New York has become the center of the world when it comes to food. Many of the world’s best chefs are in New York to create amazing culinary art. It is also the most multicultural city in the world! I have a big appetite and have eaten at many of the popular restaurants throughout the city. As a visitor it’s always difficult to find a restaurant since there are so many options but I’m here to help guide you to a satisfied belly! Here is my foodie guide to New York City!
The biggest TIP I can give you is to make your reservations as early as POSSIBLE!!
*indicates restaurant is great for brunch too
Because I love brunch so much, it deserved its own post!
Clock Tower* – Located in the Edition Hotel this is a great place to take a date. It even has a pool table for guests waiting to be seated. What to order: Dressed Crab with Fried Uni, Smoked Salmon and Uni Risotto.
Chef’s Club by Food & Wine* – This is one of my favorite restaurants! Guests experience spectacular dishes from chefs around the world and the menu changes constantly. What to order: Johnny Cakes and Sasso Chicken.
ABC Kitchen* – A local staple and favorite. This is one of chef Jean George’s most popular restaurant! I suggest making reservations early! What to order: Crab Toast, Mushroom Pizza, Roast Suckling Pig and Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream.
Estela* – I love Estela! Everything is just delicious! What to order: Burrata, Ricotta Dumplings, Fried Arroz Negro, Oysters and Beef Tartare.
Narcissa – Located at the Standard Hotel with plenty of tables and the perfect date spot. What to order: Carrot Wellington, Carrot Fries, and all the desserts!
Complimentary Bread – thumbs up!
Carrot wellington – I enjoyed this dish very much and highly recommend trying it
Carrot fries – Fried Carrots basically
Grapefruit Cheesecake – Favorite of the two desserts
Carrot Cake – nice presentation and one of the best take on carrot cake in my opinion
Park Avenue (Autumn/Winter/Spring/Summer) – This is a unique restaurant. Very large is space with beautiful decor! Each season the decor and menu changes based on season. What a great concept right? The food is great too! What to order: Corn Gnocchi and Chocolate Cube.
The Musket Room – Beautiful presentation on all dishes and everything here is tasty! What to order: Bone Marrow with Uni, Oysters, and Gnocchi.
Momofuku Nishi – One of the newest restaurants within the Momofuku empire and one not to be missed! What to order: Sirloin Crudo, Scallops, Ceci e Pepe and Fried Fingerling.
Decoy – Small restaurant and sister restaurant to Red Farm. This place is a hidden gem! What to order: Uni Pasta, Oxtail Dumplings and Foie Gras Strawberry Tart.
Ootoya – Multiple locations and worth a visit. What to order: Kaisen Don
Mission Chinese Food – This is a unique Chinese restaurant. Chef Danny Bowien has given guests one of the best experimental Chinese food ever! They even have pizza and let me tell you it was pretty tasty! They also have really great cocktails too! What to order: Sashimi with Seaweed, Green Tea Chewy Noodles, Kung Pao Pastrami, Cod or Beef Jerky Fried Rice and Pizza!
Ippudo or Totto Ramen – New York has the best ramen shops in the States. I highly recommend checking out either Ippudo or Totto Ramen but make sure to go early to any location as there is always a wait! What to order: Everything!
Momofuku Ssam – Always a favorite as it’s one of the first Momofuku restaurants. They also have brunch and they always change up the buns. What to order: Pork Buns, Duck Over Rice and Spicy Rice Cakes.
Morimoto – Trendy sushi restaurant in Meat Packing. I’ve been coming back for years and it never disappoints! What to order: Beef Carpaccio, Braised Cod, ALL sushi and ALL desserts!
Sushi Nakazawa – Only omakase and worth the price! If you’ve watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi then you already know Chef Nakazawa worked as master Jiro’s apprentice. What to order: Omakase!
Tao Downtown – Why TAO? If you’re looking for a hot spot, trendy dinner this is the place to be! The location is beautiful! I always have a great time and the food is always great! I prefer their hot dishes than the sushi here. What to order: Seabass skewers, Black Fried Rice, and ALL desserts!
Eleven Madison – My first 3 star Michelin restaurant! Pretty good if you’re willing to splurge! The menu is prefixed.
Marea – Very classy upscale restaurant with great Italian & Seafood. What to order: Fuselli Bone Marrow and any Crudo.
Photo by: @mareanyc
Batard – An awesome restaurant which only a pre-fixe menu for either 2, 3 or 4 course meals. What to order: Octopus pastrami, Duck, Breast and Crab & Uni Pasta
Bowery Meat Company – Make a reservation and you just might get lucky and spot a celebrity! What to order: Duck Lasagna, boiled oysters and ANY steak!
Dirty French – WOW! I fell in love with the Dirty French! Food was amazing and it also has a beautiful outdoor lounge area too! What to order: Lamb Carpaccio, Tuna Tartare and Asparagus & Shrimp.
Gramercy Tavern – The restaurant has been around for awhile and still one of the best in the city! The Tavern section offers a la carte and the Dining section offers a pre fixe ($98) or a tasting menu ($125). It’s a great deal for all the food you will get! For lunch they also offer a “secret” burger that is amazing! What to order: Squid Ink Pasta and Sea Bass.
The Nomad Restaurant* – Great food and also great brunch too! What to order: Foie Gras Chicken for two or Foie Gras Chicken Sandwich for brunch.
Babbo – By well known chef Mario Batali and for the best pasta in town! What to order: Pasta tasting which includes 5 different pastas and 2 desserts for $95.
Photo by: @babboristorante
Dell’anima – A local favorite in West Village with delicious fresh pasta! What to order: Charred Octopus and Tagliolini with White Truffles if it’s in season.
Photo by: @dellanima
Santina – The vibe and chandeliers of blown glass will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Italy. The food is great and so is the cocktails! What to order: Squash Carpaccio and Spaghetti with Blue Crab.
Tip: Off menu sandwiches for brunch/lunch. Ask your waiter =)
Carbone* – This is one of the best authentic Italian restaurants in the city and also difficult to get reservations, so get reservations in advance! What to order: Spicy Rigatoni and Veal Parm.
New York Bagels
You can’t leave New York without having a New York bagel!! It’s true, it’s the best bagel I’ve ever had. Must be something in the water…
The Bagel Store – Head over to Williamsburg for the most colorful bagels! They’re actually pretty good given they look like play-doh! They have multiple colored bagels and really unique flavored cream cheese. What to order: ANY rainbow bagel.
Tompkson Square Bagels – I love a regular New York bagel and Tompkson Square Bagels are one of the best! There usually is a line but it’s worth it! What to order: French Toast Bagel with Birthday Cake Cream Cheese.
Sadelle’s – There are so many great options when it comes to getting a smoked salmon bagel.. they’re all great!! Sadelle’s is one of the newest shops and also has a sit down restaurant that takes reservations. What to order: EVERYTHING!
Baz Bagel & Restaurant – Not as much of a wait as other bagel shops. Their bagels are pretty big in size so come with an empty stomach. What to order: Latkes and the Mooch.
Black Seed Bagels – Also great bagels, they sometimes do collaborations with other chefs so follow them to see what they have coming up! What to order: House Cured Beet Lox.
Russ & Daughters – The oldest salmon bagel shop in New York! I love the to go location since they package the salmon sandwiches for you. Russ & Daughters recently opened up the cafe location and when ordering a bagel sandwich here it’s on a platter for guests to make their own sandwich. What to order: Salmon Bagel with Caviar Cream Cheese.
Tip: This is my favorite place for a Salmon Bagel =)
New York Pizza
Grimaldi’s – One of the most famous New York pizza shops! I recommend walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and getting in line at the Dumbo location for some authentic New York pizza. What to order: EVERYTHING!
Photo by: @grimaldispizzeria
Speedy Romero – Wood burning oven pizza is super tasty! What to order: Kat’s Deli Pizza!
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza – Many locations throughout the city and it’s a great pizza shop for anyone who’s had a long night of drinks! What to order: Artichoke and Margherita.. maybe try a slice of the crab too.
Bruno Pizza – The dough of the pizza is incredible! You can tell it’s made fresh and handmade in the kitchen. What to order: Sausage and try their special pizzas when they have! They had the squid pizza when I was there.
Gruppo – For the best thin crust pizza! Same owners as Keste Pizza. What to order: Shroomtown pizza!! It’s truffled scented oils with mushroom!
Luzzo’s – On my top list for thin crust pizzas too! What to order: Arugula pizza which comes with prosciutto, arugula, and mozzarella.. the chili oil is amazing!
Motorino – Known for their Brussel Sprouts Pizza and worth a try!
Prince Street Pizza – Best hole in the wall pizza. What to order: Pepperoni pizza.
Roberta’s – One of New York’s best pizza… there will be a wait so be prepared. What to order: Bee Sting.
Rubirosa – Known for the Vodka pizza. Yes – order it.
Seamore’s – Fresh seafood and great vibe. What to order: Reel Deal, ALL Tacos and Oddfellow’s Ice Cream.
Aquagrill – A real gem in Soho with great Seafood! Great for celebrations, date night or just catching up with a friend. What to order: Octopus Salad and Chilean Sea Bass.
The Clam – Super cute restaurant and great for a date night. What to order: Fried Clam & Lobster Slider and Clam Spaghetti.
The Lobster Place – Located in Chelsea Market this is a place for the best oysters and steamed lobster!
Beauty & Essex* – One of the most popular speakeasy restaurant, located behind a pawn shop. I’ve probably had every dish here given how many times I’ve been here. It has amazing drinks and the best food! It’s also a great place to go for drinks since there is great music on the second floor. What to order: Grilled Cheese Dumplings, Lobster Tacos, Tomato Tartare, Salt & Vinegar Fries, Pork Ribs and ALL of the desserts!
Tip: They offer free champagne in the women’s restroom!
Photo by: @beautyandessexnyc
Cosme* – World-renowned Chef Enrique Olvera has won me over! What to order: Uni tostada, Duck Carnitas, and Husk Meringue.
Stanton Social* – Similar to Beauty & Essex as it’s the same owner so you know this has amazing food and is a hot spot. What to order: French Onion Soup Dumplings and Chicken & Waffles.
ABC Cocina* Another Jean George restaurant! I love all these restaurants and ABC Cocina is no exception. This is his tapas restaurant and it has amazing cocktails and tasty dishes! What to order: Tuna Tartar, Short Rib Tacos, and Chorizo sausage.
Bodegra Negra – Super trendy hot spot located the Dream Hotel with one of the coolest desserts! What to order: Soft Shell Crab Tacos, Seared Tuna Tostadas and the Don Antonio Chocolate Ball Dessert!
Gato – Bobby Flay’s Mediterranean/Spanish restaurant has been a hit! What to order: Kale & Wild Mushroom Paella and the Bar Trio.
I have so many favorite dessert shops! See below for my post on best desserts and best ice creams!
Cheap Eats & Local Favorites!
Urbanspace Markets – Urbanspace markets is a market/food vendors that happen throughout the city throughout the year. Check out Urbanspace to see whats happening when you’re visiting. Current markets are: Broadway Bites, Madison Sq Eats, Union Square Holiday Market, Columbus Circle Holiday Market, Bryant Park Holiday Market and Urbanspace Vanderbilt that is open year round. My favorites are the holiday markets especially Bryant Park as it has ice skating and a big Christmas tree, so if you’re visiting during the holidays do check it out!
Smorgasburg – A Brooklyn Flea & Food Market! During the winter it’s indoors and outdoors during the summer! This is the best as it’s along the water and has the best views of the city. Every Saturday it’s in Williamsburg and Sunday’s in Dumbo. Many great food vendors come together to sell their amazing food. This is a must do as you will get to eat many of New York’s iconic food all in once place! As pictured below, the ramen burger was born in New York and gained popularity here at Smorgasburg.
Black Tap Craft Burgers – Surprisingly the burgers are pretty good!!! But everyone comes for the crazy milkshakes! What to order: Spicy Mexican Burger and ANY Milkshake!
Tip: Go to the Meatpacking location for shorter lines… this location is much bigger then the Soho location.
Cheeky Sandwiches – The Chicken Gravy Biscuit will blow your mind!
Kat’z Deli – Iconic New York staple! The best pastrami sandwich there is!
Halal Guys – Chicken & Rice is another New York staple. Located on 6th ave and 53th st.
Shake Shack – One of the most popular burger chains on the East Coast is Shake Shack. Long lines but definitely worth trying if you haven’t had it. What to order: Shack Stack.
Red Hook Lobster Pound – Is my favorite quick eats when it comes to lobster rolls! Luke’s lobster is also another New York staple… but I highly recommend trying Red Hook first. What to order: Maine or Connecticut Lobster Roll.
New York has been gaining popularity with Food Halls in the last few years. Here is a list of current Food Halls worth checking out.
Chelsea Market (Chelsea/Meatpacking) – What to get: The Lobster Place and Los Tacos No. 1
City Kitchen (Times Square) – What to get: Dough and Luke’s Lobster
Eataly (Flatiron) – Biggest Italian Market with many restaurants. Head to La Birreria for a nice rooftop dinner
Gansevoort Market – (Meatpacking) – Currently moving to a new location
Gotham West Market (Hells Kitchen) – What to get: Ivan Ramen Slup Shop
Hudson Eats (Battery Park) – What to get: Little Muenster, Parm and Black Seed Bagels
The Plaza Town Hall (Midtown) – Located at the basement of The Plaza Hotel. What to get: Luke’s Lobster and Lady M
Urbanspace Vanderbilt (Grand Central) – What to get: Roberta’s, Oddfellows and Red Hook Lobster Pound
You may need more then a week to eat your way through this list! Get to it and start making your reservations! = )