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:
1. Mast Books
Perks: A used and rare bookstore, perfect for a rainy afternoon.
Find it: 66 Avenue A., NYC 10009
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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