So it finally happened: After swiping through hordes of guys proudly holding up dead fish or girls perfecting their fake-laughing face, you finally started a conversation with someone whose pickup line didn’t make you consider the upsides of spinsterhood. But while you’ve gotten admirably far, there’s still a huge hurdle ahead of you: the first date.
Picking the perfect spot to meet your Tinder date is a tricky proposition: You need somewhere that suggests you are a cool person who likes cool places, but also a place where you can easily escape or be distracted if your date ends up being a terror. Luckily, summertime in Brooklyn provides plenty of options for a first date with a stranger you met online.
Night of Joy
667 Lorimer St., Williamsburg
This bar has everything you need for a first date: good cocktails, romantic ambience and dim enough lighting your date can’t see you roll your eyes when they mention their passion for SoulCycle. Plus, Night of Joy has a rooftop, which is basically a requirement for any good summer bar experience.
722 Nostrand Ave., Crown Heights
Sure, you can’t whisk your date away to the Caribbean (and if you can, you probably don’t need to read Brokelyn), but you can meet your potential love interest at this tropical-themed bar. The tiki drinks and rum cocktails are a perfect match for the hot weather.
383 Carroll St., Gowanus
This Gowanus bar is basically what would happen if a mason jar and exposed wood had a baby, and it somehow came out completely charming instead of annoying. It has a nice, airy backyard, making it the ideal summer date spot. Plus, you can take a lovely stroll alongside the nearby Gowanus Canal after! When you’re falling in love, even a heap of watery garbage can seem quaint.
The Bearded Lady
686A Washington Ave., Prospect Heights
Summer in NYC involves a level of sweat you couldn’t even fathom before you moved here. Unfortunately, copious sweat does not typically make your date swoon, which is when a cool, spacious bar like this Prospect Heights spot comes in handy. There’s even a pool table which, as TV has taught us, is a crucial date ingredient.
742 Myrtle Ave., Bed-Stuy
Maybe you’re feeling bold after a few drinks and want to cuddle up with your date. Project Parlor has some comfy couches and armchairs to make that flirting possible. Maybe you’re feeling trapped and need to put lots of space between you and your date. Project Parlor has a spacious backyard to make that distance happen. You basically can’t go wrong.
302 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg
This crab-shack-style eatery has a lot to offer, especially in the summer when you’re probably craving seafood hard. If your date goes well, you can share some delicious seafood as you continue to get to know each other. If it doesn’t, you can ditch your Tinder date and console yourself by inhaling oysters in the adorable side-yard underneath twinkling lights.
388 Union Ave., Williamsburg
First date conversations are infamous for being really, really awkward. If you’re bad at banter, you may want to head to Barcade, which, like the name suggests, has a plethora of fun arcade games and drinks. Who needs wit and charm when you have Mario Kart?!
48 S 4th St., Williamsburg
The importance of outdoor space at a bar in the summer cannot be emphasized enough. Picking a place that has fresh air not only makes you seem more fun, it means you are less likely to be drenched in your own sweat. This is why The Woods, which is about as large and airy as a bar can get in NYC, is a perfect summer bar. There is also a taco truck, and there is no date bad enough a taco can’t salvage it.
249 4th Ave., Gowanus
Board games so you aren’t forced to make too much small talk, outside space so you can pretend like you actually like the outdoors, and dog-friendly so you can bring the world’s cutest conversation-starter or pet the one next to you – Mission Dolores has all the ingredients for a perfect summer first date. It’s well-known for its craft beers, so you can also quickly gauge your boo’s beer game.
273 Smith St., Carroll Gardens
The tropical-themed cocktails at this Carroll Gardens bar are super strong, which is key for a first date spot. You can either get drunk enough to gain the confidence to talk the total stranger you invited here, or get drunk enough your random date’s inane conversation topics don’t make you want to delete all dating apps off your phone forever and commit to a life of solitude. And yes, like any good summer drinks spot, there’s a nice backyard to enjoy those cocktails in.