Photo Samantha Sutcliffe
3 Best Bars for a First Date
1. Alice’s Arbor
A funky-general-store vibe, novel cocktails, dollar oysters, and a dining room to mosey over to if the dollar oysters work.
Gypsy jazz to get dealbreaking dance moves out in the open early.
3. No Name Bar
Eclectic backyard décor, and if conversation founders, just ask if your date knows the story about the owner finding out he was the illegitimate son of Ted Nugent.
3 Best Restaurants for a First Anniversary
Very bright and airy, with servers who’ll make you feel totally gorgeous and special, and maybe slip you a glass of prosecco on the house.
Classy but still relatively casual, with dim lighting, amazing, inventive Italian food and lots of decent affordable wines.
The ginormous outside space has a lot of intimate little cabanas, and the service is so on point, you feel like you’re at a five-star restaurant.
Your pints runneth over, but fear not: craft beer spillage blends with Constructivist-inspired abstract color patterns, two new ones every couple months, at a bar whose thoughtfulness of execution extends down even to the most disposable discs of white cardboard.
Best Surprise Gay Bar
We don’t know if it’s just because the outside looks a bit fratty, or because it’s low-key gay, but we’ve had arguments with people insisting that Branded isn’t a gay bar, just a bar filled with exclusively dudes. If you don’t trust us, trust Yelp, the tiny rainbow flag sticker, and drag queen trivia night.
Best Actual Overheard Fancy-Person Restaurant Brag
“Oh yeah, I used to go to Brooklyn Fare before they hired the sommelier. She’s great, but it was better when I could bring things from my own cellar. No, that was before they got their first Michelin star.”
Best Iced Coffee
Grady’s Cold Brew
Switching the focus from the beans or their origin, Grady’s proves that process is key. Their concentrated bottles of coffee are cold-brewed overnight with chicory, creating a dense and silky-smooth elixir to adjust with water, ice or milk.
Best Raw Meat
Isa’s Steak Tartare
Plated like a work of modern art, Isa’s perfect circle of velvety beef finds a perfect balance of texture and flavor with a smaller ring of crunchy flaxseeds and a round dollop of crème fraiche.
Best Vegan Food
Maimonide of Brooklyn
This Boerum Hill vegan pizza-ish joint joined the ranks of our favorite restaurants the first time we ate there: the eponymous whole-grain flatbreads (MOBs), shaped like the arches of the Brooklyn Bridge, are topped with veggies and more, and are impossibly delicious.