New York Diaries Travel and Eats
There’s nowhere like New York. Bustling and busy, at times overwhelming, and absolutely unique. If you are visiting New York (especially if it’s your first time), chances are you’ll want to see some of the major sites. From Times Square to the Statue of Liberty, there are more than enough iconic NYC sites to keep you busy. But sightseeing requires fuel – something to eat and drink to keep you energized and moving. And with over 24,000 restaurants in Manhattan alone (that’s not even counting the other boroughs), choosing a spot to eat or drink can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of some of the very best dining and drinking options in all of New York – to help you truly enjoy your NYC vacation..
With options at every price point and in (almost) every borough, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Eat your way through this list for a truly unforgettable New York experience.
Picture Credits: BLACKBARN Shop, Cafe & Bar
BLACKBARN Shop, Cafe, & Bar is just that – all of the above. The innovative space located in the historic Chelsea Market combines a full service restaurant and bar with a beautiful home goods retail shop. John Doherty, Chef-Owner of BLACKBARN, provides guests with a delicious menu of farm to table cuisine. The options include sophisticated, yet familiar dishes and cocktails. You have your choice of options with everything from braised octopus and coq au vin to casual fare like a hearty Cuban sandwich and a rich white pizza. The locals recommend the Foraged Mushroom Toast with Talegio Cheese, Pan Roasted Artichoke Hearts and Hummus with Tahini, Chicken Milanese Sliders and Truffled Mac’n Cheese. Trust us, we tried them all, any of these tasty options will be sure to impress. Be sure to check out the bar offerings as well. The cocktail menu gives a modern twist to classic drinks with a specifically BLACKBARN flavor.
Picture Credits: Shuko
If you’re looking for a truly high-end and authentic sushi experience during your visit to New York, Shuko is the place to go. Shuko offers daily tasting menus based on traditional Japanese flavors. Lead by executive chefs and partners Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, Shuko’s fresh and top-of-the-line offerings will leave you wanting more, despite the full menu of offerings. Located in Union Square, this modern and beautiful restaurant offers a full Japanese dining experience. We definitely recommend trying both the daily tasting menus and the optional wine and sake pairings to really get the best out of your dining experience. You know your dinner is going to be on another level because both Chefs Kim and Lau have some serious cooking chops including experience working at a restaurant that received three Michelin stars and a four-star review from the New York Times. Be sure to book a reservation far in advance, spots are in high demand.
Picture Credits: Wafels and Dinges
Wafels and Dinges offers authentic Belgian Wafels at eleven different locations around New York City. We’re talking authentic, crispy, delicious Belgian wafels – none of those sad, soggy excuses you find at other “Belgian Wafel” houses. You know what you’re getting when you order some of the very best wafels available in the city – but what about Dinges? Well, dinges is actually a Belgian slang word translating essentially to “whatchamacallit.” In this case, Dinges means toppings – aka any of the delicious options you can choose from to add a unique flavor to your wafel! Choose from Belgian chocolate fudge, nutella, fresh fruits, Vermont maple syrup and many other sweet, tasty treats to customize your wafel. If you’re looking for a quick and casual but un-beatably delicious sweet treat while visiting New York, Wafels and Dinges is a perfect option for a tasty snack.
Picture Credits: The Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bites
With The Jeffrey, your choice of beverages depends on the time of day. The craft beer, cocktails and espresso bar combines two storefronts in one under the Queensboro Bridge on East 60th Street. If you’re wandering by in the morning (or early afternoon), The Jeffrey’s espresso and growler bar will be serving locally-roasted artisanal coffees, an assortment of breakfast pastries, and growlers of beer to-go. If you happen upon The Jeffrey in the afternoon or evening, the bar morphs into a craft beer and cocktail destination featuring a highly-advanced, custom-built draft system of 30 rotating hard-to-find international and local brews. Whether you’re ready for a morning pick-me-up, an afternoon brew, or an evening nightcap, the Jeffrey has something for you.
Picture Credits: The Penrose
If you’re looking for a great boozy brunch spot, we’ve got you covered. Located in the heart of the Upper East Side, The Penrose is a perfect and comfy spot to enjoy some friendly company, good conversation and solid drinks. Inspired by old American and Cork traditions, the Penrose serves locally sourced foods, well crafted brews, and drinks to please all. While all their menus (dinner, drinks, etc) are delicious and should not be missed, the Penrose is really known for their brunch and brunch cocktails. You know it must be good because the Penrose’s brunch has been featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Travel & Leisure, Culture Trip, and Thrillist. We recommend trying the Chicken & Waffles or the Chimichanga. Pair your brunch with an Irish Coffee or their signature Penrose Bloody Mary for a truly delicious brunch experience.
Picture Credits: Frying Pan
Now this is a truly unique NYC experience – dining alongside a historical railroad barge on the Hudson River. If you want a perfect spot to watch the sunset with a glass of wine, the Lightship Frying Pan historic railroad barge is the place to be. Settle in for dinner and a drink at the Pier 66 Maritime Bar & Grill, located on the floating barge and securely docked at Pier 66 on the Hudson River. Enjoy everything that the Hudson waterfront has to offer before or after your tasty meal. The delicious dining options and casual atmosphere are ideal for families or large groups. The Maritime Bar & Grill offers a wide array of options to satisfy any palate including crisp salads, juicy burgers, and fresh seafood.
Picture Credits: East Harlem Bottling Co.
East Harlem Bottling Co is located on the corner of Lexington Ave. and East 107th Street in one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the City, El Barrio. Just blocks away from the Conservatory Garden in Central Park, Museum of the City of New York, and El Museo Del Barrio – East Harlem Bottling Co is the perfect spot to stop for a cool brew if you happen to be seeing any of these famous sites. With a wide array of beer options including an array of local specialties and national and international favorites, you’re sure to find a brew to suit your tastes. If you’re not a beer connoisseur, there are wine, cocktail, and non-alcoholic options as well. Hungry? East Harlem also offers a large menu of tasty, elevated bar food including fried calamari, chicken wings, flatbreads, and burgers. This local favorite is a great spot for a casual bite and brew while visiting New York.
Picture Credits: Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner
Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner is one of New York’s favorite quintessential Jewish style restaurants. Sarge’s is celebrating its 55th year and is just as well-loved (by locals and visitors alike) now as it was when it first opened. With a reputation built on serving great homemade food, generous portions, and a relaxing atmosphere, Sarge’s is the true New York deli experience. You can’t visit New York City without trying some of the best NYC old world specialties including cured corned beef and pastrami, homemade matzo ball soup, and cheese cakes. And don’t worry – Sarge’s is there whenever you may be hungry. Stop by at anytime of the day or night. Sarge’s is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week all year round.
Picture Credits: L’atelier De Joël Robuchon
You literally cannot find a better dining experience than at L’atelier de Joël Robuchon New York. This restaurant is from legendary Chef Joël Robuchon. Chef Robuchon held 32 Michelin stars in his lifetime – more than any chef in history. Located in the historic Meatpacking District of New York, just below the bustling High Line, the energy and excitement of L’atelier de Joël Robuchon New York are reminiscent of the groundbreaking concept’s original location, which first debuted in Paris’ Saint-Germain neighborhood in 2003. L’atelier offers Modern French dishes of the highest quality. Using immaculate techniques and sourcing local ingredients, the gourmet chefs at L’atelier offer a truly fabulous dining experience. If you are just looking for a taste, we recommend checking out the à la carte selection of tapas size portions, appetizers, and entrées. If you really want to dive into the delicious French cuisine, there are also two five-course tasting menus available: “Le Menu Decouverte de Saison” and “Le Menu Végétarien.” Either way, you can’t go wrong at L’atelier.
Picture Credits: Tanoreen
Tanoreen, located in the heart of Brooklyn, delivers some of the best home-cooked Palestinian & Middle Eastern food in all of New York. Following years of frequent dinner parties & teaching friends how to cook, chef Rawia decided to open a restaurant to share a simple idea: Cooking delicious Palestinian & Middle Eastern food as she does for family & friends, but with her unique twists. Over the years, the food at Tanoreen has evolved and is now influenced by Chef Rawia’s time traveling abroad & living in the New York. As such, Tanoreen has varied in its fusions, but never deviated from its roots, a blend of classical Palestinian & Middle Eastern cooking with delicious multicultural aromas stirred through. With a wide array of affordable and delicious options, you really can’t go wrong. If you’re looking for something particularly special, we recommend trying the Musakhan appetizer (homemade flatbread, sumac-spiced shredded chicken, caramelized onions, toasted almonds – so tasty) and for an entree, the Baked Kafta Tahini (finely ground lamb, onions & parsley, potatoes, and Tanoreen’s delicious house-made tahini sauce). Don’t worry if you’re vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of tasty options available for you too!
Picture Credits: Red Hook Lobster Pound
The Red Hook Lobster Pound brings sensational lobster rolls and seafood straight from the Maine coast to New York City. With several different locations across the city, you can choose the best for you. We recommend going to the original Red Hook, located at 284 Van Brunt St in Brooklyn. Red Hook offers the freshest lobster around. Take a peek inside the saltwater tanks and you’ll see the live Maine lobsters fresh from the Maine coast. Pick which one you want and the expert chefs will boil them up, just for you. If you’re looking for something besides lobster, the full menu also offers other tasty seafood options including fish-n-chips, calamari, oysters, and crab cakes. You can’t go wrong with any of the offerings, but of course, the lobster dishes are the signature specialties. We recommend the lobster Mac-n-Cheese for something hearty, homey, and utterly delicious.
Picture Credits: Mace
Mace Cocktail Bar is an East Village favorite. The chill cocktail destination recently relocated to a bigger space to better serve its growing fan base. Opened in 2015 as a bar with a lineup of 12 cocktails inspired by flavors from around the world, Mace has grown into a neighborhood favorite. While Mace is primarily a cocktail bar, it also offers an array of delicious bites from chef Nick Sorrentino, the director of culinary operations at Cocktail Kingdom. The menu has an array of tasty bar snacks with flavors inspired by the drinks, so no matter what beverage you order, you know that there’s a bite available that will accompany it perfectly. Owners Greg Boehm, Jeannette Kaczorowski, and Nico de Soto have concocted some truly unique and delicious cocktails. Cozy up to the bar and try something new. Drinks feature a diverse and delicious spread of ingredients including aquavit, beet juice, orange acid, Thai coconut cordial, lavender, wasabi, curry leaves, kimchi, and more! Pop by Mace if you want to be wowed by a truly delicious and unique New York City cocktail experience.
Picture Credits: Maison Harlem
Maison Harlem is one of the newest culinary destinations to join West Harlem’s vibrant community. The restaurant’s French Bistro style menu is absolutely mouthwatering. Combine some of the tasty French classics with a choice glass from the superb wine menu and you’ll have a meal that is hard to beat. Settle into the charming, rustic, airy interior and enjoy something delicious off their lunch or dinner menus. Or, if you happen to be in Harlem on a weekend, you definitely have to try Maison Harlem’s weekend-only brunch menu. Featuring one of the best Eggs Benedicts in the city and a quiche Lorraine that is impossible to beat, Maison Harlem’s french brunch fair is a great option for a weekend meal in the city. Maison Harlem is run by two native French chefs so there’s no doubt that you’ll be getting something authentic and tasty when you hit this new Harlem favorite.