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As you know, breaking into the New York City restaurant scene is tough business. Even harder is creating an establishment that will withstand the test of time. In the quaint West Village is Tio Pepe, a Spanish Mexican restaurant that established itself in 1970 and is still going strong over 40 years later. The space is lovely, with strategically designed rooms, giving guests a choice of what kind of vibe they want for their meal. The main dining room, complete with skylight, gives off a classic Spanish vibe, while the enclosed garden dining area gives diners a look at the night sky all year round. The main bar and tapas area provides a view of the streets, perfect for people watching. And aside from the charming interior, one of the first things you’ll notice is how amazingly hospitable the staff here is. Honestly, some of the best service around.

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A must-try at Tio Pepe is the guacamole (I mean, duh). It’s made tableside and really, it’s hard to go wrong with guacamole. The empanadas, filled with shrimp, chorizo and cheese, are some of the best I’ve ever had. The menu has a huge selection of both Mexican and Spanish fare, so it’s great to have a little bit of both. Spanish staples like Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) and Paella make for a tasty bite, while Mexican dishes like Carne Asada and Fajitas will also give you a run for your money. Don’t skimp on dessert — their Fried Ice Cream is the stuff dreams are made of (even if you’re full) and we highly suggest starting the night off with some margaritas (because why not?). However, their wine and beer list is also worth a look. Plus, the restaurant recently launched a new brunch program so if you find yourself hankering some exotic flavors in the morning, there’s no stopping you.

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Tio Pepe ­­­is located at 168 West 4th Street.  Reservations can be made by calling (212) 242-6480.

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