At 886, a Good Date is Guaranteed Over Taiwanese in New York City’s East Village
Succulent xiaolongbao? You bet. Killer kimbap? Uh-huh. Slamming shoyu? For sure.
Each week, New Yorkers banter back-and-forth over the many well-known and beloved Asian dishes served throughout the city, looking for love—or at least a good time. And while there may be no way to guarantee a match with whomever is sitting across the table, you’ll almost definitely vibe with the food on it at 886: a Taiwanese spot tucked into an intimate and unexpected space on St. Marks Place.
Stepping down into the restaurant, first and second dates can keep it light up near the front under a colorful mural and order solid separate mains like the spicy fried chicken sandwich that’s a play on the one sold at MacDonald’s in Taiwan, with daikon and kew-pie mayo, or the pork belly rice bowl, lo ba beng, with bamboo shoot, daikon, and a soft egg.
Parties looking for a more personal setting should request a table in the back, where the blue, purple, and pink neon lighting infuses the windowless space with a flattering glow. This is the place to bond over shareable plates like the Panko-crusted fried shrimp and pineapple small bite and the ge song lettuce cups you assemble yourself of pork, chives, chiles, and fermented black bean paste.
Order some sake since it pairs perfectly with pretty much everything (they’ve got bottles and bottles of locally brewed Brooklyn Kura), and consider your options for after the meal. You can take your date for a cocktail out in the world-class drinking playground that’s the East Village, or continue your night alone and take your chances in one of the thousands of bars that thrum within a mile radius of where you sit.
Either way, at least you’ll have had a good meal.