Neighborhood: East Village
Address: 207 Second Ave.

Is it one of those too-tired Manhattan cocktail bars you've heard far too much about, that makes too far a fuss over their mixology standards? Sure, yeah, it's one of those. But it's also the kind of place that can make you leave your cynicism about institutions like these behind, as it's operated by David Chang and Co, the reigning kings of taking ostensibly stupid ideas and turning them into brilliant Manhattan institutions that have yet to lose their luster. Yes, master bartender Dave Arnold is clarifying liquids and using liquid nitrogen and doing all kinds of wacky shit with his booze. But at the end of the day, it's a great space to grab a solid-if not downright incredible-drink, and the snacks are halfway decent, too. Avoid at your own peril. -Foster Kamer