Founded during the 1950's by Marion Nagy, a Hungarian emigrant of the Stalinist era, who, after a short-lived modeling career in Paris found herself opening a restaurant on the Bowery, Marion's Continental is a kitchy, yet glitzy downtown staple and home to some of the best martinis in all of New York. Now run by her son Richard Bach, Marion's was historically a haven for literati, drag queens, and late night bar crawlers. The menu offers nouveau American cuisine with seasonal variations -- jazzed up versions of steak (Steak Au Poivre), burgers (with bacon & blue cheese), ravioli, and roast chicken -- that accompany an indulgent martini list. Claiming the fame of having invented the "Metropolitan," a head-spinning combination of Absolut Kurant, lime juice, and a hint of cranberry with lime garnish, Gothamist likes Marion's best for late night cocktails, especially with monthly martini specials and the tasty fried calamari you can nosh on at the bar.

Marion's Continental is located at 354 Bowery between W.4th & Great Jones St. and is open daily from 5:30 p.m. - 2 a.m. (212)-475-7621