7.2 out of 10

St Marks Pl, East Village

Ranked 8th best street in East Village
40.7281009220692 -73.9864963458354
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Options
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Public Transport
Not great for
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
2yrs+

"Lively street that's fun for pretty much everyone"

St. Marks kind of gets a bad rap, and while some of it is well deserved, it still is a really cool street. Yeah, it's always loud and jam-packed. Yeah, it's dirty with a lot of crummy stores and screaming college kids. But, there are some really fantastic things about St. Marks that get overlooked a lot by locals. For one, this used to be a big mob hangout for some bizarre reason. There was a big shootout in front of Arlington Hall when a bunch of innocent people were walking. The only person actually shot was some elderly guy. This was 1914, and I expected more from the gangsters but I think that's really suiting. Of course, a mob fight in the East Village would manage to have no actual mobsters getting shot. Mamoun's Falafel is almost directly across the steet -- a really famous Falafel joint. You can tell mob stories over cheap delicious food on a sunny afternoon. . . what's not to like?
Down toward 1st Ave are two of my favorite spots in the East Village: La Palapa and St. Marks Theatre. The last play at St. Marks that I saw was Uncle Vanya with Maggie Gyllenhall. It's a tiny and old theatre that always has great plays with outstanding actors. La Palapa is a fantastic Mexican food place with great food (a great happy hour to boot) and a fun energy. It's fully opened up in the summer and I went there two days in a row last month. It's just a good time and you can get a little buzz going before a play if you're into that sort of thing -- which I am.
The block between 1st and A is my favorite part of St. Marks. It's always packed but I feel like, somehow, tourists don't make it this far east as often because it has more of a local, crowded feel. There are too many great places to name, but I am a huge fan of Bua, St. Dymphna's and Cafe Mogador. My sister met her now husband at St Dymphna's two weeks after she moved to New York. It has the craziest mix of people but it is always crowded in a good way and the food isn't half bad for a bar. There are a lot of crazy stores, great take-out places (like Dumpling Man) and the buildings are old and cool looking. I don't know that I would necessarily want to live on this block over the age of 25, but it's the block I visit the most frequently out of all the East Village hangs. And, if you're a tourist, you have to try Crif Dogs and the "hidden" cocktail bar connected to it, PDT. PDT doesn't have the luster that it did a few years ago, but it's still pretty cool and tourists seem to love it.
There's a lot of history to this street too. Jeff Buckley used to play at what is now Bua, the most popular gay bath house was at 6 St Marks all the way until the 1980's, and James Fenimore Cooper lived at 4 St Marks. There's are two karaoke bars, a weird hat shop, psychedelic clothing stores, you name it. St. Marks has something for everyone. Even the heroin addicts: I saw two people on a lovely day this spring just high out of their minds sitting on a stoop on St. Marks. I was kind of mesmerized. It looks gritty but it's not that dangerous on this street because there are just too many people all of the time. Would I recommend a family live or hang out here? No. But, you have to see it.
Pros
  • Great bar scene
  • Tons of energy
Cons
  • Dirty
  • A lot of students
  • creepy touristy kitsch is the new punk on this old punk street
  • Crowded
  • loud at night
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5
2yrs+

"Cookie-cutter bohemia"

Like Jonathan Larsen's 1996 musical "Rent," St. Mark's Place is a bit of a historical relic. The musical, set in the heart of the East Village-Alphabet City area - is a well meaning paean to bohemia - to "Ooda, Buddha, Pablo Neruda," as the lyrics go. But today, the once-cutting-edge show has been dulled by decades in which its trangression is seen as increasingly less transgressive, and the show's bohemia has been distilled, repackaged, and mass-marketed throughout America. So too has St. Mark's Place gone from a haven for disaffected punks and junkies to thirteen-year-olds in Gothic makeup and wannabe metal heads. Sure - the shops are still there (including fetishwear locale Trash and Vaudeville and a variety of band T-Shirt stores, plus a few good CD shows), but the spirit is long gone from the locale. The scene here is strictly for-tourists-only - repackaged transgression for cultural voyeurs. While you may still see punks clad in white makeup, black leather, and pink mohawks, they're as likely as not to be nice boys from Westchester as they are to be junkies or rent boys. While the surrounding East Village area has a grittier, more authentic charm, St. Mark's Place itself is better read about than walked through.

That said, the location is next to plenty of good eateries further away from the main drag. Cafe Mogador and Jules are two of the city's best restaurants, although they're not for the vampiric crowd; Sunday brunch is the most popular meal!
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"A real college street -- but, it has some great spots and cheap food"

St Marks Place is definitely a rowdy scene at night -- there are a lot of college kids who live around this area and a lot of cheap eats and bars on the street attract them in droves. But, it is a pretty cool street with some interesting history and some great places to hang . . . even for an adult.
The corner of St Marks and 2nd holds one of my favorite brunch spots in the city, Cafe Orlin. The food is great, the servers are darling and the crowd is interesting and cool. It's just a great spot.
La Palapa is on the corner of St Marks and 1st Ave. It's a great Mexican food joint. It's a little nicer and pricier than most Mexican fare but the food is great and it's a really lively joint. And, the poet, W.D. Auden lived just below where the restaurant is now for many years which is pretty cool. Just across the street from La Palapa is The Pearl Theatre company which has a lot of really good theatre. It used to be Theatre 80 (I think) where Joan Crawford and Jane Russell performed!
Across 1st Ave are a couple of food joints (definitely joints) that all have great little eats. Dumpling Man and Hummus Place are both fantastic. Just down the street a bit further is Crif Dogs (famous for hot dogs and they are pretty sinful). Through the phone booth and downstairs is a speakeasy called PDT. It used to be really trendy and while it's kind of slow now, it's still pretty cool if you're into mixology and having a hot dog brought downstairs.
Just across the street are two cool bars: St Dymphna's and Bua. St Dymphna's is where my sister and her husban met. It's a tiny bar with a really mixed crowd (hipsters, students, squares, you name it). Bua is owned by one of my favorite bars (Wilfie and Nell). It's a pretty cool place for the St Mark's area but it's a little dingier and less cool than Wilfie.
It's not my favorite area by any means, but St Mark's is definitely worth checking out. Oh, the street is also home to Yoga for the People -- donation only, always packed and a great workout if you're a local!
Pros
  • Great bar scene
  • Tons of energy
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Dirty
  • A lot of students
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5
2yrs+

"A tour through gentrification"

St Marks Pl is a street that has changed a great deal in the last thirty or so years. Somehow, though, little pieces of each stage have stayed throughout. There is the classic flophouse, the St Marks Hotel, through to some Irish bars, then a new outpost of the iconic CBGB club from a couple blocks away, a dive bar or several, but then the newer tattoo parlors, Japanese food joints, Korean restaurants, and the Automat food vending machine. Still a great street, and always entertaining, through all of the guises.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5
2yrs+

"St. Marks Place--Take a Walk on the Wild Side"

If you want to experience the goth scene in New York City, St. Marks Place is a must. Buy some exotic leatherwear, get something pierced, get a tattoo, and then recover in one of the local bars. There are many sidewalk retailers selling jewelry sunglasses, and other trinkets. Before you leave, you must have a bite to eat at the automat! Walk up to any of the cubby holes, drop in a few coins and have a fun bite to eat any time of the day or night. I would highly recommend the macaroni and cheese croquettes!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5
2yrs+

"An ever-changing landscape"

8th St becomes Saint Marks Place for only three blocks (between 3rd and A), but those three blocks are a popular destination due to the history of the area, even if the area is pretty different these days. There are currently many Japanese shops and restaurants. With the help of some Internet research, you can walk the street and see some famous locations – I always get a kick out of seeing the buildings from Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” (at 96-98 St Marks).
4/5
2yrs+

"youth & fun"

I hang out around Saint Marks when I just want a laid back time with friends. There's a lot of small eatery, tattoo and piercing parlors, and street vendors. It tends to have a more youthful vibe but you will find people of all ages walking around.
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"Come Here For the Youth and the Pizza"

Like a strange mix of Canal St and Union Square, St. Marks blends an array of shops and bodegas selling items for dirt cheap with the NYU aesthetic that so dominates this part of town. Expect to see attractive young people (and more than a few intimidating young people) checking out the well-priced eats, the nightlife and the classes (yoga is available on this street).
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"What in the world happened here?"

I can't say I'm nostalgic for the days when St. Marks Place was overrun by barely-pubescent punks begging for change, probably so they could buy themselves more hair dye. Nor for the freaks and geeks atmosphere of walking down this particular little stretch of the city, and the high likelihood of getting in a long, rambling conversation with someone with bloodshot eyes and a slur. Nor for the reports of unspeakable deeds being committed at St. Mark's Hotel, though I can't vouch for the accuracy of such reports. Nevertheless, St. Marks had a very specific identity which seems to have disappeared overnight. Apparently, the Japanese have taken over St. Marks, and with a vengeance. You have your udon joints and your sushi joints, and your Japanese dessert joints, with tasty edible things in an assortment of pastel colors. You have your specialty Japanese grocery open all night and all kinds of knick-knacks and tourist kitsch for sale in stalls. You can buy bongs by the dozen and stock up on pot-leaf T-shirts. How did this all happen and why? One of those mysteries of urban development, I guess, though I'm not feeling entirely enthusiastic about it. Maybe I just need more time to get used to this much good sushi. A bit further on you can find the Yaffa Cafe, “Open all nite 7 days a week,” a place whose décor I can only describe as East Village gothic.
Pros
  • great asian food
  • Great bar scene
  • Tons of energy
Cons
  • creepy touristy kitsch is the new punk on this old punk street
  • loud at night
  • Dirty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5
2yrs+

"Shop for soething a bit different"

The amount of shops in New York City is unreal but sometimes you want something a little bit cheaper or perhaps something that is a little harder to find. If this is the case, St Marks Place is the place to be as no matter what you want, there is likely to be a vendor in the area that will have you want and can provide it for a reasonable price.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
2/5
2yrs+

"Not genuine anymore"

St Marks Place runs from Astor Place to Tompkins Square Park. If possible, I try to avoid walking along that street. Famous for its punk and alternative culture, today it mostly attracts tourists and teenagers in search of a thrilling experience. At any rate, just around the corner there is a really good bookshop that offers a wide range of books. This is a good reason to go to that area.
Recommended for
  • Singles
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Wouldn't consider it too trendy - but definitely shopper-friendly"

I love St Mark’s Place – if you’re looking for affordable clothing, food, or just people watching in general, this is a great place to come, and it’s virtually always busy, especially on weekends. St. Marks is packed with vintage t-shirt stores and cheap sunglasses on sale from street vendors. The street is populated with fast-food style restaurants. I would probably never want to live here (though I did live in the vicinity, a few blocks away, and was never bothered by the chaos).
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5
2yrs+

"More trendy than seedy."

St. Mark's was once the hangout of those who didn't fit in perfectly with mainstream society. It catered to a different type of person and offered a seedy and somewhat dangerous atmosphere. That was some time ago though and now St. Mark's Place caters to a far trendier crowd. The area has been infused with Asian influences and is home to some great authentic Asian food. It still maintains some of the tattoo parlors and bars that it was once known for but it's nothing like it once was. St. Mark's Comics is a popular spot for teens and young adults who are into the comic scene. St. Mark's Market is a popular stop for food, but honestly the street is littered with great eateries. A foodie will love the area.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
hudson
hudson It's a wonderful neighborhood, historic, charming, and much better since Tompkins Sq park was cleaned up.
2yrs+
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5/5
2yrs+

"Japanese populated food district"

dumpling man, taisho, udon west... besides the mass of japanese/asian retailers on this street, there's also a number of piercing tattoo proprietors open till late into the night. there's a japanese supermarket on st marks, closer to the 2nd ave corner that's accessible through a stairs that lead to the basement level or another one called sunshine on the 9th and 3rd ave corner that's a lot larger.
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5
2yrs+

"It's Turning Japanese"

If you’re looking for any of the new fad-type Japanese eateries, or the Pinkberry style yogurt shops, then St.Marks Place is, unfortunately, the place to go. St. Marks’ used to be known for its punk bohemian crowd and thus used to cater to the more artsy characters in the City. It is now wall to wall Canal street style stalls where you can buy anything from Jewelry to DVDs to smoking accessories. Luckily, St. Mark’s still has a fun vibe, so it’s definitely a neat place to pass through, even if it has lost some if its charm. Some good eateries still there include Mamoun’s Falafel, a few choice Japanese bars, and Pomme Frittes not too far away.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5
2yrs+

"Hey it's not the 80s anymore: aren't you glad"

Sure, St. Marks Place is no longer the real hangout of punk abandon, the kids with the funny hair are most likely uptown refugees, and hipsters and models outnumber the junkies in Tompkins Square park, but I still have a place in my heart for these few seedy blocks between Astor Place and Tompkins Square Park. A number of things have changed the place, from NYU's encroachment along nearby streets to the meteoric rise of the housing market, but there are still a few things anchoring the neighborhood. One of them has to be proliferation of nearby cheap, excellent Japanese food, from the smokey yakitori (grilled meats and vegetables on skewers) places to discount sushi to the dark, cave-like sake bars (check out Angelshare and Decibel around the corner). These places are nestled at the western end of St Marks, near Astor Place.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"St. Marks Place"

I liked the buildings on this short street in the East Village. The people seemed very familiar and at home here, with a friendliness which is otherwise absent in other parts of the city. You should go to Jules Bistro fr the pumpkin pancakes and for the quaint courtyard in the back ( I would love to go on a date here!) For nightlife, check out McSorley's and the Old Ale House.

St. Mark's Place is close to the following metro and is accessible to many buses. Foot traffic is moderate, and it is a good neighborhood for young people!!
3/5
2yrs+

"Crooks and Cranks"

St. Marks Place is LITERALY a permanent street market. Here, you'll find endless jewelry stands and T-shirt vendors, and of course used-record stands at the right times. Keep in mind, if it's shady or illegal, you'll find it on St. marks Place. Definitely wouldn't recommend this area for tourists or families with children; but if you're a risk taker with a brave soul, try exploring the harder-edge East Village southward toward the Bowery.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5
2yrs+

"Hot topic meets cheap Japanese"

St Marks is definitely overwrought with cheesy punk decor and teenager clientèle, but it is still a good place to find cheap japanese food. You will also find any film you could possibly think of renting at Mondo Kim's...and St Mark's bookstore is right around the corner. Jas Mart is a tiny little japanese market place that is good for getting dessert.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5
2yrs+

"Hipster Freaks and Japanese Food"

The people watching is good on St. Mark's as the hipsters flock to get CDs, DVDs, and everything media at Kim's. The street is lined with great Japanese restaurants, not all of which cater to the casual consumer of Japanese food. Mahmoun's also has a falafel place here, a bit bigger than their MacDougal location, but the food is still as cheap. Crazy fun times had by all.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"it may have changed, but i'd take a little vomit over needles anyday"

Yes, the neighborhood has changed, but when I was a teenager in the '90s my father had to push drug dealers away before we could get to his squat on 3rd between C and D. Now my partner and I live with my son on an eclectic street just a block away from the park. If I want bohemian I may have to search a little bit more, but at least it's safe.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Changed for the worse"

St. Marks was a hip, if not a bit seedy, place to live 15 or 20 years ago. It was a beautiful blend of artists and Central European immigrants. The block had a true neighborhood, communal feel. These days, St. Marks is about high-priced boutiques, lousy bars, and college kids who are living on their mommy and daddy's dime.

Building stoops aren't blocked with old-timers writing in notebooks nowadays; rather, they're littered with the vomit of little brats who have decided to turn the block into their playground. They have no respect for history or aesthetic. Alphabet City is dead.

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