The Big Apple is a food lover’s paradise. However, there are so many places to eat in New York that choosing the right one for you can be daunting. I’m going to share a list of restaurants that I’ve liked. Some were recommended to me, some I found by chance, some I found on Google Maps’ suggestions (if you don’t use it, you’re missing out). This list is not particularly budget-conscious and it doesn;t include chains or fast food restaurants.
Where to eat in New York
La Parisienne is located in a hidden corner of the Financial District. It feels like a little bit of France in New York. Even our waiter was French. .The decor is very simple yet elegant. Mind you, there are only a handful of tables. We had a croque forestier (a toasted sandwich with truffled bechamel sauce, brie, and mushrooms) that was delicious. For afters, we had a canelé and a chocolate dome, a delightful chocolate mousse cake.
9 Maiden Lane, very close to the World Trade Center.
Maison Kayser is a chain of French boulangeries which came across the pond in 2012. It has now a few locations. I went to the Union Square one. You can buy artisanal bread, cakes, pastries, etc to go, or eat at the cafe. You must wait to be assigned a table, though. Maison Kayser has gone cashless.
841 Broadway, Union Square
Lexington Brass is a French-style American brasserie. I’ve been twice, and the food was very good both times, prepared with good quality ingredients and good technique. The menu changes, which is to be expected, but I fondly remember the grilled octopus starter, the steak frites and the chicken under a brick with Brussels sprouts and caramelised onions. regarding cocktails, I really enjoyed the Lavender Bee’s Knees with Bombay Sapphire Gin, lemon and lavender infused honey. My friends didn’t think the cocktails were that great, but we all agreed that the food was delicious.
517 Lexington Ave. ( corner of East 48th Street), Midtown
Henry’s Rooftop Bar
Henry’s Rooftop Bar on the 16th floor of the Roger Smith Hotel, about half a block from Lexington Brass. The elevator is to the left of Reception. Since there is no food service at the bar, my friends and I went and bought 15 hotdogs to eat upstairs. We weren’t sure it was OK, but no one seemed to be bothered by it. And we made the hotdog guy very happy. Great views in a relaxed atmosphere (no need to wear high heels). Henry’s closes at 10 pm Monday through Saturday, and at 9 pm on Sundays.
501 Lexington Ave., Midtown
Baker & Co.
Baker & Co. was recommended to us by a native New Yorker. It’s a lovely little place with a beautiful covered patio. I simply loved the place. Their pasta is flavourful and perfectly cooked al dente. I heartily recommend it. I had the pasta of the day (tagliatelle with truffles) and a glass of wine and paid $37.38 plus tip.
259 Bleeker St., West Village
Little Branch Speakeasy
Little Branch is a speakeasy-style bar located in a West Village basement. There’s no need to utter a password, just ask the doorman if you can come in. Inside, it’s all Jazz Era and suspender-wearing bartenders. You can order from the drinks menu, or ask the bartender to create a cocktail for you, or do like me and order a pisco sour off- menu. A highly-recommended fun experience.
22 7th Ave S, West Village
Uncle Paul’s Pizza
My friend Melissa found Uncle Paul’s on Google Maps. We ordered a large pizza, half plain cheese and half vegetarian. I added a slice of eggplant pizza. The cheese was golden and crunchy, the vegetables were very tasty, but the biggest revelation for me was the eggplant pizza. We washed the pizza down with some local Brooklyn Lager.
70 Vanderbilt Ave., Midtown
There are countless restaurants in Chinatown and it’s hard to choose. My friends and I went to Big Wong and had a wonderful lunch. The food was very tasty and the service was interesting, to say the least, but brisk. We ended up ordering what our waiter thought we should eat. He made some really good choices.
67 Mott St., Chinatown
La Bella Ferrara Bakery
La Bella Ferrara Bakery is impossible to miss, as it ‘s located on Mulberry Street at the beginning of Little Italy’s madness. Please stop by and get cannoli, anisette biscotti, sfogliatelle (clamshell pastries), or anything from the counter.
108 Mulberry St., Little Italy
Gelso & Grand
I had such delicious pasta at Gelso & Grand that I can’t wait to go back. Ended up sitting at the bar because the wait for a table for ONE was about 30 minutes on a Sunday. I ordered bucatini alla bottarga: housemade pasta with lemon, garlic, chile pepper flakes and parsely. Lovely atmosphere too.
186 Grand St.
Upper West Side
Arco Café is a little neighbourhood restaurant. They specialise in homecooked Sardinian food. If you’re in the area, do not hesitate to eat here.
886 Amsterdam Avenue
The Hungarian Pastry Shop
My friend Leigh recommended this cafe a while ago. Since it’s so close to Columbia University, you’ll more than likely rub shoulders with students and professors The coffee is good, but the pastries are the real star. Cash only.
1030 Amsterdam Avenue
Red Rooster is the creation of chef Marcus Samuelsson. The atmosphere is vibrant like the neighbourhood. We went on a Monday night. The bar was packed and there was live music. Everyone was dressed to the nines. I loved it! Their food is a take on Southern soul food. I ordered their signature dish, hot honey yardbird. Fried chicken with garlic mashed potatoes, gravy and collard greens. My niece’s burger was excellent too.
Ginny’s Supper Club, a jazz club, opens in the weekend.
310 Lenox Avenue.
Where to eat in Brooklyn
The pizza at Juliana’s is thin and very tasty. There was aline otside the door when we arrived at noon, so I was ready to leave. My niece persuaded me stay. I owe her! We waited 20 minutes, but the line was three times longer when we left. Go early! We practically inhaled our margherita pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms.
19 Old Fulton St.
Dziupla Polish Restaurant
I like Polish food a lot and decided to give Dziupla a try. It was my first time in Williamsburg, so I walked along Bedford Ave. first. The place reminded of the Palermo Soho neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. I ordered a Polish sampler: three different kinds of pierogi, stuffed cabbage in tomato sauce, kielbasa and potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce. It was so good! I finished the meal off with a Polish-style apple pie. The meal set me back $29.40 plus tip.
194 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg
Peter Luger Steakhouse
Peter Luger Steakhouse was established in 1887 and is famous for its dry-aged beef. I had seen in on TV, on one travel show or another, I don’t remember. Since I was in the area, I decided to give it a try. I didn’t order the steak for one because, at $54, I didn’t want to risk not liking it or not being able to finish it. So I ordered one of the dishes of the day, the prime rib, and a green salad. The prime rib, which was decent, came with peas and a baked potato, which was too dry. I inhaled the bread, it was delicious. However, I was a bit jealous when I saw my neighbours’ steaks. They gave me three chocolate coins too. Lunch was $50.57 + tip. Cash or debit.
178 Broadway, Brooklyn.
My first morning in Brooklyn, I was trying to find a cafe for breakfast on Bedford Ave. I asked a lady walking her dog for a recommendation, and she said “go to Cafe Beit, coffee’s good there”. So I did. I’m a great fan of a flat white or a latte and an almond croissant for breakfast, and that’s what I had. About $8.
158 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn