Frank Restaurant
Ippudo
flickr/bionicgrrl
flickr/lam_chihang
Xi'an Famous Foods
Andrew Zimmer
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1. Frank Restaurant 88 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

In 1998, Frank opened with the aim of bringing both authentic and affordable Italian grub to NYC. With rave reviews, it's grown over the years into a 60-seat resto with an insanely extensive wine list (read: over 750 Italian wines), outdoor patio, wine cellar, and the same simple eats that've had customers returning for years.

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2. Motorino 349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Lauded as one of the best pizza places in the country by average Joes and pie experts alike, Motorino -- which started in Brooklyn -- is king in the East Village. You can’t go wrong with any of the traditional and innovative flavor combos -- the classic Neapolitan-style pies are oven-baked to perfection and served with a charred crust -- but we recommend the Brussels sprouts pie topped with Pecorino and pancetta.

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3. Ippudo 65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003 (Greenwich Village)

As the flagship (and first international) location of the acclaimed Japanese ramen empire, the East Village's Ippudo holds one of the catalyst titles for the noodle craze. Get there past 5pm and you'll bear witness to the restaurant's absurd popularity due to its ultra-rich tonkotsu pork ramen with house-made noodles, and secret "Umami Dama" in the Akamaru Modern bowl.

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4. Whitmans 406 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

Famous for its rendition on the Juicy Lucy -- a burger with a cheese-stuffed meat patty, for you amateur gluttons -- Whitmans delivers on the American Dream with indulgent burgers and rich sides like deep-fried crack kale, fried pickles, and sweet potato fries. The ground-floor counter service is grab-and-go, but the downstairs dining area offers a more intimate and leisurely setting in which to court your peanut butter-bacon burger.

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5. Cafe Mogador 101 Saint Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

This casual, family-owned Moroccan/Mediterranean cafe is perpetually packed on the weekends with the East Village brunch crowd, but it's seriously worth the wait. Since 1987, Cafe Mogador has offered a number of traditional menu items -- such as lamb tagine with a spicy green chermoula sauce and couscous -- alongside elegant cocktails and an impressive wine list.

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6. Brindle Room 277 E 10th St, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

This East Village gastropub specializes in some of New York's favorite things: American comfort food, small plates, and weekend brunch. While regulars love the Brindle Room for its decadently simple Steakhouse Burger (topped with American cheese and caramelized onions), the specials menu is not to be overlooked.

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7. Jewel Bako 239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

You could get the seared red snapper, shiso, ume, cucumber roll, or the crispy sea bass, but the real move is the chef’s Omakase tasting menu. Jewel Bako has receive many a Michelin stars - so you're in good hands.

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8. Xi'an Famous Foods 67 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013 (Chinatown)

Named after the resting place of the famous terra cotta soldiers, the Chinatown satellite of this New York City chain boasts incredible fast/casual (but nonetheless authentic) Northern Chinese dishes. Xi'an Famous Foods is also a family-owned chain that, one day at a time, is reintroducing the rich cuisine of their homeland, which includes cold and hand-pulled noodles, soup, and flat bun burgers.

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9. Crif Dogs 113 Saint Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

Crif Dogs is to hot dogs like Katz's is to pastrami and Russ & Daughters is to lox. The house-made dogs come in a variety of styles -- go big with one of the bacon-wrapped dogs, like the Tsunami, which comes with a healthy dosage of teriyaki, pineapple, and green onions, or keep it simple with the deep-fried corn dog (made with a super secret batter, of course). Crif Dogs' original location, in the heart of Alphabet City, is home to the phone booth entrance that leads to one of the city's most iconic speakeasies, PDT.

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10. Ducks Eatery 351 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Texas barbecue and Vietnamese fare are the perfect couple at Ducks Eatery in the East Village, where the two cuisines come together to create fusion, one-of-a-kind meat dishes like brisket marinated in fish sauce and chili paste, and curry-laced goat neck. Most plates are meant to be shared -- and paired with an unpretentious cocktail or beer from the sizable roster.

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11. Mighty Quinn's BBQ 103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

This fast-casual BBQ joint has multiple outposts in the city, but the original holds strong at its 6th Street East Village location, bringing the sweet smell of smoked meat to 2nd Avenue. There's a real authentic flavor here, whereas many BBQ spots in the city have an artificial smokiness to their meat. The fall-apart brisket at Mighty Quinns doesn't even require sauce, but you might want to add one of the local drafts on tap to your order.