Dining Guide to the Lower Eastside

I was in NYC in the beginning of November helping set up the New West KnifeWorks store at the Holidays Shops in Bryant Park. The store will be open through New Years.

For accommodations, I decided to try the adventures of Craigs List. Early November, every year, is the time when I am at the depths of poverty having spent every penny I have in building up the knifeworks inventory for the Christmas Rush. So I was looking for a bargain. I found a place on the Lower East Side, 9th St between 1st and A. Awesome spot in the city. It was $90 a night. Being as this is so inexpensive, I was crossing my fingers when I arrived that I wasn't going to be staying in a festering flop house.

Upon arrival, I was very pleasantly surprised. Though scrappy, the place was very clean and had the downtown loft sensibility that someone whp lives in Wyoming finds nothing but charming. The proprietor Jeff Long is a great asset to this establishment. He has lived on the Lower Eastside since I believe early 1800's and in the 1970's he was in a well known "no wave" rock band. In 2009, he appears to have mellowed from his rockstar days and is one of those NYC sages who seen and done it all in the city. Which for an "urban cowboy" right off the plane from Wyoming this was a huge plus.

Here's Jeff's email if you are looking for a place to stay.
Here's an article about Jeff's Place:

One stress I had on my trip to NYC was that I had not done much research on where to eat while I was in the city. When I am in NYC eating is number one on my agenda. Also, being tight on cash, I wasn't ready to plunk down on the well known, extremely expensive NYC standards.

After Jeff settled me into my room, I immediately began to grill him about local eating establishments. I was instantly gratified to learn I was in the presence of a class "A" foodie. He claims and I don't doubt, the Lower East Side has the best restaurants on the East Coast. Not only did Jeff have recommendations but he has a dining guide he has compiled after years of seeking out the Lower East Sides finest. As you might guess, as proprietor of a $90 dollar a night place, his isn't a list of the fanciest, fine dining establishments but the real deal, no fuss, best food you can buy anywhere for any price. When I am in NYC this is exactly what I am looking for.

Unfortunately, setting up the store turned out to be a marathon of epic proportion, so I wasn't able to sample as many establishments as I would have liked. I did eat at enough though to guarantee this list will fulfill your wildest dining dreams when you are on the Lower East Side of Manhatten. I can't wait to get back to NYC to sample some more.

Here's the list:



-Associated--2nd ave between 6th and 7th.st.- Key Food; ave A at 4th st.
-Asian supermarket; 9th st. just east of 3rd ave(bowery), next to "Rock around the Clock" restaurant. take elevator to 2nd floor
-Key Foods Ave A & 4th st.
-Whole Foods, 14th st. right across from Union Sq.
-Trader Joes, 14th st. just west of 3rd ave Excellent Market!!
-A & P Market; 14th st. between 3rd ave & Union square
-Whole Foods(new) Houston st. & 2nd av
-Trader Joes(New!!) 14th st. just west of 3rd ave


-Commodity market-- on 1st ave between 10th st. & 11th st.


-Union Square; mon, wed, fri, sat
-St. Marks Church Plaza(2nd ave & 10th st.); tues, & ?
-Tompkins Sq. along ave A between 7th & St. marks; sunday


-**"Takahachi" ave A between 5th and 6th; EXCELLENT Sushi.. not expensive****HIGHLY recommended**** (I ate here. Huge chunks of super fresh fish. Stuffed with Sapporo $25)
-**Resto Flea market-- French Bistro, **very good food**..great ambience!! **Recommended** not too expensive--Avenue A between St. marks st. & 9th st.
-Mini Thai-- Very good Thai restaurant; Ave A, between 6th st. and 7th st. Not Expensive!!!
***-Nori.....Extremely high quality Japanese Bistro/Restaurant/Sushi bar.....has $1. per piece sushi special Highly Recommended...2nd ave, just south of St, Marks, west side of street
-Belcourt-- 84 E 4th St..great food!! + ambience...French
***-Thai-- Recommended! tiny little Thai restaurant....Extremely good!...best Thai downtown...on 7th st. 1/4 block east of 3rd ave, downtown side of street
**-Asian noodle/soup bar "Momofuko"(sp.?) 1st ave between 9th & 10th streets... on west side of 1st ave.
-Katz's Deli; original NY Jewish Delicatessen from 1920's. Ludlow & Houston..... aaaamaaaaazing place! best corned beef, brisket and pastrami sandwiches in NYC. get sandwich from counter(not waiter service).. tip the counter man $1. before he makes sandwich-- he'll bring you some slices of meat to taste; corner of Houston st. & Ludlow
-Paul Hamburgers; great burgers..** ..CHEAP....2nd ave, just south of St. Marks pl.
-Holy Basil: **recommended** excellent Thai food ...2nd ave, between 9th st & 10th st...west side of street
-Birdies: organic Soul Food; 140 1st ave between 9th st. & 10 st.
-Typhoon: Very good Sushi + Asian Tapas at medium to low prices; st. marks just west of 1st ave
**-Matilda; very cool half italian /half mexican restaurant..Great Chefs! 11th st. between ave B and ave C...closer to ave C
--Olivia...bar or restaurant...****HIGHLY Recommended**** pan latino/basque food ..very good... live cuban Music almost every night. SW corner of 1st ave(Allen st.) & Houston st. (below Houston st., 1st ave is called Allen st.)
-"GO", lively, arty, good food ****HIGHLY recommended****St. marks between 2nd ave and 3rd ave(sushi + grilled salmon + miso soup + veg's + salad for $10.50. or just sushi for $8
-**Mara's Homemade... 6th st. between 1st and 2nd ave(closer to 1st ave). Homemade New Orleans style cuisine + Arkansas smoked barbecue + great Sandwiches
- Pan-Asian,"New Wave" restaurants; large, lively, fun places... very cheap. There are 3--- all on St. Marks str. between 2nd and 3rd ave. 5 St. Marks, 9 St. Marks & 25 St. Marks
-Marions-- **NYC Landmark** very cool and classy art deco place... hangout for Audrey hepburn, sinatra, cary grant, etc. in the 50's... restaurant and bar.. . reasonable prices.. on Bowery between 3rd and 4th st.
-Via della Pace-- ***Recommended; Great Italian Bistro!!!! Indoor & Outdoor. great food, great ambience--not expensive.. 7th st. , just west of 2nd ave
-Mancora --peruvian... gourmet latin american food...cheap... delicious CEVICHE.. 6th st. & 1st ave
-**Sharaku Japanese -- Very Good Sushi and all japanese dishes....9th st/stuyvesant st. just east of 3rd ave...downtown side of street
-**Jules bistro; French restaurant/bar with live music****HIGHLY recommended**** St. Marks between 1st ave & 2nd ave, north side of street ( GREAT MUSIC, FUN ATMOSPHERE, THE PATE WAS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I'VE EVER HAD)
-Jeollado-- Sushi-- brilliant sushi rolls!!! very cheap; East 4th st. between 1st ave and 2nd ave; downtown side of street
-"LITTLE INDIA"; many cheap Indian restaurants on east 6th st. between 1st ave & 2nd ave; choose one with Live Indian music
-Typhoon ...excellent japanese sushi bar and restaurant....not expensive...geat food...bargain specials sunday-thursday...St. Marks,just west of 1st ave
-Royale.....great hamburgers ....Restaurant + Bar + outdoor dining area...ave C between 9th st & 10th st
-***Schiller Liquor Bar...***highly recommended... restaurant & bar....131Rivington st @ Norfolk st Lower east side
-Izochan-- petite, gourmet mexican food... Excellent!.. around 438 e. 9th st. between 1st ave & ave A
-Mamas.. .."arty" east village hangout. CHEAP.. full dinner = $10.
-i Coppi.... just down the block(towards "A" on 9th st.) EXCELLENT!!! italian food. beautiful place + has very nice rear garden. more expensive than others. best Pizza in NYC
-7A......... moderate to low priced everything-- lots of fresh fish & pasta every night. great cheap breakfast special til 11:00 am... corner 7th st. & ave A
-Clinton st. Baking & rest. *Recommended* Trendy , attractive place.. VERY !! good food!@! Ave B becomes Clinton st. beginning at Houston st. ......restaurant is just a tiny bit south of Houston st.
-***Petes....Tuesday Night Prime Rib Special...super bargain...whole prime rib dinner for $16. at one of NYC's oldest restaurants...corner of 18th st & Irving place
-Cafe Mogador.....best Cous-Cous in NYC +++ lots more. good place.....st marks between 1st ave & ave A, uptown side of street. sometimes live music wednesday night/ ( GET THE Mediterranean BREAKFEST. MY BROTHER LOVES THIS PLACE TOO. I'VE NEVER HAD HUMMUS THIS GOOD.)
-Casimir...great french Bistro with garden..good music...ave B between 7th st. & 6th st.
-Gena's; tiny place--- home cooked Dominican food-- DIRT CHEAP & very good. 1st ave(east side of st.) between 12th and 13th
-Neptune, 1st ave between 11th and 12th (HAS REAR GARDEN) cheap!! Eastern European cuisine
-Max.. italian...cheap & good...very lively...garden!! ...ave B between 3rd and 4th streets
-"Chubis" (spelling?) great tiny little french bistro. excellent food, excellent space. on Clinton st., just south of Houston
-"Paquitos", 1st ave , between 8th and 9th st. EXCELLENT!! Mexican food. cheap! try "Maria Burrito" & "Quesadilla Paquito"NOTE: there are 2 Paquitos right next to each other-- go to the one on your left. (the one on your right is bit more elaborate..more expensive.... but has a fabulous rear garden... great for summer)
-**Westville EXCELLENT food..all types...very fresh!! BARGAIN prices...corner of Avenue A & 11th st.
-"Cafecito" ave C between 11th & 12th fun place. Cuban food. Very good quality!
-4 Roses; CHEAP!!! Italian food; homemade lasagna + bread & salad $7.50; 1st ave between 10th & 11th
-Rai Kai great little asian Bistro..Not Expensive!! 214 E. 10th st.
-Arturos. Italien + pizza -- Old NY place!!!-- live jazz every night; ****HIGHLY recommended**** corner of Houston & Thompson street.
**-rue B-- french Bistro & bar.. light food... live music every night; Ave B between 10th st. & 12th st.; west side of ave B
**-Esperanto--Latin/french/american great place + outdoor terrace...****HIGHLY recommended**** live music some nights-- 9th st. & ave C


-Aquarius; Excellent cuisine/great ambience 6th street just east of 1st ave
-Organic cafe; all organic!@! 1st ave between 7th st. & st marks, west side of street
***-Lan Vegetarian Vietnamese Highly Recommended!!! 6th st. between 1st & 2nd ave...closer to 1st ave..south side of street
***-Counter -1st ave between 6th and 7th st. west side of street. VERY cool "arty" veg restaurant and Bar.Also great Ambience
-Dirt Candy; new world class vegetarian restaurant. Very attractive!! 9th st between 1st ave and ave A, south side of street

BRUNCH (Sunday)

-Rue B, **Fantastic** sunday Brunch... not expensive; Ave B between 10th st. & 12th st.; west side of ave B
-Resto Flea Market...great brunch!!! ave A between st. marks & 9th st..
-i Coppi; Great.. more expensive .. worth it!!! 432 E. 9th st.
-Belcourt... Extremely Good...great ambience.. 84 E 4th St corner 2nd ave


-Gruppo- ave B between 11th st and 12th st...great thin crust italian pizza...cool ambience!
-Arturo's Classic NYC place--**Highly Recommended** hangout of the original village bohemians, great pizza/ambience + live jazz every night -- corner of Houston and Thompson st.
-Franks Pizza; great pizza Bistro!!! great ambience---- 1st ave between 1st st. and 2nd st.
-Posto-- 18th st. & 2nd ave OUTDOOR TERRACE-- excellent thin-crust pizza
-Luzzo's 211 1st ave**Highly Recommended**(near 12th st.) great pizza-- eat in or deliver 212-473-7447
-I Coppi on 9th st. about 1/2 block east... could be best pizza in NYC.. it's the real italian thin pizza.. more expensive.

--great home cooked style food(some american style, some eastern european style) very! cheap. + all places have very cheap breakfast specials

-Vaselka....9th & 2nd av
-Ukranian home rest. **hidden**(on 2nd ave, next to Vaselka.....go through glass doors... rest. in rear....very old-style & untrendy(few people know about this place), for dinner only, like being in eastern europe. very cheap full course home cooked dinners!!!
-Neptune..1st ave between 11th & 12th.east side of street..has garden in rear!!
--Little Poland... 2nd ave & 12th st
-Polonia... serves "grits" or kasha Varnishka with breakfast 1st ave between 6th & 7th... **RECOMMENDED** Excellent large, homestyle, stuffed Roast Duck complete dinner with vegetables & potatoes every saturday & sunday night. $11.

Breakfast specials

Poland 1st ave between 6th st & 7th st
- "7A" 7th street and ave A
-"Neptune" 1st ave between 11th and 12th (has Garden)
-"Vaselka", 9th st. and 2nd ave
-"Polonia" 1st ave between 6th and 7th
-Little Poland... 2nd ave & 12th st
-"Life cafe", 10th st. and ave B

Bistros/Clubs with live music

--***Chez Jules--St. marks between 1st and 1nd ave--great french food!!, live music every night. eat or bar. very good place-- like being in an attractive parisian bistro
-Arturos... great place!(see above)
-***Grisley Pear***... live Bluegrass music every wednesday night VERY good! **highly recommended!*!... 107 macdougal st. ...between bleecker and w. 3rd st.
-***Olivia*** - houston and Allen st.(1st ave) live afro-cuban music(best in NYC!) sundays and wednesdays. great food, great ambience; eat or bar
-****esperanto-- ave C & 9th st. **Highly Recommended** live music almost every night. great food.. terrace..bar cool place!!
-NU BLU-- Arty bar/club on 2 floors-- excellent DJ.. sometimes live music; ave C between 4th & 5th (no sign... you'll see people in front of the place
-Jimmys Bistro... restaurant & live Jazz 43 E. 7th st. call 212-982-3006 for schedule and/or reservations
-Louie's-- jazz bar on 9th st. bewteen ave B and ave C
-Xunta... Tapas bar... very lively, live music some nights... 1st ave between 10th & 11th streets
-Forbidden City....Pan-asian... live salsa band sunday nights.. world culture,crowded, food or bar
-Detour-- bar on 13th between 1st ave and 2nd ave live music every night!!!
-Rue B-- live music every night... ave B between 10th st. & 12th st.
- "C" on ave C around 12th st. live music every night, mainly jazz


-American Copy center ...10th st. , just east of 2nd ave
-Cafe Pick-me-up 9th st and 1st ave
-Cafe ...1st ave and 3rd st.


-10th st. & 1st ave great croissants & coffees!
-Cafe Pick-Me -Up.. corner of 9th st and ave A ..Very Nice!! good food/good coffees...right on the park
-Ciao Cafe E. 12th st. a little east of Ave A **RECOMMENDED great cafe + sandwiches, etc.
-cafe reggio... original greenwich Village cafe.. still great.. McDougal st...just south of W. 3rd st.
-Cafe Dante-- same as above... Macdougal st between bleecker & Houston street
-cafe pick-me-up... 9th st. & ave A
-Cafe De Robertis ...1920's original Italian Cafe!!...1st ave between 10th st and 11th st