Unlike our Food and Drink Tours of the past, Murray Hill is not known as an out-of-the-way culinary oasis offering a diverse range of affordable gems. On tap, you will find mostly gingham shirts served with a healthy side of "That's sick, bro!"s. You will wait in line for strange things, like roof access at a taco joint. Floors are universally tiled and flatscreen TVs are omnipresent. Why is everybody shouting?

But Murray Hill does have its moments, if you're wiling to wade through a kiddie pool of light beer to find them.

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SALVATION TACO A nightlife impresario awakens one day in his chic Meatpacking loft. "YAN," he screams to his assistant, who snaps up from the white leather chaise and scuttles over. "YAN, I WOULD LIKE TO BUILD A TIKI BAR. MAKE IT SO."

Salvation Taco is that tiki bar, splashed in electric paints and lit by floaty lights and big colorful orbs. Chef April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman have done an admirable job with the menu—the pastor taco features meat crispy on the outside and juicy inside, and margaritas are rimmed with seasoned salt.

It wasn't even 7 p.m. before partygoers were lining up to receive their hand stamps, which would serve as their ticket to ascend the elevator to the fabulous roof deck area, defined by it's exposed brick, fairy lights and creeping ivy, to say nothing of its stunning view of the city. Check your allergy to gingham shirts at the door.

145 East 39th Street, (212) 865-5800; website

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GINGER MAN Ginger Man is a classy joint. The bar is as long as a runway, but still somehow full even early in the day. Grab a beer and sit in one of the overstuffed couches by the front windows, a setting reminiscent, I imagine, of the Admirals Club Lounge at a mid-size airport. The bar food is a cut above standard, and for $6.50 you can nibble a hot dog lodged in a soft potato roll topped with a thick slice of smokey bacon and slathered in cheese. Choose the potato salad as your side, which provides a sharp tang suitable for cutting through the cheese and fat. The many carpets make you feel academic, in spite of your prepubescent ordering habits.

11 East 36th Street, (212) 532-3740; website

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THE SHAKESPEARE Like many good bars before it, the Shakespeare is slightly hidden—not "speakeasy" hidden, but marked only by a small sign and situated slightly below ground. With its wood floor, wood bar, wood walls and wood ceiling, the Shakespeare feels like an arboreal womb, or a tavern inside a tree growing in Medieval England. A jukebox sits off the to the side, and the menu is filled with homey treats like the Scotch eggs, which were weighty and warm, and house-made ricotta, smeared with olive oil, oven dried herbs and aged balsamic—it was also some of the lightest and fluffiest cheese I've ever had. I promptly sliced the roof of my mouth open on a sharp bread crust and didn't even care—it was that tasty.

24 East 39th Street, (646) 837-6779; website

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RAINES LAW ROOM AT THE WILLIAM And now, for a brief history lesson: The Raines law, passed in 1896, prohibited the sale of alcohol on Sunday—except to guests at hotels, served with a meal. An easy loophole for bars was to add tiny bedrooms and nominal meals to their offerings, and voila! Permit granted. There is no more demonstrable height of human ingenuity than when there's a drinking law to be skirted.

A second iteration of its Flatiron counterpart, the Raines Law Room at the William opened in October, wedged above the Shakespeare and connected to the Peacock. If your goal is to escape the brightness of the day, you can't do better than Raines, with light so low you can barely make out the face of your drinking companion, much less those separated by sheer maroon curtains in the booths around you. Delicate cocktails are mixed in beakers, and the whole room smells of flowers. Now is your chance to debut those lace gloves you've always wanted to wear but never do.

24 East 39th Street, website

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DUKE'S At some point in the '80s, a Cancun surf bar was lifted from its foundation, to be flown over the U.S. and brought 1,500 miles to its new home on 3rd Avenue in Murray Hill. Along the way, it was dropped along the side of the road in Texas, where it picked up a menu filled with barbecue, meat-stuffed salads, wings and something called "atomic cheese fries." That surf bar/roadhouse is called "Duke's." Beer is served in plastic cups, which will you will drink while seated on plastic chairs. Walls are covered in blinking, old-school Christmas lights, and somewhere, under layers of junk-sale signage, Guy Fieri is crouched low with a cheese-flavored notebook, pilfering ideas.

560 3rd Avenue, (212) 949-5400; website

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JACKSON HOLE The preferred pastime of most Murray Hill denizens seems to be waiting on line. Jackson Hole offers the perfect counterbalance to this strange predilection—the unpretentious diner has plenty of seating, either along the bar at the front, or at tables in the back. If a craft cocktail spritzed with bitters poured lovingly into a polished mason jar is what you seek, go literally anywhere else. If you want a juicy burger or a sundae the size of a pulsar in an unfussy setting, Jackson Hole is your man. Also, it's been in business since 1983, meaning it's right on track to be turned into a 7-Eleven any day now, so enjoy it while you can.

521 3rd Avenue, (212) 679-3264; website

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PIO PIO Pio Pio is long and narrow, like the walk-in closet in a diplomat's home. On a nice day, you'll find the front doors flung open, diners arranged at tables draped in white table cloths, tearing into a platter of Juanita's rotisserie chicken ($16) or a pile of salchipapa, which are fries with sliced frankfurters ($5). A pair of chicken empanadas bursting with unlikely goodies like olives and eggs will fortify your stomach for a night of drinking for just $8.

210 East 34th Street, (212) 481-0034; website

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BRAVEST Bravest is filled with many of the standard Murray Hill trappings—flatscreen TVs and boat shoes—but it's also got a decent menu of bar food and, get this, $3 bottles of Budweiser and PBR. A glass of wine is $6. Find me a better deal in this part of town and I'll slap you. Go there during shift change at the local engine company, and the bartender will sometimes comp a round—if you make friends you can get in on it.

700 2nd Avenue, (212) 683-3766; website

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NOTARO Notaro offers its patrons an adult dining experience for a reasonable price in an otherwise unreasonably priced neighborhood. If you'd prefer an upscale dining experience in the comfort of your own apartment, their takeout menu is every bit as expansive as the dine-in option. The prix fix lunch menu, which includes an appetizer, salad, and choice of main course is only $12.95; the prix fix dinner is only $22.95, and includes dessert.

635 2nd Avenue, (212) 686-3400; website

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WATERFRONT ALE HOUSE Watefront Ale House isn't exactly on the water, but that's OK—a popcorn machine, extensive menu and rotating beer specials more than compensate for this vicious misnomer. According to the bartender, the waitstaff from the area's surrounding bars choose to take their after-work meals at Waterfront, which is always a good sign. The menu is filled with standard offerings like burgers and wings, but distinguishes itself from other food-serving pubs with tasty bonus specialties like Cajun spiced shrimp, four-onion and Guiness soup, and the Texas dip sandwich.

And don't fret if you miss happy hour: the Beer of the Week will set you back just 5 bucks a pint.

540 2nd Avenue, (212) 696-4104; website

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JUNCTION When I walked into Junction, I was greeted by a pack of button-downs, arms slung around each other's shoulders, singing along to "Free Falling."

"Do you know the words?" one asked his female friend, impressed. "Yes," she replied. "Free falling." Everyone cheers'd their lite beers.

329 Lexington Avenue, (212) 682-7700; website

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DESMOND'S TAVERN The first time I set foot in Desmond's, a very-drunk patron was getting escorted out of the bar for punching a girl in the face, after the latter allegedly stole the former's coat. That same night, a strange man bought me an unsolicited whiskey, stuck his hand in it, and told me not to worry about it not tasting right (needless to say, I did not drink it). The whole experience was backed by a local bluegrass band that took up real estate in the back, which drowned out some of the inebriated screaming that was going on up front, but not quite all of it. And most of this went down before 8 p.m. on a Friday night.

This is the kind of place Desmond's is, for better or for worse—the nearly 80-year-old Irish tavern, once apparently pre-celeb Lady Gaga's drinking hole of choice, is cheap, loud, and slightly divey. Drinkers imbibe basic drafts like Sam Adams and Stella, which run only $3 during happy hour ($9 for a pitcher), and there are burgers, fries, sandwiches, and other low-key pub fare available until late. Just don't steal anyone's coat or punch anyone in the face, and you'll do fine. (Rebecca Fishbein)

433 Park Avenue South, (212) 684-9472; website

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CANNIBAL Cannibal is perhaps the crown jewel of Murray Hill, an honor I was not prepared to bestow upon any of the neighborhood establishments. Patrons are greeted by two refrigerator cases filled with brews, which gives way to groups of happy people noshing violently on slabs of bone marrow in between hearty glugs of beer. The house-made pretzel comes out piping hot, the side of dipping cheese the ideal drunken accompaniment to its gooey innards. Try also the Cannibal Dog, covered in spicy tripe chili and scallions with Chinese mustard. If you're daunted by the pages-long beer menu, ask one of the knowledgeable waitstaff for guidance, and you will receive it. There's also an outdoor garden, which is heated and covered. In short, I would consider returning to Murray Hill for Cannibal.

113 East 29th Street, (212) 686-5480; website

(Scott Heins/Gothamist)

WHISKEY REBEL "That place is an absolute mess," a waiter at the Cannibal advised, and he was right—in the best way possible. Popcorn—warm, salty—is served right to you, and tastes especially good from the big booth by the window. A large cluster of dollar bills, taped by one edge to the ceiling above the bar, waggle in the breeze.

Your favorite pop music (Rihanna, T. Swift) blasts from the speakers, and a disco ball spins overhead. During happy hour, you can get a glass of prosecco for $7, but spring for the $17 Veuve Clicquot if it's your bachelorette party or a new moon or you suspect you might deserve it (you do). If it's your divorce party, spring for the $95 bottle Veuve Clicquot rose, followed by a round of $5 Fireball shots. You'll be celebrating your next bachelorette party in no time.

129 Lexington Avenue, (212) 686-3800; website