Jewels of the East Village

By Talia Cardona

If you’ve lived in New York for a while, you probably think you know the East Village inside out — from grimy St. Mark’s to Tompkins Square Bagels. But even with the myriad options available, there are a few choice locales that even tried-and-true New Yorkers miss. Fortunately, I’ve hand-picked the East Village jewels that should be on your list.

Food & Drink

Lovers of Today

132 ½ East 7th St.

Lovers of Today

Photo: Yelp.

Neon lights illuminate the entrance to this cozy bar that provides an intimate space for small groups to grab a drink. I recommend the Marquee Moon, a rosy-hued cocktail made with vodka, blackberry preserves, and lemon. Another bonus? You won’t be subjected to Top 40 dreck here – count on them blasting a well-chosen playlist of classic rock.

Sabor A Mexico Taqueria

160 1st Ave

Sabor A Mexico Taqueria

Photo: Foursquare.

If you’re California-bred like me, you’ll be hard-pressed to satisfy your Mexican cravings in  Manhattan. Enter Sabor A Mexico Taqueria, the answer to your tamale dreams. Located at the intersection of 1st Avenue and East 10th Street, this hidden gem’s exterior wouldn’t make you look twice. But inside, they serve up truly authentic Mexican rice, pinto beans, and tamales (made with incredibly soft masa).

The Redhead

349 East 13th St.

Redhead

Photo: Nathan Rawlinson for The Redhead.

A glowing red light welcomes you to this small bar nestled on the corner of 13th Street and 1st Avenue, and you won’t be disappointed. The pretzels – the most heavenly incarnations of bread around — come steaming with a side of the unforgettable beer cheese dip. If you’re searching for a place where you can nosh on bar food that’s anything but mediocre, make sure to head to the Redhead.  

Coffee:

Abraço

86 East 7th St.

abraco

Photo: Yelp.

A welcoming little coffee shop that sits on a quiet, tree-lined street, Abraço is home to New York’s finest olive oil cake, which is not overpowered by its namesake ingredient. Also outstanding? The music selection – they regularly play Bowie and other classics. One thing to note: you have to be on the coffee bandwagon; there’s no tea served here.

Mudpark

75 East 1st St.

Mudpark

Photo: Instagram @mudpeople.

You’ve probably seen Mudpark’s “Don’t Worry Everything Is Going To Be Amazing” sign in your Instagram feed, and after one sip of the decadent drip coffee, everything will be. Located on the border of the East Village and the Lower East Side, Mudpark is the perfect spot to sit with a friend in the shade, hide out from 1st Avenue’s bustle, and relax.