12 Awesome East Village Spots You Have To Visit
by Andrea Czachor
Want to have the ultimate day in the East Village? Andrea Czachor of Danny Meyer’s Maialino shares all of her favorite spots and how to pack them all in to a fun-filled [and delicious] day in New York City.
My first experience with New York was ten years ago, when I lived on 7th between Avenues B and C. It was one of my favorite times in New York City. The East Village has changed quite a bit in the last ten years. Although the neighborhood is not quite as gritty as it used to be, it still houses some of the best coffee shops, neighborhood restaurants and boutiques in the city. Two months ago I moved back to the East Village and I can’t wait to share my findings with you!
I wake up at a reasonable hour and realize it is time to take our Shiba Inu, Bacon, for a walk. My husband Cedric, Bacon and I stroll along 2nd Ave and our first stop is Juice Press. My friend Leo introduced me to the most amazing smoothie there: Almond Butter Cup. Bacon has some coconut water and we are on our way.
We continue along 2nd and I am craving a coffee. We go to one of my favorite coffee shops in all of NYC, Abraco on 7th St. I get a quick latte to-go and we continue our walk. At this point Cedric has to head to work, so he takes Bacon and will drop her off on his way uptown. I have a few hours to myself and decide to continue on the journey.
What’s a Saturday without a little SoulCycle? I head to the Noho Studio to take a quick class. They just renovated the studio, so there’s now plenty of room to get ready for the rest of your day after some solid carb burning.
It’s time for a quick brunch — I’m starving after my workout! I walk briskly to my favorite spot, Prune, to put my name in before things get crazy. Prune has the best Bloodys in the city. There is a 30 minute wait so I head to one of my other favorite coffee shops — Bluebird, right next door. I have a quick cortado outside and before you know it, I hear my name being called!
I order a Bloody right away at Prune. My personal favorite is the Mariner, made with homemade lemon vodka and clam juice. It’s so salty and delicious, how can you not have one? I order the lamb sausage and oysters — absolutely delicious. The meal is quick and tasty and the music is always fantastic. On this day, they are blasting Destiny’s Child. Belly full, spirits high, I am on my way.
At this point I need a little retail therapy. I head north on 2nd Ave to go to my favorite home store, John Derian. Beautiful quilts, ornaments, gifts galore — you can get lost in this store for hours.
Okay, time for another cocktail! I go to one of my all-time favorites, Amor y Amargo. They have some of the best bitters in the city and it is a great place to hole up on a Saturday. I prefer the afternoon drinking and snacking there, as it can get pretty crazy at night. They also do “Double Buzz” on the weekends, coffee and Amaro pairings! I pick up a few things for my home bar and head out.
My next stop is the bar outside at The Standard. André Balazs does an incredible job with his properties in the sense that as soon as you walk inside, you feel like you are on vacation. I have a quick glass of wine on the patio and catch up on some necessary reading.
As I am staggering uptown at this point, I summon the energy for one more retail stop: Pas de Deux on 11th St. It’s one of my favorite boutiques because you can always find something perfect here for every occasion.
Time for an early dinner so that I can head to bed early after a long day. I walk to Hearth and grab a seat at the bar. Their food is incredible and the staff is warm and inviting.
At this juncture, I am fairly beat and trying to decide if I have it in me for one more. I have been bouncing up and down the East Village all day. I decide that I do and head to my last stop, slightly out of the way: PDT. It’s a classic speakeasy cocktail bar hidden inside the Crif Dogs on St. Marks — and it’s very hard to get in so put your name on the list early! Jim Meehan made this bar great and continues to do so. Have the Benton’s Old Fashioned as nightcap, and you will walk out a happy person.
Full, happy, and with a few new items in hand, I can’t wait to get home and veg.
I take Bacon out for a walk to the StuyTown dog park. I decide we both need one more treat… Milk Bar on my street is the obvious choice! One compost cookie and cereal milk soft serve later, Bacon and I trot home happy.
What is your favorite spot to visit in the East Village? Tell us in the comments below!