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New York City restaurants

When a man is tired of New York he is tired of work. And thought. And cheesecake.
- David Frost

€1 - $1.32
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Hearty lunch. Photo: Courtesy of Joseph Leonard

Aldea

  • Chelsea, Mediterranean, $$$$ $$$
  • 31 West 17th St.
  • New York, 10011
  • +1-212-675-7223
  • Website | Review

A fancy Iberian-inspired menu and a good lunch prix-fixe. Impress your agency clients without looking like you're trying too hard.

Bacaro

  • Lower East Side, Italian, $$$$ $$
  • 36 Division St.
  • New York, 10002
  • +1-212-941-5060
  • Website | Review

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.

Balthazar

  • Soho, French, $$$$ $$$
  • 80 Spring St.
  • New York, 10013
  • +1-212-965-1414
  • Website

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.

Blue Hill

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.

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

  • Soho, American, $$$$ $$
  • 97 Sullivan St.
  • New York, 10012
  • +1-212-274-0404
  • Website

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

  • Upper East Side, French, $$$$ $$$$
  • 60 E. 65 St.
  • New York, 10065
  • +1-212-288-0033
  • Website | Review

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.

Dovetail

  • Upper West Side, American, $$$$ $$$
  • 103 W. 77 St.
  • New York, 10024
  • +1-212-362-3800
  • Website | Email | Review

Well-executed, somewhat cerebral dining experience from chef John Fraser. Michelin stars, attentive service, croissant ice cream, and a brunch that cannot be beat.

Eleven Madison Park

  • Gramercy, American, $$$$ $$$$
  • 11 Madison Ave.
  • New York, 10010
  • +1-212-889-0905
  • Website

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.

Freemans

  • Lower East Side, American, $$$$ $$
  • Freeman Alley
  • New York, 10002
  • +1-212-420-0012
  • Website

Access the rustic cabin-like restaurant (the one responsible for NYC's obsession with 19th century aesthetics) via a quiet alleyway off Bowery. Inside the big barn doors is a bustling lunch and dinner crowd, taxidermy, and wild flower arrangements.

Jean-Georges

  • Midtown West, French, $$$$ $$$$
  • 1 Central Park W.
  • New York, 10023
  • +1-212-299-3900
  • Website | Review

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.

Joseph Leonard

  • West Village, American, $$$$ $$
  • 170 Waverly Pl.
  • New York, 10014
  • +1-646-429-8383
  • Website | Review

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.

Katz's Deli

  • Lower East Side, Jewish, Deli, $$$$ $
  • 205 E. Houston St.
  • New York, 10002
  • +1-212-254-2246
  • Website | Review

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.

Keen's Steakhouse

  • Chelsea, American, $$$$ $$$
  • 72 W. 36th St.
  • 10018
  • +1-212-947-3636
  • Website

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.

Kyo Ya

  • East Village, Japanese, $$$$ $$
  • 94 E. 7th St.
  • New York
  • +1-212-982-4140

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).

Le Bernadin

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.

Locanda Verde

  • Tribeca, Italian, $$$$ $$$
  • 377 Greenwich St.
  • New York, 10013
  • +1-212-925-3797
  • Website

Andrew Carmellini (a protégé of Daniel Boulud) whips diners into a frenzy with fashionable family-style Italian. It's part of the stylish Greenwich Hotel, and the atmosphere, like the menu, is energetic and fun. Don't discount breakfast, which is also a delight.

Marea

Elegant (rosewood dining room), luxurious (sea urchin draped in lardo) Italian from chef Michael White, who throws caution (and prices) to the wind.

Meatball Shop

  • Lower East Side, Italian, $$$$ $
  • 84 Stanton St.
  • New York, 10002
  • 212-982-8895
  • Website | Review | Menu

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.

Minetta Tavern

  • Greenwich Village, American, $$$$ $$$
  • 113 MacDougal St.
  • New York, 10012
  • +1-212-475-3850
  • Website | Review

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.

Miss Lily’s and Marvin’s Juice Box

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.

Mission Chinese Food

  • Lower East Side, Chinese, $$$$ $$
  • 154 Orchard St.
  • NYC, 10002
  • +1-212-529-8800
  • Website

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.

Momofuku Noodle Bar

  • East Village, Pan-Asian, $$$$ $$
  • 171 1st Ave.
  • New York, 10003
  • 212-777-7773
  • Website | Review

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.

Motorino

  • East Village, Italian, $$$$ $
  • 349 E. 12th St.
  • New York, 10003
  • +1-212-777-2644
  • Website | Review

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.

Scarpetta

  • Meatpacking District, Italian, $$$$ $$$
  • 355 W. 14th St.
  • New York, 10014
  • +1-212-691-0555
  • Website | Review

World-class chef Scott Conant gives martyr status to spaghetti, tomato and basil in his buzzy, high-end tavern and dining room.

Shake Shack

  • Flatiron, American, $$$$ $
  • Madison Square Park
  • New York, 10010
  • 212-889-6600
  • Website | Review

Flagship modern burger stand (hand-spun thick shakes, juicy black angus beef) from uber-restaurateur Danny Meyer.

The Smile

  • Greenwich Village, American, $$$$ $
  • 26 Bond St.
  • New York, 10012
  • +1-646-329-5836
  • Website | Review

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.

The Spotted Pig

  • West Village, English, $$$$ $$
  • 314 W. 11th St.
  • New York, 10014
  • +1-212-620-0393
  • Website | Review

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.).

Torrisi Italian Specialties

  • Nolita, Italian, $$$$ $$
  • 250 Mulberry St.
  • New York, 10012
  • +1-212-965-0955
  • Website | Review

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.

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