If you’re looking for great food, even better bars and a young, buzzing scene, Dimes Square is your go-to neighborhood.
Commonly defined by Ludlow and Canal on the Lower East Side, many New Yorkers have a love-hate relationship with this trendy neighborhood. A hotbed for viral spots and never-ending online attention, the somewhat ostentatious neighborhood in its efforts to be countercultural is home to dingy dives, natural wine bars just waiting to be included in your next IG photo dump and herds of sk8ter bois.
So if that’s your schtick and your TikTok isn’t already telling you enough, here are some of the best spots to eat and drink in Dimes Square 👇
**Note: Though some recommendations are a little outside the perimeter of what’s defined as Dimes Square, let’s stop pretending it’s actually a real neighborhood—coming from someone who actually enjoys Dimes Square
This unassuming Greek restaurant has no signs to tell you that you’re about to have one of the best meals in Dimes Square. Sure, it’s gotten a lot of attention from the tattoo adorned Lower East siders, but we’re here to tell you: they’re onto something. We’re still thinking about their zucchini fries and saganaki. And it wouldn’t be a visit to KiKi’s without washing it all down with a carafe of their house wine.
Where: 130 Division St, New York
Disclaimer: Jajaja is vegan. BUT, we swear it’s as appealing to carnivores as it is vegans with how delicious its dishes are. Order the nachos, verde enchiladas, and the taco tazon bowl. Just trust us.
Where: 162 E Broadway, New York
3. Scar’s Pizza
Known to draw a line down Orchard, this funky pizza spot’s most popular order has to be their Hotboi Pizza with pepperoni and jalapeños, and most importantly, drenched in Mike’s Extra Hot Honey.
Where: 22 Orchard St, New York
Not to be confused as a general store, Forgetmenot is a cozy, punk dive that fits the neighborhood’s eclectic spirit. With busy walls and dim lighting, this spot is great for dinner with friends or catching up over a cocktail.
Where: 138 Division St, New York
5. Golden Diner
Yuzu-ade. That’s all, that’s all we have to say. Wait! Actually, the Korean fried chicken wings. Well, now that we mention those, you also have to try the tater tots. And the honey butter pancakes. You know what, just order one of everything!
Where: 123 Madison St, New York
Furnished as a vibey cafe with vibrant red accents, your phone will most definitely eat first. On the pricier side, their menu boasts a wide selection of Italian entrees. Moreover, it’s sultry atmosphere makes for one of the best date spots in the area.
Where: 171 East Broadway, New York
7. 169 Bar
You’d be surprised to find that this hip bar frequented for its cheap funky drinks (like a pickle martini—yes, it’s delicious) and to shoot a game of pool on the leopard print table is actually more than 100 years old. It was formerly under the name “Bloody Bucket.” And in the summer, it’s a great place to enjoy drinks al-fresco in their outdoor area.
Where: 169 E Broadway, New York
8. Le Dive
Belly up to the bar or take a seat outdoors and let the cool summer breeze brush you as the wine flows. Their extensive natural wine list pairs perfectly with some of the best views for people watching in NYC.
Where: 37 Canal Street, New York
Another fabulous spot to drink outdoors and people watch (it’s actually right next to Le Dive), Clandestino provides an inviting environment to spend hours sitting on Canal Street conversing over drinks until the sun sets. Plus, their prices are quite reasonable in comparison to most NYC bars.
Where: 35 Canal Street, New York
10. Reception Bar
Reception Bar is a Korean soju bar that’s sure to impress any company you bring along. Though small, the space is absolutely stunning. We recommend the Lotus Breeze with
white lotus soju, sparkling chrysanthemum, green plum syrup or the Matcha Meadow with matcha soju, korean pear shrub, and sparkling jasmine. But beware, these cocktails are so good you won’t even realize how fast they’re going down.
Where: 45 Orchard St, New York
11. Mr. Fong’s
Now this spot may be the most inconspicuous bar in Lower Manhattan. Hidden in plain sight on the corner of Madison and Market Streets, lies a dark and moody bar that’s sure to surprise any first comers. Take a seat at the bar or tuck yourself into one of their corner tables and get yourself a cocktail. We promise, the vibes are immaculate.
Where: 40 Market St, New York