Make It A Date to Remember for the Right Reasons

Show your Tinder/Hinge/OkCupid date a little bit more of the real you. 

The dating world, like everything digital, is changing so fast. Though technology is supposed to solve problems, I am shocked at how hard it is to find good company. I have been on million Tinder and OkCupid dates, especially when I moved to the city. It was a great way to meet people fast, for friendship or otherwise, but it ebbed from high pressure to low pressure until I stepped back and thought about what was going on. The big mistake so many make when on social dating sites is that they put too much pressure on a single date and try to project a bigger person than they are or someone that they think others might find more attractive. This is a huge turn off to so many. 

In reality, what people are doing with online dating is looking for someone who they can actually have a good time with. One easy way to figure that out is to stray from the conventional dinner and drink model to something a bit more unique and experiential that says something about you and about your lifestyle. Many of our readers our locavores, vegans, foodies, and pop culture enthusiasts. We’ve put together our favorite NYC date spots that fuse you and new experiences together:

Pro-Tip: Committing to a one-on-one dinner is more like an interview than an experience - avoid it if you can. You can always graduate to this point later when it will feel less like a Diane Sawyer exclusive.  

If juicing if your jam

 Source: The Butcher's Daughter

Source: The Butcher's Daughter

The Butcher's Daughter (19 Kenmare Street)- This vegetarian/vegan juice bar and cafe has a ton of options. From cleanses to hangover cures to tasty, smoothie-like treats, you'll keep coming back to try something new. But what's even better is the atmosphere. With a clean white exterior, nice outdoor seating, great bleached wood accents, and lots of plants, it's almost like a mini-city getaway.

Melvin's Juice Box- Connected with the famous Caribbean food outpost Miss Lily's, Melvin's Juice Box serves completely organic juices and smoothies, and can be found in three locations throughout the city. Melvin Major Jr., who originally worked in a health food store in Greenwich Village, is now a twenty year juice veteran, so he really knows what he's talking about! 

Organika (89 7th Ave South)- If you're in the mood for some adult juice (ehem cocktails), Organika mixes up organic liquors with all kinds of fruits and vegetables. For example, the Mango Peacock, a blend of mango infused organic spirit, blood orange liqueur, pineapple juice, and lime juice.

If the environment is your thing

 Source: New York Guest

Source: New York Guest

Whether you're into climate change, cool animals, recycling, or all of the above, there are countless museums, movies, and events at your fingertips. Take a trip to the Museum of Natural History. Attend Climate Week events. Spend a day volunteering for the New York Restoration Project or with other environmental organizations. Get on the train and go hiking. The possibilities are endless.

If dessert is your desire

 Source: Sidney Bensimon

Source: Sidney Bensimon

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream: Van Leeuwen originally began as an ice cream truck in Brooklyn, and has since expanded to brick and mortar stores and trucks across NY and LA. All their ice cream is made with love in Greenpoint, and they even have a huge variety of vegan flavors!

Molly's Cupcakes: If center-filled cupcakes and board games are for you, Molly's is your place. The small store has awesome swinging chairs and a sprinkles bar to satisfy your inner child. And if you don't like their flavors, you can build your own. Even better, they donate a portion of the profits to local schools in the community (and they have vegan options).


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Jesse Ayala

New York, New York, USA

Developing social good and value-adding products, Ayala seeks to enhance culture and behavior through experiences that address both macro- and micro-level problems. This mantra has led Ayala down an non-traditional career path, linking fashion, technology, performance art, media, education, community building, and design. Ayala has been honored by the Huffington Post and InStyle magazine for innovation and style in the digital new economy. Ayala is the co-founder and Creative Director of