Guide - 40 places to eat in New York
There’s a million great places in New York. I mean a million. But one of my favorite areas is without a doubt Brooklyn: Williamsburg and Greenpoint in particular. In Manhattan I love West Village and Greenwich Village, and this is also where our hotel is located when we visit. Keep away from the touristy areas and you’ll find all the amazing things that New York has to offer.
Here is a list of a few of our favorite places!
Restaurant Norman - Located in a beautiful open industrial space in Greenpoint, this restaurant serves lovely Scandinavian cuisine. Even simple things like bread and butter are to die for.
The Rabbit Hole - This welcoming restaurant in Williamsburg has a lovely patio in the back and inside it has just that right amount of dark and moody that is so New York. Make sure you leave room for dessert, their cream banana pie is epic.
The Spotted Pig: Greenwich Village. This little place has a Michelin star, takes no reservations and is really, really great. It's famous for its burger with Roquefort cheese and a mountain of string fries, but it's really worth checking out the other items on the menu too. The chicken liver toast is out of this world.
Joseph Leonard: West Village. Excellent for brunch but also good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The place is really cosy, it has that granny's-apartment kind of feel to it, and the food is very tasty. Last time we went we sat next to Drew Barrymore and her new man..!
Osteria Morini - Quite the classic in NYC, this Italian restaurant will blow your mind away with its comforting fare. The handmade pastas are a MUST.
Lombardi's - They claim to be the first restaurant to serve pizza in NYC, and they are very good. Make sure you think twice about the size you are ordering, they are ENORMOUS.
Frying Pan - This bar and restaurant is actually a ship, docked at Pier 66. Go here for a drink and beautiful views over the water.
Marlow & Sons - This low-key restaurant in Williamsburg has quite the reputation, and serves tasty seasonal food. They are now a gratuity free restaurant, which means they truly care about their staff.
Kesté Pizza - West Village houses this Italian restaurant where pizza is king. It really is good, and we have managed to walk right in during the busiest times, they turn tables fast.
The Little Owl - It's located in the Friends building, how cool is that! It's a small restaurant (28 seats only) and maybe not the cheapest, but it's quite casual and so cute. The staff takes really good care of you, and the food is fantastic.
Shake Shack - Ok, it's the place where EVERYBODY goes, but their burgers are really that good. Find a different location that's not Madison Square Park and you'll be ok. If you have room make sure you order a float too, a kind of frozen milkshake that has all sorts of delicious in it.
Juliette - A lovely French restaurant in Williamsburg. Their little rooftop with pretty lights is wonderful for a drink or two.
The Meatball Shop - You cannot go to New York and not visit The Meatball Shop. They have various locations, but the idea is the same: choose your balls (veggie ones also available), your sauce (parmesan cream or mushroom gravy for example) and your sides (different seasonal vegetable options or mashed potatoes, rigatoni etc.) and you will get a big bowl of meatball goodness.
Tørst - This bar is the king of craft beer, you will find true gems both on tap and on their long, long beer menu. They serve both lunch and dinner.
Tacombi Cafe El Presidente: Flatiron. Excellent Mexican food very close to the Flatiron building. The decoration is very hip and the tacos excellent. A big plus is also the fact that you can order one taco of each flavor (not three or more as it often is in Mexican restaurants) and this way you can taste lots of different ones.
Morandi - This Italian restaurant serves Italian comfort food and does a good brunch with an Italian touch.
230 Fifth - This rooftop bar is very popular, but who can blame them: the views are breathtaking, especially at night when you can see the Empire State Building blinking in a distance. The place is huge and perfect for drinks and a snack.
Hudson Clearwater - A lovely place for brunch, take a seat in the patio and you'll want to stay for hours.
Mary's Fish Camp - Feel like having some seafood? Go here for a good, elaborated lobster roll or anything from the sea really. It's tiny and cute, go early to score a table.
DuMont Burger - Some say they have the best burger in NYC, and we think they're pretty great too. Located on Bedford Street, Williamsburg.
Ice-cream: There are many good ice-cream places in NY but there are a few that have been chosen as among the best ones in the world. My favorite ones are:
- Oddfellows Ice Cream in Williamsburg. the flavors are very surprising and the taste is fantastic. A good idea is to try their sundaes, they are huge and are like pieces of food art.
- Sundaes & Cones: East Village. The flavors..! Lychee and lavender, black rose (with activated charcoal), cherry vanilla... Yum..
- Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream: East Village. The flavors are fantastic! A few examples: Black Ass Licorice, Durian Banana, Banana Curry... They have 5 different flavors of just vanilla!
Mast Brothers: Williamsburg. Mast Brothers are famous all over the world for their chocolate that's made of the purest ingredients (you will not find any soy lecithin or other crap in their chocolates) and the packaging design is phenomenal. Their shop in Williamsburg smells excellent, you can buy their chocolate bars or their pralines that are specially made and that they don't make into bars.
House of Small Wonder: Williamsburg. This place is so incredibly adorable, they have another location in Berlin and they are both to die for. The place is small but so charming, there are actual trees growing inside the bar! The food is very good, and the Nutella Banana croissants are...unforgettable.
Smorgasburg: Williamsburg/Brooklyn/Queens. Smorgasburg is an event that takes place every Saturday and Sunday (Sat Brooklyn, Queens, Sun Williamsburg) and is a food feast. There are lots of little stands with food and drink, and it's really worth a visit. This is an excellent place to try a delicious lobster roll, a pulled pork sandwich, a ramen burger or anything else that's cool at the moment.
Eataly: Flatiron. Eataly is an Italian food market where you can both buy Italian food and eat it, too. The one in New York is gigantic and you can spend hours there just looking at different cheeses, pastas or beers. They also have a great rooftop restaurant, it's really worth checking out.
Dean & Deluca - Ever since I watched Felicity in my younger years (let's pretend that wasn't 20 years ago shall we) Dean & Deluca has been on my mind. It's paradise for anyone who is looking for a gourmet shop that has absolutely everything.
Gallow Green: Chelsea. An amazing rooftop bar that looks like a jungle with all the plants. It's so charming but gets very busy, so it's a good idea to go early.
Murray's Cheese Bar: West Village. This place is also very busy so you need to book in advance, but it's really worth it if you like cheese. For dessert the S'more is amazing with chocolate, marshmallow and....cheese. :)
Cannibal: Midtown East. This is the place to go for really good bone marrow, foie gras, cheeses, cured meats... Their back yard is really lovely and it's worth going for lunch so that you'll have space there. They have a long list of craft beers if that's what you're into.
The High Line: Chelsea. The High Line has been built on an old, raised railway that goes up high above all the streets in Chelsea. It's filled with lots of trees, plants and art installations, and is really worth a visit, also for the great views.
La Esquina: Soho. This is a Mexican restaurant that you need to book well in advance (online), but it's worth it! It's a secret restaurant that you go into from a bar, google for instructions on how to get in. The food is very good and a lot of celebrities visit the place.
The Garret: West Village. This is a lovely speakeasy which can only be found if you know it's there. :) You go into a burger place called the Five Guys (looks like a McDonald's) and you pass the kitchen all the way on the other end of the place. There you find stairs that go up one floor, and you find a small but really cosy bar with delicious cocktails. Go early so you can find a seat.
The Woods: Williamsburg. This bar has a big patio in the back with trees and a kitchen, where you get really excellent burgers and fish tacos. At night it becomes quite the party place.
In addition to this I also can recommend a day trip to Philadelphia. It only takes 1h20min by train, and there’s lots to see and do:
A great diner breakfast at Sam's Morning Glory Diner:
Drinks at Independence Beer Garden:
And finally the best second hand bookstore I've ever visited, Mostly Books, with 100.000 books in a labyrinth of rooms: