25 Best East Village Restaurants in 2023

Published on December 29, 2022 | 0 Comments
East Village restaurants in NYC

NYC is known for being a foodie paradise, and East Village restaurants rarely disappoint. When you’re hungry in the East Village, where do you go for a bite to eat? 

There are new restaurants popping up here every day — so many that it can be dizzying to try and pinpoint where to go for your next get-together or romantic date, so we’ve compiled a few of the best ones around. Read on for the top East Village restaurants and eateries you won’t forget.

 

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Find the Best Restaurants in the East Village

There are seemingly infinite East Village restaurants to choose from. It’s overwhelming! If you’re looking for a good place to start your search, food tours in NYC will introduce you to a wide variety of foods you never would have tried before.

In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite East Village restaurants.

25 Best East Village Restaurants

1. Szechuan Mountain House

Do you love the tingly feeling you get in your mouth when you eat Szechuan cuisine? Look no further than this East Village restaurant. Szechuan Mountain House is more than your average Chinese restaurant. Whether you’re new to this type of cuisine or you’re already a big fan, you’re sure to love everything you try.

The Vibe

This is a higher-end restaurant, and you can tell when you walk in. The decorations are intricate and beautiful, and the ambiance is calm and elegant but inviting. This is a great place to go for a nicer family dinner or a date night in NYC. Due to the restaurant’s popularity, it’s best to make a reservation ahead of time. 

What to Order 

You can’t go wrong with mapo tofu when you order Szechuan cuisine. If you’re looking for something unique, try the swing pork belly as well. We promise you’ve never seen (or tasted) anything like it. For the utmost in traditional Chongqing food, go for Mao Xue Wang, a dish of duck blood, tripe and beef offal in red chili oil.

Szechuan Mountain House | 23 Saint Marks Pl., New York, NY 10003 | $$

Chinese food
via Szechuan House

2. Nón Lá

Nón Lá is a fantastic family-owned East Village restaurant that serves delicious and authentic Vietnamese food. When you need a break from the cold, stop in for a warm and comforting meal. The restaurant is small and cozy, but the food packs a serious and flavorful punch. 

The Vibe

Nón Lá is a hole in the wall, but don’t let its small and unassuming appearance fool you. While it may only be able to seat a few people at a time, those people are all going to be thrilled with their meals, the warm, inviting atmosphere and the fantastic service. What more can you ask for? 

What to Order

The pho is great, but if you want something different, Nón Lá is famous for its bun bo hue, a spicier and meatier soup. If you’re a meat eater, give it a try! 

Nón Lá | 128 E. Fourth St., New York, NY 10003 | $$

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3. Little Poland

After a day of doing your favorite things to do in NYC, why not stop into Little Poland for a bite to eat? This no-frills East Village restaurant, a local favorite since 1985, will fill your belly with traditional Polish comfort foods. They’re open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., so they’re available whenever you’re hungry.

The Vibe

If you want food made with love, this is the East Village restaurant for you. Walking into Little Poland feels like walking into a grandmother’s home. The servers are friendly and attentive, and the overall vibe is friendly and welcoming. Best of all, the portions are large and hearty.

What to Order

You can’t go wrong with pierogies. The Very Special Pierogi is stuffed with sauerkraut, potato and cheese. If you’re still hungry, some matzo ball soup will complete the meal. 

Little Poland | 200 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003 | $

Little Poland is a quaint East Village restaurant.
via Little Poland

4. San Marzano

Are you looking for an East Village restaurant with plenty of pasta options? San Marzano has you covered. They have fantastic specials for anyone on a budget, and they don’t compromise on flavor. 

The Vibe

Due to San Marzano’s popularity, you can expect somewhat of a loud and rowdy vibe during the day, especially if you’re going for Sunday brunch (bottomless mimosas!). It has a casual environment, and people feel comfortable there with their friends. In other words, this isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for a quiet and elegant meal.

What to Order

If you have a favorite type of pasta, San Marzano does it well. That said, the pear and gorgonzola ravioli is delicious and unique. Pair it with some cheesy garlic bread for the table and a pitcher of sangria. 

San Marzano | 117 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003 | $$

5. Royale 

If you’re in the mood for a great burger, this East Village restaurant will hit the spot. Royale’s menu might seem basic, but it’s a fantastic place to go for a quick lunch or after a night out. On Fridays and Saturdays, they’re open until 2 a.m. 

The Vibe

Royale is the epitome of a comfortable neighborhood bar. You’ll feel at home as soon as you walk in. It’s unpretentious, relaxed and a great spot to visit with a group of friends to chat or watch the game.

What to Order

Order the signature Royale burger (or the Beyond version for vegetarians) with a side of sweet potato fries. While burgers go great with beer, word on the street is that Royale’s bartenders make great cocktails, so consider a nice mixed drink to pair with your meal. 

Royale | 157 Loisaida Ave., New York, NY 10009 | $ 

a hamburger with toppings
via Royale

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6. Veselka

Veselka must be doing something right. This East Village restaurant has been serving delicious Ukrainian food since 1954. The food is traditional, filling and full of love and flavor. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into the home of a Ukrainian grandmother. 

The Vibe

Expect Veselka to be busy when you arrive, even in the afternoon. Despite the full house, you can expect good service and a comfortable atmosphere. This is a great place to go with friends for a warm lunch during winter in NYC.

What to Order

Veselka’s combo plates are great for first-time diners. There are both meat and vegetarian options offering a variety of house favorites, including pierogies and stuffed cabbage. 

Veselka | 144 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003 | $ 

7. Hanoi House

If you love Vietnamese food, here’s another East Village restaurant you won’t want to miss. Hanoi House serves traditional Vietnamese meals with their own spin, plus craft beer and wine. 

The Vibe

Hanoi House feels modern and elegant but still comfortable enough for a meal with friends. It combines aspects of a traditional upscale Vietnamese restaurant with a trendy taphouse, and the combo totally works. 

What to Order

If you love pho, go with the bone marrow pho. Bone marrow doesn’t often make its way onto menus in the United States, so take this opportunity to try a rich and flavorful dish you won’t be able to get elsewhere.

Hanoi House | 119 Saint Marks Pl., New York, NY 10009 | $$

Hanoi House is a great East Village restaurant.
via Hanoi House

8. Superiority Burger

Superiority Burger has been an East Village restaurant favorite for years now, and they’re about to open up their brand-new location. Get in line for one of the best East Village restaurants for hungry vegetarians and vegans. 

The Vibe

Superiority Burger is relaxed and comfortable. It’s like a classic diner without all of the deep-fried animal products. They’ve prepped their new location with plenty of seating, so their hungry customers don’t have to wait around or stand while they eat their tasty meals.

What to Order

You’ll be tempted to order a burger, but we recommend you resist that urge! Instead, the Tofu-Fried Tofu is the way to go. It’s crispy, delicious and just spicy enough. 

Superiority Burger | 119 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 | $$

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9. Tsukimi

Is Tsukimi one of the best East Village restaurants for Japanese food? We think so. The dishes aren’t just tasty, they’re beautiful. The chef at Tsukimi truly knows that you eat with your eyes first. 

The Vibe

Tsukimi is elegant and upscale. They're reservation-only, with pre-set seating times. It’s a counter-dining tasting experience with top-notch hospitality. This is a great spot for an anniversary dinner. 

What to Order

Tsukimi’s tasting menu is set ahead of time, so you don’t really have any options. Don’t worry, though; you won't be disappointed. The chef will make you something delicious.

Tsukimi | 228 E. 10th St., New York, NY 10003 | $$$$

Tsukimi is an elegant East Village restaurant.
via Tsukimi

10. TabeTomo

What if you want Japanese food, but you’d prefer to choose your own meal? TabeTomo is the East Village restaurant for you. Their traditional ramen has rich and flavorful broth, and the hour-long wait lets you know that something delicious is waiting for you. 

The Vibe

TabeTomo feels like a peaceful traditional ramen house straight out of Japan. It’s a small East Village restaurant, so expect it to be “cozy” and to share some space with your neighbors. Of course, everyone knows that being in crowds is to be expected during any indoor activities in NYC.

What to Order

Tsukemen dipping noodles are TabeTomo’s specialty. The tonkatsu jiro tsukemen comes with a rich pork broth, chashu slices and plenty of vegetables. You can add a variety of other delicious toppings as well.

TabeTomo | 131 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 | $$

11. Café Mogador

This may be one of the best East Village restaurants for Moroccan food, something many people have never had the opportunity to eat. Some locals even think that Café Mogador has one of the best brunches in NYC. Whether you’re going for brunch, lunch or dinner, you’ll get something tasty.

The Vibe

The restaurant is small and cozy, but not cramped. This is definitely a better spot for a solo meal or a two-person outing. Service is quick and excellent. Note that while the Brooklyn location has outdoor seating, the East Village restaurant does not. 

What to Order

We recommend getting brunch here. The Moroccan Benedict is filling, tasty and just a little bit spicy. Pair it with a Turkish coffee for your midday caffeine boost.

Café Mogador | 101 Saint Marks Pl., New York, NY 10009 | $$ 

Moroccan eggs Benedict
via Café Mogador

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12. Mamoun's

Speaking of East Village restaurants that serve Middle Eastern food, Mamoun’s may have some of the best falafel you can get in the city. The owners clearly care about the food they serve, and it shows. This no-frills spot is a must-visit. 

The Vibe

Mamoun’s doesn’t look like anything special, but trust us: The casual vibe is hiding some seriously delicious falafel. You’ll also always see a friendly and smiling face at the counter when you arrive. This is the perfect spot for a midday lunch during a busy day in the city.

What to Order

The East Village falafel (one of their “special” falafels) comes packed with hummus, tabbouleh and olives. Don’t forget to order pistachio baklava for dessert! 

Mamoun’s | Multiple Locations | $

13. Bobwhite

When you’re craving fried chicken and a casual meal, where do you go? Bobwhite should be one East Village restaurant on your list. Bobwhite is the perfect place for a quick and delicious Southern-style meal.

The Vibe

Seating is outdoor-only, in a small area, so this is a great spot for when you’re looking for something to grab and eat on a picnic in the park or to take home with you.

What to Order

The fried chicken here is made with care. We recommend the Buffalo tenders box if you don’t mind a bit of spice. The sauce is great and the chicken is crispy!

Bobwhite | Multiple Locations | $

fried chicken and sides
via Bobwhite

14. noreetuh

One of the best East Village restaurants for Hawaiian food, or any food, may be noreetuh. With a wine list of over 300 selections and a nod from the Michelin guide, this spot takes the dining experience to the next level.

The Vibe

noreetuh is sleek, modern and semi-upscale. It’s not quite fine dining, but it’s cute enough for a nice date. The walls are lined with Polaroids of customers, giving the restaurant a friendly vibe.

What to Order

The mentaiko spaghetti, a rich seafood noodle dish, is a unique offering that you won’t find elsewhere in the city, so give it a go. Have a sweet slice of pineapple upside-down cake for dessert.

noreetuh | 128 First Ave., New York, NY 10009 | $$

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15. Thursday Kitchen

Thursday Kitchen takes Korean fusion to a whole new level. It’s a must-try East Village restaurant serving unique takes on Korean classics in a chill and fun atmosphere. Locals and visitors love the cozy digs and tasty tapas.

The Vibe

It’s no secret that Thursday Kitchen is small, but don’t let that deter you. This hole-in-the-wall East Village restaurant has more than enough room for you and a date or small group. There’s good music, good food and good vibes. What else can you ask for?

What to Order

You’ll be ordering several dishes (they’re small). The “Ugly Potato” and edamame dumplings are to die for. Get the popcorn ice cream for a unique sweet treat. 

Thursday Kitchen | 424 E. Ninth St., New York, NY 10009 | $$

Thursday Kitchen is a fantastic East Village restaurant.
via Thursday Kitchen

16. Hearth

Hearth has been an East Village restaurant staple for over a decade. They’ve shifted to a more health-conscious approach over the past few years, but don’t worry; they’re not sacrificing flavor. If you want a semi-upscale meal in the East Village, this is the place for you.

The Vibe

While Hearth isn’t a casual dining spot, it is cozy and warm. The brick walls make it feel homey, and some of the seating is around an open kitchen. This is a great date night spot or a good spot for a birthday dinner in NYC

What to Order

Hearth has a four-course tasting menu available after 5 p.m. This is an incredible option if you want to try everything this delightful East Village restaurant has to offer.

Hearth | 403 E. 12th St., New York, NY 10009 | $$$

17. Ho Foods

Ho Foods is the perfect East Village restaurant for delicious traditional Taiwanese foods, all made fresh and all delicious.

The Vibe

It’s a busy little noodle shop, so prepare to wait. Service is quick, however, so you won’t have to wait long for your food once you sit down. The staff is friendly, the environment is welcoming and the vibe very chill. 

What to Order

The beef noodle soup is what Ho Foods is known for, so if you’re a first-timer, give it a try. Vegans and vegetarians need not worry. This East Village restaurant also offers delicious plant-based sesame noodles. 

Ho Foods | 110 E. Seventh St., New York, NY 10009 | $$

Taiwanese beef noodle soup
via Ho Foods

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18. Supper

Supper is the go-to East Village restaurant for Italian comfort food. If you want your pasta just like Nonna used to make, pay them a visit; you won’t be disappointed. It’s a cash-only establishment that somehow always stays busy.

The Vibe

The cozy vibes in Supper are unmatched. This is the perfect place to go if you’re craving a big bowl of pasta on a snowy winter day. The food is elevated, but the vibes are down-to-earth and cozy. 

What to Order

The specials are where the magic happens at this East Village restaurant. The spaghetti al limone is a popular favorite, but catch the osso bucco if you can.

Supper | 156 E. Second St., New York, NY 10009 | $$$

19. Motorino

What’s a list of East Village restaurants without pizza? Motorino serves some of the best pizza in Manhattan, and it’s a chill spot to grab a slice in the East Village. 

The Vibe

This pizza joint is no-frills. It’s tightly packed (as one would expect from a good pizza spot in New York), but it’s a fun and relaxed environment that’s perfect for a slice with friends. 

What to Order

You can’t go wrong with a classic Margherita pizza. The chewy crust is perfect. Locals also swear by Motorino’s meatballs.

Motorino | Multiple Locations | $$

Motorino is a fantastic East Village NYC restaurant.
via Motorino

20. Haile

Visit Haile to try something seriously unique and delicious. This East Village restaurant has Ethiopian food down to a science. It’s family-owned, traditional and tasty.

The Vibe

It’s a quaint and casual little spot that’s perfect for an outing with friends. Brick-walled, with dim lighting and a lot of smiles, it's sure to make you feel comforted and welcomed.

What to Order

Get one of the combination plates. There are both meat and vegetable options, and no matter which one you pick, your meal will come on top of a spongy “bread.” That bread is your utensil, and you use it to eat your meal! Trust us; it’s good. 

Haile | 182 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009 | $$

21. Casa Adela

Casa Adela may be the best East Village restaurant for Puerto Rican food. They’ve been serving great food since the 1970s, and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. They’re cash-only, so don’t forget to stop at the ATM first!

The Vibe

Casa Adela is warm and homey. It’s a small and popular joint, so you may have to wait, but the food is worth it. It’s family-run, and you can tell that they put love into everything they do. You’ll feel welcome. 

What to Order

The crispy rotisserie chicken is the most popular dish on the menu. Pair it with a side of mofongo for a full meal. 

Casa Adela | 66 Loisaida Ave., New York, NY 10009 | $

mofongo and pernil
via Casa Adela

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22. 886

If you want a unique take on Taiwanese food, try 886. This eye-catching East Village restaurant takes Taiwanese food to a whole new level with unique fusion recipes. It may not be traditional, but it is tasty.

The Vibe

This restaurant is reminiscent of Taiwanese nightlife. It’s dark with plenty of colorful neon lights, more like a nightclub than a restaurant. Go here with friends for a fun evening.

What to Order

You have to try the honey-glazed popcorn chicken and the crispy silken tofu. They’re perfect for snacking on with a cold beer.

886 | 26 Saint Marks Pl., New York, NY 10003 | $$

23. Giano

Ah, another Italian East Village restaurant makes the list. Giano combines tradition and modern flair. It’s another perfect spot for a warm plate of pasta amongst friends. Portions are huge, so you won’t leave hungry.

The Vibe

Like most good Italian restaurants, the vibe is homey and warm. You’ll immediately feel welcome in this East Village restaurant. It’s a great place to go with your family or a group of friends. 

What to Order

You won’t regret ordering the ravioli di spinaci e ricotta. These pasty pasta pockets come in a warm butter sauce that will hit the spot on a blustery day.

Giano | 126 E. Seventh St., New York, NY 10009 | $$

ravioli
via Giano

24. Electric Burrito

Electric Burrito is a perfect East Village restaurant for a quick meal. Their California-style burritos aren’t traditional, but you’ll love them anyway. This is a casual counter-service spot, so don’t expect anything fancy. Do expect a tasty burrito.

The Vibe

You’re not here for the ambiance. The dining area is tiny and no-frills, so this is another restaurant that’s best for ordering out. If you’re eating alone or with a small group, there is a small amount of seating available.

What to Order

Order a California burrito if it’s your first time here. Instead of rice, this burrito comes packed with crispy french fries. Bonus: It’s massive.

Electric Burrito | 81 Saint Marks Pl., New York, NY 10003 | $$

25. Ruffian

Ruffian may be a wine bar, but it’s also one of the best East Village restaurants. Even non-drinkers will enjoy the mostly vegetarian small plates. Of course, don’t forget to order a glass of wine. 

The Vibe

Called a “quirky gem” by the Michelin Bib Gourmand, this is a stylish and elegant wine bar with both outdoor and indoor seating. The service is impeccable, and the vibes are cozy.

What to Order

Alongside your wine of choice, we recommend the Cabbage Patch for vegetarians. You’ll get delicious watercress gnocchi, seared cabbage and mushrooms. If they have the dry-aged beef carpaccio available, that's a winner as well.

Ruffian | 125 E. Seventh St., New York, NY 10009 | $$

beef carpaccio
via Ruffian

Whether you’re craving a California burrito, delicious pizza, homestyle Vietnamese food or any other type of cuisine, there’s definitely an East Village restaurant out there for you. You just have to find it. Have you tried any of these East Village restaurants yet? Which ones are you adding to your must-visit list?

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