A Day in the East Village: The House Magazine Edition

Featured Travel

July 10, 2024

Natalie Steger

The East Village in New York City is a vibrant neighborhood known for its bohemian atmosphere, eclectic dining, and artistic vibe. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, spending a Tuesday or any day of the week, the East Village offers a mix of cultural experiences, culinary treats, and off-the-beaten-path activities. Here is a curated one-day summer guide to help you make the most out of your day in this lively part of Manhattan.

Photography courtesy of Tompkins Square Bagels.

It’s summer in the city, and there are so many non-typical experiences in the East Village area. The best way to begin the day is with a classic New York bagel at Tompkins Square Bagels (165 Avenue A) for breakfast. Choose from an array of freshly made bagels and pair them with a schmear of cream cheese or a hearty breakfast sandwich. The cozy ambiance, smell of freshly baked carbs, and friendly staff make it a perfect spot to ease into your day.

After breakfast, take a leisurely walk through Tompkins Square Park. This historic park offers a chill retreat with plenty of benches, beautiful gardens, and the occasional street performer. It’s an ideal place to relax, people-watch, and enjoy the morning sun while munching on your bagel or sipping on your morning latte. An easy favorite location for a coffee, latte, or matcha is a Korean cafe called Cafe Joah (212 Avenue A). If the park is not your thing, this cute cafe has indoor and outdoor seating space to sip on one of their delectable offerings, which includes popular Korean drinks such as the Jolly Pong Latte or Sesame Latte.

Take a walk into the past and head over to 29 East 4th Street, where the Merchant’s House Museum is a preserved 19th-century family home offering a glimpse into New York City’s past in the 1800s, otherwise known as the Gilded Age. The house is filled with the original furnishings and personal belongings of the Tredwell family, who lived there continuously for 100 years.

No visit to East Village is complete without stopping by Veselka (144 2nd Avenue). This iconic Ukrainian diner has been serving hearty Eastern European dishes since 1954. Try their famous pierogi, borscht, or a classic Reuben sandwich for a delicious and satisfying lunch. This is a must-visit institution because you haven’t really been to the East Village without eating at Veselka.

Photography courtesy of Veselka NYC.

Who doesn’t like shopping? As the day winds down, head over to St. Mark’s Place, known for its quirky shops, vintage stores, and vibrant street life. Spend some time perusing boutiques, record stores, and second-hand shops. You’ll find everything from vintage clothing to rare vinyl records.Another must-see is The Strand Bookstore (828 Broadway). Visit their rare book room on the third floor. This iconic bookstore holds “18 miles of books,” and their rare book room offers a quiet space to peruse antique books, first editions, and signed copies.

For dinner, make a reservation at Prune (54 East 1st Street), a cozy restaurant known for its inventive American cuisine and warm, intimate atmosphere. The menu changes seasonally, ensuring fresh and exciting dishes. Another favorite spot for dinner is Somtum Der, an award-winning Thai restaurant that specializes in dishes from the northeastern region of Thailand (Isan). It’s the perfect place to experience authentic Thai food and exceptional service.

Photography courtesy of Somtum Der.
Photography courtesy of The Last Resort NYC.

End your day and head for a nightcap or post-dinner drinks at  The Last Resort Bar  (423 East 13th Street), a tiny bar specializing in top-notch cocktails and late-night hours. This quaint bar is known as the latest hidden gem in the neighborhood, with offerings of board games and fun-themed nights like Music Trivia Thursdays and Bingo Tuesdays. Check out their themed nights on their Instagram @thelastresortnyc It is a perfect place to come alone or with friends to enjoy great cocktails by knowledgeable and friendly bartenders who serve both sophisticated and delicious drinks all night long, providing a perfect end to your day in the East Village.

The East Village offers a rich tapestry of experiences that make any day special. A weekday or weekend is no exception. One can enjoy the historic sites and cultural landmarks, delicious food, and quiet nights out solo or with friends. This neighborhood encapsulates the eclectic spirit of New York City. So, whether you’re exploring the park, diving into history, or enjoying a late-night nightcap, East Village guarantees a memorable day whether you are a local or a visitor.


Written by Natalie T. Steger | @natalietsteger