People eat three times a day to prevent mouthy mouths from brashly blurting out their distaste for the rest of the digestive system. Today's Groupon prevents inner-system quarreling by subduing chatty cheeks with Thai eats: for $15, you get $30 worth of Thai cuisine and drink at Cafetasia. This Groupon is valid at two locations—in the East Village or in Greenwich Village—but is not valid for happy-hour specials or with other offers.
Start a meal off at either Cafetasia with a sampling of its menu—the tasting menu allows diners to select three small plates for $11. Try golden scallops, chicken coconut galangal soup, and seaweed-crusted silken tofu served with peanut-chili honey sauce ($4–$5 each when purchased separately), before delving into the medium, large, or Moon-sized menu sections. Moderate eaters can satisfy stomach rumblings with a medium plate of mussels basil, steamed with a spicy basil-lemongrass sauce ($6), while ravenous companions chow down on a main dish of crispy duck with red curry ($13). There are a few differences between the two locations' menus, but both locations serve an appetite-pummeling pad thai (including shrimp, smoked tofu, and tamarind sauce; $9).
Cafetasia's outposts are both located in trendy, hip locales, but if your romantic interest happens to love dining in the presence of a giant pachyderm painting, head to the East Village incarnation. With design accents like subway tile, marble tabletops, wooden chandeliers, and magically floating candles, Cafetasia's atmosphere will stick in your mind's eye like a juicy, painfully delicious tamarind seed.
Call for reservations.
Cafetasia has received positive reviews from both Time Out New York and Gayot, which gave it a 13/20 rating. More than 230 Yelpers give it a 3.5-star average. Citysearchers give a four-star average and 84% of 150 Urbanspooners recommend Cafetasia:
- As a neighborhood addition, Cafetasia is far more enticing than dorm food: “Crying tiger” sushi (tender slices of grilled flank steak laid over balls of chewy, multicolored sticky rice) beats mystery meat any day. – Time Out New York
- I'm a big fan of Thai food and have tried many places but this one wins for me. Their pad thai is my favorite I've had anywhere in the city. – PJ V., Yelp
- I've never had a bad experience here. Amazing food, great prices, awesome service. – foodlover219, Citysearch
"It sounds like an NYU student’s dream come true," Time Out New York said about Cafetasia, "a sleek eatery on 8th Street serving dishes for less than $10." Indeed, the eatery stands out as a Greenwich Village haven for patrons seeking an innovative dining experience that nonetheless manages to feel inviting and deeply familiar. This sense of déjà vu is most likely triggered by Cafetasia’s cafeteria-style wooden tables—imported from Europe one splinter at a time and reassembled here. These communal tables invite guests to share elbow space as well as a bit of conversation with their fellow diners, much like in a college dining hall.
And much like a dining hall, the menu emphasizes the power of choice by offering a spread of tapas-style small plates; however, the chefs' skills with pan-Asian flavors elevate the cuisine above any cafeteria buffet. Borders don't constrain the chefs' ambition, and they jump from Japan and China to Thailand and Vietnam as they forge their shareable plates. In addition to curries tinged with aromatic doses of basil, pumpkin, or roasted chilies, the menu features teriyaki-glazed chicken, spring rolls with a pineapple-vinaigrette dipping sauce, and ginger-kissed chicken gyoza, which New York magazine called "addictive."
Cafetasia's dining room's décor also aims for a balance between the modern and the familiar. Suspended electric candlesticks seem to float above the tables, casting their gentle light across the rich wooden walls and ceiling. A burnished Buddha statue and a leafy potted plant lend a bit of traditional flair to the restaurant's warm and inviting ambiance.