Photo Credit: Zagat
New York City’s skyscrapers, flashy lights, and “go big or go home” mentality make it easy to forget sometimes that space is precious and scarce in the city. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that rent on East Village spaces under 1,000 square feet can often be $10,000 or less a month—a steal, considering a typical 1,500-2,500-square-foot retail space costs $15,000-$30,000. With the rise in rent is a growing number of tiny food establishments no bigger than a studio apartment. But what these seven places lack in size, they make up for character, from graffitied brick walls to pink naked lady wallpaper, and, of course, delicious food as well.
1. Sel et Gras, 131 7th Ave: 32 seats, 225 square feet
Photo Credit: Sel et Gras
The name of this West Village wine bar/bistro translates to “salt and fat.” While there’s a lot of both in the rich French food served there, diners wouldn’t fit between the 14 tables if they ate there every day. The cramped space is livened up by graffiti-adorned brick walls, chalkboards, and a brightly-colored tile floor. According to the Daily Meal, it’s the smallest full-service restaurant in the city.