predicament. However, there is a way around it: Recommend going for drinks! A chat over some alcohol is never a bad idea and if the date is going downhill you don’t have to stick around. Just pay your tab, tip your bartender, and run for the hills. The timing is entirely up to you! Most bars in NYC will also serve food or small bites, so if you choose to end up getting food with your drinks then you can. Here are some fun bars for a date night:
In the case you, nor your partner of interest drink alcohol, coffee dates are always a great go-to. They are affordable, quick, and a tad more casual. People watching is also a fun activity to take part in while sipping on some coffee. Even though it can come across as boring and slightly basic, coffee dates are classic for a reason. Much like a dessert, you can also tell a lot about someone from what type of coffee they order. If you are a coffee connoisseur you need to make sure you pay close attention! For
- Urban Backyard – 180 Mulberry Street
- Culture Espresso – 72 W 38th Street
- Stumptown Coffee Roasters – 18 W 29th Street
Carly is a freelance writer with interest in topics pertaining to lifestyle blogging, social justice, and anything to do with film/media. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a degree in English & Literary studies in hopes to write for a large music publication. When she is not writing, you can find her watching movies, cooking her famous Carbonara, and enjoying time outdoors.