Like an old house that’s been repainted over and over throughout the decades, the East Village is a neighborhood of many layers. Each layer, faded or sparkling, contributing to the unique identity of this quintessential New York nabe. From immigrant stronghold to the epicenter of the punk scene and everything in between, the East Village has lived many lives. Today, it’s a hodgepodge of new and old, a sort of microcosm of the city, making it the perfect neighborhood to immerse yourself in. So to help you navigate your way through the East Village, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite spots, both old and new:
This is a great place to grab a cup of coffee and chill out for a bit. The Aussie style coffee is excellent and the atmosphere is very laid-back. They also have a small assortment of pastries should you so desire.
A neighborhood staple since 1974, Ray’s serves up all the artery-clogging food your body craves. Favorites include deep fried Oreos, chilli-cheese dogs, and oh so delicious sugar dusted beignets. They also make a mean Egg Cream if you’re looking for a taste of old school New York.
Tompkins Square Park
Completed in the latter half of the 19th century, Tompkins Square Park is home to winding paths, beautiful trees, and the perfect little picnic hill. The green gem of the East Village.
With an eclectic assortment of vintage clothing, jewelry, and knick-knacks, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your style at this pocket vintage shop. Just don’t pass up on a purchasing that tee because it surely won’t be there when you go back..
Vegetarian fast food never tasted so good! If you’re looking for a quick bite do yourself a favor and pop into Superiority Burger for a veggie burger and some tasty gelato.
Like a jungle emerging from a shoe box, the East Village Florist is hard to miss. Once inside, you’ll find a nice assortment of potted plants and tiny terrariums waiting for a place of your windowsill.
Double Down Saloon
While the punk scene has moved on from the East Village, you can still get a taste of what once was at the Double Down Saloon. It’s dirty, cheap, and the the special is an aptly named shot called “ass juice.” Whatever you do, don’t come here on a first date…
One of the few places in the neighborhood that’s stood the test of time, Veniero’s is a classic American pastry shop. From the neon sign to the intricate window displays, this place emanates old school charm. The pastries, cakes, and sweets are pretty good too. 🙂 Just don’t forget to grab a ticket upon entering.
A local favorite and one of the best hidden cocktail bars in the city, Angel’s Share is worth seeking out. Just make your way to the “Village Okocho”, head up the stairs on the right, and go through the unmarked door. Expect glowing candles, original cocktails, chill music, and a bit of crowd.
If you’re looking for a place with happy hour deals, tasty tacos, and a bit of nautical decor, set your sails towards The Lost Lady. It can get a little crowded on the weekends, so if you want control of the jukebox or a booth in the back, get there a little earlier.
Other spots worth checking out in the East Village:
A1 RECORDS – Go digging for a dusty gem!
Mast Books – Cool art-centric bookshop with a thoughtfully curated selection.
RAI RAI KEN – Ramen you’ll be coming back for time and time again.
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