Gaia Italian Cafe

Gaia Italian Cafe

(Now Closed)
Italian Restaurant and Café$$$$
Alphabet City, New York
  • Stars
    The folks at The New Yorker and New York Habitat like this place. Would you agree?
    • The New Yorker
    • New York Habitat
Tips and Reviews icon127 Tips and reviews
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  • Josh B.heart icon on user image
    Josh BeckermanDecember 9, 2016
    Been here 25+ times
    One of the BEST restaurants in the World! These amazing $7 panini baked on homemade cracker bread are magical. Everything else, from pasta to sausage and beans is heave. This place is special. A gem!
  • The New Yorker
    The New YorkerJune 18, 2015
    At Gaia, "oven-baked dishes satisfy cravings for simple, homemade food, such as meatballs and potatoes generously dusted with Parmesan crumbles." Read more
  • Alice L.heart icon on user image
    Alice LaiApril 26, 2015
    Been here numerous times and loved everything so far! Really enjoyed the lasagna, chicken milanese, antipasto platter, and the dessert pastry that looks like a mini croissant with Nutella filling.
  • Wesley B.heart icon on user image
    Wesley BlissDecember 28, 2016
    Be polite & don't ask for substitutions or she will kill you. But otherwise she's very nice, and the homemade food is so very worth it. Seasonal treats like torrone appear when available too!
  • Clement C.heart icon on user image
    Clement ChanDecember 4, 2014
    Make reservations at least a day ahead on Fri & Sat! This place is such a hidden (literally) gem, very authentic Italian food. The owner even customized my meal when I told her I'm lactose intolerant.
  • Lizzy S.heart icon on user image
    Lizzy SaxeNovember 30, 2016
    Gaia's menu is limited but delicious. I especially like the meat lasagna and the antipasto platter. So much great food for such a great price!
  • PureWow
    PureWowAugust 5, 2016
    This casual panini joint just went up ten notches in our book. Why? Because we can bring in a bottle of 2006 Maculan Pino & Toi to drink with our prosciutto and mozz sammy. Read more
  • AmateurConciergeheart icon on user image
    AmateurConciergeJuly 24, 2014
    There's a reason this was in the Top 5 on the new cheap eats list. Gnocchi is incredible and not as heavy as you fear. Really home cooked feel.
  • Kayla G.
    Kayla GibsonFebruary 20, 2014
    Delicious, and reasonably priced. Order a couple items, the food portions aren't gigantic. Go during the week to avoid crowds. Bubi Panini ($5) is outstanding, as is the Spinach/Ricotta Gnocchi ($7)
  • Peggyheart icon on user image
    PeggyFebruary 12, 2018
    Been here 5+ times
    Check the board near the counter for daily pasta specials. All of their pastas are incredible. Try to come during weekday lunch (reservations required for dinner).
  • Phil P.heart icon on user image
    Phil PMay 28, 2016
    Pasta of the day is very delicious, and hearty! Beef tortellini, in tomato sauce mixed with baby octopus, mussels and fish
  • Nate B.heart icon on user image
    Nate BeattyApril 13, 2015
    Paninis are piled high and served on the most delicious, super thin, homemade bread. Best value, super high quality lunch in NYC.
  • Kirill K.heart icon on user image
    Kirill KukuruzaJuly 23, 2016
    Pasta, ravioli, lasagna, panini, and everything are really good. Don't forget to BYOB.
  • Marcus R.heart icon on user image
    Marcus RaimondiJanuary 4, 2017
    Gaia is truly a gem. The amazing, high-quality food is the star here; you can taste the passion and commitment of the owner with each bite. Can't recommend then paninis enough!
  • AmateurConciergeheart icon on user image
    AmateurConciergeAugust 1, 2014
    You cannot go wrong with ingredients like these. Gnocchi is amazing and unique (almost no flour), panini "bread" is crisp.
  • Nicolette R.heart icon on user image
    Nicolette RomeroDecember 19, 2015
    Looking for a cheap lunch? Then this is your spot. Everything is super cheap and delicious. I'm usually a pasta person, but my favorites were the antipasto platter and Delicato panini.
  • James M.heart icon on user image
    James MarshallOctober 16, 2015
    The food here is tremendous. A totally overlooked spot. Amazing prices. Just go and get whatever the specials are. Hidden gem.
  • Jeffrey
    JeffreyJuly 13, 2014
    Dinner is Fri-Sat, when the kitchen is open until 7:30 and 9:30, make a reservation; only 18. homespun, absurdly affordable Italian salads, sandwiches, and pasta; bakes her own focaccia and pastries.
  • Sunaina
    SunainaOctober 28, 2014
    Hole in a wall place just outside of little Italy. But it's the closest to authentic Italian that's cooked in what looks like your aunts home. BYOB. Simple and tasty food. Portions are huge.
  • Arielle H.heart icon on user image
    Arielle HayatFebruary 24, 2013
    Authentic Italian cuisine! U can instantly be transported from Houston to a city in Northern Italy. Force yourself to top it all off with the fabulous homemade Nutella pastries-u can't have just1bite
  • New York Habitat
    New York HabitatNovember 9, 2011
    Oh how we love the paninis here, and they're just 5 bucks! If you're in the area, stop in for a quick bite or just to say hi to the owner, Gaia.
  • Alexheart icon on user image
    AlexJuly 29, 2015
    daily specials are so good. meat lasagna is also amazing.
  • Mauriceheart icon on user image
    MauriceJanuary 14, 2017
    Stunning food, simply stunning
  • Mauricio V.
    Mauricio VaydaMay 22, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Easily the best panini on the LES, if not all of NYC. just $5. everythig else on the menu is dope. Authentic Italian soul food. Easy. Affordable. Eat here.
  • Sarah W.heart icon on user image
    Sarah WhiteOctober 27, 2014
    Paninis are to die for. Pretty much everything is fresh and fantastic... Homemade taste and vibe. Very inexpensive. A truly authentic Italian restaurant.
  • Tom
    TomApril 7, 2016
    Authentic, affordable, and BYOB. They open and close early. Reservations are required for dinner. Must try!
  • Judy C.heart icon on user image
    Judy CariMay 9, 2017
    Been here 10+ times
    We love the chicken cutlet sandwich, all her pasta of the day and leave room for the pastries!
  • Gajtana S.heart icon on user image
    Gajtana SimonovskaDecember 10, 2017
    Excellent food and reasonable prices in a throwback vibe with great service.
  • Sarah C.
    Sarah CareyNovember 14, 2011
    This place is amazing! I'm so sad I didn't find it sooner on my trip to NYC. Everything is fresh and homemade and tastes delicious and you can't beat the price for the food! Thank you Gaia!
  • Marisa L.heart icon on user image
    Marisa LNovember 11, 2016
    Italian goodness. Favorite? Spinach and potato gnocchi 😍
  • Sheenaheart icon on user image
    SheenaApril 15, 2017
    Such a gem. All the fittings of a home cooked meal and the food is amazing!
  • Graham G.heart icon on user image
    Graham GnallNovember 3, 2017
    Amazing sandwiches. Check hours before going in evening. Reservations only for dinner.
  • Taniaheart icon on user image
    TaniaJuly 23, 2016
    I loved buffalo mozzarella with pesto sauce!)
  • Sebheart icon on user image
    SebMarch 29, 2019
    Been here 5+ times
    Amazing authentic Italian food in a very relaxed atmosphere with the kindest staff ever.
  • Adrienheart icon on user image
    AdrienOctober 28, 2015
    It feels home, the specials change everyday, my favorite is the meat on Wednesdays.
  • Tina Z.heart icon on user image
    Tina ZFebruary 16, 2019
    Really good bread. I’d come back to try the amazing looking salad and panini.
  • Mike R.heart icon on user image
    Mike RobinsonMarch 8, 2015
    Really fantastic pasta and ravioli - this is a great 'off the tour guide' restaurant with no frills and great food
  • Soliloquy Marketing
    Soliloquy MarketingSeptember 4, 2013
    Awesome place to grab a coffee and do some work downtown. Authentic and unique italian fare. Try a panini for only 5 bucks!
  • msheart icon on user image
    msMarch 12, 2015
    Delicious, affordable, and unique while still authentic. Difficult to choose between the lasagna and panini as a fave
  • Phoebe T.heart icon on user image
    Phoebe TranMarch 24, 2013
    Their pesto lasagna is a great light and decadent baked dish on the menu..for paninis, the goloso and Milanese are my favorite!
  • The Taste Sheriff
    The Taste SheriffJanuary 7, 2015
    Cheap and affordable eatery for lunch. Get the prosciutto panini or the pesto salad. Pastas are good too.
  • Toshieheart icon on user image
    ToshieMay 14, 2014
    If you're nice to Gaia, she might give you a little extra something. On Mondays they have pizza day and it is (as everything else) delicious!
  • Jocelynheart icon on user image
    JocelynDecember 24, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Don't leave without getting the spinach ricotta gnocchi or the pesto lasagna!
  • David H.heart icon on user image
    David HuMarch 8, 2014
    Fantastic little Italian place. Grab some friends, make a reservation, and eat family style. The lasagna is a must try!
  • Francesco F.heart icon on user image
    Francesco FraioliAugust 5, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Authentic gnocchi and real infredients! This place is one of my favourite italian spot in manhattan
  • Mark D.
    Mark DJanuary 6, 2014
    Friendly staff, great specials and delicious food! Highly recommend coming here for some Italian food in NYC.
  • Honghui Y.heart icon on user image
    Honghui YuFebruary 2, 2019
    The spinach and ricotta gnocchi here are incredible. Meatballs are also worth a try.
  • Kathryn D.heart icon on user image
    Kathryn DJune 24, 2018
    Spinach and ricotta gnocchi plus salad easily feeds two. Bring your own wine.
  • Cindi A.
    Cindi AzuoguJune 11, 2013
    The pasta is absolutely rich, flavorful, and delicious. Paninis are just $5.
  • Kassheart icon on user image
    KassMarch 21, 2016
    All the pasta we tried was incredible and so cheap. BYO + make sure to call ahead
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