Are you planning a romantic getaway to New York City? On most NYC Tourist's romantic agendas, you'll find horse drawn carriages through Central Park, dinner at the Boat House, a trip to the ESB or a romantic boat cruise down the Hudson. All of these things are great ideas for a romantic dates in NYC, but on Valentine's Day, those are the things that every tourist and local will be doing in New York City.
There are tons of romantic things to do in New York City on Valentine’s Day without being a total cliché on the top of the Empire State Building or in one of the restaurants that books up this night months in advance. It's hard to find something to do at the last minute (or on Valentine's Day, if you didn't plan something months in advance) and still get reservations, tickets and avoid the massive crowds.
Whether you’re being extremely romantic or keeping it casual, NYC has something special for you and your Valentine.
The Shalel Lounge
It's located on the Upper West Side, and it really wows couples every time. From the cool decor, romantic yet comfortable ambiance to the delicious food and interesting cocktails. There are rose petals and candles throughout the lounge, setting the perfect mood for the rest of the evening.
Go out for cocktails at Employees Only.
They have delicious cocktails like the Ginger Smash, Le Fraise Sauvage and more, and they’re all about $15, so it won’t even cross your dates mind that you might be cheap. Even though the drinks are pricey, they’re well worth it, and this trendy atmosphere makes Employees Only a pretty laid back place to impress someone you might not have been with for long, but at the same time it also makes for a nice way to start or end the night for those celebrating one of many Valentine’s Days together. If you get hungry, be sure to get your paws on the Bone Marrow Poppers.
Enjoy pre-theatre dinner at Le Boite en Bois.
This charming French restaurant on West 68th specializes in dinners for diners who have a curtain to catch. They have a $44 pre-theatre prix fixe menu that goes until 7:30 and is loaded with delicious options to choose from. End your meal with a delicious Crème Brule and then head off to one of the nearby shows of your choice.
Say “ti amo” at Uvarara.
This romantic Italian restaurant is a little more casual than some places, but it’s the low lighting and full wine bar makes the ladies swoon. The menu is pretty reasonably priced for this authentic, upscale restaurant, and it’s just small enough to really enjoy an intimate evening with your sweetheart.
Bring home some desserts from a local bakery.
Depending on where you’re staying or where you live, there’s probably somewhere to get something delicious to surprise your sweetie with this Valentine’s Day. Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side has some unforgettable cookies, and a wide selection to give her some variety. They sell them individually or in cute gift boxes perfect for Valentine’s Day. Circo Pastry Shop in Bushwick makes delicious, custom cakes and pastries that are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Or Go Out For Something Sweet
If you’d rather take her out for dessert than bring it back to your house or hotel, head over to ChikaLicious Dessert Bar for a warm chocolate tart, sorbet, cheesecake and a bottle of wine to pair. They do accept reservations, and if dessert is the only thing on the menu tonight, or even if it isn’t, reservations might not be a bad idea.
Tear the Club Up
For all the wild couples (and singles who don’t want to be alone tonight) Marquee just reopened. The club has been completely revamped and it’s now full of new and exciting features, including a strangely alluring scratch and sniff wall.
Do Something Exclusive
Milk and Honey reopens in late January, and is no longer reservation only, in case you’re playing it by ear on Valentine’s Day. That’s right; this exclusive joint is now going to be three times bigger and a little less “members only.”
Celebrate Young Love
The Otheroom is a cool date spot in West Village that’s perfect for young couples in all stages of a relationship, whether you’re keeping it casual or ready to think about spicing things up again. It’s intimate and sensual without overdoing it, and it’s loud enough in here that there are rarely awkward luls.
Broadway Hits are Always a Hit
And of course, you can’t really go wrong with a show. There are tons of shows on Broadway playing on Valentine’s Day, so check out Chicago The Musical, The New York City Ballet, Phantom of the Opera or even some of the Off Broadway shows if you want to avoid the crowds. Buy your tickets ahead of time online so that you don’t make your date wait around in line or run the chance of your show selling out. Even many of the Off Broadway productions and lesser known shows sell out on Valentine’s Day.
Whether you’re trying to avoid the high prices at the NYC tourist-traps, or you’re just looking for an intimate night with your Valentine, there’s a way to celebrate this February 14th without heading to the over exhausted and often cheesy places to spend an evening with your date.