New York City, especially East Village, has no shortage of restaurants and bars, with many of them being the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. With so many date night spots, it may be hard to narrow down where you and your date would want to go. My boyfriend and I have made it our mission to try as many spots as possible, with the one rule that we can never revisit a restaurant.

Of course, some rules were made to be broken, and there were quite a few restaurants that the both of us couldn’t resist trying again. I’ve kept track of our top five spots that are perfect for any occasion, from a Tinder date to your six-month anniversary. 

1. San Marzano

vegetable, pasta, sauce, rice
Gabby Phi

Rating: ★★★★★

Price Range: $$

Address: 117 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

Hours of Operation: 11 AM - 11 PM

A staple date spot of the East Village, San Marzano is just perfect. Located on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 7th Street, this comfortable and well-lit locale is great for both brunch and dinner. It specializes in pasta dish, with your choice of hand-made pasta at only $9. (So you and your date could recreate the iconic scene from Lady and the Tramp without breaking the bank!) San Marzano is pretty popular, so I recommend calling ahead to reserve a table.

2. Bareburger

cheese, onion, bun, french fries, beef
Faith Horbatch

Rating: ★★★★★

Price Range: $$

Address: 85 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Hours of Operation: 11 AM - 11 PM

Bareburger is my favorite setting for a more casual date, and even though the vibe of the restaurant is laid back, the menu is anything but that. You can build your own burger from a wide variety of options, with every cheese, vegetable, and protein imaginable. Take your date here to show off your more laidback side while also letting your date know that you care about the environment, as every option on the menu has to live up to its high eco-friendly standards.

3. Mimi Cheng's Dumplings

tea, coffee
Naib Mian

Rating: ★★★★

Price Range: $$

Address: 179 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Hours of Operation: 11:30 AM - 9:30 PM

My favorite dates often involve ordering a huge plate of dumplings and splitting it. Out of all the dumpling places I have been to, Mimi Cheng's is my favorite. The restaurant itself is small and relaxed— perfect for a simple and a casual date. Their dumplings are the best I have ever had and are complemented by their secret sauce. This particular spot has a special place in my heart because it was where we had our first date.

4. The Kitchen Sink

salad, chicken
Rianna Lloyd

Rating: ★★★★

Price Range: $$

Address: 88 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

Hours of Operation: 7 AM - 1 AM 

The Kitchen Sink is my favorite diner in East Village. Like the name implies, this diner serves a wide range of foods, from breakfast to dinner (and everything in between). The Kitchen Sink will have a delicious variation of any meal you and your date could want. This place is great for dates because the portions tend to be on the bigger side, making one meal perfect for two to share. Even if you guys aren't hungry, you could have a great date sharing their famous milkshakes. 

5. The Uncommons

pizza, coffee, beer
Julia Rosenbaum

Rating: ★★★½

Price Range: $

Address: 230 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

Hours of Operation: 8:30 AM - 12 AM

This is the most unique spot on this list. Although it's a little outside East Village, I had to include this on the list because I had one of my favorite dates here. The menu at The Uncommons is pretty basic but essential, serving light dinner options like bagel bites and mozzarella sticks. What makes The Uncommons so "uncommon" is that the focus of this place is not the food, but the many board games they offer. Playing all kinds of games ranging from intense strategy to ridiculous cards makes for an unforgettable date.