When a date involves food one must be strategic in planning their meal. The adage goes: everyone is on their best behavior when meeting a potential partner for the first time. That also should hold true with regard to consuming food and trying to make a good initial impression. One does not want to come off as messy and high maintenance. It is more simple than you think to make choices that can cover universal food preferences, as well as minimize the chance of a potential dinner date disaster that ends in a ruined shirt or ruined chance for a second date. We get that you love BBQ, but you are setting yourself up for chaos. The same can be said with Italian food (red sauce = red flag), anything that mainly offers spicy options or garlic/onion-heavy dishes. First times are unnerving, we understand. But, we’re here to help. Below are suggestions for some great options for a first NYC meetup.
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. You can spend as little or as much time eating charcuterie depending upon how it is going.
There are several options for charcuterie in NYC. Here are some of our favorites:
- Épicerie Boulud – 1900 Broadway at 64th Street
- Salumeria Rosi – 283 Amsterdam Avenue
- Boucherie – 99 7th Avenue South
Share Your Love for Food with Tapas
Another option, similar to charcuterie, is tapas. Similar concept to above, but with a nod toward 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.
- 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 for a First Date!
Why not reverse the evening and start with dessert? Dessert is a great way to have an easy conversation over a food group that pretty much everybody enjoys. The best part is, there are so many types of desserts. 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 brain? 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!
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
Drinks or Coffee for a First Date
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 and the conversation is going poorly, but you are only halfway through dinner. 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 are not committed to anything. Luckily, the duration lasts for however long you are comfortable with. 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.
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!
- 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.