Welcome to your Weekend Planner, where Eater editors offer restaurants, cafes, and bars to try this weekend. They might be new and hot, or they might be old standbys. As always, please let us know if you’d like to see something specific.
Dinner at a formerly hyped restaurant where the wait has chilled out: Remember TsuruTonTan? It’s the Japanese udon chain in the former Union Square Cafe space that drew long lines and hours-long waits when it first opened last summer. If you’re allergic to lines, it’s finally safe to walk in to check out the acclaimed udon noodles — minus the line. The restaurant is particularly famous for its unique, chewy udon made in-house and options like a cold, caviar-laced noodle. Tip: Many of the starters are disappointing, so stick to the noodle dishes. TsuruTonTan, 21 East 16th St., Union Square
Brunch at an old-school New York favorite filled with character: Eclectic NYC classic Shopsins is still a solid place to eat breakfast. It’s known for an ultra-long menu and owner Kenny Shopsins’ dining rules, like not asking for changes and no parties larger than four. The “slutty cakes,” which include sweet and savory pancake options, come highly recommended. Just be sure to glance over the menu before you go, lest you get overwhelmed while there. Shopsins, 120 Essex St., Lower East Side
Last-minute dinner downtown: One of the most frequent questions we get is where to walk in for a dinner below 14th Street on a Friday or Saturday. And every time, somebody (usually Eater EIC Amanda Kludt) will recommend Vic’s. The Italian-Mediterranean restaurant in Noho, helmed by chef Hillary Sterling, comes from the solid team behind solid restaurants like Cookshop and Rosie’s. Vic’s is reliably delicious and well-priced, and the menu offers a combination of light and heavy dishes. Vic’s, 31 Great Jones St., Noho
A new pastry program to check out: Chef Melissa Weller of Sadelle’s has been in charge of a beautiful pastry program at Rebelle for several months now, and word is that the sweets are worth a special trip out to the Bowery restaurant. Options include chocolate croissant stuffed with more chocolate, a pistachio-cherry croissant, an apple turnover made with fresh apples, and a ham-and-cheese croissant. She doesn’t make a ton, and they sell out quickly, so be prepared to show up early after Rebelle opens at 11:30 a.m. Rebelle, 218 Bowery, Nolita
A WTF story to talk about at dinner: That site Genius that helps decipher rap lyrics now tries to help decipher everything, including restaurant menus. Celebrity chef Mario Batali and his Tapas Bar chef Anthony Sasso used Genius to explain the backstories behind menu items at Chelsea restaurant La Sirena. Sasso’s description of one dish: “Classic dish got mindfucked. My kind of dish.”