The Garret is a speakeasy in the sense that it’s hard to locate. To get there, you walk into the Five Guys at 7th and Bleecker, then find a hidden staircase in the back. Upstairs, there’s a casual cocktail bar with a few skylights and some windows looking out on the street. It isn’t as stuffy or expensive as some other cocktail bars, but it does get busy, and they play top-40 just a little too loud. It might feel more like college bar than expect, but it’s a good place to bring someone who’ll be impressed by a place hidden above a burger joint.
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Berimbau Brazilian Kitchen
Berimbau is a casual West Village spot that serves the best Brazilian food in NYC.
Boucherie is a very big French restaurant in the middle of the West Village where you can sit outside and eat a steak or some escargots.
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The original E’s Bar is in the West 80s, but there’s a second location in Morningside Heights where you can hang out at a big table and play games.
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Zaragoza is a longstanding Mexican deli in the East Village where you can get a couple of tacos, tamarind candy, and a jar of green enchilada sauce.
These days, Employees Only is not the hotspot it once was. But while the crowd might have lost a step, the cocktails have not, and it’s still packed with people every time we stop by.
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