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He wants to meet for coffee or tea...

a first get-together...but I don't drink either.
Am very happy with a Diet Coke (no alcohol for this diabetic).

ISO a very casual (jeans), quiet place to sit and talk and maybe have a quick nosh.
I love ethnic cuisines.

Location = has to be in NYC, no outer boros, please.
Convenient to public transportation is a big plus.

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  1. 71 Irving Place is a nice place to meet. you can get your choice of beverage and light food is served.

    4 Replies
    1. re: eeee

      Yep. That was my first thought -- 71 Irving seems to be a popular date spot. (For me it's a frequent reading spot, and the inadvertant eavesdropping is an added bonus).

      Mud, on 9th just east of 2nd ave would work as well. There are a bunch of nice tables in the back. They also serve food.

      1. re: eeee

        That would probably be my suggestion too. The only downside is it gets pretty crowded in there when you least expect it, so you're not assured to get a table, and if you do, there's not a lot of privacy.

        'Whichcraft on 20th has an upstairs seating area that's pretty mellow after the lunch rush and they even have a coffee happy hour 1/2 off in the later hours of the day.
        Hummus Place or Sympathy for the Kettle on St Marks could be nice.
        Mud, Teany, or Cake Shop can feel more date like, but the snacks depend on your tastes.
        Sugar Sweet Sunshine for cupcakes.

        1. re: sugartoof

          I would also recommend Sympathy for the Kettle on St. Marks. It has a really cute atmosphere that you can't find in many places. They also have a very large selection of teas available.

          1. re: newfoodie

            Sympathy for the Kettle is great although hard to get a seat at peak times. I didn't see anyone mention Cha an Tea House on E 9th St between 2nd & 3rd, great Japanese interior, with very good service, lots of food options, from full meals to snacks, and some pretty great desserts. I think it's a great date place.
            http://flickr.com/photos/aranciaproje...

      2. Pangea (2nd Ave btwn 11 and 12 st) is like a big living room. The food is nothing spectacular but it's comfy and pleasant and you won't feel rushed. You can just go for a coffee or drink if you don't want to eat.

        1. If you can get a seat, Tisserie is fine for a quick nosh and coffee/tea or drinks.

          Otherwise I will recommend Cha'An for tea, Abraco or Caffe Emilia for coffee and quick nosh. They are all in East Village and the places are small and cozy

          5 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              Oh, I think they relocated:

              - 420 W. Broadway (between Prince and Spring St.)
              -Park Central Hotel (870 7th Avenue)

              1. re: kobetobiko

                i also have a similiar problem (sorry to add onto your questions pbjlover), meeting a friend who works midtown..just want a casual spot more above 50th for a snack/coffee (shes pregnant so no bars)..anyone have a suggestion ?

              2. re: kobetobiko

                I love abracao, but there aren't any indoor seats. How about Mogador or Orlin? I've rarely seen Pangea crowded, but I usually meet people there in the afternoon. The coffee is better at Mogador and Orlin, but you would be less inclined to linger.

              3. You might like St. Alp Teahouse in the E. Village. It's a wonderfully low-key place to linger (very sweet staff, never mean glares for camping out and studying or chatting for hours). The tea selection is far better than average and there's a good selection of small, dim sum-ish plates. It's very inexpensive. Not overtly romantic.

                In the W. Village, you might like the charming and romantic La Lanterna. They have all the standard coffees and teas, wine if your date wants a glass, decent brick oven baked pizzas, cheese and salumi plates, and other Italian offerings. There's a fireplace.

                -----
                Saint's Alp Teahouse
                39 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                La Lanterna
                129 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                12 Replies
                1. re: cimui

                  Saint's Alp could be tough for a diabetic, as their flavored teas all have sugar in them. It's also pretty loud, though a bit softer in the back.

                  1. re: Pan

                    there are plenty of non-sweetened options, too. i think she'd be fine as long as she avoids the bubble tea type drinks.

                    1. re: cimui

                      Plenty of non-sweetened options? Please name some. Yes, it's possible to get plain tea, but are there many varieties?

                    2. re: Pan

                      I don't think sugar is an issue there, you can get regular teas....but the stools and little tables can be really goofy. Not everyone does well with goofy on a first date.

                      1. re: sugartoof

                        a lot of their black teas have sugar, too, unfortunately.
                        and those stools are a nightmare, if you ask me!
                        it's fine for grabbing a bubble tea to go, but it's not very relaxing. kind of feels like sitting in a grocery store.

                        1. re: tracyk

                          you could ask for them to hold the sugar, tracyk.

                          1. re: cimui

                            They can't hold the sugar. I went there with a friend who asked them for that, and she was told that the flavorings are pre-mixed with sugar. Only the plain tea has no added sugar.

                        2. re: Pan

                          Which snacks are best at Saint's Alp? I've heard good things about the classic toast with condensed milk. Any other rec's? Thanks.

                          1. re: D...DF

                            hi D, i'm partial to the tea eggs, fried radish fritters, fried shrimp balls, and lotus root, though i don't see that on the current menu pages menu. the tea jellies are also pretty good, but more of a summer food than winter. haven't actually tried the kaya milk toast.

                            1. re: cimui

                              I don't like their toast; it's over-the-top buttery to my taste. But I rarely eat anything there. A friend once got some pork chops over rice, I think it was, with a hard boiled egg, and I thought it was pretty good.

                      2. Grey Dog is nice too. One location on University another in the W.Village.

                        1. S'nice on 8th between 12th and Jane has alot of seats for this kind of place and a healthy vegan slant to the menu.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                            'Snice is a good idea. It's close to the ACE trains, there are almost always seats, and the food id pretty good and there are a lot of drink choices....

                          2. I'm sure the OP has long had her first date, but I've come across 2 other options if anyone else is looking for the same. One is Pecan on Franklin. Inside it is much more pleasant than it looks like from the outside and there are many well spaced tables for sitting and having a conversation. Second idea is Ora Bakery and Bar on Broome. Much more intimate feel, and smaller.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                              How's the coffee at Ora?

                              I've gotten several of the sweets to go (I'm a fan of the lemon cake). I've also sat at the bar and had a pate board and a vegetable dip that hit the spot. It's a friendly place. Haven't tried espresso or other coffee drinks, though.

                              -----
                              Ora
                              39 E 19th St, New York, NY 10003

                            2. If you want to venture downtown Jack's Coffee on Front and Financier on Stone or near the Federal Reserve (closer to subways).