5pm-7pm; specialties vary
A, C, E at Canal St.; 1 at Canal St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Keith McNally's shabby-chic bistro opened in 1989—which in hotspot years would, make it like, a hundred. It's mellowed nicely as a no-pretension neighborhood hangout for savory Gallic comfort food and generous cocktails. For many SoHo locals, the velvet-draped doorway, French film posters and menu written on the wall are as homey as their own living rooms. The hammered copper bar seats only seven, but go ahead and wait for a table. After a few of those Vanilla Shantis (Stoli Vanil, Cointreau and fresh citrus juices), you'll be craving their fluffy mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach and steak frites.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.