NYC Guide: Where to Eat and Drink in Williamsburg & East Village
When we started planning for our NYC trip
we definitely knew eating amazing food would account for its fair share of time. While we are quite spoiled with restaurants here in Chicago, we were really excited to taste what the Big Apple had to offer. Here's a list of some of our favorite places in Williamsburg and the East Village, ranging from snacks to fine dining.
When we asked our Airbnb host for recommendations of places he would typically go to eat, he quickly responded with Gotan. After eating there we immediately understood why; it is a perfect spot to grab a coffee and delicious/filling brunch to kick off a day of trouncing around the city or just easing into a relaxing afternoon. We split the avocado toast topped with feta and the house cured salmon bialy. Both were UNREAL good :)
Drinks and Snacks: Radegast Hall
Take us to Germany! This beer hall had us dreaming of taking a trip to Germany. The beer list boasts a lengthy offering of imported German drafts. You can also order a variety of wursts and sausages - we enjoyed the Currywurst!
Date night: All Hands
All Hands Restaurant is a newer seafood spot that opened up just south of the Williamsburg Bridge. The menu was very reasonably priced which gave us all the more reason to work our way through a good portion of it ;) The albacore tuna pastrami was definitely a stand out hit for us, alongside tender swordfish steak and smoked salmon rillette. Of course the oysters were delish as well! They also had some simple but inventive twists to offer on the cocktail menu.
Fancy Dinner: Momofuku Ko
If you've been following us for awhile, you will know we are pretty, pretty big fans of chef David Chang. If you don't know his story, he helped spark the ramen craze we've all become a part of here in the States with his original NYC restaurant Momofuku Noodle Bar. The star chef has upped his game with a variety of restaurant openings over the years, including his two Michelin star restaurant Momofuku Ko. Pro tip if you want to eat at Momofuku Ko for a fraction of the cost: arrive early and sit at the bar. There is a 6 seat bar adjacent to the main chef's counter where guests can order an abbreviated tasting menu (7-8 courses, ours included an amazing bone-in ribeye!) for half the price of the full menu. You also still have access to the full beverage list and wine pairing option.
Funny story about ordering our wine here ... We're talking with the bartender looking over the wine list and trying our best to recant commentary we've overheard from our wine friends. He mistakes us for knowing what we are actually talking about and calls for the house sommelier to swing by our seats, mentioning to her we were interested in a Gamay. The somm comes over to say hello and says, "I hear you are interested in a Beaujolais." But Daniel heard, "I hear you are interested in a Busch Light." Thinking she was making a joke about her expertise, Daniel responded, "No, I think we're more leaning towards a Natty Ice!" But right as he made this comment, out of the corner of his eye he sees "Beaujolais" at the top of the Gamay list. The horror! Now Daniel knows that Beaujolais is a region in France, not a fancy pronunciation for cheap beer.
Other Notable Favorites:
- Momofuku Noodle Bar - We told you we were big fans! Head over to check out this OG ramen spot in East Village.
- Van Leeuwen's Artisan Ice Cream - SO many fun flavors and you will not believe their vegan ice cream is made without dairy.
- Martha's Country Bakery - Even if you aren't hungry, do yourself a favor and at least walk in to see the art they call dessert.
- Saxon & Parole - We only made it to the bar here but if you're looking for a upscale, hipster spot to grab a drink while waiting for your table at Momofuku, look no further.
- Please Don't Tell (PDT) - An original speakeasy secretly hidden inside a below ground level hot dog joint. Head to the phone booth and dial 1 to uncover a hidden 20th century world!