a cliché but honestly one of, if not the, best burgers in the city. it’s actually a shack in the park specializing in burgers and milkshakes. I recommend going for a late dinner (they’re open til like 10 or 11 I think?) because during lunch hours the line is always around the park. no exaggeration.
I go here every year with my family and like 10 friends for my birthday. great affordable burgers and shakes in a cozy atmosphere, exposed brick walls and red checked table cloths with a with a touch of ~grungy bar feel. (you can add shots to your milkshakes!)
my favorite place in Chinatown but mostly because my dad always took me and my siblings here when he got off work when we were little and his firehouse was on Church Street. but really Chinatown is full of amazing restaurants if you just walk in random places.
my roommate’s dad took us here freshman year and we accidentally got shitfaced off sangria and had to pretend we were fine while still giggling over our red faces. intimate and eclectic feel with open air front.
they can be a little uppity because they’re ~famous. they don’t use toasters and get offended if you ask but great classic “New York Bagels” (for a more relaxed place check out Bob’s Bagels a couple blocks over. I’m a regular there (っ˘ڡ˘ς) )
kosher style, been around since 1888, famous for pastrami and hot dogs. unique way of ordering where they give you a ticket when you come in and the guy at the counter where you order marks it with what you get, then you pay as you leave. the restaurant from the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally where Meg Ryan fakes and orgasm then some old lady’s like, “I’ll have what she’s having!”
the oldest pub in the city, since ~1858 (contested). they didn’t let women in until 1970 when they were legally forced to and the women’s room is still basically a closet. the floor is covered in sawdust to absorb spilled beer and the whole place is made of wood with walls covered in historic knicknacks and animal heads. beer is served in mugs either light or dark, usually you get one of each at a time. real pros can stack the two glasses on top of each other and drink them at the same time. (I usually settle for drinking half of each then combining the two.)
one of my favorite dive bars, I don’t know if there’s anything particularly special about it other than being relatively cheap and having personal sentiment for me. (our fakes used to work there freshman year when it was called ‘Cheap Shots & Beer’ and I threw up outside of it on my 21st birthday *\o/*)
SO. this isn’t technically a bar and I haven’t been in a while so I can’t vouch that it’s still the way I remember it, but this is where my group of friends went for sake bombing throughout college. you if you get a “special” it’s 2 big Sapporo’s and a caraffe of sake. you can get away with some shady ID’s and they have this room in the back that’s secluded by a sliding door covered in rice paper with a fat Buddha statue and the entire room is taken up by a rectangular table and lined with benches. it was certainly a good way for a group of 15 friends to get physically comfortable with each other pretty fast freshman year. (I threw up on the tree outside/a passing stranger’s shoes. because I am the classiest. long story, BUT IT WASN’T MY FAULT!!)
basically my ~home. for an nyu student being in the park is like that scene in the Lion King where Mufasa says “everything the light touches is our kingdom~” NYU owns most the property on 3 sides of the park and much of the surrounding area. that big ugly red cube is our library and the big white “ivory tower” looking building flying a giant purple flag is our main classroom building. the park just underwent like 2 years of construction so it’s in really nice condition with all new lamps and stone paths and the arch and the fountain are pretty beautiful. A MUST SEE!!
not downtown but during the summer HBO sponsors this film series where every Monday night they set up a big screen and show movies and any one can come and sit out on the lawn and watch. it’s so crowded it’s real easy to sneak beers so it’s a rare opportunity to drink outside on grass in NYC. (former home of fashion week)