A common question I receive is where to eat in New York City. I decided to dedicate this Table to Tuesday to sharing my thoughts on the topic. And make it easy for you to reference and share if living in or visiting NYC and looking for suggestions. Obviously there are SO many restaurants in NYC and so many places that I still want to try! But this list covers some of my favorites. I’ve broken it out neighborhood by neighborhood and listed my favorite (or more than one favorite if I couldn’t decide). My food goal for 2016 is to make my way across the bridge more often and check out the food scene in some of the outer boroughs. Like always, if you have a question about something I didn’t cover, please leave in the comments below or feel free to shoot me an e-mail!
Upper West Side:
Jacob’s Pickles – If looking for a place that tastes like home cooking, this place has you covered. Comfort food at its finest, you can’t leave without trying their fried pickles and biscuits.
Upper East Side:
Heidi’s House – Matt and I just checked this place out this last week for the first time. It is extremely tiny inside, but you can call ahead and place your name on the waiting list. If you call like an hour and a half ahead of time, you should be able to sit almost immediately. It really is the perfect cozy date night spot. And if you are looking to have some fun after dinner, check out Brandy’s Piano Bar. The performer is hysterical and everyone in the crowd sings along.
Baby Bo’s Cantina – This place is too good and too dangerous. Such a fun and energetic vibe inside, typically our go-to for delicious Mexican. It is a great spot for going out with a small group of people (really fun environment, but still small, so I wouldn’t go with more than 6 people). I never stray away from their fish tacos and Matt is a huge fan of their enchiladas. Make sure you order a margarita and some guac to start! I also feel like I can’t recommend a Mexican place in Murray Hill without mentioning El Parador. This is the oldest Mexican restaurant in NYC and Matt and I are regulars here (in fact, the night we got engaged Matt surprised me and rented out the bottom floor of the restaurant to throw a party with our friends). A more low-key vibe than Baby Bo’s, but equally as good food.
Friend of a Farmer – While the line for brunch may cause you to turn away, it is worth the wait! When you walk in you feel like you are out of the city and dining somewhere along the countryside. I also love that they are farm-to-table and use seasonally fresh and local ingredients.
< Tried to include pics. of the food if I still have them in my phone!>
Cookshop – As much as I try and constantly check out new paces, I can’t help but to keep going back here. Every item on the menu is made with major TLC and being nestled right in the heart of Chelsea there are always good vibes. While I have been for brunch and lunch, I prefer their dinner menu. I would recommend going with a group of people who are ok sharing and ordering for the table. Make sure you save room for desert, their cider donuts are out of this world!
ABC Kitchen – The instagram-worthy decor alone is enough to pop in and give this place a try. Any of Jean-Georges restaurants are truly incredible, the entire experience. When Matt got sworn into the Bar, we went out here afterwards and I still talk about the meal to this day. DO NOT leave without getting the salted carmel ice-cream sundae (with candied peanuts & popcorn, whipped cream and chocolate sauce)…pure bliss! Right next door is the sister restaurant ABC Cocina, also one of my faves and a really beautiful set up as well.
Mighty Quinn’s BBQ – The smells hits you the moment you walk in the door and your mouth begins to water. Bring an empty stomach and big appetite as you won’t leave hungry. Definitely some of the best BBQ in NYC.
The Redhead – I used to live in the East Village so I have a lot of favorites in the area. This is one of my favorite cozy restaurants to visit, especially in the winter. The line can be long, but the cocktails are great and we usually are able to snag a bar table while we wait.
Gemma – BEST Italian ever! If you don’t go here and try their white truffle pizza (we always get it as an app.) we can no longer be friends…jk 😉 But seriously, this place is unreal. It is one of those places where I want to try so many items on their menu and always sample bites of whoever I am with, but I order the same thing (the pizza above and eggplant parm) every single time because it is BOMB!
Rosemary’s – One of my favorite brunch spots in the city. The restaurant is beautiful and the rooftop is actually a garden, growing fresh herbs and other items for use in the restaurant. Love the little (or in this case, not so little) details that make a restaurant.
Little Owl – Such a great local neighborhood gem. This restaurants claim to fame, other than the amazing food, is that the exterior of the building was the “Friends” apartment building from the show. Although you will need to book about a month out to get a reservation, they always leave a couple of the tables for walk ins. Doesn’t mean you won’t have to wait, but at least still will have a chance to get in. Plus they will text you when your table is ready so you can grab a drink nearby.
Catch – While on the pricier side, Catch is located in the perfect area for a fancy night out in the city. The streets are charming and the food and drinks at this restaurant are great. It is a very high-energy restaurant so a fun place to go with a group or to celebrate a birthday The first time we ever went, we ordered way too many sushi rolls and starters we had to cancel our main dishes (that are typically more family style) because we were stuffed to the max, just an fyi to keep in mind.
Lure Fish Bar – The perfect stop after a day (or night) of shopping in SoHo. Lure Fish Bar draws in a big after work crowd, but if you are a seafood lover like myself you have to stop in and try it out for yourself. Make sure you start with an order of their homemade potato chips…trust me!
Root & Bone – Recently went here for a friend’s birthday and will definitely becoming back. I love the decor (how cute are the cocktails in teacups), and love the restaurants southern home cooking even more.
Lower East Side:
Beauty & Essex – I always was under the impression that this restaurant was somewhat of a tourist trap, but to my surprise I really, really loved it! The food was unique and so good (the grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings are a must!) and the ambiance is very cool. This is a place where you choose a bunch of items to share and the restaurant will proportion the dishes perfectly for your group size (they do a similar concept at Stanton Social, another one of my Lower East Side faves). The exterior of the restaurant is fully functioning pawn shop, but when you go to the back of shop you will be escorted to the restaurant’s entrance. An all around cool experience.
Locande Verde – Definitely one of the best places to eat in nyc, and therefore one of the hardest to get in. But if you can snag a table get the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta – your life will never be the same!!
Warm Weather Must:
Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg – A Brooklyn flea food market where food and drink vendors from all around the city come and set up small stands and sell a variety of their most coveted items. You can a view of the New York City skyline across the river and can easily get here via the subway or East River Ferry.