Here’s another installment in our STAFF PICKS series, with neighborhood tips from our Senior Events Director (and proud Lower East Side resident) Mariana. 

Lost Weekend is my go-to coffee shop in the neighborhood. It’s also the gathering spot for weekly runs with my running club, the Orchard Street Runners.

I often stop by Project No. 8 to check out their one-of-a-kind apparel and curated home goods. This store helps me appreciate top-notch design. It’s also a great place to look for unique gifts for friends and loved ones.

My favorite Mexican restaurant south of Houston Street, Barrio Chino has hands-down the best margaritas in the city. When you go, make sure to order the drunken shrimp.

Located on 7th Street and Avenue D, the Lower Eastside Girls Club is an organization that serves girls and young women in the neighborhood. They also offer an array of programs and events for people in the community. Check out the Sweet Thing Bake Shop and La Tiendita Fair Trade for crafts and handmade items from groups of young women around the world.

Photos via Nick Hunt © PatrickMcMullan.com, Serious EatsLost Weekend, and Project No. 8.