El Rey Cafe

El Rey, a chill coffee and luncheonette bar located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, is the type of place you want in your neighborhood: fresh, local, and perfectly prepared ingredients that burst with delicious flavor. El Rey is operated by Nicholas Morgenstern and Head Chef Gerardo Gonzalez. The menu features a balance of sweet, spicy and sour, with vegetables taking center stage in a unique way. The flavorful, healthy menu is complemented by a full variety of beverages ranging from Counter Culture Coffee and aguas frescas, to a highly-curated selection of draft beers and sodas. We love the simple interior and casual bar set-up as well--perfect ambience for the beautiful food.

The Avocado Del Sur dish--which is simply sliced avocado sprinkled with a pink pickled red onion chimichurri and hickory smoked sea salt--shows Chef Gonzalez's ability to make ingredients shine to their highest potential. A simple dish turned into a serious masterpiece. The Grains and Crudite Salad is also a star item--definitely order it with a beet pickled egg (so pretty!), and make sure to add the chimichurri avocado to make it extra #glowy. Top it off with the an order of the Kyoto Iced Coffee and you'll be INSANELY happy. We'd eat this every day if we could!

Make sure to get there on the earlier side before some of their popular sweet treats sell out. Keep an eye out for their Sweet Potato Bread, laced with caramel and spiced aleppo pecans, and their Chocolate Chip Cookies. The menu is small, and its all truly scrumptious, so feel free to order one of everything! 

El Rey Cafe 100 Stanton St. NY, NY 10002 // www.elreynyc.com

Photography by: Jai Lennard