Low on cash doesn’t have to meet light on flash and dash when it comes to first date night. When it comes to a first date with someone you really like, you know you want to impress. If you’re watching every penny, you don’t want that fact to show in your restaurant choice. There’s plenty of time to go to those fantastically awesome cheap Chinese spots and tucked away diners, but for a first date, you want something that’s affordable and chic. The choices below can start off your hunt for the best first date restaurants.

La Lanterna di Vittorio – Italian First Date

Musicians playing live jazz, providing an oh-so-smooth live-action soundtrack and backdrop for your date; colorful lanterns hanging hither and thither overhead, giving your still-healing-from-the-winter skin a gorgeous, preternatural glow; the NYU law students exchanging scholarly bon mots at the next table, helping underscore the fact to your date that this is not only a great Italian restaurant but also one frequented by intellectuals; a fire dancing in the fireplace when the weather is cold, and candles flickering on the tables year round, and a smile on your face as you can look at the bill without needing your inhaler: this and more is what you have to look forward to when you treat your date to dinner at La Lanterna di Vittorio. The West Village romantic hot spot is famous for decadent cafe fare like pesto lasagna, prosciutto pizza and insanely rich gelato. Prices? Most things on the menu are under $15. You might as well face it; if you’re looking for love, and you can’t get it in this place, weeeell...

129 MacDougal Street, NY, NY 10012 (212) 529-5945 – Website

Maison Premiere

You work in finance, but you don’t want to seem like a clueless square whose only hip quality is your actual hip. You want to impress and show that your comfort zone extends far beyond your Seamless delivery zone. Head out to Maison Premiere in Williamsburg, and people in the street will be calling out to you, “Excuse me! Your cool is showing!” This self-described happy hour/cocktail den/oyster house is like New Orleans, Paris and NYC rolled into one. Sultry jazz, corner booths perfect for snuggling and scrumptious $1 oysters and clams – as in every oyster and clam in the house – between 4pm and 7pm every single day make this the perfect cuddle palace for future lovers who met in an oyster-lover Meetup group. With the oysters so good and cheap, you can afford to spring for the absinthe and champagne.

298 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11221 347-335-0446 – Website

St. Anselm

Yes, we’re still in Williamsburg. And here’s why: St. Anselm. This Brooklyn eatery on Metropolitan Avenue has gained a loyal following of meat lovers from around the city, and it’s an awesome, affordable place for meat lovers who want to be lovers. The chefs are tatted up and rock is rocking on the playlist, but the staff here aren’t a bunch of twee arrivistes; they know beef (and awesome seafood and good drinks). The melt-in-your-mouth hefty serving of butcher’s steak is a mere $15, while the rib eye will leave you in grateful tears. Keep in mind the place doesn’t take reservations and the lines and wait times can be long, so plan accordingly.

355 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-384-5054 – Google+ Page
Do you have the perfect restaurant for first date?  Let us know about it so we can go check it out.

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About The Author

Profile photo of Hayden
Passive Eater

I am quiet when I eat and loud when I write. On the streets and in the field calling it like I see it