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Beauty & Essex

Restaurants, American Lower East Side
4 out of 5 stars
(10user reviews)
Beauty and Essex
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson Beauty and Essex

Time Out says

Chef Chris Santos (Stanton Social) brings his globally inflected small plates to an another AvroKO-designed fantasyland on the Lower East Side. A curated thrift store in front hawks vintage jewelry, boom boxes and guitars; a gigantic one-story crystal chandelier fronts a grand, curving staircase; and the main dining room opens up under a massive skylight. Though the interior aims to dazzle, the food offers comforting flavors—grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings, and mains like braised veal short ribs with a tangerine-BBQ glaze and onion rings. To drink there are updates on cocktail classics, like the B&E Pink Lady (gin, house-made grenadine, lemon, applejack), but freebie seekers might want to head to the bathroom, where a bartender slings gratis flutes of bubbly.



Address: 146 Essex St
New York
Cross street: between Rivington and Stanton Sts
Transport: Subway: F to Delancey St; J, Z, M to Delancey–Essex Sts
Price: Average main course: $18. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
Opening hours: Daily 5pm–1am
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Users say (10)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
2 people listening

I came for fancy brunch with a friend and I'm glad to have gone once but more times would be overkill. It's cool to walk through the pawn shop and see the whole massive gorgeous restaurant behind it and there's definitely a trendy vibe. You'll want to try the whole menu (and need to if you're hungry because most of the interesting ones to try are really small plates) so this is a meal that gets expensive the second you sit down. 


If you're looking for a one-time, decadent eating experience, Beauty & Essex is the spot for you.  The expansive dining room feels glamorous (and makes for some excellent Instagrams) and the food and drinks are delicious.  I went here with a friend for restaurant week and would recommend trying out Beauty & Essex that way, as it's a cheaper way to experience everything that the restaurant offers.  (The creme brulee and spaghettini were great.) You can also go here just for drinks, and since their mojitos were perfectly sweet and strong - it's definitely a good idea if you're in the LES.


Beauty and Essex is one of the fun, trendy, loud, restaurants on the LES, that is fun to experience, but you may not need to go back. The restaurant is behind a pawn shop so unless you know it's a restaurant, you might not think to go in! I took clients here for a night out, and it was a great group place, as you get a ton of apps and can all share. The restaurant was packed, even during the week, and pretty loud since there were so many people. However, the service was still great, and we didn't have to wait for our table at all.

It's a good size menu- and the "Grilled Cheese, Smoked Bacon & Tomato Soup Dumplings" are a must have. The Crispy Fish Tacos were great too! Overall the food was good, ambiance and decorations are great, but it's definitely a loud and pricey place. 

Upstairs there is also a dark, more chill lounge to grab cocktails.


The entrance to Beauty & Essex is through an interesting and unique pawn shop, so you are not sure what to think of this place. Then you open the door to the reception area and are greeted by a breathtaking two story chandelier with an enormous circular staircase wrapped around it. Beauty & Essex has four beautifully decorated dining rooms, two bars, and a lounge which are all perfect for people watching. The eclectic menu is made up of small sharing plates that are delicious and satisfying. Try the jewels on toast (avocado toasts), crispy eggplant pizzette, grilled cheese, smoked bacon and tomato soup dumplings, or the crispy fish tacos.

For sure one of my favorite places. What's cooler than walking thru a pawn shop to have the back door open up to a hidden gem!!! A spiral staircase that lead up the upstairs where if champagne brunch is in full swing. DJ keeps the beats pumping & brunch turns into an all out party. Sit downstairs & you can enjoy all the sites & sounds. Beautiful art. Great archtecture. High glass ceiling that allow sunlight to showcase the stunning dinning area. Going to the bathroom has never been so much fun!!! Go after 6pm & enjoy a glass of bubbly while you and your friends fix you lipstick & take pics on the lush sofa that this bathroom exhibits. Start a party in the bathroom!!! The food was amazing. Each option is a feast for the tastebuds. Drink options are great and the staff were very helpful in helping us find the perfect drinks to enjoy this secret gem in the LES.

Was just walking down the street and the jewelry in the shop caught my eye. There was a line out the front, so I was not too surprised to learn it was for the bar and restaurant concealed through the back door. We ordered some dishes to share and were not disappointed in the waiters recommendation for the grilled cheese & tomato soup dumplings. A perfect combo all in one bite. Great spot to go with a group of friends for dinner or to have drinks in the lounge area. 

Staff Writer

Another good option for out-of-towners visiting New York. The quirky music and collectibles store is obviously a front for the bar and restaurant. It's an impressive sight as the 'secret' door in the wall opens, and the sheer size and intensity of the venue within is revealed. Classic New York spot with a deserved reputation but there's an attitude to match.

My boyfriend and I went to Beauty and Essex on 22 February for dinner. We had a reservation for 7.30pm but we went to the wrong part of town so we rang beforehand to say that we'd be late. The person on the phone said that they couldn't hold the table for us any longer, which was fine by us; so we got there and just waited at the reception area. Now, I flew into New York from London the night before, so I was rather jet-lagged and was leaning against the reception desk. A man then came up to us and warned us that we may be asked to leave, but ironically, right after he walked away, a waitress came up to us and sat us down at a table. We ordered our food and started eating - everything was fine, except that a certain waitress (with red hair) was serving us with a certain degree of attitude. So my boyfriend asked to speak to that girl, and several asks later she finally came back to our table. She started slanting us for not wanting to tip (we hadn't even started speaking and tipping wasn't even in our agenda), and said "I'm just going to walk away now" - and so she did. My boyfriend then got up and went to speak to the manager, who refused to give us her name, and complained about what just happened with the red-haired waitress. Her reply was "whatever happened it's done now, so why don't you go back to your table and enjoy dinner with your boyfriend". He came back to the table, and after finding out what had happened, I managed to get her attention again when she walked past, and I tried my luck again to express our dissatisfaction with the previous waitress. She said that I was "raising my voice" - I'm pretty sure that everyone who's been to this place would know about the vibe, it was all Jay Z-blasting there. Hence, I was only trying to make myself heard over the music. She then brought us the bill when we hadn't even asked for it. When my boyfriend went to the washroom, he even had the privilege of the bouncer's company, who also escorted us out of the restaurant. I came to New York only for a week, to visit my boyfriend. That was the first proper sit-down meal of my stay. I'm a PR professional from London, and reputed restaurants like this one, are no novelty to me. All in all, this experience was beyond humiliating to me for so many different reasons. I am writing this email merely hours after the unfortunate incident and I can assure you that I'm still scarred. Worst restaurant experience I've ever had in my entire life.