Six Miracles of East Village Ungentrification

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Miraculously, lunch counter B & H Dairy remains, from the era when its stretch of Second Avenue was known as the Yiddish Broadway.


As a tribute to E.V. Grieve, the East Village's chronicler of closure and demolition, we present this collection of foodie landmarks that have remarkably remained open, despite the neighborhood's influx of soaring glass towers. Take a moment to savor a bite in these six gems. They may soon be gone.


1. B & H Dairy--This wonderful Jewish dairy restaurant--of which too few remain in the city--was founded in 1942, when this stretch of Second Avenue hosted a half-dozen theaters putting on plays in the Yiddish language for overflow crowds. In 2013, B & H remains a paragon of the meatless half of kosher Jewish cuisine, featuring cheese-squirting blintzes, egg sandwiches, savory soups, and some fish dishes--though still describing itself as "vegetarian." Sit at the long lunch counter, or at one of the tiny, tight tables, and be transported back in time. And the place remains wonderfully cheap, too. 127 Second Avenue, 212-505-8065

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B & H's vegetarian spinach soup comes with homemade (and well-buttered) challah.


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2. J. Baczynsky (aka East Village Meat Market)--This East Village Polish [correction: Ukrainian] butcher is all that's left of a cadre that included two other Eastern European butcher shops in the immediate vicinity, places where the bone-in ham was king and the cold cuts a damn sight better than anything peddled by Oscar Mayer. And don't forget about the rice-filled blood sausage, either, or the prepared foods: the mayonnaise-y salads, roast chickens, and bulbous kielbasas perfect for picnics; plus pastries, breads, berry jams, and bottled goods galore. Rumors of J. Baczynsky's demise are frequent, but somehow the meat ship sails on in a churning sea of frozen yogurt. 139 Second Avenue, 212-228-5590
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You want smoked sausages? J. Baczynsky's got 'em!


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3. Sapporo East--Nowadays, we take the East Village's Little Tokyo for granted, encompassing perhaps three dozen restaurants, sake bars, noodle shops, and grocery stores. But back in 1983, when Sapporo East was founded, it was nearly the only Japanese restaurant in the neighborhood (the only other one was Mie, on Second Avenue and 12th Street, now defunct), slinging bargain sushi, ramen and udon, and hot entrées like teriyakis, tempura, and katsudon. And it still does a magnificent cheap eats job of it.245 East 10th Street, 212-260-1330
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Sapporo East's bargain-priced chirashi has been feeding East Villagers for 30 years.


next: three more gems


Location Info

B & H Dairy Restaurant

127 Second Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

East Village Meat Market

139 2nd Ave., New York, NY

Category: General

Sapporo East - CLOSED

245 E. 10th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Veniero's Pasticceria

342 E. 11th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Moishe's Bake Shop

115 2nd Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


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17 comments
l.ramaci
l.ramaci

Sapporo East (which at that point was just called Sapporo) opened in the summer of 1980, not 1983. I know, because I was there opening day, thrilled that I no longer had to go to midtown for ramen. But it was beaten to the punch by about 3 weeks by a small sushi restaurant, whose name I can't remember, that opened right next door to Stromboli. 

gold
gold like.author.displayName 1 Like

The new building boom is great.  It is creepy to see younger folks weeping the nostalgia tears, 'specially for the East Vill which was a dump.  Newer is bigger, brighter and better.  It's not like Washington Square Arch is being demolished! Chill mein'freunden! Your time will come where you lament the passing of the new stuff for even newer and better projects. Travel to Hong Kong and you will see where NYC is going. The answer: make money, live well. Make lots of money and live better. Make real dough - and live in Florida!

hitabuffer3
hitabuffer3

The East village isn't gentrifying. It's just homogenizing. Gentrification occurred when dopey underground types remade it in their image.

sammiroxx
sammiroxx

Good piece, but Staaaaaage for sure!

sammiroxx
sammiroxx

Good piece, but Staaaaaage for sure!

pccjamie
pccjamie

Stage? GI Deli?  7B? 

sietsema
sietsema

@pccjamie Def considered GI Deli for the list. Another worthy possibility was the pierogi place, even though they're now making one with truffled goat cheese! A pierogi!

sammiroxx
sammiroxx

@sietsema @pccjamie Oh yeah the pirogi place  is a great one too.  Not to keen on trying the truffled goat cheese one however.

chittle
chittle

De Roberti's > Venieros everyday all day! 

sietsema
sietsema

@chittle Maybe for ambiance, but not for the quality of the pastries. If I want to sit and drink coffee, I go to De Roberti's.

chittle
chittle

@sietsema @chittle we should do a blind taste test of the canollis, cheesecake and others and put it to rest !


hdmkom
hdmkom

RUSS AND DAUGHTERS...KATZ'S...DUUUUUUDE!!!!!!!!!

hdmkom
hdmkom

RUSS AND DAUGHTERS...KATZ'S...DUUUUUUDE!!!!!!!!!

hdmkom
hdmkom

RUSS AND DAUGHTERS...KATZ'S...DUUUUUUDE!!!!!!!!!

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