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Málà Project
Photograph: Courtesy Málà Project

The 26 best restaurants in the East Village

Including plant-based burger spots, historic diners and some of the city's finest ramen destinations

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Bao Ong
&
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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Although you could walk its whole perimeter before your shoes start to pinch, it would take several trips around the sun to sample everything there is to eat in the East Village. But knowing where to go is harder remembering the last time you stumbled out of Continental Bar. As with the booze at that erstwhile shot destination, do not take a chance. Instead, head to the best neighborhood staples and new restaurants and bars the East Village has to offer.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the East Village in NYC

Best East Village restaurants

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

Chinese hot pot, which typically mingles thinly sliced meats, vegetables and stock, gets a brothless showcase at this East Village eatery. Choose from among dozens of ingredients like pork belly, short rib, beef tongue, poultry, fish and veggie options to create your own numbing, spicy entrée.

  • Restaurants
  • Vietnamese
  • East Village

After a brief break, Van Da will reopen for walk-ins and reservations on September 14. Expect to see its comforting provolone and short rib grilled cheese with a shot of pho, crispy mochi dumplings, turmeric branzino and shaking beef make a welcome return just in time for fall. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

As with many neighborhood favorites approaching two decades in operation, Hearth's longevity is evidence of its excellence. Cozy, romantic and rustic-chic as ever, settle in for grass-fed beef and ricotta meatballs, roasted chicken and wild striped bass.

  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • East Village

Thursday Kitchen's menu boasts Korean, French and Spanish influences. Expect saucy gnocchi with a Korean chili-pepper sauce, rich duck-confit empanadas and plantains with chimichurri and ricotta. Sip soju cocktails served in LED Capri Sun–style bags while you feast

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Angel’s Share
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

A Manhattan classic, Angel’s Share makes frequent appearances on NYC ‘best-of’ round-ups, particularly in the speakeasy genre. The addition of outdoor seating in 2020 cracked its historically difficult (and semi-obscured) door open a little wider. Today, your chances of nabbing a spot for some of the city’s best cocktails, plus raw bar items, chicken karaage and table fries are better than ever. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

One of NYC's few modern Hawaiian restaurants, Noreetuh has braised pork cheeks and octopus or cuddlefish skewers to start, musubi varieties like classic or spicy Spam, and entrees like oxtail soup, sea urchin cavatelli and mochiko fried chicken.

  • Bars
  • Izakaya
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

A favorite going way back, some of Sake Bar Decibel’s prices are a blast from the past, too. Arrive in time for happy hour (a literal 60 minutes from 6pm to 7pm each day) and your early bird ambitions will let you wet your beak on $6 lychee martinis, sake tinis and sake highballs. You can also mix and match a ton of plates like vegetable gyoza, pork shumai, and karaage for $6-$8. 

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  • Restaurants
  • East Village

Accidental bar opened in a familiar old space (Lois wine bar’s to be precise) with a new concept earlier this summer. Though wine is still available (it is a bar, after all!), the primary focus is now sake. Pair seasonal selections with crab in miso cream and crispy potatoes or ​​chili crisp corn ribs. 

  • Restaurants
  • Filipino
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Jeepney's kamayan feast is well known, where a banana-leaf-covered table is topped with excellent items like whole fried snapper and sweet-savory pork sausages to share. Filipino gastropub fare is also available a la carte. 

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Szechuan Mountain House is a St. Marks Place favorite, with peppercorn-fortified dishes that leave your mouth feeling appropriately numb whether you order the mapo tofu or the hot oil sliced beef. Although we’re not sure the phone should eat first, many of this spot’s preparations are particularly photogenic. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

Somtum Der now serves Isan cuisine at two locations in NYC: In Red Hook, Brooklyn and right here on Avenue A in the East Village. Take a seat in the Manhattan outpost's bright, wood-paneled dining room for a wide variety of easy-to-share hot Thai plates.

  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Bookended by picture windows on one end and an open kitchen on the other, Oiji fits a lot of fun into its narrow space. (And, like many restaurants, a more recent street shed addition brings the inside out.) Top your table with foie gras, bone marrow and ssam platters for two for a taste of what the place has to offer. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • East Village

This zen-like space in the East Village has quickly become the premier destination for udon in the city. While the thick, chewy noodles are the star of the show, the broths are just as good (you’ll want to finish every drop). Try the cold ja ja with spicy miso pork, cucumber, tomato and poached egg for a refreshing option.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

This red sauce spot is a local haunt that's also fit for subtly impressing out of town guests. Its crowd-pleasing menu includes several pizzas, plenty of pasta options and a satisfying chicken Parm. Lil' Frankies also serves wine "by consumption," allowing you to sample a half glass of this, a whole glass of that, or as much of any given bottle as wish to sip. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Taiwanese
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

Eric Sze and Andy Chuang infuse 886's Tawainese comfort dishes with a bit of izakaya flair (sake pairs excellently with an oyster omelette or scallion pancakes) and a few modern touches (honey-glazed popcorn chicken). It’s a perfect hangout whether you’re looking for a fun meal with friends or to offset your earlier imbibing.

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • East Village
  • price 3 of 4

Chef Sujan Sarkar’s contemporary spin on regional Indian dishes paired with an inventive cocktail menu brings in customers seeking gastro pub vibes. Order small plates like potato tikki chaat and Kashmiri lamb ribs for the table and maybe share a taste of mains like the paneer pinwheel and beef short rib curry.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

A throwback to the artsy East Village of decades past, this Ukrainian diner is famous for savory grub like borscht, kielbasa and pierogi. There is no bad time to come in for a bite, just be aware there will be crowds of college students and downtown dwellers looking to do the same morning, noon and night.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Still going strong after almost twenty years, the original Momofuku Noodle Bar is as popular as ever for its array of slurpable noodle soups, tender meat or mushroom-stuffed buns and soft serve ice cream for dessert. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Reclaimed wood, repurposed scaffolding and recycled whiskey bottles become chandeliers and lamps in a 45-seat dining room, where animal-bone beer taps take center stage at the bar. Enjoy a bounty of southern classics in downtown style.

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  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

The Pig Out for two keeps us coming back to Eleven Madison Park alum chef Thomas Chen’s Tuome time after time. The dynamic double dish includes a Berkshire pork shoulder confit with bits of shatteringly-crisp skin alongside spicy, chewy peanut noodles. 

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

A corner spot with two swaths of sidewalk seating and copious plates of pasta like spaghetti pomodoro, bucatini cacio e pepe and squid ink campanelle, Bar Primi is ideal for people watching and carbo-loading. Add on a couple of cocktails or a bottle of wine to make a whole afternoon or evening out of it. 

Heading west?

  • Restaurants

The best Greenwich Village restaurants in NYC are a diverse bunch. There are high-end Japanese food counters, acclaimed falafel joints and fast-casual Neopolitan pizza havens. Whether you’re craving a platter of oysters on the half-shell or spicy rigatoni at one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC, check out the best restaurants in Greenwich Village. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to best restaurants in NYC

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