Everytime we have to search for Kissa Tanto’s purple neon sign among all the stores on Pender St. in Chinatown, we like to pretend we’re the only ones that knows about it, even though it’s actually one of the hardest reservations to get in the city. Everything on their Japanese-Italian menu is amazing, but the My Private Tokyo cocktail, octopus salad, and whole fried fish are some of our favorites. The space feels like a jazz club with all the pink leather booths and vintage light fixtures, and you can’t help but feel like Don Draper is going to show up and say something like, “Happiness is the smell of a new car.” Make a reservation here a month ahead, or cross your fingers and go when they open to try and get one of the tables they reserve for walk-ins. If there’s still a long wait, get some oysters one street over at Oyster Express, a small spot that looks like the inside of a wooden boat.
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Upstairs at Campagnolo
This bar hidden up a staircase in Campagnolo has a small menu and lots of obscure wines and cocktails.
From the same people as Kissa Tanto, Bao Bei is another must-visit spot, though it's more casual and the food is creative Chinese.
DD Mau Chinatown
DD Mau’s Chinatown location is right below a club, so it’s the perfect spot to start a night with Vietnamese food and a group of friends.
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