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Perfect For: Breakfast People Watching Vegetarians


PHOTOS: Liz Clayman

We discovered Dimes a few years ago, right about the time we and everyone else discovered that there was more city below Canal on the Lower East Side and not just an infinity edge into the East River.

In its original incarnation on Division Street, Dimes was a small cafe full of dudes with man buns and probably also trust funds eating acai bowls. We liked it for its quirkiness and quality food, and frequented it fairly often.

Then, as timing would have it, both healthy food and man buns became the hottest trends since techno became "EDM," and Dimes had to move up the block to a larger space to meet demand. That's when things got weird.

The food at Canal Street Dimes is the same as it was on Division Street, but nowadays, the vibe is different. Around this new location has coalesced a group of people whom we now refer to exclusively as the "Dimes Community." These people frequent Dimes and other cool places around the Lower East Side and Chinatown, like the yoga place down the street from Dimes that also probably serves acai bowls, that coffee shop inside the skateboard shop, and Nicaragua. You are not one of them.

And that's just the problem. Every time we've walked into Dimes over the last year or so, we've gotten the same look from the staff as you might if you picked a random house on the street and walked into the kitchen during dinner. "Who are you? We don't know you. Why are you here? Are you a friend of Amanda's?"

It's a place that's often uncomfortable due to the cold service that comes with your cold acai bowl, and as a result, we've crossed Dimes off of our list of frequently visited restaurants. The food is still very good, should you find yourself curious to try it. But whatever you do, don't let on that you're not a part of the community. Tell them you know Amanda.

Food Rundown

Acai Bowls

I know there's supposed to be a hanging tail thing on the "c" in "acai" but if I put it there, I have no idea how to pronounce it. So I won't. We like the strawberry banana version, though you can also get it with kale, banana, and ginger, or carob, banana, dates, and coconut. If you like acai bowls, you'll like these.

Breakfast Sandwich

A monster egg sandwich with avocado, cheddar, pickled peppers, and a homemade hot sauce. You won't need to eat for days.


This might not be 100% healthy, but it's 100% tasty. Thick cut bacon + roasted tomato + lime mayo = delicious.

Pulled Chicken Sandwich

The sandwiches here are big, so don't be surprised when this bruiser shows up at the table. The chicken on this thing is aided significantly by a harissa grain mustard, which makes it taste excellent.

The Big Salad

A very good, big salad consisting of kale, wild mushroom, snow peas, red grapes, buckwheat, and an herbed yogurt dressing.

Spiced Quinoa Bowl

We're like this quinoa bowl, which also has wilted kale, caramelized fennel, chick peas, and a citrus salsa in the mix. Order it.

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