EAST VILLAGE, New York City – Our love for Alphabet City, a little neighborhood in NYC’s East Village, runs deep — we both live here and run two businesses together. We named our businesses after Avenue C’s colloquial moniker: Loisaida. Our wine bar, Lois, serves wine on tap to locals; our specialty food brand, Aida, can be purchased at shops in the East Village and nationwide. If you don’t see us at our own bar, you can usually find us at one of these neighborhood spots.
96 Ave. C, b/t 6th & 7th Sts.; +1-646-422-7103
ABC is right next door to Lois, and has become our go-to spot when beer is on the brain. It’s relaxed, no fuss, and a lot of fun.
104 Ave. B, b/t 6th & 7th Sts.; +1-212-505-5813
A sliver of heaven on the block for chefs and home cooks. Floor to ceiling, the space is crammed with every spice, nectar, oil, nectar, bean, grain, hope, and dream you could ever want to see in one space. We often forage their selection of seasonal fresh fruit and mushrooms for menu inspiration.
162 Ave. B, b/t 10th & 11th Sts.; +1-646-755-8911
An airy neighborhood bar with friendly bartenders and outdoor seating located right on Tompkins Square Park. The corner location offers great people-watching at every hour. We like a post-work Aperol Spritz paired with the smoked fish dip.
C & B Cafe
178 E 7th St., at Ave. B; +1-212-674-2985
Located on the opposite side of the park, C&B (meaning coffee and bagel) is our go-to for perfectly scrambled eggs, strong coffee, and neighborhood gossip. The owner, Ali, can be found whipping up the standard NYC bacon-egg-and-cheese, although his egg and mushroom bowl is also amazing.
9th Street Espresso
700 E. 9th St., at Ave. C; +1-212-358-9225
Every single day, all day. The best coffee in the hood, period.
319 E. 9th St., b/t First & Second Aves.; +1-212-388-0762
We found this halal butcher down a narrow staircase below street level. In our opinion, it offers the best cuts of meat at incredibly reasonable prices. We frequent the shop to pick up chicken, burgers, and homemade sausage when we’re throwing a backyard barbecue.
188 Ave. B, b/t 11th & 12th Sts.; +1-212-358-1700
An old-school classic bar that features free jazz every night as well as a great happy hour. If we’re not behind the bar at Lois, we can often be found soaking up the evening in this neighborhood classic.
Sunny & Annie’s
94 Ave. B, at 6th St.; +1-212-677-3131
When we don’t have time to eat dinner at the bar or go out, we’ll order a Loveshine sandwich or a Philly cheesesteak. If we had a little too much fun the night before, this fixes us right up the next morning.
202 E. 7th St., b/t Aves. B & C; +1-212-614-0933
This tiny izakaya feels like the nicest, most welcoming members-only club in town. We love the next-level small plates and excellent sake selection served by super-informed bartenders.
98 Ave. C, b/t 6th & 7th Sts.; +1-212-475-1400
Our wine bar! Located on Avenue C, Lois is an all wine-on-tap bar in which we feature a rotating food menu of snacks and larger dishes made fresh in our pint-sized kitchen. The food that we serve in our bar also inspired our new line of specialty food products, Aida. Our staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, the patrons are easygoing, and locals mix with visitors to create a lively neighborhood atmosphere.
Tompkins Square Park
E 10th St., b/t Aves. A & B; no phone
The best spot in the neighborhood for people-watching, taking five, sipping coffee, or having a picnic (especially with some Sunny & Annies or a bagel from Tompkin’s Square Bagels). There’s also a Sunday farmers market with produce from local farmers.
430 E 9th St.; +1-212-256-1192
You can never go wrong here. We recommend the namesake burger — which happens to be the best veggie burger we’ve ever had — plus whatever is on the specials board. Word to the wise, do NOT skip the gelato.
Cloak & Dagger
334 E. 9th St., b/t First Ave & Ave. A; +1-673-0500
A small boutique where we can always find something … and where we usually leave pining over several other things that we didn’t snag. The shop features a curated mix of small and local brands.
315 E. 9th St., b/t First & Second Aves.; +1-212-388-9045
The best shop for compliment-inducing, unique jewelry at varying price points. Some of our favorite pieces have been discovered in this storefront. They often have great sales, too.
406 E. 9th St., b/t First Ave. & Ave. A; +1-212-982-6664
This is an “only in New York” herbs-and-extracts shop for home and medicinal uses that also hosts monthly classes. We’ve stopped in for everything from a sage stick (to clear out memories of a bad roommate) to lessons in aromatherapy.