NYC Food List!
It’s been a while since I’ve really posted about anything; I figured I’d just post something random for you guys!
Reddit’s NYC subreddit had a thread titled “Best of New York Restaurants“. Someone was planning on visiting NYC from London and wanted to know what some great restaurants were; I was just staying up and drinking a lot of coconut water and water to hydrate myself after a rough night of drinking, so I figured that I’d go ahead and contribute. My post ended up being longer than I originally thought it would be, and I figured that it’d be useful to post it here!
Other posters in the thread gave a lot of info about other great places to check out for food in NYC, so you should also check out the thread!
First, here are some places I make sure to take friends when they visit:
-Shake Shack (burgers)
-Katz’s Deli (pretty famous pastrami sandwich)
-Pommes Frites (good fries with lots of sauces—mango chutney is great)
-Xian Famous Foods (Chinese Xi’an food)
-Ippudo and Totto (ramen)
-Peter Luger (steak!)
-Nan Xiang Dumpling House (Chinese soup dumplings / xiaolongbao)
-Murray’s Bagels AND Ess-a-Bagel (Both have really good bagels, and I think they’re better than Absolute Bagels.)
-Shake Shack is probably the common must-try “NYC” burger. (It’s fast food, though!)
-Minetta Tavern’s Black Label Burger is my favorite burger in the city.
-Spotted Pig’s burger and the Breslin’s Lamb Burger are two of the other “top burgers” in the city.
-Other popular burgers include Whitman’s Juicy Lucy and Umami Burger (fast food).
-Di Fara in Brooklyn for more traditional NYC pizza. The wait time is around two to three hours. (This tends to be more hit-or-miss. Lucali might be more worth your time.)
-Lucali in Brooklyn for more artisanal pizza (the thinner kind!). This is my favorite pizza in NYC. The wait time depends on which seating you end up making. Arrive well before 5:45 to get into the 5:45 seating. (If you arrive at around 6, you’ll probably get into the 7:00 seating, which means you’ll have to hang around a bit. It isn’t that bad, though!)
-Other solid pizza places that are actually in Manhattan include: Motorino, Luzzo’s, and Artichoke Basille’s (most people like it a lot when they’re drunk haha).
-If you’re in the UWS, I like Celeste!
-Nathan’s in Coney Island has the best hot dog in NYC in my opinion.
-Crif Dogs and Japadog are both solid. I have a lot of friends who really like one but hate the other.
-If you plan to stop by Crif Dogs (or Xe May for the banh mi), try to make reservations at Please Don’t Tell; it’s a speakeasy hidden in Crif Dogs that makes REALLY good cocktails.
-Amy Ruth’s in Harlem has REALLY good chicken and waffles!
-Katz’s Deli has amazing pastrami.
-Russ & Daughters, which is right next to Katz’s, is a pretty great Jewish deli. They have great bagels with lox/salmon, cream cheese, and so on.
-Barney Greengrass (in the Upper West Side) is another great Jewish deli. They have amazing sturgeon!
-Fette Sau in Brooklyn is my favorite.
-Hill Country BBQ and Mighty Quinn’s (both in Manhattan) are really popular, too.
-The porterhouse at Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn is amazing.
-Wolfgang’s is a closer copycat of Luger’s if you don’t want to travel as far.
-The mutton (it’s really lamb) at Keen’s is great, too.
-Minetta Tavern has a decent steak!
-For expensive/nice pasta restaurants, I like Babbo and Del Posto. Del Posto’s more for fine dining, and Babbo has really, really good pasta.
-Marea is really good for Italian seafood.
-Basta Pasta and Dieci are good for Japanese Italian.
-Carbone and Torrisi Italian Specialties are supposed to be fantastic, but I haven’t tried them yet.
-Eh… Tapas in NYC aren’t that great, especially compared to the amazing tapas places in Spain :(. If you want tapas, though, the two best places are probably Casa Mono and Alta.
-Caracas Arepas has REALLY good arepas, and it’s pretty cheap, too!
-Xiaolongbao? Nan Xiang in Flushing. My friends visiting from Cali like to compare it to Din Tai Fung in Arcadia sometimes; they’re different styles of xiaolongbao. I still think DTF in Taipei is my favorite, though. still, Nan Xiang is probably my favorite place in NYC.
-Normal dumplings? People like Prosperity Dumpling (5 for $1) and Vanessa’s Dumpling House (I want to say the basic is 4 for $1.). Both are really cheap.
-Noodles? I personally like Lanzhou in Golden Shopping Mall in Flushing (across Xi’an Famous Foods) the most. Others like Lamb Noodle Soup, though (Yelp it!). If you want to stay in Manhattan, Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles is decent.
-Szechuan? I like Lan Sheng.
-People REALLY like Mission Chinese Food for fun spins on Chinese dishes. It’s worth a try if you’re curious; you can read about it and some of their dishes online! It’s usually at least an hour-long wait, though.
-And random stuff/more Xi’an food? I like the beef burgers and lamb skewers at Xi’an famous and Biang!
-Honestly, the Korean food in NYC isn’t too amazing. Lots of the food in Ktown is similar and overpriced (compared to LA, at least :(.) One good thing is that they’ll still serve you lots of soju after 4 a.m.!
-Sik Gaek in Woodside and Flushing has sannakji (cut-up raw octopus)!
-Bada Story in Flushing (deeeeeep Flushing) has pretty good Korean sashimi!
-I like Korean fried chicken at Bonchon, but that’s usually when we’re drunk in Ktown hahaha.
-For fine dining with a few Korean elements, Jungsik is pretty amazing. (It’s not really Korean, but there are hints of it here and there.)
Sushi in NYC has a few different tiers. Masa is by far the best, but it’s about $1,000/person. After that, people say you have Yasuda, 15 East, Ichimura, and Nakazawa (though I personally think Nakazawa is at a level lower than the rest). Gari’s after that (but it’s kind of weird b/c it’s not traditional sushi), and then you have a bunch more after Gari.
-Masa (but that’s way too expensive—it goes to about $1,000/person)
-Sushi Yasuda ($150/person for omakase)
-15 East ($150–200/person for omakase). This is my favorite sushi restaurant in the city in terms of top-tier sushi. I’d really only go for the sushi bar, and try to get Chef Masato. He’s there from Tuesdays to Saturdays.
-Ichimura ($150/person). Book reservations a few weeks in advance!
-Gari (really inventive and not traditional at all—it’s about $100 per 13 pieces. It’s not really traditional and fit more for Western palates, but the sushi rice is decent and fish is fresh.)
-After that, Sushi Dojo, Sushi Ko, Sushi Azabu, Jewel Bako, and a few others are popular (around $100-125 for omakase).
-For cheaper sushi, Ushiwakamaru and Sushi Yasaka are pretty decent.
-Nakazawa’s probably the hottest sushi restaurant in the city right now. I personally thought it was overrated and inferior to both 15 East and Ichimura. You should go yourself to judge, I guess.
-Once again, Masa probably has the best, but it’s not really a realistic choice to go to :(.
-I also really like Soto for their kaiseki dishes; the sushi is decent there. The uni is amazing! (They have a bunch of uni dishes hahaha.)
-Kyo Ya has really good kaiseki, too!
-Kajitsu is good if you don’t mind trying vegetarian kaiseki!
-Rosanjin is supposed to be good, but I haven’t tried it.
-Ramen: Ippudo and Totto are my favorites. If you like Hakata-style ramen, then you’ll like Ippudo more; if you like ramen closer to the kind you can find at Daikokuya, then you’ll like Totto more.
After that, the tier is something like Hide-Chan, Minca, Ivan Ramen, and Jin Ramen. There are newcomers like Mu Ramen and Bassanova Ramen that are supposed to be good; I haven’t tried them yet, though! (Some people say Mu is up there with Ippudo and Totto!) The beef ramen at Takashi and vegetarian ramen at Kajitsu are also supposed to be good, but I haven’t tried them yet. Momofuku Noodle Bar’s ramen is kind of bad in my opinion, but their pork belly buns are fantastic.
-Soba: Soba-ya’s good! (Some people like Cocoron and SobaKoh more, though I haven’t tried SobaKoh.)
-Yakitori: People usually just go to Yakitori Taisho or Yakitori Totto in St. Mark’s Place. I think Yakitori Tori Shin (in the UES) is by far the best, but it’s far more expensive than the previous two. (The food’s definitely higher quality, though.)
-Takoyaki/okonomiyaki: Otafuku is good (and probably the only one I know of haha).
-Omurice: Hiroko’s Place is supposed to be the best for omurice in NYC, but I haven’t tried it.
-SriPraPhai in Woodside, Queens, is my favorite.
-The duck panang curry in Ayada Thai (also near SriPraPhai) is AMAZING. Also, if you stop by Woodside, try to stop by Fresca La Crepe (They make my favorite crepes in NYC!).
-I like the Ratchaburi crab and pork dry noodles at Pure Thai Cookhouse a lot!
-For Isan food, Somtum Der is probably the best in NYC.
-Pho: Honestly, I don’t really know a really good place here that compares with the great San Jose or Westminster places.
-Banh mi: Ba Xuyen in Brooklyn has the best banh mi in NYC. Unfortunately, it’s pretty far. For a closer one that’s decent, try Xe May on 8th St. and 1st Ave. It’s not really traditional, but it’s good! (That’s also near Please Don’t Tell, which is a speakeasy with really good cocktails. You want to make reservations beforehand, though!)
-For the other Vietnamese stuff (broken rice, bun thit nuong, and so on), I have absolutely no idea.
-If you want something closer to modernist stuff like Fat Duck, the closest is probably wd~50 in terms of modernist cuisine. Atera is close, too (but considerably pricier than wd~50).
-If you want really, really good fine dining that isn’t super modernist (so closer to, for instance, Ramsay, Ducasse, and Helene Darroze), Per Se, Le Bernardin, and Eleven Madison Park are all amazing. (EMP is the most innovative of those three.)
-Marea is pretty solid if you want a cheaper place with good seafood (though I don’t think the seafood there is as great as Le Bernardin’s seafood haha).
-Jean-Georges is really good if you like fine dining with some Asian influences. They have a REALLY, REALLY GOOD lunch deal that you should try (around $60/person)!
-If you want REALLY traditional French fine dining, Daniel is good.
-The other popular places are Jungsik, Marea, Del Posto, Ai Fiori, Annisa, NoMad, Gotham Bar and Grill, and Gramercy Tavern. Dovetail is one of the more affordable ones that’s still really good. (If you go for Meatless Mondays or Sunday Suppa, it’ll be like $60 to $70.)
-Brooklyn Fare and Blanca aren’t bad if you’re seeking that type of experience. The food’s really innovative, though both restaurants seem to be hit-or-miss with people I know.
-I really like more Asian desserts. To that end, I like: Chikalicious and Cha-An. I kind of think Spot Dessert Bar is overrated, but that’s just me.
-Wafels & Dinges (waffle dessert truck) is great! Make sure to get the Speculoos spread.
-I honestly haven’t really explored the other dessert places, so I can’t say much about them :(.
-Dominique Ansel Bakery is my favorite. The Cronut, DKA, madeleines, and croissants are fantastic.
-I really, really like Maison Kayser a LOT. Their baguettes and Croque Madame are amazing!
-Other people usually like to go to Bouchon Bakery; that’s generally a solid choice (Thomas Keller and all).
-I like the Momofuku restaurants, but they ARE pretty overpriced. (Milk Bar, Ssam, Ma Peche, Ko, and Noodle Bar—Noodle Bar has REALLY good pork buns but below-average ramen.)
-Ladurée has the best macarons in NYC in my opinion.
-The 53rd St. and 6th Ave. halal food cart is pretty famous for chicken and rice, so I’ll usually take friends there (and it’s especially good when they’re drunk!). At $6, it’s a really good deal in NYC.
-For fish and chips, A Salt and Battery is pretty solid.
-Ghenet has been my favorite place so far, but it’s in Brooklyn.
-For Ethiopian in Manhattan, I think Awash is the best.