This Guide was written primarily to orient the many, hungry interns and volunteers who donate their time and energy to help build the ARC. White Street, where we are, has gone from a wholesale textile area and drugs paradise in the 1970s to one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world. Here’s a good way to understand where we are: probably the only area of the city without a laundromat, but we do have a Maserati dealership. To mark the changes we will note places we loved and lost.
So for lunch or after work, here’s our very personal list of eateries we like…
East of ARC
Sa Voi 101 Lafayette St @ Walker. For $4.25 you get an incredible French-Vietnamese sandwich. The #1 is the classic. Take out only. Best authentic baguette in NY (secret is rice in the dough). Get the hot sauce. Honest, this is terrific. Half the store sells Vietnamese music and videos. Some say the Paris Sandwhich is better, 113 Mott.
Oriental Food Restaurant 103-105 Mott St. (212-219-8370) About the most authentic place for dim sum in Chinatown these days. Weekends best + get there early!. Char sui soo – flaky pastries with salty and sweet pork filling in triangles – so good. Plus rice noodles stuffed with really large, really good shrimp.
Really broke? At any Chinatown bakery you can get a Chow Se Bow – roast pork bun, steamed or baked, for about 60¢ You can get vegi ones also, but not so easy to find. Place on the corner of White and Broadway has pizza for a buck. A Gournmet Garage coming soon to this corner.
For shopping to take out or take home a good supermarket/prepared food market in Chinatown is the Deluxe Meat Market, 79 Elizabeth St, between Hester and Grand. A full block long and 20 ft wide, crowded like China itself, shoving and fighting for space + eats, absolutely incredible place. Get a black skinned, black boned, black meat chicken (a silky) or roast duck, or our fave, lamb dumplings. Very cheap.
You should get into walking around and discovering Chinatown. Hester Street has great market at N.E corner, way East at Elizabeth. About 2 lb of bok choy = $1 Who knew there were so many kinds of bok choy?
North Towards Canal
La Columbe Church above Walker St. Good coffee downtown in real china, and less expensive-more better than Starbucks. Always a line of hipsters getting a cup to go, lucky you if you get a seat.
West Side Coffee Shop Church @ Canal, One half block north, with an even better coffee con leche at one half the price! Very authentic Mexican and Dominican. We recommend the wonderful and greasy chicken soup, the Cubano sandwich and what we do not recommend, but eat all the time, the enormous, soggy chicken burrito with black beans and yellow rice. Specials every day.
South of ARC
Baked 279 Church St. New, in a former Burlie House. Plenty of sweets, cakes, coffee and sandwiches. NOT a bakery, but a patisserie.
South’s Church St, near Franklin, just south of White. Classic hangout, beer, shepherds pie and burgers, Nice friendly bar. A real bar. Usta be only cops from the first precinct, now a mix of downtown types.
Broadway New Fancy Foods Broadway @ Leonard. GONE 2014
Petite Abeille 134 W. Broadway (212-791-1360) www.petiteabeille.com Belgian with lots of excellent special nights: Monday is 1/2 price beer night, a great opportunity to sample a real triple!
Weds it’s $23 for all you can eat Mussels in a variety of sauces + a beer. Thursday = lobster = $24
Odeon 145 W Broadway, between Thomas + Duane. (212 233-0507) New American, with a French accent, upmarket, but won’t break the bank. The original arty downtown brasserie, great sidewalk tables. Still glam after all these years. Next to us at adjacent tables one night, Michael Douglas, Cher + Madonna.
Nish Nush 88 Reade St @ Church. Very nice Middle Eastern plates, hummus and falafel.
Sole di Capri 165 Church St, between Chambers & Reade. Grotto like small homey Italian vegetarian mostly – inexpensive, slow and very nice and very small.
Blau Ganz 139 Duane St, between Church + West Broadway (212-571-8880) Feeling German? – best in October with umpah bands and gigantic beers. Can sit @ bar and have a nice inexpensive dinner – wurst and beer. Always a free apple outside. Part of a very nice group of restaurants that includes Wallse + Café Sabarsky.
Cafe Clementine 229 West Broadway @ White (212)965-0909 Soup, Sandwich, salad, baked goodies for lunch or snacks. Take out with an outside bench. Go after 5 and sandwiches are half price – great way to stock up for the next day. LONG line at lunch time.
Walkers Restaurant 16 N Moore St @ Varick. (212 941-0142) Quintessential New York neighborhood-bar experience. High quality at reasonable prices. Often free barfood on Fri eve. More expensive than Souths.
Zutto 77 Hudson St., between Jay and Hudson. (212 233-3287) Our favorite local Japanese place, nice room, very reasonable. End a meal with the Red Bean Ice Cream. A little north on Hudson is Nobu, owned by DeNiro, one of the best reviewed Japanese restaurants in the city. Better than Zutto at only 10x the $.
Tamarind 99 Hudson St. (212 775-9000) Our favorite Indian, high end. One of the few quiet spots around here for a meal. Good for an after work Mango Cosmopolitan and the duck wrapped in rice crepe appetizer. Feeling rich? Nobu, one of the best Japanese, across the street.