Weekend Getaways

New York City Tour: East Village

1 Dinosaur Hill

Window displays packed full of furry stuffed animals, wooden play sets, and handmade clothes draw those young and young at heart into this East Village shop. In 1983, five ladies joined together to open Dinosaur Hill, providing alternatives to the increasing number of electronic toys. Over the years, the store has become a staple due to its handpicked collection of American and European toys that include sock puppets, city-shaped block sets, and the Käthe Kruse bears. Past shoppers conclude that the owners have a very helpful presence in the store and are happy to help customers find that one-of-a-kind gift. Open daily, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

Tompkins Square Park Credit : Getty Images

2 Tompkins Square Park

New York City

The East Village’s “backyardâ€

3 Takahachi

The consistent freshness of the fish is what keeps this East Village restaurant afloat in a city full of sushi options. While the unassuming storefront glows with the bright lighting, many pass by often without noticing the narrow dining room filled with simple wood tables and chairs and a sushi bar. Huge, uniform pieces of brightly colored salmon, tuna, and yellowtail decorate sashimi platters as specialties like the hamachi kama (the cooked neck of a young yellowtail) sell out quickly.

4 Veselka

The Ukrainian couple Wolodymyr and Olha Darmochawal traveled to New York to escape war in their own country, and inspired by fellow immigrants in the East Village, they opened a candy and newsstand in 1954 that eventually became the famous Veselka. Today, the 24-hour restaurant is open seven days a week allowing hungry diners to satisfy their pierogi cravings at any time of the night. The expansive menu also includes other Ukrainian specialties like homemade cheese-filled blintzes and beef stroganoff.

5 Abraço

The lack of space, or chairs, allows you to focus on the perfect cup of coffee at Abraco's Espresso Bar in the East Village. In the tiny but cheerful bar, famous barista and co-owner Jamie McCormick grinds and brews each cup of coffee to order. Of course, these are no ordinary beans - they come from North Carolina's Counter Culture Coffee. And if the coffee wasn't treat enough, owner-baker Elizabeth Quijada offers up sweets and savories made from fresh, local ingredients. A latte and slice of olive oil cake may just be the perfect start to a day.

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