Eat Your Way Through the Lower East Side with Chef Flynn McGarry

Flynn McGarry’s restaurant, Gem, reflects back to McGarry’s beginning days when he started a supper club out of his mother’s home at the young age of 12. McGarry said that he loves his neighborhood, the Lower East Side because it feels like a “small town in a big city.” Read more to explore the Lower East Side through his eyes.

Where to Eat

Eat your way through the Lower East Side by visiting some of McGarry’s favorite restaurants.

Cervo’s

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This restaurant’s menu features seafood such as oysters, monkfish and prawns. An extensive wine list gives you the option to have more than just a red or a white—orange is listed as its own category.

Mission Chinese Food

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Between its noodle and rice corner, this restaurant is full of flavor. Great for both banquet-style dinners and smaller groups, this spot’s cuisine can be served family style or a la carte. There’s something for everyone as the menu identifies which items can be made spicy, or if there are vegan/vegetarian options available.

Uncle Boon’s

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This Thai restaurant on Spring Street features small plates like raw chilled sea scallops with basil leaves and sides like kabocha squash and red curry custard.

Where to Drink

For coffee and pastries after exploring the neighborhood, check out McGarry’s cafe recommendations.

Cafe Integral

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Many of this cafe’s Nicaraguan coffees are grown ethically with the use of ecological fertilizers and compost. McGarry recommends this coffee shop for a great cup and a pastry to go with it.

Little Canal

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When you’re in the mood for more than just a cup of coffee, McGarry recommends this coffee shop and bar —they also offer beer and wine—as the perfect place for a quiet afternoon.

What to Do

When McGarry does get a chance to step away from the culinary world, he spends time at Elizabeth Street Garden or Columbus Park. He recommends the following shops for clothes, magazines and more.

Quality Mending Co.

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For menswear, McGarry recommends this vintage shop that stocks pieces from yesteryear as well as a clothing line that produces vintage-inspired pieces.

McNally Jackson

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For books and magazines, this store is McGarry’s favorite. With its own online magazine rack that includes some of the titles offered in store, this independent bookshop is a great way to spend time exploring, looking for your next best read.

CW Pencil Enterprise

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This stationery store sells things like vintage pencils, notebooks, sketchbooks and great gift ideas for anyone who identifies as a stationery nerd. The concept behind the shop is to provide any pencil your “heart, hand or collection desires.”

The Cactus Store

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For rare cactuses and plants, McGarry goes to this shop. Closed for the winter, the shop is re-opening in the spring and meanwhile has a great online store selection.

Find your next home in the Lower East Side today.

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