Think you’re a committed foodie? Well, you’d better be when dining out in New York City, as there are over 12,000 eateries to choose from – are you up to the challenge?!
We fully advocate grabbing a helping of lamb on rice from the great street vendors, but if you’re also looking for a quality sit-down meal or a beautiful baked treat, we’ve got you covered. It can be expensive in NYC, and you want to make sure your dollar goes further. Since you’re only in town for a short while, you’re going to need to find the best food and best prices, so we’ve rounded up ten of our favourites – pick one or create your own Big Apple food tour!
Colicchio & Sons (Fine Dining)
If you’re in need of a night of romance with your partner or would like to take out some friends for a special occasion, Colicchio & Sons is a great upscale option located in Chelsea. Their venue is divided into 2 sections: the main dining room and the tap room. Each has its own hours and menu, so you can do a steakhouse feel or a more intimate setting depending on your mood. The main dining room is open every evening for dinner at or around 5PM, and the tap room is open for brunch on the weekends at 11AM, lunch from noon on Monday-Friday, and dinner all week from 5-5:30PM. Be sure to have the Duck Confit and a few glasses of the house red. By dessert, you’ll be in heaven.
Levain Bakery (Baked Goods)
With locations in Harlem, the Upper West Side, and the Hamptons, it’s no surprise that Levain Bakery is so well known to New Yorkers. They’ve got rave reviews for having the best cookies the world has ever seen, and every morsel of bread, cake, pastry, and cookies are made in house, which you can smell wafting from the storefront when you’re almost a block away. Customers are over the moon about their Brioche, Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, and specialty breads.
Pearl Oyster Bar (Seafood)
Should the mood for seafood strike you, head down to Greenwich Village and visit the Pearl Oyster Bar. This venue offers patrons a veritable feast of seafood, including umpteen versions of oysters, killer calamari, seared tuna, and delicious craft beer and wine to sip while savouring Fried Oysters on the Half-Shell, Pan-Seared Scallops, or Coconut Shrimp.
Beyond Sushi (Vegan Dining)
Vegans always have a tough time finding a good place to have a meal, but in NYC there are some really unique options take advantage of. Don’t be fooled by the name. Beyond Sushi is a fun vegan joint with a sushi theme that can be seen the entire length of the menu. They take classic sushi recipes and replace the fish with other fresh and amazing ingredients like enoki, avocado, and tofu. There are 3 different locations including Chelsea, Union Square, and Midtown West, so you can get your veggie fix no matter where you happen to be.
The Halal Guys (Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Street Food)
With its mother-ship truck permanently set up on the corner of 53rd St. and 6th Ave, The Halal Guys are considered to be one of the best Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern establishments in the city, and they operate on several streets near major tourist and clubbing hot spots Aside from the food being absolutely to-die-for, you can get a huge plate of chicken and rice for as little as $7, and the gyros are perfect for replenishing your energy stores after dancing all night. Because it’s the city that never sleeps, you’ll find most locations are open right up until 4 or 5AM.
Bond Street Restaurant (Japanese/Sushi)
In between Lafayette and Broadway down in Manhattan is the most amazing and unique sushi place in all of New York. It’s more than sushi though, it’s also a full-fledged Japanese restaurant. The Bond Street Restaurant is a fun venue with three separate floors for different styles of dining. The main floor houses the sushi bar with a hip minimalist look and heavenly sushi and sashimi of all kinds. The second floor is where you’ll find the main dining room where you can indulge in Squid Ink Pasta, Sake Steamed Black Sea Bass, or Tempura everything. The third floor is where the private dining area is with traditional Tatami rooms for special dinners.
2nd Avenue Deli (Deli/Sandwich Shop, Kosher)
You can’t visit New York City without eating at at least one deli. The most popular of these is 2nd Avenue Deli in both Midtown East and the Upper East Side. This Jewish Deli is famous for its Reubens, Monte Cristos, and Matzo Ball Soup. The best part is how respectful they are of kosher diners who can choose to sit in a different section of the restaurant if they like. Definitely a must-do location for authentic new York comfort food!
Spice Symphony (Indian Food)
Also in Midtown but on Lexington Avenue, is Spice Symphony, an authentic Indian Restaurant with all of the fan favourites. Customers are in love with the Samosas, Pakoras, Curries, and Tandoori dishes as well as the fragrant jasmine rice and hand made naan that comes with them. The Mango Chutney here is out of this world, and the decor and aroma of Eastern spices will whisk you away to an exotic cafe in Calcutta. This is great budget and mid-price dining, so be sure to stop by for some heat and sweet.
It’s no surprise that Caribbean culture is alive and well in NYC. In Chelsea and only a few blocks from the Rubin Museum of Art is Coppelia, a Caribbean Restaurant where luscious Cuban, Mexican, and Caribbean fare is served in a classic diner setting. They’re open 24 hours a day for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and after hours dining. -and they serve their breakfast all day, so if you want waffles at 2 AM, you’ve got it! Be sure to try the Ceviche, Arroz con Pollo, or the Mac n’ Cheese con Chicharrones for a culinary trip to Cuba, and if you’re in during happy hour, do a mojito or two!
Bleecker Street Pizza (Pizza and Italian-American)
There’s something special about a big deep dish pie from New York’s finest pizza place. There are those who claim that they’re the best, but patrons from all over the world and local regulars swear by Bleecker Street Pizza located in Greenwich Village. They’ve got awesome prices and mouthwatering pizza and Italian American food. Whether you’re feeling up for a Calzone, Hero Sandwich, or Eggplant Parmigiana, this hot little spot is the place to go! You can even have beer or wine with your pie or pasta instead of guzzling some cola, and their ingredients are as authentic and fresh as possible. They’ve also got a pretty hefty gluten-free menu for those who are off the white stuff. Really, what more could you ask for?!
Now tell us you don’t want to do a round-the-world NYC food crawl! Stop down at the deli for a bagel or go for the most authentic pizza outside Italy – and don’t forget to find The Halal Guys after you come out of your Broadway show for a mean gyro slathered in Tzatziki and Sriracha, or if the sun’s coming up, a breakfast sandwich from the street trucks by Central Park! A trip to New York just isn’t complete without sampling a variety of the amazing food on offer – so go big or go home!