The Manhattan Date Night Delivery Guide
Avoid doing the dishes and eat something special tonight with the one person who thinks your frumpy pajamas are chic.
Date night feels a lot less sexy than it did in the years leading up to 2020. That’s mostly because of social distancing, the mask mandate, and unpredictable weather. But even if you’ve been quarantining with your significant other so long that you can no longer distinguish between your farts and theirs, it’s important to plan a night with romance in mind every once in a while. Next time you want to stay at home, avoid doing dishes, and eat something special, order delivery from one of these fantastic date night spots around Manhattan.
All restaurants featured on The Infatuation are selected by our editorial team. The Manhattan Date Night Delivery Guide is presented by Caviar.
If you’re looking to recreate the once-a-quarter date nights you used to have in 2019, try ordering a couple of Korean bento boxes from this high-end restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. They each come with your choice of meat or fish (like bulgogi or mackerel), as well as kimchi, pickles mixed with sausage, mushrooms, an egg roll, salmon, a soy-marinated egg, shrimp jeon, and sausage jeon. Order one for each of you, throw in a kimbap roll or two for good measure and it’ll feel like you’re eating a multi-course meal.
Between the lemony veal scallopini and the Roman pastas, ordering from Sandros on the UES will feel closer to date night at home than the fettuccine and roasted tomato dish you normally scrounge together to woo a mate. We especially like the bucatini amatriciana, which strikes a nice balance between sweet onion and salty guanciale with pecorino.
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Momofuku Ko’s cold, slightly sweet fried chicken will steal you and your date’s full attention. It comes in a pizza box, with dainty paper wrapped around the bottom of the drumsticks so you don’t get your fingers messy. It’s one of our favorite dishes we’ve eaten all year. Plus, the Ko menu has luxurious things like champagne, caviar, and delicious, spicy tomato pizza to order as well.
The Beatrice Inn
Maybe you normally would have had plans to go to the Beatrice Inn this week, sit in a big leather booth beneath an oil painting, and split a tomahawk steak with the only person who gets a little tongue when you kiss. That energy, unfortunately, is going to have to wait - but you can still get that steak delivered to your apartment. Or, if you want a piece of meat that’s a little more manageable, try a New York strip, half a duck, or dry-aged burger with caramelized onions. If it’s an extra-special night, add a bottle of Champagne to your order.
Le French Diner
Consider a date night with french food, a bottle of wine that’s nicer than what you normally drink at home, and watching a new movie you justify renting by saying, “Movie tickets would be more expensive.” Le French Diner is the delivery spot you’re looking for. In addition to serving classic French dishes (like hanger steak with cheesy potatoes, tartare, and grilled octopus), this LES spot also has a section of their delivery menu dedicated to cheese boards.
Unless you’ve been ordering the Senegalese pintade with attieke from Chez Alain, your date nights at home in Harlem have probably been missing something. The skin on this guinea fowl dish is flaky and charred, while the meat is rich and salty. Soak up the juices at the bottom of the plate with a side of attieke - slightly sour cassava with the texture of couscous, and chew on the bones like they’re chicken wings.
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Yefsi is an upscale Greek restaurant on the UES that dates and potato lovers all generally approve of. Not to mention, our absolute favorite Greek spot in the neighborhood (and one of the best in the whole city). Order the zucchini chips, lamb souvlaki, and anything that comes with a side of Greek potatoes - they’re lemony and inexplicably soft.
Dirt Candy is the best special occasion vegetarian restaurant in the city, and you don’t even have to leave your apartment to experience it. In addition to a menu of a la carte dishes (like Korean fried broccoli or a beet reuben), Dirt Candy also has “vegetable party dinners” for delivery every day between 5:30pm and 8:45pm. The menu changes every week and costs $55 per person (with a $25 optional beverage pairing). They recommend you pre-order these, which you can do ahead of time online.
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If you want a date night meal that will make your week without spending upwards of $40 per person for dinner, try one of the Pio Pio locations around the city (Hell’s Kitchen, UES, UWS, and Kips Bay). This Peruvian restaurant delivers a $35 chicken dinner that comes with a whole rotisserie chicken, a double order of fries, avocado salad, and a side of spicy Peruvian green sauce that balances out the sweetness of the chicken skin.
“Breakfast for dinner!” isn’t a phrase reserved for enticing a 7-year-old to eat. It’s also a charming suggestion for date night at home. If you don’t feel like cooking bacon or French toast in your kitchen, order from Viand on the UWS. They serve breakfast until 9:30pm every day, and they use challah from Orwashers bakery for their French toast.
Ordering surprise fried chicken for someone else is about as romantic as delivery gets. If you’re in the uptown area, try Melba’s, which makes incredible fried chicken and crispy, well-seasoned catfish. Most of the entrees here come with a choice of two sides - and the mac and cheese should be one of them. If you’re into yams that are sweet, order those too.
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Atomix serves a Korean tasting menu you’ll never forget. It involves a perfectly tender piece of halibut over foie gras, and some lightly battered wagyu that’s slightly reminiscent of savory French toast. If you’re looking to pull out all of the stops for a curated at-home dinner, their four-course delivery tasting meal is worth investigating. It costs $125 per person and the menu changes fairly often, but expect dishes along the lines of king crab with a century egg, sundubu-jjigae, and jorim with wagyu and squash. Atomix also has some deluxe add-ons available, like uni and caviar.
It’s very possible you want something exciting for date night at home, but you don’t want to commit to a tasting menu that costs more than two weeks worth of groceries. Wildair is an ideal in-between option, since they serve inventive small plates like scallop crudo with grapes and a crispy, creamy potato with uni and jalapeno for around $20 per dish. It’s essential you get their chocolate hazelnut tart. If you don’t start smelling pheromones after eating that little dessert, we don’t know what else to advise.
OK we know this guide has “date night” written all over it, but here’s an idea: plan a dim sum date on a weekend (or a weekday for lunch). Golden Unicorn delivers their excellent dumplings, fried shrimp balls, and egg custard tarts until 3pm every day. Our favorite dim sum dish is the baked pork pastries, which come as flaky, egg-washed triangles of pastry stuffed with sweet pork hunks. You’re going to want at least two to yourself.
Here’s an easy-to-follow, three step guide to date night at home near the West Village: order from Via Carota on Grove Street, whip up a martini while you wait, then eat pasta out of real bowls by candlelight. Our top choice available for delivery right now is the tonarelli cacio e pepe, which is extremely rich and cheesy, with chewy noodles and lots of pepper.
photo credit: Maki Kosaka
If you want high-quality sushi delivery for date night, get a few combo sets from Maki Kosaka in Flatiron. Maki Kosaka is the casual offshoot of a fancy omakase spot called Kosaka on West 13th, which means you can rightfully expect the quality of the fish to be excellent without spending your savings on tuna. Get a makimono set that comes with onigiri, futomaki (large rolls full of pickled and fresh vegetables), and what they call “grab sushi,” which comes with separate nori sheets that you use to scoop up things like red snapper topped with miso-wasabi sauce. They also have maki roll combo options for under $30.
Choosing a pasta from Fiaschetteria Pistoia is like remembering your father’s middle name - it’ll be tough in the moment, but in the end, you’ll realize there was no way you could’ve gone wrong. Order dishes like cacio e pepe with hand rolled spaghetti, pappardelle al ragu, or housemade tagliatelle topped with a mound of black truffle from either of their two locations in the West Village, or the original spot in the East Village.
If you’re trying to decide if Mari Vanna is your ideal date night delivery restaurant, ask yourself if you’d like to chase a shot of vodka with borscht. And we mean proper borscht, with hot broth, beety depth, and some sour cream for richness. This Russian restaurant in Flatiron makes some of our favorite Eastern European food in the city, and (important) their infused vodka carafes are available on certain delivery platforms or for takeout.
Ravagh Persian Grill
Although their East Village location closed, this Persian restaurant is still accepting takeout and delivery orders at their Midtown and UES spots. They serve a bunch of perfectly cooked lamb kebabs, and meaty stews like ghormeh sabzi (with herbs, beans, and beef) and khoresh fesenjan (with chicken, walnuts, and pomegranate). If you haven’t been cooking a lot of meat at home, consider this date night an opportunity to meat-splurge on some delicious chicken, lamb, or beef.
When you order from this high-end Italian restaurant below Central Park, your night might involve lobster and burrata salad, fusilli with octopus and bone marrow, and a bottle of Champagne or Barolo from a reserve wine list. We suggest lighting a candle or two, and focusing on seafood since that’s their specialty.
Moonrise Izakaya is permanently closed
For date night in your UWS apartment, order a bunch of small Japanese plates from this neighborhood Japanese spot. Moonrise Izaakaya makes comforting food like a skillet of hot cheesy corn and some delicately fried karaage. The cheesy corn is best eaten when it’s super hot. Luckily, it comes assembled in a tray that you can heat up at home, so that it’ll be hot and gooey when you eat it.