Budgeting your social life is a must in New York City, especially when it comes to dating. A typical dinner easily costs around $60 per person, making it harder than ever to gallantly pick up the tab. But don’t resort to Netflix and Top Ramen quite yet: These wallet-friendly date ideas will keep your bank account from sobbing—and your relationship from fizzling.
La Boulangerie Lopez: 647 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope
Forget pricy brunch prix fixes—at this South Slope gem, you can bring your own prosecco, and uncork it, without a fee. The lovingly prepared menu features everything from a Greek-style omelet to Mexican favorites like huevos rancheros and chilaquiles. There’s also a decadent pastry case, so be sure to save room for dessert.
Chorizo potato hash ($7.50), pancakes de Lopez ($7.95), two small café au laits ($4.50) and one flan ($2.50). Total: $22.45
Sea Witch: 703 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope
Revel in Sea Witch’s nautical theme with $4 Narragansetts and $9 fried oysters. The spacious backyard is reason enough to venture here, but the interior is just as Instagram-worthy, with a gorgeous mermaid mural and giant fish tank.
Fish tacos ($7.50), one cheeseburger ($7), one glass of Domaine de Laballe white blend ($6) and one Narragansett ($4). Total: $24.50
Brooklyn Ice House: 318 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook
From the outside, Brooklyn Ice House appears to be your typical dive bar—the craft beer selection and smells wafting from the tiny kitchen quickly suggest otherwise, however. The front room is cozy, but lead your date to the backyard and prepare for an impressed, “Ohhhhh!”
Two pulled pork sliders ($5), one dirty hot dog with fries ($5), four Miller High Life’s ($12). Total: $22.00
Brooklyn Farmacy: 513 Henry Street, Carroll Gardens
Stepping into Brooklyn Farmacy is like stepping back in time. The old-school soda fountain offers some of the borough’s most decadent desserts, like the More is S’more sundae (red velvet cake chunks topped with chocolate, vanilla and coffee ice cream, Nutella and toasted fluff, all served in a housemade graham cracker) and classic egg creams.
The Elvis sundae (half size, $10) and one peanut butter milkshake with fresh whipped cream ($10.95). Total: $20.95
Brookvin: 381 7th Avenue, Park Slope
Charming, quiet and rarely crowded, Brookvin is the perfect spot for a casual date. During the generous happy hour—which lasts all day Monday, until 7pm Tuesday through Friday, and until 5pm on the weekends—draft beers are $4, select wines are $6 and their soufflé-like macaroni and cheese is just $5.
Two glasses of El Coto rosé ($12), one macaroni and cheese ($5) and one dark chocolate mousse ($7). Total: $24.
Henry Public: 329 Henry Street, Cobble Hill
Located a few blocks from Court Street, Henry Public has a steady crowd most nights of the week. But while the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, the cocktails aren’t for the faint of heart. If you find yourself intimidated by the heavy pours, there’s a solid list of draft beers and wines, including local favorite Wölffer Estate.
One Henry’s Martini ($12) and one Brooklyn Ferry ($12). Total: $24
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza: 59 5th Avenue, Park Slope
Thanks to Artichoke’s new outpost near Barclays, you can finally enjoy their famous slices without leaving Brooklyn. It might not be the most glamorous date, but bonding over cheap bear and deliciously greasy pizza is an important stepping stone of any relationship.
One slice of artichoke pizza ($5), one slice of margherita pizza ($4.75) and two Peroni’s ($10). Total: $19.75
La Superior: 296 Berry Street, Williamsburg
This small Williamsburg spot arguably has some of the best Mexican food outside of Sunset Park, despite the hipster decor. The margaritas are fresh and potent, while tacos like the cochinita pibil are crafted with quality ingredients and served without gratuitous flair.
One carne asada taco ($2.50), one rajas taco ($2.50), one cochinita pibil taco ($2.50), one taco lengua ($3.50) and two margaritas ($14). Total: $25.00
MatchaBar: 93 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg
If you haven’t gotten in on the matcha craze, a day date to MatchaBar in Williamsburg is sure to spur an addiction. Lean classic with a matcha latte, or try an original, such as the iced mint matcha lemonade. There’s also a range of freshly baked Balthazar pastries, but their matcha cookies and macaroons are a must.
One matcha latte ($4.85), one matcha chai latte ($5.25), one matcha macaroon ($2.50) and one matcha cookie ($2.25). Total: $14.85
Vanessa’s Dumplings: 310 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg
Ranging from $1.75 to $6.50, dumplings at this local institution are as budget-friendly as they are delicious. Plus, beer and wine is a steal, and bubble tea comes in a variety of enticing flavors, like taro and passion fruit.
Four-piece chive and pork dumpling ($1.75), eight-piece basil and chicken dumpling ($4.75), eight-piece assorted dumpling with spicy sauce ($6.25) and two wines ($11). Total: $23.75
Image for Brooklyn Farmacy via Instagram