Life Cafe - Closed

343 E. 10th St.
New York, NY 10009


  • Daily 11am-12am
  • $$; $$$
  • Delivery, Kid Friendly, Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair accessible
  • Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
  • Full bar
  • No Parking
  • Reservations Accepted
Kathleen Kirkpatrick founded this little café near Tompkins Square Park during the East Village's cultural heyday in the early '80s; Jonathan Larson even wrote the popular musical "Rent" here. The crowds of young artists who exchanged art for food may have moved across the river to places like Bushwick, Brooklyn (where Life has another café), but the creative vibe is still present. Contemporary art and vintage photographs from the restaurant's past hang on the walls. Sidewalk tables in front and a tiny back garden, complete with green-checked flooring and dangling string lights, provide plenty of seating during warm weather. The menu is filled American comfort food with hints of healthy Mexican cuisine and includes plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians. Burgers topped with things like avocado and blue cheese, salads, quesadillas, steak with chimichurri sauce, fried chicken and tacos are just some of the café's diverse offerings, with pitchers of margaritas and sangria available to complement your meal.—Keith Wagstaff

Related Stories (1)

  • Life Café (Birthplace of Rent) Shutters
    Monday, September 12, 2011 at 11:07 a.m. by Lauren Shockey

    A bit of sad news for East Village residents. Yesterday evening, Kathy Kirkpatrick shuttered her long-standing Life Café "until further notice." According to a note posted on her website, building repairs that were supposed t...


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