As its name would suggest, East Village is to be located on the lower east side of Manhattan, a place most famous for its buzzing nightlife, including old-school bars, jazz clubs, and all of the late-night eateries. Less popular than the ever-famous Midtown Manhattan, East Village is still really worth a trip if you have a little more time while in Ny. Here’s your guide towards the better of hidden gems and secret spots in East Village, Manhattan, New York.
Introducing East Village, Manhattan
An eclectic, bustling, and busy neighbourhood, the East Village of Manhattan is often overlooked by visitors in favour of more popular districts such as Midtown Manhattan and New York’s West Village. However, not taking the time to go to during your Ny stay, would be the first mistake.
After all, in East Village, you’ll soon discover an interesting area the place to find many historic buildings, and lots of from the beaten path parks and gardens. And when you’re seeking to delve deeper in to the history of the Rock ‘n Roll scene of the Manhattan district, make sure to book a guided tour like this one.
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
One of the greatest places to go to for the ultimate New York dessert experience is Van Leeuwen ice cream. Now in several locations dotted across the The big apple, Van Leeuwen started selling sweets in 2008 and it has rapidly grown in popularity ever since because of a plethora of unusual flavours on the menu, including several vegan options!
All ice cream is made in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and you can purchase your ice cream inside a cone or in a cup. While there is ample seating within the store, in addition to several benches directly out front, I personally recommend taking your ice cream to go, enabling you further time to discover other strategies of the East Village. You need to know before visiting that the store is card only (no cash)!
St. Marks Church-In-The-Bowery
One from the oldest churches in New York is to be found in East Village. Named St. Marks Church-In-The-Bowery, the ecclesiastical building is now the 2nd oldest church in Manhattan and groundbreaking began as soon as 1795. Architectural popular features of the church incorporate a 19th-century Greek Revival church steeple and Federal-style church body (with Georgian elements).
Though St Marks was completed and consecrated in 1799, additions were added throughout the 19th-century and extensive restorations were undertaken through the 1970s and 1980s. The causes from the church (both the East and West Yards) contain stone vaults which are the final resting place of many a famous New Yorker.
First Street Green Cultural Park & other East Village Street Art
Though less of a ‘hidden gem of East Village,’ than some of the other destinations and locations in this particular article, it’s really worth noting that there’s a myriad of street art to appear around East Village. Highlights include many a mural such as the beach mural of 1st Avenue & East 9th Street.
Of particular note may be the First Street Green Cultural Park which presents ever-changing artworks displayed against the backdrop of a tiny and secluded corner from the city. Open all year round and liberated to visit, discover more information regarding the square on the First Street Green Cultural Park Facebook page.
Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame
Situated within the very heart of recent York’s East Village, the Yiddish Walk of fame, much like the Hollywood Walk of Fame in La and the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame in Miami, comprises of bronze plaques embedded in to the sidewalk and it is a reminder from the lower east side’s rich and fascinating history.
The Walk of Fame of the The big apple honours Jewish actors and stars for example Fyvush Finkel and Molly Picon. The thing is, prior to WWII, el born area of Manhattan was referred to as Yiddish Theatre District or the Jewish Rialto due to the amount of theatre establishments in the area; performances in Yiddish would have included comedies, dramas, original plays, plus much more.
For book lovers and bibliophiles, Ny is definitely an absolute delight of second-hand shops and stores so cemented in the fabric from the good reputation for the city that they’ve since become cultural institutions in their own right (i.e. Rizzoli Bookstore).
Of particular note in New York’s East Village is Strand Bookstore, which boasts, new titles, vintage tomes, and second-hand bestsellers stacked across an astounding 18 miles! Wander in during opening hours and you’re certain to leave with a souvenir (or two!) There’s even an impressive selection of New York-themed guides, memoirs, and illustrated guides that will help you make the most of your The big apple visit.
Served by the slice and oh-so-delicious, be sure to head to Nolita Pizza for some of the best pizza pies in the East Village. Self-proclaimed to provide an ‘authentic Italian culinary experience right to your table,’ the slices are well-priced and therefore are created using traditional ingredients. Simply scrumptious!
Creative Little Garden
For those who are looking for just a little and secluded space which is hidden away from the hustle and bustle of busy Nyc life, the Creative Little Garden is really a beautiful green area used to be an overgrown lot. Situated between Avenue A & B, the Garden is maintained solely with the work of volunteers and hosts regular events throughout the year (including poetry salons!). Discover more details on the Creative Little Garden Facebook page.
Situated within the very middle of East District, Cloister Café has a unique foodie experience in the Lower East Side: sip on your drink or eat the food from the backdrop of three Gothic-themed spaces. Plus an outdoor garden, there’s also two indoor spaces which are medieval themed.
The interior of Cloister Café boasts decor such as stained glass windows which were acquired when a nearby church underwent renovations, as well as authentic Gargoyles! Of all of the secret spots in East Village, this has to be one of the quirkiest foodie experiences!
Please Don't Tell (PDT) Speakeasy-themed Bar
Much a lesser well-kept Ny secret than even just a few years ago, Please Don’t Tell is a speakeasy-themed bar where the entrance is by a warm dog joint, and much more specifically via a telephone booth housed within the East Village eatery! Cocktails are served in a relaxed setting, though make sure to make reservations well ahead of time because the venue has become increasingly popular!