Exploring the Lower East Side: NYC

Guides By Neighbourhood: Lower East Village, Manhattan


“New York is made up of millions of different people, and they all come here looking for something.”
~ Lindsey Kelk


What I loved most about Manhattan is that you can find just about any scene that you could wish for, from the fancy brownstone apartments on the Upper East Side to the loud, bustling streets in Hell’s Kitchen and downtown Manhattan, there’s something for everyone. Some of my favourite neighbourhood streets were in the Lower East Side. Energetic, but not overwhelming, and just hipster enough to be both trendy and approachable, the Lower East Side boasted a multitude of quieter coffee shops, eclectic bars, and cozy restaurants. Here are just a few of my finds:

To Visit

1. Mast Books

Perks: A used and rare bookstore, perfect for a rainy afternoon.

Find it:  66 Avenue A., NYC 10009

2. Bluestockings

Perks: Self-described radical bookstore that also offers yoga classes, and fair trade coffee. Yoga every Tuesday morning at 9:30 am.

Find it: 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

3. Nuycorican Poets Café

Perks: Made famous in the beat generation by Allan Ginsberg, this café hosts poetry readings and jazz performances.

Find it: 236 E. 3rd St. Ny, NY 10009

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Mast Bookstore

Bars

1. KGB Bar

Perks: Features stories, poems, music, and art, speak-easy feeling.

Find it: 85 E. 4th St.

2. Waterfront Ale House

Perks: Features a delicious menu in addition to their wide selection of beers on tap.

Find it: On 2nd Ave. and 28th St.

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Coffee-Shops

1. Black Cat LES

Order:  the Dirty Kitty espresso

Find it: 172 Rivington St, New York

2. Cake Shop

Perks: This coffee shop offers vegan treats and doubles as a music venue.

Find it: 152 Ludlow Street,  New York, NY 10002

3. Abraco

Order: Espresso and the olive oil cake

 Find it: 86 E. 7th St.

4. Ost Café

Perks: A beautiful space, with exposed brick walls, tin ceilings, and vintage décor, this coffee shop encapsulates the vibe of the Lower East Side to a tee.

Find it: 441 E. 12th St., NY 10009


Restaurants

Breakfast/Brunch

1. Tompkins Square Bagels ($)

Order: Everything bagel with lox cream cheese

Find it: 165 Ave. A., NY 10009

2. Russ & Daughters ($$)

Order: The catch of the day bagel sandwich. Also ask to try the wasabi-infused roe with whitefish salad (one of the best things I’ve ever tasted).

Find it: 179 E. Houston St. NY 10002

Open from 8am-7pm

3. C & B Café ($$)

Order: Egg sandwich with mushroom, spinach, and sherry vinaigrette

Find it: 178 E. 7th St., NY 10009

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Lunch/Dinner

1. Farmhouse ($$)

Order: The handmade ravioli

Find it: 81 Ludlow Street, NY 10002

2. Lam Zhou Noodles ($)

Perks: If you are looking for a filling meal without breaking the bank, this place offers delicious and inexpensive noodles bowls

Find it: 144 E. Broadway, NY 10002

3. Khyber Pass Restaurant ($$)

Order: Afghan food

Find it: 34 St. Mark’s Pl.

4. I Coppi Di Matilda ($$)

Perks: Free glass of prosecco (pick up the business card outside of the entrance).

Order: From their Mexican-inspired menu.

Find it: 647 E. 11th St., NY 10009

5. Xi’an Famous Foods ($)

Perks: An inexpensive bowl or plate of the best hand-pulled egg noodles. Plus, Big Gay Ice Cream is just down the street!

6. Westville East ($$)

Order: The market sides.

Find it: 173 Ave. A, NY 10009

7. Babu Ji ($$)

Perks: A sleek and stylish dining space matches the succinct and elegant menu. Described as a “subtle approach to Indian cuisine,” this restaurant is quickly becoming a hot spot in the NYC dining scene.

Order: Yogurt Croquettes, Paneer tikka, and Butter Chicken.

Find it: 175 Ave. B, NY 10009

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SWEETS

1. Doughnut Plant

Order: The crème brulee doughnut, tres leches is also a favourite

Find it: There are several locations around the city. The one I passed by was on 379 Grand Street, between Essex and Norfolk.

2. Panade Puffs and Pastries

Order: The homemade choux pastry

Find it: 129 Eldridge st., NY 10002

3. Big Gay Ice Cream

Order: Anything with the Nutella-filled cone, ask for it to be chocolate-dipped.

Find it: E. 7th St., 100094

 4. 16 Handles

Order: Nutella, Cookie Dough fro-yo

Find it: There are several locations around the city, but we went to the one on 153 2nd Ave, near The Thirsty Scholar and The 13th Step.

5. Veniero’s Pasticceria & Café

Order: NY Cheesecake, or the chocolate rugelach

Find it: 342 E. 11th St., NY 10003

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