Where to Eat
There are almost too many incredible places to eat in Manhattan. It’s super-hard to narrow it down. So think of this as more of a list of all the places we love to eat most right now. It’s a great place to start.
Rubirosa (NoLiTa): A spot that somehow maintains its homey character despite being a hotspot for tourists. The pizza is excellent, but the rigatoni is comforting and truly exceptional.
Mission Chinese (Lower East Side): Be prepared to eat. A lot. This isn’t “traditional” Chinese—you’ll find Kung Pao Pastrami (order it), Mapo Tofu (order it), and Salt Cod Fried Rice (order it) occupying a good-sized menu. Just... order everything. You won’t regret it.
Pardon My French (East Village): This locale is one of our favorite NYC brunch spots. You can expect classics like french toast and croque monsieurs, and the $30 bottomless deal is something you don’t want to miss.
Ruby’s (NoLiTa): This cozy Mulberry Street cafe is the perfect setting for any and all outings during those balmy summer nights. Its extensive menu features tons of delicious gluten-free and vegetarian options, as well as mouth-watering burgers and pasta dishes guaranteed to leave you sated and smiling by the end of your meal.
Jack’s Wife Freda (West Village): Jack’s Wife Freda is a true New York success story. Its original NoLiTa location got so popular, they opened a West Village one that manages to pack the same hole-in-the-wall charm into a much larger space. The menu is still the same, too, so your brunching needs will always, always be met. (Though we suggest taking a seat at the bar and chatting up the bartenders. They’re truly the best.)
abcV (Flatiron): You will be hard-pressed to find restaurants with more beautiful design aesthetic than those that fall under the abc umbrella. This newest, more casually leaning eatery from Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Paulette Cole boasts some of the most delicious breakfast fare around, including truly transcendent einkorn pancakes with coconut cream and rhubarb compote and poached farm eggs with wild mushrooms.
Hanjan (NoMad): Strongly recommend if you want to try some homemade style Korean food at a less crowded Korean restaurant, where you can actually have a conversation with friends. You must try the kimchi fried rice, spicy salmon sashimi salad over rice, spicy rice cake, and their summer seasonal menu cold buckwheat noodles.
Lucky Bee (Lower East Side): You will have a hard time not Instagramming everything at this Southeast Asian joint with tiki drinks served in whole coconuts, zig-zag and pink decor, and neon signs. Once you try one of their incredible curries though, you will forget all about your phone.
Chinese Tuxedo (Chinatown): You will hear a lot of people refer to Chinese Tuxedo as the “new Mission Chinese,” which does a disservice to both. While the two admittedly do dabble in contemporary takes on Chinese cuisines, Chinese Tuxedo serves up an elevated take on classic and more mild-tempered Cantonese, rather than the wow-worthy Szechuan, staples like caramelized vegetables and dressed up seafood in a former Chinatown opera house.
Ushiwakamaru (Chelsea): When I first discovered Ushiwakamaru in 2011, the person on the other side of the line would always answer the phone in, what I assume was, Japanese. That speaks to the authenticity of this fantastic sushi joint that now is located in Chelsea and offers one of the best omakases in town. Sugarfish who?
Carbone (Greenwich Village): You won’t find a better Italian restaurant than this upscale joint. Everything is to die for and worth the wait and price, but if we had to absolutely pick one dish it would be the spicy rigatoni vodka.
Emily (West Village): In a city of stellar high-end burgers, you won’t find a better one than the one served at this pizzeria that just opened its first location outside of Brooklyn. Made of dry aged beef and served on a buttery pretzel bun slathered with the secret Emmy sauce and topped with caramelized onions and Grafton cheddar, it’s worth the $26 price tag. Don’t miss out on the exceptional Detroit-style pies either.
Galli (SoHo): I’ll try to restrain myself from fangirling over this restaurant, but it just may have the best Italian food you’ll find in SoHo. Pretty much everything on the menu is perfect, but the calamari is life-changing. Also, I’m not sure who’s in charge of the aux cord at Galli, but I’d love for him/her/them to DJ my next birthday party.
Streetbird Rotisserie (Harlem): No one does chicken like Chef Marcus Samuelsson, and his Streetbird restaurant uptown is proof. It’s basically the cooler, younger sibling of his famous Red Rooster, with food that’s just as amazing and décor that looks like it was borrowed from the set of a Spike Lee movie.
De Maria (Lower East Side): Sure, it has a very Instagram-friendly bathroom, thanks to that neon Virgin Mary sign, but the real reason to head here is the food, which is impeccable. The chili-turmeric bone broth is the only thing I want to consume once the temperature drops, and the spicy baby octopus and melt-in-your mouth lamb chops are some of our favorite dishes in the city.
Atla (NoHo): This Mexican restaurant is open all day, all the better to indulge in the excellent food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our perfect three-meal menu? The cloud of coconut yogurt with blueberries, followed by the ranchero eggs for lunch, and the beautifully crisp fish Milanese for dinner. Oh, and why not get some herb-flecked guacamole, too?
Dirt Candy (Lower East Side): Quite possibly one of the best vegetarian spots in the city. Everything comes on small plates meant to share, so you can easily try eight different things and not feel guilty about it. Broccoli dogs and Tijuana Sunrises? Don’t mind if we do.
Lovely Day (NoLiTa): This cozy Thai spot has killer food, romantic vibes, and is also easy on the wallet if you’re looking for a date spot on a budget. But, FYI, we mean cozy in the way brokers refer to apartments in Manhattan as cozy—aka extremely small. Expect to wait a bit for a table and, once seated, probably hear the convos of the people next to you. But, in our humble opinion, that just adds to the charm.
Cheeky Sandwiches (Lower East Side): Sometimes you just need gravy on a sandwich, you know? This little hole-in-the-wall New Orleans sandwich joint is a haven for decadent cheap eats. The chicken biscuit will change you.
Cafe Henrie (Lower East Side): We dare you to try to go to Cafe Henrie and not Instagram it. Not only are the meals photogenic-as-hell little healthy things—yogurt coddled eggs, chicken coconut bowl, etc.—but also there is a neon sign in the shape of a vagina by Petra Collins hanging by the bathroom. Instagram gold.
Hanoi House (East Village): Despite a glut of Vietnamese restaurants, it is often said that New York is without a truly great bowl of pho. This cozy and always packed restaurant changes all that. Get it with bone marrow.
Superiority Burger (East Village): This hole-in-the-wall is at the forefront of NYC’s veggie burger revolution. And while the namesake burger is the star of the show, the entire menu of creative sides and herbivorous riffs on other meaty classics like the sloppy joe will keep you coming back for more.