Neighborhood Highlights

Must-See Lower East Side

by Chris Wallace, 03/18/2014

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  • LES After Dark
    When Richard Price gave the Lower East Side the James Joyce treatment in his novel Lush Life, he set the drama in a café that's basically a thinly veiled Schiller's Liquor Bar. For good reason. Restaurateur Keith McNally's subway-tiled bistro pub has for a decade been the Cheers of the neighborhood—a great bar with good nosh where everybody knows your name. The Leadbelly, a more recent arrival, has updated the concept, featuring a bluesy soundtrack, Airstream-inspired design and a menu piled high with oysters and comfort food.

    Of course, the Lower East Side has always been the perfect destination for those who simply want a no-frills drink, and every nook and cranny of the neighborhood boasts its own local dive. Barramundi on Clinton is a charmingly eccentric mishmash of found decor. Be sure to order a drink with one of the bartender-created infused vodkas. When just one nightcap turns into several, you may find yourself at Clandestino, lively late—or early—into the morning. 

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