Every now and then, while cruising around the city, I stumble upon a block that is total unchartered FIRE. For whatever reason, a group of the city's coolest, under-the-radar spots tend to pop up up next to each other. So I say “Look daddy, just hook it up” because The Block Is Hot.
SUGAR SWEET SUNSHINE
126 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002
When you walk into Sugar Sweet Sunshine's cozy, warm shop you immediately flash back to the 1960s when bakeries were less about branding and concepts and more about delicious homemade goods. And that is exactly what co-owners Peg and Deb had in mind when they opened their treats kitchen over a decade ago -- a homey environment to make and sell their sweets to the locals. In addition to pastel frosted cupcakes and their signature buttery cakes, the ladies cook up the best homemade pudding you will ever devour. Step in and try the fall special, Nog Pudding (pumpkin cake, egg nog pudding, and whipped cream), or the classic Chocolate Chip for a little dose of sunshine. www.sugarsweetsunshine.com
WELCOME TO THE JOHNSONS
123 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Miss drinking in your parent's basement? Well head on over to Welcome to the Johnsons, the lower east sides' dive bar of dive bars. Littered with 70s couches, mismatched chairs, and a crowded pool table, this spot is the perfect place to grab a cheap drink and hang out 'til way past your curfew. The best nights are those without any expectations -- and Welcome to the Johnson's has a perfectly unpretentious casualness that will leave you open for anything. Down some $2 PBRs and you'll be ready to go.
120 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002
There's no better place to uncover a sultry underground cocktail den than on a gritty block of dives and eateries. Brought to you by the cocktail connoisseurs behind Death + Co and Williamsburg's Donna, Nitecap is the perfect hideway to bring your date for that "last drink of the night". Order the Fireside Chats (Pineapple-infused Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Clear Creek Pear Brandy, Tempus Fugit Cremé de Cacao, Honey, Lemon Juice) and you'll feel warm and fuzzy enough for the cold walk home. www.nitecapnyc.com