Bradley H./Yelp
Paul Ryneski via Mmuseumm/Facebook
Mimee S./Yelp
DeFonte's Sandwich Shop/Facebook

Defonte’s Sandwich Shop

Staten Island

The legendary Red Hook, Brooklyn sandwich joint has moved a ferry ride away to Staten Island. This Italian hero joint includes the Sinatra special (grilled steak in tomato sauce, topped with fresh mozzarella), the Danny Boy (grilled sausage, peppers and onions), and the Zito Vito (Virginia ham, fried eggplant, provolone).

Lloyd's Carrot Cake/Facebook
Augie Ray/Flickr

Smalls

Greenwich Village

The name says it all. When you make it past the narrow staircase down it’s not the roomiest of jazz clubs, but locals love the intimate feel of a barely-there stage and mismatched seats. (That is, if you get there early enough to nab an actual seat.) And if you do find a place to plant yourself, make sure to stay put, as the cover charge ($20, and $10 during off hours), will get you in for the full night.

Essem W/Flickr
Courtesy of Bell Book & Candle

The Secret Room at the Bell Book & Candle

Greenwich Village

If you ask for the private dining room at Bell Book & Candle, you’ll be taken out of the regular 5,000-plus square foot restaurant to a hidden area behind a fake wall, where just one table for 2-6 people sits surrounded by brick walls and wallpaper of scantily-clad ladies, which you'll want to see for yourself.

MilkMade Ice Cream/Facebook
Virginia Rollison via Attaboy/Facebook

Attaboy

LES

Behind a door marked only “AB”, with a warning to “Please Knock Gently”, is a cozy speakeasy founded by two former Milk & Honey bartenders. If you are let in, you can ask a mixologist to make you a personalized drink (there is no menu), but it’ll set you back $16. Don’t try to call them because like any self-respecting speakeasy, they’re unreachable.

Myk Tummolo via Bembe/Facebook

Bembe

Williamsburg

It’s not easy to find a small dance club in New York City, but this bar gets moving with salsa, calypso, hip hop, rumba, merengue, and more. Sure, it gets crowded quickly, but that only adds to the we’re-all-in-this-together vibe, and not everyone stays until 4am closing time. Plus, those who want to take a break can head to the street and gaze at the Williamsburg bridge or simply hydrate inside with one of many drinks served in actual coconuts.

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1. Defonte's Sandwich Shop 379 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (Gramercy)

This family-owned sandwich shop has been in the biz since 1922 and serves up beautifully breaded creations like the Valentino with fried eggplant, provolone & roasted peppers, and their version of the Cuban, with roast pork, Virginia ham, swiss, and pickles, served up on garlic bread.

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2. Smalls Jazz Club 183 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Waiting for an hour in line off a busy Greenwich Village corner might not sound ideal, but once inside this intimate jazz club, you'll be glad you were patient. Even if you know nothing about jazz, you'll appreciate the dimly lit, below-ground space, and, depending on the night, you can catch everyone from young, local musicians to established jazz greats like Wynton Marsalis.

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3. Bell Book & Candle 141 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

A dimly lit, romantic dinner awaits in this reclaimed restaurant lined with candles and plush, royal blue booths. West Village's Bell Book & Candle stun in both aesthetic and culinary expertise, as made evident by the seafood-heavy menu, full of artfully presented dishes like spice-rubbed yellow fin tuna and chimichurri-marinated hangar steaks, sided by vegetables the likely picked form the rooftop garden earlier that day.

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4. Bembe 81 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

For all those times you wish you were in Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights , Bembe is your real-life solution. Part bar, part dance club, this Williamsburg spot has Latin beats, tropical drinks, and steamy vibes that'll transport you straight to Miami.

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5. Attaboy 134 Eldridge St, New York City, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

Founded by former Milk & Honey mixologists Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy, Attaboy is an intimate, semi-hidden craft cocktail bar and lounge on the Lower East Side. Operating out of Milk & Honey's old digs, Attaboy builds on the personalized cocktail experience M&H made popular with a menu changes nightly and encouraging guests to ditch the menu altogether; simply tell Sam or Michael what you're into and they'll craft you a bespoke libation worthy of hall of fame status.