Mikey’s Burger

Vietnamese restaurant mogul Michael Huynh conquers the burger at this tiny Lower East Side joint. The basic offerings will only set you back $5. Add chili or cheese, jalapeno and wasabi menu —  and you’ll pay a couple bucks more.

134 Ludlow, near Rivington


Open Sun-Thu, 10am-2am; Fri-Sat, 10am-4am


Meatball Shop

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

Web site

Cafe Katja

The popular Austrian spot features tasty homemade sausages, cured meats and cheeses, interesting salads and a great selection of imported beers and wines.

79 Orchard (near Grand)


Hours: Daily 4pm-1am

Web site

El Sombrero


Cusine: Mexican
Address: 108 Stanton St. (Ludlow)/map
Phone: 212-254-4188
Hours:  Sun-Thu, 10am-2am; Fri-Sat, 10am-4am
Reservations:  Yes
Delivery: No
El Sombrero, referred to a lot of locals as “The Hat,” is one of he last “old school” spots within the Lower East Side’s gentrified nightlife district.  Opened by Jose Suriel, a Dominican, in 1984, the Mexican restaurant is now operated by Palmerio Fabian and Josephina Diaz, Suriel’s niece and nephew.  El Sombrero is beloved by LES residents, as well as young revelers, for its cheap frozen margaritas and extremely hot salsa.  You’ll find all the basics here: burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, chimichangas.   Nothing fancy, but after all these years the Hat is an endangered species, and you should visit this LES institution while you still can.