East Seventh Street in the East Village is one of New York's great foodie streets. It has some of Manhattan's best affordable food, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. Step into these storefronts and you're more likely than not to find a line.
But these places are worth the wait, as you may remember from the times I've profiled them on this blog. Want a sampling of your own? Then visit New York and make an evening of it. Just follow this itinerary.
123 Second Avenue
While not technically on Seventh Street, Pommes Frites is just steps away, near the corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue. These are without a doubt the best fries in the city, and maybe the crunchiest since they're twice-fried. If you're coming here for a pre-meal snack, be sure to split an order. I'm not gonna lie -- when Paul and I get separate orders, that pretty much is our meal.
Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 East Seventh Street
Make sure to visit this Venezuelan restaurant when the weather is nice -- the dining area is small, there's no place to wait but outdoors and there's inevitably a line. Get a sampler platter to try a range of the stuffed corn cakes that lends this place its name, or opt for my favorite: La de Pabellón, a mixture of shredded beef, black beans, cheese and plantains.
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 East Seventh Street
If you like sweet and salty, go with the popular Salty Pimp: vanilla soft serve, with dulce de leche and sea salt, covered in a chocolate dip. But really, you can't go wrong here. Toppings like Nutella and elderflower syrup can only be very, very right. Feeling adventurous? Opt for the Choinkwich: chocolate ice cream and bacon marmalade stuffed between two chocolate cookies.
Dessert To Go
123 East Seventh Street
The. Best. Cupcakes. In. The. City. (OK, tied with Robicelli's, but they're not on Seventh Street!) For me, the frosting is usually the highlight of a cupcake, but at Butter Lane it's the cake that really shines. Don't get me wrong -- the frosting is delicious, with more than a dozen options to choose from, like cherry, pumpkin and honey cinnamon. Combine that with the vanilla cake, and ... nom, nom, nom.
After fries, arepas and an ice cream cone, you're probably too full to eat this straightaway. But you're in the neighborhood! Get one -- or better yet, two -- to go and say goodbye to East Seventh Street.