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NYC Couple © Juan Galafa/Unsplash
NYC Couple © Juan Galafa/Unsplash
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A Single's Guide To Dating In New York City

Picture of Nikki Vargas
Travel Editor
Updated: 11 January 2017
With thousands of bars and restaurants to choose from, dating in New York City can be overwhelming – especially for a first time visitor. Culture Trip shares places to meet other singles in the city.

Unique Activities

Book Parties

If meeting someone at a bar isn’t your scene, then book parties allow you to swap intellectual conversation and indulge in a shared passion for the written word. Check out this link for listings on upcoming book parties and events.


Meeting an eligible bachelor or bachelorette during a meditation class may not immediately seem like the best idea. In New York though, meditation communities bond over wellness – gathering after class and going on meditation retreats. MNDFUL is one of the more popular meditation centers in New York that caters to professionals looking to zen out.

Art Exhibitions

Art exhibitions are a cost-effective way to meet cultured singles in New York. Most art exhibitions take place in Chelsea, SoHo, and Bushwick, and are typically free with complimentary wine. Chelsea tends to be the most popular neighborhood for art exhibitions, with most events taking place Thursday evenings.

Royal Palms Shuffleboard

Because games are an immediate bonding experience, Royal Palms Shuffleboard is a great place to meet other singles and play a game of shuffleboard. Royal Palms Shuffleboard has 10 shuffleboard courts, offers complimentary lessons and is $40 an hour to play.

Bomb Shelter Comedy Show

Every Thursday night, local New York comedians gather in the basement-turned-comedy club of The Gaf West to enjoy free pizza, discounted beer, and up-and-coming comedic talent. With local New Yorkers and visiting tourists alike stopping by The Bomb Shelter Comedy Show, it’s a great place to meet other singles, laugh at some jokes, and enjoy a beer after the show.

Cocktails © Pexels/Pixabay
Cocktails | © Pexels/Pixabay

Bars & Restaurants


The crowd at Pianos – a popular Lower East Side bar/club – skews younger, promising you may meet your next great hook up, although not necessarily your next relationship. Pianos doubles as a music venue and dance club, with the first floor acting as a regular bar.

Bemelmans Bar

Bemelmans Bar is an iconic, upscale haunt in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The famed piano bar is known for its hand painted Madeline murals painted by Madeline illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans for whom the bar is named after. A drink at Bemelmans Bar transports you to a vintage New York glamour of decades past; here you’ll meet an older, wealthier crowd.


St. Marks Street is an eclectic mix of ethnic cuisine, tattoo parlors, hole-in-the-wall jazz clubs, dive bars, and novelty shops. On St. Marks is Bua – a fun bar with good happy hour specials, outdoor seating and weekend brunch. The best time to come is during happy hour when East Villagers flock to Bua for $7 cocktails and $15 wine carafes.

Empire State © Unsplash/Pixabay
Empire State | © Unsplash/Pixabay

Rooftop Bars

230 Fifth

At 230 Fifth, young corporate New Yorkers congregate for overpriced cocktails and stellar views of midtown Manhattan – including an uninterrupted view of the Empire State Building. Brunch is a popular time to visit 230 Fifth, although a visit will require advance reservations, as is Happy Hour (Monday-Friday, 4-7pm).

Gallow Green

Gallow Green is an outdoor, rooftop bar that is popular in the summer time. Gallow Green is above the interactive theater production, Sleep No More, at the McKittrick Hotel. What sets Gallow Green apart from other rooftop bars in the city is its unique decor that transports guests from New York City to a place more reminiscent of the the Louisiana Bayou, making it a great conversation starter.