There’s pretty much no other restaurant in NYC like John’s Of 12th Street. This a classic Italian American spot in the East Village with huge portions, framed historical photos on the wall, and candles that have been burning mountains of wax for probably a hundred years straight (it opened in the early 1900s). But what’s different about this place is that there’s an entire menu dedicated to vegan options. So you can get your eggplant parm with vegan cheese and your in-laws can eat meatballs. If you’re a vegetarian but would rather avoid vegan cheese, we really like the lemon-y grilled portobello mushrooms with polenta and greens.
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The Black Ant
The Black Ant is a Mexican restaurant in the East Village with good cocktails and less-good food.
Hawa Smoothies & Bubble Tea
Hawa Smoothies is a tiny, cash-only juice bar in East Village where the drinks have names like “Hot Passion" and “Pom Queen."
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Some of the best pasta around is found at this old school-feeling spot on the Upper East Side.
Quality Italian is a neo-classic Italian restaurant in Midtown melded with a steakhouse. We like it for the variety on the menu and the massive space.
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Bamonte’s is a red-sauce Italian spot that’s been open in Williamsburg since 1900, and things here don’t seem to have changed much since then.
Virginia’s is a nice date night spot on Avenue C where you’ll find one of the best burgers in the city.
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