40 Best Places to Eat in NYC that I Miss the Most
If you’ve been following along on our adventures, you’ll know that we’ve been taking full advantage of local cuisines: wine and cheese in France, fondue and chocolate in Switzerland, pizza and pasta in Italy, and more cevapi than you could imagine in the Balkans. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the food scene in NYC! It’s home to some of the best food in the world, and there are a ton of places I’ve been craving recently. I put together this list to share some of the best places to eat in NYC (at least in my humble option) with you!
For those of you reading for the first time, I recently packed away my ties and left the city with a one-way ticket to Ireland, the start of a 6-9 month journey across Europe and Africa. It was a monumental decision for me. It was the longest I would be outside my home country and state, away from my family and friends, and without a consistent income stream.
We’re now two months in, and while I’ve been having the time of my life, there are certainly things that I miss back home. My family and friends top the list (hi Kate and Danny!), and there are certain luxuries in NYC that I had grown accustomed to (Uber, Seamless, Duane Reade around the corner), but I also really miss is the food!
I tried to take full advantage of the NYC foodie scene over the five years that I lived there, and was fortunate to have access to older, more experienced colleagues at work who always had amazing recommendations. Living in the Financial District, I spent a lot of time at the places around there, but also discovered a bunch of great spots in Tribeca and the West Village.
There’s a little bit of everything on my list: fancy restaurants and food courts, beer halls and wine bars, coffee shops and juice bars. You may be familiar with some, others not so much. But if you’re planning a trip to NYC soon, or a native looking for something different, I encourage you to check out one of my most beloved places.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a food expert and I am NOT reviewing these restaurants. Simply sharing my (brief) perspective.
1.) Clinton Hall
Clinton’s is our go-to spot in lower Manhattan. It’s a beer hall that we’ll go to grab drinks after work, celebrate birthdays and special occasions, and bring our parent’s when they’re visiting. It’s where we met after sneaking out of work to support the USA in the 2014 World Cup. It’s where GJ lost his first foosball match, Roman was defeated at life-size chess by a member of the maintenance staff, and a few glasses were broken when the jenga tower came crashing down. And it’s where 30+ of my friends met to send me off on my big trip.
We first stumbled upon the bar in 2013, where we would meet to watch the game and grab a bratwurst with jalepeno waffle fries. Since then, under new ownership, it’s popularity has skyrocketed and it’s become one of the premier watering-holes in the Financial District. We like to joke that we were hanging out at Clinton’s before hanging out at Clinton’s was cool. Nowadays, if you don’t get there early, you’re not going to get a table! The menu has evolved significantly from the early days of the Käsekrainer, and now includes one of the most unique (see: cheeto burger) and delicious burger menus in the city. I dare you to try the infamous burger challenge. Their dessert menu is equally innovative, featuring the ‘walter white’s crystal methadonuts’ (pictured below), among others. It has a fun, energetic atmosphere, with a huge selection of craft beers and various outdoor games (our favorites are foosball, ping pong, jenga, and life-sized chess). It’s always a good time and one of the best well kept secrets in the city.
These guys have redefined the meatball game. When I return from my trip, this will be my first stop when I get back to the city. As the name implies, they focus solely on meatballs, and you’ve never had anything quite like it. After being seated, you’re given a plastic menu and dry-erase marker. You custom build your order – using the marker to select one of five different types of meatball, sauce, and side (think: mashed potatoes that can be served over or under the balls). My go-to order here is the spicy meatball with spicy sauce, served over palenta. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I usually wash it down with a PBR or seasonal craft brew (if you’re interested in a cocktail, the Moscow Mule is spectacular). But don’t end your meal just yet – you have to try the ice cream sandwich, which is made with homemade, warm cookies (your choice of chocolate chip, oatmeal raison, double chocolate, snickerdoodle, or a special). With six locations throughout the city, it’s a great place to stop for a quick lunch or dinner (or, on your way home from the bar, certain locations are open until 3am!), and a must visit on your next trip to the city!
It was very difficult not to select Bubby’s as #1… I love this place. I made it a goal to try to eat there at least once a week, and if I couldn’t find anyone to go with, I would sit at the bar with a book (call me a nerd). Bubby’s serves traditional American fare and proclaims to “defend the American table,” sourcing all of it’s meat and produce locally. It has a friendly, casual atmosphere, but I know colleagues who would also recommend it for a work-related lunch. It’s the best BBQ I’ve ever had, and the homemade biscuits, served straight from the oven, are out of this world! They’re complimented with sweet butter and jam… I would be satisfied if they were the only thing I ate for the rest of my life. There is also a selection of homemade lemonades and sodas, fresh squeezed and cold pressed juices, and cocktails (definitely try the Bourbon Sweet Tea!) To top off one of the most satisfying meals of your life, look no further than the various home-baked pies. After all, Bubby’s started in 1990 as a pie company – you won’t be disappointed. It’s also a great Sunday brunch spot!
Cooking is mischief,” he says. “Getting paid to cook is like a crime. I’m a big fan of mischief. Owner/Chef Ron Silver
I stopped here every morning on my way to work when I lived in Tribeca, but there is so much more to this little coffee shop than meets the eye. First of all, it’s owned by Hugh Jackman. Second, 100% of the profits are contributed to The Laughing Man Foundation, which supports educational programs, community development, and social entrepreneurs around the world.
In 1999, Jackman traveled to Ethiopia (where coffee originated) and met a young coffee farmer, named Dukale, who was working to lift his family out of poverty. Inspired by the story, Jackman launched Laughing Man Coffee to provide a marketplace for farmers in developing countries to sell their goods in the USA. The mission has been so successful that Keurig now sells a “Dukale” K-Cup!
That cup of coffee — and I’ve seen it — changes the life of those growers. That’s a massive, massive difference. It is one cup of coffee, but it’s changing a life. Hugh Jackman
5.) Luke’s Lobster
The best lobster roll in NYC. The sauce is light, delicious, and not too overbearing. Luke’s gets shipments from Maine delivered daily, so you know it’s always fresh. The seafood is paired with chowders and bisques, Maine-style sides, local desserts, natural sodas, and local microbrews. They opened their first location in the East Village in 2009, but now have multiple across the city, in addition to a food truck! There are times in the summer when I would stop here on my way home from work more than once a week!
The story is unbelievable, too. Luke Holden, an investment banker, was craving a lobster roll on a hot day in 2009. Every lobster roll he found was overpriced, covered in mayo, and diluted with celery. Wanting one “fresh off the docks” like he enjoyed when growing up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, he opened his own shop in Manhattan. Now, he owns over 20 Luke’s Lobster restaurants.
6.) Square Diner
This is another of my favorite Tribeca spots. I would often wander over here on Sunday for some chocolate chip pancakes. It is one of the few places in the city that reminds me of home. It’s a classic, chrome-colored railway car shaped diner that’s been around since 1922, and is set in stark contrast to the surrounding luxury buildings of Varick and Leonard streets. There is a simple, homey feel on the inside, with traditional booths and polished wood-board on the ceiling. Headshots of celebrities line the walls. It’s fast and serves delicious diner food, but you have to get there early – it closes at 4pm!
7.) Hudson Eats @ Brookfield Place
Brookfield Place is at the forefront of the revitalization of downtown Manhattan, and within the recently renovated complex is Hudson Eats, a gourmet food court. When it opened in 2014, everyone at work was ecstatic because it more than doubled our lunch options. Hudson Eats has set the food court bar high, with 14 quality, “fast-casual” options, including poplar eateries like Umami Burger, Dig Inn, Dos Toros, Sprinkles, and Chop’t. If you find yourself downtown visiting the World Trade Center memorial or checking out the observation deck at the top of 1WTC, walk across the West Side highway to quench your hunger with a quick bite to eat here. For all the Chipotle fans out there, I suggest you check out Dos Toros – you might become a converted fan. Brookfield hosts events throughout the year and a lot of luxury retail stores recently opened, so there’s plenty to see after you finish your meal.
8.) Peter Luger’s
I’ve celebrated my past two birthdays here and there’s a reason we keep going back: it’s the best steak in the city. This iconic Brooklyn steak house has been in business since 1887 and has been named the best steakhouse in Zagat for 30 years in a row! The servers deliver porterhouse steak (two-fingers thick) family-style and cooked to perfection, sizzling straight to the table from the oven. In addition to the steak, they’re almost as well-known for the thick slabs of bacon served as an appetizer and its branded secret steak sauce. And they have a bunch of great sides to choose from – our favorite is the spinach (it is insanely good!). Either way, it’s a NY namesake and definitely worth a visit if you’re in town. You need to make a reservation at least a month in advance and they don’t accept credit cards, so make sure you stop at the ATM first!
9.) Sarge’s Deli
I have a love/hate relationship with Sarge’s Deli: a Jewish delicatessen open 24/7. I love it because they have amazing, oversized sandwiches (my favorite being the corned beef, tongue, and swiss combination) but hate it because we lived in the apartment above the deli that burned down in 2012, destroying everything we owned. Luckily we were home for Thanksgiving and nobody was hurt, but we didn’t have any clothes to wear to work on Monday. Goldman put my roommates and I in a corporate apartment for the month while we looked for a new place to live, and my colleagues cut me a check so that I could buy some new stuff.
Located in Murray Hill, my friends and I moved into the apartment above after graduating from college in 2012. Murray Hill is located in midtown Manhattan within walking distance of Grand Central – so head on over to check out one of the city’s best delicatessens, just don’t move in there.
10.) Open Kitchen
I think this is one of NYC’s best kept secrets. We first discovered this jewel when they opened a location in the financial district, but they have since expanded quickly across the city. The stores are brand new, with a modern-style and open layout, and offer several culinary stations where you can order different types of foods (including healthy options) – Asian, stir-fry, Mediterranean, sandwiches, burgers, and a salad Bar, among others. Open Kitchen fuses traditional deli-style ordering with restaurant quality food, with influences from around the world. From the breakfast sandwiches to the bibimbap, everything is phenomenal. They also have fresh smoothies, juices, coffees (the cold brew is a must!), and teas. This is one of the best places to go in the city if you want to grab a quick bite to eat without sacrificing quality.
11.) PJ Clarke’s
The first location opened in 1884 and today boasts “we fired up our grill before Lady Liberty lit her torch.” During Prohibition the Clarke family made bathtub gin and bootlegged scotch from Canada – serving it’s most loyal customers under the table. There are several locations across the city, but our favorite is located in Battery Park City. It’s a staple in downtown Manhattan, where large crowds gather for happy hour after work and to relax in the sun on the weekends. It doesn’t get much better than sitting outside PJ’s on Saturday afternoon drinking Corona’s and laughing with friends. It’s located right on the water and offers unparalleled sunset views along the Hudson River. They also have some great food – my top choices: parmesan tater tots and “the cadillac” burger.
12.) Crif Dogs
NYC’s #1 weiner.
Crif Dogs is an East Village hot spot that got it’s name when one of the owners tried to say his partner’s name (Chris) with a hotdog in his mouth. Located in the East Village and hilariously decorated (think: babe holding a hotdog, with a sign that says eat me), this funky spot has a variety of hot dog combinations, and I always have a difficult time deciding which one I want (but I always try something new!). From the Chihuahua, a bacon wrapped dog covered with avocado and sour cream, to the Good Morning, a bacon wrapped dog with a fried egg and melted cheese, they have an option for everyone (including veggie dogs!). And get this: within the restaurant, there’s an old-fashioned phone booth, where, if you pick up the phone and recite the correct password, you gain entrance to a secret speakeasy (called Please Don’t Tell) next door!
13.) Locanda Verde
One of Robert De Niro’s restaurants, Locanda Verde is my favorite Italian restaurant in the city and the perfect spot to impress a date or celebrate a special occasion.Located in Tribeca, Laconda Verde offers a “soul-satisfying urban Italian menu with a warm and comfortable atmosphere, leisurely atmosphere, and heartfelt cooking.” Chef Carmellini, a protege of Daniel Boulud, put together a simple, family-style menu that offers seven seasonal “secondi” entrées, none costing more than $25. The specials are also fantastic – you really can’t go wrong here. While I like to try something different each time I visit, I always order the same starter: fresh sheep’s-milk ricotta (sprinkled liberally with sea salt). You should strongly consider making a reservation here on your next visit to the city!
The food is so flat-out seductive—and reasonably priced—you understand quickly why so many diners are clamoring, like asylum-seekers escaping a war zone, up near the front door. Timeout
14.) Dead Rabbit
The Dead Rabbit recently reaffirmed it’s status as the best bar in the world, but that’s not why we go here. They do have an incredible cocktail menu, but they’re also open until 4am, which is much later than other bars in the financial district – so we often end our night there. The Irish-American tavern, founded by two two friends from Belfast, attracts a regular crowd of suits and Irish tourists, serving 145 different types Irish whiskeys (which is the largest selection in America). If you’re not a whiskey fan, the Dead Rabbit has an extensive selection of innovative, unique cocktails.
The Dead Rabbit’s cocktail menu looks more like a graphic novel than a bar menu. It’s a bound book with beautiful illustrations. Business Insider
15.) Stone Street
This isn’t a single restaurant, but a historic street with a bunch of quality restaurants. It’s a favorite spot of ours in summer when you join a huge crowd sitting outside on picnic tables and throw a few back. Stone Street dates back to 1656, when it was nothing more than a cobblestone trade path that housed tiny Dutch houses – some say it was the first ever paved road in NYC. Now, while smaller than a football field, it’s home to more restaurants and bars than some neighborhoods – four pubs, six restaurants, outdoor picnic tables, a patisserie, an oyster bar, huge lofts in historic buildings, a wine bar, cobblestones and some larger-than-life personalities. Monday’s are lobster night at Ulysses where you can enjoy 1.5lbs of lobster and corn on the cob for $18.95!
16.) Insomnia Cookies
Insomnia is warm, delicious fast food cookie heaven. Founded by a UPenn grad, these guys serve warm, delectable sweets wherever you are in NYC. They have something for everyone – cookies, brownies, cakes, ice cream, and cold milk. They’re open until 3am AND deliver – so use your imagination. There have been many nights on my trip when I’ve been craving these. My order is preset on Seamless: 4x snickerdoodle, 2x double chocolate chunk, and an extra large s’more.
17.) Artichoke Pizza
There are so many amazing pizza places in NY, it’s not easy to select one, but Artichoke Pizza wins the gold. I first discovered the Union Square location when I was an intern in the summer of 2011. I spent a lot of time in the office, but every weekend I would treat myself with a slice. A family run business, it’s most well-known for it’s signature artichoke-spinach slice (thick, creamy, and heavenly), but the square sicilian and margarita are to die for. They’ll also make you a meatball hero or broccoli-rabe sandwich if you ask. There’s often a line so be prepared to wait a little bit – but it’s totally worth it!
I first learned about this place when they opened up around the corner from my office. Just how great was my first experience there? We went back three times in the same week. There are several Parm locations across the city (including one at Yankee Stadium), and I wish I had discovered it sooner. They have the BEST mozzarella sticks that I’ve ever eaten, made with fresh mozzarella and just the right amount of breadcrumbs. I dream about these. In addition to the mozzarella sticks, they are also known for their incredible chicken and meatball parmesan subs (also available on a delicious semolina roll). The restaurants have a cozy, almost rustic feel – the cooks wear white paper hats and the meals are served in red plastic baskets. They also feature excellent cocktails and the best way to end the meal is with one of a dozen different types of ice cream cake.
19.) The Ramen Burger // Smorgasburg
Smorgasborg is a well-known Brooklyn flea market, which Mario Batali called “the single greatest thing I’ve ever seen gastronomically in NYC.” It showcases over 100 local and regional food vendors and up to 10,000 visitors daily! It’s one of the most popular attractions in Brooklyn and occurs on Saturday and Sunday, from April through November, rain or shine. It’s known for many delicious foods – one of the most famous (and unique) being the Ramen Noodle Burger, which you have to try at least once in your lifetime. I also love the grilled corn on a cob! Easily accessible via subway, a great place to explore and try new foods if you find yourself on a weekend trip into the city.
“Time is an ingredient” is the Dominique Ansel motto, who has figured out how to combine a retail bakery with a restaurant service kitchen. The hybrid bakery finishes, assembles, or bakes 70% of the menu right when you order it! They also invented the cronut. Yes, I contributed to the cronut hysteria that swept the nation in 2013. Yes, I woke up at 5am to get a spot on the line. And yes, I was the most popular person in the office that day, slicing up my cronut into 8 pieces so everyone would get a taste.
But these guys have created so many other revolutionary delectables: the cookie shot, frozen s’more, magic souffle, and waffle afogato (you have to google these!). And they just launched the DDQ (Dominique’s Desert Barbecue) – an interactive table side cooking extravaganza inspired by communal BBQ traditions and techniques like fondue, roasts, and raclettes. It’s also such a cool spot to hang out and have a coffee, and (who would have guessed) all the “normal” pastries are also fantastic!
21.) Sushi Yasuda
Yasuda was my first time experiencing high-quality sushi and it completely changed the game. I like to joke that it ruined sushi for me, because from that point on, no other sushi really compared. I quickly learned that the best way to experience sushi is to sit at the bar and order “omakase” from the chef. “Omakase” in Japanese means “I’ll leave it up to you” – so instead of ordering a la carte, you let the chef choose what to serve. You’re guaranteed to get the freshest, most unique dishes – and each chef has a different style. If you have any allergies or preferences, you can let them know at the start. If you’re a sushi fan, this is an experience you’ll never forget!
Bonchon is it’s own beast – very difficult to describe, but addicting. A favorite of ours on Seamless – they also have a few locations around the city. They specialize in Korean-style twice-fried wings, drumsticks, or boneless breast (our go-to) covered in a thin layer of sweet and spicy garlic/soy sauce. After you dip them in the spicy mayo sauce, your world will never be the same again. If you’re looking for an appetizer, you have to try the scallion pancakes.
UVA is one of the few restaurant’s that I will venture north of 14th street to visit, and with good reason. The atmosphere in the wine-bar restaurant is rustic and relaxed, a great spot to bring a date or celebrate a special occasion. It’s difficult to recommend one dish – you can’t go wrong with this menu, which ranges from small tapa-style plates to traditional entrees. For all my wine lovers out there – they have an extensive menu featuring bottles from around the globe.
Also known as Rabbits Cafe – this is where I go if I want to spoil myself with The American, aka the best bacon, egg, and cheese in the city. There have been countless Sunday’s where I force myself out of bed and onto the subway to start my day with one. This place defines comfort food and serves breakfast all day long. Check it out!
25.) Baked by Melissa
New Yorkers could argue for days about where you can find the best cupcake. Google “best cupcakes in NYC” and every list is completely different. There are more crazy flavors out there than you could even imagine – I haven’t tried all of them and I’m not going to pretend to be an expert, but my favorite is Baked by Melissa. They’re fresh, bite-sized (so I never have to choose only one flavor), easily accessible, and offer a large assortment! I can also grab a box from the Grand Central location when visiting home – my little brother and sister always love the sweet surprise. They also offer macaroons now!
26.) Houston Hall
Houston Hall advertises itself as a “massive beer hall and brew pub in the West Village.” This description couldn’t be more accurate. It’s a well-known West Village watering hole with a great crowd and where you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Houston Hall ales and lagers are brewed by Greenpoint Beer Works (in Brooklyn), which was first established to produce all the beer for Heartland Brewery. It’s a refurbished parking garage across from the Film Forum that can hold up to 500 people. The huge room is lined with long tables and benches and has projectors along the ceiling where you can watch the game. There is a wide variety of craft beers that are served in three different sizes (we usually order the large stein glasses!).
27.) Loopy Doopy @ The Conrad Hotel
You might not know the name, but you’ve likely seen pictures of their signature, photogenic drink: the Prosecco and Ice Pop cocktail. It’s a fruity People’s Ice Pop (a local desert shop) topped with chilled Prosecco or Rose. The flavors vary month-to-month, but a few this summer included Raspberry Basil, Blueberry Peach, Strawberry Lemongrass, and Empire Apple. Yum! The seasonal rooftop bar, located on the top floor of the Conrad Hotel, offers some incredible views of Lower Manhattan. If the ice pop drink isn’t your thing – don’t fear – there is a wide variety of innovative cocktails to choose from.
28.) The Frying Pan
One of the premier spots in NYC to hang out at during the summer, the Frying Pan is a historic vessel permanently docked at Pier 66 within the Hudson River Park. It’s a dive bar with great water views that serves up bar food and booze – but is infamous for it’s pitchers of sangria. It’s a great place to go to grab a drink with friends and chill under the sun. The history is also really interesting. After being abandoned for 10 years while docked at an old oyster cannery on the Wicomico River in the Chesapeake Bay, the ship sank due to a broken pipe. It was underwater for three years before being raised by salvors. Instead of going to the scrapyard, it was sold to its present owners. After tons of silt and shells were removed from the hull, the ship was outfitted with a new engine and, in 1989, was sailed to New York City.
29.) Burger & Barrel
You’ve probably never heard of it, but it’s a serious burger joint that serves one of my beloved burgers in the city. First recommended to me by work colleagues, it’s a slightly upscale American-style “wine pub” located in the heart of Soho, with an award winning burger and extensive international wine list. The signature “Bash Burger,” (onion & bacon jam, pickles, American cheese, special sauce) considered one of the city’s best burgers, has won NY Food & Wine Festivals Event five times. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tried on the menu – if you’re not a burger person, I would recommend the chicken lollipops (you can choose between asian bbq or spicy buffalo!).
I had to wait 2 months to get a reservation here, but it was well worth it, and easily one of my favored high-end restaurants in the city. It’s an Italian-American style restaurant created by heavy hitters Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick, disciples of Mario Batali and Daniel Boulud. I’ve never had a better veal parmesan. Located in trendy Greenwich Village, this is the perfect spot if you want to impress for any special occasion. The NY Times says that “just about every element — the menu, the music, the uniforms, the décor and even the servers’ banter with customers — will be engineered to conjure up the feeling of a lively night downtown, circa 1958.”
Distilled, located in Tribeca, brands itself as a “new American Public House serving regional dishes and cocktails within an approachable communal setting.” Historically, Public Houses have served as the social anchors of towns and neighborhoods for centuries in America and throughout Europe. Not only was the local Public House a place to enjoy modest eats and drink hearty stouts and spirits, it was also a central locale in the community for socializing, political debate, and commerce. This place is simply awesome. When you arrive, instead of bread, you’re given a bowl of popcorn, sprinkled with “magic dust” (garlic and cumin, which gives it a cheesy taste). It’s irresistible. They’re also known for their country fried duck & waffle dish. Delicious!
Another Mario Batali venture, the flagship location, located near Madison Square park, opened in 2010. Batali described it as a grocery store with tasting rooms. The Flatiron location had over 5 million visitors last year and is over 50,000 square feet, with a wide variety of Italian food and merchandise, as well as several pop-up restaurants. You explore the facility for hours (there are aisles stocked with Italian goods, including fresh and cured meats, seafood, cheeses, produce, grocery items, condiments, homemade mozzarella, pastas and gelato.), but I’d suggest making a reservation and taking the elevator to the rooftop restaurant and microbrewery, La Birreria. In addition to great food, they brew unfiltered, unpasteurized, and naturally-carbonated cask ales.
33.) Shake Shack
I remember when I first moved to the city, everyone told me, “you have to try Shake Shack!” At that time there was only one location at Madison Square Park, and there was ALWAYS a line. I waited about 45 minutes to sink my fingers into the greasy, cheesy burger, and after my first bite, knew it would be a favorite. Whoever invented the sauce they use is a pure genius. Since then, they’ve expanded aggressively across the city and now have 17 locations (including one at Citi Field and JFK airport)! We didn’t know whether to celebrate or cry when they opened a location next to my office. They also offer amazing cheese fries, freshly squeezed lemonade, milkshakes, and several flavors of concretes (frozen custard).
34.) Hudson Produce
A deli located in Battery Park City, it’s open 24/7 and is one of our go-to spots for a late night snack. During the day it’s pretty crowded because it caters to the large, nearby corporate crowd from Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center. They have a bunch of hot and cold deli options – our favorite is the “Midtown” – ham, chicken cutlet, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayo. So good.
35.) Grand Banks
A favorite to go to after work when the weather is nice, Grand Banks is an oyster bar located on the deck of a large wooden boat docked on Pier 25 in Tribeca. It’s a great spot to grab a drink and they have a world-class seasonal seafood menu. Get there early though – it fills up quickly! The ship, hand-built in 1942, is the last original salt bank fishing vessel in existence and the largest wooden vessel in NYC! It got it’s name because it was once part of the proud Grand Banks fleet that fished the turbulent North Atlantic, trading cod and salt through the Americas.
I really really miss my Chinese food, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better spot in Manhattan than farm-to-table Redfarm. It’s located in the West Village, and the atmosphere is very unique: it has a clean, modern feel, but you sit in gingham booths and potted plants sit in the windows. The menu is also unique, with traditional Chinese items (dim sum and orange beef) as well as hybrid Asian-fusion options (Torched Salmon Cocktail – Sichuan Peppercorn Flavor and Fresh Corn on the Cob with Basil and Lemongrass). They even have ‘Pac Man’ colored shrimp dumplings!
While there are hundreds of good salad spots in NYC, sweetgreen is easily the best, as it sources local and organic ingredients from nearby farmers. It has a diverse assortment of ingredients and dressings that are always super fresh. If you’re visiting and want to eat something healthy, they have over 13 locations so it won’t be difficult to find. I’ll admit that I didn’t eat salads as much as I should have when I lived in the city, but at work we did challenge ourselves with “salad month” – where you could only eat salads for lunch. Sadly, it only lasted one month.
38.) Flex Mussels
This is one of those places that everyone I know has been to and would highly recommend it to a friend. Flex serves up fresh seafood, oysters, and mussels in a range of 23 unique sauces. It began as a charming seafood shack in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and has evolved to a coveted urban eatery. After you finish your main dish, be prepared for one of the best desserts in NYC: the flex donut collection. The sugary donut balls are infused with a choice of flavors that changes seasonally, ranging from blueberry and salted caramel to absinthe chocolate and tequila cherry sriracha. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
The West Village has been called NYC’s best ice cream neighborhood, for good reason. There are a ton of great spots here but my favorite for gelato is Grom. It’s hard to describe – you have to taste it to understand. They boast that they prepare gelato “like it used to be made” and they’re not messing around – all of the ingredients are sourced from Turin, Italy! There are a ton of flavors, but I like to try the flavors of the month. Taking a look at the website, the October specials are caramel and hazelnuts, tiramisu, and lemon and ginger. You have to give this place a try!
40.) Pier A Harbor House
One of the newest summer attractions in downtown Manhattan, Pier A is located right on the water where Battery Park City meets the Hudson River. It’s a massive, 28,000 square feet, nautical-themed beer beer hall (about the length of a football field) with multiple bars and expansive outdoor seating. A designated NYC landmark, It originally housed the city’s dock department and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was abandoned until Peter Poulakakos and his partners renovated it in 2014. With amazing water (including the Statue of Liberty) and sunset views, this is the perfect place to escape to with a group of friends for the afternoon. Get there early though or you’ll have to wait for a table!
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What are your favorite NYC spots? What would you miss the most if you left the city? Comment below!