With more than 10,000 NYC restaurants listed on TripAdvisor, picking where to eat & drink in NYC can be quite the task. But don’t worry – I’ll help you choose.
As NYC is my all-time favorite destination, I’ve experienced my share of amazing food experiences in the city. I personally like a mix of casual spots, street food and nicer restaurants whenever I travel (and letmetellyou I’m no stranger to McDonald’s once in a blue moon either), so the restaurants I recommend are quite variated in aesthetics and cuisine. You might have heard this before, but in case you haven’t: The best food in NYC doesn’t always come from the fanciest looking place. So keeping an open mind in general will enrich your New York City experience for sure. Bon Appétit!
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The Butcher’s Daughter
CUISINE: Vegetarian, American.
OPTIONS: 100% vegetarian, with many vegan and gluten-free options.
GREAT FOR: A delicious & healthy breakfast or brunch.
I RECOMMEND: Avocado toast, fresh juice & espresso, yuuuum yum.
This trendy place has a special place in my heart as it’s located next to my old apartment from my glory days as a (wannabe) newyorker. The Butcher’s Daughter is very popular among the younger crowds and has a high presence on Instagram to say the least, so it can be quite crowded at times. However, the delicious food, fresh juice and cute interiors make up for any waiting time, in my opinion. Outdoor seating is a huge plus, too.
GREAT FOR: Drinks & a meal with an incredible view
OPTIONS: Some vegetarian or gluten free options, see more here
I RECOMMEND: Their fried chicken sandwich & their sliders
Rooftop bars keep poppin’ up like mushrooms in New York City and I’m not complaining. The city skyline never gets old and what could be better than combining the view with a beer and a good meal? On my last trip to the city, Maya and I checked out Refinery Rooftop and we really liked this place. It combined a laid back atmosphere with the right amount of class – and the food was really good. If you want to be seated outside, I suggest you get reservations and request it in advance.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Although I completely despise Times Square and will do anything to avoid the entire area whenever I’m in the city, I always have to go back for one thing: Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This diner is such a fun experience thanks to their amazing singing waitstaff, whom are all aspiring Broadway performers with incredible talent. I always have so much fun here with my friends.
I know some people think it’s a bit overpriced for what you’re getting, but what you’re really paying for here is the impeccable entertainment. The food is greasy and tasty as diner food should be, and the portions are generous. They don’t accept reservations so there can be a bit of a line outside, but the employees do a great job with seating so it usually doesn’t take that long. Besides. It’s worth it.
CUISINE: American Diner
GREAT FOR: A quirky & fun experience for the whole family
OPTIONS: Some vegetarian or gluten free options
I RECOMMEND: Their milkshake and cocktails are simply heavenly for any carb lover like myself.
CUISINE: Mexican, latin.
GREAT FOR: A late night dinner with a partner or group of friends.
OPTIONS: Vegetarian & gluten free options
I RECOMMEND: Experience #LocoMondays at 10 pm every Monday for an impressing burlesque show
My travel squad and I were invited to a dinner party at Bodega Negra last summer, and boy did it take me by surprise. We were all having such a great time eating delicious Mexican food in this dark and intimate restaurant when some guys suddenly started moving around some tables. Before we knew it there was a burlesque show going on in front of us, on our table. SO fun! The food and drinks are all incredible also, so you can’t go wrong with a visit to Bodega Negra.
GREAT FOR: A classy dinner with your partner or friends.
OPTIONS: Vegetarian options, see menu here
I RECOMMEND: Crispy Orange Chicken is simply heavenly.
I’ll be honest. The first time I visited TAO Uptown it was 100% because Carrie did so in Sex And The City. The thing is, it was an amazing food experience so I keep going back.. Every time I’m in the city. The place is elegant and beautiful, the service is impeccable and the food is delicious. It really is the whole nine yards – all without me feeling like I’m out of place – which is the worst feeling, and not so uncommon in New York City. Definitely worth a visit.
CUISINE: Mexican, latin
GREAT FOR: Enjoying tasty mexican food and a huge margarita in the sun
OPTIONS: Some gluten free & vegetarian options
I RECOMMEND: Their Blue Corn Chipotle Enchiladas, tacos and pretty much all of their huge drinks
Caliente Cab is the perfect laidback place to enjoy some mexican food in Greenwich Village. It has a fun vibe to it and the employees are always super nice. This area of the city is my absolute favorite in Manhattan, so a stop at Caliente Cab is pretty much mandatory whenever I’ve strolled through Bleecker Street for hours, or after I’ve showed my friends the apartment building from FRIENDS. Highly recommended for a fun time.
CUISINE: Cuban, Caribbean
GREAT FOR: When you crave a really good sandwich at cool place (or to go)
OPTIONS: Gluten free, vegetarian & vegan options
I RECOMMEND: Their Cuban Sandwich, was voted best in NYC. So good!
This awesome place is located a only block from my old apartment and I used to be a frequent flyer back in the day. Cafe Habana has a super chill vibe and has the best cuban sandwich I’ve ever tasted (haven’t been to Cuba yet, though!). The cafe is quite intimate, so it’s always an option to take the food to go if you’d rather eat outside or at home. Their menu is varied, prices are great and hey – they even have their own hangover drink menu.
If you’re in New York City during the weekend, you should check out Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. Smorgasburg is the largest outdoor food market in America and there are as much as 100 local vendors at the market. It’s so much fun to walk around and tasting so many different foods & drinks. Smorgasburg is located in Williamsburg on Saturdays (90 Kent Ave) 11AM-6PM, and in Prospect Park on Sundays (Breeze Hill) 11AM-4PM.
THE LITTLE OWL
GREAT FOR: Any Friends fans who want to enjoy quality food inside Central Perk’s location
OPTIONS: Vegetarian, vegan & gluten free options
I RECOMMEND: The Crispy Chicken entrée was delicious
Any Friends fans out there? If so, I’m sure you’ve dreamed of hanging out in Monica’s apartment. Sadly I can’t make that happen for you, but I can suggest the next best thing: You can enjoy a meal inside the building. The Little Owl is an adorable and intimate restaurant located where Central Perk is supposed to be in the TV show. Their food is really good and it’s in the middle of Greenwich Village, my favorite neighbourhood in New York City.
CUISINE: French, Steakhouse
GREAT FOR: Foodies who enjoy brunch or dinner in a picturesque environment
OPTIONS: Vegetarian, vegan & gluten free options
I RECOMMEND: The Wagyu Truffle Burger, so gooood.
I’m not gonna lie. Food simply taste better in a picturesque environment. At least it makes the whole experience drastically better, who can deny that? Regardless of what your thoughts are on this subject there is no doubt you’ll enjoy Boucherie if you appreciate quality dining. Boucherie is a traditional French brasserie and steakhouse with three locations in New York City. Their classic food is delicious, and their cocktails are heavenly. Definitely stop by if you have the chance to.
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