Walking into Cafe Katja feels like stepping off a very crowded block on the LES into a low-key tavern in Vienna. The brick-walled space has a deer head and wreaths on the walls, and there are a bunch of Austrian and Bavarian beers on tap at the big horseshoe bar. The food (like bratwurst, gulasch, and spaetzle) is generally very heavy - but it’s also all enjoyable. We particularly like the tender, well-cooked wiener schnitzel that’s the size of a Macbook. Come with a group and drink some steins of beer, and you’ll quickly forget that you’re down the street from Hair Of The Dog.
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Excuse My French
A funny little French tapas bar on the Lower East Side, with some really tasty food.
Contra is a Lower East Side tasting menu restaurant with adventurous food that actually tastes good.
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Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten
Loreley is a traditional-feeling beer garden on the Lower East Side, and it’s a good place to get some day drinking done.
East Harlem Bottling Co.
East Harlem Botting Co. is a neighborhood brunch and burger spot to hang out with friends, your kids, or a TV.
Suggested by our writers
Kiki’s is a Greek place on the Lower East Side that’s packed every night, and serves good, affordable food.
Dirty French is a Lower East Side French restaurant from the people behind Carbone, and like that place, dinner here is definitely an event.
When it comes to FiDi, Augustine is pretty much as good as it gets. Think Balthazar, but for bankers, and with somewhat better food.
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