The 15 Best Things To Do in the East Village NYC

Originally part of the Lower East Side, New York’s East Village, through its multi-cultural influences and being considered as the birthplace of punk, developed into its own exciting personal identity in the 1960s, thus forming its own neighborhood in the so-called “Village” of New York City. This guide will cover the best things to do in the East Village.

Musicians and artists flocked to East Village back in the day and populated the area. Once you step into the neighborhood, you just get this gritty rockstar vibe. It’s pretty much a miniature Williamsburg in Manhattan and also very similar to the Lower East Side. In the early eighties, the art galleries in the East Village were one of the first to feature exhibitions by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. With its very own personality, East Village is a neighborhood worth checking out.

By the way: you’ll find many more New York City spots in our Loving New York travel guides!

My TOP 5 Things to Do in the East Village

TOP 5 Things to Do in the East Village

  • St. Mark’s Place  – From the fifties to the seventies, St. Mark’s Place was the home of various artists and musicians. Today, it is mainly filled with bars, restaurants, and stores, but you still feel the creative and edgy vibe. (Address: St. Marks Pl and 2nd Ave, Subway RW 8th Street NYU and Subway 6 Astor Place)
  • Astor Place – Cooper Union is located in this area. Many art schools and architectural offices are also found here. Abraham Lincoln held his famous Cooper Union speech in February 1860. (Subway RW 8th Street NYU and Subway 6 Astor Place)
  • Proletariat – Inconspicuous, but our insider highlight among the bars in the area. (Address: 102 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009, Subway RW 8th Street NYU and Subway 6 Astor Place)
  • McSorley’s Old Ale House – The city’s oldest pub is another pub that we recommend and a true New York establishment. (Address: 15 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003, Subway RW 8th Street NYU and Subway 6 Astor Place)
  • Strand Book Store  – For the bookworms out there, make sure to check out this place which is one of the largest used bookstores in the world. (Adress: 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003, Subway RW 8th Street NYU, Subway NQRW 14th Street Union Square and Subway 6 Astor Place)

Where is the East Village located?

As you can see on the map below the East Village is located right in the center if Downtown Manhattan. From here, the Meatpacking District as well as the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan are within walking distance.

East Village NYC Map

How to Get To the East Village in New York

  • Metro:You can take the 6 all the way to Astor Place. The Wand R also run to the 8th Street-NYU station while the F train drops you off at 2nd Ave. the station which is between East Village and Lower East Side.
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus: Stop 7 of the downtown loop of BIG BUS or stop 14 of the downtown loop of Gray Line Sightseeing. Here you find more about Hop on Hop off in NYC.
    My tip: the tickets for the buses are included in many of the New York City passes – which one is the best for you, you can see in my Pass Comparison for New York!

🥇 Look no further: That‘s the only New York Travel Guide you need 2021/22 (300+ pages and 600+ reviews on Amazon)

New York Travel GuideThis is our COMPLETE GUIDE that includes 25+ neighborhood guides for every part of the city with New York’s newest attractions like SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, Edge Hudson Yards & Little Island, our best-of lists, budget tips and the best things to do and see!

Check out our preview here.

Our Travel Guide is also available at

Available at Payhip       Loving New York at Fiverr

The 16 Best Things To Do in the East Village of NYC

It’s an eclectic neighborhood with a lot of personalities. Considered to be the birthplace of punk, there are a bunch of things to do in the East Village.

  1. 01

    East Village Haunted Manhattan Walking Tour

    Walking Tour in Alphabet City
    Best_Haunted_Walking_Tour_NYC_East_Village_Haunted_Manhattan_Walking_Tour
    Add to myNY added

    On this haunted walking tour you’ll explore one of the oldest neighborhoods in Manhattan: the East Village (and Alphabet City). And at night! There are 13 haunted locations on the list – from historic pubs to the Public Theater to a subway stop known for its “ghost train”.

  2. 02

    Go vintage shopping at No Relation Vintage

    Second Hand Store in East Village
    Secondhand
    Add to myNY added

    L Train Vintage is a thrift store chain based primarily in Brooklyn – but it also exists under the name “No Relation Vintage” in the East Village. Here you can find stylish second-hand clothes at a bargain price. 

  3. 03

    Ukrainian Museum: Dive into the Ukrainian History

    Museum in East Village
    Museum
    Add to myNY added

    This is another specialty museum in the East Village. It was established in 1976 and is considered as the largest museum in the US that exhibits and preserves artifacts, articles, and art of Ukrainian heritage. Every year there are many exhibitions that the museum displays to the public. 

  4. 04

    Support the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space

    Museum in East Village
    Museum
    Add to myNY added

    This museum pays homage to activists from the East Village and has transformed abandoned spaces into community spaces and gardens. To learn more about the museum, visit their website here.

  5. 05

    Play arcade games at Barcade

    Bar in East Village
    Bar
    Add to myNY added

    Nostalgic for arcade games and want to relive your childhood? Then head on over to Barcade. There are multiple locations in NYC, such as Williamsburg and the East Village. Barcade has the classic arcade games that you’re accustomed to such as Pac-man, Donkey Kong and Tetris. The only difference between your childhood and now is that if you wanted to (and we don’t encourage this), you can play drunk. Yes, they serve beer. Arcades and beer is an amazing time.

  6. 06

    Enjoy an Event at Webster Hall

    Club in East Village
    210825121205001_Webster_Hall_NYC
    Add to myNY added

    This former speakeasy turned rock n’ roll club (known as the Ritz), turned to what it is now today, a concert and events venue was established in 1886. It’s been serving the people of the East Village with numerous events and concerts each year.

  7. 07

    McSorley's: Have a beer in New York's Oldest Ale House

    Bar in East Village
    Our Highlight
    McSorley’s Old Ale House New York
    Add to myNY added

    McSorley’s Old Ale House is a true legend. The pub is the oldest in town (opened in 1854) and best of all, not much has changed since then. Old wooden floors covered with sawdust, old newspaper articles and a bartender like from a Hollywood movie make McSorley’s a very relaxed place.

  8. 08

    Kenka NYC: Eat the most authentic Japanese food

    Japanese Restaurant in East Village
    Kenka_NYC_191005114152004
    Add to myNY added

    Authentic Japanese cuisine in the East Village for those who love Sushi & Co. Itadakimasu!

  9. 09

    Watch rare independent movies at the Anthology Film Archives

    Other Art & Culture in East Village
    Add to myNY added

    If you’re a movie fanatic and you use quotes that come from movies then pay a visit to Anthology Film Archives in the East Village. The place has independent movies that you can’t really find anywhere else. 

  10. 10

    Buy a book in the famous Strand Book Store

    Book Store in East Village
    strand_Book_stores_in_nyc_160919103759003
    Add to myNY added

    If you are looking for a specific book or if you just want to browse through books undisturbed, you should definitely go to the Strand Bookstore on Broadway. The world’s largest bookstore offers you a wide range of historical, classic and modern books on a surface of 5,100 m2.

  11. 11

    Proletariat: Visit one of my favorite bars in the East Village

    Bar in East Village
    Our Highlight
    Bar_Proletariat_East_Village_061_1600x800
    Add to myNY added

    A small bar that sprays with atmosphere and individuality. Altogether only 20 people fit in, because the bar consists of 2 small tables and a long bar counter. On a small blackboard is written with chalk, which kinds of beer are available today, where they come from and what makes them special.

  12. 12

    Moxy NYC: Spend a night in one of the best hotels in the city

    Hotels & Accommodations in East Village
    Our Highlight
    Moxy_NYC_East_Village_Hotel_New_York_Booking
    Add to myNY added

    4 Stars | Such a stylish hotel! The Moxy NYC in the East Village is the sister hotel of the Moxy Chelsea NYC and is a boutique hotel at its best. The interior is a blast, the people super nice and the location top-notch. Can highly recommend!

  13. 13

    St. Marks Place

    Other Attraction in East Village
    st_marks_place_East_Village_180927123616009
    Add to myNY added

    From the fifties to the seventies, St. Marks Place was home to many artists, writers and musicians.

  14. 14

    Visit one of the speakeasy bars in the East Village like Please Don't Tell (PDT)

    Bar in East Village
    Bar_170423115755006-5
    Add to myNY added

    The bar “Please Don’t Tell (PDT)” is an absolute insider tip. The brilliant thing about it: from the outside you can’t see it at all – you can find the entrance via a telephone booth in the hot dog shop. The Please Don’t Tell was opened in 2007 and is one of the Speakeasy Bars.

  15. 15

    Astor Place

    Other Attraction in East Village
    astor_place_East_Village_180927123616003
    Add to myNY added

    South of East 8th Street is Astor Place – the site of the Cooper Union – where many art schools, architecture offices and schools can be found today.

  16. 16

    Bar Primi: Enjoy a negron at one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC

    Italian Restaurant in East Village
    Bar_Primi_New_York_PR_210302101802005
    Add to myNY added

    The Bar Primi is a small pasta shop that offers brunch, lunch and dinner with great Italian wines. Of course the typical Italian desserts are not missing. Everything is handmade – from the pasta to the sauce – and the authentic interior makes you feel as if you have made a little detour to Italy.

Impressions of the East Village in New York City

Once you step into the East Village you start to feel it’s atmosphere right away. In the fall, winter and spring, college students roam around the premises. It’s a busy neighborhood because of NYU and there’s always a buzz going around. There are vintage stores, AMAZING restaurants and there’s always something going on.

Going Out in the East Village

Bowery & East Village

Bowery is a street and neighborhood right next to the East Village. It’s fairly small so we decided to pair it with this insider guide. This area features a lot of bars, lounges and some really good eats. There’s a small outdoor food court as well that features tacos and sushi. It’s definitely a nice little area to check out whenever you’re in the East Village.

Best Attractions in the East Village

Many of New York’s major New York attractions are located in this part of Manhattan so make sure to add them to you travel itinerary:

  1. 01 Anthology Film Archives

    If you’re a movie fanatic and you use quotes that come from movies then pay a visit to Anthology Film Archives in the East Village. The place has independent movies that you can’t really find anywhere else. 

  2. astor_place_East_Village_180927123616003

    02 Astor Place

    South of East 8th Street is Astor Place – the site of the Cooper Union – where many art schools, architecture offices and schools can be found today.

  3. Museum

    03 Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space

    This museum pays homage to activists from the East Village and has transformed abandoned spaces into community spaces and gardens. To learn more about the museum, visit their website here.

  4. st_marks_place_East_Village_180927123616009

    04 St. Marks Place

    From the fifties to the seventies, St. Marks Place was home to many artists, writers and musicians.

  5. Museum

    05 Ukrainian Museum

    This is another specialty museum in the East Village. It was established in 1976 and is considered as the largest museum in the US that exhibits and preserves artifacts, articles, and art of Ukrainian heritage. Every year there are many exhibitions that the museum displays to the public. 

Save big on New York attractions and tours

Budget Tip

    Go New York Explorer Pass 

Many of the attractions and tours in NYC are included in one of the New York City passes. So you can easily and quickly save up to 70% – how does it work?

You can see that in my ultimate 👉  New York Pass comparison, here you can see my personal 👉  New York Pass Reviews after more than 20 visits to New York and our free New York Pass Advisor answers the question: “Which New York Pass is the best?

Compare New York Passes

Best Tours in the East Village

There are no special walking tours just for this neighborhood. Instead, there is a huge selection of walking tours in the adjacent Greenwich Village and Lower East Side, which is very similar to the East Village.

These are the most popular walking tours that we can recommend to you:

  1. A_Slice_of_Brooklyn_Pizza_Tour

    01 A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour

    The A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour is a combination of sightseeing tour, bus and walking tour. It starts not far from Union Square Park in Manhattan: with your New York guide you drive to Brooklyn to get to know one of the most important neighborhoods like  Sunset Park, DUMBO, Bay Ridge and also Coney Island. 

    On this sightseeing tour you will learn where movies like Goodfellas, Once Upon in America or Annie Hall were filmed and you will stop at two of the best pizzerias in Brooklyn. Because pizza and New York simply belong together!

  2. Best_Walking_Tour_NYC_NYC_Lower_East_Side_Walking_and_Food_Tour

    02 NYC Lower East Side Walking and Food Tour

    The Lower East Side is still an absolute insider tip among the neighborhoods of New York City and a part of Lower Manhattan that I love to visit. There are countless authentic bars and delis, some of which have been family-owned for more than 100 years and are thus an important part of the community.  

    The NYC Lower East Side Walking and Food Tour deals exactly with these small spots and stores and is therefore a TOP Thing to do for foodies!

  3. Best_Food_Walking_Tour_NYC_2_Hour_Cupcake_Tour_of_Greenwich_Village

    03 2-Hour Cupcake Tour of Greenwich Village

    If you’re into sweets and desserts you should try the famous Cupcake Tour. Sample colorful cupcakes at boutique bake shops, and build your own custom cupcake during this 2-hour tour in Greenwich Village. New York clearly has the best cupcakes and this will be the chance to try the best of them.

  4. High_Line_New_York_171012162730006

    04 Friends of the High Line Walking Tours

    The High Line Park takes you along the old tracks of the elevated railway to the Meatpacking District. Thanks to the initiative “Friends of the High Line” the park exists at all, because originally the construction was supposed to be torn down. And the best thing? They offer free tours!

  5. Best_Walking_Tour_NYC_New_York_City_Ghost_Tour_of_Greenwich_Village

    05 Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village NYC

    Greenwich Village is for me one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of New York and has a lot to offer. But it also has a haunted side in stories, which will be shown to you on this walking tour. This ghost tour through Greenwich Village is full of spooky tales of lost children, phantoms and celebrity ghosts – and not only at Halloween a popular tour. 

    Along the way, you’ll learn many interesting anecdotes as you stroll through Washington Square Park, West 10th Street and the campus of New York University. The Greenwich Village Ghost Tour is a real highlight!

  6. Best_Haunted_Walking_Tour_NYC_Ghosts_of_Greenwich_Village__2_Hour_Private_Walking_Tour

    06 Ghosts of Greenwich Village: 2-Hour Private Walking Tour

    Do you like stories about ghosts? Then this private haunted tour of Greenwich Village in the evening is a great option! In two hours, you’ll hear lots of haunted stories about people who have suddenly disappeared or are haunted around Washington Square Park and New York University. And of course: also a lot about this beautiful neighborhood of NYC!

  7. Best_Walking_Tour_NYC_Greenwich_Village_Pizza_Walk

    07 Greenwich Village Pizza Walk

    Pizza and New York simply belong together! Next to the famous Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour, this tour through Greenwich Village and Little Italy is one of the most popular food tours in NYC. Included in the price are 3 slices of pizza from different stores and during the tour you will also learn a lot about these neighborhoods from a New York guide.

  8. greenwhich_171208101859002

    08 Greenwich Village Walking Tour

    Greenwich Village has a reputation as a magnet for Bohemians and intellectuals. Generations of artists and writers have given the neighborhood its free-spirited identity. From Bleecker St. to MacDougal St. and Sheridan Square, this tour will show you some of the best sights in Greenwich Village and tell you the story behind them.

  9. Best_Walking_Tour_NYC_Manhattan_Neighborhood_Private_Customized_Walking_Tour

    09 Manhattan Neighborhood Private Customized Walking Tour

    You already have an idea of which neighborhoods and sights of New York you want to see? Then this walking tour is perfect for you, because you can create your individual route with your New York guide. 

    Each of the many neighborhoods has its own charm and character, which is what makes New York so charming and interesting. Therefore, the right mix can show you the best picture of the city. Combine Times Square and Broadway with Greenwich Village and Soho, or schedule Greenwich Village or Chelsea with the High Line. The beauty of this private tour is that you set the schedule. If you particularly like a place, you can just stay longer!

    With over 350 positive reviews, this private walking tour of NYC is one of the best!

  10. kulinarische_tour_durch_west_village_in_new_york_in_new_york_city_150035_2

    10 New York West Village Food Tour

    Go on one of the famous Food on Foot Tours. During the 3-hour tour, you will discover many great little restaurants and bakeries. A total of 6 of them are on your program on this walking tour, which is one of the most popular in the West Village. For foodies this tour is a must!

If guided tours interest you, be sure to check out the Best Walking Tours NYC!

Best East Village Restaurants NYC

  1. 200225145016005_2_Bros_Pizza

    01 2 Bros Pizza

    2 Bro Pizza is one of the most famous and best shops in town if you are looking for Pizza Slices!

  2. Vegetarisch_170423115755009

    02 Angelica Kitchen

    Fresh, vegan food has been served here since 1976. Many of the ingredients are organically grown and Fairtrade certified.

  3. Avant_Garden_170327223017003

    03 Avant Garden

    In the cozy restaurant in the East Village, the food is served in a very stylish way. The quality is excellent and it tastes fantastic.

  4. Bar_Primi_New_York_PR_210302101802005

    04 Bar Primi

    The Bar Primi is a small pasta shop that offers brunch, lunch and dinner with great Italian wines. Of course the typical Italian desserts are not missing. Everything is handmade – from the pasta to the sauce – and the authentic interior makes you feel as if you have made a little detour to Italy.

  5. domodomo_nyc_191027170248013-1

    05 DOMODOMO NYC

    The DOMODOMO in Jersey City is a restaurant inspired by Japanese cuisine – super yummy!

Looking for more recommendations? We’ve got you covered! Here you find the Best East Village Restaurants NYC.

Best East Village Bars NYC

And these are my personal recommendations when it comes to bars in the East Village – you will love it!

  1. Bar_170423115755006-2

    01 Angel's Share

    Angel’s Share is the name given to the proportion of whiskey that evaporates when the casks are stored. In this little bar in the East Village you can definitely get the best whiskey.

  2. 190826171434001_negroni_bars_nyc

    02 Amor y Amargo

    The Amor y Amargo is one of the bars we really love! From the outside it is totally inconspicuous, but when you go inside you will immediately feel the charm of the bar. Such spots are what makes New York for me (similar spots are the Proletariat and Fools Gold NYC in the Lower East Side for me). It is small, cozy and absolutely relaxed – just great!

  3. Bar

    03 Barcade

    Nostalgic for arcade games and want to relive your childhood? Then head on over to Barcade. There are multiple locations in NYC, such as Williamsburg and the East Village. Barcade has the classic arcade games that you’re accustomed to such as Pac-man, Donkey Kong and Tetris. The only difference between your childhood and now is that if you wanted to (and we don’t encourage this), you can play drunk. Yes, they serve beer. Arcades and beer is an amazing time.

  4. Bar_170423115755006-2

    04 Crocodile Lounge

    The Crocodile Lounge is the Manhattan version of the Alligator Lounge. Also here you get a free pizza with every drink. So enjoy it!

  5. Bar_170423115755006-2

    05 Death & Company

    Recognized as one of the 50 best bars in the world, Death & Company in the beautiful East Village is also one of our favorite spots to go out in NYC.

Looking for more recommendations? We’ve got you covered! Here you find the Best East Village Bars NYC and the Best East Village Rooftop Bars NYC.

Shopping in the East Village

Shopping in this neighborhood can be one of the best things to do in the East Village, but you need to know where to look. Just like many hip and creative neighborhoods, there aren’t many mainstream department stores. What you will find however are pretty cool vintage and second-hand thrift shops. These stores will carry clothing from different generations which would diversify your closet. Check out either L Train Vintage (204 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10009) or Metropolis Vintage (43 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003).

Best East Village Hotels NYC

Staying in the East Village has many advantages. You’ll always be surrounded by some of the best atmosphere, bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops in NYC. If you decide to stay in the neighborhood please check out these amazing hotels.

  1. Moxy_NYC_East_Village_Hotel_New_York_Booking

    01 Moxy NYC East Village

    4 Stars | Such a stylish hotel! The Moxy NYC in the East Village is the sister hotel of the Moxy Chelsea NYC and is a boutique hotel at its best. The interior is a blast, the people super nice and the location top-notch. Can highly recommend!

  2. East_Village_Hotel_New_York_Booking

    02 East Village Hotel

    3 Stars | The spacious studios at the East Village Hotel are equipped with a kitchenette, dishwasher and cooker. So it’s great if you are on a budget and don’t want to constantly eat out. Astor Place underground station is a ten-minute walk from the hotel.

  3. The_Bowery_Hotel__East_Village_New_York_Booking

    03 The Bowery Hotel 

    5 Stars | This luxurious boutique hotel offers first-class service and great views of the city from the cozy rooms. If you want to explore New York by bike, you can rent one for free at the hotel. 

  4. Standard_East_Village_180927123616005_1600x960_1

    04 The Standard East Village

    4 Stars | The Standard East Village is the sister hotel of The Standard High Line and is equally stylish and clean. The location in the East Village is perfect for those who appreciate the food scene. What sets The Standard in the East Village apart is the beautiful design and clean decor. I’m a very big fan of that – and the view from your hotel room is unmatched!

    Unlike many other hotels in this star category, the rooms are relatively spacious, and you can admire the city wonderfully through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Only one thing bugged me a bit: the closets are too small.

The standard hotel in NYC

Neighborhoods nearby

If you’re in the East Village, make sure to check out these nearby neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods that are Similar

If you have enjoyed the East Village, then make sure to check out these neighborhoods below.

🔥 Brand new! 🔥 Check out our Loving New York Shop with our travel guides (including our Amazon bestseller with 600+ reviews). With them, you'll be perfectly prepared for your New York trip!

About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world. By the way: Did you like my article? Then think about becoming a supporter of us on Patreon!

Did you like this article?

A comment

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wanda M Rexach

I found the article fulfilling and enjoyable
Interested in checking out the neighborhood have not been there in about 20 years.

Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience. You can learn more about it in our privacy policy.

Learn More OK
Log in Register

myNY – your own New York travel planner

Log into myNY and start planning your New York trip. Don’t have an account? Register now - it’s free!

5 reasons why myNY will make creating your itinerary easy!

Reset your password

Please enter your email address to reset your password.

myNY – your own New York travel planner

Register for myNY now and start planning the perfect trip to New York City!