The number one question I get asked most is - "where should I eat in New York City?" For years I've been meaning to share my New York City Food Guide, and now that I live 3000 miles away, I finally sat down and wrote it up. New York City is a melting pot of cultures and unarguably serves some of the world's best food. Even my Californian-lover husband would agree with me on this.
You want Indian food, they have amazing Indian food, you want Thai food, they have incredible Thai food. Traditionally speaking, New York City is most famous for its pizza and bagels, neither of which I indulged in too much because I'm more of a sit-down-and-dine type kinda gal. That will quickly change on future visits since I no longer have access to the best pizza and bagels in town. With that said, here are some of my favorite NYC eateries.
Tao (downtown/uptown): lychee martini, glazed salmon, banana bread pudding
Ess-A-Bagel (midtown east): any bagel with jalapeno cream cheese, sun-dried tomato cream cheese
Best Bagel and Coffee (midtown west): favorite. garlic bagel with chive cream cheese + tomatoes & jalapenos
Clinton Street Baking Company (lower east side): blueberry pancakes with warm maple butter
Jane Restaurant (soho): vanilla bean french toast, home fries, rosemary fries
The Cookshop (chelsea): huevos rancheros
The Smith (multiple locations): I haven't been, but I've heard amazing things
The Chai Spot (lower east side): favorite. traditional cardamom chai, coconut rose chai
Pasticceria Rocco (west village): strawberry cheesecake, rainbow cookies
Joe's Shanghai (chinatown): pork soup dumplings
Victor's Cafe (midtown west): red sangria, ensalada de aguacate y berro, cilantro cuban tamale, tres leches
Cupcakes & Bakeries
- Pasticceria Rocco Italian coffeeshop (west village): strawberry cheesecake, rainbow cookies, lattes
- Levain Bakery (midtown west): chocolate chip cookie
- Milk & Cookies Bakery (west village): chocolate chip cookie, white chocolate macadamia
- Schmackary's (midtown west): red velvet cookie
- Lafayette Bakery (noho): pistachio supreme (similar to a croissant)
- Georgetown Cupcake (soho): salted caramel, strawberry
- Molly's Cupcakes (west village): favorite. cake batter, butterscotch
- Sprinkles Cupcakes (multiple locations): red velvet, banana
- Billy's Bakery (multiple locations): carrot, banana
- Butter Lane (east village): banana
- Magnolia Bakery (multiple locations): banana bread pudding
- Angelina Bakery (midtown west): favorite. chantilly cream bombolone (Italian donut)
- Pasticceria Rocco (west village): strawberry cheesecake, rainbow cookies, lattes.
Le Bernardin - 3 Michelin Star (midtown): favorite & outstanding experience, pricey. black truffle tagliatelle, salmon tartare, hazelnut praline
Healthy Fast Food
Locations all over NYC
Located at Bryant Park & Union Square between Thanksgiving and New Years
No Chewing Allowed (holiday market only between Thanksgiving and New Year, WTC Oculus all year): favorite. dark hot chocolate
Indian Accent (midtown west): favorite & exceptional. potato sphere chaat, bengal rice khichdi, baked sea bass, makhan malai, doda burfi
Junoon (flatiron): eggplant chaat, piri piri shrimp, murgh lababdar, daal makhni, junoon spice naan with gruyere
Baar Baar (east village): dahi puri, potato tikki, paneer pinwheels
Rahi (west village): edamame artichoke chaat, lotus root kofta, seven mushroom khichdi
The MasalaWala (lower east side): dahi puri, chicken tikka masala, masala chai
Taco Mahal (west villlage): masala chai latte - cold
Carbone - 1 Michelin Star (greenwich village): favorite & exceptional. spicy rigatoni vodka, zucchini flowers, Italian rainbow cookie cake, carrot cake
L'Artusi (west village): favorite. olive oil cake, spaghetti
Babbo (greenwich village): pappardelle bolognese, mascarpone cheesecake, (I wasn't impressed by the vegetarian items)
Rubirosa (nolita): fresca, vodka, tie-dye, tuscan kale campanelle pasta
Nobu 57 (midtown west): favorite. miso black cod, Peruvian chicken skewers
Hangawi (midtown east): favorite. lychee mojito, stuffed shitake mushrooms, bean curd with kimchi, combination pancakes, tofu chocolate pudding
Michelin Star Restaurants
Carbone - 1 Michelin Star (italian/greenwich village): favorite & exceptional. spicy rigatoni vodka, zucchini flowers, Italian rainbow cookie cake, carrot cake
Le Bernardin - 3 Michelin Star (french/midtown): favorite & outstanding experience, pricey. black truffle tagliatelle, salmon tartare, hazelnut praline
Roberta's (midtown east, brooklyn): favorite. margherita
Rubirosa (nolita): favorite. fresca, vodka, tie-dye, tuscan kale campanelle pasta
Joe's Pizza (west village): favorite. fresh mozzarella, plain cheese
Razza Pizza (jersey city): margherita
Salinas (chelsea): red sangria, croquetas del dia, seco paella
La Lanterna di Vittorio (greenwich village): pesto lasagna, pomodoro e basilico, tiramisu, warm pecan pie
Casa La Femme (west village): branzino, french fries, babaghanoush, hummus, crabmeat kofta
The River Cafe (dumbo): chocolate Brooklyn bridge cake
Salinas (chelsea): red sangria, croquetas del dia, seco paella
The Halal Guys (midtown west): chicken & rice
Thai Villa (flatiron): favorite & exceptional. royal pad thai, hok talay, coconut sticky rice, Thai iced tea
Catch (meatpacking district): cod lettuce wraps, mushroom spaghetti
OVERRATED NYC RESTAURANTS
Bar Pitti: rude service, obnoxious staff. food is average with the exception of the famous pappardelle alla fiesolana.
Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court - The Plaza Hotel: it's an experience at a landmark hotel, but the food is overrated.
Ilili: it's not the same anymore, their food has been off the last two times I visited.
Prince Street Pizza: wasn't impressed, nothing special about the sauce.
Red Bamboo: unimpressed.
Chez Josephine: poor service, average food.. don't believe the hype.
Veniero's: definitely not the best cheesecake in NYC, so disappointed with the classic Italian desserts.
NEW JERSEY RESTAURANTS
Bakeries & Desserts
La Bon Bake Shops (south plainfield/other locations): brown derby, hungarian cheesecake
The Original Fudge Kitchen (ocean city): vanilla nut fudge, chocolate nut fudge
Thomas Sweet (new brunswick): any ice-cream and topping combo
Delicious Orchards (colts neck): dutch apple pie, pecan pie
Simply Chai (new brunswick): rose gold, dhamakedar falooda, air-fried magic masala fries
And for more inspiration, check out my NYC Bucket List - I'm still working on it! 🙂