photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Lil Frankie’s image

Lil Frankies


East Village

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerLate Night EatsBig GroupsBrunchLiterally Everyone
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A while back, we invented a game. This game is called “Can Lil Frankie’s Fix Your Dining Dilemma?” The best thing about this game is that you almost always win.

Lil Frankie’s is not a restaurant you’ll see on a lot of “best of” lists on sites other than this one. But it is possibly the restaurant we recommend wholeheartedly most often—be it for a big, loud birthday or a quiet dinner for two. Pretty much whatever your situation, Lil Frankie’s pulls through.

Someone’s vegetarian? No problem. Someone doesn’t want to spend much? Fine. It’s a big group, and you don’t want to put down a credit card because putting down a credit card is just generally annoying? Perfect—this place doesn't take credit cards anyway. Brunch? Yes. Open until 2am on the weekends? Check. Need to impress some out-of-towners with a “great neighborhood spot?" It’ll do. Just feeling a little sh*tty about your week so far and want to fill your body with carbs and wine? Go to Lil Frankie’s. Are you tired of reading this yet? That’s the point. In an almost unbelievable number of situations, Lil Frankie’s has your back.

Rémy Martin

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

But Lil Frankie’s is also more than just useful. The food—Neapolitan pizzas, nice salads, simple pastas, well-executed vegetables, and great entrees—is consistently tasty, ideal for sharing, and highly satisfying. The room here always has a lot of energy, which is a key part of why we like Lil Frankie’s more than its sister restaurants Frank and Supper. The others also don’t serve pizza, which docks them a few more points.

Can Lil Frankie’s do it? The answer is probably yes.

Food Rundown

Lil Frankie’s image

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Whole Roasted Eggplant

They cook this thing in the pizza oven, and a server will slice it up in front of you before drizzling it in olive oil (regular or spicy options). It’s piping hot and pretty much perfect - it’s essential you make your table order this to start.
Lil Frankie’s image

photo credit: Noah Devereaux


The pizza here isn’t necessarily the best in the city, but it’s plenty good. The margherita is a crowd-pleaser (obviously), and we can also recommend the Salame Picante pie.
Lil Frankie’s image

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Spaghetti Limone

Spaghetti + lemon + butter + cheese. It’s as simple as it sounds, but also incredibly satisfying. You’ll try to recreate this at home, and it won’t be as good.
Lil Frankie’s image

photo credit: Noah Devereaux


The gnocchi is handmade daily and is another sure bet. Just look at it.
Lil Frankie’s image

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Wood Roasted Chicken

While a group dinner at Lil Frankie’s often means a lot of carbs and vegetables, proteins - particularly the crispy whole chicken - are also endorsed.

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Suggested Reading

Frank image


A legendary East Village Italian restaurant that we have decided we can now only visit when nobody else will be eating there. Like at 3pm on a Tuesday.

Supper image

A cash only, no reservations, popular East Village Italian establishment.

Lavagna image

Even though it might not be the coolest of the East Village Italian restaurants, Lavagna is right up there with the best.

a few pastas and other dishes from Roscioli in NYC

Where to eat Italian in NYC when you aren’t willing to settle.

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