The Lower East Side has long been at the cutting edge of Manhattan’s art, food, and nightlife scenes. This is not in spite of the neighborhood’s history as a melting pot, but because of it. The LES is a place where intersections between cultures transform Old World traditions into ideas and flavors that would not have been possible anywhere else. So, it’s no surprise that a new crop of restaurants opening in the neighborhood this summer reflect this sensibility to a T. When you live at the One Manhattan Square condos, edible fusions like the Reuben egg roll at Diller can be your lunchtime go-to, while the rest of the world has to take a train — or a plane — to try one. Here, we round up some new spots for great eats that we’re excited about, and, for good measure, include a neighborhood classic that’s too good not to mention.
Diller is, in fact, a snack shop that features fried pickles, and the Reuben egg roll is one of a number of items that round out the menu. Of this much-anticipated addition to the neighborhood, Gothamist reports, “The signature dish, obviously, is the Fried Pickles — Diller serves these thick-sliced, crisp, generously-battered beauties in a paper cone, with your choice of nine different housemade sauces like the dill-and-yogurt Diller Sauce, the kicky Comeback Sauce, the tangy Turmeric Honey Mustard, and the crazy-hot Death Sauce.”
Vegans will also rejoice to have Petisco Vegano in the neighborhood, a new incarnation of Cafe Petisco where everything is completely vegan across the board. Serving food with a Mediterranean bent, diners can enjoy vegan versions of favorites like shawarma, mushroom tacos, and crab cakes.
Another new addition to the neighborhood is Tsismis NYC, a Filipino restaurant whose chef, Jappy Afzelius, creates Filipino dishes with details inspired by local produce. “I consider Tsismis NYC’s cuisine contemporary and eclectic,” Afzelius told Mabuhay magazine. “As a chef based in New York it is my responsibility to showcase local and seasonal products and pair them with Phillipine flavors.” Try the pritong isda entree, which is a hearty serving of fried milkfish belly with chayote and quinoa, or opt for the “signature” wings with hot mango salsa.
A beloved culinary gem of the neighborhood is Russ & Daughters — a shop that has been selling the highest-quality smoked fish, bagels, and caviar available anywhere for over a century. Russ & Daughters Cafe, the sit-down-and-eat wing of the shop, opened in 2014 and is now a legend in its own right. The cafe was named by the New York Times as one of the 10 best new restaurants in the city. For the quintessential Lower East Side experience, head over there for brunch — it’s just a short stroll from the condos at One Manhattan Square.