When it’s time to gather a crew for a meal in the East Village, any restaurant on this list is ace. Whether it’s for a more formal sit-down meal or perhaps just some beer and burgers, these restaurants are ideal for large group dining.Read More
Where to Dine with a Group in the East Village
Grab a group for communal pizza pies, a super spicy Sichuan feast, or sizzling Filipino fare
1. Han Dynasty
This Philly import serves up spicy and numbing Sichuan fare that’s especially affordable for a group. The round table in the back seats eight to 12 people for set tasting menus starting at just $25 per person, and the offerings make up a veritable feast that can be accommodated for a variety of restrictions, including spice level. Don’t skip the dan dan noodles and chicken wings.
2. Momofuku Ssäm Bar
Two large-format options at this David Chang restaurant are equally desirable for a group. The bo ssäm is a slow-roasted pork shoulder served with a dozen oysters, and two bowls each of white rice, Bibb lettuce, Korean-style barbecue sauce, kimchi and ginger scallion sauce for $250, meant to feed six to 10 people. There’s also a $175 duck ssäm for three to seven people with a duck-and-pork sausage-stuffed whole rotisserie duck, confit duck legs, and chive pancakes, plus sauces and other accoutrements. At Chang’s nearby Noodle Bar, a similar fried chicken feast goes for $150.
The Kamayan feast at Filipino gastropub Jeepney is a sight to behold. For $45 to $75 per person, the restaurant covers a table with dishes like lumpia, longanisa sausage, steamed rice cakes, bok choy, ribs, chicken adobo, and pork stew — all meant to be eaten without utensils. It’s a raucous, communal experience that is best for a group truly comfortable with each other. Minimum four people.
4. Joe & Pat’s NYC
Reserve for up to 10 people online at this thin-crust pizzeria that’s legendary on Staten Island. The newer East Village outpost has “damn-fine” pies, Eater critic Ryan Sutton says, that are eminently shareable. Skip the other Italian fare like pastas and just go for pizza, particularly the vodka and margherita versions, and maybe some salad.
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The bulk of the menu at Sara Jenkins’ East Village gem is focused on pasta, such as bucatini in a spicy red sauce or spaghetti with clams. The neighborhood spot is a charming place for any group size, but for those larger than 10 people, a prix fixe menu is picked. Online reservations are accepted for up to 15 people, and larger parties should call the restaurant.
6. Mama Fina’s NYC House of Filipino Sisig
Mama Fina’s service set-up makes dining with a group particularly easy. Each person can order individually at the bar, and standout Filipino dishes such as tofu sizzling sisig, smoked bangus breakfast, and roast pork are available. This is the spot to go with a last-minute group, or one that cares more about food than full service.
7. MáLà Project
For a spice-loving crew, head to MáLà Project, where each person can customize their own dish. Dry pot is offered at varying spice levels with dozens of ingredients to throw in, such as chicken thigh, pork belly, prawn, tofu skin, rice cakes, bok choy, or taro. Don’t miss apps like pig ear in chile oil, dandan noodles, and husband & wife lung and tripe slices. This restaurant is particularly good for adhering to various dietary restrictions, like for vegetarians or pescatarians. Reserve for up to 10 online.
8. Emmy Squared
Eating light and puffy pies in comfortable, roomy booths is an excellent group activity. Emmy Squared serves up Detroit-style pizza, which consists of thick square pies with crispy edges and sauces on top, including favorites like the tiny pepperoni-covered Roni Supreme. While Emmy Squared’s Williamsburg location was mobbed at opening, the East Village outpost has been more chill. Reserve for up to six people online.
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Known for its straightforward burger and roomy patio, Royale is a supremely relaxed birthday party destination and ideal for groups looking for a casual hang. At its core it’s a sports bar, but the flame-broiled, pub-style burger is beloved by many. Call ahead to reserve space.
Chef and co-owner Marc Meyer executes pan-regional Mexican recipes such as tacos, chicken pozole, and enchiladas in this large and accommodating space. In warmer weather, the windows open up and the restaurant takes on an open-air feel. Reserve for up to 13 people online.
11. Zum Schneider
Beer gardens are always ideal gathering spots for a group, and Zum Schneider is no exception — with the added bonus of good food. Come with a group to hang and drink, and if anyone is hungry, soak up the many imported German beers with käsespatzle (a German version of mac and cheese), obatzda (a cheese spread made with brie, blue cheese, and beer), currywurst, or some schnitzel with sweet mustard. Cash only, and groups of six or more get automatic 20 percent gratuity added to checks.
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Supper is the spot for red-sauce Italian in the East Village, with well-executed versions of dishes such as chicken parmesan, spaghetti pomodoro, and veal scaloppine. Owner Frank Prisinzano is also the guy behind Sauce, Frank, and Lil’ Frankies. Reserve for up to 16 online.