NYC Restaurants

I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to restaurant criticism, but I definitely eat at enough restaurants in New York to know what I like and where I would go back to eat at again. Friends and family are always asking me “where can I get Italian in Chelsea?” or “what’s a good place for dessert in the West Village?” For the past several years, I’ve kept a running list of all the restaurants I’ve tried and would often refer back to this list when asked for recommendations or racking my brain for dinner inspiration.

So now I share with you my list of NYC restaurant recommendations. Click through the other tabs to see where I love to eat in Manhattan and Brooklyn (other boroughs to come soon, hopefully!). I’ll be updating the list often, so be sure to come back!

Spumoni Gardens Bensonhurst Pizza $ the best Sicilian style pizza
Buttermilk Channel Carroll Gardens American $$ great brunch, long wait
Frankies 457 Carroll Gardens Italian $$ the stracciatella cheese is a must!
Prime Meats Carroll Gardens German-
$$ delicious sausages and beer
16 Handles Chelsea Frozen
$ I know, I know, but I frequent this place at least once a week, so just had to include it!
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza Chelsea Pizza $$ I order their boxed salad on a near weekly basis
Bistro La Promenade Chelsea French $$$ pretty décor
Cafeteria Chelsea American $$ upscale comfort food. Love the mac and cheese
City Bakery Chelsea American/
$ super indulgent hot chocolate
Co. Chelsea Pizza $$ amazing pizza, expect to wait though
Crispo Chelsea Italian $$ solid Italian food, ask to sit in the back garden
El Quinto Pino Chelsea Basque $$ tiny place with great drinks
Empire Cakes Chelsea Bakery $$ homemade twinkies in various flavors (red velvet is my fave)
Friedman’s Lunch Chelsea American $$ great burger
Legend Bar & Restaurant Chelsea Chinese $ classic takeout Chinese food
Raines Law Room Chelsea Speakeasy $$ fun date spot for drinks
Rye House Chelsea American $$ good beer selection and burgers
Socarrat Paella Bar Chelsea Spanish $$ black rice paella with shrimp, calamari and scallops
The Grey Dog Chelsea American $ good coffee, sandwiches, breakfast
Tipsy Parson Chelsea Southern $$ adorable brunch spot
Choice Clinton Hill American $ best breakfast sandwiches. lots of premade foods
The Cookery Dobbs Ferry American $$ love the crostini with fresh ricotta, honey and thyme
‘SMAC EV Mac and
$ the Parisian is my favorite
Bianca EV Italian $ great italian and SO cheap
Birdbath Bakery EV Bakery $ insanely good chocolate chip cookies
Bowery Diner EV American $$ make your own milkshakes!
Butter Lane Cupcakes EV Bakery $ yummy cupcakes and classes
Cienfuegos EV Cuban $$$ beautiful place, delicious punch drinks, fun for a special occasion
Il Bagatto EV Italian $$ lots of daily specials
La Cerveceria EV Latin
$$ get the lobster guacamole
Luke’s Lobster EV Lobster
$ my favorite lobstah roll
Mayahuel EV Mexican $$ great drinks
Motorino EV Pizza $$ love the brussels sprouts pizza with pancetta
Nomad EV Tapas $$ get the trio of dips: hummus, cucumber yogurt and babaghanoush are my favorties
Porchetta EV Italian Pork Sandwiches $ perfectly salty and succulent pork sandwiches are a great quick bite
Porsena EV Italian $$ delicious pastas
The Bourgeois Pig EV French/
$$ fancy drinks and fondue
The Brindle Room EV Small Plates $$ crispy pork belly – yum!
The Redhead EV Southern/
$$ soft pretzels and beer cheese should not be missed
Yuca Bar EV Latin $$ fun for drinks and brunch
Hill Country Barbecue Flatiron Barbeque $$ come prepared to eat a lot!
Shake Shack Flatiron Fast Casual $ because why not
The John Dory Oyster Bar Flatiron American/
Raw Bar
$$ parker house rolls. ’nuff said!
Olea Fort Greene Tapas $$ great date spot
The General Greene Fort Greene American $$ good shared plates like brussels sprouts or mac and cheese
Walter Foods Fort Greene American $$ cheery spot with great brunch. love the blood mary!
Gramercy Tavern Gramercy New
$$$$ absolutely amazing, but a splurge
La Follia Gramercy Italian $ burrata crostini is a must
Maialino Gramercy Italian $$$ I saw Ina Garten and her husband Jeffrey here – score!
The Loop Gramercy Sushi $$ my go-to sushi spot
Riverpark Kips Bay New
$$$ beautiful place
Beauty & Essex LES New
$$$ very sceney, but fun
Clinton Street Baking Company LES American $ best pancakes!
Rayuela LES Latin $$$ such a beautiful space
San Marzano LES Italian/
$$ $35 prix fixe menu is great for large groups
Sons of Essex LES New
$$ trendy, hipster vibe
Stanton Social LES New
$$$ sceney, but fun
Sugar Sweet Sunshine LES Bakery $ love their cupcakes, but their banana pudding is where it’s at
The Meatball Shop LES Meatballs $ go classic or chicken meatballs with pesto
‘inoteca LES and Murray Hill Italian $$ small plates, good for sharing with groups
Fig & Olive Meatpacking Mediterranean $$$ trendy place, great olive oil tasting plate
The Standard Grill Meatpacking American $$ good raw bar. get the wake & bake (milk and cookies) for dessert
Bonchon Midtown Korean BBQ $ great Korean fried chicken. the hot & spicy sauce is SPICY!
db bistro moderne Midtown French-American $$$ can’t go wrong with this place if you’re looking for pre/post theater dinner
Milk Truck Midtown Grilled
$ good for a quick bite in midtown
Norma’s Midtown American $$ classic NYC brunch scene
Penelope Murray Hill Italian $$ good for brunch but be prepared to wait
The Bluebell Cafe Murray Hill American $ standard brunch place
Applewood Park Slope New
$$$ their homemade bread and butter is to die for
Boqueria Soho Tapas $$ a semi-chain, but solid tapas
Lure Fishbar Soho American/
Raw Bar
$$ great seafood, fun nautical decor
The Dutch Soho American $$ great for brunch. good bloody marys
Blue Hill at Stone Barns Tarrytown,
$$$$ once in a lifetime dining experience. a major splurge!
Becco Theater District Italian $$ good for pre-theater dinner
Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen Times Square Fast Casual $ good burgers and milkshakes
Kutsher’s Tribeca Tribeca Jewish American $$ get the chicken for two
Locanda Verde Tribeca Italian $$$ go for a special occasion
Plein Sud Tribeca French $$ molten chocolate cake with coconut ice cream all the way!
David Burke Townhouse UES New
$$$ love the creative presentation of food here
J.G. Melon UES American $ old school burger joint
Serendipity 3 UES American $$ Forbidden Broadway Sundae is my dream come true
Two Little Red Hens UES Bakery $ the Brooklyn Blackout cupcake is my favorite
Sarabeth’s UES and Tribeca American $$ NYC brunch institution
ABC Kitchen Union Square New
$$$ great all-around dining experience
Blue Water Grill Union Square Seafood/ American $$$ classic NYC spot
Friend of a Farmer Union Square American $$ love everything here
Kin Shop Union Square Thai $$ goat curry – try it!
The Coffee Shop Union Square Brazilian $$ eclectic menu, late night
Tortaria Union Square Mexican $ cheap margs and tortas
‘ino WV Italian $ cute but tiny sandwich spot
8th Street Wine Cellar WV Wine Bar $ $18 bottles during happy hour
Alta WV Tapas $$ good place for a fun night out
Bar Pitti WV Italian $$ solid Italian joint
Buvette WV French $$ adorable place and adorable waiters
Cafe Cluny WV French $$ adorable
Cowgirl WV Mexican $ love their margs!
dell’anima WV Italian $$ great atmosphere. amazing beet salad, phenomenal pastas. All around wonderful spot
Fedora WV New
$$ make a really great Old Fashioned.  the sugar pie is amazing
Hudson Clearwater WV New
$$ lovely date spot. duck is amazing
Jeffrey’s Grocery WV New
$$ good brunch spot
Joseph Leonard WV New
$$ brussels sprouts with sriracha – obsessed
Mole WV Mexican $$ love the spicy Diablo drink with tequila, hot sauce and lime
Murray’s Cheese Bar WV Cheese! $$ get the queso fundido
Palma WV Italian $$ lovely outdoor garden. zuppa di pesce is a favorite
Perilla WV New
$$$ best for a special occasion
Perla WV Italian $$$ orecchiette with italian sausage & broccoli rabe pesto
Perry St WV New
$$$ romantic atmosphere
Piccolo Angolo WV Italian $$ old school Italian
Prune WV New
$$ fun, creative dishes
RedFarm WV Dim Sum/
$$ pacman dumplings are delicious and adorable
Sweet Revenge WV Bakery $ sangria and cupcake happy hour!
Taim WV Falafel $ best falafel
Tartine WV French $ classic homey french food
Tea & Sympathy WV British $ chicken and leek pot pie is great for Downton Abbey viewing
Tertulia WV Spanish $$ good for groups
The Spotted Pig WV Gastropub $$$ get the burger!
Yerba Buena WV Latin $$ fun vibe, good for a night out
Flex Mussels WV and UES Mussels $$ my favorite is the Thai mussels with curry broth, lemongrass, lime and ginger

Location Key

EV = East Village

LES = Lower East Side

MPD = Meatpacking District

UES = Upper East Side

WV = West Village


1 thought on “NYC Restaurants

  1. Pingback: Friday Five: Restaurant Checklist | Cooking With Cara

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