Don’t worry; I teamed up with Mike Goldstein, founder of EZ Dating Coach, again to create a round-up of the best local hot spots for summer romance. EZ Dating Coach is a service offering advice and support in dating and communication.
Check out some of Hoboken’s bests for outdoor dining and drinks, picnics, and more.
Best Restaurants for Dining Al Fresco
Mike: I really like Sushi Lounge for outdoor dining. It’s one of the best sushi places in Hoboken, but more importantly, it’s off Washington Street. If you bring your special someone on a dinner date on Washington, there’s a good chance someone will interrupt to say "Hi." However, at Sushi Lounge there is a lot less foot traffic and it will allow intimate conversation, sustained eye contact, and hopefully some romance.
foodie ventures: As the main drag, Washington Street doesn’t really scream romance. It definitely can get rowdy, especially during the summer. In order to avoid the mayhem, check out Otto Strada on Park Avenue. There is a lovely little set-up for outdoor dining on a much quieter street in a residential area of town. The Italian restaurant offers good food and is B.Y.O.B, a bonus.
Mike: Similar to Sushi Lounge, Anthony David’s is off Washington Street so you get privacy. But I also love this place because it has a lot of fun shareable small plates and very tasty secondi options. Not to mention any of the pasta dishes are delicious.
Best Outdoor Drinking
Mike: Nothing beats having a beer with 75-degree weather at the rooftop of City Bistro. It offers great views, a relaxed atmosphere, and is never too crowded, as the employees have mastered crowd control at this point.
foodie ventures: Pier 13 combines classic summertime pastimes: eating, drinking and soaking up sun. With rotating food trucks steps away from the beach-like bar complete with yummy drinks, fake grass, and lazy chairs, you and your date will definitely have fun in the sun.
Mike: We have to represent the downtown Hobokenites too! The rooftop bar at The Dubliner feels like a tiki bar and offers refreshing cocktails. This is a great spot for a mid-week date because there will be less people on the roof and that means less wait time for drinks.
foodie ventures: The Cuban has an awesome happy hour. Unfortunately, it’s only at the bar, but many of their tropical and strong $5 specialty drinks and discounted bites will make you feel like you are vacationing somewhere warm.
foodie ventures: Another excellent happy hour is at Stingray Lounge. The place is refined and super swanky. The cushy seats and spot-on details make the raw bar feel fresh and intimate. Plus, what can be more romantic than half-priced bubbly and sexy oysters?
Mike: Pier A is the best picnic spot in Hoboken, hands downs. It is big, airy, and beautiful. There is always plenty of space. Remember to pack your blanket or a beach towel. In terms of a date, there’s nothing like showing a girl you care about her by packing a picnic lunch and taking her to Pier A. She will appreciate your effort, and the beautiful Manhattan skyline won’t hurt the romance factor either.
foodie ventures: It’s a walk, but picking up a delish roast beef and mutz special and some Italian deli action from Fiore’s would definitely win hearts (through the stomach of course!). You could also head to Sobsey’s together to pick up some picnic essentials: cheese, olives and freshly baked bread for savories, and fruit for a refreshing summer sweet.
Mike: This time I need the uptown folks to feel the love. Pier 11, the grassy area around 11th street is smaller than Pier A but offers the same great view, ambience, and beautiful day experience.
foodie ventures: Little Grocery Uptown would be a great place to grab snacks to go and drink in the skyline at Pier 11. Top it off a lovely with some tasty customizable froyo sundaes from 16 Handles. It’s a great way to cool down, get to know your date, and create something together (if you share your frozen dessert).
Best Festivals and Feasts
|St. Ann's Italian Festival|
foodie ventures: Saint Ann’s Festival starting July 23 is classic Hoboken. It is famed for its delicious greasy, hot, powdered sugar-dusted zeppoles presented by the Saint Ann’s Church. There are eats galore, live music, fun games, a boozy tent—a little bit of everything a summer date should include.
Mike: My favorite festival, by far, is the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival in September. Like your everyday street fair, this festival still offers all the greasy food options, however, here, you have a beautiful and eclectic selection of art and businesses from around the northern NJ area. I find, most of the people are more interested in making new friends than pushing their wares, which truly makes this my favorite in Hoboken. Grab your date, walk, and experience the festival. Then if you want, you can stop in at Mikie Squared for some sangria.
foodie ventures: Treat your date to something luxurious this summer. Impress your date with a scrumptious three-course meal for less. Hudson Restaurant Week kicks off July 27 while NYC Restaurant Week gets started July 20. You can try something new and explore different communities and neighborhoods without breaking the bank. Win-win!
Enjoy the sun and the warm weather while it lasts and plan a summer date to remember!