Once the decision to spend twelve days in New York had been made, the hard work started! Where were we going to eat! I hate to miss out on a fabulous restaurant, a great cafe, a special food shop or a local market so the days were then busy researching the places I wanted to go.
This is a page from my little black book!
It is not a complete guide to New York restaurants but a list I took to New York of restaurants and food places that I wanted to try. They range from the best Michelin starred restaurants to the local delis. By grouping them together in areas and marking each on a map, the day could be easily planned and a restaurant or deli found at the drop of a hat.
Those we ate at are underlined.
Fabulous, fabulous fabulous! New York’s top restaurant has it all. The view over Central Park cannot be beaten, the service is impeccable and the food outstanding. A nine course tasting menu is offered at night or you may prefer the five course lunch menu on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Bookings should be made a calendar month in advance. A perfect restaurant to celebrate a special occasion!
The Modern & The Bar Room at the Modern
Two restaurants, one location. Looking out over the inner courtyard of MoMA , the setting for The Modern is beautiful. White tablecloths and fine dining differentiate it from the more casual Bar Room next door. The bar is buzzing and the food fun-a great night out.
This Daniel Boulud restaurant is a popular choice for dinner before a performance at the Lincoln Centre. I was impressed with both the food and the service. Sicilian sardines, lemon saffron linguini and the chicken tagine were delicious. You must have dessert! The Grapefruit Givre was to die for!
20 West 64th St (btw Broadway & Central Park West)
Looking for a pastrami sandwich in this end of town. Look no further!
854 7th Ave at 55th St
Bottega del Vino. Uptown Italian enoteca serving good coffee and a quick dinner
7East 59th at the corner of 5th Ave
NoMad (NOrth of MADison)
The Atrium at the NoMAd Hotel
The recently opened NoMad Hotel is receiving rave reviews for its restaurant run by the team from Eleven Madison Park. During summer, the rooftop is the place to enjoy their five course tasting menu. We didn’t eat here but it’s certainly one for next trip!
11170 Broadway between 27th and 28th
The Nomad Hotel
Just round the corner from the NoMad, the Breslin is great for brunch, lunch or drinks. As part of the Ace Hotel it attracts an eclectic crowd. I can recommend the chargrilled lamb burger with feta, cumin mayo and thrice cooked chips!
20W 29th St
FLATIRON DISTRICT & MADISON SQUARE PARK
Eleven Madison Park
Some would argue that EMP is the best restaurant in New York. I know that this would be the first restaurant I would go to every time I visited New York. Treat yourself and you won’t be disappointed.
11 Madison Ave
Eleven Madison Park
Read about our fabulous lunch at Eleven Madison Park
From one extreme to the other! In one corner of Madison Square Park , Danny Meyer’s famous burger place, is known for its long queues as much as it is for its burgers and fries. There’s also one at Battery Park, the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and in the Theatre Distict
The NYC outpost of this huge Italian deli that originated in Turin. Buy your fruit and vegetables here or eat at one of the many food stations.
200 5th Ave
ABC Carpet and Home
In this famous home interiors store, lunch at Jean-George Vongerichten’s restaurant ABC Kitchen will restore your energy to discover a for a few more floors.
888 and 881 Broadway at E19th St
Sneaking under the radar, those that have eaten at Tocqueville love it. Another time!
Union Square Cafe
I have a friend who eats here every time he is in New York but I must say that whilst I enjoyed our dinner here, I could not rave about it. I wonder if it had anything to do with the 7 course lunch I had earlier in the day!!
21 E16th St between Union Square and 5th Ave
Union Square Cafe
Union Square Farmers’ Market
Living in an apartment? This is the place to buy your fabulous fruit, vegetables, delicious bread, jams, cheeses and even the odd pot plant to two.
Mon, Wed and Fri from 8am
Sure, it’s been around forever but it’s an institution! The drinks are fun and the food is good.
At 42 E20th
All over over New York, you will find street carts offering every type of food imaginable. Pages have been written by locals as to which ones are the best and every opinion differs. Follow the queues!
Where to start! The most famous East village resident is probabaly David Chang. Except for Momofuku Peche, his NYC Momofuku restaurants are all in the village.
Momofuku Ssam Bar – A casual restaurant serving the best rotisserie duck I have ever eaten. Reservations can only be made if you are ordering the whole duck which serves 3-4 people. If not have the duck over rice with duck scallion, ssam sauce and chive pancake. The duck lunch is only available during the week. Their next door bar Booker and Sax, serves great cocktails.
207 2nd Ave at 13th St
Momofuku Ssam Bar
Over the road is the Momofuku Milk Bar, a small bakery that makes great bread, cakes and pies and even icecream. 251 east 13th St
Nearby Momofuku Noodle Bar serves excellent ramen and pork buns.
171 1st Ave between 10th and 11th St
Be one of only twelve people seated at the kitchen counter to be served a 10 -16 course set menu. #79 on the San Pellegrino world’s best restaurant list. On my list for a visit!
163 1st Ave between 10th & 11th Momofuku Ko
Wander down 1st Avenue and you’ll find these great eats in the nearby streets.
Motorino : Pizza at 349 E12th @ 1st Ave
Xi’an Famous Foods: Excellent Chinese fusion food at St Mark’s Place (8th) @ 1st Ave
Empellon Cocina: New, trendy mexican restaurant that I’d love to try!
105 1st Ave between 7th & 8th
Abracco: At any time of the day, join the queue at this tiny hole in the wall shop for the best coffee in New York and a delicious bacon and egg roll. 86 E7th at 1st Ave. Closed Monday
Luke’s Lobster Roll: Exactly as the name implies, pop in for a lobster roll . If lobster ‘s not for you , there’s always the option of a shrimp or crab roll. 93 E 7th @ 1st Ave
Pommes Frites: Stop here for legendary belgian fries served in a paper cone with your choice of over twenty sauces. Hubby approved!
123 2nd Ave @7th
McSorleys Old Ale House : Just down 7th Ave, you’ll find New York’s oldest continuously operated pub. Would you believe that women were only allowed access in 1970! A little bit of history,.
15 E 7th St
We loved our brunch at this small restaurant in New York . The blueberry pancakes are delicious and perfect to accompany your choice from the bloody mary menu! Only in New York! Brunch only happens on the weekend with no reservations available.
54 East 1st Street between 1st & 2nd Ave
LOWER EAST SIDE
Cross East Houston and you are officially in the Lower East Side or LES. This is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of NYC where the food is influenced by the early immigrants.
Everyone should have a pastrami on rye sandwich whilst in NYC and here is the place to do it. You can choose table service or counter service. For counter service, take a ticket, order your pastrami on rye at the counter (they’re huge so you may want to share!), don’t forget to put your $1 tip in the cup and then find a seat in the middle area. The tables against the wall are for table service. Pay as you leave- cash at the front, credit cards at the rear!!
205 East Houston St.
Russ and Daughters
This tiny shop has been serving smoked fish, caviar and other specialty treats since 1914. Try their popular super heebster bagel filled with horseradish and dill cream cheese, whitefish and baked salmon salad topped with wasabi infused flying fish row! if this doesn’t appeal, there’s always your choice of smoked salmon and bagel to go.
Il Laboratorio del Gelato
The experiments work in this gelato lab offering a wide range of flavours.
188 Ludlow St on the corner of E .Houston
Clinton Street Baking Co.
Pancakes are the star of the brunch menu at this popular spot at 4 Clinton St between E.Houston and Stanton Sts
You’ll never see a menu as long as Shopsins! Another popular spot so avoid the weekends if you can!
Situated in the Essex St Market at 120 Essex St
We loved our dinner at the Wylie Dufresne restaurant ‘WD50’. Cutting edge dishes such as those seen below were part of a fabulous 12 course tasting menu. The Everything bagel with smoked salmon threads and crispy cream cheese, sweet shrimp miso noodles with chicory and yuzu, monkfish with smoked barley and beet mustard sauce were followed by three fabulous desserts.
50 Clinton st between Stanton and Rivington Sts
Being popular with the New York crowd at the moment meant that last minute reservations were hard to get. Plan ahead if you want to try ex Noma chef, Mads Refslund’s Danish inspired food . 9 Great Jones St at Lafayette
Restaurants surround you in this fabulous area of New York. Balthazar was over the road from where we were staying, Torrisi and Parma were just behind the hotel, La Esquino in the next street and The Dutch a pleasant walk away. East and West Villages were a ten minute walk in either direction. We walked to the 9/11 Memorial and home from our walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line
The bastion of French bistrot dining in New York where steak and frites are the most popular dish ordered.
80 Spring St
This Italian restaurant was recommended to us by a number of people but unfortunately we found a reservation too hard to get on short notice. They offer a reasonable priced seven course tasting menu that varies with the seasons. Another for next time!
250 Mulberry St
Torrisi Italian Specialities
This is a fun casual Mexican restaurant that we headed to after arriving in New York. Book at the Brasserie downstairs or try your luck at the cafe upstairs. The food is great and it’s a fun experience
114 Kenmare St between Kenmare and Lafayette
A new place in the neighbourhood for drinks, oysters or dinner. With leather booths and low ceilings, the atmosphere is noisy and fun. The food is good without being fantastic but worth a visit if you fluke a booking.
131 Sullivan St on the corner of Prince st
WEST VILLAGE/ GREENWICH
A great area of tree lined streets, well kept brownstones, cute shops and fun restaurants.
Wander along Bleeker St and you will find some well known food shops including Rocco’s Pastry and Expresso Bar at No 243 for cannoli and the largest chocolate chip biscuits, Amys Breads at No 250, Murrays Cheese Shop and his amazing selection of cheese and meats at No 254. Keste for fabulous neopolitan pizza is at No 271 while nearby Artichoke Pizza will sell it by the slice. Cupcakes can be found at Magnolia Bakery at no 401 (cnr11 th)
Sunday brunch is popular here but at least you can book! Try their famous black label burger.
113 Macdougal St (just off Bleeker St)
Just around the corner is the famous Blue Note Jazz Club at 131 W 3rd St
Brunch in New York is an institution. After a short wait in the queue, the Bloody Mary’s at the Spotted Pig were just what we needed. A fun spot for at any time of the day, so pop in if you’re in the area.
314 11th st
The Spotted Pig
Keep walking up Bleeker street and you will find yourself in the Meatpacking District. Alternatively after walking the High Line, you could walk down Bleeker and head towards Soho
Drinks on the rooftop at the Standard Hotel offers great views of the city and great cocktails!
An old favourite serving French bistro food. Escape the crowd inside by requesting an outside table and watch the world go by! The omelette’s are good, as are the moules and frites and steak and fries. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, the restaurant is still popular.
9 Nineth Ave
Our interest was piqued by the promise of modern Korean cooking at this restaurant in the Meatpacking District. The mention of Korean food may be slightly misleading as the dishes represent some of the most exciting fusion cooking I have tasted. Every dish in the five course tasting menu was a beautifully plated combination of flavours and innovative cooking styles.
2 Harrison St
The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
Bookings at this 3* Michelin reastaurant are one of the hardest to get in New York but after a quick email on the right day at the right time, we were in! It’s a small restaurant seating only eighteen people around a stainless steel bench in the kitchen of chef Cesar Ramirez. During the day, the kitchen is used to prepare food for the supermarket two doors away but at night, it’s a whole different story. Course after course of Japanese inspired morsels arrived, each one a taste sensation. Seafood predominates in the twenty something courses which change daily. Watching the small staff prepare the plates is pure theatre. There are rules! Don’t be late, no mobile phones are allowed and definitely no photographs or notes are to be taken. Enjoy the meal, interaction with fellow diners is a bonus.
200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn
The Chef’s table at Brooklyn Fare
OPEN TABLE RESERVATIONS
Last minute bookings at the popular New York restaurants are often hard to make so it is advisable to book ahead if you don’t want to miss a particular restaurant.
New York restaurants have a fabulous booking system whereby all reservations can be made on the web at www.opentable.com.
The site is live and you can see immediately if a time is available of not. Restaurant booking times vary between 6 weeks and 4 weeks in advance so it is advisable to check these times. Some even have a specific time that bookings open (e.g 10am) and often if you are five minutes late you may miss out! A phone call often works wonders as well! There is also have a free app available that is very easy to use. Of course there are a few exceptions and these restaurants will let you know on their web site how to make a reservation. Bookings for the top restaurants definitely need to be made in advance. Good luck!
Read more about New York:
What is your favourite restaurant in New York?