Do, Eat, Drink: Lower East Side

Do, Eat, Drink: Lower East Side

I’m not a “New Yorker” by any means, but I’ve lived in the city long enough to host quite a few visitors, plan several days of fun and start to find my favorite local haunts. Here are my favorite things to do, eat and drink on the Lower East Side (where I currently live): I’ll update it whenever I find something new and noteworthy! 

East River Park in Manhattan, New York City

// DO

East River Park

My go-to spot for a magazine reading sesh in the sunshine: there’s a grassy knoll where you can see the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and watch the bikers, riders, party boats and jet-skis go past.

Union Market

This is where I do the majority of my grocery shopping, because it’s super close to my apartment and because they give away cheese samples on the weekends. Union Market is a lovely place to pick up some organic, all-natural picnic staples.

Flower Girl

If you need a hostess gift while you’re in the city, pop by Flower Girl: the shop is adorable and they can whip up a custom mason jar bouquet for $25. The flower shop of choice for big names like Chanel and Teen Vogue, I like to stop by after Monday night grocery shopping to grab a fresh bunch of flowers for my nightstand.

Donut Plant in Lower East Side, New York City

// EAT

Katz’s Delicatessen

The home of “I’ll have what she’s having,” Katz’s is definitely a touristy spot but for good reason: the pastrami sandwich is as good as it gets.

The Meatball Shop

There’s a surprisingly large range of options for the meatball, but the real winner at The Meatball Shop is the ice cream sandwiches: save room for dessert!


It’s not exactly In N Out and technically it’s in the East Village, but whenever I’m feeling homesick, I (Seamless) order a Western Burger from Bareburger and instantly feel happier about being in New York City.

Doughnut Plant

Tres leches doughnut. That is all I have to say about Doughnut Plant. Well, also, wild blueberry and cinnamon sugar and coconut lime.

Souvlaki GR

The Greek salad is standard, but the real charm of Souvlaki GR is the decor: white-washed walls, ocean blue tables and chairs, fuchsia bougainvillea spilling over the flower pots, outdoor lights strung up. It’s like you’ve magically been transported to Santorini!


Tucked away from the street, this unassuming alley courtyard leads to Freemans: a cozy restaurant with a horseshoe bar. A delightful pick, no matter what time of day.

California Latte at Berkli Park, New York City


Berkli Parc

Berkli Parc is my local coffee shop because a) it’s around the corner from my apartment, b) the owner is from Sacramento and the WiFi password was once “beatStanford” and c) they make a damned good latte. The baristas are also the sweetest things in the world: once, I came in on a super cold winter day and the barista gave me a cup of steaming hot water to warm up my hands and face. Good food, sunny windows, free WiFi, communal table: love, love, love, LOVE!

Spitzer’s Corner

And Spitzer’s Corner is my local bar because a) it’s on the same block as my apartment, b) they have tons of craft beers on tap and c) they have windows that open in the summer to make it practically open-air. The vibe is friendly and laid-back, exactly how you want your local to be. Win!

Schiller’s Liquor Bar

Schiller’s has an old-school diner feel, with white tile walls and cozy wooden booths–head to the horseshoe bar for a crisp beer. Just trendy enough.

The Back Room

Hidden behind a toy store, The Back Room is a speakeasy is super swanky with a fireplace and velvet couches. But my favorite part is the globe that opens up to hold your glasses and ice if you have bottle service!

Arlene’s Grocery

From the front, the red-and-yellow facade just looks like another bodega: inside, Arlene’s Grocery is a live music venue witha decidedly dive bar feel. Good for some loud music any night of the week.


  • Caitlin

    I’m loving the Do, Eat, Drink format! Especially since I just booked a trip to NYC – the Manhattan post was very helpful!

  • lindsaypunk

    I think it may be time to take my coffee snobbery to Berkli Park! Also – have you been to Clinton Street Baking Co.? Def worthy of making this list!

  • Jessica Ann

    Growing up in NYC and going to school on UWS and working on the lower west side I’ve always been just a west side kinda girl. Just before I moved though I was really starting to appreciate the lower east side so I’m pretty excited about this list! Will have to try some of these places when I’m back visiting in the fall : )

  • Oui In France

    You’re making me miss New York! Just wanted to say I love the redesign and the direction you’re going in. Excited to see what you’ll be up to in the months to come. 😉

  • camorose

    Hooray! I hope that it helps 🙂

  • camorose

    I’ve only been for dinner–the wait is always insane for brunch! But yes, it’s a cute place–might have to add it on. Now that you’re back, let’s meet for a coffee at Berkli Parc so you can tell me about SE Asia 🙂

  • camorose

    Hooray! I love the Lower East Side–although, I will admit, I always LOVE spending time on the West Side. So classy over there!

  • camorose

    Thank you 🙂

  • Tres leches doughnut??? OMG!!!!!!!!

  • lindsaypunk

    YES, I’m in! Let’s text/msg and set something up! 🙂

  • camorose

    So. Good.

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