New York Journals

Eat in New York City but don't let New York City eat you!

A travel journal to New York by ext212

Babbo Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: One of my favorite things to do in New York City is EAT!

Eat in New York City but don't let New York City eat you!

Overview

Quote:


Eat in New York City but don't let New York City eat you!

I live in New York City and I eat, eat, eat my heart out. My city is the best place to be adventurous with food; name it and you can have it.

This guide is made up of many different listings, from the least to the most expensive, from the most local to the most exciting meal you'll ever eat.

Quick Tips:

My mantra (it should be yours, too): Try it at least once and see for yourself before you say no (and that doesn't go with just food).

Best Way To Get Around:

Always take the subway to get around New York City and walk around to skip to different places.

Joe's Ginger

Restaurant | "Notable Chinese Restaurant #2: Joe's Ginger"

Joe's Ginger Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Joe's Ginger
113 Mott Street on Hester
New York, NY 10013
Phone: 212/966-6613

From the Joe's Shanghai team (see other entry) comes Joe's Ginger, which is mainly Shanghainese food with a little bit of Hong Kong dishes. I run to this place now when I see a long line at Joe's Shanghai. It's a lot smaller and less noisy, plus the waiters have time to talk to you about their own suggestions.

Recommended dishes: pork and crab steamed dumplings, deep-fried whole quail, fish with yellow chives, and sauteed kang kong in garlic.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Joe's Ginger
113 Mott Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 966-6613

Joe's Shanghai

Restaurant | "Notable Chinese Restaurant #3: Joe's Shanghai"

Quote:
Joe's Shanghai
9 Pell Street between Bowery and Mott
New York, NY 10013-5134
Phone: 212/233-8888

Before Joe's Ginger came into the scene in the summer of 2003, I was always at Joe's Shanghai. Today, more and more people eat here (maybe because of journals like mine!) and it's more difficult to get a table, especially during prime-time dinner hours on weekends. But this place has some of the best Shanghainese food to offer.

Recommended dishes: pork and crab dumplings, steamed flounder, and string beans Shanghainese style.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Joe's Shanghai
9 Pell Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 233-8888

Bar Jamon

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Restaurant | "Best Tapas: Bar Jamon"

Bar Jamon Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Bar Jamon 125 East 17th Street on Irving Place New York, NY 10003 212/253-2773 Jamon is Spanish for ham and Bar Jamon is the most recent translation for the New York City scene. Mario Batali's latest digs is right next to Casa Mono, his new restaurant (and fifth in New York City). We squeezed ourselves in to eat tapas and drink Spanish wine. The space is good for ten people at most, but more than thirty are always inside, even on a Tuesday night. People are ready to jump to the next stool that frees up. A little jazz and a little Wilco were playing when we were there, but it was so faint compared to the collective noise of those who had the same i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Bar Jamon
125 East 17th Street
New York, New York
(212) 253-2773

Nha Trang Central

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Restaurant | "Best Vietnamese Meal: Nha Trang Centre"

Quote:
Nha Trang Centre 148 Centre St. New York, NY 10013 212/941-9292 One of the best phos in NYC is under the code L1 with raw thinly-sliced beef strips for less than $5. The hot broth will cook the beef. Make sure you add all the bean sprouts, basil leaves, and squirt the lime juice in there! Add some hot sauce for a kick--they have a Vietnamese red hot sauce bottle on your table with a rooster logo that I call Flaming Cock. Yum!If you're not into pho but still want a nice big bowl of hot soup, check out their vegetable soup under code D5. You'll get a nice clear soup with mixed vegetables like broccoli and carrots, tofu, and bean sprouts....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Nha Trang Central
148 Centre Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 941-9292

Banh MI So

Restaurant | "Best Vietnamese Sandwich: Viet-Nam Banh Mi So"

Banh MI So Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1 369 Broome St. New York, NY, 10013 212/219-8341 It's a hole-in-the-wall type of place, but that's a good sign, telling you they have really good food for sale. A Vietnamese sandwich is with fresh French bread that's slightly toasted, pork, and potted meat with carrots, cucumbers, and cilantro. There's a paste in there that brings all the flavors together, and I would tell you what it is but then I'd be betraying the Banh Mi's secret (Banh Mi, by the way, is Vietnamese for sandwich). You can order the House Special Pork Sandwich, but make sure you ask for the pork to be "medium-spicy." It's almost a foot-long sandwich, priced at...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Banh MI So
369 Broome Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 219-8341

Snack Taverna

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Restaurant | "Best New Greek: Taverna"

Quote:
Snack Taverna 63 Bedford Street on Morton New York, NY 10014 212/929-3499 I always write about eating at Snack, my favorite Greek place [see my review on Best Greek], but tonight, I finally made it to its new sister restaurant, Snack Taverna on Bedford and it was gooooooood. It has a more grown-up menu than its counterpart, and I later learned that its chef, John Fraser, cooked at French Laundry in Napa for almost three years. Actually, if you don't know about Snack serving Greek food, you might think Taverna is French because it's a little more elegant and less rustic than the Thompson Street hole in the wall. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Snack Taverna
63 Bedford Street
New York, New York 10014
(212) 929-3499

Daniel

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Restaurant | "Best French Dining Experience: Daniel"

Daniel Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Daniel is one of Daniel Boulud's New York City restaurants and has been rated by Michelin and The New York Times with four stars more than once. It's that kind of restaurant with those kind of people, so my boyfriend and I needed a big event to celebrate for us to have an excuse to eat here. We're not getting married anytime soon so the best we can do is to celebrate finishing my boyfriend's first year of med school. A few weeks before, I had spoken to chef Alex Lee when he was interviewed for an online magazine, generationrice. We talked about his becoming-a-chef stor...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 28, 2004

Daniel
60 East 65th St.
New York, New York 10021
(212) 288-0033

Sushiden

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Restaurant | "Best Expensive Sushi: Sushiden"

Sushiden Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Sushiden Madison Avenue 19 East 49th Street New York, NY, 10017 212/758-2700There are two Sushidens in New York City, one on Sixth Avenue and this one on Madison. Whichever branch you pick, make sure you ask to be seated at the bar so you can talk to your chef and get the chance to eat sushi that's not on the menu.Whenever I go to a sushi restaurant, I always start off with the uni, sea urchin--if it's excellent, then I know the place will have more of the good stuff coming.At Sushiden, after the uni, the chef always asks me what I want next, and this is when I tell them, "whatever you want me to taste." They'...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Sushiden
19 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017
(212) 758-2700

Snack

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Best Greek: Snack"

Quote:
Snack 105 Thompson St. New York, NY 10012 212/925-1040 The best Greek food in Manhattan is at Snack. I'm not kidding. I eat at this place every week, no fail, until feta is almost coming out of my nose.Fortunately, they have a slightly different lunch menu from dinner, so even if I come back for dinner after an already full lunch, I'm not sick of their Greek food. When it's warm out, I order my lunch to go and sit outside on one of their benches, or else at the park right on the corner. For dinner, I avoid the peak dining hours from 7pm to 8pm because I don't like waiting for one of the four tiny tables inside. But if you wait, ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Snack
105 Thompson Street
New York, New York 10012
(212) 925-1040

Babbo

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Best Expensive Italian Meal: Babbo"

Babbo Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca 110 Waverly Place New York, NY 212/777-0303At Babbo, we went all out, asked questions about never-heard words (Braciole! Francobolli! Scottadita!), and picked out red wine to match. I started with spicy lamb tartare with mint crostini and a quail egg in the middle. It killed me.The boy chose the grilled octopus with borlotti marinati and spicy limoncello vinaigrette. You know how octopus can be chewy sometimes, even in the best Japanese restaurants? This chewed like meat.For primi, I had the one pound lobster with spicy budding chives, sweet garlic, and what seemed to be four pou...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Babbo
110 Waverly Place
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 777 0303

Otto Restaurant Enoteca Pizzeria

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Restaurant | "Best Italian Pizza: Otto"

Quote:
Otto Enoteca and Pizzeria 1 Fifth Avenue on 8th Street New York, NY, 10003 212/995-9559Mario Batali's latest effort is with pizza--real Italian pizza, not baked but "grilled"; super thin crust, not cheese-filled (gross!). Otto means 'eight' in Italian and all the pizza is divided into two groups, Otto and Classica. Otto for those who want toppings that are on the adventurous side like shaved fennel, porcini mushrooms, and smelly Taleggio cheese. Classica, obviously, has the classics like marinara and pepperoni.The wine list is loooong, so this place deserves to be called an enoteca. You can always ask your server for the perfect...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Otto Restaurant Enoteca Pizzeria
1 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10003
(212) 995-9559

Joe's Pizza

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Restaurant | "Best New York City Pizza: Joe's"

Quote:
Joe's Pizza 7 Carmine Street near Bleecker New York, NY 10014-4441 212/255-3946 If you ask a real New Yorker for the best pizza in the city, no doubt they'll say Joe's on Carmine. The crust is toasty and crispy and done just right. No fancy stuff here. Straight up cheese pizza, straight up pepperoni pizza. Buy two slices, stand at one of the chairless bar-height tables, fold your slice, and eat it the true New Yorker way. Grimaldi's Pizzeria 19 Old Fulton Street Brooklyn, NY 11201-1322 Phone: 718/858-4300 If you're actually in Brooklyn near DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and wa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Joe's Pizza
7 Carmine St
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 255 3946

Honmura An

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Restaurant | "Best Expensive Soba: Honmura An"

Honmura An Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Honmura An 170 Mercer Street New York, NY, 10012-3244 212/334-5253When it's cold outside, all I want is a hot bowl of soba, and when I have money, Honmura An is always my first pick. It's one of the few places in New York City that still makes its own soba--they have the Japanese guy playing with the buckwheat in the back a few times a week and he cuts it by hand--each noodle! It's an amazing sight!I usually go for Saturday brunch and the place is packed with upper-crust Japanese people--if you're Asian like me, you know that seeing Asian people inside an Asian restaurant is a good sign. I've also eaten at Honmura An for dinner and alth...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Honmura An
170 Mercer St
New York, New York 10012
+1 212 334 5253

Cafe Mogador

Restaurant | "Best Moroccan: Mogador Cafe"

Cafe Mogador Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Mogador Cafe 101 St Marks Place New York, NY 10009-5146 212/677-2226 Whenever I'm craving for a lamb dinner but don't necessarily want Indian food, I go to Cafe Mogador. Their tagines are excellent here and my favorite is the lamb tagine with couscous in saffron sauce. The staff is not the friendliest -- every time I have gone there, I am always waiting outside for at least 20 minutes to be seated even though there are empty tables inside. So I've learned to bug them, and after a lot of insisting that my friends and I can take that table "over there," they'll give in and seat us. I have no clue why they always want the place to look like it's empt...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Cafe Mogador
101 Saint Marks Place
New York, New York 10009
(212) 677-2226

Sparks Steak House

Restaurant | "Best Steak: Sparks"

Sparks Steak House Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Sparks Steakhouse 210 E 46th Street New York, NY 10017 212-687-4855 Forget Peter Luger in Brooklyn. They don't take credit cards anyway. Sparks will always be the best steakhouse for me in New York City. Their sirloin steak is the best -- cooked just right (medium rare, of course!) and so succulent you wonder why some people are vegetarians. A bottle of Bordeaux or a bottle of Cabernet will make you and your sirloin steak happy. When you go, try making reservations after the rush dinnertimes from 7pm to 8pm and you'll wait less at the bar. The place is full of suits dining with business accounts and it's better to have your dinner without the lo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Sparks Steak House
210 East 46th St
New York, New York 10017
+1 212 687 4855

Jing Fong

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Notable Chinese Restaurant #1: Jing Fong"

Quote:
Jing Fong 20 Elizabeth Street between Canal and Bayard New York, NY 10013-4802 212/964-5256 You can't miss Jing Fong with its shopping mall-style escalators. Sunday is the best day for dim sum, so try to go by 10am so you can experience "China" in the middle of Elizabeth Street. The lady at the bottom of the escalators screams into a microphone to call your number and it's like a madhouse bingo-hall environment. Once you're upstairs, you'll see the gaudy red and gold decor: a true Chinese banquet hall. You share a round table with other people if your own group has less than eight people. If you're lucky, there will be a wedding on one side of the hal...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Jing Fong
20 Elizabeth Street
New York, New York
(212) 964-5256

Mr. Tang

Restaurant | "Notable Chinese Restaurant #4: Mr. Tang"

Quote:
Mr. Tang of 50 Mott Street
50 Mott Street
New York, NY 10013-5023
Phone: 212/233-8898

I like Mr. Tang when I don't want to deal with other loud diners. You're not going to share tables with anyone here and you're not going to be elbowed by other people, so it's a safe bet to take a group of your friends to--especially your group of friends who get intimidated easily by a crowd of Asian people.

Recommended dishes: steamed flounder (they de-bone your flounder here better than anyone at Joe's Shanghai; see my review) and any other fresh fish swimming in their tanks.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Mr. Tang
50 Mott Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 233-8898

Great NY Noodle Town Inc

Restaurant | "Notable Chinese Restaurant #5: Noodletown"

Quote:
Noodletown 28 1/2 Bowery on Bayard New York, NY 10002 Phone: 212/349-0923 Noodletown is not only a restaurant, it's an institution. When Chinatown finally closes its stores by 11pm, Noodletown is still hanging in there up to 4 or 5am. You come eat here around that time and you will see a lot of kids dressed up because they're coming from a long night of drinking and dancing. Noodletown is their last stop before they head home in order to skip the hangover feeling the next day. It's loud and they've got the hanging roasted pig and duck at the window--it's a true Chinatown experience. Recommended dishes: pork over rice, duck ov...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Great NY Noodle Town Inc
28 Bowery
New York, New York 10013
(212) 349-0923

Peking Duck House

Restaurant | "Notable Chinese Restaurant #6: Peking Duck House"

Quote:
Peking Duck House 28 Mott Street, South of Pell New York, NY 10013-5036 212/227-1810 Peking Duck House is unlike any other place in Chinatown because they actually have decent lighting and they tried hard with the interior design of the place (mostly to attract tourists who refuse to go to the hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants), at least the floor-level space. When you go downstairs, it's like going to another restaurant, because it's obvious they stopped trying to decorate the place. But I like my Peking duck, and this is the place to get it, although it's more expensive than the other Peking duck houses in Chinatown. Recommended dish:...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Peking Duck House
28 Mott Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 227-1810

Sparky's American Food

Restaurant | "Best All-American Hot Dog: Sparky's"

Quote:
Sparky's American Food
135 N 5th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211-3214
718/302-5151


Brooklyn is part of New York City, right? It is! Don't call yourself a New Yorker if you can't make yourself cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Sparky's is a very good reason to. My friend opened up this joint after extensive research on the best buns, the best hot dogs, the best relish, the best chili, the best ketchup, the best mustard... he put everything together so naturally, everything on their menu, from hot dog to veggie burger to cheese fries, is so good, it might just change your life.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Sparky's American Food
135A North 5th Street
New York, New York 11211
(718) 302-5151

Shabu - Tatsu East Village

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Best Shabu-shabu: Shabu Tatsu"

Quote:
Shabu Tatsu Downtown 216 East 10th Street btwn 1st and 2nd New York, NY 10003 212/477-2972 "Shabu" in Japanese means "to swish", and when you're at shabu-shabu, swishing your chopsticks in the broth is exactly what you do to mix in fresh minced ginger and scallions together with the cabbage, mushrooms, and of course the thinly-sliced ribeye beef. After you swish the raw beef in the broth for a few seconds, you pick it up and dip it in the sesame-based sauce and enjoy it with white rice. At the end of the meal, after you've cooked and eaten all the beef and vegetables in the hot pot, you are given small cups with a little salt and pepper so y...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Shabu - Tatsu East Village
216 East 10th Street
New York, New York 10003
(212) 477-2972

Han Bat

Restaurant | "Notable Korean Restaurant #2: Hanbat"

Quote:
Hanbat Restaurant 53 W 35th St. New York, NY 10001-2219 212/629-5588 If you tell any New Yorker Korean that you like Hanbat, they'll say, "Oh, that's peasant food," because the vegetables at Hanbat are traditionally from the mountains of Korea. So? I order the bibimbap here, which is a large bowl of rice full of different kinds of root vegetables and shredded beef. Put a little hot sauce and mix it with a big spoon and you're set for the day. And as for every Korean sit-down meal you have, it comes with several side dishes you can pick on while waiting for your dish. This place is also one of my favorite places to get kimchi, Korea...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Han Bat
53 West 35th Street
New York, New York 10001
(212) 629-5588

Gam Mee OK Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Notable Korean Restaurant #1: Gam Mee Ok"

Gam Mee OK Restaurant Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Gam Mee Ok 43 W 32nd St. New York, NY 10001 212/695-4113 Honestly, you should go to Los Angeles if you want excellent Korean food outside Korea, but as a New Yorker, I make do with Gam Mee Ok. Our Koreatown in midtown Manhattan is so small it's referred to as Koreablock, but at least you can find really good solontang after a night of drinking and partying. Solontang is bone marrow soup and it's Gam Mee Ok's specialty. They have vats in the kitchen where they slow-cook bone marrow to ensure the most flavorful broth. It's the best hangover cure. Just sprinkle a little salt and scallions and enjoy the rice and noodles floating in there...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 17, 2003

Gam Mee OK Restaurant
43 West 32nd Street
New York, New York
(212) 695-4113

Aquavit

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Restaurant | "Best Eclectic Meal: Aquavit"

Aquavit Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Aquavit13 West 54th StreetNew York City, NY212/307-7311 I had one of my most surreal dining experiences at Aquavit with two of my friends. It was herring week in New York City, so we had the best table in the house -- facing their cascading waterfalls -- at the right time. The service was extraordinary; two waiters were looking after our needs and another one always made sure we were having a good time. Our reservation was at 8pm, which is prime dining time, but we were never rushed -- we stayed until 11:30pm. The chef and co-owner, Marcus Samuelsson, is the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star restaurant review from ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 10, 2004

Aquavit
13 West 54th St
New York, New York 10019
+1 212 307 7311

Lure Fishbar

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Restaurant | "Best New Raw Bar: Lure"

Lure Fishbar Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Lure 142 Mercer Street New York, NY 10012 212/431-7676 There are nights in New York City when you become thankful of the people you know. I was very thankful this one summer night when the manager and sommelier of Lure invited me to a menu tasting before their grand opening. Lure is the latest restaurant to occupy the coveted space under the Prada store in SoHo, replacing the mediocre, orange-themed Canteen. The yacht setting of the restaurant is new and very sleek, even people peeked and waved at us through the portholes from street-level. There are booths with white leather seats and separate tables for smaller groups. The floor is imma...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

Lure Fishbar
142 Mercer Street
New York, New York 10012
(212) 431-7676