food unique to New York
Need food unique to NYC for someone visiting from SF,CA preferably in East Village
How about an egg cream? There's been some debate about which place serves the best one, but I'm perfectly happy about the one at Gem Spa, at the crossroads of the EV, 2nd Ave & St. Marks. (Good noshing in that area.)
Katz's for Pastrami
Sushi Yasuda for nigiri (pricy but changes your
perception of nigiri)
H&H bagels with whitefish
Pizza. I like Lombardi's even though they've slipped since the renovation. Try it with the pancetta and roasted peppers.
Try Lupa or better yet, Babbo for pasta and see how it contrasts with Oliveto and Quince.
Pastis for steak frites.
Otto for grilled pizza, cheese, and great wines.
And if Jean-George tasting if you're looking for a blow out dinner.
Don't miss out on Veniero's on 9th and 1st Avenue.
There are other places where I like specific Italian desserts, but since you narrowed it down to E Village, you will not find anywhere in the Bay Area anything close to to the Italian cookies, cannolis and coffees at Venieros's.