The next time you have a “catchup” dinner with someone, but you’d really rather catch up with your couch, remember Lil’ Gem. This new spot on the Lower East Side is designed to feel like a house (complete with couches and windows with shutters), and is a comfortable spot to meet a friend or two. The food is a take on Lebanese, so you’ll eat stuff like hot and cold mezze, flatbreads, and shawarma, and it’s all tasty and not too expensive. In other words, this is a new SCRFCUWFF to add to your rotation.
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More spots in Lower East SideSee more
Patacon Pisao is a tiny spot on the LES serving Venezuelan street food such as patacons (sandwiches with plantain discs in place of bread).
Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop
Tiny’s Giant is an all-day spot on the LES that serves big sandwiches and salads.
Peppa’s Jerk Chicken
The LES location of Peppa's Jerk Chicken serves Jamaican food that's just as delicious as what you'll find at their other spots in Brooklyn.
More Middle Eastern spotsSee more
Nur is a Middle Eastern restaurant in Flatiron where you can eat excellent breads and creative dishes.
Duzan serves shawarma, kebabs, and falafel as pitas and bowls in a small counter-service space in Astoria.
Reunion is a low-key Israeli cafe in Williamsburg, and it’s great for a casual breakfast or brunch when you don’t want to deal with a long wait.
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Via Carota is a walk-in only Italian spot in the West Village, and there’s a good chance you’ll have to wait a few hours for a table. It’s worth it.
Lovely Day is one of the most reasonably priced restaurants where you can still feel like you've had a fun night out.
Off the main stretch in Williamsburg is Aurora - a place charming enough for a First/Early in the Game Date.
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