Manhattan – East Village
128 Second Ave (bet. E. 7th St. and St. Marks Place)
Manhattan, NY 10003
Chester and Roman rule the roost at this tiny, vintage coffee shop, next to the Orpheum Theater's long-running Stomp. A survey of the counter stools may turn up anyone from East Village hipsters to intellectuals reading the Times to beefy men wearing gold pinkie rings and arguing about prize fighters to Helen Mirren, a regular when she's in town. It looks like a greasy spoon from the outside but the wood panel–and-brick interior is spotless. The Stage accommodates all tastes, serving breakfast all day, a wide selection of soups, hot and cold sandwiches, Eastern European specialties and daily specials with two sides of vegetables.