New York City Restaurants: Unmissable Places to Eat and Drink in the City

NYC Restaurants

Every day, more restaurants are popping up in New York City. The city is a destination for food lovers and has plenty of options for every taste.

This article isn’t a summary of all places to eat in New York City. Instead, in this post, you’ll find a curated shortlist of the must-visit restaurants (plus bars and coffee shops) to visit on your next trip to the Big Apple.

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The Best Restaurants in NYC for Lunch and Dinner

JoJo

JoJo is an elegant townhouse restaurant by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. It’s in the Upper East Side and offers a seasonal French farm-to-table menu with mostly organic and local ingredients. They are open for dinner and weekend brunch.

ABC Kitchen

A chic New American eatery, also by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, ABC Kitchen’s changing menu features local, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients.

Also, ABC Kitchen is one of the best restaurants in New York City and proudly announces that its menu is free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, antibiotics, hormones and is also GMO-free. (If ABC Kitchen isn’t what you’re craving, head over to ABC Cocina for Italian flare).

Pastis

If you can’t get a ticket to Paris, then Pastis is the next best thing to a French bistro. This Meatpacking District restaurant is an authentic ode to Paris and an excellent restaurant for steak and frites in New York City.

Cosme

Cosme is currently number 21 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant List, and this NYC restaurant is from acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera (the same as Pujol, one of the best restaurants in Mexico City).

If you can’t make your way to Mexico, Cosme will give you a taste of the flavors of the country with a contemporary twist. In this hip restaurant, the duck carnitas is to die for, and the mezcal cocktails are on point.

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare

Want to visit a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in NYC? Then Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is your go-to! Here, the tasting menu is focused on seafood and shellfish and has 13 dishes inspired by Japanese cuisine and the French technique. The entire experience should last approximately two hours, and the tasting menu costs US$ 395 plus tax (beverages are additional).

Cecconi’s Dumbo

For Italian food with impressive views, Cecconi’s Dumbo is one of the best restaurants in New York City. It’s in Brooklyn Bridge Park and offers waterfront views of Manhattan’s skyline while you enjoy their hand-made pasta.

And if you like it, you can also visit Cecconi’s Miami.

Mercado Little Spain

Mercado Little Spain is a food hall where you can taste the best of the Spanish cuisine in NYC. Here, you’ll find three restaurants – Spanish Diner, Leña, and La Barra. You’ll also be able to shop for a few Spanish products to stock up your pantry.

Restaurant New York City

The Best Restaurants in NYC for Breakfast/Brunch

La Mercerie

Want a lovely restaurant for a weekend brunch? Then you should stop by La Mercerie to indulge in their French menu filled with croque monsieur, crêpes, and delicious pastries.

Two Hands

Whether you want breakfast, lunch, or just an afternoon coffee, Two Hands is a go-to spot for your needs. The food is excellent (the most delicious avocado toast), and the coffee is also on point.

You can also find Two Hands in Austin.

Brunch in New York City
Bluestone Lane

Ruby’s

Ruby’s is an Australian café and restaurant that serves delicious food in a laid-back atmosphere. They are famous for the Bronte Burger, but I love their sweet corn fritters and banana pancakes.

Maman

A charming café! You should pop by Maman for a full breakfast, to sip a coffee, or to get a quick snack (try their cookies and pastries!).

Bluestone Lane

Bluestone Lane has a seasonal menu that will please every taste for all-day breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch in New York.

The Butcher’s Daughter

Are you craving a plant-based meal with lots of alternatives? Then you should visit The Butcher’s Daughter and try their plant-based menu – a mix of tasty smoothies, salads, pancakes, and more.

Sweets and Other Treats in NYC

Levain Bakery

You cannot visit New York City and not pop into Levain Bakery to try the best cookies in the city. The lines at the door are a testimonial to the fresh, warm cookies with melted chocolate.

I love the dark chocolate chocolate chip and the two-chip chocolate chip.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

For a bakery with classic French pastries and sweet creations that you can only find here, visit Dominique Ansel Bakery. There is a good chance you’ll encounter a line at the entrance, but the wait is worth what you’ll find inside.

At Dominique Ansel Bakery, order their cronut (half croissant, half doughnut pastry), the chocolate chip cookie shot (a soft chocolate chip cookie shaped like a shot glass, filled to order with their homemade Madagascan vanilla milk), the best-seller DKA (like a caramelized croissant, with tender, flaky layers inside and a caramelized crunchy crust outside), or the frozen s’mores.

Little Cupcake Bakeshop

You can’t go wrong with the Little Cupcake Bakeshop for yummy baked goods. There are many flavors of cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and cheesecakes to try.

Others

Other honorable mentions of sweet treats and desserts in NYC include Milk & Cream Cereal Bar, Milk Bar, and Magnolia Bakery.

Bonus – Top Bars in New York City

When it’s time for an evening nip or after-dinner drinks, head over to these bars to sample their cocktails.

  • Dante – where you can get your Negroni fix
  • Employees Only – with a variety of creative cocktails in a prohibition-style bar
  • Attaboy – for classic and inventive cocktails
  • Westlight – if you’re looking for a rooftop bar with panoramic views
  • No 1 Hotel Brooklyn – the best rooftop bar overlooking the skyline of Manhattan
Employees Only New York Bar
Employees Only

Bonus – Top Coffee Shops in New York City

Need a mid-day coffee in New York City? There are many cafés to visit while exploring the city, but these are a few I recommend visiting.

  • Arabica Coffee
  • Café Leon Dore
  • Café Kitsuné
  • Blue Bottle Coffee
  • Remi Flower and Coffee
  • Urban Backyard
  • A-OK Café

What to know for visiting New York City

The Best Hotels in New York City

  • NoMo SoHo Hotel: set in the trendy SoHo neighborhood with access to many shops in the area. The Canal Street subway station is located 2 blocks away from the hotel and it’s within walkable distance from Little Italy.
  • Arlo SoHo: the best hotel if you want to stay close to the SoHo, Tribeca, and West Village neighborhoods. By staying at Arlo, you’ll have access to many restaurants in New York City. When it’s time for happy hour, head over to their rooftop bar to take in panoramic views of the city.
  • The Dominick Hotel: another perfect option in SoHo, The Dominick is close to Washington Square Park. It features a spa, 4 restaurants, and an outdoor pool on the 7th floor.
  • Nolitan Hotel SoHo: this boutique hotel is a budget-friendly hotel in New York and yet has access to many hot spots in the city.

Best Tours in New York City

  • New York CityPASS: If this is your first time in NYC, you should look to purchase the New York CityPass which allows you to visit up to 6 attractions of New York City and receive up to a 40% discount. With the New York CityPass you can visit popular attractions such as the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and choose from either Top of the Rock Observatory OR Guggenheim Museum Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, and 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
  • Manhattan Island Helicopter Tour up to 30 Minutes: Ready for a bird’s-eye view of NYC? On this helicopter tour, you can experience Manhattan from above and see the main points of interest, like Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty from a different perspective.
  • 1-Hour Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Cruise: Get up close to New York’s main symbol, the Statue of Liberty, along with the Brooklyn Bridge on this 60-minute boat ride.

Transportation In New York City

The subway service in New York City encompasses a massive area and is the perfect way to get around. If you are in a rush and can’t take the subway, ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft are great alternatives, especially to get you to one of the restaurants in New York City on time for your reservation.

Dominique Ansel bakery

Best Time to Visit New York City

New York City can be visited year-round, as each season has its own charm. If you want to be able to walk outside, then avoid visiting the city during the winter months. Spring and Fall are the best seasons to visit New York City and the perfect time of the year to be in the city as the first one brings nice weather and green colors to Central Park and the latter the fall foliage and its magnificent color show.

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I am Elen, and I help 9-5ers plan their next getaway. I curate travel experiences, from places to sip a coffee to stays in boutique hotels, so you can save time when planning your next vacation. Here you will find travel guides, tips, and the best itineraries for your next trip.

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