The Best of the Lower East Side (Food); Here Are the Results in 18 Categories
On the cover: The roast pork sandwich at Black Tree, which was awarded Best New Restaurant by our readers. Photo by Alex M. Smith. …
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
A taste of the Cote d’Azur on the Lower East Side. Traditional bistro fare with some creative touches. Good wine list. Live jazz in the evenings.
112 Suffolk, near Delancey
Sun-Wed, 11am-10pm; Thu-Sat, 11am-11pm
Address: 253 Broome St. (near Orchard)/map
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.; weekends 10 a.m.-1 a.m.
More than a decade after arriving on the “below Delancey” restaurant scene, Barrio Chino is still one of the most popular spots for good, inexpensive food and interesting drinks. Taking its cues from the neighborhood’s Latino and Chinese cultures, the decor is eclectic. Most everything on the menu is good; we especially like the tortilla soup, soft tacos and enchiladas verdes. The margaritas, made with Barrio Chino’s signature infused tequilas, are top notch and never too sweet. The staff is friendly and laid back, but the place is tiny, so if you’re not prepared for a wait, weekday lunch might be your best option.
The Lower East Side’s brunch mecca, serving up delectable pancakes and perfect biscuits. The wait to get in on weekends (and many weekdays) is ridiculously long. Your best best: going for dinner. Don’t miss the fried chicken!
4 Clinton Street, near Houston
Open 8am-11pm Monday-Friday, Saturday 9am-11pm, Sunday 9-6pm
A nicely appointed but low key Irish bar on Clinton Street that caters mostly to a neighborhood crowd. There’s no kitchen, but they turn out some tasty bar grub anyway (fried oysters, fish & chips, shepherd’s pie). Weekend brunch includes a traditional Irish breakfast and a smoked salmon platter. $15 gets you free bloody mary’s, mimosas or screwdrivers (limit 3 per customer). A good place to down a pint of Guinness and watch a football game.
35 Clinton Street, at Stanton
Hours Daily: 12pm-4am; dinner served until 11pm. Weekend brunch served 11am-4pm.
A friendly family-owned restaurant serving specialties from Puebla, Mexico.
321 Houston, near Attorney
Open Tue-Sun, 11am-midnight; Mon, closed
Known best for its rollicking weekend brunch, Essex serves an American menu with Jewish and Latin touches. The restaurant also has weekday happy hour specials.
120 Essex, at Rivington
Hours Mon-Thu, 6pm-midnight; Fri, 6pm-1am; Sat, 11am-2am; Sun, 11am-11pm
The tiny Italian spot on Clinton Street features seasonal ingredients (including vegetables from a backyard garden) and a Williamsburg refugee in the kitchen, Brett Ackerman of Diner and Marlow & Sons. Sandwiches and salads for lunch… pan roasted mussels, crab cakes and veal dumplings for dinner.
63 Clinton Street, near Stanton
Hours: daily 11am-2pm; weekend brunch 11am-5pm
At the end of Freeman Alley (off Rivington), Taavo Somer and William Tigertt created an enchanting hideway, offering fancy comfort food in “hunting lodge” surroundings. “A rugged, clandestine, colonial American tavern,” as they call it. There are three bars in the sprawling restaurant, serving creative cocktails. Dinner and brunch are mobbed. Weekday lunch is your best bet.
End of Freeman Alley, off Rivington
Mon-Fri, 11am-4pm and 6pm-11:30pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm and 6pm-11:30pm
A French bistro with Brazilian and African accents, a laid back vibe and a party atmosphere in the late evenings. The grilled steak marinated in spices from the Ivory Coast, a Brazilian seafood stew and the lamb shank tajine are among the best options.
37 Canal, at Ludlow
Open Sun-Thu, 8am-2am; Fri-Sat, 8am-4am.