Best Japanese speakeasy: Kyo Ya

It's all too easy to walk past the sublevel entryway of this prized secret—in-the-know Nipponophiles have kept the little gem to themselves. We're opening the floodgates: Some of the most artful Japanese food in the city (of the nonsushi variety) can be found here. From the wood walls and vaulted brick ceiling to the handmade plates cradling broiled fugu tails and sweet potato tempura, each detail is worth savoring. Happily, you don't need a password to enter. Kyo Ya 94 E 7th St between First Ave and Ave A (212-982-4140)