Shopping Like an East Village Native
After an undeniably challenging year, the East Village is still the thriving, iconic neighborhood it has always been, thanks to dedicated locals and a sense of community found nowhere else in New York City. Bolstered by the efforts of the East Village Community Coalition, the area’s varied food scene and range of quirky one-off shops are still open despite restricted operations. For residents of the East Village’s Greatest Building who wake up each morning within walking distance of some of the city’s best food and shopping, we’ve provided a guide to local businesses (with current precautions in mind) that make the East Village one of the city’s greatest neighborhoods.
While online retailers have claimed huge chunks of the market, independent shops are the East Village’s lifeblood, and residents can count on local merchants for everything from fine wines to books and records to vintage clothes. The classy Alphabet City Wine Co. on Avenue C stocks wines from small, family-owned vineyards as well as small-batch liquors. It’s perfect for adventurous drinkers and chefs who are looking for a wine pairing for dinner. Patrons who like to combine imbibing alcohol with literature will love the Book Club bar, a combination wine bar and bookstore that’s open for in-store browsing as well as outdoor seating and takeout beverages.
With physical media making a comeback, stores like Academy Records are finding new life, once again becoming meeting places for vinyl record trading among aficionados. And, of course, the East Village has always been known for its vintage boutiques, many of which have moved partially online in the age of Instagram but are still operating physical locations during the pandemic. The retro-chic East Village Vintage Collective features clothing from the ’60s and ’70s as well as pop culture kitsch like the patches and one-of-a-kind pieces in their Art Through Vintage line created by NYC artists.
Of course, residents of the East Village rentals at EVGB will also seek out the neighborhood’s best dining. Local favorite John’s of 12th Street, which has served “traditional gravy and red-sauce Italian food” since 1908, is now open for indoor dining as well as takeout, bringing an iconic part of NYC dining back to life after a hiatus. Institutions of Asian cuisine like Noodle Bar and Philippine favorite Jeepney are open for takeout, meaning that delicious hot noodles and succulent Kamayan feasts are just minutes away from the East Village’s Greatest Building.