I moved to Bushwick in the very early stages of dating my girlfriend Kate (she actually came with me to view my apartment mere weeks after meeting), so we are very familiar with all the best places around the neighborhood to go for a casual drink, a good meal, or a fun activity. Bushwick is home to a lot of romantic hidden gems, so there is no shortage of great spots to take a date. Below are three of my favorites.
The Narrows, 1037 Flushing Ave.
If you’re anything like me, a first date needs to include alcohol (sometimes a lot of it, depending on how the date is going). The Narrows is easy to miss, because there is no sign indicating that anything is going on behind the single, black, windowless door (such is the way of Bushwick), so meeting your date outside may be necessary. Once inside, however, you’ll be surprised by dimly lit and rather cozy atmosphere. Round the corner from the bar there is an additional room with plenty of seating, so you and your date won’t be scouring the bar for a stool. In the summer, there is even a charming outdoor area open to enjoy a beer under the moonlight. The cocktails here are creative and delicious, like the Babushka, their twist on a Moscow mule (vodka, fresh ginger, lime twist, soda). Get hungry and they have a burger special (burger melt and a Bud for $10, can’t beat it), or the best kale salad you will ever eat. This place alone will get you a second date.
Roberta’s Pizza, 261 Moore St.
You can’t go on a date in Bushwick and not go to Roberta’s. Roberta’s is another one of those places that look like a shack from the outside (typical), but once you walk in, you’re blown away by the interior. Not only does this pizzeria have a large indoor seating area, with long wooden tables to seat customers family-style, but it’s also equipped with a roomy outdoor area as well during the summer months. The warm, rustic atmosphere alone makes this place worth visiting. But of course, you wouldn’t go to a pizza place that makes shitty pizza, which is why Roberta’s has made a name for itself (and for Bushwick), with its phenomenal food. The authentic, thin-crust, fire-grilled pizza is delicious, and one small pie is filling enough for two people. Try their original Margherita or craft your own with unique toppings like sopressata, speck, and guanciale. Sit back, sip a few IPAs, and let the good times roll.
Syndicated Bar Theater Kitchen, 40 Bogart St.
Congratulations! You’ve made it far. This probably means your date likes you (or is taking advantage of the cool dates you’re taking them on). I am usually opposed to going to a movie on the early-on dating stage, because it doesn’t leave much room for talking and getting to know a person. What sets Syndicated apart, however, is the fact that you can choose between having dinner is their spacious, romantic dining area, or having your food and drinks served to you while watching the movie. Syndicated shows a good mix of new and vintage movies, which makes it a great spot to take a date (for Valentine’s Day, Kate and I went and saw all of the Oscar-nominated animated shorts!). The atmosphere is unbeatable, and the theater is spacious enough where you’re not squeezed up against your neighbor (unless you want to be). Try one of their boozy milkshakes or curry-seasoned popcorn and enjoy watching the show! (or don’t, if the date is going well enough).