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North America Restaurants

Where to eat in New York

Where to eat in New York

With apparently 24,000 restaurants in Manhattan alone (yes, you read that right), you’ll never go hungry. But surely you don’t want to risk a bad meal? We’ve been to New York four times and many of these restaurants we’ve been to more than once so here are my recommendations:

Le Bateau Irve

Despite New York being dubbed the ‘city that never sleeps’, it’s notoriously difficult to find a restaurant that will seat you past 10pm in mid-Manhattan – from 40th street upwards. Our flight always lands early evening and by the time we get to the hotel, check in and have a shower, it’s around 10pm so finding a place to eat is difficult. This is also true for anyone who wants to eat after seeing a show on Broadway.

Le Bateau Irve is a charming and cosy little French bistro situated at 230E 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue and stays open every day until 4am. Yes, 4am! We eat there every time we land and would really recommend it. Will it be the best meal you’ll have in NYC? No, but for a late night option, there’s not much better! Another late night option in the area is Wollensky’s Grill, which stays open until 2am.


Buvette is a charming and super popular French restaurant in the West Village. We went for breakfast on New Year’s Eve and really enjoyed it (apart from the small, rather uncomfortable chairs). The food was really good and the service was great – quite pricey but then, this is New York!

Breakfast waffles at Buvette in New York


We’ve been to Lupa every time we’ve visited New York. It calls itself a Roman Trattoria and serves dishes typical of the Lazio region, such as Cacio e Pepe and Amatriciana. It opened in 1999 and is situated in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan on Thompson street. Like most restaurants in New York, the tables are quite close to each other so can be a bit noisy, depending on who you’re sat next to. If you prefer, they have bar seating too. The food is good and pretty authentic and the service is great too.

Red Rooster

I read about Red Rooster on the flight over and a friend of mine who lives in Harlem highly recommended it. We went for lunch on a thoroughly miserable, rainy day and upon entering I was automatically cheered up! It’s a beautifully decorated restaurant – really funky and colourful. The food matched the decor and was fabulous! I really recommend the wild, wild wings and the cornbread, served with honey butter and tomato jam – OH MY!

Red Rooster Harlem decor

Red Rooster in Harlem New York

Maloney & Porcelli

Love steak? Well, I’m fairly certain it’s difficult to find a bad steak in New York if you go to a proper steakhouse. We really like Maloney & Porcelli, which is situated next door to Lotte New York Palace on 50th Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue. They serve delicious warm pretzel sticks with a mustard butter instead of the usual bread basket – yum!

Charlie Bird

We discovered Charlie Bird on this trip and will definitely be going back! We had brunch here on New Year’s Day and for our first meal of the year it didn’t disappoint. It’s a very cool, trendy restaurant (they play hip hop – don’t worry, it’s not booming!) and the food is seriously good.

Decor at Charlie Bird New York

Starters at Charlie Bird New York

cacio e pepe at Charlie Bird

Duck ragu pasta at Charlie Bird

The River Cafe

We had lunch at The River Cafe on New Year’s Day a couple of years ago. We were actually really lucky to get a table as they had been closed due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and were only opening on New Year’s Day as a test run. It’s pretty fine dining – they even have a dress code. What’s fabulous is the view! Situated almost under Brooklyn Bridge, the views across to Manhattan are just stunning. I was obviously so distracted by the view, I forgot to take a photo.

Melt Shop

When you think of New York, mouth-watering sandwiches spring to mind, am I right? If you’re a Man vs Food fan, they should! Well, if you like your sandwiches toasted, look no further than Melt Shop. It’s a small chain and boy is it a treat. We went to the one in Hell’s Kitchen and we’ll definitely be back. My fried chicken with slaw sandwich was just so decadent and the cheesy tots were yummy. I really liked the decor too – very hip. Nothing fancy but a great place to eat a bloody good sandwich that won’t break the bank.

Melt Shop New York

Fried Chicken and slaw sandwich from Melt Shop

Melt Shop in New York decor

The National

We’ve been to The National a couple of times for breakfast, because breakfast never seems to be included at the hotels we stay at. It’s actually located at The Benjamin hotel however it certainly does not have a hotel restaurant feel. Like most New York meals, the portions are huge – the pancakes were bigger than my face and there were three of them so go hungry or share!

Pancakes with apple at The National

I had the healthier option of avocado on toast with a poached egg (but OF COURSE I ate half a pancake too….)

Avocado toast with poached egg at The National

The National decor

So there you have it! My NYC restaurant recommendations. Feel free to add yours in the comments.

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Where to eat in New York City

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • Lynne Harper

    Oh my goodness I cant get over the amount of restaurants that’s a staggering amount. They all sound fabulous, i need those waffles right now…yum x

    • Kirsty Marrins

      I could definitely eat those waffles right now! And the pancakes too….

  • Rachel

    I want to go to New York because of the food. Too many episodes of Man V Food ive watched x

    • Kirsty Marrins

      I think I’ve watched every Man vs Food episode… We actually went to Sylvia’s in Harlem on our first trip to NYC because Adam went there in one of the episodes! Have you seen Man finds Food too?

  • Gabe

    So cruel! I’m here in Bucharest and lucky to find a decent plate of pasta. At 8:00. On a Friday.

    • Kirsty Marrins

      Ha! Sorry… that doesn’t sound like a culinary destination! Although am sure the city has other highlights?

  • The Sunday Mode

    I’ve been to NY a few times but I’ve never been to any of these places! One of my favourite places to eat in NY has got to be Eataly 🙂

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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