I know it’s been a minute since I did an NYC Neighborhood guide post but I’m back with a highly requested one, the East Village! The East Village is where many of my favorite memories have been made because it’s a place people love to go for brunch, exploring, and catching up with friends. Today I’m letting you in on all of my secrets and sharing the places that make this neighborhood so awesome. Whether you’re having a cup of coffee or enjoying a scoop of ice cream, here are some suggestions for things to do in one of New York’s coolest neighborhoods.
Breakfast and Brunch
Pardon My French
I think Pardon My French easily qualifies for one of my favorite brunches in New York. It’s one of the few places where you can get a bottomless option without compromising on food quality or service. I mean, look at that French Toast! After you’re done with your meal, take a walk up Avenue B and pop in and out of some stores. Keep in mind they’re cash only!
If you’re looking to add a bit of Latin flare to your standard brunch, definitely check out Poco. This place promises to deliver yummy tapas and delicious sangria. If you come on the right day you might get to experience some live music.
Black Seed Bagel
If you want a grab-and-go breakfast option you have to check out the legendary Black Seed Bagels. If you’re feeling spendy definitely get some Nova salmon on an everything bagel with cream cheese, but if you’re looking for something more classic their signature poppy seed bagel is just as satisfying.
What Bar Primi delivers at dinnertime is also amazing in brunch form. Order some stuffed meatballs as an appetizer and have a hard time deciding between ricotta pancakes and pomodoro baked eggs. Don’t forget to get yourself a house Bloody Mary. It won’t disappoint.
Australian coffee shops can pretty much do no wrong. If you’re looking for a treat, stop in to Saltwater Coffee. I’m partial to their matcha latte, but their regular coffee is also a standout. I love working there but they don’t have a bathroom, so something to keep in mind.
Three Seat Espresso & Barber
If you’re in search of ease and delicious coffee, look no further than Three Seat Espresso. This Avenue A locale is in fact both a café and a barber shop so you can kill two birds with one stone if that’s your jam. They have several no-laptop tables so even when people are planted in theirs seats you can still grab one of your own.
City of Saints
I am so glad that I recently discovered that one of my favorite places to grab a cold brew in Brooklyn also has a location in Manhattan. City of Saints is a local coffee roaster that is strong but not overpowering and always hits the spot when you need a caffeine boost.
This recent discovery is a new favorite of mine. San Marzano is all about the pasta and each dish is $10 for your choice of noodle and sauce with other add-ons like mozzarella or meatballs. Get there early to avoid the crazy waits (and don’t feel bad waving down your server if they’re super busy).
Cacio e Pepe
You can’t visit Cacio e Pepe without ordering their signature dish. Not only is the pasta cooked to a perfect al dente temperature, but the persecution and delivery is amazing too. You’ll watch your server twirl the pasta in a cheese wheel before they slide it on to your plate. Are you drooling yet?
If you’re looking for a quick bite and reasonably priced but yummy Thai food, you’ve found it at Thaimee Table. Go for a classic like Pad Thai or try one of their other entrees. Don’t forget to order a Singha beer to wash it all down.
If tapas is your game, Yuca Bar is the name. Head over to this hopping neighborhood spot for discounted tapas on Tuesdays and discounted taquitos and quesadillas on Sundays. Happy hour until 8PM means margaritas and sangria that you’re not going to want to skip.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a great burger and Whitman’s makes some of the best in the city. Get the bacon, egg, and cheese burger if you’re in a breakfast-y mood or try something different with the PB&B Burger.
There’s a lot to love about Niagara. It’s a dive bar in the front and an ‘80s dance party in the back and it holds a very special place in my heart because its where I met Andrew! (We returned with Matt when he visited a few weeks ago).
Alphabet City Beer Co.
I only went here once with Andrew but I have wanting to make a return trip for a while now. If craft beer is you’re thing then you should plan on spending several hours hanging out at ABC Beer Co. and drinking lots of them. The atmosphere is super low-key and the staff really know their beer.
McSorely’s Old Ale House
If you want to experience a true piece of NYC history you have to make a pit stop at McSorely’s Ale House. This Irish watering hole is the oldest continuously operating bar in New York. Established in 1854 there are only two beers on tap: light or dark, and the floor is covered in saw dust.
Mother of Pearl
If you like creative (and Instagrammable) cocktails you have to check out Mother of Pearl. The drink concoctions are served in decorative glasses and are super boozy. We’d actually recommend grabbing some appetizers before sipping on one of these bad boys to avoid being accidentally tipsy.
Sundaes and Cones
This East Village staple is a must-visit. Sundaes and Cones has awesome flavors like lavender and sesame. Even though you’ll be tempted to order a large cone or cup, I often find that a small one does the job for me.
Big Gay Ice Cream
If you want some classic soft serve you can’t go wrong with Big Gay Ice Cream. I usually order a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles but my favorite thing about it is actually that there’s a plastic cone cover that catches the drips of the ice cream. When you’re messy like me, you appreciate those things.
Van Leewen Ice Cream
If you have any vegan friends or are vegan yourself, you won’t find a better place to grab some ice cream than Van Leewen. I’ve only been to the Williamsburg location but their ice cream is such a treat. With flavors like earl grey tea and peanut butter marshmallow crunch, how can you go wrong?
What’s your favorite spot in the East Village?