"For lunch, which, for the nature of my business, is my favorite time to go around to interesting and off the beaten path restaurants in New York City, a great place with counter service on 11th St. and 2nd Ave. is Momofuku Noodle Bar -- great soup and a major hang out for chefs and people in the restaurant business. Barbuto, in the West Village, is lots of fun. If you like Italian, Lupa in the Village is definitely one of the best. For lobster rolls, try Mary's Fish Camp – fantastic, and Fatty Crab on Hudson St. – funky place, great food. I love these places because aside from great food, they represent the most innovative ideas in restaurants. So, if you have two or three hours during the late morning / early afternoon, you can try a few of the places one after the other, like we New Yorkers do."
Pino Luongo, Restaurateur & Author
Lower East Side
The East Village is home to immigrant families who have lived in the affordable housing here for generations (paid tribute to in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Katz’s Delicatessen, both on Delancey Street). The newly upscale profile of the East Village is headquartered on Rivington Street and embodied by the Rivington Hotel and restaurants like teany. An exploration of the East Village should be done on foot: walk east on First Street at mealtime where you’ll stumble upon Prune. East Village landmarks are Washington Square Park, New York University, and the Strand Bookstore; Tompkins Square Park and Chinatown (visit Pearl River Mart, a Chinese department store) are nearby.