To transition from New York City to Berlin, Max and I chose to settle down in the New Hampshire countryside for a bit. We’ve been here for nearly four months, yet somehow it still feels like vacation. That this weekend or the next we’ll return to our cozy little East Village apartment and routine New York life will be restored.
On a good day I’ll bike to a Bikram class or run along the East River in the morning, hit up Cha Cha Matcha for my daily matcha fix, pop into Aritzia (I mean, may as well if I’m already over there) to do shamefully more than window shop, then later whip up a yummy dinner, and cozy into bed with wine and whatever show is our current obsession. A couple times each week we’ll try a new restaurant or bar in the area, but more often than not we’ll hit up our go-tos: Fiat Cafe and Zum Schneider, for instance. If we’re feeling adventurous, we’ll check out a dreamy rooftop bar for sunset, or bike to Brooklyn in search of something new.
You know, the usual.
Last season “rooftopping” felt like second nature, now not so much.
It’s a different world here; not bad, just different. Having grown up in Vermont, I’m no stranger to rural living, but it has been some time.
I’ve spent the last six years of my life in New York City, engulfed and mesmerized by its’ metropolitan vibrancy. I earned my undergraduate degree in NYC, secured my first real world job, found love, went on endless adventures, did really awesome stuff, and did really stupid stuff, but most of all I just had fun. New York City has been hugely influential and I wouldn’t even trade the bad times. This city will always have my heart, and I know one day I’ll be back.
Until then, the memories of my favorite places will have to do. The following is a list of some of my favorite restaurants in NYC, specifically in and around the East Village. Favorite bars and the rest soon to come.
Fiat Cafe, Soho
The coziest restaurant with simple and delicious Italian cuisine. Everything on the menu is quality food under $15. And shoutout to Kate, number one waitress in all of NYC — thank you for being perfection every single time.
Edi and the Wolf, Alphabet City
The setting is rural industrial and the food is eclectic Austrian. Not only is each dish beautiful prepared, but the menu changes every season, so expect to be pleasantly surprised. Perfect for a date night.
Upstate, East Village
Craft beer and oyster bar, and so much more. The menu is seafood-centric — varied, and delivered daily. When you go you have to hit the happy hour 5-7pm ($12 for a half dozen oysters and a draft beer), and you have to sit at the bar (surprise treats from the chef). You also have to get there early, because everyone in the EV also knows of the amazingness. Upstate opens at 5pm and there’s a significant line by 4:40pm. Everyday. No reservations. An impressive date night option.
Cafe Mogador, East Village
An East Village staple — always busy and always delicious. This Moroccan restaurant has been around for over thirty years, and it shows — the menu is perfectly honed and consistent, the wine list is extensive, and there’s a pairing option for every entree. There’s also a Williamsburg location, but I’d recommend trying the iconic East Village spot.
Esperanto, Alphabet City
Festively Brazilian with live music, strong Caipirinhas, and an authentic menu for brunch and dinner. This spot is on one of my favorite blocks in ABC City, and great for group get-togethers.
Motorino, East Village
Quick. Simple. Neapolitan. The three characteristics of perfect pizza. The restaurant is small and unassuming, but an extremely vibrant and delicious experience.
Pylos, East Village
It’s hard to choose just one entree. Greek fare (and Mediterranean in general) is my favorite cuisine, and Pylos knows exactly what they’re doing. The food is fresh and authentic Greek, and the restaurant is contemporary chic. Another very impressive date night choice.
I never made it to Jack’s Wife Freda, but I’m dying to go. Fresh Mediterranean and American eats in a cute spot in Soho (and West Village).
The Butcher’s Daughter (vegetarian), Nolita
Divine vegan food, fresh pressed juices, and kombucha on draft. All locally farmed ingredients, perfect portions, and I swear the best mimosas. Such a sweet setting with verdant decoration galore. Definitely at the top of the list.
Peacefood Cafe, Union Square
Amazing vegan cuisine and the absolute best ginger chai lattes. My favorites are the Kale Protein Salad and Chickpea Fries, but you’re safe trying anything on the menu. The only downside: it’s a dry restaurant. But don’t let that deter you because it might be the best vegan menu in NYC.
By Chloe, West Village
This place is super hip and everything on the menu is actually heaven. Unfortunately the rest of NYC has already figured this out — expect to wait in line for at least 10 minutes before ordering. I’ve only been to the West Village location, but there are three others in NYC and more to come.
Juice Press, East Village (one of many locations)
The most popular vegan chain in NYC, and for good reason. From smoothies to fresh pressed juices to salads to supplements to superfood bowls, this place is vegan, organic bliss. I could survive on solely Juice Press for the rest of my life, easy. I just wish they had a cookbook! Favorites include Doctor Green Juice, Fountain of Youth Smoothie, Marinated Kale Salad, and Raw Hummus Wrap.
Organic Grill, East Village
Quaint restaurant with a full menu of healthy vegan meets indulgent comfort food. Super delicious, super friendly staff, and reasonably priced. Plus, it’s still under the radar, so it’s always easy to get a table.
I’ve wanted to try Dirt Candy for years, but never got around to it. It’s been recommended by multiple people as being fantastic and innovative veggie plates, so I think it’s worth a shoutout.
More favs to come!