There are literally hundreds of great choices, and many different combinations to delight your taste buds. We’ve compiled a list of iconic eats, new and old school classics, while throwing in some trendy picks to impress your friends with.
A bright and airy cafe on the Lower East side, known for delicious pastries, fluffy pancakes and savory dishes like a variety of eggs Benedict. The only thing that might deter you would be the sometimes long wait times. Come prepared with a coffee and wait it out.
Photo courtesy of Clinton Street Baking Company
If you dine anywhere on this list, let it be Russ & Daughters, an NYC institution for over 100 years. Grabbing a meal here allows you to try some of the city's best bagels and take home one of the delicious black and white cookies for a mid-day snack.
This all day cafe was founded in the spirit of the West Coast—think healthy, locally sourced food, but with an utterly delicious twist. West~bourne calls itself "accidentally vegetarian," but even if you are a meat-lover you won’t miss it at all. Stop in here in between SoHo shopping excursions or just because. It's that good.
You can’t visit New York and not have a meal dedicated to its most famous cuisine. Joe’s does New York-style pizza best, so head here for your pizza fix. Don’t let the line deter you—it moves quickly.
How did one small restaurant change Asian cuisine in this country so quickly? It seemed like minutes after David Chang opened the Noodle Bar that the US was peppered with ramen shops and bao buns. But hey, we're not complaining, and Momofuku certainly lives up to the hype.
Go for the nostalgia of old New York, or to sit at the same booth Meg Ryan made famous in When Harry Met Sally. Katz's Deli has stood the test of time. There's no better place to get a photo op and try their famous pastrami on rye.
Photo courtesy of Katz's Delicatessen
Expect simple dishes packed with flavor in a fun and lively environment in SoHo. Charlie Bird’s menu is New American with Italian accents, which is code for awesome food. A whole section of the menu is dedicated to pasta. Grab a reservation and prepare to leave utterly satisfied with one of New York’s all-around great dinner experiences.
Photo courtesy of Charlie Bird
It seems every restaurant these days is farm-to-table and locally sourced. But, back in 2010 Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten honed the concept in NYC and has been turning out some of the most consistent fare of the last decade. ABC Kitchen is always good for a possible celebrity sighting and classic New American fare that won’t disappoint.
A steak is a steak, is a steak. Sure, some places do it better than others, but it’s hard to choose a steakhouse in a city like New York with so many other exciting options. That said, the bar at Keens is a step back in time. It opened in 1885 and is full of history, making it the perfect place to stop in and have a Manhattan in Manhattan or a martini to experience the nostalgia without committing to a full meal.
If you drink bourbon and/or whiskey, there is simply no other bar to imbibe at than Copper & Oak. It’s a small shotgun-style room with wall-to-wall bottles of the rarest and best selection of whiskey in the city.
If wine is the name of your game, you will be hard-pressed to find a more satisfying wine experience than at Ten Bells. The list is full of smaller producers, and focuses on natural and organic wines. Come in for happy hour to start your evening, or grab some oysters or tapas from the small but inventive menu.
Like most places on this list, the word "iconic" more than fits. Blue Ribbon does the best late night "finer" dining in the city. It’s an industry favorite; open 'til 4am serving American comfort food. There's even a raw bar and sushi! This is undoubtedly the best meal you can have late-night in the City that Never Sleeps.
Photo courtesy of Blue Ribbon Brasserie
Is there better drunk food than pizza? Of course not. Lucky for us, Prince Street Pizza in Nolita serves the cheesy, greasy goodness 'til 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.