Sure, openings are exciting, but we have a greater affection for reliable spots with staying power. From a wine-on-tap bar in the East Village, to well-stocked kosher grocers in Crown Heights, here are a handful of our favorites.
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98-, 100 Avenue C
Lois is a cozy East Village wine bar on Avenue C and 6th Street. All their wines are on draft, which in addition to cutting the average cost of a glass, is an environmentally sensitive alternative to bottles. The tap system also makes it easy to sample a variety of wines, ranging from red blends fermented in Brooklyn to Eastern European whites. They have a beer and a cider on draft as well, and they serve a selection of small plates. They’re also among the first bars in the city to include tax and gratuity in their pricing. —Claire Brown
354 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn
Fette Sau opened in 2007 and has blurred the lines between styles of barbecue ever since. Along with ribs, brisket and burnt-end baked beans, the menu usually features less traditional items such as house-cured beef pastrami, pork belly and wagyu beef cheeks. —Jessie Morrison
61 Delancey St.
We’re blessed with a slew of top notch pie shops in this city, many serving seasonal ingredients with palpable bucolic charm. Most of them are in Brooklyn, but Petee’s stands out in lower Manhattan (although you might miss the slight Delancey Street entrance if you’re not paying attention). The quaint storefront is barely big enough for the bakery, counter and couple-seat, street-facing bar for those staying to eat their pie. They bake fresh ones daily and the chocolate bourbon pecan recently won over my roommate. I was already sold on the Parlor Coffee with a seasonal Nesselrode pie: a mostly forgotten New York classic with rum-soaked chestnuts, cherries, orange and citron suspended in a fluffy custard and topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. —Ariel Lauren Wilson
332 Albany Ave., Brooklyn
Tucked down an unassuming block in Crown Heights’ largely Jewish area, Benz’s is a fantastic blend of the kosher and the gourmet. With a great selection of smoked fish, an extensive olive bar, great microbrews and various kosher sundries, Benz’s is a must-visit if you’re in the ‘hood. But take note — no bagels (try the bakery across the street!) —Jesse Hirsch