With its weekend crowds and its surplus of shops and eateries, navigating North 6th street can be as confounding as it is invigorating. There’s the overcrowded tourist trap known as Sea. There’s Future Perfect where beautiful, artisan-crafted statement armchairs, are displayed in a storefront only blocks away from more affordable wares at Artists n’ Fleas. There’s an American Apparel on North 6th too: chicken or egg? And, of course, its main attraction are its live music venues all in a three block radius of each other: Music Hall of Williamsburg, Cameo Gallery and Public Assembly.
Electronic, indie, pop, international and domestic; from Lemonade to Sky Ferreira to A$AP Rocky, I feel confident in saying your favorite artist probably made at least one appearance on this bougie block. So, where to eat when you’re pressed for time, Toro y Moi is coming on in 10 minutes, and MHOW can’t even scrounge up a bar snack for you? These five dining options are the cream of the primarily Asian-influenced crop of eateries, and with a range of flavors to enjoy, from Japanese to Cuban, you’ll be able to enjoy your dish, tip your waitress and make it into Cameo while there’s still a square of space to stand.
For filling and affordable without much time to spare, Cubana Social’s ‘bocaditos’ will have you sated and stuck in the winding line heading into either of its next door neighbor venues in no time. For less than $5, vegetarians and carnivores can find an empanada to their liking and bite into crispy, flaky heaven. Heartier options to prepare for the fortitude of an open bar range can be found in Cubana Social’s sandwiches stuffed with plantains, black bean patty, or eight-hour long roasted pork between deliciously thick Cuban bread. The dim lighting and a rotation of older films showing on a projector cast a relaxing lull over the eatery. And speaking of music, they provide their own. Stop by for live jazz on Saturdays.
70 North 6th
Chai Home Kitchen
Less intense than the winding maze of Zenkichi and lacking the shadowy air of intimidation at Sea Thai, Chai Home Kitchen is a cozy, traditional Thai eatery on the corner of 6th and Berry to indulge in a heaping pile of pad thai or slurp some tom yum noodles and broth. Starters from the sweet corn fritters to the satay are reliable favorites to quell hunger and pair with a Thai iced tea. Suspended bird cages and isolated daisies floating in pools of water provide a very calming vibe; perfect to forget about how hard you’re about to be pushed into a wall by an erratic electronica enthusiast at Public Assembly.
Chai Home Kitchen
124 North 6th
The Lovin’ Cup
What better place to grab a bite than in the exact venue you’re about to jump around in? That’s right, Cameo is actually the back room of Lovin’ Cup. Besides being the most convenient café to stop in pre-show at Cameo, the Lovin’ Cup serves grass-fed or veggie sliders, beer battered fish tacos, and even a sweet or savory crepe. Similar to its behind the scenes gallery counterpart, the Lovin’ Cup fills up fast, and a seat at the bar may be the only option after the scant amount of tables are filled. The intimate seating will only make you feel all the more comfortable sneaking tater tots off of your seatmate’s plate when they turn to pay their bill and race to make it to the front of the stage.
The Lovin’ Cup
93 North 6th
Sushi is always a good pre-show choice since it won’t slow down like a burger or a carb-heavy meal will. Miyako provides all the staples and has reasonable prices. Miyako’s interior is subtly decorated with soft colors and wood benches, providing a very enjoyable and Zen atmosphere. Korean dishes are equally satisfying. Try the ginger tofu or ginger chicken and you will not be disappointed. Flavors are refreshing in their subtlety, as they should be.
143 Berry St
Looking for standard American Bistro fare? Sweetwater delivers the goods. Long-time residents will remember its former incarnation as a dive bar but today its a cosy, no-frills cafe with a great burger and other bistro standards. We love the outdoor seating during the warmer months.
105 N 6th St
Peruvian meets southeast Asian in the form of pad thai, roti, lomo saltado, and the aforementioned churrasco tacu tacu, pairing sirloin steak with fries and drowning the concoction in chimichurri sauce. Bringing together the cuisines of the two continents and cloaking the venue in a cloud of maroon and wrought iron chandeliers, Tacu Tacu pulses with a whirlwind of light, sounds and colorful dishes showcasing duck, snapper and chichen exiting the kitchen in a constant stream. Venture forth into uncharted territories, starting your meal with lemongrass soup and closing with paella, and when you’ve finally gathered your courage head onward and downward to Lulu Lounge for karaoke.
136 North 6th