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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Speedy Romeo LES
A smaller, very casual Lower East Side outpost of Brooklyn’s Speedy Romeo. They may be known for pizza, but that’s not the best thing here.
Dirty French is a Lower East Side French restaurant from the people behind Carbone, and like that place, dinner here is definitely an event.
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Fish Market is a rowdy neighborhood bar in the South Street Seaport that has excellent Chinese and Malaysian food and a cult-like following.
The Meatball Shop
A restaurant on the Lower East Side operating with the sole purpose of turning out ridiculously good meatballs and presenting you a few options in which to consume them.
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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