Visiting the Big Apple any time soon? Then you absolutely have to know the best places to eat in New York. I’ve written a couple of other blog posts on this amazing city (see Summer 2013 and October 2015). These have loads more suggestions on what to do and incredible places to eat.
For today, here’s a list of TEN NEW PLACES that I’d never been to before and really enjoyed. There’s nothing tooooo splurgy in there, and most options can be squeezed in to a mid-level budget if you save on brekkie and lunch. Just remember that most places in New York are pretty expensive (except $1 pizza slices from Bros Pizza!). These spots cover Manhattan and Brooklyn and work well for veggie diets too.
My ratings: $ – $$$$$ guide scale
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4 MANHATTAN EVENING SPOTS:
SANTINA | fun and busy modern Mexican spot to eat in New York. Right underneath the staircase at the bottom end of the incredible High Line. We started with sharing tuscan chickpea pancakes and spicy tuna tartare at the bar. Highly recommended especially as you’ll probably need to wait for a table. For mains we split the plancha calamari salad with wild rice and tomato (fave dish) and a less impressive special of prawn ceviche.
$$$ – Meatpacking – Website
HUDSON CLEARWATER | this Hudson Street institution was buzzing at 8pm on a Thursday night. Luckily we got a table for 3 on the gorgeous outdoor patio at the back that twinkled with fairy lights. Everything was delicious. The scallop ceviche and charred corn particularly stick in my mind. We chose six or seven combos of salads, appetisers and sides and were perfectly full.
$$$ – Greenwich – Website
THE BLACK ANT | a creative Mexican menu with possibly the most beautiful guacamole I’ve ever seen! We sat outside on a Tuesday evening to eat in New York. It was pretty quiet with a few other tables dining inside. We totally over ordered as the Black Ant Guac and cactus fries were big. We didn’t need the flavourful cod fish tacos as well as mains. My grilled octopus and sis’s crispy duck dumplings were good, but could have been sacrificed.
$$ – East Village – Website
NEW NORTH GRILL | this is an upmarket New American venture by Danny Meyer, who owns a long list of other establishments including Shake Shack. We met friends for dinner on a Friday night and ate in the bar area rather than restaurant. The service was slick and they make a big point of saying ‘hospitality is included’ i.e. no custom extra 20% tip. Which is a good thing as – despite being a very tasty grilled clam pizza (a speciality) – this place was pricey.
$$$$ – Tribeca – Website – Image source: New North Grill
2 BROOKLYN INSTITUTIONS:
ROBERTA’S | I ran out of time to visit this well-known joint when I was in New York in October last year. I’m happy to say the pizza inside this unassuming entrance lived up to the hype. I shared a Famous Original and Romaine salad with a friend for lunch before heading out to explore Bushwick. Also looks like an awesome place for a night out – Roberta’s is huge with loads of outdoor picnic bench seating. A fun place to eat in New York.
$$ – East Williamsburg – Website
LUKE’S LOBSTER | my Mum hadn’t stopped raving about this stalwart franchise under Brooklyn Bridge after she visited New York a few years ago. My sister and I splurged on the ‘Taste of Maine’ – a lip-licking combo of 1/2 lobster roll, 1/2 crab roll, 1/2 shrimp roll with coleslaw and pickle, plus extra crab claws. Amazing. This is an expensive option for a lunch but you do get a lot of seafood.
$$ – Brooklyn Bridge Park & various – Website
3 SWEET TREATS:
LEVAIN BAKERY | oh my my. These are hands down the best cookies I have ever eaten. Each mega mound is $4 and we tried the Peanut Butter and a Walnut Choc. The latter is off the scale! They bake the cookies fresh on the premises and somehow the mix stays perfectly gooey on the inside whilst crisped to a perfect crunchy crumb on the outside. A must eat in New York for every budget.
$ – Upper West Side & Harlem – Website
CONEY ISLAND | depending on where you are starting from in Manhattan or Brooklyn, take the F / D / N / Q train and they’ll all terminate at Coney Island. This beach and Luna Park fairground had a heyday during the first half of the 20th century. Today it’s more than a little weathered but still a fun afternoon of boardwalk people watching, dated fairground rides and deep-fried Oreos. As good as you’d expect.
$ – Coney Island
MILK BAR | this is the sister bakery of the chain of Momofuku restaurants in New York and the US (I haven’t been to any but they look awesome). Milk Bar is primarily another cookie joint however who could resist ordering the intriguingly named ‘Crack Pie’? For those of us with a sweet tooth this is pretty special. Only one needed.
$ – Brooklyn – Website
1 VEGGIE MUST:
BLOSSOM | this vegan restaurant was excellent value and had a menu packed with options for every appetite. Our group of 3 girls really struggled to choose. We shared the mushroom ‘calamari’, butternut squash gnocchi, pine-nut crusted eggplant, cape cod cakes and sweet potato coconut curry. Everything was beautifully cooked and presented and the portions were extremely generous. A highly recommended slightly alternative place to eat in New York.
$$ – Chelsea – Website