The South of France 1800 Westchester Avenue, Bronx
This European-style boîte, with its cherry-wood accents and red hues throughout, allows Bronxites and Manhattan dwellers looking for a little variety to lounge comfortably while escaping the noisy elevated train outside. At South of Francewhich is actually north of the Bruckner Expresswayfriendly bartenders cater to an eclectic crowd, which on a recent visit included a drunk elderly man with stories of Old San Juan, a middle-aged couple slow dancing mindlessly to fast-paced merengue, and young professionals celebrating the end of the workday. Drinks range from $4 for a Corona to $5.50 for a B-52 (Kahlúa, Baileys Irish Cream, and whiskey)the latter's a tasty sweet mix that seduces taste buds while knocking even serious drinkers off their asses after two shots. The bar spices things up a bit more with live Latin music daily, allowing revelers to request a bachata, bolero, or any other ritmo. And yes, you can still hear your conversation partner without screaming. Even snooty French folks would hightail it to the boogie-down for a night of live sounds and affordable cocktailscourtesy of the Bronx.