The UES's Silver Star Is One of the City's Best Diners

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Kevin Kessler
Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer went to Monks Coffee Shop all those years for a reason: diners are comfortable. A great diner is the opposite of stuffy without being a dive; it's where people feel at home when they eat. And for many New Yorkers, the neighborhood diner is situated in psychological space firmly between the office and home.

But finding a good diner is like finding a good tailor: It takes time, and trust develops over many visits. You want a place where you can hang comfortably with friends and strangers, where you can recharge your battery. You want a go-to restaurant, a place that's always your back-up plan and the perfect spot for a post-drinks nightcap.

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Why You Should Visit the Giglio Feast, a Mecca of Italian Street Food

Photos by Kevin Kessler
While a band plays nearby, 125 Italian men lift a five-story, six-ton tall statue and parade it around, yelling at each other, just as they do every year. Welcome to the 127th annual Giglio Feast.

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Find Great Iced Coffee and 40 Years of Williamsburg History at Caffe Capri

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Photos by Kevin Kessler
Your local coffee spot can define your neighborhood and your daily schedule like few other things can. It's often where your day starts to move, where your pre-work ritual starts, where you meet the neighbors, and where your midday pick-me-up caffeine is found. This is what those lucky enough to live near Graham Avenue in Williamsburg find in a wonderful 40-year-old landmark, Caffe Capri (427 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-383-5744), run by the dynamic brother and sister-in-law combo of Sarah Devita and Joe Rinaldi.

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The Ear Inn: The Best Aged Bar in the City?

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Situated on Spring Street in west SoHo, The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street, 212-431-9750) would be a rare gem in any city: It's a reliable bar with interesting people, good food, and a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. Oh yeah, and it's also one of the oldest drinking establishments in the city, but that's not the only reason why you should pay a visit.

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Why Peter Pan Is the Best Doughnut Shop in the City

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Laura Shunk
Peter Pan Bakery (727 Manhattan Avenue, 718-389-3676) was established more than 62 years ago in the then predominately Polish neighborhood of Greenpoint (and Polski Meat Market still holds court across the street), when the Dodgers still called Brooklyn home. It would be hard to fathom the shop existing anywhere else in the city. It's a neighborhood spot that locals hold dear, a place that new residents go as a rite of passage, and a tasty destination for those not lucky enough to live close by.

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Find the Best Italian Sandwich in the City at Emily's Pork Store

Kevin Kessler
On a hot June afternoon, Gennaro 'Jerry' Aliperti, owner and operator of Emily's Pork Store (426 Graham Avenue, 718 383-7216) is playing butcher, sandwich composer, and jokester to customers and friends. Aliperti makes first timers instantly comfortable and he has a way with those sometimes difficult but lovable regulars. He asks a repeat customer to specify how thick she'd like her pork chops. "Not too thick and not too thin, Jerry," she says. "You know how I like 'em."

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Carnegie Deli: No Longer "The Tops"

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Kevin Kessler

"Man, this place is a circus," my friend Jeffrey said when we entered the Carnegie Deli (854 Seventh Avenue, 212-757-2245). We'd just waited 15 minutes outside with a large group of eager tourists, only to be ushered inside, whisked past the congested deli counter, and then forced to squeeze by packed tables of customers, while employees, who seemed to be everywhere, conducted the chaos. My seat left my head a few inches away from an ATM. More Disney World attraction, I thought, than Barnum & Bailey.


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Why Stage Restaurant Might Be the Best Diner in NYC

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Kevin Kessler
Mid-afternoon, Roman Diakun, proprietor of the East Village's Stage Restaurant (128 Second Avenue, 212-473-8614), walks down from his apartment above to check in on his customers and items being prepped for dinner. Raised in Poland via Ukraine, Roman has owned the restaurant since 1980, and over the decades, he has seen the East Village become home to David Schwimmer's townhouse, green juice bars, and Momofuku. This city is still full of diners, and Stage remains one of the greatest.

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The Best Black and Whites in NYC Are at a 112-Year-Old Bake Shop

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Kevin Kessler
It's late afternoon on the Upper East Side and Herbert Glaser is hard at work upholding his family's legacy, one apple turnover at a time. The third generation owner of Glaser's Bake Shop (1670 First Avenue, 212-289-2562), he follows many of the same recipes his father first used 112 years ago.

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