You can try to walk into Kiki’s with six people, but you should be prepared to spend a few hours drinking shot and beer combos at 169 Bar while you wait. But for similar food, prices, and atmosphere, with far shorter waits, go to Kiki’s Grill, which is from the same people and it’s located directly across the street. They serve some of the same dishes you’ll find at the original, like grilled octopus and perfectly cooked lamb chops, and they also serve some more budget-friendly options, like huge skewers of pork or chicken, which are $3 each. The ideal order for a group is a bunch of souvlaki (you can get 10 for $20), some oregano spiced fries, and plenty of $13 half-liters of Greek wine.
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A cocktail bar that specializes in oysters, and has a very solid burger. Sel Rrose isn't our favorite oyster hangout, but it's definitely one you should know about.
Wildair is a casual wine bar on the Lower East Side, attached to the acclaimed tasting menu restaurant Contra.
Barrio Chino, a Mexican restaurant on the Lower East Side, is always busy and always worth the wait.
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Walker’s is a Tribeca landmark – a prime example of a Classic NYC Establishment, and a low key spot that attracts an older crowd who enjoy a good burger and some Sports on TV.
Bill's Bar & Burger
We had hoped that instead of conforming to Midtown, Bill’s Bar and Burger would make Midtown conform to it. It did not.
Clyde Frazier's Wine and Dine
In truth, without a basketball court and Walt Clyde Frazier's involvement, we wouldn’t be talking about the Wine and Dine. The space is massive, the layout is clunky, but the food is pretty good. If you're a hoops fan, it's a must visit.
Suggested by our writers
Kiki’s is a Greek place on the Lower East Side that’s packed every night, and serves good, affordable food.
Cervo’s is a little place on the LES where you can bring a date and share some seafood-centric small plates, or just sit at the bar and grab a drink.
Jajaja is a vegan Mexican restaurant on the LES. Is it the best Mexican in the city? No. But if you’re a vegan, you’ll probably be into it.
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