A Venetian small plates restaurant, serving crostini, pasta dishes, cheeses and other tasty morsels. Most of the seating is in romantic, exposed brick quarters downstairs. There are bars on both levels.
136 Division Street
Tue-Sun, 6pm-midnight; Mon, closed
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.
The Clinton Street cafe features good coffee, sandwiches, a full bar and (of course) exemplary chocolate and chocolate desserts. Cocoa Bar has wi-fi and is almost never crowded.
21 Clinton Street, near Stanton
Hours: Mon-Thu: 7am-12am; Fri: 7am-1am; Sat: 8am-1am; Sun: 8am-12am
Karaoke club/Korean restaurant. The menu features a selection of noodle dishes, kimchi and sizzling hot pots, but really people go for the drinks and the Karaoke.
196 Orchard, near Houston
Latin street food and fancy cocktails from the owners of Rayuela.
157 E. Houston St., near Allen St.
Open Mon-Thu, 11am-midnight; Fri, 11am-4am; Sat, 11am-4am; Sun, 11am-midnight.
Traditional Mexican with fresh lime margaritas.
205 Allen St., nr. Houston St.
Sun-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight.
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
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
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
Wylie Dufresne brought fine dining to Clinton Street in the 90’s. Now at WD-50, he continues to innovate, creating some of Manhattan’s most outlandish and surprising dishes. For full effect, choose the 12-course tasting menu for $140.
50 Clinton Street, near Rivington
Hours: Wed-Sat, 6pm-11pm; Sun, 6pm-10pm
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.