There are THOUSANDS of restaurants and bars in New York, ranging in price, service and cuisine, so when it comes to that all important question at the end of the day of ‘where shall we eat’ this can soon descend into a hopeless argument which inevitably ends in Mcdonalds. We tried a range of restaurants and bars while in New York thanks to travelling with my cousin and New York citizen, we were able to find some hidden gems. If you’re looking for some inspiration for meals and drinks in New York read our recommendations!
With some of the best steaks NYC has to offer, Del Friscos is a classy, rich wood-panelled restaurant with an eye-water price tag but unbelievably good food. We treated ourselves to the 5-star meal on our last night in New York, blowing nearly $400 on the three of us and honestly, it was worth it. Lobster topped mash, tuna tartare and a 16oz bone-in filet were just some of the amazing options we indulged in and we weren’t disappointed by any of it. I would recommend this place for a special occasion or if you really feel like treating yourself, it’s expensive and while they provide excellent service, a large tip is expected but it really was worth it.
Del Frico's Grille Financial District - Nearest subway Park Place Station
The Smith is a chain of reasonably priced, well decorated restaurant-come-bars in Manhattan. They're located all over the city and are great for a casual meal after a long day of sightseeing and shopping. Serving traditional american cuisine expect burgers and steak, but also some great specials such as muscles and pie. If there's one thing to say about The Smith it is their GLORIOUS MAC 'N' CHEESE. Seriously, even if you don't like mac 'n' cheese, you HAVE to try it. It's a generous starter portion that we shared but I could have easily had it as a main alone, (and probably should have - I wasn't even close to finishing my main).
The Smith NoMad - Nearest subway 28th St Broadway
A 'market-hall' of types, with various small bars/restaurants offering a range of different cuisines. There is open seating here so you can choose whatever food you're in the mood for, from whichever business, but everyone eats together. This is a perfect place if you have a real hankering for Korean BBQ but your partner is angling more for pizza, get both and sit together and then get the best cocktail from whichever place has happy hour! There's a really great atmosphere in here, and if you visit on the right day, at the right time, happy hour can make wine and beer really cheap (we scored $5 glasses of red all night!) The food is pretty reasonable in here but be cautious of portion sizes, it may be great for lunch or snack but you may have to get a few extras for an evening meal.
Urbanspace Vanderbilt - Nearest subway Grand Central 42nd Street
Hair of the Dog
A standard sports bar in the east village this place is really lively at night, particularly when the American football is playing on sundays. Great music and atmosphere but don’t expect luxury cocktails or exquisite food. If anything this place is really well located with lots of other bars and pizza places nearby.
Hair of the dog East Village - Nearest subway Delancey Street
Whilst this place has a great view, it lacks in service and value for money. We stopped here after a long walk to Brooklyn Bridge, initially breaking only for a beer but eventually ordering a pizza, a mistake. It probably would have been quicker to go back to our apartment, buy a frozen one and make it ourselves. The service was slow, pizzas overpriced and no-one helped us when we asked why it had taken 90 minutes to serve a simple margherita. If you want to sit by the water with the view of Brooklyn for a quick drink it's a good spot, but this place is overpriced for poor service and average food.
Industry Kitchen - Nearest subway Wall St
One of the first places we visited in New York and one of my favorites. A enormous range of foods from ramen, rice bowls, pasta, salads, burgers and grilled sandwiches made to order as well as deserts, coffees and help-yourself hot buffet food. It is exceptionally reasonable in here for the portion sizes and quality of food and again gave us the option to try different dishes each, whilst given the option to eat in using the small seating area or take-away. If you are looking for something hot and filling for lunch definitely stop by here.
Cook Midtown - Nearest subway Times Square 42nd Street
230 Fifth Rooftop
We tried this rooftop bar with direct views of the Empire State building during their Sunday brunch, which at $29 per person all you can eat was really good value for money. Often rooftop bars charge more purely because people can get that perfect instagram with the view of the city surrounding them, but the food was really good and there was plentiful on offer including an omelette station, savory breakfast as well as sweet snacks. I wouldn't recommend any of their cocktails or alcoholic drinks, they were either noticeably weak (the cheaper drinks on the brunch menu), or unbearably strong on the standard menu. I would also bare in mind that to sit in the igloos upstairs, you do have to pay for brunch regardless of whether you actually get food or only drinks, so if you decide to visit, make the most of your visit and at least get food. Admittedly a tourist trap, it wasn't unbearably busy when we visited around 12pm on a Sunday, but this may have been due to the freezing conditions.
230 Fifth Avenue NoMad - Nearest subway 28th St Broadway
A cosy Italian restaurant a stones throw away from Central Park, this place has a great lunchtime offer on during our visit in January, but otherwise the large menu was slightly on the pricier side. The service left a little to be desired but other than that it was just an average Italian restaurant for us to hide away from the cold in.
Trattoria Dell'Arte Theatre District - Nearest subway 57 street
The Horny Ram
Really cosy and cute bar serving what looked like amazing huge portions of food (which we didn't try). We stopped here for a few drinks on a Sunday afternoon and there was a great atmosphere, staff were really friendly, giving us drink recommendations, the music was good and the drinks reasonable with happy hour every day between 4-7pm. They have a great cocktail menu and a huge range of beers and ales, there are also alot of other bars and pubs in this area, making it great to spend an afternoon or evening.
The Horny Ram Midtown East - Nearest subway Lexington Av 53 Street
During the freezing cold week we stayed in New York there was nothing better to warm us than good ramen and after meandering Central Park, slowly losing feeling in our extremities, this place was a perfect lunch. Amazing gyozas, rich broth and great noodles, Zurutto is a really good ramen restaurant 10 minutes from the park. Their dishes were reasonably priced and we were served quickly, would recommend if you’re looking for good ramen.
Zurutto Ramen and Gyoza Bar Upper West Side - Nearest subway 72 St Broadway
I hope you found my recommendations helpful, comment below your favourite places to eat in NYC!