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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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LOWER EAST SIDE/ LITTLE ITALY  
>West-East goes: Layfayette; Mulberry; Mott; Elizabeth; Bowery; Chrystie (2nd Ave); Forsyth; Eldridge Allen (1st Ave); Orchard;
Ludlow; Essex (Av A); Norfolk; Suffolk; Clinton (Av B) *Bars listed West to East.
>North-South: Houston; Stanton; Prince (W of Bowery); Rivington; Spring (W of Bowery); Delancy; Broome; Grand; Hester; Canal
 
Epistrophy: Wine Bar. 200 Mott St @ Kenmore-Spring; 23/21/M; Decent selection of affordable wines; Nice menu; More of an afternoon/ early evening café;  Perfect pit stop; Hang with friends, a date, or chill alone. Modeled after a Roman café. Cash only.
 

Milano’s Bar: Dive Bar. 51 E Houston @ Mulberry; 20/14/M; Super friendly bartenders; Great jukebox; Narrow & wackily decorated Dive; Hard to place a finger on why, but this place has charm.  Grab a seat at the bar if you can. 

 
Spring Lounge: Neighborhood Tavern. 48 Spring St. @ Mulberry; 19/16/M; Opens at 8am- dive feel; Cozy welcoming bar;  Great for after Work or taking a break from Soho shopping. Superior beer list; Seating and decent food. Unpretentious. Not a huge place and usually popular. 

 

Onieal’s: Lounge/Bar. 174 Grand @ Baxter-Mulberry; 24/22/M; Wonderful spot for dinner and drinks; Attractive setting and architecture; Known for special cocktails; Part of Sex and the City tour; More crowded on weekends; Perfect for a private party. 

 

Vig Bar: Lounge. 12 Spring @ Elizabeth; 23/16/M; Low key elegance; Upscale looking décor; Front and a back room; Ideal for a party for a more tasteful group of friends; Sophisticated yet still fun; Not terribly cheap; DJ plays at night; Good looking crowd; Date scene. 

 

Von: Wine/ Beer Bar. 3 Bleecker @ Bowery; 23/19/M; High end yet affordable wine and beers from Europe; Village crowd; Not pretentious; Ideal date spot or starter bar; Chill Scene, Relaxed. Happy hour has great deals M-F 5-7pm, weekends 3-5pm;  Two levels;  DJ on weekends. 

 

SlainteIrish Pub / Sports Bar. 304 Bowery @ Bleecker-Houston; 21/15/M; Party and watch game; Laid back for the area; Tradition pub feel; Great Grub; Happy Hours: 2 for 1 noon until 8pm daily. Excellent beer selection; Known for sweet potato fries.  They pour a great Guinness. Draft beers are excellent. 

 

Loreley: German Beer Garden. 7 Rivington @ Bowery; 22/17/M; Huge Steins. Great German food. Classic Bavarian bar. Beer selection highly traditional. Two levels; Private Parties; Munich feel- drink from a liter stein. Try the schnitzels, pretzels; Beer garden outside in back in summer.

 

Bowery BallroomLarge Live Music Venue. 6 Delancey St @ Bowery; 23/18/M; Live music-style: Rock, Indie, Alternative mostly;  Big, cheap, 3 bar set-up; Cover charge usually for great bands.   Easily the best ‘smaller’ live music venue in the city.  Incredible acoustics. Very popular and deservingly so. 

 

Marshall Stack: Bar. 66 Rivington @ Allen; 24/18/M; Unpretentious rock bar with a jukebox that gets endless plays; Serves beer and wine only- but great selection of both; Daily happy hour;  Really friendly bartenders that try hard; Cool laid back scene; Great for conversations and to chill.  

 

La Caverna: Restaurant/ Lounge. 122-124 Rivington @ Bowery; 19/23/M; Very cool interior; Also an excellent Italian restaurant; Sexy Date spot or meet singles; Downstairs is a huge man-made cave with couches – dark décor- absolutely cool. Even a waterfall. Very unique.

 

Happy EndingLounge. 302 Broome @ Forsyth – Eldridge; 18/15/M; Lounge w/ DJ and singles scene down below. Bar up top; Major hook up spot; 20s-30s; Private Parties;  Banquettes on top floor are cool; Lots of dancing downstairs; No cover; Free Vodka 11pm-12 on Tuesdays. Former massage parlor. 

  

Ten Bells: Wine Bar. 247 Broome @ Ludlow; 24/22/E; Absolute gem; Organic wines;  Named after London pub frequented by Jack the Ripper; Incredibly good nibbles;  Wine list is excellent and reasonably priced; Impress a date – classy scene – but nothing fancy; Can get crowded weekend nights. 

 

PeopleLounge. 163 Allen @ Stanton-Rivington; 21/21/M; Double decker lounge; Known for drinks; late 20s- 30s crowd – older for area; Comfortable sofas; Great cocktails; Upscale and sleek; Impress dates; Mature décor- almost hotel like.  Thursday Happy Hour 6-10pm $3 beers/ $4 wines. 

 

Above Allen: Hotel Bar. Thompson Hotel; 190 Allen @ Stanton; 7th Floor; 23/23/VE; Retractable rooftop; Overpriced drinks; Attractive hipsters and guests of the hotel mingle and enjoy the incredible views; Gorgeous bar and perfect for 1-2 before a nice evening out

 

Slipper RoomComedy/ Bar. 167 Orchard @ Stanton;  22/20/M; For only $5 you get to watch an insanely funny Burlesque show; Very shocking/ adult show; Drinks reasonable for genre; Check website/ calendar for shows; Keep an open mind! Most shows $10 or less. 

 

Lucky Jack’s: Irish Pub. 129 Orchard @ Rivington-Delancey; 21/20/M; Two level pub; 60 foot long bar; TVs to watch any game; Cool looking pool table; Huge bottled beer selection; Has maintained its original vibe – no pretension, just drinkers and friendly bartenders. Spacious place – seating!

 

PianosBar/ Live Music. 158 Ludlow @ Stanton- Riverton; 18/14/M;  Two levels; Upstairs gets packed with sexy singles w/ a 20s-early 30s crowd; Drink specials early; Great music- live and DJs. Happy Hr 2- 8pm, $3 beers. Has DJs and live music on weekends. 

 

Local 138: Dive Bar. 138 Ludlow @ Rivington-Stanton; 17/16/I; Dive, grungy bar with ultra cheap shots, PBR and beers; Actually an Irish pub with friendly bartenders; Happy hour goes on from early until 9pm; Strong draft beer selection. 

 

Mehanata: Bulgarian Bar. 113 Ludlow @ Delancey-Rivington; 22/18/M; The Bulgarian bar where vodka and Bulgarian beers pour freely;  Come early for traditional food; Balkans and tourist dancing to Euro-rave like music; Projecting videos playing; Actually a fun time here. 

 

Tapeo 29: Wine Bar. 29 Clinton @ Stanton; 24/21/M; Known for Wine, Tapas and their Brunch; Excellent sangria as well; Large selection of Spanish wines; Rustically romantic spot; Drinks are $6-$7 during Happy Hour (5-7 or 6-8pm);  Large menu of tapas but only 20+ wines to choose from. 

 

Libation: Tri-Level Night club. 137 Ludlow @ Rivington; 16/16/E; Private Parties; Great food and drinks in an upscale setting; DJs or Live music; 11 flat screens; Different from low key neighbors. Friendly atmosphere of an Irish pub, 6,000 sq feet! Solid food including brunch. But- gets loud & crowded.

 

Welcome to the Johnsons: Dive Bar. 123 Rivington @ Essex-Norfolk;  15/12/I; Beyond dirt cheap drinks; Happy hour 3-9pm when most beer $2; Bloody Marys & Margaritas $4; Like a 1970s vintage living room.  Rec room set-up. Retro feel; $2 PBR all day. Great jukebox. 

 

Whiskey WardDive Bar/ Saloon. 121 Essex @ Delancey; 23/15/M; Inexpensive. Good crowd- extremely laid back; Great Juke. Bartenders are friendly; Dive classic that must be checked out.  5-8pm Happy Hr; Incredible Whiskey and Beer list; Cool website. Shoot some pool. 

 

VerlaineLounge. 110 Rivington @ Essex-Ludlow; 22/19/M: Upscale lounge/ wine & martini bar; Best time to go is happy hour- 5-10pm daily for ½ priced well drinks, wine, bloody marys and lychee martinis; All drinks are outstanding; Chill late 20s to 30s scene. Date-ideal. $4 Lychee Martinis until midnight Sunday, Monday. Excellent tapas menu here as well. 

 

Boss Tweed’s Saloon: Saloon. 115 Essex @ Delancey - Rivington; 17/15/I;  Love this place; Dive bar city with dirt cheap drinks- all day specials ($12 pitchers); Beer pong central; Tons of TVs- great to watch a game;  All day $3 Bud and Bud lite pints. Happy Hour is 12-8pm daily. 

 

ClandestinoWine Bar. 35 Canal @ Essex-Ludlow; 21/20/E; Chill scene; Cool cats here; Gorgeous, well maintained neighborhood pub/ wine bar. Friendly staff. Extremely popular and it always delivers great food & service and wine. Sexy vibe – date friendly. Suggest before dinner. Lots of beers on tap as well. 

 

The DelanceyRock Club. 168 Delancey @ Clinton; 22/19/M; 3 levels; Awesome lounge; Hipsters; Rooftop bar is awesome. No velvet rope pretense – just a large, fun club; Singles scene when you can hear; Outdoor area; Private Parties. Has a rooftop deck. Like 3 different bars in one place.