Romancing the Borough

With the Meatup just one day away, we thought we’d ask friends where they find romance (or random hookups) in Brooklyn. Union Pool got more mentions than any one place (even by folks who live far from the ‘Burg) — but what we didn’t see were some of our own favorites like The Good Fork (for a date) and Grand Ferry Park (for the view). Also missing: Commonwealth Bar, where you can leave a brutally honest Post-It personal — which we’ll be recreating at the Bell House! Feel free to add your top spots. But first, see if any kindred spirit shares your idea of a good time, below.

Most romantic places to meet
“One of my favorite memories is meeting a blind date in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. Very dramatic and a nice way to get a Manhattan-Brooklyn relationship off to a good start!”Eat It
“Valentino Pier–so underrated.”–Shane Welch @ Sixpoint Craft Ales
“The gondola at The Diamond.”–John Del Signore @ Gothamist
“Go to the ‘Rose Garden’ in Prospect Park. I won’t tell you where exactly it is, but it’s magical (except for the sleeping bum and occasional drug trade going on there).”–Cathy Erway @ Not Eating Out in NY
“The water over in Bay Ridge is totally romantic. There’s nothing more striking than seeing the Verrazano in the near distance. You feel like you’re on top of the world and your relationship will be better than anyone else’s in history just by seeing that towering structure near you.”–Alia Akkam @ The Q Note
“The Sunset Park hill…full moon, the view, the works.”–Kathy Malone @ Brooklyn Indie Mart

Best restaurants for a first date (or any date)
“In South Slope/Gowanus, my favorite place for a date/romantic drinks = Bar Tano. It’s a little off the beaten path, but the food’s fantastic (meatballs over polenta!), the cocktails are great (especially the house-named Tano), and the vibe is definitely date-worthy.”–John Wiseman @ Thrillist
Zenkichi–imagine you’re having an affair on a train (maybe too intimate for a first date); Roberta’s–low lighting, tasty food, and the servers are hot, but not too hot; Moto after 9pm when the music starts.” –Minden Koopmans @ 3rd Ward
Roebling Tea Room, Frankies, the backyard at Enoteca on Court, Sweetwater (great to sit at the bar too).”Eat It
The Farm on Adderley”–Shane

Most random spot where you’ve met someone:
“Jury duty at the Brooklyn Court House.”–Shane
“Everyone I know gets hit on while out walking the dog in Williamsburg. So head to BARC and meet your four-legged soulmate to help you meet your two-legged one.”–Minden
“Practically three and a half years with the same dude after a chance meeting at the Tea Lounge in Park Slope (the one that’s still open) and the irony is I hate the place–except for the memory!”–Alia

Best bars for when you’re on the prowl:
Alibi is full of Pratt students. Art school girls are impressed easily. Not that I’m trying.”–Adam Quirk @ Wreck & Salvage
“I’ve got a girlfriend, so I wouldn’t know much about bars for on the prowl, but if I did, I’d say Union Pool & Royal Oak.”–John
“Union Pool! If that’s too opaque for you, there are always tons of dudes at Second Chance, Macri Park, and Iona. Sorry dudes (or lady-loving-ladies): I’m not sure where all the pretty girls are.”–Minden

Best bars for romantic drinks
Prime Meats. Bar none, the best.”–Shane
Le Gamin on Vanderbilt, back garden is the best place on Earth. (Good for first date too.)”– Adam
Giando on the Water. The atmosphere sucks but the view is amazing and if the company is right, you won’t mind the weak drink or the surly bartender.”–Minden
Clover Club, absolutely. Julie Reiner’s gin fizz could get anyone in the mood.”–Alia

Favorite place to spot someone cute (from afar)
Brooklyn Flea”–Shane
“Bedford L station, McCarren Park”--Minden
“Ft Greene Park. Runners and sunbathers galore.”–Adam
Celebrate Brooklyn concerts, and Soul Summit outdoor parties in Ft. Greene.”–Fatima Kafele @ BAM

Worst places for any of the above
“I had a friend who would make Union Pool the last stop at the end of his nights to find someone to quickly go home with. Seemed to work like a charm. So Union Pool is where one goes to scrape the barrel of potential random hook-ups.”–Brian Ries @ Free Williamsburg
“Worst for all of these would be anywhere in Williamsburg.”–Adam

Sent by Nicole and Chrysanthe. Photos from top by Maki Isayama, Daniel Kreiger, antimatter and Christopher Sly via Flickr.

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.