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
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
A dependable option for pizza and so much more (you can get everything from a burger to Shrimp Scampi). At least one Lo-Down reader touts the meatballs. Fast delivery, gentle prices.
525 Grand Street, near Henry
Tre draws its culinary inspiration from Naples, where owner/chef Gino Piscopo was born. The intimate little restaurant with a charming backyard seems a bit out of place on rowdy Ludlow Street. But once inside, you’ll be transported. The service is warm and the food well prepared. There’s a nice selection of pastas and small plates, such as fried rice balls and fried artichokes.
173 Ludlow, near Houston
Outdoor dining, weekend brunch
A-1 Pizza offers a decent slice on the eastern end of Grand Street.
505 Grand Street, near East Broadway
Open until midnight
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
Keith McNally’s (Balthazar, Schiller’s, etc) take on a Roman pizzeria and trattoria. The wood-fired oven produces slightly charred thin crust pies, featuring a lot of interesting toppings. Also on the menu: several antipasti platters and other entrees (roasted fish, hanger steak). Like all McNally ventures, Pulino’s highlights specialty cocktails and a big, lively bar.
282 Bowery, at Houston
Hours: brteakfast daily 830am-1130am; lunch Monday-Friday noon-5pm; dinner daily 6pm-midnight; weekend brunch 10am-4pm
A brick oven produces crispy, thin crust pizza at this spot on the corner of Clinton and Rivington. San Marzano takes a lot of pride in sourcing high quality toppings.
71 Clinton, at Rivington
Sun-Thu, 11:30am-midnight; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-2am
A late night classic, serving Lower East Siders since 1963. Cheap slices, friendly service and passionate customers help Rosario’s keep gentrification at bay.
173 orchard, near Stanton
Hours Sun-Wed, 10am-3am, Thu-Sat, 10am-5am
A late night standby. Rocket Joe’s features a sesame seed crust that some love and others love to hate. Beware of the drunken mobs on Friday and Saturday nights.
61 Delancy, near Eldridge
Open Sun-Wed, 11am-2:30am; Thu-Sat, 11am-4:30am
Roman-style pizza is served in this conspicuous, open-air space on Allen Street. The dough rises over three days, resulting in a light and crispy crust. Toppings include pumpkin purée, marbled pancetta, artichokes and fresh peas.
198 Allen, near Houston
Hours Mon-Fri, 4pm-midnight; Sat-Sun, 11am-1am
The build-your-own meatball sensation on Stanton Street. Pick a meatball from column a (beef, pork, chicken, vegetable) with a sauce from column b. The DIY theme continues on the dessert menu: ice cream sandwiches featuring several flavors and cookie combinations.
84 Stanton, near Allen
Open daily noon-4am
A German couple, Amrei Schmitt-Fumian and David Wiesner, patterned this hidden gem on the memorable island restaurants frequented on their many trips to southern Italy. The cozy osteria serves homey dishes fusing Italian, European and American sensibilities. The bartenders are extremely warm. The garden in the back is enchanting. Good for big groups. This place becomes quite “sceney” on weekend evenings.
100 Forsyth, near Broome
Sun-Thu, 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 6pm-midnight