232 Elizabeth St (south of Houston) - 212 625 23450 - Man, with this new small restaurant they seemed to have nailed it. Lovely old-feel-tiled decor, great lighting, modern Brazilian theme, good cocktails, nice small bar to sit at, tightly packed tables with friendly diners.
Whoever opened Bar Bossa did some big planning.
The only problem is that it really is all to plan. So is the food, so to speak. The menu looks varied and lively but I'm afraid it's cook by numbers. The three Mexicans in the kitchen, bless 'em, just churn out plates as the plan directs. This place is just the manifestation of a business plan - there's no love for food here.
Saying that, check it out: come just for the bar and the cocktails.
196 Elizabeth St (btwn Prince & Spring St) - 212-925-3310 - Small, chilled Thai restaurant on the east side of Nolita. A young arty hipster crowd squeeze in booths and tables together for some well priced food and great sake mojitos.
20 Spring St between Elizabeth and Mott Sts (212-334-1015) - Really friendly and hip little cafe that won Time Out's 2003 Best Sandwich award. Young arty crowd hang out to enjoy fine food in tight but comfortable cafe. I recomend the prosciutto sandwich or even cosider Italian tuna with mesclun greens, tomatoes, and a piquant lemon dressing on ciabatta!!!
Places to go if you can't wait
Cafe Habana on Spring & Elizabeth
17 Prince St (c/o Elizabeth Street) +1 212 625 2001 - This latin / cuban restuaunt is one of the most popular shacks in the neighborhood. Expect a wait for good value food. Perfect for lunch but also worth a try early or late.
If you can't wait, try the take out service next door on Elizabeth (+1 212 626 2002)
Places to go before or after Cafe Habana
Walk up and down the Nolita streets checking out the boutiques
Look at the fine jewelry made by a local woman on her make shift table displays outside the church yard on Prince
6 to Spring St; N, R, W to Prince St.