Cafes in East New York

Select Local Merchants

Milo Meed decided to take up arms—not in a battle against anyone else, but in the fight against obesity in his Harlem neighborhood. After trying to entice neighborhood business owners to bring healthier food options to the area, Milo decided to take action himself, and Island Salad was born. Since then, he and his staff have served up Caribbean-inspired salads, made with jerk chicken, spicy shrimp, and mango salsa. Diners seeking a hot meal find satisfaction here too, with a selection of pressed sandwiches, wraps, and burritos. To wash it all down or adhere to their "I'm a fish" diet, guests can opt for liquid refreshment in the form of made-to-order juice blends and sodas. They can also bring food to the eatery in the form of nonperishable goods for donation to City Harvest.

420 Malcolm X Blvd
New York,
NY
US

Angelo and John opened Tuscany Deli after working in the food business for decades, drawing on their knowledge of Italian food and customer service. Each day their cooks build specialty sandwiches and grill paninis stuffed with chicken, imported prosciutto, and sun-dried tomatoes. They also feature hearty daily specials including pot roast and housemade lasagna. For at-home dining, they offer Boar’s Head cold cuts by the pound and party-catering packages to celebrate birthdays or commemorate a successful attempt to eat everything in the refrigerator.

8241 153rd Ave
Howard Beach,
NY
US

Established: 2014
Reservations: Not offered
Number of Tables: 5–10
Parking: Metered street parking
Most Popular Offering: Hookah and drinks
Kid-friendly: No
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery/Takeout Available: No
Outdoor Seating: No

Unlike many hookah bars—with their heavy curtains, ornate filigreed pillows, and other trappings designed to make guests feel transported to the Far East—ESEX Lounge boasts an ultra sleek, nightclub-esque look. Here, hookah smoke lazily pours out of patrons' mouths and swirls around the space, briefly touching beer bottles and cocktail glasses before dissipating into the air, which glows with neon purple and green lights.

Revelers enjoy various hookah flavors and small bites while draped on long white leather couches standing below light fixtures with intersecting tilted rings. Or, they can perch on modern chairs at the full bar, where bartenders dole out more than 90 types of alcohol. Behind the bar, large flat-screen TVs keep fans abreast of various sports and entertainment channels.

13115 Jamaica Avenue
Richmond Hill,
NY
US

At Saverio's Stone Fire Bistro, Chef Nicola Bertolotti decks out Northern Italian cuisine and pizzas with ingredients such as filet mignon, prosciutto, goat cheese, and truffles. He and his staff hand stretch rounds of dough atop a marble counter before covering them with sauce and toppings and thrusting them into the depths of a mammoth, tiled hearth oven, where high, even heat bakes them to a delectable crunch. Pizza combinations include options such as a quartet of cheeses—mozzarella, gorgonzola, fontina, and ricotta—or mozzarella, truffle cream, ham, and truffle oil. The oven also produces pastas coated in black-truffle or vodka sauces, arriving alongside paninis and salads that cut all the richness with lemony dressings.

A burbling waterfall covered in plants and pebbles stands sentry in front of Saverio’s fieldstone façade. Inside, slatted wooden furniture, checkerboard linens, big umbrellas, and candles clustered with small wicker baskets evoke a picnic atmosphere even when the waterfall’s iced over. If diners look up, they’ll see something even more surprising: high above their heads stretches a cross section of an Italian alleyway, complete with a trompe l’oeil streetscape mural, flower boxes, roof tiles, and clotheslines strung between two “buildings” like pasta noodles in the mouths of two young Venetians in love.

79-08 Cooper Ave.
Glendale,
NY
US

Established: 2014
Handicap Accessible: No
Number of Tables: 1–5
Parking: Metered street parking
Most popular offering: Bubble milk tea, smoothies, sushi, and coffee
Kid-friendly: Yes
Alcohol: None
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Outdoor Seating: No

Carolyn manages Red Bubble, where sushi and smoothies are the main grabs. But the bubble milk tea is another step above. "We know people [have tried] lots of bubble tea already," she says, so she and her staff put a little extra effort and love into each glass they make. They combine four to five types of tea to produce their beverage's unique flavor, which is designed to pair with the sweetness of the tapioca bubbles within. That results in a drink that Carolyn feels truly tastes different than other bubble teas out there, in addition to also being healthier than just drinking bubbles.

97 Chrystie St.
New York,
NY
US