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The best places to eat in New York

Pancakes at Bubby's New York

Updated January 2024

We’ve been to New York many times over the years and love returning to old favourites as well as trying out new restaurants. Whatever your culinary tastes – or budget – you’ll be catered for in the Big Apple! Here’s my recommendations for the best places to eat in New York.

Crown Shy

We’ve been to Crown Shy, a one Michelin star restaurant near Wall Street, twice now. The restaurant itself is pretty funky, playing hip hop (don’t worry, the music isn’t loud), with a huge open air kitchen on the one side. Our table was right by the kitchen which I loved as I enjoy watching chefs at work.

Beef short rib from Crown Shy New York

There’s a great bar too if you fancy a drink before your meal, which we did. You can also opt to eat at the bar if you prefer.

Two glasses of sparkling rose at Crown Shy

The food was excellent – in particular the cauliflower with Parmigiano and Sherry and the Pork chop main (which I’m still thinking about…). There’s a great wine list too with decently priced bottles, considering it’s a Michelin starred restaurant. Service was fantastic.

Pork chop from Crown Shy New York

Dirty French

Located in The Ludlow hotel on the Lower East Side is Dirty French, a trendy French Bistro. The restaurant has great decor and a great vibe – there was 80s music playing the night we visited. The steak was absolutely banging and the fries were delicious. They only serve one sauce with the steak – green peppercorn – and it comes all over the steak so be sure to ask for it to be on the side if that’s not your thing.

Service was excellent and the food was fab – we’ll definitely be back next time we’re in New York.

Hanger steak from Dirty French in New York

Bubby’s

Located close to the ‘Ghostbuster’s’ fire station is Bubby’s, a Tribeca institution since 1990. If you’re looking for a great brunch spot, this is the place! Try their James Beard pancake stack with three different toppings – blueberry compote, caramelised bananas and walnuts and berry compote with Nutella and whipped cream. They were absolutely delicious! Their biscuits with jam were so good too. We saw lots of people ordering one of their signature dishes – fried chicken with pancakes and vowed to have that the next time!

Pancake stack from Bubby's

Note that on Saturday and Sundays you can’t book a table, it’s walk-ins only and the queue can get pretty long! So I recommend going during the week when you can reserve a table and not have to wait.

Thai Villa

I absolutely adore Thai food so had to add a Thai restaurant to this list. We had dinner at Thai Villa, which is located near the Flatiron building. Whilst they serve the Thai dishes we all know and love, they pride themselves on serving little-known dishes that were served to Royalty generations ago.

One of those dishes is the Royal Pad Thai which is a prawn Pad Thai served in an egg nest. It looked stunning and tasted great.

Royal Pad Thai from Thai Villa in New York

All the food we ordered at Thai Villa was great but the star of the show was the beef short rib Penang curry. It was so succulent and absolutely gorgeous.

beef short rib Penang curry from Thai Villa in New York

The setting at Thai Villa is gorgeous and the service was great. They did serve the food quite quickly but were happy to oblige when we asked for more time between courses.

Au Cheval

We first tried Au Cheval in Chicago and then found out there was one in New York in Tribeca, just off Canal Street. If you’re looking for a great burger, this is the place to go. They are purists though when it comes to burgers as you can only order a double cheeseburger and add bacon or egg (or both).

Double cheeseburger from Au Cheval in New York

Not only is the burger fabulous (and so filling), the restaurant is really nice too. We opted for counter seating but there are also tables. Be sure to book though as it’s very popular.

Remedy Diner

If you’re staying in or near the Lower East Side then I recommend getting breakfast at Remedy Diner. Top tip, asked to be seated on the right side of the diner or at the counter. For $16 you can get three GIANT buttermilk pancakes with blueberries as well as bottomless coffee for $3.

Buttermilk blueberry pancakes from Remedy Diner in New York

Cut by Wolfgang Puck

Located in the Four Seasons Hotel Downtown is Cut by Wolfgang Puck. If you’re looking for a great steak, this is the place to go. We’ve also been to his London restaurant, which is situated by The Dorchester.

There’s a great bar if you want a drink before your meal or a nightcap afterwards. The restaurant is beautifully designed and is very atmospheric. There’s also artwork curated specifically to compliment the design.

Steak and chips from The Cut

Frenchette

Frenchette, in Tribeca, only opened in 2018 and won the James Beard Foundation Best Newcomer award in 2019, which says a lot. It’s a really lovely restaurant with a buzzing atmosphere and great service. The menu isn’t too big – always a good sign – and there are a decent amount of vegetarian options. The food is great with good portion sizes. My only criticism is that their wine is very expensive – the cheapest bottle on their wine menu is $70.

Bavette steak from Frenchette

Nobu

Nobu has two restaurants in New York and we’ve been to both, at different times. One is located in Downtown and the other, Nobu Fifty Seven is situated near Central Park. Both are elegant and what you’d expect from Nobu – delicious food, ambient dining and great service.

Wagyu tacos from Nobu New York

Hometown BBQ

If you’re hankering for BBQ, venture out to Red Hook in Brooklyn. Yes you’ll have to queue (indoors) but it’s so worth the wait (which was around 40 mins). There’s a pretty wide variety of BBQ and sides to choose from and you’ll definitely leave satisfied! Just note that it’s a bit of a walk from the station and there are few cabs around so you may want to get an Uber – especially if you’re visiting at night.

Hometown BBQ in Red Hook

Diner

You have to eat in a diner at least once! Sure, there are some dotted around Manhattan but if you want to eat with the locals, head to Williamsburg for brunch, lunch or dinner at Diner (aptly named!). Generous portions, decently priced and really cute atmosphere.

Diner in Brooklyn

La Barra

Situated in Mercado Little Spain, which is a food market near Hudson Yards, La Barra serves tapas at either a counter or tables. If you’re walking the High Line, this is the perfect spot to have lunch or a drink and a dish or two.

La Barra in Mercado Little Spain

It certainly wasn’t the best tapas we’ve ever had but the service was great, the Cava perfectly chilled and the food was tasty. The croquetas de pollo (chicken croquettes) and the carrilleras de cerdo (pigs cheek with olive oil mash) were particular highlights.

Tapas at La Barra in New York

Buvette

If you’re heading to the Friend’s apartment in the West Village, be sure to pop by Buvette for brunch. It’s a cosy, quaint little bistro offering brunch, lunch and dinner. It opened in NYC in 2011 and since then has gone on to open branches in Paris, Tokyo, London and Mexico City.

Brunch at Buvette New York

There’s both counter seating and tables but they don’t do reservations so be prepared to wait a bit for a table to become available.

Nom Wah Tea Parlour

If you fancy dim sum (and who doesn’t?!) head to Chinatown institution Nom Wah Tea Parlour. For over 100 years they’ve been serving New Yorkers and travellers delicious dim sum. It’s not the best looking restaurant but you’re guaranteed great food. They even sold Prosecco, which was perfectly chilled, and at less than $25 a bottle!

Dim sum from Nom Wah Tea Parlour in New York

So that’s my best places to eat in New York recommendations! I’ll be adding to this post whenever we find new places worth visiting so bookmark this post.

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Best places to eat in New York

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.

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