The Best East Village & LES Restaurants On Caviar
photo credit: Emily Schindler
For a multitude of reasons, you’re not going anywhere tonight - but you’re also getting hungry. And just because you can pretty much get anything you want delivered on-demand these days doesn’t mean you should. If you’re near Manhattan’s right elbow (a.k.a. the East Village and LES), try out our all-time favorite places for delivery. These restaurants make fantastic food that may actually be even better when you’re eating it on your couch. And no matter what, don’t forget to tip well.
Weekend mornings aren’t truly weekend mornings until there’s a BEC in the picture. Those of you who know BECs well may be thinking that a bagel isn’t the right vessel for such a sandwich (too much sliding). But fear not, bagel fretter, the key here is that Tompkins uses enough American cheese to act as glue for the soft egg crepe and crispy bacon.
This Chinese restaurant on 2nd Avenue will save you from delivery deja vu, since they serve dry pot bowls you can uniquely customize every time you order. To start, get some intensely garlicky dan dan noodles and then move onto your dream dry pot. These travel deceptively well because there’s no liquid anywhere in sight. We especially like to build our dry pot soup-filled beef balls, chewy tofu skin, mushrooms, lotus root, shrimp balls, and glass noodles.
This Portuguese halal chicken spot in the East Village bastes and grills all their chicken with your choice of peri peri sauce. If you’re ordering one thing only, make it the $14.99 half chicken, especially with the mix of “hot” sauce and “lemon and herb.” We always add a side or hot garlic bread, which is an excellent way to cut the heat from the peri peri sauce and provides a jumping off point to make a killer, DIY peri peri chicken sandwich.
The taramasalata at Souvlaki GR should come with two little yellow strips of mouth caution tape for after you eat it (it’s intensely fishy, amazing, and we think about it all the time). Aside from the fish dip, we rely on the Greek wraps and other mezzes at this place for a quick and inexpensive meal that’s consistently good.
If you’re like us, you crave mapo tofu delivery every few weeks like it’s a new HBO series premiere. This vegan Chinese restaurant makes mapo tofu that will certainly not make you miss meat. What this mapo lacks in intense numbing spice (even if you request spicy), it makes up for in fermented funk and garlic. Make sure to get an order of scallion pancakes too, they’re notably thin and crispy.
At Golden Diner in Chinatown, you can order a beer with your omelette, a half-sour pickle at breakfast, and start a codependent relationship with a tuna melt. But unlike other all-day spots with metal stools and kitschy analog clocks, Golden Diner serves updated, often Asian-influenced diner food. All of it is delicious, especially the chicken katsu club sandwich which deserves its own dedicated take-out window.
The Bun Hut is permanently closed
photo credit: Teddy Wolff
Most of The Bun Hut’s menu incorporates Jamaican, West Indian, and Bahamian dishes, like sticky jerk chicken, braised curry goat, and coconut shrimp. But the difference between Bun Hut and your neighborhood jerk chicken spot is that you can try nearly everything in the form of a steamed bao or a massive roti. The baos work as ideal snacks or appetizers, but the rotis at Bun Hot are no-bullsh*t meals. The only downside about ordering takeout from this LES spot is that the Bahamian rum pound cake (unfortunately) will not arrive at your doorstep with its usual side of rum.
Malai Marke, our go-to Indian delivery restaurant these days, makes creamy dal, garlic-blasted naan, and samosas that keep crispy even in takeout containers. This East Village spot is ideal for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. So the next time you don’t know what to order on lazy Sunday night, try this place and prepare for some exceptional, reheatable leftovers.
This Venezuelan sandwich shop makes plantain sandwiches filled with meat, beans, fried cheese, special sauce, and a dusting of lettuce. Their cubano version is one of the most satisfying and decadent things you can have delivered to your home. Patacon Pisao also serves some good arepas and cachapas if you’re looking for something to supplement the patacon.
Between their mole poblano, excellent fish tacos, and queso fundido, La Contenta serves the very best Mexican food in the neighborhood. Part of the fun of eating at La Contenta is drinking tequila, so simulate this experience at home by ordering a margarita or a passionfruit paloma to-go. Each cocktail costs $18 and serves two people.
Whenever we order from this Malaysian spot on East Broadway, we always get either the nasi lemak (the national dish of Malaysia, which involves coconut rice, fried anchovies, cucumbers, and hard-boiled eggs) or the pan mee (a soup with wide noodles and sweet anchovy broth that’s topped with salty, crispy anchovies). Both are delicious for lunch or dinner when you’re in a fight with your refrigerator.
We’d eat Russ And Daughters smoked fish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Now that we got that out of the way, it’s important that you know they’re offering delivery every day from their cafe on Orchard Street. If you’re looking for grocery staples or Jewish holiday specials, Russ & Daughters has those too.
Regina’s makes our favorite Italian subs on the Lower East Side. We especially like the “Uncle Jimmy” sandwich that comes with prosciutto, hot soppressata, smoked ham, soft mozzarella, hot pepper spread, and roasted red peppers. The sandwiches are as big as your forearm.
Hanoi House serves the best summer rolls in NYC. The paper-thin wrappers holding in pork sausage patties and crunchy wonton bits are reason enough to get to this East Village spot as soon as possible. But they’re certainly not the only reason. Others include shaking beef that tastes like it’s coated in maple syrup despite being as savory as the bone marrow it’s served with, and a brisket bánh mì that you should dunk in its side of phở broth before every bite.
As they say, one person’s Veselka brunch is another person’s Veselka dinner. OK, no one says that, but it’s true. This classic Ukrainian diner delivers excellent pancakes, pierogies, borscht and more every day from 9am to 8:30pm. Get some pancakes and pierogies, and enjoy this little slice of old-school NYC in your apartment. It’s something you have to do at least once.
Wildair serves inventive small plates like scallop crudo with grapes and a crispy, creamy potato with uni and jalapeno that will make any evening more exciting at home. It’s essential you get their chocolate hazelnut tart. If you don’t start smelling pheromones after eating that little dessert, we don’t know what else to advise.
If you order from this Thai spot without getting one of their eight som tum salads, we’re sorry but you have to go back and try again. It doesn’t matter how full you are, don’t argue with us - we want what’s best for you. What’s that? What’s our favorite one? The one with pungent fermented fish sauce and crab. Pair that with a spicy mountain of larb ped and sticky rice, and the grilled coconut pork skewers, and you’ll want to come to this casual East Village spot every time you hear the word “papaya.”