Address: 98 Rivington St./map
Hours: Mon-Fri, noon-1am; Sat-Sun, noon-3am
This wine bar at the corner of Rivington and Ludlow streets, one of the Lower East Side’s best places to watch the world go by, is an ideal location to spend a lazy afternoon, especially in the warm weather months. There’s sidewalk seating and a dining room that’s open to the street, providing a European feel as you sip a glass of wine and nibble from a cheese and charcuterie plate. The panini is excellent, and the pastas are very decent. Brunch is a standout; the brisket and fried eggs is a personal favorite.
Empanadas, braised short ribs and other hearty South American specialties, many of which are cooked in a wood burning oven.
173 Orchard, near Stanton
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday noon-11pm
Address: 76 Clinton St./map
Hours: Tue-Thu, 11am-4pm and 6pm-11pm; Fri, 11am-4pm and 6pm-midnight; Sat, 11am-3:30pm and 6pm-midnight; Sun, 10:30am-3:30pm and 6pm-10pm; Mon, closed.
A pioneer on Clinton Street that’s still a neighborhood favorite. The low-key spot offers an eclectic American menu that features one of the LES’s better burgers, comfort food staples such as brisket and roast chicken and a taco plate with your choice of fish, chicken or veggies. Thuesday-Thursday there’s a nightly “blue plate special” that includes an entree, a glass of wine or beer and dessert for $20.
Mentions on The Lo-Down
A New Face in the Kitchen at Alias
Banh mi, delicious authentic pho and other Vietnamese specialties, in fancier digs than you’ll find a few blocks to the west in Chinatown proper.
85 Orchard Street, near Broome
Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week
One of the few kosher options in the neighborhood, Ashkara serves a respectable falafel sandwich. You put the toppings on yourself.
189 East Houston, near Orchard
Sun-Wed, 11am-3:30am; Thu-Sat, 11am-5am
A handsomely appointed space on the NW corner of Allen and Delancey serving soups, salads, sandwiches on Balthazar bread, and gourmet coffee from a menu owner Mark Hernandez calls “California cuisine.” Housemade baked goods light up the serving counter, and change daily. There’s also free wi-fi offered in a bright, comfortable space.
61 Delancey St., at Allen.
Open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. daily
Recent coverage in The Lo-Down
A dependable Cantonese place on Grand Street, specializing in noodles, congee and a $5.95 lunch special.
300 Grand Street, between Eldridge and Allen
Delivery, Cash only
The organic cafe in the New Museum run by Maury Rubin of the City Bakery. There’s a nice selection of pastries, sandwiches, soups and salads.
235 Bowery, at Prince
Hours Wed: 11am-6pm Thu: 11am-9pm Fri-Sun: 11am-6pm
Address: 120 Essex St., Essex Street Market/map
Photo by Cynthia Lamb.
Hours: Daily 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Jesse Kramer, a French Culinary School grad, and Erica Molina first impressed taco aficionados on the Lower East Side at the Hester Street Fair. Their creations, featuring super-fresh ingredients, are now offered up from a stall at the back of the Essex Street Market. The guaco taco, with avocado, sweet corn and crema, is a crowd pleaser. The cola braised pork is a winner, too. There are only three stools, so lunchtime at Brooklyn Taco is a tight squeeze. But Jesse is a great guy who aims to please and who keeps the line moving. Extra bonus: the place serves Blue Bottle coffee.
Mentions on The Lo-Down
JP’s Food Adventures: Heritage Meats, Brooklyn Taco Come to Essex Street Market
Cambodian-style sandwiches – served in gourmet hot dog buns and stuffed with pulled pork, brisket, catfish and other interesting ingredients.
78 Rivington, near Orchard
Hours Monday: 12pm-10pm; Tuesday-Wednesday: 12pm-12am; Thursday-Saturday: 12pm-2am; Sunday: 12pm-10pm