Below is a list of our favorite restaurants in NYC. I will categorize into 3 sub categories based on $$$$. Please use this as a guide only and look up the menus on their websites if you want to get exact $ range. I expect this list to change often as we try new restaurants. We look for quality and taste first, then ambiance, then portion size and price (this one gets sorted out by the category).
You can find full reviews at Yelp under my profile. (in progress of writing all reviews)
Cheap Eats – Average under $10 for a one person entrée or snack
- Cafe Habana – The corn is amazing. Chesse, lime, butter and chili flakes on all a piece of corn for $2. Yum. (Nolita)
- Burger Joint – Hidden the back of a Hotel Lobby they serve tasty burgers for a good price (Midtown)
- Meatball Shop – Chose they type of meatballs, sauce and how you want it. Very good comfort food. (LES)
- Shake Shack – Good burgers, fries, shakes and other ice cream type of treats. Long waits sometimes. (multiple locations)
- Torrisi Italian Specialties – Very good and fresh sandwiches. Enjoyed the roasted turkey a lot. Can’t wait to try the pre-fixe $50 dinner someday. (Soho/Nolita)
- Caracas Areppas – They have many tasty Areppas and sometimes a wait. (East Village)
- Panade – This a small bakery that only does a few things but does them very well. Savory Puffs, cream puffs and cookies. Great quick and small snacks. (LES)
- Mark – Great sliders for a quick bite and beer in NY. Great sauces to add like the jalapeno sauce. (East Village/ ST. Marks)
- Boka – Best Fried Chicken (aka Bon Chon) I have ever had . I like the smaller wings the best. (East Village)
- Caliexco – The only food truck I have visited multiple times. Good burritos and quesadilla’s and the crack sauce is great.
- 53rd & 6th Halal Cart – This is cheap late night food at its best. Get the chicken and the hot sause is very HOT. (Midtown)
- Empanada Mama– They have many tasty empanadas. (Hell’s Kitchen/West Midtown)
- La Esquina – Good mexican food. Carnita tacos, chicken quesadillas. Good luck trying to get in the VIP dinner room downstairs. (Soho/Nolita)
- Go Go Curry – They only do Japanese curry, but it is tasty. I like the chicken the best. (Midtown). Curry-Ya is also not bad but more pricey in East Village.
- Bleeker Street Pizza (West Village) or Rays Pizza on Prince (Soho/Nolita) – Great slices of pizza for <$4.
- Parisi Bakery – Great big sandwiches for value here. Chicken Parm is the favorite so far. (Soho/Nolita)
- 99 Miles to Philly – Good Philly Cheesesteaks and waffle fries. Can’t speak for authenticity as I am not from Philly, but tasty. (East Village/Union Square)
- Q2 Thai – Very Solid Thai food. (Hell’s Kitchen/West Midtown)
Affordable Eats – Cheap Eats – Average $10 – $18 for a one person entrée
- Barrio Chino – Great Bruch spot in LES. Great food too. If you like spicy jalapeno margaritas, they have that too! (LES)
- Bianca – Great Lasagna meat and egg-plant. (Noho)
- Katz – Great Pastrami Sandwiches. A bit expensive, but you get quality and the experience. Avoid weekends as tourist flock here. (LES)
- Lombardi’s – Great sit down pizza place. Usually take to go cause of the wait. But my favorite pie. Been around forever and tourist flock to on the weekends (Nolita)
- Poco – Tapas type place, but has american type tapas that are just great. Skirt steak lollipops with manchengo cheese, cilantro pesto and sweet onion jam were really good. (Alpa City)
- In Vino – Another quality Italian spot. Really like the dinner ambiance. Good fresh pasta and extensive wine list. (Alphabet City)
- Calle Ocho – Great Brunch spot. Good food and all you can drink sangria. Many flavors choose from (Upper West Side)
- Ruby’s – Great burgers. Very small place, but worth a wait for a very tasty and different burger (Bronte Burger) and good pasta. (Soho/Nolita)
- Westville – Good fresh comfy food. Have a huge market menu. Sweet potato fries and pesto mash. (West Village)
- Emporio – Great pasta and appetizers. Very nice ambiance at night. (Soho/Nolita)
- Geogia’s – Good BBQ in lower eastside. Portions are BIG. Can be cheap eats if you just get a big BBQ sandwich. (LES)
- Pinto – Very Tasty Thai food. (West Village)
Nice Eats ($$$ = $18 – $28) to Expensive Eats ($$$$ = $28+)
- Strip House ($$$$) – Great Bone-in ribeye and many other dishes including a 20 layer chocolate cake. A typical dark setting (Union Square)
- Graffiti’s ($$$) – Fusion and served Tapa’s style. Chef Mehta was an Iron Chef contestant. The flavors were wonderful and so was the experience. I recommend the burger sliders and pot stickers. (East Village)
- Primehouse ($$$$) – Another great steakhouse, but has the best ambiance and plenty of room. (Gramercy)
- Schillers Liqour Bar – A very hip and NY feel. Can get very loud, but the dishes very good and love the way they serve wine here.
- Nobu Next Door ($$$$) – Great wine and entree dishes. King crab tempura was great. Can’t comment on the sushi much as we don’t eat it (Tribeca)
- Freeman’s ($$$) – Very good steak and lively atmosphere. (LES)
- DBGB ($$$) – A Daniel Boulud place that serves good burgers and dishes. Was not wow’d but very solid.
- Stanton’s Social ($$$) – A bit expensive for brunch and the plates are small. But it is quality pancakes, waffles, chorizo tacos. (LES)
- BLT Prime ($$$$) – Very nice atmosphere, good drinks, good popovers, and ok steak (hoping it was an off-night) (Midtown)
Brunch Spots – This is a big thing in NY
- Clinton St. Bakery – Famous Brunch spot that tourist flock to creating up to a 2hr wait. Great food though. Pancakes, sugar cured bacon, biscuits. (LES)
- Tartine – This is a cute little brunch spot that has the best eggs benedict (West Village)
- Cafe Orlin – I would have never thought pumpkin pancakes would be good, but they were. (East Village)
- Baltazar – Famous brunch spot that has quality dishes, but you are going to have to fork over the $ for it (Soho)
- Prune – Another great classic brunch spot with the NY feel. Nicer in summer. (East Village)
Dessert – How can we not have a section for dessert. Yum!
- Two Little Red Hens – Great Cupcakes (Red Velvet and Brooklyn Blackout are amazing). Big cupcakes for $3-$4 (UES)
- Jaques Torres Chocolate Haven – If you love chocolate, this place is for you. Hot Chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, small pieces of many chocolates and specialty items like chocolate covered Cheerios. (Soho and many other locations)
- Levain – Supposedly NY best chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies are big and great! (UWS)
- Bouchon Bakery – They have great macaroons and Quiche Lorraine.
- Viniero’s – Very good Cheesecake and assortment of many bake goods. (East Village)
- Bianca’s – Great Tiramisu (Noho)
- ChikaLicious Dessert Bar – Good small cupcakes and many other pastries, cookies, ice cream, shaved ice. (East Village)
- Donut Plant – Some very good donuts (Tres Leches and Blackout) and some average ones. (LES)
- Butter Lane – Good Cupcakes. Many flavors. Average size cupcakes for $3-$4. (East Village)
- Sweet Revenge – Cupcakes and Wine/Beer. Great concept for late night. Cupcake quality fell a bit short for us, but still above average. (West Village)