1. The Coffee Shop Date
Queens residents love their caffeine, and as such, we’ve got plenty of cozy coffee houses that set the scene for an awkward, alcohol-free first date. Rookies to the Queens dating scene will make plans to meet up at The Queens Kickshaw before realizing that the wait time on a weekend is likely to last longer than the actual date. Seasoned veterans head to the less crowded Cafe de Cupping — because nothing seals the deal like splitting a piece of their homemade honey bread, am I right?
2. The Nosebleed Mets Game Date
We like to do things on the cheap here in Queens, mostly because we’re used to being spoiled by dollar stores and discount food markets galore. So when your date says he’s taking you out to the ballgame, chances are you’re going to be way, way up in the stands. Still, it’s kind of fun to figure out what’s actually going on way down there in the field, and you’ll be seated closer to the Shake Shack (which is the best thing about Citi Field anyway).
3. The Look at that View Date
Queens has no shortage of stellar views, from the NYC city skyline as seen from Long Island City, the breathtaking bridges near Astoria Park, or the Four Freedoms Park views from Roosevelt Island. You’ve gotta give this date props — not only is it completely free, but nothing sets the mood for a first kiss quite like nighttime views overlooking the water.
4. The Hipster Wannabe Date
Whether you’re a Queens girl dating a real-life hipster from Brooklyn or an authentic hipster living in Queens for the quick commute and cheap rent, there are some solid hipsteresque options in this borough that will make you feel like you’re in a scene from Girls. Sweet Afton has all the craft cocktails and organic ingredients your “green” little heart could possibly desire. Or you can show off your beard and admire each other’s plaid at LIC bar.
5. The Local Music Date
Chances are good that one of you knows someone who knows someone who has a friend who’s in a band that plays in Queens, which is the perfect reason to ask your date to join you as you awkwardly sway to the music together at Dominie’s, The Quays, or Rèst-âü-Ránt. Props if your date can pronounce “Quays” correctly.
6. The Beer Garden Date
It’s impossible to live and date in Queens and not end up at Bohemia Hall at some point. If your date is a sports buff, you’ll probably be roped into watching the game live at Studio Square. Whiskey enthusiasts will most likely push for a date at The Strand, where craft cocktails are created and surprisingly affordable BBQ is served to order.
7. The Bar Crawl Date
For those of us who can’t even imagine getting through a date without being sufficiently sauced, the bars that line Austin Street will make for a memorable first date — even if you can’t actually remember it. Bonus points if the crawl lowers your inhibitions enough to down the delicious mix of pepper jack, jalapeños, and chipotle mayo that is the Asshole Burger in front of your new boo.
8. The Brewery Date
Queens is home to five breweries, three of which are happy to give craft-beer enthusiasts a tour of their digs, with sips to try along the way. Win your date over with your knowledge of hops while touring SingleCut Beersmiths. If you’re looking for something exotic, the Rye Saison with Garam Masala from Big Alice Brewing, is sure to please.
9. The Intellectual Museum Date
The idea of heading to a museum on a date might sound snooze-worthy, but when our borough boasts places like the Museum of Moving Image, where exhibits include the original Mrs. Doubtfire mask, or an actual moving exhibition choreographed at the MoMA PS1, we don’t find ourselves waiting for it to all be over.
10. The Let’s Eat Something Outrageous Date
Queens is home to some of the most delicious, authentic, outrageous foods in all of NYC — so even if the date is slightly painful, at least you’ll be eating well. Split a whole Branzino at Taverna Kyclades, slurp soup dumplings at the original Joe’s Shanghai, or brave the obscure specialties served up by Chef Ali at Kabab Cafe. The options are endless, which is hopefully not how you end up describing your date.