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An Insider’s Guide to the Best Cafes and Bistros in New York City

These under-the-radar standouts offer a culinary trip around the world.

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Tzarevna

On the Lower East Side, Tzarevna might remind you of a boite in St. Petersburg, down a flight of stairs and relatively hidden but filled with happy diners enjoying authentic Russian cuisine in an unpretentious contemporary setting. Capitalizing on the outdoor café trend, the street-level structure is perfect for large parties to try out some of the café’s exciting selections. Russian dishes take on a modern spin like a traditional zakuski board with house-cured fish, crepes and fish roe; stroganoff made with Wagyu beef; or duck shashlik served with pistachio puree, charred onions and pomegranate molasses. A flight of Georgian wines includes two unusual orange choices.

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