Restaurant of the Month: The Wren
We haven’t been dining out a lot since the start of the pandemic, and now that things are going back to normal I’m trying to narrow down my list of places that I’ve missed the most! I’m starting a new “restaurant of the month” series, where I highlight a favorite that hasn’t necessarily made it into one of my city guides yet. I hope you enjoy!
I don’t know when the Bowery became its own separate neighborhood—it seems like every five seconds New York splits off yet another neighborhood, usually with some bizarre abbreviation—but for me, this part, at least, will always be my original stomping grounds. For those of you who may not know, I was born and raised in the East Village and I will always hold this neighborhood close to my heart. For me, the East Village still feels like the real New York. Gentrification is definitely there, but it’s also not movie-perfect all the time. It’s real life.
That’s not to say there aren’t perfect places—in fact, there are many. One of my favorite restaurants in the city is there, one that I’ll travel to just for a burger. The Wren is less of a hidden gem now as it was when I first stumbled across it a decade or so ago, but unless things have substantially changed since the pandemic, it’s still a true gem. The Wren has everything I miss from my old local in County Clare—proper Guinness, a perfect cup of Barry’s tea, wheaten bread—with just enough of New York to make it, frankly, a forever favorite.
The Wren is one of two public places in the city to perfect the Bull Shot (the other is JG Melon), and their menu is tightly curated so that there’s nothing that isn’t absolutely spectacular on the menu. It’s a favorite place to spend a chilly afternoon or evening with good food and good friends, and it’s well worth the hike downtown. Don’t miss the burger or steak frites (or fish and chips if you don’t eat meat.) The fries are another must-have!
The Wren is located at 344 Bowery and you can find their website here. Enjoy!