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New York City restaurants

When a man is tired of New York he is tired of work. And thought. And cheesecake.
- David Frost

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Photo courtesy of La Sirena.

ABC Kitchen

  • Union Square, New American, $$$$ $$$
  • 35 E. 18th St.
  • NYC, 10003
  • +1-212-475-5829

A slow-food stunner of a dining room in the back of the magical ABC Carpet & Home. Helmed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, local and organic ingredients are given chic treatment; even the vegetables feel like precious gifts on a plate. The adjacent ABC Cocina is JGV's idea of a fiesta — at once globally artistic, wholly atmospheric, and downright delicious.

Balthazar

  • Soho, French, $$$$ $$$
  • 80 Spring St.
  • New York, 10012
  • +1-212-965-1414
  • Website

Restaurant guru Keith McNally's masterwork brasserie caters to media types and tourists alike with consistent power breakfasts, including homemade breads and pastries from their patisserie. It's a no-fail option for those who want to feel part of the NY scene. Get the best glimpse of Soho people-watching from the benches outside.

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

  • Soho, American, $$$$ $$
  • 97 Sullivan St.
  • New York, 10012
  • +1-212-274-0404
  • Website | Menu

Late-night revelers, chefs, and foodies stop in for raw bar towers, beef marrow, duck club, rack of lamb. The service is excellent, even at 3 a.m. This is a local institution and the original outpost of the mini BR Empire (which includes the notable Blue Ribbon Sushi just down the street).

Carbone

  • Greenwich Village, Italian, $$$$ $$$
  • 181 Thompson St.
  • NYC, 10012
  • +1-212-254-3000
  • Website

An over-the-top Italian-American dining experience from the guys who made waves in Little Italy with Torrisi Italian Specialties and Parm. Waiters dressed in burgundy tuxes serve oversize menus to patrons looking for dinner theater from the comfort of their red leather banquettes. And entertainment is what they get: cheese carts, cured meats, bowls of pasta, sea urchin, and tiramisu are delivered in abundant portions with flare. Is that Tony Bennett in the corner? Yes. Along with the abundant check, a bottle of Sambuca is left on the table. 

Cosme

  • Flatiron, Mexican, $$$$ $$$
  • 35 E. 21st St.
  • NYC, 10010
  • +1-212-913-9659
  • Website

The star of Mexico City's dining scene opened his first American outpost with a splash. World-renowned chef Enrique Olvera pushes the limits of heritage foods — enchiladas, sopes, and veracruzana delight the palate in new and interesting ways. 

Daniel

Daniel Boulud and his French kitchen brigade routinely trump white-tablecloth dining experiences. Tasting menus are complex and exceptional. After a decade, a new facelift keeps the place fresh and gleaming. 

Dimes

  • Lower East Side , American, $$$$ $$
  • 49 Canal St.
  • NYC, 10002
  • +1-212-925-1300
  • Website

The cafe of the moment is the penultimate example of health-conscious Californian fare. The space is bright and minimalist. The crowd is dewy and slender. The power bowl is the power move (at least when it comes to ordering breakfast).

Estela

  • Nolita, New American, $$$$ $$$
  • 47 E. Houston St.
  • New York City, 10012
  • +1-212-219-7693
  • Website | Email

In an unassuming second-floor restaurant above the beloved dive bar Botanica, chef Ignacio Mattos turns out inventive dishes that capture the spirit (and the crowds) of the moment. Everything's market-driven, from excellent mussels escabeche (a must) to cloud-like ricotta dumplings. 

Katz's Deli

  • Lower East Side, Jewish, Deli, $$$$ $
  • 205 E. Houston St.
  • New York, 10002
  • +1-212-254-2246
  • Website | Review | Menu

Skip breakfast, and head to New York City's oldest deli on the early side of noon to beat the lunch rush and get extra TLC piled on top of your sky-high, hand-carved pastrami sandwich. They'll even ship a salami as a souvenir. The other classic neighborhood deli, Russ & Daughters, recently opened a next generation restaurant, but Katz’s remains a culinary time capsule.

Minetta Tavern

  • Greenwich Village, American, $$$$ $$$
  • 113 MacDougal St.
  • New York, 10012
  • +1-212-475-3850
  • Website | Review

Everything you’ve heard is true. No, we can’t get you a reservation. Go early or go late, grab a seat at the bar, feel like you've been transported to the 1930s.

Miss Lily’s and Marvin’s Juice Box

It's party time with a Caribbean flair. Sit on laps at the always-hopping Miss Lily’s diner, where the staff is gorgeous and the drinks are strong. Repent for bad behevior the next day with healthy veggies drinks and reggae music from the juice bar next door.

Mission Chinese Food

  • Lower East Side, Chinese, $$$$ $$
  • 171 E. Broadway
  • NYC, 10002
  • +1-212-529-8800
  • Website

The San Francisco import has made itself right at home in a weird/hip locale of Chinatown/LES. Starving throngs line up for hours to wait for family-style platters of addictive "American Oriental Food" — which at once pays homage to, and totally rebels against, traditional notions of Chinese food.

Momofuku Ssam Bar

  • East Village, Pan-Asian, $$$$ $$
  • 207 Second Ave.
  • New York, 10003
  • +1-212-254-3500
  • Website

This is David Chang's take on an Asian fast food restaurant. The signature dish — a roast pork butt — feeds ten, and it's a party. Save room for dessert (the now-famous Crack Pie, cereal milk soft serve) at Milk Bar in the back. Open late-night.

Morgenstern's

  • Lower East Side , Ice Cream Parlor, $$$$ $
  • 2 Rivington St.
  • NYC, 10002
  • +1-212-209-7684
  • Website

The Platonic ideal of ice cream served from a very cute, throwback parlor off the Bowery. Do not be put off by the camera-wielding kids Instagramming their cones non-stop outside the shop. Push ahead to the counter and taste the flavor sensations of burnt honey, sesame caramel, salt and pepper pinenut, strawberry durian. Modern takes on the sundae, like New God Flow (raw milk ice cream, Japanese pullman toast, honey) are last-meal good.

Motorino

  • East Village, Italian, $$$$ $
  • 349 E. 12th St.
  • New York, 10003
  • +1-212-777-2644
  • Website | Review

A prized Neapolitan Acunto wood-burning brick oven (and high quality ingredients) can be thanked for churning out crisp (yet pillowy) little pies that are arguably the best in Manhattan. Compare and contrast with Manhattan old-school slices (Joe's, Lombardi's) and new-school pies (Co., GG's). 

O Ya

  • Murray Hill, Japanese, $$$$ $$$
  • 120 E. 28th St.
  • NYC, 10016
  • +1-212-204-0200
  • Website

Manhattan does not want for excellent sushi (there are lots of options at all price points), but if you have money to burn or dinner dates to impress, you cannot go wrong (heck, you can only go very right) with the very special omakase served here. One-bite dishes are exquisitely presented and pack a flavor punch.

Prune

  • East Village, American, $$$$ $$$
  • 54 E. 1st St.
  • NYC, 10003
  • +1-212-677-6221
  • Website

The lines are long for brunch, but Gabrielle Hamilton's very small, uber charming East Village restaurant delivers incredibly inventive, delicious, and ambitious New American fare straight through dinner. In between meals, when it's a little quieter, you can sit at the cozy bar, slurp back a few wild-style Bloody Mary's, and nibble on bar snacks like pickled shrimp and roasted pistachios.

The Spotted Pig

  • West Village, English, $$$$ $$
  • 314 W. 11th St.
  • New York, 10014
  • +1-212-620-0393
  • Website | Email | Review

This wildly popular gastro pub simultaneously channels neighborhood cozy and boldface names. Brit chef April Bloomfield prepares cured, salty things like char-grilled burgers, deviled eggs, and ricotta gnudi for a cult following. Dinner can be bedlam. For a little peace and quiet, try siesta-time (around 3 p.m.).

Upland

  • Murray Hill, American, $$$$ $$$
  • 345 Park Ave. S.
  • NYC, 10010
  • +1-212-686-1006
  • Website

A bright and bustling new brasserie filling a much-needed good-food-gap in the neighborhood. Part hearty Italian, part new Califorian, the dishes are best shared in a group with cocktails, wine, and dessert. An all-around satisfying experience in a warm and convivial Roman & Williams-designed space.

Vic's

  • Noho, Italian, $$$$ $$
  • 31 Great Jones St.
  • NYC, 10012
  • +1-212-253-5700
  • Website

A modern Italian joint worth more than the sum of its contemporary buzz words (locally-sourced, humane, market-driven, pizza). The restaurant (airy, cozy, with a wood-burning oven) makes the terrific Italian food even more approachable. Bring your friends, request a booth, split the pies, but order your own plate of cacio e pepe (you won't want to share). 

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