Finding the best city for singles, like finding a new home or a place to picnic, comes down to the most common of real estate cliches: location, location, location. While there needs to be dateable people (yes, we’re aware you can’t date a location), there also needs to be places to meet up with said dateable people. An entire city of singles would stay single if the location lacked places to meet, eat and drink. You don’t find chemistry on a curb, and kicking back with Netflix only goes so far.
With this in mind, finding the city to move to if you’re looking for love involves two important factors: the number of people in your age group, and a strong, date-friendly bar scene.
“From tasting menus to tiki bars and buzzy rooftops to backyard patios, cities with the best dating scene have a range of options,” Shel Bourdon, the national director of bars for Two Roads Hospitality, tells Supercall. In other words, find variety and the swipe rights will come.
We created a list of the five best cities for singles based on people and nightlife. We used data from WalletHub’s dating-friendliness study, interviews with people who regularly travel and see the bar scene first hand, and city demographic and population data provided by RentCafe. You’ll notice a strong leaning to larger cities. That’s because when it comes down to it, love is a numbers game—both in terms of places to go and people to meet. Here are the five best cities for singles.
In terms of weather, it doesn’t get much worse than Minneapolis (hello, 4 degrees average January temperature). Dating is a different story, though. According to RentCafe, 36 percent of the city’s population is between the age of 18 and 34. It’s the second best city out of 182 in WalletHub’s Dating Opportunities ranking, which is based on the share of the single population, the gender balance, and online dating opportunities. It’s also, in case you’ve been living under a rock the past couple years, an up-and-coming cocktail destination. There are tiki bars like Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge to keep your soul, if not your body, warm. Looking for someone who’s more of a beer drinker? The city has you covered there as well with too many great breweries like Indeed, Fulton and Surly. Please note that going outside was never in the criteria for the best nightlife cities for singles. Minneapolis more than makes up for it with a young population and a variety of places to drink.
You don’t have to be weird or endlessly troll Sixth Street to find love in Austin. It’s one of Supercall’s top rated drinking cities (and one of the booziest cities in America) thanks to cocktail bars, dives, honky tonks and breakfast tacos. Take Péché, for example, one of the most romantic cocktail bars around for a date, double date, triple date, whatever. There’s also the decidedly more casual and historic Scholz Garten, the oldest biergarten in America that’s also a solid place for a date who likes to day drink. And Austin has plenty of young people living their lives. RentCafe reports that the number of millenials in Austin between 2006 and 2016 increased 225 percent, and 33 percent of current residents are 18 to 34. WalletHub’s data analysis found Austin to be the third most balanced city when it comes to gender balance among singles. There’s someone out there for you in Austin, and there are plenty of places to find him or her.
For how big LA is, it took awhile to catch up to other big cities when it comes to quality cocktails and drinking spots. That’s all changed, and the stereotypes of LA being an impossible place to get around after a night out no longer hold true. And no, dating is nothing like how it’s portrayed in La La Land. The founders of 1933 Group, which is made up of a string of innovative bars in LA including Sassafras, Idle Hour and Highland Park Bowl, tell Supercall that they saw a 20 percent increase in people going to their bars when Uber and Lyft became commonplace. Bourdon says that LA “takes No. 1” in her book of best nightlife cities for singles thanks to there always being “a new bar to try and something fun to do.” WalletHub ranks it No. 4 overall in its Fun & Recreation statistics. Plus, even though weather isn’t included in the criteria, it certainly doesn’t hurt.
San Francisco is filled with young single people looking to start a life. Despite the city’s costs, the millennial population increased 382 percent from 2006 to 2016, according to RentCafe. WalletHub reports that San Francisco has the third most nightlife options per capita, and is fourth in terms of Dating Opportunities Rank. It’s also the No. 1 city for singles overall in WalletHub’s ranking. There’s always something to see in a city that has bars with views like Zinc Bar at Cliff House and historic tiki bars like The Tonga Room.
To get the negatives out of the way, everyone knows that New York is expensive. The average cost of a domestic beer is $7, and the city is in WalletHub’s top five most expensive in terms of both average alcohol costs and average restaurant meal costs. But there’s no place like New York. Of New York’s 8.5 million people, 2.3 million are between 18 and 34, according to RentCafe. Even though it’s the most dense population center, WalletHub reports that it also has the most nightlife options per capita. All those options means there’s something for everyone, especially those looking to have a date at some of the best cocktail bars in the world. Remember, finding love is a numbers game, no matter how much we all want to believe in serendipity. And New York’s numbers make it the best city out there.