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Places to eat near Bowery & 3rd Street

I'm visiting New York from the UK next week, and we're staying at the Bowery Hotel on Bowery / 3rd. Have always stayed mid-town or upper west side before, so looking for some recommendations for places to eat and drink around that area.

Cheap or upmarket / variety of cuisines.....all recommendations gratefully received!

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  1. What cuisines do you NOT want us to include? How far (within the area) are you willing to travel?

    2 Replies
    1. re: LFeinberg

      I can't think of any cuisine that we don't like.

      Quite happy to walk for half an hour or so but if you've got any great recommendations further afield that are worth a special trip then those would be great too.

      1. re: pootle

        Fun! The Bowery Hotel is great.
        Check out: Barrio Chino (for great Mexican food and a wide variety of tequilas in the Lower Eastside), Kanoyama (great sushi and Japanese food in the East Village), Katz's Deli (NY institution in the Lower Eastside)

    2. across the street from bowery hotel, is a small quaint italian place called AROMA..go there its great

      1. St. Marks/East village isn't too far from The Bowery. On St, Marks Place(8th between 3rd2nd)Theres Yakitori Taisho, Oh Taisho and Kenka for late night japanese bbq and beer.

        Whole foods is open on Housten and Bowery if you want to pick up a few grocery items.

        Search East Village/West Village/union Square/chinatown and you will see everything within walkng distance. Your pretty much in the center of it all.

        1 Reply
        1. Bianca (cute, casual Italian) - Bleecker and Bowery
          Minca (ramen) - e. 5th between Ave. A and B

          3 Replies
          1. re: Katherine H

            i have to agree with prune and bianca. prune is a really special little spot with hearty delicious and kinda adventruous fare.
            bianca is a little italian gem. the prices are amazing and the food amazing!

            1. re: ceeceee

              Went to Prune for brunch on our last visit as part of our 'find the best bloody mary in New York city' quest. Theirs was great, but I think the top spot goes to the Gramercy Tavern...
              Tempted to go back for dinner as the menu looked interesting

              1. re: pootle

                Try Devin Tavern in Tribeca. Fresh tomato juice and freshly grated horseradish.

          2. One of my favourite restaurants in nyc is right next to your hotel on bond st. and bowery: Il Buco ( ilbuco.com ) which has wonderful italian food in a beautiful rustic setting. I have only had great experiences there. Fork and Knife ( www.knife-fork-nyc.com ) is meant to be great though I have never actually eaten there- it's on 4th st. between 1st and 2nd ave.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gonzo99

              of all ny dining with high expectations i was most dissapointed with il buco. not sure what all the fuss is about. the food was just ok. the room, stunning. fork and knife is good, but uneven... the tasting menu is hit or miss

            2. i peeked into the lobby of the Bowery Hotel the other day and it looks lovely (imagine a slightly darker, NY version of the Chateau Marmont in LA, complete w/ fireplace)...

              You have tons of great food in that area...a few recs:

              -- Ushi Wakamaru...sushi on Houston near Sullivan

              -- Lucien...French bistro (First Ave/First St)

              -- Zaab City...Thai on 13th St specializing in Isaan food and it's BYOB too

              -- Cafe Mogador on St.Marks for breakfast or mellow Moroccan dinner...

              -- much further south in Tribeca, i love Il Giglio for old school upscale Italian dinner

              -- and make sure to grab a bagel and smoked salmon to go from Russ&Daughters (a shop not a restaurant) on Houston, near First Ave...

              Have a great trip

              1. i second il buco and bianca. il buco has a warm, rustic ambiance and most of the time i've found the food is very good. once in a while it is bland, too salty, or the service is rude.

                bianca is a cozy, inexpensive, and good neighborhood italian place. right next to bianca is their wine bar von, which is pleasant or annoying depending on the crowd. further down the block is quartino, which serves organic pastas and pizza.

                five points is on great jones b/t bowery and lafayette, which has great brunch.

                nolita (a neighborhood) is very close by, which has the tasting room (local), public (experimental australian), the american (diner), lombardis (pizza), cafe gitane, ruby's, and cafe falai are nice to stop by for a coffee and snack.

                freeman's might be fun for you, and its about a 5 minute walk south from the hotel. walk down bowery, turn left on rivington, and left on freeman's alley.

                congee bowery is a chinese restaurant on bowery and rivington, which is hit or miss.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lilnugget

                  There is no association between Von and Bianca other than they are neighbors and that the staffs are friendly with one another.

                2. I live a few blocks up Bowery towards St. Marks. It's right on the borders of the East Village and Lower East Side. There's a wide variety of stuff ranging from many types of Japanese food to Ukrainian diners to Jewish delis. There's also a long line of mediocre-to-good Indian places on E 6th Street -- if you're coming from the UK, you'd probably be better skipping those, as well as any of the random Famous Original Ray's Pizza joints.

                  If you do some searches on those neighborhoods you'll find plenty of recommendations. Look especially for RGR's LES noshing tour. It's great.

                  Here are my neighborhood(ish) haunts that are within a short walk:
                  - Momofuku Ssam Bar for tasty, fresh, inventive Asian fusion small plates, but it's not all that cheesy or "fusion"-y -- very hard to describe, very celebrated, very tasty, just skip the Ssams (burritos). My favorite restaurant in NYC right now.
                  - WD-50 for Alex Stupak's fabulous desserts. Similar cooking style to Alinea, Fat Duck, etc. so it depends if you're into that wacky molecular gastronomy scene.
                  - Black Hound or Birdbath (Build a Green Bakery) for baked goods. Black Hound is more expensive but also far prettier and also does cakes, chocolates, etc. Birdbath is good for a quick pastry breakfast, or post-dinner cookies.
                  - Chickpea for fast and easy falafel on the go, and their invention of the shwarma+falafel sandwich.
                  - Cafe Zaiya for Japanese savory pastries, bento lunch boxes, good croissants.
                  - Beard Papa on Astor Place for cream puffs.
                  - Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery for wonderful cupcakes that blow Magnolia Bakery's out of the water.
                  - Donut Plant for unique yeast donuts.
                  - 'wichcraft for upscale sandwiches, Tiny's on the LES is also very good.
                  - Luzzo's, Vinny Vincenz, or Una Pizza Napoletana (whole pies only) for pizza (the first two are much cheaper and not in the same style). Rosario's if you happen to be below Houston on that side of the 'hood.
                  - Russ & Daughters for smoked salmon. A bagel sandwich to go can get expensive, but it is of very very good quality.
                  - Grand Sichuan for mostly Sichuan chinese food (soup dumplings - which aren't Sichuan, I know, as well as twice cooked pork, scallion pancakes, gui zhou spicy chicken, cold cucumber appetizers, wontons in hot oil). I like Congee Bowery but I've only ever had the congee there. The squid with ginger hits the spot if it's cold.
                  - Le Miu for more fancy sushi, Kanoyama for mid-range, although Le Miu does a great Nobu-ish tasting menu for $55.
                  - Sundaes & Cones for ice cream. Skip Ben and Jerry's! If you want something fruity, hit up Australian Homemade for sorbet (skip the chocolates).
                  - Rai Rai Ken for ramen (especially with corn and butter). I've tried Minca and didn't like it, but I'm not quite so well-versed in ramen. Sobaya for soba. Otafuku for octopus fritters while you're at it.
                  - Crif Dogs for Jersey-style, deep-fried hot dogs. Get 'em wrapped in bacon. Dash Dogs is also good (and they have sliders!) if you're on the LES.
                  - Pommes Frites for, well, frites and sauces.
                  - Clinton St. Baking Company for brunch (great pancakes, long lines, weekdays are less packed).
                  - Prune and Five Points also for weekend brunch (long lines). I like dinner there as well.
                  - Chinatown Brasserie for inventive but expensive dim sum. I'd avoid dinner here, though.
                  - The Angel's Share for a tranquil Japanese cocktail if you're into very good cocktails. Alternatively, Death & Co. If you can get in.
                  - Veniero's for a bustling, italian style dessert place. Although you can probably find a better cannoli in the West Village.
                  - Village Yokocho for Japanese pub food. Bad service, but very good food.
                  - Seconding Oh! Taisho for the scene + good yakitori.
                  - Paprika for solid, unfussy Italian. The menu's small but what they do is very good, and quite affordable.
                  - St Mark's Market for a convenient, well-stocked 24 hour grocery store/deli. It's right under the Grand Sichuan restaurant, too.
                  - Otherwise, Whole Foods does pretty well. I enjoy the gelato bar and chocolate bar, as well as copious amounts of samples.
                  - Nicky's Vietnamese sandwiches for banh mi, although I like Ssam Bar's admittedly unauthentic versions better.
                  - 2nding Katz' for the classic NYC deli experience.
                  - Caracas Arepas bar for caracas! Deliciousness awaits.
                  - Teresa's for pierogies, or Veselka if they're closed.
                  - The Mermaid Inn for seafood. It's supposedly done up like a New England fish shack, and they have a backyard, too.
                  - I like East Village Thai for thai food in the area, as opposed to some of the trendier places. That said, EVT has absolutely no ambiance, and is a hole in the wall.
                  - Try Downtown Bakery for cheap Mexican.

                  I may add more as I remember them...

                  1. Thanks for this post--we're staying at the BH in May--Il Buco sounds very good. Is the restaurant in the hotel open yet?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: whs

                      Nope, walked past yesterday and paper was still up on the windows.

                    2. No-one's yet mentioned Menkui Tei, a ramen house on Cooper Square (southern extension of 3rd Av.) between 7th and St. Marks, which has delicious gyoza.

                      Classier and more expensive is Soba Koh, on 5th St. just east of 2nd Av. Expect to pay about $25 for dinner there, including tip. I've been there around four times so far and have liked it very much every time.

                      If you like spicy food, I strongly recommend the Sichuan and Hunan menus ONLY at Grand Sichuan St. Marks, between 2nd and 3rd Avs. Do not get any lunch specials or order anything from the "Mini Menu," but do order their real Sichuan-style Kung Bao Chicken, even though it's oddly enough in the "American-Chinese" portion of the menu.

                      You should also walk down Bowery and neighboring streets to go to Chinatown proper. Congee Bowery has been mentioned, and there's also Congee a few blocks further down. Go to Banh Mi Saigon on Mott St. between Hester and Grand for delicious Vietnamese sandwiches (lunch only). For more Chinatown recommendations, do a search on "Chinatown."

                      Back to the East Village, Pylos serves very good upscale rustic Greek food, 7th St. between 1st and A (try not to go on weekends, when it's totally slammed). Expect to pay somewhere around $35-40/person for dinner.

                      Some people don't like Taksim, but I continue to be very happy this Turkish restaurant is in my neighborhood (2nd Av. between 5th and 6th). My only problems with it are that I ultimately realized I don't like the pignoli-and-rice-stuffed cabbage leaves much (too mushy), and that just about all their big main dishes have bell peppers in them (my stomach doesn't like those). But you sure could do a whole lot worse than to get any kind of kebab sandwich there - I find those delicious - and most of the appetizers are quite good. Fun paintings inside, too.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Pan

                        I live right next to Men-Kui Tei and found their ramen to be excessively salty, but good tip on the Gyoza.

                        Pan -- do you like Soba Koh over Soba-ya? I'm not a soba expert and am just curious.

                        Also, great tip on Pylos, too. I love their pita bread, as well as their Greek yogurt dessert. And the entrees are quite good as well. But, yes, be prepared to wait.

                        1. re: kathryn

                          I don't find their gyoza to be delicious. Seemed like standard frozen fare to me.

                          1. re: Peter Cuce

                            Interesting. Whose gyoza do you like in Manhattan?

                            1. re: Pan

                              I haven't had any that I like in a while, although the ones the people next to me were eating at Torys Yakitori a couple of days ago looked pretty good.

                          2. re: kathryn

                            I haven't been to Soba-Ya in a long time. I never have to wait on line to sit at the bar at Soba Koh, but there seems to always be a wait at Soba-Ya whenever I've checked.

                            1. re: kathryn

                              By the way, I agree that the ramen are salty at Menkui Tei, though I don't find the saltiness level intolerable.

                          3. Wow - thanks all!
                            So many places look really tempting.... we're going to have to stuff a lot of food into 4 days!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: pootle

                              I'd also add Nomad, on 2nd Ave & 5th, for good North African cuisine - couscous, tagines, etc.

                              1. re: Striver

                                Yeah, not bad. Some of their stuff is tastier than others. Any particular couscous or tagines you find tastiest there? I haven't been there for months.

                                1. re: Pan

                                  I haven't been there in a while, either, but I like anything with their merguez, which I believe is made in house and is very tasty. Their couscous royale is a good choice for a filling meal - ask for harissa on the side to spark it up a bit.

                            2. Just wanted to say thanks to all those who replied with some great recommendations.

                              Favourites included:

                              Clinton Street Baking Company - great breakfasts! The brioche french toast with bananas and pecans in particular, although my partner would probably vote for their banana & chocolate muffin.

                              Ushi Wakamaru - had the $70 omakase and loved it. We didn't have a reservation but they managed to fit us in despite being Saturday night. I wish you could get Japanese food anywhere near this good in Manchester...

                              Devin Tavern - has moved into top spot for the best bloody mary in New York in our book. Also great hash for Sunday brunch.

                              Five Points for lunch. The tea smoked trout was delicately flavoured and very good.

                              For anyone interested, the Bowery Hotel is lovely - the comfiest beds, a cosy bar (would be particularly good in winter), quality toiletries, good sized rooms.