The entire city is your oyster when it comes to date night. But when you and the SO aren’t so inclined for fanciful mollusks (or changing out of your ripped jeans and faded tees), NYC is bursting with casual spots made for easygoing, spontaneous nights. From a classic sandwich shop to an unconventional gaming spot to a pub that will have you sipping more pints than you had planned, we’ve got your low-key date covered.
An evening at Eisenberg’s—whose tagline is “Raising New York’s cholesterol since 1929”—means a pile of meat, a pile of napkins, and no regrets. The Fifth Avenue neighborhood spot is widely known for its classic diner sandwiches, but its comfort-food prestige is almost belied by the eatery’s devil-may-care look and feel. Cuddle up at the counter and share a Reuben: an overabundance of pastrami, Swiss cheese, and ’kraut splitting the seams of two rye slices. Don’t even think about leaving without trying a classic egg cream—and forget the cute two-straw sipping technique; these are too good to share.
Stop 2: Make a good match at Spin.
Competitive much? Good. Because you’ve got a four-minute walk to prepare yourself for some serious table tennis. Choose from 20 or so ping-pong tables, pick up a paddle, and you’re in business. (Don’t worry, a few lucky employees are always on ball-collecting duty.) And if next drinks are on the loser, there’s a full bar ready to serve up something a little stronger for those who don’t accept defeat so easily. Want to make this date night a weekly affair? Join Spin’s ping-pong league.
Stop 3: Cheers to Molly’s Shebeen!
As the Irish saying goes, “May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!” At Molly’s, rest assured you’ll have an ale in hand before shouting “Bartender!” But as far as clean clothes go, the thick coating of sawdust found on the floor promises no guarantees. One of the oldest (it was established in 1895) and most authentic Irish pubs in the city, Molly’s honors its deep-rooted culture and history from its menu down to its original Honduran mahogany bar, untouched from the 1920s. Top off your night with the famous shepherd’s pie and a classic Irish tipple in front of the cozy fireplace.
A mellow night doesn’t have to be a boring one. We’re here to plan this—or any other—casual date you might want with your SO.