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Guidebook for New York

Joanna

Guidebook for New York

Food Scene
Great Places to Eat from casual coffee shops to delicious tasting menus.
There are a ton of coffee shops in our neighbourhood but Black Cat is definitely my favorite for the vibe. The coffee is OK, it's not amazing but the cafe is so cozy and comfortable you could sit there for hours and read or do work. Very chill and perfect for escaping the cold!
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Black Cat LES
172 Rivington Street
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There are a ton of coffee shops in our neighbourhood but Black Cat is definitely my favorite for the vibe. The coffee is OK, it's not amazing but the cafe is so cozy and comfortable you could sit there for hours and read or do work. Very chill and perfect for escaping the cold!
Delicious healthy food and great coffee. Awesome breakfast and lunch spot but it gets SUPER crowded. I'd avoid it on the weekends unless you are an early morning person.
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Pause Cafe
3 Clinton Street
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Delicious healthy food and great coffee. Awesome breakfast and lunch spot but it gets SUPER crowded. I'd avoid it on the weekends unless you are an early morning person.
It's delicious. Get the pancakes or the fried chicken. This place is very popular and doesn't takes reservations so get there early. It's also CASH ONLY.
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Clinton St. Baking Company
4 Clinton Street
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It's delicious. Get the pancakes or the fried chicken. This place is very popular and doesn't takes reservations so get there early. It's also CASH ONLY.
YUM! Top chef alum Leah Cohen runs this place and it's absolutely delicious. It's a play on Filipino street food and everything is excellent. This is NOT for vegetarians though. IT's very pork heavy, The drinks are great too.
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Pig and Khao
68 Clinton Street
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YUM! Top chef alum Leah Cohen runs this place and it's absolutely delicious. It's a play on Filipino street food and everything is excellent. This is NOT for vegetarians though. IT's very pork heavy, The drinks are great too.
Great vibes. Yummy food. Cozy tucked away location at the end of an alley. Just opened a cool cocktail bar upstairs. It's a little on the pricier side.
Freeman Alley
Great vibes. Yummy food. Cozy tucked away location at the end of an alley. Just opened a cool cocktail bar upstairs. It's a little on the pricier side.
GO HERE. Best Thai food (not your typical pad thai though! you have to take some chances) They don't take reservations and the wait can get crazy so try and get there right when they open. They do have a take out place right next door that I haven't tried yet.
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Uncle Boons
7 Spring St
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GO HERE. Best Thai food (not your typical pad thai though! you have to take some chances) They don't take reservations and the wait can get crazy so try and get there right when they open. They do have a take out place right next door that I haven't tried yet.
Love this place for brunch, Good food, good drinks, chill atmosphere.
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The Wayland
700 E 9th St
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Love this place for brunch, Good food, good drinks, chill atmosphere.
Yummy Greek Food
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Kiki's
130 Division St
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Yummy Greek Food
Fun little hole in the wall bar. Recommend going during a weeknight. More for drinks than food, but you can get small bites here or eat at Kikis beforehand
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Forgtmenot
138 Division St
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Fun little hole in the wall bar. Recommend going during a weeknight. More for drinks than food, but you can get small bites here or eat at Kikis beforehand
A tiny spot that feels like a secret bistro only you know about. The French food is simple but excellent, and there are some good, affordable wines.
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Le French Diner
188 Orchard Street
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A tiny spot that feels like a secret bistro only you know about. The French food is simple but excellent, and there are some good, affordable wines.
From the loud music to the oysters being paraded around the room on elaborately decorated trays, this is not an every-night kind of spot. But if you’re OK with dim lighting and pretty high prices, you should come here to eat some very good French-influenced food, like mushroom millefeuille over squash curry and duck a l’orange coated in North African spices.
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Dirty French
180 Ludlow Street
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From the loud music to the oysters being paraded around the room on elaborately decorated trays, this is not an every-night kind of spot. But if you’re OK with dim lighting and pretty high prices, you should come here to eat some very good French-influenced food, like mushroom millefeuille over squash curry and duck a l’orange coated in North African spices.
Contra does an $89 tasting menu. Here, the seven courses are served in a narrow, brick-walled space where you wouldn’t feel out of place in jeans and a T-shirt. The menu changes often, but all of the food, like soft tofu with caviar and monkfish with romesco, is excellent. If you don’t want to commit to the full tasting menu, sit at the six-seat bar, try something from the long, mostly natural wine list, and get the three-course dinner for $48.
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Contra
138 Orchard Street
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Contra does an $89 tasting menu. Here, the seven courses are served in a narrow, brick-walled space where you wouldn’t feel out of place in jeans and a T-shirt. The menu changes often, but all of the food, like soft tofu with caviar and monkfish with romesco, is excellent. If you don’t want to commit to the full tasting menu, sit at the six-seat bar, try something from the long, mostly natural wine list, and get the three-course dinner for $48.
The original Russ & Daughters is an over-100-year-old institution, but it had one major flaw: nowhere to sit. The newer nearby cafe has both seating and an extensive menu that adds eggs, platters, and even alcohol to the usual bagel and smoked salmon.
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Russ & Daughters Cafe
127 Orchard Street
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The original Russ & Daughters is an over-100-year-old institution, but it had one major flaw: nowhere to sit. The newer nearby cafe has both seating and an extensive menu that adds eggs, platters, and even alcohol to the usual bagel and smoked salmon.
You don’t have many choices for upscale tasting menus on the LES, and you have even fewer if you’re vegetarian. The best option is Dirt Candy, which offers two tasting menus (five courses for $63 or nine courses for $97, tip included) involving dishes like a rich portobello mousse and carrot sliders on carrot buns that taste kind of like mini ham sandwiches. The food is unusual and filling enough to please non-vegetarians as well, and the big, dark space works well for dates or groups.
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Dirt Candy
86 Allen St
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You don’t have many choices for upscale tasting menus on the LES, and you have even fewer if you’re vegetarian. The best option is Dirt Candy, which offers two tasting menus (five courses for $63 or nine courses for $97, tip included) involving dishes like a rich portobello mousse and carrot sliders on carrot buns that taste kind of like mini ham sandwiches. The food is unusual and filling enough to please non-vegetarians as well, and the big, dark space works well for dates or groups.
La Contenta is where you want to be eating tacos and drinking margaritas on the Lower East Side, and the dark, loud, crowded space is also a great place to hang out. The food, like a huge portion of shrimp enchiladas with thick melted cheese, and the cocktails, like the one with mezcal and jalapeno-infused agave nectar, are great, and the servers are really friendly. Just know that it’s roughly the size of a walk-in closet, so expect a wait.
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La Contenta
102 Norfolk Street
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La Contenta is where you want to be eating tacos and drinking margaritas on the Lower East Side, and the dark, loud, crowded space is also a great place to hang out. The food, like a huge portion of shrimp enchiladas with thick melted cheese, and the cocktails, like the one with mezcal and jalapeno-infused agave nectar, are great, and the servers are really friendly. Just know that it’s roughly the size of a walk-in closet, so expect a wait.
If La Contenta has an hour wait, which it probably will, head around the corner to Barrio Chino. The dark, crowded space and bar seats make it similarly great for fun dinners with a date or friend, and while the Mexican food may not be quite as good, you’ll still be very happy with the guacamole with housemade chips and the shredded chicken enchiladas. Definitely also explore the long tequila list or get some margaritas, especially during Happy Hour.
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Barrio Chino
253 Broome Street
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If La Contenta has an hour wait, which it probably will, head around the corner to Barrio Chino. The dark, crowded space and bar seats make it similarly great for fun dinners with a date or friend, and while the Mexican food may not be quite as good, you’ll still be very happy with the guacamole with housemade chips and the shredded chicken enchiladas. Definitely also explore the long tequila list or get some margaritas, especially during Happy Hour.
Cervo’s is a wine bar/seafood, and it’s best used as a place for a drink and a snack. Eating a full meal here can get pricey, but come and have some unusual wines and a few small plates of Portuguese-ish seafood.
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Cervo's
43 Canal St
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Cervo’s is a wine bar/seafood, and it’s best used as a place for a drink and a snack. Eating a full meal here can get pricey, but come and have some unusual wines and a few small plates of Portuguese-ish seafood.
A neighborhood restaurant where you can get cocktails and oysters with a date at the bar, or share entrees and bottles of wine at a table. The menu is vegetarian-friendly, with dishes like celery root pot pie and a whole roasted hen of the woods that tastes like a massive, very good hunk of pot roast. But there are plenty of seafood and meat options as well, like al pastor-style chicken and a bacon cheeseburger with duck fat fries.
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The Fat Radish
17 Orchard St
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A neighborhood restaurant where you can get cocktails and oysters with a date at the bar, or share entrees and bottles of wine at a table. The menu is vegetarian-friendly, with dishes like celery root pot pie and a whole roasted hen of the woods that tastes like a massive, very good hunk of pot roast. But there are plenty of seafood and meat options as well, like al pastor-style chicken and a bacon cheeseburger with duck fat fries.
You should come here with a group, drink some cocktails (like the one on tap that has rose wine and sake), and share some steamed chicken buns, mapo dofu, and mu shu duck.
Kings Co Imperial LES
168 1/2 Delancey St
You should come here with a group, drink some cocktails (like the one on tap that has rose wine and sake), and share some steamed chicken buns, mapo dofu, and mu shu duck.
Drinks & Nightlife
Speakeasy. People love it.
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Attaboy
134 Eldridge Street
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Speakeasy. People love it.
Speakeasy right around the corner. Pricy drinks but they have live jazz on Mondays which is fun.
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The Back Room
102 Norfolk Street
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Speakeasy right around the corner. Pricy drinks but they have live jazz on Mondays which is fun.
Dive Bar, cheap drinks. Right down the street
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Welcome To The Johnsons
123 Rivington Street
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Dive Bar, cheap drinks. Right down the street
Dog friendly bar! If you love dogs and drinking, go here
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d.b.a.
41 1st Avenue
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Dog friendly bar! If you love dogs and drinking, go here
Fun place to drink
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Mother's Ruin
18 Spring St
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Fun place to drink
Cool Wine Bar
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La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels
249 Centre Street
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Cool Wine Bar
80's nightclub. Divey but fun. Cheap drinks.
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The Pyramid Club
101 Avenue A
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80's nightclub. Divey but fun. Cheap drinks.
Great Jazz, wine and cocktails. Intimate and usually not too crowded.
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Rue B
188 Avenue B
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Great Jazz, wine and cocktails. Intimate and usually not too crowded.
Dark, narrow space has a cocktail and raw bar up front, along with a bunch of small tables past the live music in the back. Besides oysters, which are $1 during Happy Hour, they also serve good small plates like lamb meatballs and octopus.
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Bar Belly
14 Orchard St
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Dark, narrow space has a cocktail and raw bar up front, along with a bunch of small tables past the live music in the back. Besides oysters, which are $1 during Happy Hour, they also serve good small plates like lamb meatballs and octopus.
If your priority is wine rather than food, The Ten Bells is where you should be drinking on the Lower East Side. That’s not to say that the food here is bad - in fact, the tapas (like thinly-sliced octopus and spicy, cheesy meatballs) are very enjoyable, and all cost less than $16. But this is first and foremost a wine bar, where you come to drink natural wines from small producers around the world in a casual atmosphere. The dark, loud space is ideal for dates, especially during the daily Happy Hour, when you can get $1 oysters and $15 carafes of wine.
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The Ten Bells
247 Broome Street
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If your priority is wine rather than food, The Ten Bells is where you should be drinking on the Lower East Side. That’s not to say that the food here is bad - in fact, the tapas (like thinly-sliced octopus and spicy, cheesy meatballs) are very enjoyable, and all cost less than $16. But this is first and foremost a wine bar, where you come to drink natural wines from small producers around the world in a casual atmosphere. The dark, loud space is ideal for dates, especially during the daily Happy Hour, when you can get $1 oysters and $15 carafes of wine.
Essentials
Deli on the corner. Has coffee, sandwiches and general essentials.
Stop 1 Deli
122 Suffolk Street
Deli on the corner. Has coffee, sandwiches and general essentials.
Shopping
I haven't been here yet because it's new but Trader Joes have the more reasonable groceries in the city.
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Trader Joe's
400 Grand St
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I haven't been here yet because it's new but Trader Joes have the more reasonable groceries in the city.
Entertainment & Activities
Fun comedy club. Sign up to get tix ahead of time. Free entry but 2 drink min.
eastville comedy
85 E 4th St
Fun comedy club. Sign up to get tix ahead of time. Free entry but 2 drink min.