Dining

Heartbreaker, Reservation Maker

The best bars and restaurants for a breakup
Where to Break Up in NYC
Illustration: Libby VanderPloeg

Let the lovebirds have their office flowers, artisanal chocolates and overpriced Valentine's Day multicourse menus.

You've got a job to do, one that involves saying "so long" to your significant other. First of all, we're very sorry to hear that. Secondly, there are plenty of fish in the exceptionally good-looking New York City sea. And lastly, we're here to help, with our list of the best restaurants and bars to utter the words heard at least once by everyone who's ever dated: "It's not you; it's me."

We're not saying the best place to break up is in public. But, hey, it's better than a text. Right?

For a speedy rebound: Reynard, Williamsburg
The Wythe Hotel has a veritable triple threat: First, deliver the news over a grass-fed burger with Gruyère ($18) at downstairs restaurant Reynard. Once the deed is done, hop in the elevator and head straight for the the rooftop bar, The Ides, for a cocktail and friendly flirtation. Then take your rebound back to the hotel room you just happened to book in advance. Because the best way to get over someone is to get under . . .

For couples who break up, then make up: Grand Central Oyster Bar, Midtown
Look, you know you're just going to slog it out and then get back together anyway. You might as well air your grievances over a platter of Kusshi and Belon oysters (hello, aphrodisiac), which will put you in the mood for the hot make-up sex you're about to have.

For a shoulder to cry on: Maialino, Gramercy
The staff at Danny Meyer's restaurants are some of the friendliest and most observant in the business—so if you're going to leave your former lover crying at a bar, he or she may as well have a good listener in earshot. Plus, nothing mends a broken heart like diving into a bowl of malfatti laced with braised suckling pig ($24), followed by one of the silkiest tiramisus ($10) around.

For cowards: The Lodge at Gallow Green, Chelsea
If you can't face them, don't. Take your date to Sleep No More. After the show, insist that you keep your masks on as you make your way up to the new bar atop The McKittrick Hotel called The Lodge. Deliver the news in front of a roaring fire, then slink away. Warning: This person will hate your guts. Masks are scarring. Save this for only a last resort.

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For ugly crying: Mission Chinese Food, Lower East Side
Are those tears because you're going to miss your other half so much or because you're eating an order of the doubanjiang-spiced mapo tofu ($13)? The other diners will be none the wiser at Danny Bowien's recently reopened hotspot if you choke out the words while scarfing down kung pao pastrami with Tianjin chili ($14). Bonus: The blaring hip-hop will drown out any sobs, yours or otherwise.

For a Jersey-style jilting: Kabooz's, Penn Station
You've probably never been to Kabooz's, but it's a twofer. Not only can you make a quick exit (and cross state lines) by hopping a Jersey Transit train after you've said your good-bye, but you're also giving your former partner a parting gift with the story of a lifetime: "S/he broke up with me at Kabooz's!"

For a friendly parting of the ways: Barcade, East Village, Chelsea and Williamsburg
You have no hard feelings. If you think you can actually follow through on your proclamation that you'd like to "stay friends," then why not start tonight? Bring a big ol' bag of quarters and treat your new buddy to as many games of Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong as he'd like.

For the two-timer: Tørst, Greenpoint
If you're trading in one ball and chain for a shinier new one, you may as well get to see them both in one night. Give your on-the-way-out S.O. the respect of a delicious Evil Twin beer to cry in, then slip through the back door and treat your in-the-wings bae to a luxurious multicourse dinner at Luksus.

For the final nail in the coffin: Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, Times Square
You don't want to sully one of your favorite spots with the memory of a breakup. Might as well head to Guy Fieri's cavernous tourist mecca—because neither of you is planning to go back anyway.

Reynard 80 Wythe Ave. Brooklyn NY 11249 718-460-8004 Grand Central Oyster Bar 89 E. 42nd St. New York NY 10017 212-490-6650 Maialino 2 Lexington Ave. New York NY 10010 212-777-2410 The Lodge at Gallow Green 542 W. 27th St. New York NY 10001 212-564-1662 Mission Chinese Food 171 E. Broadway New York NY 10002 212-529-8800 Kabooz's 2 Penn Plz. New York NY 10121 212-760-0848 Barcade 6 St. Mark's Pl. New York NY 10003 212-388-0522 Barcade 148 W. 24th St. New York NY 10011 212-390-8455 Barcade 388 Union Ave. Brooklyn NY 11211 718-302-6464 Tørst 615 Manhattan Ave. Brooklyn NY 11222 718-389-6034 Guy's American Kitchen & Bar 220 W. 44th St. New York NY 10036 646-532-4897

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