4 Unexpected Places to Meet Men in Big Cities
4 Unexpected Places to Meet Men in Big Cities

4 Unexpected Places to Meet Men in Big Cities

As a blithe 20-something, I moved to London from a small town in Yorkshire. So I understand that when you’re a single girl in a big city, it can be easy to slip into feelings of loneliness.

In many ways, big cities are more lonely than small towns, where tight-knit communities actually expand your social circle more than a large anonymous city filled with thousands of people. In a small town you’re only ever one degree of separation away from anyone else (at a maximum), so someone will always be able to introduce you to the town’s most eligible bachelors.

Luckily, there are tonnes of single men in cities, so if you’re a city gal wondering where to meet your next date, just listen to me – because believe me, I’ve done it all and come out the other side with the goods. Below, I’ve laid out 5 great places to meet men in big cities that don’t include overpriced nightclubs, speed dating, or swiping on an app.


I’m always surprised how few women seem to know about the wonders of their local casino. From the insanely cheap drinks, to the fun table games, to the hordes of well-dressed men splashing their cash around – the casino is a fantastic place for any night out, whether you’re looking for a date or not.

For those of us who are looking for a date, the casino is a good option because it’s the kind of setting that facilitates conversation between strangers. Whether you’re all gathered around the roulette wheel or sat at the poker table, it’s not frowned upon to start a conversation with a man who catches your eye.

What’s more, casinos are quiet enough to be actually able to hear what the other person is saying, which makes a change to nightclubs and bars where you’ll find yourself shouting over the music. Nor will your date be cut short – casinos are usually open 24/7 so you won’t be kicked out at midnight (and there’s no reason to be pressured into taking things back to his place).

If you don’t know how to play any of the table games on offer at your local casino, swot up on the basics of roulette (one of the most simple casino games) and you’ll be ready to go.

Live music nights

If the casino doesn’t sound right for you, don’t worry – my second favourite place to meet men is at live music nights. Big cities are full of small and intimate venues hosting interesting music nights. From jazz bands to indie nights, these venues are a great place to meet men who appreciate the arts, and enjoy the same music as you do! (Even better, these venues usually have super flattering low lighting, making you look your absolute sultry best.)

The benefit of meeting men at a live music night is that your first conversation topic is already there for you – talk about the band! There’s no awkwardness in asking a gentleman you’ve just met if they like the music that is playing, or how they heard about the event.

Live music nights are also a good opportunity to meet men who play in a band too, if musicians are your thing.

Board game cafes

In recent years, board game cafes have sprung up in every big city across the world. These cute cafes are the perfect place to spend an evening with your girlfriend playing retro board games from your childhood.

Much like casinos, board game cafes are really friendly places where it’s not unusual to talk to the group on the table across from yours, or strike up a conversation about a particular game, making it the perfect place to meet (and talk to) a guy you don’t know in a big city.

I’d recommend meeting men at a board game cafe if you’re a quieter woman who wants to meet a guy for cosy days in and long walks, rather than lots of nightlife. The men you’ll meet at the board game cafe are going to typically be quieter, more nerdy types – so if that’s what you’re looking for in a partner, they’re a great place to start.


Bowling is a great idea for a day out with your friends when you don’t want to take yourself too seriously. Buy a pitcher of beer, put on the silly shoes, and let your hair down. And hey, if you happen to catch eyes with the cute guy one lane over – well then say hi next time you’re on the way to the bar.

Too many people think the bowling alley is trashy, but in truth it’s sexy as hell to meet guys in a relaxed and genuinely fun setting – and there just aren’t enough of those settings in most big cities, where everyone is caught in their corporate lives.

I’ve found that the men you meet at the bowling alley are really down-to-earth, friendly guys. They’re not stuck up or judgemental. And there’s no denying that meeting a guy at your local bowling alley is the cutest possible story to tell your future grandchildren!

Open mic nights

Open mic nights are just one fantastic benefit of living in a large city, even if you don’t want to meet a guy. If you’re an aspiring performer yourself, or are just interested in the local talent, then open mic nights are a great source of free or cheap entertainment.

If you are looking to meet a guy, especially one who is interested in music or spoken word performance, then there’s really no better place than an open mic night.

If you want to meet men at an open mic night, you’ll have to be more on the confident side, as these events don’t necessarily invite interaction between strangers, unless of course one of you is the performer. Conversation between two members of the audience is possible, you just have to be comfortable approaching or being approached.

Meeting men in big cities

If you try the above places to meet men  – I guarantee you’ll come out of it with some great dates. The trick is to be confident and open to the idea that the person right in front of you could be a great partner – or just a fling, if that’s what you’re looking for. (No judgement here!)

Best of luck to all you city girls – tell us how it works out!