The beloved Greek diner on the Eastern end of Grand Street acts as a second dining room for residents of the cooperatives, parishioners at St. Mary’s Church and other locals. The proprietors, Nodas and Mike, do, in fact, know everyone’s name. Delivery is lightning fast.
500 Grand Street, at Willett
Hours Mon-Fri: 6am-6:30pm Sat: 6am-4pm Sun: 8am-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 sometimes rowdy Irish theme bar with a fairly substantial menu (burgers, pizza, wings, etc), a large patio in the back and a few pool tables.
191 Orchard, near Houston
Hours Mon-Fri, noon-4am; Sat-Sun, 11am-4am
Pho comes in six varieties — there’s an extensive menu featuring other Vietnamese specialties including summer rolls, fried crabs marinated in salt and pepper and whole fish.
277 Grand, near Forsyth
Open daily 10am-10pm
What to eat at Pho Grand? See JP Bowersock’s column, “Authenticity Isn’t Everything.”
Address: 120 Essex St., Essex Street Market/map
Photo by Cynthia Lamb.
Hours: Daily 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Jesse Kramer, a French Culinary School grad, and Erica Molina first impressed taco aficionados on the Lower East Side at the Hester Street Fair. Their creations, featuring super-fresh ingredients, are now offered up from a stall at the back of the Essex Street Market. The guaco taco, with avocado, sweet corn and crema, is a crowd pleaser. The cola braised pork is a winner, too. There are only three stools, so lunchtime at Brooklyn Taco is a tight squeeze. But Jesse is a great guy who aims to please and who keeps the line moving. Extra bonus: the place serves Blue Bottle coffee.
Mentions on The Lo-Down
JP’s Food Adventures: Heritage Meats, Brooklyn Taco Come to Essex Street Market
Bright, friendly coffee shop on Orchard with a good selection of teas, salads and sandwiches. They recently began offering a full dinner menu, with table service after 6pm, as well as wine and beer.
88 Orchard, at Broome
Mon.-Thurs. 7:30-11PM, Fri. 7:30-midnight, Sat. 8:30-midnight, Sun. 8:30-7PM
One of the only kosher restaurants in the neighborhood. The menu includes all of the Jewish delicatessen standards, plus steaks, pasta dishes and burgers.
399 Grand, near Clinton
Open Sun-Thu, 10am-10pm; Fri, 9am-3pm; Sat, closed
The large Grand Street restaurant offers an expansive Vietnamese menu, including ten varieties of pho. The service is chilly but efficient.
245 Grand, near Bowery
Open daily 10am-10pm
This place only has five tables and three seats at the sushi bar. Customers frequently have to wait awhile to be served, but it’s hard to beat the daily special: three rolls for $10.
109 Eldridge, near Broome
Hours Sun-Thu, 11:30am-11:30pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-midnight
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
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
Located in an appealing corner spot on Orchard Street, Little Giant serves a homey, locally sourced, seasonal menu. Brunch is very popular.
85 Orchard, at Broome
Open Mon-Thu, 11:30am-11pm; Fri, 11:30am-midnight; Sat, 10am-4pm and 6pm-midnight; Sun, 10am-4pm and 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.
Gussied up diner serving a global menu, but excelling at Mediterranean specialties like falafel and seafood herime. Very friendly service. Wi/fi service not always reliable.
189 East Broadway (at Jefferson)
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-10:30pm; Sat-Sun, 8:30am-10:30pm
A cozy cafe operated by 30-year old Armine Sadki, who says he immigrated from Morocco a few years ago with the dream of opening just this sort of casual coffee shop in New York City. The menu includes items like kashi, oatmeal, sandwiches, soups and salads.
3 Clinton Street, near Houston
Hours Monday-Thursday 8m-9pm; Friday 8am-10pm; Saturday 8am-11pm; Sunday 8am-7pm