Foodie visitors to Manhattan can take their pick of eateries.
If you are visiting, it is not always easy to find the right place to eat among the overabundance of eateries. We guide you both to newly opened and much-hyped places not to be missed, and to old favorites that continue to deliver the goods.
Native New Yorkers, and visitors, are on the constant hunt for the best burger. Maybe their quest can end here, in this cozy but lively location where everyone orders pizza or an Emmy Burger, that the kitchen does not accept special requests about. It is what it is, with pretty basic ingredients (American cheese, pickles, caramelized onion) but with a juiciness that sets it apart. The sauce can be the most heavenly a piece of meat can bask in. The patty, their pretzel bun, also adds to a complete experience that demands a return visit, or maybe several. Plus, their curly fries are a perfect combination of crunchy and soft.
Balthazar opened back in the 1990s and has been serving celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Jerry Seinfeld, among many others, ever since. New Yorkers never seem to tire of this luxury brasserie where you can combine potential celeb spotting with classic dishes, such as moules frites and cote de boeuf. However, bear in mind eating here can be an expensive pleasure. If you want to check the place out without breaking the bank, you can go there for breakfast, with pastries from Balthazar’s own bakery.
These days, it is difficult to get away with a check for less than $30-40 a head in New York, and often it will be much more than this, but one lesser known secret is to look for good deals at one of the Indian restaurants around Curry Hill and 3rd Avenue. Locals flock to Mughlai Indian Cuisine, that offers half price lunch on weekdays, which means you can eat a decent tikka masala with rice and naan bread for $10, an incredible bargain in New York.
This is a restaurant to go back to, the atmosphere exudes both cozy homeliness and dress up Friday and offers something for all budgets. Slip in on an afternoon fling and sip martinis with a charcuterie platter or go all in and order the million dollar chicken or pork chops. Many guests are unaware that The Standard Grill also serves a really decent burger. The service here always goes the extra mile, such as if you are celebrating some special occasion. Afterwards, we suggest heading to the nearby Le Bain or The Standard Rooftop, two hotel bars with amazing views.
Ukrainian Veselka has been in the same location in the East Village since 1954 and has become something of an institution. And it is no coincidence that this restaurant has been going for so long. The generous and wallet friendly menu oozes aromatic warmth, with dishes such as pirogi, goulash, and borscht that entice you into this affable and embracing atmosphere. You can come here on your own or with a big group to lean back and relax. Veselka is also one of the pretty few restaurants that still allow for spontaneity, as they don’t take reservations.
In the trendy and vibrant Lower East Side, those in the know can find their way to a hidden away back alley, with graffiti painted walls plastered with newspaper front pages. At the far end is a blue door, which conceals a rustic and raucous restaurant. Their long brunch features a five-cheese macaroni, while the evening menu offers duck and mushroom farro, for example.
You go to Le Bernardin when you want to push the boat out, for a deluxe date-night or to celebrate something special. The restaurant has three Michelin stars and is oriented to seafood. In addition to the taster menu ($468 a head, wine included), there is also a vegetarian option where carrots and celery can rarely have been prepared with such care and attention to detail as here. Le Bernardine is the flagship restaurant of celebrity French chef Éric Ripert and is regularly ranked among the best restaurants in the world by culinary magazines.
Hidden amongst the Midtown skyscrapers, you will suddenly spy green trees and stucco, welcome to La Grande Boucherie, where the styling is so fine, you will want to copy it at home. One choice you can’t go wrong with is steak frites, or why not enjoy boeuf bourguignon? If you are not able to book a table, don’t despair, you can still go there and sit at the bar (which is the crowning glory of this art nouveau pearl), where they serve wicked cocktails and mocktails. Watching the other guests is half the pleasure. Bonus: The restaurant recently appeared in the series "And just like that."
It can be hard to get a table at the weekend in newly opened Mari in Hell’s Kitchen, as it is packed with New Yorkers right now. You can watch the chefs prepare handmade Korean rolls here, it may be street food inspired but this exclusive version signals class. The taster menu features 13 different kinds of rolls, made with everything from tuna to eggplant. The setting is scaled back and stylish, a perfect match for the food and the entire experience.
The latest addition to the New York restaurant scene is Zou Zou’s. Think The Great Gatsby meets The Little Mermaid, the interior design is that splendid, with a well composed colors and contours scheme that does not feel stiff or over styled. Your Instagram account is saved. And the Mediterranean cuisine is mouthwatering: Turkish bread, Libyan salad, hummus, lamb… You can order different dishes to share, everyone will find something they like here. The duck borek with pistachio has created a huge buzz among foodies.
Text by Adrianna Pavlica
Dimes Square has become one of New York’s must-see areas. We list the best bars.