Known to many as the ultimate foodie neighborhood in New York City, the East Village is home to an array of cuisines. From Michelin star restaurants to secret hole-in-the-wall joints known only to locals, there’s something for everyone’s taste and mood when hungry in this neighborhood. For something special, dine at one of these five best restaurants in the East Village. By Sarah Shaker.
Prune’s phenomenal brunch may have you waiting for hours, but the line is well worth it to try chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s American menu every weekend. Dinner features an indulgent bone marrow to light seafood fare. Brunch with your girlfriends or make reservations for dinner with your love, as every meal at Prune feels like a more-than-casual occasion.
David Chang’s Momofuku empire, ranging from noodles to a bakery, are all neighborhood gems in their own right. But, Momofuku Ko is the shining star. Good luck trying to get behind these foodie velvet ropes – reservations must be made days in advance via their website only. At Ko, guests are served a 10-course tasting menu by the cooks, seated along a kitchen counter. Parties of 1, 2 or 4 diners can be accommodated as there are only 12 seats, so if it’s not an intimate party, wander over to another Momofuku East Village venture.
Back Forty may call themselves a “burger joint”, but this seasonally changing restaurant is so much more. With organic and responsibly sourced meat and fresh in-season veggie dishes, Back Forty offers greenmarket ideals in a trendy, yet casual dining room. Their epic crab boils are not to be missed so make reservations early to crack crabs and chug beers with your crew this summer at Back Forty!
Chef Sara Jenkins, known in the neighborhood for the magic she makes with pork at Porchetta, is serving what just may be the best lasagna in New York City at Porsena. This pasta-centric Italian restaurant offers homemade dishes with freshly prepared ingredients. Order a bottle of wine, share an appetizer and linger over bowls of comforting gourmet pastas.
Italian restaurants are a dime a dozen in the East Village, but Hearth stands out from the marinara sauce crowd. Tuscan traditions are modernized on their daily changing menu, including fresh seafood, meat and pastas. Hearth sets the stage for dinner when your parents are in town or for a special date night to celebrate your anniversary.