Whether a New York resident or Empire State-bound visitor, those familiar with the city’s food and beverage scene know that the East Village is a hotbed for tasty things to eat and drink. This bustling downtown neighborhood is buzzing with craft cocktail bars, wine-focused establishments, and endless places to stay satiated. Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve done the hard work for you. Check out our list of unmissable East Village bars and restaurants here.
125 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
Ruffian first opened its doors back in 2016, and over the past six years, has become a neighborhood staple for East Village wine lovers – especially those with an affinity for natural wine. The bar focuses on wines from southern France, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus regions, served alongside Mediterranean and Southern French-inspired small plates, most of which are vegetarian (and can be prepared vegan or gluten free). Expect a rotating food menu and by-the-glass list, the latter of which generally features 30 different pours at a time. Ruffian also boasts an extensive skin-contact wine selection, perfect for those looking to dive deeper into the world of orange wine.
155 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
This new-to-the-scene wine bar on Avenue B is quickly becoming a go-to spot for industry folk and consumers alike, and it’s no surprise why. Spearheaded by wine director Drew Brady and chef Amira Gharib, this natural-focused wine bar features more than 200 organic and natural wines from around the world, all of which promise to pair impeccably with Gharbi’s fresh, handmade pastas – which, to our jaw-dropping surprise, were all vegan. The bar’s sultry ambiance, which consists of velvet bar stools, colorful walls, and a sprawling white marble bar counter, are simply the cherry on top.
13 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003
While Corkbuzz is technically located in Union Square, situated between Manhattan’s East and West Villages, this wine bar / wine educational studio is an absolute must for wine lovers visiting the East Village. Expect 35 by-the-glass pours to be offered daily, highlighting a variety of styles from the classics to natural focused and beyond, which spans a plethora of regions, grape varieties, and producers. From the kitchen, the roasted carrots, steak tartare, and cacio e pepe cavatelli are some of our favorite highlights – and be sure to grab a serving of the bar’s signature housemade ricotta.
95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
The East Village is undeniably one of New York’s best neighborhoods for eating and drinking – especially in the realm of craft cocktails. Founded in 2011 by Ravi DeRossi and Sother Teague, Amor y Amargo is regarded as America’s first bitters tasting room, and their meticulous beverage program highlights Italian amari and cocktail bitters in their world-class drinks. For those with an affinity for all things savory and bitter, this place is a no brainer. Cocktail aficionados, be sure to also check out Death & Company, Mister Paradise, and Please Don’t Tell.
196 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
For those looking to take their wine to go, Convive Wine & Spirits is hands-down the neighborhood’s best retail location – and don’t let the size of the space fool you. Despite the shop’s small size, this welcoming retail location is loaded with high-quality wines from a variety of regions and producers, ranging from up-and-coming winemakers to the classic names and beyond. Convive’s staff is welcoming, knowledgeable, and ready to lead each guest to their perfect bottle match. We can’t get enough of their Under $30 section, which currently features picks from Arnaud Lambert, Filipa Pato, Raúl Perez, and countless “rising star” producers to watch.
The East Village is saturated with great places to eat. The neighborhood is brimming with a variety of cuisines to choose from, and most of its best spots are more hole-in-the-wall style joints rather than large-format dining rooms.
For tasty Vietnamese cuisine, head to Madame Vo.
212 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003
For hearty Moroccan small plates focused on vegetables, as well as larger tajines and main dishes, Café Mogador is a staple.
101 St Marks Place, New York, NY 10009
Miss Lily’s is a staple for authentic Jamaican cuisine, and for go-to diner favorites—whether morning or late night—Veselka is a no-brainer.
109 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
25 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003
While most of the trendier hotels—think PUBLIC Hotel, SIXTY LES, and The Ludlow Hotel—are located in the adjoining Lower East Side neighborhood, The Standard is situated right at the western edge of the East Village’s limits. Expect large rooms with breathtaking city views, a backyard garden, and an all-day café, plus a neighboring bar (called NO BAR) featuring special events, guest DJs, and a variety of refreshing drinks – beer, wine, and cocktails included.
Vicki completed her Bachelor’s degree at CUNY Hunter College with a double major in French Language and Italian Language, along with a minor in English and additional studies in Spanish and Polish. Her wine industry career began at Sud de France Développement in Manhattan, followed by a Wine Consultant/Buyer position at Quality House Wines. She went on to work full-time as a staff writer for VinePair.com from September 2016 – July 2017. She now freelances full-time; her work regularly appears in Food & Wine, Wine-Searcher, Beverage Media, Matador Network, Wine Enthusiast, and more.