Quintessential nyc restaurant list


It genuinely pains me to write this list. There is an endless rolodex of restaurants to love in New York, in every neighborhood. However, one needs a manageable list. A list that says "I am here to eat myself to death for 4 days and I shall conquer this city." That is the list I wrote for you. Stick to this and you can feel confident that you've sampled the best of the best. No, I did not include Katz's, The Spotted Pig, Minetta Tavern or Joe's. If you want to read the same list everyone else writes, go to another website.

Now, without further ado... if I only had 4 days in my fair city, here is what I would put in my face:


Xi'An Famous foods

Xi'an-style Chinese fare, hand pulled noodles and cumin lamb dumplings

81 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003 (multi location) 

 photo: kcet.org

photo: kcet.org

halal guys

Offshoot of a famed food cart offering gyros, chicken & rice platters & other Middle Eastern eats.

 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003 

 photo: the jewish museum 

photo: the jewish museum 

russ & daughter café

Full-service cafe serving Jewish comfort food from the legendary appetizing shop 

127 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

 photo: hometown bbq

photo: hometown bbq

Hometown Bar-B-Que

Rustic digs featuring slow smoked meats, craft beer & live music on weekends

454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

 photo:  The Japan Times

ivan ramen

A white guy from Long Island creating some of the best ramen & izakaya-style small plates

25 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

 photo: quality meats 

photo: quality meats 

quality Meats

Phenomenal food & hip setting. In my opinion, the best steakhouse in NYC. No, it's not Peter Luger. If I wanted to pay to be treated like shit I'd just go to Friday's. 

57 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019



 photo: serious eats

photo: serious eats

Faicco's Italian Specialties

Long standing, old school Italian deli with the best sandwiches in NYC. Get the Italian hero or veal cutlet with broccoli rabe & fresh mozz

260 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

 photo: zagat

photo: zagat

Empellón Al Pastor  

Offshoot of Empellón focusing on killer cheap tacos plus margaritas & micheladas 

132 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009


Nom Wah Nolita

Skip the Chinatown line and visit the qucik service offshoot featuring dim sum, noodles & dumplings

10 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012



Popular Bushwick destination known for its wood-fired pizzas & outdoor seating

261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206


breads bakery

Arguably the best bakery in NYC featuring handmade sweet & savory baked goods. The chocolate babke is to die for. 

18 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003


 emmy squared

Detroit-style square pizzas, juicy burgers, and the rest of the menu ain't bad either 

364 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

 photo: open table

photo: open table

Union square cafe

Danny Meyer's first restaurant with unparalleled hospitality and upscale New American comfort foods

101 E 19th St, New York, NY 10003


pig beach

Lively outdoor eatery offering trays of pit-smoked BBQ & frozen rose that will knock you on your ass

480 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231


crif dog 

Hot dogs with creative toppings, open late to curb those drunk cravings 

113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009 

(multi location)

 photo: pintrest 

photo: pintrest 

big gay ice cream

Cones with wacky fixings at this spin-off of the popular food truck.

125 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009