Ok ok I am adjusting to LA. I’ll shut up about NY for a little bit after this. But I’ve been meaning to do a post about some of my favorite NYC restaurants. I’ve already done a post about my favorite Bushwick eats, as well as a bunch of other cities (San Francisco, Donuts in NY, Atlanta, Toronto)
I’ve found myself always chiming into conversations online, and in person, about where to go to eat in NY. I lived in Brooklyn so I have a few suggestions there, as well as in Lower Manhattan.
Writing this I realized I tend to like places that have lines. Maybe this means I’m boring and trendy, or NY made me tolerate a lot of B.S. like horrible weather, expensive rent, and waits longer than the actual meal, but take it or leave it. Trust me, they’re worth it. And anyone who spends their time waiting for a restaurant being bored and not exploring or drinking next door isn’t doing it right.
Get someone to take you on a date here. Or plan a date, or a girls date, or whatever. Because of the price, level of commitment it takes, and the time of the wait, it isn’t a casual dinner spot, but it’s WORTH IT. This vaguely medieval themed steakhouse has an open kitchen of all amazing women. This is what I would order if I were you. Drew and I managed to go a few times in the last few months, I wish I had discovered it earlier. The wait is legitimately 1-2 hours no matter what time you go. They don’t even have a real website. But as soon as you arrive, you’ll see the high stress hostess situation and people swarming outside. There are nearby bars, or if it’s long enough, you can explore closer to Bedford area. They text you when it’s your turn so you’ll be safe.
To share with a friend: 1 order butchers steak, a few sides (the mashed potatoes and seasonal squash, and spinach gratin are amazing), and any clam or oyster appetizer, with some wine. You honestly will be full and your bill will be $30+ cheaper by sharing. I’ve been and ordered a bottle of wine, but I try to get just a glass and possibly get some nearby (or once I drank a bottle outside with Drew) and we waited.
Pies n’ Thighs
This cute Southern spot specializes in, obviously, fried chicken and desserts. I had my 22ed birthday here on the back patio. Their honey butter chicken biscuit is amazing and $7. They also have lunch boxes that come complete with a meat and side choice- for a heartier option. This is a great casual brunch, lunch, or dinner that will be under $20 a person if you don’t drink, or possibly even with one. The wait can be bad (damn do I have a pattern with tolerating this) but sometimes you’re just craving a home cooked vibe. HACK: If you want this type of food in a different environment, you can head over to the bar The Commodore and get something similar with awesome drinks as well..
Ramen hotspot from trendy eatery Momofuku has one of the best bowls of ramen I had in NY. The other being Shinobi, which is in Bushwick and is in my Bushwick food list. Located in the busy East Village, heading to this spot with one friend is the move. They don’t do reservations and if you’re willing to sit at the bar, you’re in luck. Grab a bowl of ramen each and split an order of pork buns, and you’ll be good. Save room for desert. From their dessert shop, Milk Bar, I go for their amazing flavored frozen yogurts with toppings, or a Soju cocktail slushee.
I honestly wish I could hide out in this place, wait for them to close, and go crazy. That actually seems like a cute childrens book idea / sexual fantasy of mine. ANYWAYS…. Eataly is part market part restaurant(s). You can get a quick sandwich, some amazing samples, Italian imports, or go upstairs to the rooftop beer garden and grab dinner, my favorite part. I actually first went here after negotiating with Drew that waiting in line for Shake Shack in the park wasn’t worth it, but this Italian meal would be. It was. I would suggest getting a mixed cheese and charcuterie plate, and splitting the steak, all while downing some wine. And dessert. Again, it took me casually dropping $50 way too many times to realize eating slow and splitting meals is always just as good. What I did when I came was sit in the first come first served bar area and just steal chairs from the bar and bring them to a bar table and enjoy my dinner there. I went to a more upscale similar spot on my anniversary but I can’t recall the name- which basically makes this anecdote useless, but something Trattoria in LES/NYU area.
This is my favorite pizza in NY. Before chewing me out over some “I’m a NY OG and you’re wrong,” consider I am not a huge pizza fan, nor a native New Yorker. That being said- the once a month or less I randomly crave pizza, I trek to Chelsea or Union Square area and bite into a greasy white sauced artichoke and spinach slice. A lot of people will say “omg that is drunk food,” but I have and will continue to also enjoy this perfect slice stone cold sober. Each slice runs you around $4 and is HUGE. If you go with a friend, you should do what I do and get one artichoke and one crab and have them slice them in half and do halvsies to get a mix.
This is my favorite brunch in the city. This lively Cuban spot in Alphabet City is where I had my 23rd birthday. Cuban sandwiches, rice and bean dishes, amazing buttered toast in the beginning, and chorizo are the best go-to, and the bottomless drinks are to die for. You can swap between a bunch of tropical flavored mimosas and Sangria. Brunch with the pre-fix bottomless runs you around $26, so after tax and tip, closer to $33. Honestly a steal considering you can easily spend 2+ hours either singing along to their obnoxious frat-esq music or making fun of the people who are. I guess it depends what drink you’re on.
Let me know if you’ve been to any of these places and what you think in the comments. Considering doing a bar version of this- let me know if you’d be into that.