Unless you live in Brooklyn Heights, you’ve likely never heard of Noodle Pudding. This is the definition of a hidden gem: no website, no sign, cash-only, and a name so dumb you’d have to know this place was good in order to walk in. What you get is above-average Italian at affordable prices in an atmosphere that feels more down-to-earth than any new place with fancy flatware and a font supervisor. Bring cash, bring your parents, bring a date, or just bring yourself and eat heaps of gnocchi.
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Calaca is a little cash-only Mexican spot in Bed-Stuy where you should drink flights of tequila while eating some great tacos and tostadas.
Mister Dips is a little trailer in a Williamsburg park where you can pick up a burger, some ice cream, and a thing of waffle fries covered in cheese.
Off the main stretch in Williamsburg is Aurora, a place charming enough for a First/Early in the Game Date, calm enough for Dinner with the Parents, and with an insane, well-greened Outdoor/Patio Situation.
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A simple, enjoyable, cash-only Italian restaurant in the West Village. If you don’t know about Malatesta, you should.
Osteria Laguna is an Italian restaurant near Grand Central with enough space for a big group (or just you and some pizza and wine).
Coco Pazzo is the new Soho version of an Italian restaurant that was big in the ’90s.
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