Franklin Park is a beer garden during the day, and a sloppy dance party at night (at least on the weekends.) The space is big, with an outdoor patio and an area in the back with arcade games. There are also plenty of tables. So before all the late-night stuff starts to happen, this is a perfectly acceptable place to sit and eat a burger (they come from the attached restaurant Dutch Boy Burger, and they’re pretty good).
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Mister Dips is a little trailer in a Williamsburg park where you can pick up a burger, some ice cream, and a thing of waffle fries covered in cheese.
Lavender Lake could get away with being a just great bar with a large outdoor patio. However, it scores extra points from us for putting some care into curating a small but solid selection of bar snacks and entree sized plates.
James is a great Prospect Heights restaurant with a somewhat predictable New American menu, but it’s Perfect For a date or a meal before a Nets game.
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Around since 1980, The Odeon is a New York City classic. It may not be the same downtown destination that it was thirty years ago, but they still serve very respectable bistro food and stiff drinks, and brunch is always reliable.
The Smith is a chain restaurant that started in the East Village, and it’s sort of like a mid-tier sedan. Not too flashy, but it gets the job done.
We’re actually surprised more people don’t flock to Monkey Bar. It’s a fine restaurant, especially for Midtown which is filled with overpriced letdowns kept afloat by tourists and suits who don’t know any better than to plunge their money directly into the dumpster.
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Hartley’s is a neighborhood Irish pub in Clinton Hill that’s quiet enough to have a conversation.
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