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Our City Guides is from the point of view of the people we interview. A restaurant cannot be listed in our guides unless it is recommended by one of the tastemakers we’ve featured. We don’t want you to see the restaurant world through our eyes, but rather through the eyes of your favorite tastemakers in every industry. Why us? Why not them?

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Abraco Espresso

Recommended by: Shannon Leto (Musician)

Abraco’s loyal following doesn’t mind braving the line to score some espresso at the East Village’s small but mighty coffee bar. As if this family-run spot could get any more adorable, they also have goodies like olive oil cake and grilled cheese, baked fresh every day. www.abraconyc.com

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Angel’s Share

Recommended by: Kelly Carambula (The Best Remedy), Salvatore Tafuri (Mixologist, Circolo), Mike Doyle (Actor), Natasha Lyonne (Actress)

A drinking lounge tucked inside a Japanese restaurant that’s hard to find – what could be more East Village? The cocktails are amazing, and perfect for mixology enthusiasts and liquor connoisseurs. The vibe is Eastern hemisphere speakeasy…so to speak. “I love Angel’s Share in the East Village. It’s a tiny little bar tucked inside a Japanese [...]

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B&H Dairy

Recommended by: Mike Doyle (Actor)

Short for “Better Health,” this St. Mark’s kosher diner has been turning out classic Yiddish comfort foods for over sixty years. As an ode to its roots, a double-stack of challah, liberally schmeared with butter, arrives with every order. The juice bar caters to a mostly to-go crowd, providing fresh juices and a stark contrast [...]

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Bianca

Recommended by: Yael Stone (Actress)

This cozy Italian restaurant tucked away in NoHo is a go-to for locals in the area for authentic and delicious Italian specialties, like lasagna, gnocchi, and fried artichokes. The large portions and friendly prices make it all the more appealing. www.biancanyc.com

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Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken

Recommended by: Joe Schildhorn (BFA)

Part of the well-known Blue-Ribbon empire, the Bromberg Brothers reputation for quality is not lost on this joint focused mainly on fried chicken. Come in for a casual yet tasty meal in this order-at-the-counter style restaurant. Bonus: Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken is open until 2 a.m. in order to serve all of your late-night cravings. [...]

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Brindle Room

Recommended by: Janet Mock (Writer & TV Personality)

This gastropub boasts an eclectic mix of shareable homestyle comfort food, with specifically their Steakhouse Burger receiving much praise. Brindle Room also promises a decadent brunch, complete with complimentary donut holes to top off your feast. Make a Reservation. www.brindleroom.com

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Cafe Mogador East Village

Recommended By: Athena Calderone (Interior Designer), Daphne Oz (Host, The Chew), Rumi Neely (Fashion Toast), Eden Grinshpan (Host, Eden Eats), Mario Carbone (Chef/Owner, Carbone), Pamela Love (Jewelry Designer), Garance Doré (Writer/Illustrator), Joe Schildhorn (BFA)

A great spot for Moroccan fare, Café Mogador is most definitely an East Village and Williamsburg breakfast and brunch favorite. The spot manages to have a French café feel, and serves up great Middle Eastern cuisine… “I love the breakfast at Café Mogador – I’m a huge fan of Middle Eastern food.” – Athena Calderone (Interior Designer) [...]

Caracas Arepa Bar, 291 Grand St., Recommended by Carla Gugino

Caracas Arepa Bar

Recommended by: Carla Gugino (Actress), Billie Lourd (Actress)

When restaurants in the East Village are surrounded by chaotic flocks of hungry diners, Caracas Arepa Bar is always a safe bet to bypass the ridiculous waits. The Venezuelan restaurant offers more than ten varieties of crisp arepas, which are essentially corn muffin sandwiches filled with exotic delights such as mashed chicken and avocado, sweet [...]

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Corkbuzz

Recommended by: Eva Chen (Editor-in-Chief, Lucky Magazine)

This East Village spot takes a no-muss, no-fuss approach to wine. Corkbuzz is a triple threat; it’s a wine bar that also moonlights as an event space and a spot for wine classes. This is the place for great wine paired with great food. Make a Reservation www.corkbuzz.com

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Dieci

Recommended by: Mike Doyle (Actor)

This subterranean space deftly melds Japanese and Italian flavors to create a fusion-filled, unique menu. Using minimalist décor and dim lighting, the space exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere. Savory pastas, an enticing selection of cheese, and exquisite meat dishes comprise this flavorful feat of a menu. www.dieciny.com

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Dirt Candy

Recommended By: Carrie Keagan (Comedian, Author)

This new classic in the East Village serves up inventive vegetarian dishes & classic cocktails in an airy space with banquette seats. We’re huge fans of the seriously addicting Korean Broccoli; go for brunch and get a veggie bloody mary. www.dirtcandynyc.com  

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Duck’s Eatery

Recommended by: Eden Grinshpan (Host, Eden Eats)

This East Village haunt specializes in Asian barbecue fusion, serving up small-plates of smoky, Southern spiced, Asian inspired eats. The meat is the menu showstopper, with bundles of crackling pig ears and ribs filling tables nightly. However, as the night goes on, the restaurant transforms into a bar scene typical of the East Village variety. [...]

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Empellón Cocina

Recommended by: Chris Cosentino (Winner, Top Chef Masters)

Alex Stupak may be one of New York’s most motivated and promising restaurateurs. With this Lower East Side spot, he’s taken traditional Mexican cuisine to a different level. Make a Reservation. “Alex Stupak is just killing it at Empellon Cocina.” – Chris Cosentino (Winner, Top Chef Masters) www.empellon.com

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Frank

Recommended by: Chrissy Teigen (Model)

If your Italian Grandmother (whose recipes are notorious and a hit at every family function) opened a cozy restaurant in the East Village, we like to think it would be identical to Frank Restaurant from restaurateur notable Frank Prisinzano. Unassuming, unpretentious Italian…all we can say is, yum. Make a Reservation www.frankrestaurant.com

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Gemma

Recommended by: Kelly Clark (Professional Snowboarder, Olympic Gold Medalist), Jaime King (Actress), Jennifer Morrison (Actress), Joy Bauer (TV Personality), Brit Shaw (Actress)

Nestled within the Bowery Hotel lies this lively, traditional Italian trattoria. The warm, rustic decor and attentive staff create a warm, and inviting atmosphere perfect for a leisurely lunch or dinner. The traditional Italian cuisine is divine and worth the wait at this trendy, no reservations restaurant. “Good Italian food in NYC is a must. [...]

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Gruppo

Recommended by: Janet Mock (Writer & TV Personality)

Gruppo is known throughout the neighborhood as the some of the best thin-crust pizza around. Whether it’s for a quick slice at lunchtime or a full pie during happy hour, Gruppo is there to get your cheesy fix. www.gruppothincrust.com