Travel

New York City Restaurants You Don’t Want To Miss

New York City is packed with more fantastic meals than I could possibly eat. But I didn’t let that stop me from trying! Today, I’m sharing some favorite New York City restaurants.

NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

Everything here is my own opinion and I received no compensation for this post. It also contains affiliate links. If you have any questions about this, just click here! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

One of the parts of New York City I was most interested in was – unsurprisingly –  the food. So no trip is complete without finding as many great restaurants as possible!

Many of these are in the West Village/Chelsea area. That’s because we stayed over there and loved how many great restaurants we found, many at more reasonable prices than options found in midtown. I’ll mention if they’re elsewhere.

This is by no means comprehensive, but here’s a few to start you off. One advantage of this list: none of these made us wait in line or have a reservation! So that’s a good start. 

NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

Restaurants

Izakaya Mew

In the midst of the garment district, this basement restaurant is easy to miss. But trust me, it’s worth finding: full of locals and fantastic Japanese food. In the best possible way, Izakaya Mew feels like someone converted their basement into a cool and funky space. We opted to go classic and went with shumai and ramen and slurped the bowls clean. Lunch is really reasonably priced for NYC – entrees are usually in the $10-12 range.

NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

Maison Kayser

Never one to miss out on good patisserie, we noticed this one when we were in search of lunch one day near Bryant Park. Luckily, they’ve got a full-service cafe next door! Everything about the Maison Kayser is French, from the menus and chairs down to the waiter speaking his native tongue to the next table. I went with croque madame – hello, bread at a boulangerie! – but the main event was dessert. I’m a tiny bit obsessed with those intricate French desserts, and ours didn’t disappoint. Try the adagio or the cardinal and thank me later.

Santina

We walked past this spot at the base of the High Line, and every day I wanted to go in. Santina’s ambiance alone draws you in: full of light and color, from the intricate blown-glass chandeliers to the brightly painted plates, everything is colorful and airy. Their pasta is made daily and they offer gluten-free everything if that’s more your vibe. Obviously, I got the gluten-full because pasta is my love language. The lobster arrabiata was spicy enough to make me need a second glass of wine, and worth every bite! Of all the New York City restaurants we tried, this may have been my favorite.

NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

The Standard Grill

The Standard Grill looks bright and airy during the day, but takes on an intimate bistro feel at night. We ate on the cafe side for dinner one evening and ended up spending a good 15 minutes pouring over their specialty cocktails. I finally settled on the Diversion, a fruit-and-gin concoction finished off with some sparkling wine. Their cafe menu is largely seafood-based, so we were in heaven with a lobster roll and jamon crostini.

Sardi’s

I know tourists go here thinking they’ll run into famous people, but it’s actually a tourist restaurant. BUT. Sardi’s is a Broadway institution, and when we managed to get a table for two with no waiting, we jumped at the chance. We ended up getting multiple things and sharing. Because you can’t not order the cannelloni at Sardi’s, but then there are crab cakes and salmon and prosciutto with melon and something delish called the boccone dolce which included meringue, whipped cream, and strawberries.

NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

Coffeeshops & Breakfast

Kava Coffee

Caffeine is a must for a day of exploring the city! If you find yourself near Chelsea market and need a quick cup, try Kava. Great espresso to take to go. If you’re hungry, get the made-to-order bacon egg and cheese sandwich: one of the best I’ve ever had.

The Butcher’s Daughter

Insta-worthy mostly-vegan food. While my mom was surprised that her ricotta toast didn’t actually contain ricotta, it was really good. I chose the acai bowl and loved every bite! As someone who eats a lot of meat and dairy, it surprised me how filling a breakfast it ended up being. The Butcher’s Daughter also offer an extensive selection of juices, but I went with the cold brew because I need the caffeine.

NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

Hudson Cafe

Want more of a tiny sidewalk cafe feel? Try the Hudson Cafe. What’s more perfect than a croissant and coffee on a brisk morning? It’s the other side of NYC living that’s harder to find as a tourist. They’ve got a decent breakfast menu, as well as plenty of pastries.

Old Rose

Old Rose is situated inside The Jane Hotel, which we stayed in last time we visited. I spent a few hours pre-flight hanging here with a cappuccino and loved the feel, and every time we walked in and out the food smelled amazing. If I lived in the West Village, it’s the type of place I’d bring my laptop to have a leisurely morning writing.

NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

Bits and Bites

Vanessa’s Dumpling House

After a morning wandering Chinatown, we stopped for lunch at Vanessa’s, a hole-in-the-wall dumpling shop. It was crammed with both locals and visitors – always a good sign – but we managed to grab a couple seats while we waited for our food. While there’s a ton of options on the menu including a massive slice of sesame pancake sandwich, we opted for dumplings and pork buns. We inhaled them in about 5 minutes, if that gives you any picture of how delicious they were.

NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

Ferrara

For dessert after our dumplings, we headed for the giant gelato scooter sign at Ferrara in nearby Little Italy. It was perfect for a chance to sit down and rest our feet over a cappuccino and all the desserts. I joke, sort of. Their trio of miniature baked goods is the perfect way to get a bite of lots of things! That, plus a bit of gelato made a great shared snack before we resumed our exploring. 

NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

More Suggestions

This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are approximately 574890678 New York City restaurants, many of which are amazing. Here are a few I didn’t make it to but am planning on next visit!

  • Sarabeth’s – Cute and delicious brunch place. An aunt and uncle go here every time they visit.
  • Katz Deli – THE Jewish deli experience. The only reason we didn’t go is that we didn’t end up in that part of the city.
  • Chelsea Market – we had some great gelato here but didn’t manage to eat a real meal. Lots of great fast casual options.
  • Scarr’s Pizza – a friend of a friend went to 30 pizza places in 30 days and this was his favorite. That’s quite a recommendation.
NYC is packed with more fantastic meals than can possibly try in one trip. Here are the New York City restaurants you DON'T want to miss!!

Those are a few of my favorites! What are your favorite New York City restaurants??

If you need more NYC fun, check out my tips for the West Village, Midtown, or 12 hours in the city!

Thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.