How to Meet People over Food in New York: An NYC Group Dining Guide

Group dinner toast

There’s a new culinary trend gripping the young and social of New York City: dinner. What people of disparate demographics all around the city are uncovering is that “dinner”—generally large compared to its relatives like “lunch” and occurring between the hours of 5:30 and 10:30pm and often marked by savory or savory/sweet fare derived from plants, animals or both—is something a lot of people share in common with each other, and indeed it’s sensible, even fun, to share dinner with others.

A host of websites and apps have sprung up to take advantage of the evening meal trend, pairing people who eat dinner with other people who want to eat dinner. But there are a few groups that are really just having their way with the trend, transcending it in the way kindergarten classes transcended the snack decades ago.

These innovators are bringing people together in new places, in new ways, in order to rehabilitate a meal that long ago most of us brushed off as overdone and passé.

1. Komeeda

Komeeda facilitates the timeless experience of meeting new people over excellent food. And significantly, they remove the logistical awkwardness of a group meal: Komeeters pay for the meal beforehand, and pick from a pre-arranged menu. And what’s this? A Komeeda meal coming up next week? Om nom nom.

2. Cookapp

Cookapp hails from Argentina, and now supports New York. One could venture to say Cookapp is Airbnb for the chef population. Chefs can list that their apartment as available for a meal, and diners get to throw Yelp to the wind and have a more personal, social experience with the people making their food and those consuming it. And how about that! There’s a Tour de France Summer Feast on July 24th!

3. NYC Culinary Explorers

NYC Culinary Explorers
This is a straight-up Meetup group that’s been around since 2010, and elicits enthusiastic all-caps reviews from members (“AMAZING GROUP”). Their next outing is to the Michelin-starred restaurant Public, and promises to be massively tasty.

4. PlaceInvaders

PlaceInvaders is an extraordinarily cool concept: the group rents out fabulous New York City homes, invites a bunch of people over for a dinner party, then clears out the next day as if nothing had happened. This one’s a touch more exclusive, so it’s advisable to sign up with haste.

Well it certainly is a golden age for dinner enthusiasts. Never in the history of our species have meals been enjoyed in such multifarious company, with such adventuresome a spirit. It’s dinner time.