East Village - Not For Tourists Guide to New York City - Not For Tourists

Not For Tourists Guide to New York City - Not For Tourists (2016)

Map 7. East Village



Neighborhood Overview


Map 7

It's no longer the city's Bohemia—we hear that's somewhere in Philly. But if you're dead-set on staying in Manhattan, the East Village is downtown's most livable neighborhood. Blame that on all the well-worn tenements and their (relatively) affordable small studios and "junior" one-bedrooms, some of them rent stabilized. In these apartments dwell old timers, NYU kids, and everyone in between, making for awesome people watching, day or night. A stroll through Tompkins Square Park on any warm weekend pretty much sums it up. Cute pooches and their oh-so-hip owners convene at the dog run while bongo drums echo over near Avenue B. Little kids shriek at the playground while crusty punks and gritty old men occupy the benches on the Southwestern side. Just a typical slice of life in the East Village, and a sweet life it is if you can swing the rent.

Before the crowds young professionals lived here, and before the artists, musicians, and squatters that preceded them, this area was home to waves of German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Ukrainian, and Polish immigrants. A few historical sites remain from those times. One of our favorites is Saint Brigid's Church (1848), which was built by Irish immigrants. The church was saved by the developer's cudgel in just the nick of time, and restored thanks to a generous anonymous donor, the whole episode a miracle befitting the Roman Catholic church's namesake. Another holdout, Russian and Turkish Baths (1892) still offers old-world platza treatments. One more significant marker from the neighborhood's past is the General Slocum Monument, which commemorates the tragic sinking of the General Slocum steamship in the East River in 1904. The deadliest single disaster in the city's history until 9/11, over 1,000 lives were lost, mainly German women and children from a neighborhood church that chartered the boat for a day trip to Long Island.

In the 1960s, Puerto Rican immigrants flooded into Alphabet City, another name for the blocks between Avenue A and Avenue D. Avenue C, also known as Loisaida Avenue, retains some of this character today, even while bars and restaurants catering to more recent arrivals open shop. The loveliest aspects of this area are the many community gardens, planted on once-blighted lots and maintained by volunteers. We particularly like the always-tranquil 6BC Botanical Garden on 6th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C. The best times to visit are Saturday and Sunday afternoons from May through October.

The term "East Village" came into use in the 1960s, when artists, musicians, writers, performers, intellectuals, and political radicals flocked to the neighborhood. A hugely influential art scene sprang up from the 1960s through the 1980s, but unfortunately, many of those galleries and performance spaces fell victim to skyrocketing rents in the 1990s and early 2000s. A few institutions have survived, though—you can still catch a poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poet's Café, or dance the night away like it's still 1984 at The Pyramid Club. One of our favorite summer events, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, takes place in Tompkins Square Park, right across the street from the Charlie Parker House. When you visit the park be sure to pass by the Joe Strummer Mural, a neighborhood landmark honoring one of the icons of punk rock. For live rock n' roll (or any kind of music scene), you're better off heading to the Lower East Side. But if you've come for the awesome bars, restaurants, and shopping that make this the neighborhood you'll never want to leave, read on.

East Village


Map 7

image Landmarks

✵ 6BC Botanical Garden ✵

624 E 6th St [Avenue C]

Early Alphabet City community garden, now permanent park.

✵ Charlie Parker Residence ✵

151 Avenue B [E 10th St]

The Bird lived here. Great festival every summer in Tompkins Square.

✵ General Slocum Monument ✵

Tompkins Sq Park [Avenue A]

Memorial to one of the worst disasters in NYC history.

✵ International Bar ✵

120 1st Ave [E 7th St]


RIP…but wait! It’s back from the dead!

✵ Joe Strummer Mural ✵

112 Avenue A [E 7th St]

Ha, you think it’s funny…turning rebellion into money?

✵ Nuyorican Poets Café ✵

236 E 3rd St [Avenue C]


Where mediocre poets die of humiliation.

✵ The Pyramid Club ✵

101 Avenue A [E 7th St]


Classic ‘80s and ‘90s club.

✵ Russian and Turkish Baths ✵

268 E 10th St [1st Ave]


Sweat away all your urban stress.

✵ St. Brigid Roman Catholic Church ✵

119 Avenue B [E 8th St]

Historic Irish church spared demolition, still standing on Tompkins Square.

✵ Tompkins Square Park ✵

E 9th St & Ave A


Home to many.

image Coffee

✵ Abraco ✵

86 E 7th St [1st Ave]


Sip an amazing espresso by the window.

✵ Ciao for Now ✵

523 E 12th St [Avenue A]


Neighborhood fave for coffee and pastries.

✵ Ninth Street Espresso ✵

700 E 9th St [Avenue C]


Absolutely fantastic coffee drinks. Cool Portland vibe.

✵ Ost Cafe ✵

441 E 12th St [Avenue A]


Great space to hang out for a few hours.

image Farmers Markets

✵ Lower East Side Girls Club Farmers Market ✵

Avenue C & E 9th St


Wed 12 pm-7 pm, Jul 9-Oct 8

✵ Tompkins Square Greenmarket ✵

Ave A & E 7th St

Sun 8 am-6 pm, year round

Dive bars are an East Village specialty, and some of the finest specimens in the city are right here: try Manitoba's, Lucy's, 7B, International Bar, and Coal Yard. This hood rules for cocktails too: check out Summit Bar, Elsa, or Louis 649 if you can't bear the wait at Death and Company. Drop Off Service has our favorite happy hour this side of the East River. Cheers!

image Nightlife

✵ 11th Street Bar ✵

510 E 11th St [Avenue A]


Darts, Irish, excellent.

✵ 2A ✵

25 Avenue A [E 2nd St]


Great upstairs space.

✵ 7B (Horseshoe Bar) ✵

108 Avenue B [E 7th St]


Godfather II shot here. What can be bad?

✵ Ace Bar ✵

531 E 5th St [Ave A]


Darts, pinball, pool, and even skee-ball!

✵ Amor y Amargo ✵

443 E 6th St [Ave A]


Closet bitters bar.

✵ Blind Barber ✵

339 E 10th St [Ave B]


Consider how many licenses they need; the mind simply reels.

✵ The Bourgeois Pig ✵

111 E 7th St [Avenue A]


Dark, bordello-y den of vino for the romantically inclined.

✵ Bua ✵

122 St Marks Pl [1st Ave]


Neighborhood bar during the week, mobs of pretty people on the weekend.

✵ Cabin Down Below ✵

110 Avenue A [E 7th St]


Hidden bar that comes to life after midnight.

✵ Cherry Tavern ✵

441 E 6th St [1st Ave]


Get the Tijuana Special.

✵ Coal Yard ✵

102 1st Ave [E 6th St]


Awesome dive bar that draws a fascinating cross section of locals.

✵ Croxley Ales ✵

29 Avenue B [E 3rd St]


Decent beer selection and a large patio.

✵ d.b.a. ✵

41 1st Ave [E 2nd St]


Awesome beer list and outdoor patio. NFT fave.

✵ Death and Company ✵

433 E 6th St [Avenue A]


Classy cocktails served Prohibition style. No password required.

✵ Drop Off Service ✵

211 Avenue A [E 13th St]


Awesome half-off everything happy hour ‘til 8 pm.

✵ Fat Buddha ✵

212 Ave A [13th St]


Asian-fusion cocktails and food.

✵ Good Beer ✵

422 E 9th St [1st Ave]


Ridiculous microbrew selection. Is this heaven?

✵ Hi-Fi ✵

169 Avenue A [E 11th St]


The BEST jukebox in town.

✵ International Bar ✵

120 1st Ave [E 7th St]


A beer & a shot for $4? Life is good.

✵ Karma Lounge ✵

51 1st Ave [E 3rd St]


Hookah lounge; party like it’s 2002; make Bloomberg weep.

✵ Lucy’s ✵

135 Avenue A [St Marks Pl]


Classic dive. Say hi to Lucy.

✵ Maiden Lane ✵

162 Avenue B [E 10th St]


Cozy high-top tables and muscular cocktails.

✵ Mama’s Bar ✵

34 Avenue B [E 3rd St]


Laid-back respite from the Avenue B craziness, with food from Mama’s next door.

✵ Manitoba’s ✵

99 Avenue B [E 6th St]


Punk scene.

✵ Mona’s ✵

224 Avenue B [E 13th St]


Depressing. Recommended.

✵ Niagra ✵

112 Avenue A [E 7th St]


Neighborhood rocker watering hole.

✵ Nublu ✵

62 Ave C [E 5th St]


Sexy lounge with world music, nice ambience, and outdoor porch.

✵ Nuyorican Poets Café ✵

236 E 3rd St [Avenue C]


Where mediocre poets die of humiliation.

✵ Otto’s Shrunken Head ✵

538 E 14th St [Avenue A]


Not your grandma’s tiki bar.

✵ PDT ✵

113 St Marks Pl [Avenue A]


Enter through a phone booth in a hot dog joint. No joke.

✵ The Phoenix ✵

447 E 13th St [1st Ave]


Gay dive bar with great jukebox.

✵ Planet Rose ✵

219 Avenue A [E 13th St]



✵ Pouring Ribbons ✵

225 Avenue B [E 14th St]


Creative, challenging cocktails.

✵ The Pyramid Club ✵

101 Avenue A [E 7th St]


Classic ‘80s and ‘90s club.

✵ Sidewalk ✵

94 Avenue A [E 6th St]


Classic open mic.

✵ Sophie’s ✵

507 E 5th St [Avenue A]


More crowded counterpart to Joe’s.

✵ St Dymphnas ✵

118 St Marks Pl [1st Ave]


Homey Irish drinks and food.

✵ The Stone ✵

69 Avenue C [E 2nd St]

All proceeds go to the avant-garde jazz artists. Go now.

✵ The Summit Bar ✵

133 Avenue C [E 8th St]


Clean classic cocktails.

✵ Ten Degrees Bar ✵

121 St Marks Pl [1st Ave]


Cozy wine bar with live jazz on Wednesdays.

✵ Three of Cups Lounge ✵

83 1st Ave [E 5th St]


Live music and tasty pizza.

✵ Upright Citizens Brigade ✵

153 E 3rd St [Avenue A]


See smart, new comics and sometimes famous ones too.

✵ The Wayland ✵

709 E 9th St [Ave C]


Tiny bar, small snacks, lovely cocktails.

✵ WCOU Radio (Tile Bar) ✵

115 1st Ave [E 7th St]


East Village survivor. Low key and great.

✵ Zum Schneider ✵

107 Avenue C [E 7th St]


Get weisse, man. Prost.

image Restaurants

✵ Arepa Factory ✵

147 Ave A [9th St]

646-490-6828 $$

Assembly-line arepa joint w/ vegan and veg options galore.

✵ B4 ✵

235 E 4th St [Ave B]

212-535-7151 $$$

Eclectic, inspired; purveyor of the bacon donut.

✵ Babu Ji ✵

175 Ave B [E 11th St]

212-951-1082 $$$

Stylish, young. creative Indian via Australia.

✵ Banjara ✵

100 2nd Ave [E 6th St]

212-477-5956 $$$

Best Indian on 6th Street, hands-down. Awesome lamb chops.

✵ Big Arc Chicken ✵

233 1st Ave [E 14th St]

212-477-0091 $

Cheap Middle Eastern food complete with Arabic TV.

✵ Big Gay Ice Cream Shop ✵

125 E 7th St [Avenue A]

212-533-9333 $

Imaginative swirled soft serve treats. Try a salty pimp.

✵ Black Iron Burger ✵

540 E 5th St [Ave B]

646-439-0276 $

Burgers with horseradish cheese and awesome onion rings.

✵ Black Market ✵

110 Ave A [7th St]

212-614-9798 $$

Three words: oysters, cocktails, burgers.

✵ Blythe Ann’s ✵

516 E 6th St [Ave A]

646-912-4549 $

See if your friends can guess it’s vegan ice cream.

✵ Bobwhite Counter ✵

94 Ave C [6th St]

212-228-2972 $$$

Three words: Fried Chicken Supper.

✵ Buenos Aires ✵

513 E 6th St [Ave A]

212-228-2775 $

Superior Argentine food: steaks, wine, friendly atmosphere.

✵ Café Mogador ✵

101 St Marks Pl [1st Ave]

212-677-2226 $$

Perfect place for hummus and a latte.

✵ Cafecito ✵

185 Ave C [E 11th St]

212-253-9966 $$

Cozy Cuban.

Residents here are spoiled rotten when it comes to food. Just head to 7th Street between First and A: sandwiches at Porchetta, lobster rolls at Luke's Lobster, arepas at Caracas Arepa Bar, and delicious Greek fare at Pylos. 7A's always open, Banjara holds it down in Little India, and if you still have room, check out Puddin' for—take a wild guess.

✵ Caravan of Dreams ✵

405 E 6th St [1st Ave]

212-254-1613 $

Organic vegan cuisine.

✵ Crif Dogs ✵

113 St Marks Pl [Ave A]

212-614-2728 $

Kick-ass wieners.

✵ Desnuda ✵ 122 E 7th St [Ave A]

212-254-3515 $$

For wine and ceviche lovers only.

✵ Donostia ✵

155 Ave B [10th St]

646-256-9773 $$$

Tapas, pinchos, conservas—hang a while like they do in Spain.

✵ Dumpling Man ✵

100 St Marks Pl [1st Ave]

212-505-2121 $

Constantly rotating dumpling roster; good but not great.

✵ Edi & the Wolf ✵

102 Ave C [E 7th St]

212-598-1040 $$$

Fantastic Austrian food, excellent variety, rustic atmosphere

✵ Esperanto ✵

145 Ave C [E 9th St]

212-505-6559 $$

Bistro has live Brazilian music, choice summer spot.

✵ Fat Buddha ✵

212 Ave A [13th St]

212-598-0500 $$$

Go for Korean-fusion early, stay to party (or not).

✵ Flinders Lane ✵

162 Ave A [10th St]

212-228-6900 $$$$

Eclectic Australian just north of Tompkins Square Park.

✵ Fuku ✵

163 1st Ave [10th St]


Spicy chicken sandwich from David Chang. Yes please!

✵ Gruppo ✵

186 Ave B [E 11th St]

212-995-2100 $$

Pizza and pasta in a casual setting.

✵ Hearth ✵

403 E 12th St [1st Ave]

646-602-1300 $$$

Rich, feast-like farm-to-table Italian.

✵ Il Posto Accanto ✵ 190 E 2nd St [Ave B]

212-228-3562 $$$

Tiny, rustic Italian enoteca.

✵ Jeepney ✵

201 1st Ave [E 12th St]

212-533-4121 $$

Shabby chic Filipino gastropub.

✵ Kafana ✵

116 Ave C [7th St]

212-353-8000 $$$

Serbian sausages and spirits for sunny Sundays.

✵ Lavagna ✵

545 E 5th St [Ave A]

212-979-1005 $$$

We hear it’s great….

✵ Lil’ Frankie’s Pizza ✵

19 1st Ave [E 1st St]

212-420-4900 $$

Cheap, good pizzas and Italian.

✵ Luke’s Lobster ✵

93 E 7th St [1st Ave]

212-387-8487 $$

Fresh-from-the sea lobster rolls, without sticker shock.

✵ Luzzo’s ✵

211 1st Ave [E 13th St]

212-473-7447 $$

Real coal oven. Top ten worthy.

✵ Marcha Cocina ✵

111 Ave C [7th St]

646-781-9147 $$$

Tasty tapas, brunch, and, of course, sangria via Washington Heights.

✵ Milon ✵

93 1st Ave [E 6th St]

212-228-4896 $

Cheap Indian. Unbelievable decor.

✵ Moustache ✵

265 E 10th St [1st Ave]

212-228-2022 $

Excellent Middle Eastern.

✵ Noreetuh ✵ 128 1st Ave [St Marks Pl]

646-892-3050 $$$

Modern Hawaiian cuisine.

✵ Odessa ✵

119 Ave A [St Marks Pl]

212-253-1470 $

Diner. Awesome deep-fried meat pierogies.

✵ Panna II Indian Restaurant ✵

93 1st Ave [E 6th St]

212-598-4610 $

Another psycho-decor Indian. Whatever.

✵ Pardon My French ✵

103 Ave B [E 7th St]

212-358-9683 $$$

Great French spread. Nice music a plus.

✵ Poco ✵

33 Ave B [E 3rd St]

212-228-4461 $$$

Warning: Home of the all-u-can drink $20 brunch.

✵ Porchetta ✵

110 E 7th St [1st Ave]

212-777-2151 $$

Best Italian pork sandwiches. Ever.

✵ Punjabi Grocery & Deli ✵

114 E 1st St [1st Ave]

212-533-3356 $

Deli, grocery, and cabbie-worthy Indian eats.

✵ Pylos ✵

128 E 7th St [Ave A]

212-473-0220 $$

Delicious Greek, cool hanging-pot ceiling.

✵ Quintessence ✵

263 E 10th St [Ave A]

646-654-1823 $$$

Don’t ask for well done. Everything’s raw.

✵ Raclette ✵

195 Ave A [12th St]

917-853-5377 $$

BYO specializing in melted cheese: croques, raclettes, and tartines.

✵ Ray’s Candy Store ✵ 113 Avenue A [E 7th St]

212-505-7609 $

Avenue A’s Belgian fries-and-ice cream institution.

✵ Root & Bone ✵

200 E 3rd St [Ave B]

646-682-7080 $$$

Southern all the way, just like Mamma Rooney used to make it.

✵ Royale ✵

157 Ave C [E 10th St]

212-254-6600 $$

Perfect burgers with stellar fixin’s, and a deal to boot.

✵ Secara ✵

234 E 4th St [Avenue B]

917-475-1892 $

Tasty Venezuelan food at good prices.

✵ Sidewalk ✵

94 Avenue A [E 6th St]

212-473-7373 $$

Do not eat here.

✵ Sigiri ✵

91 1st Ave [E 6th St]

212-614-9333 $$

Excellent BYOB Sri Lankan above a great beer shop.

✵ Sigmund Pretzel Shop ✵

29 Ave B [E 3rd St]

646-410-0333 $

The best soft pretzels this side of Bavaria.

✵ Snack Dragon ✵

199 E 3rd St [Ave B]


Tasty tacos. Brown bag it from the bodega around the corner.

✵ St Dymphna’s ✵

118 St Marks Pl [1st Ave]

212-254-6636 $

A great Irish pub doesn’t need shamrocks.

✵ Superiority Burger ✵

430 E 9th St [Ave A]

212-256-1192 $

Vegetarian burger/fast food joint.

✵ Supper ✵ 156 E 2nd St [Ave A]

212-477-7600 $$$

Spaghetti con limone is yummy. Great brunch. Otherworldly atmosphere.

✵ Takahachi ✵

85 Ave A [E 6th St]

212-505-6524 $$$

Super-good Japanese and sushi. A mainstay.

✵ Timna ✵

109 St Marks Pl [Ave A]

646-964-5181 $$$

Modern Israeli cuisine; eye-opening Mediterranean.

✵ Tree ✵

190 1st Ave [E 11th St]

212-358-7171 $$$

Cozy vibe with good French food and prixe fixe.

✵ Tuome ✵

536 E 5th St [Ave B]

646-833-7811 $$$$

Farm-to-table New American; we recommend the “Pig Out” for two.

✵ Turntable 5060 ✵

235 E 4th St [Ave B]

212-777-5060 $$

Korean-themed comfort food/DJ booth specializing in fried chicken.

✵ Virginia’s ✵

647 E 11th St [Ave C]

212-658-0182 $$$$

Eclectic options and good burgers at the bar.

✵ Westville East ✵

173 Ave A [E 11th St]

212-677-2933 $$

Trendy organic belly timber served with a fresh market flair.

✵ Xe May ✵

96 St Marks Pl [1st Ave]

212-388-1688 $

Killer bánh mì served with a smile.

✵ Yuca Bar ✵

111 Ave A [E 7th St]

212-982-9533 $$$

Amazing Latin-style brunch, less amazing Latin-style dinner.

✵ Zum Schneider ✵ 107 Avenue C [E 7th St]

212-598-1098 $$

Finally some downtown wurst.

We can't decide if we like Abraço or Ninth Street Espresso better—we'll take both! Browse vintage oddities at Obscura Antiques, used tomes at Mast Books, and jewelry at The Shape of Lies. Cute boutiques? 9th Street between First and Second. Late-night bodega taco fix? Zaragoza.

image Shopping

✵ 11th Street Flea Market ✵

1st Ave & E 11th St

Stuff you didn’t even know you needed!

✵ Alphabets ✵

64 Avenue A [E 5th St]


Fun miscellany store.

✵ Big Gay Ice Cream Shop ✵

125 E 7th St [Avenue A]


Imaginative swirled soft serve treats. Try a salty pimp.

✵ Butter Lane ✵

123 E 7th St [Avenue A]


Riding the cupcake trend…

✵ East Village Books ✵

99 St Marks Pl [1st Ave]


Messy pile of used stuff.

✵ East Village Wines ✵

138 1st Ave [St Marks Pl]


Classic EV liquor store. With booze!

✵ Enchantments ✵

424 E 9th St [Avenue A]


Witchy apothecary, custom carved candles, and all things occult.

✵ Exit 9 ✵

51 Avenue A [E 3rd St]


Always fun and changeable hipster gifts. First place to sell NFT!

✵ First Flight Music ✵

174 1st Ave [E 11th St]


Good guitars and amps, spotty service.

✵ Fly Dove NYC ✵

197 E 7th St [Avenue B]


Women’s clothing boutique.

✵ Gringer & Sons ✵

29 1st Ave [E 2nd St]


Kitchen appliances for every price range.

✵ Lancelotti Housewares ✵

66 Avenue A [E 5th St]


Fun designer housewares, not too expensive.

✵ Landmark Bicycles ✵

43 Avenue A [E 3rd St]


Schwinn lovers unite: nice collection of vintage bikes and parts.

✵ Mast Books ✵

66 Avenue A [E 4th St]


Small but excellent selection.

✵ Mr. Throwback ✵

428 E 9th St [Avenue A]


Vintage NBA jerseys, Starter jackets, Nintendo, and toys for dudes.

✵ No Relation Vintage ✵

204 1st Ave [E 13th St]


Cheap vintage basics for patient sifters.

✵ Obscura Antiques & Oddities ✵

207 Avenue A [E 13th St]


Kitschy & Arbitrary Americana. Pricey, but sociologically fascinating.

✵ Ray’s Candy Store ✵

113 Avenue A [E 7th St]


Avenue A’s Belgian fries-and-ice cream institution.

✵ Recycle-A-Bicycle ✵

75 Avenue C [5th St]


Non-profit youth organization refurbishing and selling used bikes.

✵ Saifee Hardware & Garden ✵

114 1st Ave [E 7th St]


Classic East Village hardware store. It has everything.

✵ The Shape of Lies ✵

127 E 7th St [Avenue A]


Vintage and locally-made jewelry.

✵ St. Mark’s Bookshop ✵

136 E 3rd St [Avenue A]


Great independent shop with literary focus.

✵ Sunny and Annie’s ✵

94 Ave B [6th St]


This bodega’s PHO Real sandwich is worth the wait.

✵ Zaragoza Mexican Deli and Grocery ✵

215 Avenue A [E 13th St]


Bodega with burritos.