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Best Restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen


In contrast to Midtown West’s massive high-rises and big-box food venues, Lali Restaurant serves as a reminder of the kinds of establishments the neighborhood risks losing as developers have their way with the city’s topography. With a 4 p.m. closing time, this petite greasy spoon delivers satisfying, hearty Dominican and Puerto Rican home cooking, with breakfast and lunch plates all firmly in cheap-eats territory. The mother-daughter team running the kitchen cook from their family recipe book, telling stories through stewed chicken over rice, eggs with mashed plantains, and even barbecue ribs, a Tuesday special. Sip fresh tamarind and passion fruit juices, or opt for a fresh fruit batido. Morir soñando, a Creamsicle-like mixture of orange juice, milk, sugar, and ice, is sure to brighten the darkest of days.

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