Krystal's Cafe 81

81 E. Seventh St.
New York, NY 10003


  • $
  • Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Takeout
  • Late Night, Snack Food
  • Full bar
  • No Parking
  • Reservations Not Necessary
Filipino restaurants used to be plentiful in the East Village; now, thanks to rising rents and fancier tastes, very few of the casual Pinoy joints remain. Krystal's used to be on 1st Avenue before it closed and was reborn as Krystal's Café 81 in a former dive bar not far away from its original location. Some of that old-school bar flavor is still evident in the décor: low ceilings, a worn-in wooden bar, an antique cash register and all types of vintage tsotchkes. In case you have never had Filipino food before, it¹s kind of like a mix of Asian cuisine with a hint of hearty Spanish fare. Try the national dish, chicken adobo, chunks of chicken marinated and cooked in vinegar and soy sauce. Some other favorites are the lechon kawali (deep-fried pork belly with liver sauce), lumpia Shanghai (egg rolls filled with pork and shrimp) and kare-kare (oxtail cooked in peanut sauce).—Keith Wagstaff

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