Banzarbar is a fancy cocktail bar behind an unmarked door on the second floor of Freemans (the restaurant at the end of an alley, that looks like the living room of a rich person’s hunting lodge) on the LES. There are about 10 bar seats in the dark space, along with a few two-person, candle-lit tables along the wall, and they serve cocktails, small seafood bites, and “The Kraken” - a whole tempura-fried octopus. Despite looking like a battered sea monster, this massive portion of octopus is actually pretty good. They also do a five-course tasting menu that involves low-ABV cocktails, if you're looking to make a full night of it. We'd recommend this place for a date, especially if one of you is a fan of themed bars and/or speakeasies.
More spots in Lower East SideSee more
Minnie’s is a casual little spot on the LES where you can stop by for a burger or a farro salad without a reservation on a Friday night.
Ivan Ramen is an extremely popular ramen spot from Japan, now in the Lower East Side.
Russ & Daughters Cafe
Russ & Daughters has finally expanded, after 100 years in business. Now you can sit down in a comfy booth while you enjoy your lox, and it’s glorious.
More American spotsSee more
Clay is an American restaurant in Harlem that’s perfect for a special-but-not-too-formal dinner with a date or your family.
Chicken, waffles, an unpretentious vibe, and communal atmosphere are the things that make us love Sweet Chick.
Suggested by our writers
Wildair is a casual wine bar on the Lower East Side, attached to the acclaimed tasting menu restaurant Contra.
Freemans has been a key player in the restaurant renaissance we’re currently living in and ranks among our favorite restaurants of all time.
Contra is a Lower East Side tasting menu restaurant with adventurous food that actually tastes good.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more