When I first moved to New England I reached out to all my friends and acquaintances who either grew up in NYC or who were transplants living in the city to find out all the must-tries and must-dos. My list tends to grow over time so I’ve compiled my own recommendations with those recommended to me that I’m still anxious to try! NYC has endless gastronomic options and we seem to constantly try new places so as I expect, this list will continue to grow!
This restaurant gets a gold star from me. I came here for my birthday dinner and was not disappointed! There were 4 of us and we all ordered different entrees and each were delicious. They make their pasta in house. My favorite was the pasta with mushrooms as it was the most flavorful. The dip brought with the bread was amazing and for dessert, we had their cheesecake which was light and fluffy. I would recommend and we will go back. 29 7th Avenue, New York City, NY
The Spotted Pig in Chelsea
This place is AWESOME, where you come for brunch, lunch or dinner. It’s actually a Michelin star restaurant but you would never guess it by the menu prices and casualness of the restaurant. Get reservations as this is a star studded restaurant with lots of locals wanting in on the action.
We stumbled upon this resto while looking for Mexican food and weren’t at all disappointed that it was Cuban. With a group of five, we almost all ordered different meals and each loved it. The skirt steak has a flame broiled taste so if that’s not your thing, go with another option. The plantains are amazing and don’t skip over the empanada starter. Also, try the margarita cubano… It had a chili powder salty rim that is an amazing twist. It’s great for dinner before a Broadway show as it’s walking distance to Broadway’s finest shows or if you just want to stay near the Times Square vicinity. 207 w 14th St, New York City, NY 10011
We love bringing guests who visit us to Juliana’s for lunch for a few reasons: 1) the pizza is great 2) the price is right 3) it has a great story as it’s party of the Grimaldi family recipe and 4) it’s located just off the Brooklyn Bridge where there are great views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. For planning purposes, we like to go by the 911 Memorial, walk down Wallstreet, over to the Statue of Liberty and then catch a cab over the Brooklyn Bridge to Juliana’s. 19 Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
We recently discovered Root & Bone located in Soho based on a recommendation. You may recognize Chef Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth from Bravo’s Top Chef. They are serving up delicious gourmet southern style cooking and mmm! is it good! We particularly loved Grandma Daisy’s Angel Biscuits and Drunken Deviled Eggs and I just thought my “Skrimp” & Grits couldn’t be beat until I tried my husband’s Spring Pea & Artichoke Risotto. Reservations guarantee you won’t be turned away but there are some tables intentionally left available for walk-ins. 200 East 3rd St. New York, 10009
Several girl friends and I went to Revel and had a great time. It’s the perfect place for a nice day as the patio is open air and decorated nicely. All the girls loved their meals. I had the Granny Smith Apple Ravioli with beef ragout and it was phenom! 10 Little West 12th street, New York, 10014
Cocktails in NYC are a little more pricey than the rest of the country so I don’t fault the Campbell Apartment for that. Cocktails are about $17 each, but they have a lot of character and the flavors are infused well. The theme is definitely a throw back to another era and the interior is beautiful. It’s a great place to grab a drink before hopping back on the train at Grand Central Station. 15 Vanderbilt Ave, New York City, NY 10017
If you find yourself in Greenwhich Village, why not stop by Central Perk? You may even spot the blonde hippie singing Smelly Cats just outside the door.
To Drink on a Roof Top
Le Bain, The Standard Hotel
With famous DJs, astro turf, a creperie outside in the summer and plunge pool inside and a NYC vista you can gawk at from funky pastel-shaded chairs that seem to adapt to whatever shape is slouching into them, why would you go anywhere else? The staff will even loan you a pair of binoculars to ensure gazing is 100% operational. Try the Fraise 76 ($14): Vodka, lemon, syrup, strawberry, champagne. 848 Washington (at 13th Street). Monday 4 p.m.-midnight, Tuesday-Thursday 4 p.m.-4 a.m., Friday-Saturday 2 p.m.-4 a.m., Sunday 2 p.m.-3 a.m.
230 Fifth at 230 Fifth Ave, naturally… I discovered it through a friend who snapped an awesome photo of the Empire State building dressed in Red, White and Blue on September 11th while standing on the rooftop at 230 Fifth. This bar has two floors, one is fully enclosed (Penthouse Lounge) and private event rooms, as well as an outdoor rooftop. The Rooftop Garden also has very large, oversize umbrellas for rainy days, or for very hot sunny days and they partially heat the rooftop in cooler months. 230 Fifth is a lounge however, but they do offer a full food menu. Open from 4:00PM – 4:00AM. They also offer Saturday and Sunday Brunch from 10am-4pm.
Good for Pre-dinner cocktails (which opens at 4pm and tends to have a big line on a nice day) situated on the 16th floor rooftop of the Hells Kitchen area and has views of the Hudson and Manhattan skyline. We’ve struck out twice on this so call ahead to make sure it’s not reserved for a private party. 653 11th Ave. at the INK48 Hotel
There are several in the city, but the original featured in Sex in the City is located at 401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014. Aside from their famous cupcakes, their banana pudding gets rave reviews.
Reserve a table for 11:15pm at the Village Underground for live music. Their Saturday night house band is SO FUN. Saturday nights feature Rahj and the Mash and often draws The Artist formerly known as… Prince… 130 West 3rd Street
Arrive early to Bathtub Gin to snag a table before reservations show up. This speakeasy is fun with an eclectic drink menu. Don’t forget to snag a pic in the bronze bathtub centerpiece! Located in Chelsea 132 9th Avenue, New York, 10011
Other Recommendations Provided to Me
Tao: Asian Fusion food and can be a popular celeb sighting Resto. It’s typically packed (so make a reservation) and has a party scene vibe.
Lavo: “Italian, right across the street from Tao, which has good food and a club scene too. Beneath the restaurant there’s a club that’s really popular and sometimes hard to get into.”
Scarpetta: “Really good Italian in Meatpacking. It’s expensive and more quiet but the food is amazing.”
Ippudo: “Ramen restaurant, which is totally all the rage in NYC. This one is the best. They don’t take reservations so you’ll wait a bit for a table but it’s totally worth it.”
Yerba Buena: “This place has watermelon fries and avocado fries. Good Latin food at a decent price with a good scene.”
Joseph Leonard: “American food restaurant in the West Village. Always crowded, good food.”
Minetta Tavern: “Good Italian.”
Fat Radish: “Strange name I know but I love this place. The crowd is always really eclectic so it’s good people watching too.”
Per bacco: ” It’s a quiet little Italian place in Alphabet City but it is really inexpensive and delicious.”
Bar Boulud – This is up near the Empire Hotel.
Stone Rose Lounge is also great for drinks. A bit pricy, but great views located in the Time Warner Center building.
Or if you want to go further afield, these are more neighborhoody restaurants that are excellent:
Commerce – in the West Village
Tipsy Parson – in Chelsea and recommended in many top resto lists of NYC
The Frying Pan is a boat on the Hudson turned bar/lounge that is pleasant on a nice day.
The Standard Biergarten is a hip and laid back beer garden at the infamous Standard Hotel located near the High Line.
The Blue Ribbon Beer Garden in LES overlooks the Bowery and is a fun place.
Boat Basin comes highly recommended by a friend of mine living in NYC and overlooks the Hudson and is a nice, fun spot.
The Tippler is a good time and a fun area.