Stanton Social (LES)

Stanton Social LES

  • Why it’s worth it: Small plates served in a chic, swanky setting are a major trend in NYC, and The Stanton Social capitalizes on it. The Stanton Social doesn’t have designated entrees or apps, but instead has scores of dishes to be shared, offering ‘straunters a chance to taste a plethora of items. A glitzy and trendy spot, The Stanton Social is a place to see-and-be-seen.
  • Vibe/layout: The first floor of this ‘straunt’s posh three-tiered space boasts a vast, tall and dimly lit dining room with brown banquettes, romantic dark wood and suspended glass lamps. Not in the mood to eat small plates, and just want a drink in the setting? No problem, the upstairs lounge is a shrine to wine.
  • Top three sharing dishes: French onion soup dumplings ($14), old school meatballs ($14) and potato & goat cheese pierogies ($10)
    • The French onion soup dumplings are out of this world. The nice doughy-dumplings with French onion soup oozing out will not disappoint.
    • Be sure to save room for the warm balls of yummy goodness dusted in cinnamon sugar…aka the warm doughnuts.
  • F.Y.I.: Chef Chris Santos is also the owner of Beauty and Essex, another clutch LES brunch and dinner hot spot.
  • Address: Lower East Side, 99 Stanton St (Stanton & Ludlow)
  • Prices: $7-$26

Stanton Social on Urbanspoon


Clinton Street Baking Company (LES)

Clinton Street Baking Co  LES

  • Why it’s worth it: Ridiculous pancakes, obviously. Once you get past the mammoth brunch line, which resembles a packed subway car on the weekends, you must devour Clinton Street Baking Company‘s signature blueberry pancakes. Talk about starting your day off right, when it comes to pancake craving, Clinton Street satisfies. They are the. best. pancakes. we’ve. ever. eaten.
  • Vibe/layout: This cozy, intimate and charming little 32-seat eatery exudes a warm and homey atmosphere that make up for the large crowds and close tables. Upon entering, the front portion of the ‘straunt is a takeaway pastry and coffee bar featuring delicious treats.
  • Ideal meal: Wild Maine Blueberry Pancakes ($14) – Three large, incredibly light pancakes topped with blueberries and powdered sugar. The warm maple butter brings this pancake-condiment combo to the next level, making it a warm, buttery sweet delight.
  • The people behind Clinton Street Baking Co: This ‘straunt was founded in 2001 by the husband-and-wife team Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, who we will now refer to as the king and queen of pancakes.
  • Address: LES, 4 Clinton St (Clinton & East Houston)
  • Prices: $9-$17

Clinton St. Baking Company on Urbanspoon

The Meatball Shop: Mangia Monday

When you’re looking for an apartment in NYC, make sure you not only check the distance to the nearest subway, but also to the nearest Meatball Shop. We’re serious.

The Meatball Shop

  • Why it’s worth it: You know those times you just really crave balls. Get your mind out of the gutter – I’m not talking about R-rated balls, just some tender, sauce lathered meatballs, over some delicious pasta and topped with shaved parmesan. The Meatball Shop is our go-to spot with visitors and friends… because there are options for everyone.
  • Vibe/layout: This ‘straunt, no matter the location, is trendy and dimly lit, bumping hip hop through the speakers, serving homemade ice cream sandwiches and creating masterpiece meatballs.
  • Ideal meal/”The Usual”: 4 chicken balls with classic tomato sauce ($8) over rigatoni ($5) with family jewels (fried egg; $1) and a chicken pesto meatball slider ($3)
  • F.Y.I.: This ‘straunt neither takes reservations nor delivers… it’s that good.
  • Addresses:
  •  Prices: $5-$11 per item

Freemans (LES): Brunch


  • Why it’s worth it: Freemans is a cute brunch spot hidden at the end of an alley, serving up homey food in a cozy and unique atmosphere. If you’re looking for a spot to take a party larger than 6, look no further.
  • Vibe/layout: This spacious ‘straunt has two cocktail bars and plenty of seating, but is a collection of intimate smaller rooms with taxidermy, artfully nicked floors and fairy string lights. All of these accessories set the tone for this ‘straunt’s rustic homey feel.
  • Ideal meal: Any/all of the following: Hot artichoke dip with crisp bread ($13), bacon, fried egg & cheddar cheese on a buttermilk biscuit ($11) or five cheese macaroni ($14)
  • Address: LES, 191 Chrystie St (at the end of Freeman’s Alley)
  • Price: $6-$14

Freemans on Urbanspoon

Schiller’s Liquor Bar (LES)

Schiller's Liquor Bar LES American

  • Why it’s worth it: Schiller’s Liquor Bar is a casual neighborhood American ‘straunt, perfect for rowdy or friendly group dinners or lunches.
  • Vibe/Layout: This ‘straunt’s dining room has floor to ceiling windows open to the street and a large and curvy bar for dining or drinking. The walls are tiled like subway stations, smudged and cracked perfectly, and mirrors are placed along some of the walls to elicit this ‘straunt’s collaboration between a pub, bistro, trattoria, tapas bar and diner.
  • Ideal meal: Macaroni & Cheese with bacon ($11); my co-eater loved the Eggs Norwegian ($15)
  • F.Y.I.: The owner, Keith McNally, published the Schiller’s Liquor Bar Cocktail Collection, a series of four books of recipes from Schiller’s Liquor Bar. The collection includes books on the following topics: classic cocktails, artisanal updates, seasonal drinks and the bartender’s handbook.
  • Straunt tip: If you’re into boutique men’s clothing shops (skate shop-esque), then check out the hidden Alife Rivington Club (buzz for entry) across the street from this ‘straunt.
  • Address: Lower East Side, 131 Rivington St (Corner of Norfolk & Rivington)
  • Prices: $4-$26

Schiller's Liquor Bar on Urbanspoon

Sauce (LES): Mangia Monday


  •  Why it’s worth it: Frank Prisinzano, the man behind Frank, Lil’ Frankies and Supper, opened this rustic LES spot with its own in-house butcher and grocery. Sauce is described as a nose-to-tail red sauce trattoria with a hip dimly lit vibe.
  • Vibe: This ‘straunt features tile floors, basic wooden chairs, bare tables and chandeliers dotted with cutlery. An open kitchen overlooks the main dining room and bar.
  • Ideal meal: Double garlic bread ($3); Passato di pomodoro (with handmade spaghetti alla chitarra) and grass-fed meatballs ($17)
  • F.Y.I.: All of Sauce’s meat is pasture-raised, anti-biotic free and locally sourced. The menu is driven by Frank’s belief that local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients should be affordable and accessible to all. In addition, the menu operates on a no waste principle, such that rather than simply buying the most popular cuts from a butcher, he takes in the whole animal and uses every part.
  • Address: Lower East Side, 78 Rivington St (Between Orchard and Allen)
  • Prices: $3-$18

Sauce on Urbanspoon