B & H

photo by Voice Media Group

It’s a triumph if a restaurant makes it to its fifth birthday in this city, but such spots have nothing on B & H, an Eastern European diner that has persisted at this address for more than seven decades — and can point to regulars who’ve come in almost daily for 54 years. The restaurant originated as a vegetarian lunch counter, turning out meat-free knishes and blintzes, grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade challah, fresh squeezed juices, and egg creams. While ownership has shifted over the years, little else has changed. B & H once boasted a celebrity following that huddled among friends and neighbors at the counter and in its narrow space. It remains a beating heart of the East Village, a window into the area’s disappearing past, one of the few joints of its kind left in the city.