With so many East Village Restaurants to choose from it can be overwhelming. Don't worry though, I'm here to give you a rundown of what I think are the Top 5 restaurants in the East Village (from what I've tried so far).
Some of them are more expensive than others, and we're going to wander through a few different cuisines, but I know there's one for you!
Top 5 East Village Restaurants
#5 Loverboy ($)
“But that's a bar!” you say “and this is a review of East Village Restaurants!”… I know! The thing is though, they make some really, really delicious food and it's worth mentioning on this list.
Located at 127 Ave C (the corner of 8th and C) you'll find this open-air bar with an awesome list of cocktails that gets updated regularly, and a slushy machine (“James Swirl Jones”) which produces outstanding custom cocktails that changes daily. The food ranges from “Pizza” to “Not Pizza” so they're obviously relying on that pizza oven they have made out the back to be delivering the goods (and it does).
I've eaten here many times, and I've never been disappointed.
My favorite food: The Mc 4 Guys pizza – “Crushed tomatoes, sharp cheddar, ground beef, secret sauce, pickles, lettuce tomato, onion, toasted sesame seed” all on a pizza. It's a Big Mac. On a pizza. It's either as good or better than you think and right now while writing this I wish I was closer so I could pop by.
Shredded lettuce everywhere. Worth it.
Loverboy Opening Hours
#4 Momofuku Ko ($$$)
Following on from Loverboy… “WHAT!? Seriously!?”… I know (again)! This one is priiicey and really doesn't sit in the same space as #5, I know, but it's SO good, and I can't possibly think of leaving it off a list of the best East Village Restaurants.
Sitting around watching the chefs weave their magically small dishes, and preparing some of the most delicious foods around is well worth the visit if you can save up for it. It's not for everyone, and if fine dining isn't your thing then this isn't your place. But if you're looking for a special night during the week be sure to book beforehand!
Located at 8 Extra Place (off 1st Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) it's hidden away and you'll feel like you've stumbled on a secret. When you get inside you'll immediately notice that the service is second to none.
My favorite food: I've only ever done a tasting menu, so I'd recommend doing that! With some matched wines if you want to stretch a little.
Momofuku Ko Opening Hours
Tuesday – Saturday | 3 pm – 11:30 pm
Friday – Sunday
Tuesday – Saturday
#3 Post ($$)
This is the one that you've never heard of, which is exactly why it makes it on to the list of best East Village Restaurants. It's incredible, and basically a secret.
We ate brunch there after wandering the area for an hour or two trying to find a new place. The friendly local feel to the place being so small saw locals popping their head in saying “hello” and a sense of community I hadn't seen in a while. The food is outstanding, and I'm STILL talking about the Bloody Mary.
Located at 42 Avenue B (right down near 3rd Street) you'll barely notice this hole in the wall. With the windows open facing the street, it's all of 10 foot wide. Don't miss it, it's worth the visit.
My favorite food: The pork biscuit. Enough said. The Bloody Mary too, it's basically food.
Post Opening Hours
Tues-Sat 10:00am to 11:00pm
Sun 10:00am to 4:00pm
#2 Edi & The Wolf ($$)
This one is a new one for me as I only visited this delightful East Village Restaurant for the first time for a brunch last weekend. Safe to say I was blown away by a place I'd walked past a hundred times.
The cuisine is Austrian (which meant nothing to me, I'll admit) but which I would describe as familiar favorites done with a bit of an alternative splash of onion and spice. The venue gets busy after dark and getting a seat for dinner can be a little difficult but it's well worth the wait!
Located at 102 Avenue C (corner of 7th and C) you'll love the decor.
My favorite food: I had the scrambled eggs for brunch and they were absolutely sensational. Despite not being hungry I tidely polished them all off in minutes with some fresh bread and coffee.
Edi & The Wolf Opening Hours
#1 Hearth ($$$)
This place is delicious. It's a little on the pricier side but for what you get, it's very reasonable considering the high quality of food and the thought they put in. Definitely a worthy title holder on a list of East Village Restaurants.
They say it better than I ever could:
But we do more than satiate with signature dishes—we make you a part of our family. To foster family means to nurture, and at our dinner table every dish is a seed for growth.
It feels like you're eating at home. A really lovely and fancy home. With cocktails.
Located at 403 East 12th St (on the corner of 1st Avenue) you'll be warmly welcomed at the bar and guided through a cozy area to a table.
My favorite food: The beef tartare. I love beef tartare and this is a great one.
Hearth Opening Hours
6 PM to 10 PM
Friday & Saturday
6 PM to 11 PM
Saturday 11 AM to 2 PM
Sunday 11 AM to 3:30 PM
I've written about these ones before, so I felt like I had to diversify the list a little:
San Marzano ($)
Easily one of the best pasta places going around and you can return all the time without an issue of range.
St Marks Tacqueria ($!)
My favorite (but not for this list). The value for money is SENSATIONAL and the place is just so much fun. Ambience, food, drinks, it's got it all!
P.S. I've got some other great lists that might be of interest to you (including the above to special mentions):
If you're looking for the best Bagel places in Manhattan, some of them are from the East Village and I've written about them all here!
Alternatively, if you're looking for the most affordable eats, then I've got your Top 7 best and most affordable places to eat in New York City, right here!