It’s almost Valentine’s day… Do you really want to pull out the cheesy greeting cards and cheap chocolate again? We didn’t think so. This year, we’re changing things up a bit and getting cultural with our S.O.’s (or friends)! If you’re living in NYC, we’ve racked up the best date ideas to pair with any language you’re learning.
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The Spanish Scene
Nuyorican Poets Café
Located in LES, Nuyorican Poets Café is the best spot for all things multicultural and all things artistic. Over the past 40 years, the café has housed numerous poets, artists, musicians, and more. They feature an event every night of the week, but on February 14th a Latin Jazz band will be playing. What more could you—or your date—ask for?
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Romance in France
La Maison Francaise
Parlez-vous français? This Valentine’s day, La Maison Francaise at New York University will be housing a poetry slam entirely in French. Located on a quaint street that feels just like a European escape from the bustle of Manhattan, this is our idea of a perfect date night. Don’t speak French? It’s still worth going to take it all in.
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Deutsche, Deutsche, Baby
A bit of a modern take on the classic German bierhaus, Spritzenhaus—which translates to Splash House, is a fun, communal style beer hall right here in Greenpoint. You can order one of 10 different sausage types and select from some delicious topping options. Then, grab a german beer and sit down to play some jenga. We’re sure your date wouldn’t mind if you took a walk by the water afterwards.
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If you’re lovin’ Arabic
The MET and Beyoglu
We had to! The MET includes rooms of Islamic and Egyptian works, and taking a stroll through these exhibits is one of the best ways to learn about Middle Eastern culture here in NYC. Afterwards, stop by Beyoglu to chat over a selection of shared meze plates (we hear they’re to die for).
Image via Zagat
When you think Brazilian, you may think bright colors, lively music, and fun dancing. All great things, but maybe not the best for a romantic date night. Casa restaurant, however, is the exact opposite, known for their clean plating and light atmosphere. With a menu written in portuguese, you can be sure it’s authentic. Make sure to order their version of Brazil’s national dish, the feijoada, which is big enough to share.
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Their claim to fame is being America’s oldest cheese shop, so this is a perfect store to just walk around and take it all in. This surely won’t be a typical date, so we suggest buying some smoked mozzarella, prosciutto, a baguette, and then heading to the nearest park to nibble. You can always grab a bottle of wine on the way!
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Tim Ho Wan
If you’re willing to get in line… This place holds a Michelin Star in Hong Kong and is totally famous there—and they just opened a spot in NYC! It’s been dubbed the “most anticipated dim-sum restaurant of the year,” and considering the fact that none of the dishes will set you back more than $5.50, we have to agree.
Photo via sushibysimon.com
If you’re learning Japanese…
Sushi by Simon
…And you’re excited to learn more! Take your sushi date up a notch. This one is a little bit of a splurge, but it may save you some money on your future sushi cravings. Here, you’ll learn how to learn everything from what sticky rice to buy, to how to make a heart-shaped sushi roll. Sake is included in the cost!
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Russia by the Beach
NYC’s “Little Russia” is located in Brighton Beach, and Tatiana Restaurant is situated right on the Atlantic Ocean (We know!) If authentic Russian culture and food is what you’re looking for, you’ve got to make the trek—trust us, it’s worth it. Afterwards, you’ll be able to take a long, romantic stroll on the boardwalk.
Image via @thejewishmuseum on Instagram
The Jewish Museum
With everything from films to plush-toy exhibits, the Jewish Museum is totally worth that trek to the Upper East Side. Finish your date with a stroll through central park and a platter of fish, breads, and cheeses to share from the Russ & Daughters café, located right inside the museum.