Union Square, an epicenter for the Lower Manhattan
gentry, is the perfect stopping point on an extended meander through the city streets or a wonderful destination in itself. Restaurants are prime places for trying new cuisine while partaking in some people watching. When the Farmer’s Market is not up, here are the 10 best places to eat around the culinary paradise of Union Square.
Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, $$$
Best for large groups, in order to occupy the large communal tables and sample each other’s food, Republic is a restaurant for adventurous palates. Though the menu celebrates the simplicity and harmony of flavor in Asian fusion cuisine, the variety on the menu itself makes it difficult to decide what to go with on any given night. Selections range from the traditional pad Thai to the more adventurous grilled Japanese eggplant. Whatever you choose, be sure your friends choose something different.
Republic, 37 Union Square West, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 627 7172
Dos Toros’ menu offers just about anything a good taqueria should: simple ingredients on a burrito, taco, or quesadilla with quick service and a decidedly West Coast interior. The company has expanded throughout New York while maintaining vibrant West Coast flavor and a commitment to sustainability. Try the guacamole; it is some of the best in the city.
Dos Toros Union Square, 137 4th Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 677 7300
Restaurant, American, $$$
‘American,’ ‘Chic,’ and ‘Fried Chicken’, three words that find their home in one restaurant. ABC Kitchen offers that special breed of American comfort food with the glamorous twist of culinary school presentation. If you are looking to expand your food horizons, look no further than the organic fried chicken with wild spinach plus basil and butter hot sauce. Truly, comfort never felt so sophisticated.
ABC Kitchen, 35 East 18th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 475 5829
Cafe, Restaurant, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, $$$
New Yorkers are always on the move and pita pockets seem like the ideal eat-while-you-walk solution. Taboonette, however, serves up pitas that deserve undivided attention. Falafel and shwarma are your best bets if you’re looking for a filling meal. The Mediterranean-inspired breakfast pitas, American pitas, and other dishes will make you reconsider your morning bagel for these powerhouse pita pockets that are affordable and flavorful.
Taboonette, 30 East 13th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 510 7881
The Coffee Shop
Cafe, Brazilian, American, $$$
The Coffee Shop
Visit The Coffee Shop for more than traditional New York coffee. Come and go as often as you please, as this establishment is open 23 hours a day. Converse with fellow travelers over some Brazilian-American cuisine; meatloaf, chowder, shrimp cocktails, Brazilian pork are all on the menu. All you have to do is look for the red neon sign.
The Coffee Shop, 29 Union Square West, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 243 7969
Restaurant, American, Healthy
The Japanese cuisine served at Souen is good for you because each plate is prepared without the use of preservatives, GMOs, or any of the ingredients that generally belong in a Petri dish and not on your dinner plate. For lunch, the afternoon special is serves a generous amount of fish for under $15. Your body will thank you as much as your budget will.
Souen, 28 East 13th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 627 7150
Cafe, American, $$$
Joe Coffee was founded in 2003 and has expanded steadily throughout Manhattan. Thankfully, Joe graces Union Square with strong, fruity coffee and expert craftsmanship. This is the ideal spot to sip a strong cup of coffee on your way to work, or get a latte to help tackle those weekend errands. Single-origin coffees rotate regularly, so you may want to start trying out the word ‘connoisseur’ the next time you order. After one visit, you will quickly relish the title and make this coffee shop a must-visit whenever you’re in the area.
Joe Coffee, 9 East 13th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 924 3300
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Market, Restaurant, Asian, $$$
If you are seeking conventional Cambodian food, check out Num Pang. This small restaurant is the newest location of a chain that spreads all the way from the Chelsea Market to the Flatiron District. The denizens of Union Square are treated to the best of New York, this time in the form of sandwiches full of vibrant and exotic flavors. Salmon is great for the fish lovers, portobello for vegetarians, and the classic pork for everyone else.
Num Pang, 28 East 12th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 646 791 0439
Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
The menu specials at Westville, like NYC itself, are always changing. This is a good thing because the food is so great it would be a shame to waste such good cooking on a fixed menu. The Union Square location offers anything from char-broiled burgers to watercress salads. This is one of those restaurants that New Yorkers love to love, simply because the food is delicious.
Westville, 246 West 18th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 924 2223