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1. North River Lobster Company Pier 81, New York, NY 10036 (Hells Kitchen)

This floating lobster shack is perfect if you want a totally unpretentious atmosphere for drinking and eating out on the water. Docked in Midtown West, North River offers 45-minute cruises that serve great seafood -- think four different kinds of lobster rolls and a full raw bar -- as well as a solid bar menu with Mason-jar cocktails, beer buckets, and an ample selection of wine.

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2. The Gander 15 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011 (Flatiron)

From Jesse Schenker (of recette in the West Village), The Gander is a refined restaurant in the Flatiron District that highlights seasonal comfort food and -- unsurprising given it's named after a male goose -- meats. The lofty space is split between a dining room that serves nightly prix fixe and chef's tasting menus, and a bar room with all-day Ă  la carte service. The Gander has a standout wine program with over 650 selections and seasonably-minded cocktails.

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3. Bar Chuko 565 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

This Prospect Heights izakaya is stacking up small plates like soy-garlic-chili wings, a variety of chicken skewers, and a full bar slinging a variety of 'tails.

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4. Decoy 529 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Located just below its sibling restaurant Red Farm, Decoy can be a tight fit, but the Decoy Chips -- which are actually fried branzino skin with black garlic dip (they're usually offered for free to start the meal) -- help immediately. Follow those with the main star; only 24 ducks are served each night , and the flavors mix traditional with fusions thanks to the sauces, including hoisin, sesame, and cranberry, and the pancakes manage to hold up to stuffing despite being incredibly thin.

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5. Okonomi 150 Ainslie St, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Williamsburg)

For breakfast and lunch, this quaint Williamsburg spot specializes in ichiju‑sansai, a traditional Japanese set meal consisting of grilled fish, rice, miso soup, and vegetable sides. On weeknights, it turns into a casual à la carte ramen-ya where the seafood broth is made from the daytime meal’s leftovers. The 12-seat space gets more intimate and upscale on Saturdays and Sundays, when the chef unveils his weekend ramen tasting menu.

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6. Russ & Daughters Cafe 127 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

Around the corner from the iconic Lower East Side appetizing shop of the same name, Russ & Daughters Cafe serves everything you love about the original (pastrami-cured salmon, whitefish salad on a bagel, caviar) in a sit-down luncheonette space. Cafe-specific dishes like babka French toast and halvah ice cream cater to the brunch crowd, as do Jewish classics like knishes, latkes, and matzoh ball soup. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, R&D Cafe is proof that Jewish noshes are the perfect anytime food.

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7. Ivan Ramen 600 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036 (Hells Kitchen)

Famed Chef Ivan Orkin is serving up five different rice and noodle dishes at this storefront Slurp Shop. Although you should try them all (immediately!), it's not all ramen here: don't forget about the breakfast buns, pork meatballs, or roasted beets

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8. Claudette 24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011 (Greenwich Village)

This spot with French farmhouse vibes goes part French, part North African, and part Middle Eastern, home to menu items like grilled lamb with za'atar and yogurt vinaigrette. With a James Beard award-winning chef in the back, the space features 200 year-old barnwood floors -- we're sure you can flip that into some sort of first date dinner conversation

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9. The Eddy 342 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Bacon tater tots are an obvious winner at this restaurant that nods to Italy and seafood dishes. Scallop crudo, grassfed ribeye, and oil-poached salmon are must tries for dinner, but if you're just around to snack, the beef tendon or those tots are the way to go.

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10. Bar Primi 325 Bowery, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Bar Primi is a delicious pasta outpost in the East Village, where you can treat yourself to the likes of fiore di carciofi with smoked bacon and pecorino; a roast beef, italian peppers, and provolone number known only as "The Sandwich"; and bucatini with lamb amatriciana.

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11. Cafe El Presidente 30 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010 (Flatiron)

From the Tacombi team, Cafe El Presidente is a one stop shop for all your Mexican cravings. The Flatiron market-style restaurant sells pastries and coffee (sourced from Mexico) in the morning, quesadillas and spiked juices for lunch, and ice-cold beer and rounds of tacos, from familiar al pastor and carnitas varieties to more unique sweet potato and spicy shrimp ones, all day long. All of the tortillas are made at the in-house tortilleria.

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12. The Pavilion 20 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003 (Union Square)

Right around the corner from the Greenmarket, this sexy, French Riviera-inspired spot is an al fresco dining destination worth hitting up. It's drenched in gorgeous chandeliers, lush greenery, and exposes entrees like Blue Maine mussels and fries & roasted chicken with potatoes, and's got strong Summery 'tails to wash it all down.

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13. Bâtard 239 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)

Named for French wines, this eatery only seves up two-, three-, and four-course meals that can start with anything from warm Kusshi oysters, fried pig tails, and pickles, and end with caramelized milk bread with fennel yogurt, blueberries, and brown butter ice cream.

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14. Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place 225 Liberty St, New York, NY 10281

This is an upscale food court in Brooklfield Place that's loaded with great eats. The vendors include Little Muenster, Umami Burger, Mighty Quinn’s, Dos Toros, Black Seed Bagel, and Num Pang. We suggest trying ad much as you can.

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15. Meat Hook Sandwich 495 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Williamsburg)

The butcher shop of the same name finally branched out and opened a sandwich shop. Thanks to a roast pork with escarole, a gyro that’s actually a lamb sausage, and others, this may be the best sandwich shop you've ever eaten at.

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16. El Vez 259 Vesey St, New York, NY 10282 (Tribeca)

Any place named after the Mexican Elvis is worth a visit. Little tip: Order the salsa sampler, which lets you choose a variety ranging from a spicy tuna with pineapple to habaneros, tomatillo and melted manchego with sweet onions. A Philly original, celebrate Vez's descent on Manhattan this Spring by ordering everything on the menu.

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17. Rintintin 14 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 (Nolita)

Chef from Tel Aviv serves top-notch versions of familiar Mediterranean eats like hummus made with slow cooked chickpeas, lemon, garlic, and green chili; grilled octopus with aioli and fried potatoes; and the Rintintin Burger, served on pita bread and topped with chipotle aioli and feta.

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18. Huertas 107 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Executive Chef Jonah Miller is behind this Basque-inspired Spanish spot, which brings a four-course, beverage-paired "menu del dia" to the East Village with eats like pork shoulder w/ turnip and Hudson Canyon tilefish with smoked garlic.

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19. Meadowsweet 149 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Williamsburg)

Headed by the same chef (Polo Dobkin) as the previous tenant (Dressler), Meadowsweet is a dinner/bar operation that will feature mouth-watering dishes like St. Louis ribs, aged strip steaks with bordelaise sauce, and pan-roasted quail with grits, Tasso ham, and pickled watermelon.

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20. Cherche Midi 282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012 (Nolita)

Taking over the former Pulino's spot, this French establishment is ready to supply you with frog legs, foie gras, and a burger that rivals the best in the city.

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21. The Black Ant 60 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

This bright, airy, below-street level restaurant doles out proper cantina fare from the team behind West Village favorite Ofrenda. The Black Ant is serving up some rare protein options, namely black ant guacamole and fried crickets, blending the bugs into the menu in a way that successfully evades gimmick in favor of quality, unique flavor. The cocktail list is spectacular as well, offering drinks with ingredients like habanero shrub bitters and homemade corn juice.