In a compact intersection of downtown Manhattan, the Lower East Side meets Two Bridges, creating a nameless neighborhood packed with places to eat.
Cervo’s is a Portuguese-Spanish, seafood-focused restaurant and oyster bar. In the front, a long bar serves sherry cocktails and wines. In the back, an intimate dining room seats no more than 16 people—the perfect date spot. The menu changes daily and takes its cue from the coastal regions of the Iberian Peninsula with small plates like cockles with vinho verde and pork coppa with braised leeks. 43 Canal St., 212.226.2545, cervosnyc.com
Newly opened Brigitte serves updated French and Brazilian fare in the former space of Les Enfants Terribles. It has the buzzy ambience of a local brasserie with a chic marble bar and beachside images on the walls. Savor chickpea crepes with eggplant salsa, passion fruit and lemon scallop ceviche, and Angus steak with red chimichurri garlic cont. 37 Canal St., 646.649.3378, brigitteles.com
Nom Wah Tu is the newest and most modern opening from the Nom Wah family, a late-night dim sum spot serving after hours. Traditional dim sum gets a twist with plates like the tasty pan-fried chicken dumpling with cumin-chili oil, shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings with blood-orange kefir lime oil and roti pancakes with Malaysian coconut curry. Don’t miss the signature Rice Krispie dessert with pistachio and lychee. 22 Orchard St., 212.219.8785, nomwah.com
For plant-based Mexican fare, head to hipster spot JaJaJa on East Broadway. An extensive tequila menu and a plethora of inventive cocktails like the Mexican Aperol Spritz and Frozen Agave Margarita Swirl make you feel like you’re on grown-up spring break. The space is equally fun—designed with patterned tile floors, cozy elevated wood booths and bright turquoise chairs. 162 E. Broadway, 646.883.5453, jajajamexicana.com
If you’re not careful, you might walk right by Kiki’s, housed in a former Chinese paper shop—the restaurant’s name is written on an awning in Chinese characters, maintaining a level of secrecy. The casual eatery serves some of the most delicious Greek food in downtown Manhattan, simple in execution but rich in avor. Traditional tavern favorites include grilled octopus in lemon and olive oil, fried zucchini chips, tzatziki, moussaka and Greek salad with a large slab of feta. The decor is rustic and minimal—exposed wood beams, brick walls and low lighting. 130 Division St., 646.882.7052
Next door to Kiki’s, you’ll nd Bacaro, a bi-level candlelit Venetian osteria and wine bar. Long wooden tables, crystal chandeliers and exposed brick walls transport you to the Mediterranean as you nosh on house favorites including cichetti (small snacks), spaghetti nero, pollo alla Milanese and risotto with sugar pumpkin and toasted walnuts. Wash it down with a Bellini made with prosecco and white peach puree. 136 Division St., 212.941.5060, bacaronyc.com
For dessert, visit Ice & Vice and choose from a spread of unique artisanal ice cream flavors like Mexican vanilla with black lava sea salt, Vietnamese coee with doughnut true and an ice cream sandwich composed of malted vanilla with brownies and Fruity Pebble dust. 221 E. Broadway, 646.678.3687, iceandvice.com