When you walk into Sammy’s, a classic Jewish/Eastern European spot on the Lower East Side, you’re likely to see two things on every table. One is a pitcher of schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), and the other is a bottle of vodka sitting in a frozen block of ice. These two items should give you a pretty good sense for your night ahead. You should pour schmaltz on just about everything, especially the chopped liver - get it with fried onion and crispy chicken skin (“Sammy’s Style”) - it’s the best thing here. As all of the groups celebrating birthdays and breakups make their way through their bottles of vodka, the one-room space turns into what seems like an adult bar mitzvah, with conga lines, people being lifted up on chairs, and everyone dancing.
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Banzarbar is a small cocktail bar behind an unmarked door on the second floor of Freemans on the LES.
This is the Cocoron team’s second shabushabu omakase restaurant on the LES, and it’s great for a special occasion dinner.
Kiki’s is a Greek place on the Lower East Side that’s packed every night, and serves good, affordable food.
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Bierocracy is a big beer hall that’s close to the 7 and G trains in LIC if your crew is looking for an alternative to Radegast or Houston Hall.
Baba’s Pierogies is a bright, modern-looking spot in Gowanus that serves a bunch of different types of pierogies.
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A fun Lower East Side spot with good Mexican food. This is where you should have your next birthday.
Peter Luger Steak House
Peter Luger is a New York City steakhouse institution, and eating here is an experience unlike any other in the city.
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.
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