Best East Village Restaurants for Every Occasion

Sometimes you know exactly what you want. Isn’t that the best feeling? Whether it’s a giant bowl of mac ‘n cheese, a six pack (of abs), those new sneakers only for sale at Kith, or just a place to have your birthday party in the city where you don’t have to put your 50+ friends on a list. This article is dedicated to all things EAST VILLAGE. When you know that’s the neighborhood you want to grub and drink in, here are 30 of the best restaurants and bars for exactly what you are looking for whether it be a BYOB spot or the best restaurant to take your parents.

  1. HEALTHYWestville. When you can choose four seasonal, vegetable market sides for $15 or the best turkey burger and french fries of your life, you can have it all. They also make all of their ice cream in house.
  2. BBQMighty Quinn’s BBQ – Wait in line, get some awesome brisket and ‘cue and still enjoy the atmosphere
  3. TACOSEmpellón al Pastor. I love the short rib taco. The portion size of meat to tortilla ratio is just the way I like it- with meat exploding out from both sides.
  4. PIZZA11B. For the crunchiest yet a tad doughy pizza where you can pick from an endless amount of toppings and walk out of there under $20
  5. BURGER JOINTPaul’s Da Burger Joint. Yes, this is the place with the human size burger out on the sidewalk. Yes, it’s actually a burger you’ll never forget. It tastes like it’s been plucked right off the backyard grilled, smeared on a bun and handed to you on a paper plate.
  6. BEST BURGER AT A NON-BURGER JOINTGG’s. This is one of my top three favorite burgers in the city. That’s all.IMG_4359
  7. CASUAL SUSHIKotobuki. This is the best deal you’ll get when you want an entire platter of sashimi for under $30 that will fill you up for two days.
  8. HIGHER END SUSUHIKanoyama. This isn’t over the top expensive, but it’s definitely not a hole in the wall either. Sit at the sushi counter and order the sushi and sashimi for two.
  9. ICE CREAMChikalicious. Their soft serve needs to replace all Mister Softee trucks.
  10. GREEKTaverna Kyclades. You’ll forget your in NYC. It’s no surprise that you must order the octopus here. They cut it up for you in advance, too.
  11. CHINESEGrand Sichuan. The first time I ate here, I ended up picking up egg drop soup and chow fun the next four nights. You can get a small Chow Fun dish for $5.50. It’s the size of a traditional white carton that is usually used with Chinese delivery. It’s probably my favorite noodle in the city and it’s so cheap!
  12. THAINgam. Everything is a Chek Rec here. Go for the Spicy Kale + Mushroom Salad, Lamb Roti Potpie, and Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai.
  13. MEDITERRANEANCafe Mogador. Duh.
  14. BRUNCH- Narcissa. It’s the french toast sticks and stand up frittata I could never run away from!IMG_5163
  15. INDIANBabu Ji. Jessi Singh is a lovely guy and also an incredible chef. I love the concept of new Indian meets authentic Indian. Even if you are afraid of Indian food, you’ll have an entirely new appreciation here.
  16. BYOB- Panna II. Want to scare your friends, dance with a disco ball, and run amuck? This is the spot on 1st avenue with all the crazy lights that is flashing red 24/7. Just make sure you go with a big group for a birthday party for the full experience.
  17. ITALIAN- Lil’ Frankies. This restaurant always pleases. You can order pizza, pasta, and even an awesome meatball burger.
  18. BEST RESTAURANT OVERALL- Prune. After attending a wedding where Chef Gabrielle Hamilton cooked the family-style dinner in Nantuket, I would give my soul to eat her food any day. Everything tastes like she just made it herself in her house with the freshest herbs and vegetables. I love the whole fish and short rib.IMG_7427
  19. FRIED CHICKEN- Bobwhite Counter. Downright nitty gritty, greasy, and awesome mac ‘n cheese, too. It’s the real thing.
  20. SEAFOOD- Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar. Make sure you go early to grab a seat. You’ll love their oysters, scallops, and basically anything at this casual seafood bar.
  21. HAPPY HOUR- Yuca Bar. This Latin restaurant offers 1/2 price tapas on Tuesday’s until 8 p.m. Because lets be honest, who gets out of work in time to make a 7 p.m. happy hour? I love the quesadillas.
  22. FIRST DATE DRINKS- Good Night Sonny. Not a dive bar, but not too fancy. Brought to you by the same owners as The Wayland, the drinks, oysters and other snacks get the job done.
  23. FOR PARENTS- Hearth. This shows your parents that the East Village can be indeed civilized. You’ll want to sit and linger here all night. They just made the menu a little more health concious but don’t worry the meatballs and gnocchi still exist. Can’t do wrong here.
  24. BAGEL- Black Seed Bagels. You’ve seen them on Instagram. These bagel sandwiches are a hybrid between Montreal and New York City. They fit in your mouth, are doughy, crunchy, and don’t make you feel like you’ve been hit by a brick of gluten after one sandwich.
  25. BAKERYMomofuku Milk Bar. You know them for their cereal milk soft serve and rainbow layered birthday cake. However, I go there for the birthday cake truffles, cornflake cookie, and candy bar pie. BE ORIGINAL.
  26. MAC ‘N CHEESEThe Smith. The name says it all. You can get everything you want here, and the mac ‘n cheese comes in a skillet with tons of cheese folded between each little macaroni.
  27. LOBSTER ROLLLuke’s Lobster. The most affordable lobster roll, and the most rewarding.
  28. WILDCARDThe Holiday Cocktail Lounge. Where everyday looks and feels like Christmas, and you can drink with your friends casually.
  29. TO TRAVEL TO ALPHABET CITY FORVirginia’s. This restaurant is simple and delivers. Nothing too weird for your friend who only eats chicken, yet something for the diner who is obsessed with credible food and great ingredients.IMG_7954
  30. FOR BIG GROUPS: Pylos. Lots of space and a communal table in the back. You can reserve pretty close to the date you need. It’s not the kind of place where you have to make a reservation a month to the day out. Phew!