Romantic and rustic Venetian gathering place where twosomes or big groups hide away in candle-lit dining nooks. Italian small plates fortify after too many carafes of wine.
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.
If you can’t get to Blue Hill at Stone Barns (an old Rockefeller estate with a working farm), come here to see why Dan Barber is one of the USA’s most influential chefs. He belongs to the Alice Waters school – local, farmy, gourmet.
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.
Daniel Boulud and his French kitchen brigade routinely trump white-tablecloth dining experiences. Tasting menus are complex and exceptional. After a decade, a new face-lift keeps the place fresh and gleaming.
Well-executed, somewhat cerebral dining experience from chef John Fraser. Michelin stars, attentive service, croissant ice cream, and a brunch that cannot be beat.
A sophisticated spot run by an A-string of cooks, waiters, sommelier, and hosts. When it comes to food, wine, and service, they hit it out of the park. It's powerhouse dining.
In an unassuming second-floor restaurant above beloved dive bar Botanica, chef Ignacio Mattos turns out inventive dishes capturing the spirit (and crowds) of the moment. Everything's market-driven, from the excellent mussels escabeche (a must) to the cloud-like ricotta dumplings.
Three Michelin stars plus a glass of wine at lunch equals the best foodie bargain in town. For $28, it's not to be missed.
The bar at this rustic West Village spot deliberately takes up 75% of the room (the owner is a drink slinger). The small menu is excellent (including the affordable raw bar), and goes nonstop from breakfast through dinner.
Skip breakfast, and head to NY'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.
Step way back in time and experience a real-deal NYC steakhouse. Cuts and chops are huge, delicious, and pricey, so come with a big appetite, and stay for several bottles of wine.
Easy going crowd fuses nicely with handsome, minimalist decor and kaiseki (the meal served during a formal Japanese tea ceremony). Each plate — pressed sushi, sea urchin, sesame tofu — feels like a special occasion (call ahead to reserve a tasting menu).
Not too far from the Theater District, you can experience one singular sensation after another during chef Eric Ripert's seafood-centric tasting menu. Impeccable service, mellow atmosphere, authentic glamour.
Elegant (rosewood dining room), luxurious (sea urchin draped in lardo) Italian from chef Michael White, who throws caution (and prices) to the wind.
A variety of bang-for-your-buck and totally high quality meatballs, sauces, and sides served at a casual counter until late into the night.
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.
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.
The San Francisco import has made itself right at home in a funny-looking, sub-level space on the 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.
A narrow, minimalist counter restaurant where foul-mouthed David Chang's radical punk Asian combos abound in pocket-size pork buns, fried chicken, and addictive Japanese ramen.
Also from David Chang: Momofuku Ssäm, his 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 (Crack Pie, cereal milk soft serve) at the Momofuku Milk Bar & Bakery in the back. Open late-night.
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.
Flagship modern burger stand (hand-spun thick shakes, juicy black angus beef) from uber-restaurateur Danny Meyer.
Charming worn-wood-and-exposed-brick sub-level cafe can't help being hip (the owners are tied to the downtown fashion scene). Breakfast, light lunch, and rustic dinners are low-key and very cozy.
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.).
Find the ultimate Little Italy experience a few blocks north of the touristy fray. Mama's boys pay extra attention to cured meat sandwiches, handmade mozzarella, and antipasti behind the counter of this adorable 20-seater. Try your luck (first come, first serve) at dinner.