Greenpoint • Nightlife, Bar
Dead flowers, stained glass, and inverted crosses make up the decor at this Greenpoint bar that many describe as a “metalhead” hangout. But order a tall boy and get in line for weekend karaoke, or come see one of the shows that takes place throughout the week. Either way, this place allows you to be whatever and whomever you’d like to be—and it’s too dark in here for anyone to remember your face tomorrow.
Lower Manhattan • Nightlife, Bar
Proudly serving the LGBT community since 1970, this classic drag piano bar in the West Village is the place to go for the upstairs buffet and the dance party in the basement. You could easily spend all day at Monster and not know what time it is, or how much time has passed.
Ironbound District • Nightlife, Restaurant
This place hasn’t changed since Liza Minelli thought it was the coolest place to be in the 70s. Walk in, sit down at the bar, and let one of the ancient bartenders in maroon blazers serve you pitcher sangria, Estrella beers, and free tapas.
Red Hook • Dessert, Pie shop
You’re at the ends of the earth (Red Hook), and by now you’ve eaten all of the brisket at Hometown Bar-B-Que and consumed as many gin and tonics as humanly possible at Sunny’s Bar. Finish things off with one of Steve-o’s key lime pies. Fuck Key West.
Lower Manhattan • Gay bar, Nightlife
Opened in 1864, this historic West Village gay bar and flashpoint for gay rights civil disobedience should be a place of pilgrimage for anyone with an interest in LGBT history. And anyone who loves hamburgers. Order a beer and a bacon cheeseburger from the food station. We shouldn’t be writing this, but this burger might be just as good as Corner Bistro’s without that bullshit line that wraps around the block.
Lower Manhattan • Greek, Mediterranean
Who knew Chinatown was the spot for bomb-ass Greek? Their roasted lemon chicken and pitchers of rosé make for one of the most joyous meals when you can’t get into Mission Chinese Food right down the street.
Sunset Park • Chinese, Hotpot
Go wild on a bubbling pot of fiery Sichuan broth, drink too much cold beer, and proudly smell of sheep for the next four days. If you’re with a weaker-tongued date, you could always get a half and half pot with something milder for them.
Lower Manhattan • Vegetarian, Restaurant
Punjabi Grocery & Deli is more than just a cab driver’s pit stop. The cramped space specializes in some of the best Punjabi cuisine—order a samosa and a chai or the giant rice and veggie assortment for $5. It’s also become a sort of informal community center for cab drivers, thanks in part to rapper HEEMS and some community organizers who helped set up a cab stand where cab drivers can park, rest, and order some of the best, cheapest Indian food in the city. LISTEN: Rapper HEEMS On MUNCHIES: THE PODCAST at Punjabi Grocery & Deli
Lower Manhattan • Classic establishment, Impressing out of towners
Corner Bistro is the West Village’s worst kept secret, so prepare to stand in line for the biggest, best bacon cheeseburgers in the neighborhood, and don’t forget to order the onion rings unless you want to piss yourself off.
Gowanus • Restaurant, Food
If you’ve ever wanted to work your way through a pile of scampi in what feels like an old union hall, Two Toms is for you. This Gowanus old-school Italian spot provides massive pork chops and chilled red wine that you can serve yourself straight from the fridge.