To get into Yopparai, you press a buzzer, then walk up some stairs in an apartment building on Rivington, and enter through a sliding door on the second floor. That might make this sound like a gimmicky speakeasy, but once you sit at the long chef’s counter and the food starts arriving, you’ll realize that isn’t the case at all. It’s a really good Japanese spot with a huge menu ranging from sashimi to barbecue to oden (small bowls of dashi broth with your choice of ingredients). The fried chicken with green tea powder is great, but our favorite thing here is the chef’s selection of three types of oden for $12. The two-person, cushioned stools at the counter are ideal for dates, and there are a couple larger tables if you come with a group. Either way, you should also explore the massive sake list.
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Dudley's is more about the hang than it is a memorable meal. Go in with the right expectations and you’ll be glad it’s there.
The Ten Bells
The Ten Bells is a natural wine bar on the Lower East Side that serves some good small plates and $1 Happy Hour oysters every day.
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Little Dokebi is an inexpensive neighborhood spot in Greenpoint with a big Japanese and Korean menu. Come for a group dinner.
Rule Of Thirds
Rule of Thirds is an enormous Japanese spot in Greenpoint, and it’s a great place to eat izakaya-style food and drink sake with a group.
Run by the same folks that brought Totto Ramen to Midtown, Hide-Chan also opened this summer and we’re glad to report that it’s another solid addition to Midtown eating.
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.
Le French Diner
We like this tiny French restaurant on the Lower East Side so much we almost didn’t want to tell you about it.
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