Courtesy of Shikah Jain/babbalucci’s
Courtesy of David Handschuh/Bill Baker’s
Courtesy of King’s County Imperial
Courtesy of The Ribbon
Courtesy of Evan Sung/Croque Monsieur
Courtesy of Evan Sung
Courtesy of Okiway
Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist
Courtesy of Loosie’s Kitchen
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1. J.G. Melon 89 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012 (West Village)

The second location of JG Melon brings the storied and excellent offerings of the Upper East Side original down to MacDougal so we can all finally stop going to that McDonald's down the street for a burger fix.

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2. Babbalucci 331 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027 (Harlem)

At this wood-burning pizzeria you’ve got fresh pizzas with toppings like babbalucci (snails) or burrata, but also fresh baked breads stuffed with homemade porchetta, and entrees like scallops and shrimp with polenta.

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3. Tempura Matsui 222 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016 (Murray Hill)

This Japanese spot is NYC's first Tempura Omakase helmed by “Tempura Master” Masao Matsui. A meal here is comprised of fried things, not-fried things, and more incredibly delicately fried things.

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4. Bill Baker's Restaurant and Bar 364 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11221

Looking like a prohibition-era bank, this American style pub has bar snacks like a crock of Mac ‘n’ cheese and bacon puffs, all to be washed down with craft beer (including four specially made "Baker's Brews") and hard to find small-batch whiskeys.

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5. Black Flamingo 168 Borinquen Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Black Flamingo: a vegetarian restaurant with options like feta- and pecan-stuffed peppadew or guava jelly grilled cheese with emmenthal and gruyere on a baguette. Also: a serious dance spot so come back during the later hours. Obviously.

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6. Kings County Imperial 20 Skillman Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Williamsburg)

With a factory in China barrel-aging and sun-fermenting its house soy sauce and a garden on the back patio growing Central Chinese herbs, spices, and vegetables (like tatsoi and Sichuan peppercorns), BQE-adjacent Kings County Imperial is Williamsburg’s localized vision of Sichuan food. The menu boasts a modernized version of the flavor-packed regional cuisine, and is divided into categories for dumplings, buns, dim sum, vegetables, and “Big Wok Traditional” items (get the Mapo Dofu, thank us later). The beverage program is tiki-centric, with cocktails that complement the spices found on the menu. Kings County is great for groups (it is dim sum, after all), and the Lazy Susan booths are proof.

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7. The Ribbon 20 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023 (Upper West Side)

This American eatery has menu full of hits like “chicken fried” short ribs, Buffalo style cauliflower, an open-faced Ox Burger with oxtail marmalade and a poached egg. Bonus: fried chicken on Sundays.

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8. West End Hall 2756 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 (Upper West Side)

At this indoor/outdoor beer-hall-slash-garden there are international sausages, a Chicago dog, a truffle burger and loads of craft beer.

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9. Croque Monsieur 459 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017 (Midtown)

This fancy French-ish spot slings fancy melted cheese all day everyday, like the Mr. Henry with bechamel jamon de Paris on Amy’s sourdough bread.

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10. Mother of Pearl 95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 (Alphabet City)

Located in the former Gin Palace spot, Mother of Pearl is an upscale cocktail bar with a hit-you-over-the-head Tiki theme that is, amazingly, equal parts elegance and kitsch. Run by Jane Danger and Ravi DeRossi, this “post-modern Polynesian” spot has plenty of Hawaiian-inspired eats, like Kalua pork belly and a tuna poke bowl, plus some serious booziness, like the Tiki bitters-loaded Shark Eye that actually comes in a shark shaped glass dripping with "blood." Also, it has no walls on its front -- just curtains. Go check it out.

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11. U.P. 137 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

U.P., short for "unlimited possibilities," offers an all-dessert prix-fixe above its downstairs parent restaurant, Dominique Ansel. Tickets go on sale every Monday for seatings seven weeks later -- if you want to get in (trust us, you want in) you will get one of these tickets.

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12. Sake Bar by Zabb 7128 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 (Astoria)

This spot sits below Zab Elee, the Michelin-starred Thai restaurant that it borrows part of a name from. It's serving up sushi, izakaya-grilled meats, and lots of sake.

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13. Okiway 1006 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237 (Bushwick)

This Bushwick spot specializes in okonomiyaki, which are japanese pancakes that come with a variety of toppings. The Classic Osaka Okonomiyaki comes with pork belly & otafuku sauce, plus your choice of extra toppings like jalapeno, shiitake, or kimchi.

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14. El Cortez 17 Ingraham St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (Bushwick)

Tex-mex & tiki drinks merge at this Bushwick spot. The setting is definitely retro, with some serious '70s vibes -- plus DJs and a deck upstairs.

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15. Good Night Sonny 134 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

The Wayland team is behind this homey cocktail/seafood bar in the East Village, filled with lots of exposed brick and charming family photos. The cocktails are seasonal and highly experimental while still affordable, and there are nightly deals to indulge in while saddled up to the reclaimed wood bar sourced from one of the founder's ancestral homes in Connecticut.

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16. Loosie's Kitchen 91 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249 (Williamsburg)

Tucked behind Loosie Rouge, the mid-century style bar, this dining spot offers a pleasant patio and plenty of Southern comfort food, beginning at 7pm daily.