Since moving to the New York area, I’ve been complying a list of places to see, things to do and… mostly where to eat! So far I’ve gotten the chance to eat at some pretty cool restaurants and embrace my inner New York/Brooklyn lifestyle.
Here are some of my favorites by neighborhood! It’s a short list at the moment, but I’m working on it!
HARLEM is rich with history and has a burgeoning food scene. From soul food at Sylvia’s (which is amazing!) to the cuisine of Spanish Harlem, I’ll definitely be back up there to explore. Even after a walking tour of the neighborhood, I still only has a brief section of it! I highly recommend Red Rooster Harlem from Chef Marcus Samuelsson… I mean look at this food!
UPPER WEST SIDE —
While I still have yet to discover the dining options of the UWS (I am a Brooklynite after all), I do love Riverside Park. I’ll channel my inner Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail any day!
UPPER EAST SIDE — a whole bunch of places up in this neck of the woods on my list!
- David Burke Fishtail — I keep hearing about David Burke’s restaurants in NYC but still haven’t figured out where he fits into the restaurant scene here. From my little googling research he is CIA-educated and has had some food TV experience (Iron Chef, Top Chef Masters). I definitely liked his food, but I would like to know more about him… I like to feel connected to my chefs.
This meal was pretty incredible! Dishes included — Smoked Mackerel Special, Scallop Ceviche Special, Handmade Cavatelli & Braised Short Ribs with wild mushrooms, mushroom chips and truffle mousse and The Lobster “Steak” with celery root, lobster biegnet, sweetbread.
- Ladurée – for amazing French macarons. A very quintessential UES thing to do.
MIDTOWN is where I work so its a neighborhood I know well! It’s a strange little section of Manhattan with Times Square and the theater district (which I avoid if at all possible), and wholesale shops in the fashion district mixed with commuters from Penn Station and Grand Central. My definition of the confines of Midtown might be a bit broad, but there are some cool spots.
- The High Line is always a favorite!
- Another favorite is Seasonal, a molecular gastronomy restaurant focusing on modern Austrian cuisine. Courses included Gurkensuppchen (cucumber gazpacho with smoked char and tomato), kalbsbries (veal sweetbreads, watermelon, basil and sherry), Pochiertes El (soft poached egg, lobster, hen of the woods, pumpernickel), and kaisergulasch (Veal Cheeks, Paprika, Peppers, Spätzle).
- Check out The Australian, a pub on 38th between 5th and 6th, for skewered Kangaroo with a tamarind BBQ sauce and mini meat pies!
- April Bloomfield’s John Dory Oyster Bar at the Ace Hotel is a knockout! An amazing, amazing meal.
- And one of her other restaurants, The Breslin, happens to be right next door to the Dory in the Ace Hotel. Again, a fabulous meal!
GRAMERCY/ UNION SQUARE and the FLAT IRON AREA
- The block radius around Madison Square Park is my idea of heaven — Eataly and Shake Shack are two of my favorite places in the city!
- I spent New Year’s Eve at Craft, one of Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio’s restaurants. It was a great place to ring in the New Year — the food was delicious!
- Union Square Cafe — an amazing meal! I tried tripe here for the first time and their crispy pig ears were delicious among everything else we had!
CHELSEA and the MEATPACKING DISTRICT
- Grab drinks on the rooftop at Gallow Green. It’s a beautiful space!
- Head to Paradou for unlimited champagne brunch!
- Sunday Brunch at the Waverly Inn is divine!
- the amazing seasonal tasting menu at Mas Farmhouse — including a mushroom tart, parsnip-ricotta gnocchi, fluke crusted with sea scallops and a salted caramel panna cotta.
- Pasta Tasting Menu at Babbo with wine pairings — honestly a once in a lifetime dining experience!
- Murray’s Cheese Bar and Restaurant — recently came here for the first time for Restaurant Week. The mac and cheese is no doubt a knockout and the cheese plate to end the meal was INCREDIBLE. The accompaniments with the cheese were mind blowing… butterscotch with a gouda-esque cheese… holy hell! One of my new favorite restaurants!!
- Sandwiches and Sangria at 100 Mondatitos! Wednesdays everything is a dollar and every other day, its equally as cheap! I mean for two people, a boatload of food and a pitcher of sangria for $26, that’s a steal!
- Authentic fish and chips! Gotta check out their sister shop Tea & Sympathy!
- Falafel at Mamoun’s (on the Sidewalks of NY: West Village Foodie Tour)
- Faicco’s Italian Specialties (on the Sidewalks of NY: West Village Foodie Tour)
- One of the best meals I’ve had… you can’t beat meatballs at The Meatball Shop
- Brunch at Bell, Book and Candle
- Milk and Cookies
- Magnolia Bakery – chocolate cupcake was delish but I hear their Banana Pudding is amazing!
- The Eggs Benedict at Tartine are to die for
- Another April Bloomfield restaurant — The Spotted Pig! We waited 1.5 hours for a table but it was so worth it! The gnudi pasta is out of this world!
- In Vino off Avenue A is my new favorite wine bar. They have Monday night wine classes for $10 — the classes are fun and Keith is so knowledgable and makes wine totally accessible. The wine list is obviously amazing and the food is divine!
- a Canadian classic Poutine at Pommes Frites.. Cheese curds and gravy over delicious frites… amazing! (Sadly, Pommes Frites is no more. The building collapsed in the recent East Village gas explosion. Such a tragic event for the neighborhood).
- Katz’s Delicatessen — an institution in the Lower East Side since 1888, Katz’s pastrami sandwiches are legendary (and rightly so!). While it’s a popular tourist spot and the lines can be long, it’s well worth trying!
- Eastern European food at Velselka! Get the pierogi — to die for!
- Ramen at Momofuku Noodle Bar
- Okonomiyaki at Otafuku
- Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of my favorite places in all of NYC. It’s gorgeous!
If you’re in the area, One Girl Cookies is a great place to pick up a sweet treat!
- Brooklyn Brewery — a brewery set in the heart of Williamsburg off the Bedford Ave stop. They have informative tours and a great selection of beers on tap. Plus in the summertime, it’s a couple blocks away from the Brooklyn Flea and Smorsburg so its a perfect weekend activity! #DayDrinking
- Brooklyn Winery — this urban winery produces a selection of wines sourcing grapes from NY state as well as CA. Great selection with different flights to choose from. The free tour was very informative and a cool Sunday afternoon activity. Let’s just say, I either 1) want to spend all my time here or 2) become a winemaker in my next life.
- Radegast Hall & Biergarten – an authentic German beer hall and garden. This place had been on my list for over a year and I finally got to try it! A good selection of German beers and all the bratwurst you got dream of!
- Samurai Mama – cool little ramen place right next to the Williamsburg Cinema
- A Williamsburg favorite, Nitehawk Cinema is both an independent movie house, but also a functioning restaurant! I went recently for a Sunday brunch screening of 10 Things I Hate About You, which was pretty much the quintessential 20-something dream. And I will say that my love for brunch ranks up there with my love of the late Heath Ledger… I had the Nitehawk Benedict which was good, though I was eating in the dark so can’t really tell you much more about it! Ha!
- Pies ‘n’ Thighs
BED-STUY / CLINTON HILL, BROOKLYN
- Black Swan – a funky little British pub with great food and happy hours!
- Colador Cafe – our neighborhood cafe serving everything from breakfast sandwiches to great pasta dishes to empanadas.
- Brooklyn Kolache
Surrounding New York!