This sliver of a restaurant just a stone’s throw from Sara D. Roosevelt Park offers rustic farmhouse french dishes with “New American” touches. Chef/owner Karim Nounouh emphasizes quality, locally sourced ingredients. The space is cozy and charming. There are copper pots on the walls, a curved wood plank ceiling. Service is efficient and friendly. Flavor combinations are sometimes successful — sometimes not. Entrees range from $16-28.
40 Rivington, near Forsyth
Hours Sun-Thu: 5pm-10pm Fri-Sat: 5pm-12am
Reservations strongly recommended
Cash, AMEX only
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.
Cozy Italian wine bar with traditional pastas and seafood.
9 Stanton St., near Bowery
Open Sun-Wed, noon-11pm; Thu, noon-11:30pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight
The sliver of a restaurant on Ludlow Street with a cozy backyard offers creative versions of Neopolitan street food. The menu features such items as fried rice balls, fried artichokes and lamb meatballs. There are also a variety of simply prepared pasta and meat dishes, plus a Monday night special (spaghetti and meatballs and unlimited sangria for $20).
173 Ludlow, near Houston
Hours Mon-Thu, 5pm-11pm; Fri, 5pm-midnight; Sat, noon-midnight; Sun, noon-11pm
FEATURES: outdoor dining, weekend brunch
A little bit of Oaxaca comes to the Lower East Side. The three-story restaurant, bar and cultural center features, as you probably guessed, delicious tequila drinks, a tapas menu and a recently introduced full dinner menu. Are you man/woman enough to try the fried grasshoppers with cheese?
86 Orchard Street, at Broome
Hours Tues- Thur 12-2am Fri-Sat 12–4am Sunday 12-1am
Open to the street on two sides, featuring a big beer menu and serving up surprisingly decent “gastropub” fare, this place is one of the neighborhood’s most popular nightlife destinations. Go for lunch or happy hour to avoid the frat party that begins to build after 8pm.
101 Rivington, near Ludlow
Open Mon-Tue, noon-3am; Wed-Fri, noon-4am; Sat, 10am-4am; Sun, 10am-3am
Reservations accepted for parties of 10 or more.
An Italian wine bar with an ambitious small plates menu. The dining room feels like a sanctuary from bustling Allen Street, where Sorella is located. Inspired by the Piedmont region of Italy, the menu features items such as pate with duck fat, english muffin bread, a fried egg and bacon.
95 Allen Street, near Delancey
Hours: Tue-Sat, 6pm-2am; Sun, noon-9pm
Reservations not accepted
The bar next to “Fat Baby” is a sleek, dimly lit hideaway offering Vietnamese-inspired appetizers.The space is available for parties and other special events. Happy hour features their signature “lychee martinis” for $5 every night until 10pm.
110 Rivington, near Essex
Hours Sun-Wed, 5pm-2am; Thu-Sat, 5pm-4am
Sure, Keith McNally’s hot spot on Rivington Street attracts a bridge and tunnel crowd, but the staff goes to great lengths to treat the locals well. If Todd is behind the bar, you can be assured of a perfectly prepared cocktail. The French bistro-ish menu includes many crowd pleasers, including a very decent steak frites, a well-prepared roast chicken and french onion soup. Avoid the crushing crowds, and go for lunch.
131 Rivington, at Norfolk
Hours Mon-Wed, 11am-1am; Thu, 11am-2am; Fri-Sat, 10am-3am; Sun, 10am-1am
Named after the pub in London where Jack the Ripper met his victims, Ten Bells is an all-organic wine bar on Broome Street with a small selection of cheeses, oysters and other small plates. It’s a nice place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. Cash only.
247 Broome Street
Hours Mon-Fri, 5pm-1am; Sat, 3pm-2am; Sun, 3pm-1am
Two young chefs from the U.K. colonize lower Orchard Street. In a bright, airy space they have created a locally sourced, seasonal menu. A favorite of fashion insiders (they also run a catering company), Fat Radish caters to the locals with a limited breakfast and a juice bar. Reservations are accepted for parties of 6 or more.
17 Orchard, near Canal.
Hours Tue-Sat: 5:30pm-12am Sun: 5pm-10pm
The authentic Spanish tapas bar offers simple dishes, regional wines and a relaxed atmosphere. Large windows open up onto Clinton Street in warmer months.
29 Clinton Street, at Stanton
Hours Mon-Thu, 6pm-1am; Fri, 1pm-4am; Sat, 11am-4am; Sun, 11am-1am
The inviting Clinton Street bar serves small plates: cheeses, oysters, salads and tartare. The bartenders are friendly and the room cozy.
29 Clinton, near Stanton
Hours Sun and Tue-Thu, 6pm-1am; Fri-Sat, 6pm-3am; Mon, closed
Rayuela means “hopscotch” in Spanish, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the food here. It’s a creative Latin menu, drawing from many different countries. Among the best entrees: fried-plantain “mofongo” balls stuffed with pork, paella with fresh lobster and scallops, an Ecuadoran seafood stew called surena, and the Afro-Brazilian specialty fufu (mashed plantains or yams) with with spicy shrimp and chorizo.
165 Allen, near Stanton
Hours Mon-Thu, 5:30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-midnight; Sun, 5pm-10pm