Bacon peanut brittle at the Redhead
The best new East Village bar snack: a mini mason jar of sweet, sticky peanuts tossed with crisp smoky bacon—because everything, as the menu puts it, is “better with bacon..
349 E 13th St between First and Second Aves (212-533-6212). $5.
Ma po tofu at Rai Rai Ken
The Szechuan specialty gets the liquid treatment here, with chewy noodles, crumbled beef and bean-curd bits in an addictive soy-sauce-based broth.
214 E 10th St between First and Second Aves (212-477-7030). $8.
McSorley’s Ale at McSorley’s Old Ale House
Molecular mixology, microbrews, biodynamic wines...sometimes you just want to keep your drinking simple. At ancient McSorley’s Ale House, you’ve got two options: dark ale or light. Both are easy drinking, and they don’t tax the brain.
15 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves (212-473-9148). Two for $4.50.
Snap peas at Degustation
A singular idea of a salad: offbeat (smoked lamb-belly bacon) yet approachable (crisp and sugary snap peas), delicately flavored (cool cilantro offset by hot wasabi) yet wonderfully savory (a broth made from idiazabal, a Basque sheep’s-milk cheese).
239 E 5th St between Second and Third Aves (212-979-1012). $9.
Aguacate + Mezcal at Macondo
Honey, Midori, agave nectar, mescal, lime juice, Cointreau and fresh avocado are blender-whirred into a sweetly lush, grass-green concoction.
157 E Houston St between Allen and Eldridge Sts (212-473-9900). $7.50.
Wylie dog at PDT
Jointly conceived with molecular gastronomist Wylie Dufresne, the weird and wonderful Wylie at PDT pairs a deep-fried dog with breaded, deep-fried mayo, tomato molasses, shredded lettuce and freeze-dried onions.
113 St. Marks Pl between First Ave and Ave A (212-614-0386). $5.
Lamb sausages at Terroir
Skip the cheese here. Instead, pair wines with sage-wrapped lamb sausages dunked in the deep fryer. They’re gloriously greasy, herbaceous and snappy—and an excellent drinking buddy.
413 E 12th St between First Ave and Ave A (646-602-1300). $7.
Crispy pigs’ tails at Momofuku Noodle Bar
These tasty morsels come sauced in a sriracha, pickled-pear and hoisin reduction. Don’t let the fact that you’re chomping on Wilbur’s curlicue deter you.
171 First Ave between 10th and 11th Sts (212-777-7773). $14.