One of NYC’s earliest working-class neighborhoods, the Lower East Side has undergone a rapid transformation over the past 15 years. While many tenement buildings have been razed to make way for new development, the area still embodies an eclectic charm and diversity that translates into a vibrant food scene—and some of the hottest restaurants in the city. Here’s where to eat in the Lower East Side.
This British-inspired farm-to-table bistro has become a LES favorite of casual diners and celebrities (like Taylor Swift) alike. Savory dishes such as roasted black bass, artichoke lasagna and a bacon cheeseburger line a menu that boasts a range of upscale comfort foods. You’ll want to call ahead to make reservations as dinnertime at The Fat Radish usually means a full house.
The Fat Radish. 17 Orchard St, New York, NY. (212) 300-4053
Vanessa’s Dumpling House is the cheap eats champion of the Lower East Side. Dumplings are handmade each day inside the small, always-bustling storefront where four dumplings will run you $1.50. Next best choice is the sesame pancakes—stretched from a giant ball of dough and fried on a sprawling stone pan. Take your order to go and grab a bench at nearby Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
Vanessa’s Dumpling House. 118A Eldridge St, New York, NY. (212) 625-8008
Known for its mile-high pastrami sandwiches and an unforgettable scene from “When Harry Met Sally,” Katz’s Delicatessen is a New York City cult favorite. Don’t be turned off by the terse and sometimes abrasive nature of the people behind the counter at Katz’s—it’s all part of the show. Order the pastrami on rye with brown mustard and a side of pickles.
Katz’s Delicatessen. 205 E Houston St, New York, NY. (212) 254-2246
There’s something about the rich flavors of Thai food that warms the soul when the temperature drops—and you won’t find a tastier spot than Sticky Rice. What this neighborhood favorite lacks in size it makes up for in charm and exceptional food. Classics like drunken noodles and tom yum soup are served piping hot and at a fair price point (for NYC). But the best part about Sticky rice might be its BYOB policy.
Sticky Rice. 85 Orchard St, New York, NY. (212) 274-8208