New York Journals

Eating Well in New York City

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to New York by travel2000

Otafuku Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: New York City is literally crawling with eating establishments. The hard part is to make a choice. You could rumage through Zagat or weeklies such as Time Out New York or New York magazine. Or you could print out this list of my favorites and save yourself alot of research.

Eating Well in New York City

Overview

Quote:
Food, decor and service are rating systems we all use. For me, it is important for the restaurant to be consistently good, have high turnover to ensure the food is fresh, have helpful staff, and most of all, be worth the money spent there. Whether it is or per person, if I walk out making a mental note to myself to come back or to recommend to friends, then the restaurant made my list.Quick Tips: As we all know, it is not hard to drop cash in New York City. We all joke that we cannot leave the house without spending at least . Some of these restaurants are dirt cheap, others are more expensive. Some of the smaller restaurants only accept cash, so check the information carefully before vent...Read More

Soba-ya

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Soba-ya Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
From the name of the restaurant, you could tell noodles are the main attraction here (soba is a kind of Japanese noodles.) Located in the East Village a stone's throw from Cooper Union and Astor Place, it sits on a kind of restaurant row. There are sushi places (one owned by the same partners as Soba-ya), a diner, a Tibetan restaurant, a Tapas place, and a take-out counter selling fried Japanese croquettes. Getting back to Soba-Ya, this is a santuary from the hustle and bustle of city life. Through the doors, you see a nice rock garden water fountain. Then you through a second set of doors, you are greeted by the staff in their enthusiastic welcomes. On the right of the door is the noodle making...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 29, 2001

Soba-ya
229 East 9th St
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 533 6966

Markt Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Markt"

Quote:
This is another of the trendy restaurants that has opened in the Meat Packing districk in lower Manhattan in recent years. Located right at the corner of 9th Avenue and 14th Street, it is also next to a Western Beef supermarket, a reminder of the origins of the area. Markt serves Belgian bistro food. The decor is wooden paneled walls with seating booths and small tables. It looks nicely aged and on a cool summer night, there is a nice breeze from the opened window doors. There is also a long bar area with ample seating. The space is large and airy, but on a crowded night, the noise level gets a bit high for normal conversation. Start off with a cold glass of Leffe beer, dark with rich ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 29, 2001

Markt Restaurant
676 Sixth Avenue
New York, New York 10010
(212) 727 3314

Katz's Deli

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Katz's Delicatessen"

Quote:
Katz's is a New York institution, made even more famous by the scene by Meg Ryan in the movie "When Harry Met Sally." This is a huge hall with ordering counters all along one side and plain tables and chairs on the other side. You go through a turnstile to enter and pick up a ticket. Hold on to it until you pay after your meal. Once in, you have two choices. Either go straight to the counters and order from the menu up on the wall. Pastrami, corned beef and salami are highlights here. The meat is still carved by hand, no machinary here. There are also sandwiches like chopped liver and sliced beef tongue if you want to be more adventurous. Once you have your food on a tray, walk over to the table...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 29, 2001

Katz's Deli
205 East Houston St.
New York, New York 10002
(212) 254-2246

Yura & Co.

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Yura & Co."

Quote:
This is the type of neighborhood restaurant and bakery one dreams to have nearby. Yura is a rare gem in this part of the Upper East side. This was kind of a culinary Siberia until recent years, but Yura has always brightened up the scene with her excellent food and bakery. The prices here are very reasonable and the quality of food is always high. Situated in a corner storefront with windows all around, there is a large bakery area on one side and a dining room on the other. It has a nice country feel to it, with warm color paint on the walls and stainless steel colanders as ceiling lampshades. The open kitchen is huge and tucked in the back. Yura serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 29, 2001

Yura & Co.
1645 3rd Avenue
New York, New York 10128
(212) 860-8060

Divino

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Divino Gastronomia"

Quote:
There are two Divino's on the same street-one is a restaurant with a piano bar and the other is this one, mainly take-out and delivery but with a bright little dining area as well. I prefer to come to this one because the atmosphere is more casual and service is quick and friendly. This may not be the best Italian food in town, but this could be called Italian comfort food. You always know what to expect, the standard has been consistent through the years, and most of the menu is quite authentic. Start with a glass of the house wine, and take your time scanning the menu. I usually start with the Zucchini Fritti or the Vitello Tonnato (fried zucchini or veal with tuna sauce.) The portions are on...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 2, 2001

Divino
1556 Second Ave
New York, New York 10028
+1 212 861 1096

Congee Village

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
For those of you who are fans of Chinese food, this place is a real find. It is on the outskirts of Chinatown, in an area not on the tourist radar. This restaurant is always packed and for evenings, it is best to get a reservation. Decorated in Southeast Asian flavor, you almost feel like you are entering a Malaysian restaurant. It is a pleasant space. There is bamboo on the walls and a kind of maze is constructed to make it feel like you are in a tropical village. Cantonese food is the main focus and the menu offers many options. To start, you must try it's namesake, the congee, a rice porridge that is especially well made here. The porridge base is the same, but you can choose the in...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 2, 2001

Congee Village
100 Allen Street
New York, New York 10002
(212) 941-1818

Dinerbar

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Dinerbar is the downtown of uptown. Literally, this casual chic place with club music is taken right out of the East Village and smacked on the edge of Spanish Harlem. The neighbourhood is rough around the edges but if you take the 6 train to 96th Street and walk up, you should be fine. (Note there is also a 103rd Street exit, but I personally prefer to walk up from 96th Street.) I first heard about this happening place from Time Out NY magazine. It was cited as "industrial chic" with basic home cooking with a twist. Since it is somewhat close to my apartment, I took a walk up one evening and found a discreet storefront. Once inside, I was transported to another neighbourhood with the electic mi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 28, 2001

Dinerbar
1569 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10029
(212) 348-0200

Sago Tea House

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Saint's Alp Teahouse"

Sago Tea House Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Saint Alp’s Teahouse is the perfect place for a quick lunch, dinner or just to sit down with a delicious drink and snack between shopping in the East Village. Late nights are also popular, with crowds of both young and old stopping in for drinks. Bubble tea is the main attraction here, with the added allure of small plates of food which I like to call "Taiwanese Tapas." Bubble tea is sweetened black or green tea mixed with milk and tapioca beads. These are chewy starchy beads, with a similar texture to the Japanese mochi. These teas are often flavored with grounded sesame, coconut, peanut and other additions, and can be served hot or cold. The majority of the menu lists different combinations ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 15, 2001

Sago Tea House
51 Mott Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 766-9889

Ping’s Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Always in search for a good Chinese meal, I found that many recommendations by friends include Ping’s Restaurant in Chinatown. I’ve read a few glowing reviews in the New York Times and decided to try it out when my mother was in town. The décor here is typical of a higher grade Chinese restaurant, with the gold dragons entwined with the double happiness character at the back of the room. The night we were there was very crowded, and we were glad to have reservations for our party of six. The service was cordial and somewhat friendly, not bad for Chinatown standards. We decided to order a steamed fish, deep-fried frog legs, salt roasted chicken, stir-fried Chinese vegetables, and Chinese-styled ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 15, 2001

Ping’s Restaurant
22 Mott Street
New York, New York
(212) 602-9988

Sachi

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Sachi is a Japanese restaurant on upper Madison Avenue, a stretch above 90th Street lined with French, Italian and American restaurants. When Sachi first opened, it was somewhat lonely and in a primarily residential block. Well, lonely no more as the neighborhood quickly discovered its consistently good food. Step into the Japanese style entrance and a simply decorated and bright room greets you. The sushi bar is the main focus, and small tables fill up the L-shape room. The prices here are considerably higher than other favorite spots such as Sushi-Hana and downtown Japonica. However, if you live uptown, deduct the cab or subway fare and the prices will appear more fair. A petite Japanese woman...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 17, 2001

Sachi
1350 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10128
(212) 534-5600

Irving on Irving

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
How often do you find a modern and unassuming restaurant with an informal open kitchen where you can always get a table. The food is simple but refined American fare, the service friendly and slightly amateur, and the neighborhood one of the most beautiful blocks in the city. I first discovered Irving on Irving by accident. When faced with a long wait at Yama across the street, I noticed the mosaic and corner windows at a restaurant with no apparent signage. It was newly opened and I was intrigued to walk over to investigate. The small menu displayed in the glass case made me hungry. It was late, I was tired, and the chocolate fondue for dessert was too tempting to pass over. So I walked in to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 17, 2001

Irving on Irving
52 Irving Place
New York, New York
(212) 358-1300

Kang Suh

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Kang Suh Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
This is one of my favorite Korean restaurants in the city. I’ve been coming here for years, when it was a plain space staffed with unfriendly women who never smiled. But the food was always so excellent that the service never bothered me. Through the years, it has added a sushi bar downstairs, and most recently, redecorated and made its image more upscale. Prices have gone up but the service and food have gotten even better. Dress in machine-washable clothes if you chose to dine here. The smell of charcoal and spices hit you upon entry, and will linger in your clothes and hair after dinner. This is a small sacrifice for the excellent food. I go straight for the barbeque and may add a few regula...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 19, 2001

Kang Suh
1250 Broadway
New York, New York 10001
(212) 564-6845

Chikubu

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Have you ever wondered where the Japanese go for an authentic meal that reminds them of home? Add to that the allure of reasonable prices and you’ll immediately find Chikubu fits the bill. Most restaurants in the midtown area of New York City are either fast food style pizza or deli places, or restaurants with high prices geared towards the business lunch. Chikubu is a wonderful exception. Once inside the restaurant, you will be greeted by a kimono-clad Japanese older woman. In the entry foyer, there is a counter with small trays of plastic food depicting the various set meals. The main dining room is straight ahead, a narrow space that takes you on a short trip to Japan. Try to arrive early, 12...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 19, 2001

Chikubu
(Closed) 12 East 44th St.
New York, New York 10017
(212) 818-0715

Eight Mile Creek

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
When I first told my Australian expatriate friends about Eight Mile Creek, they rolled their eyes as if saying, "Not another loud Australian pub, just what we need." No, no and no, I replied, this is a first rate restaurant and not a cheap one either. I had read about this restaurant in a short mention in the New York Times at the beginning of last year (2000). The city was getting its first taste of an Australian restaurant and this was no pub. On my first meal there, I was greeted by a young man with a strong Australian accent, who later told me he was one of the owners. I also learned that the chef used to work at Patroon and the owner loaded him up with compliments. The place occupies a long...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2001

Eight Mile Creek
240 Mulberry St
New York, New York 10012
+1 212 431 4635

Otafuku

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Otafuku Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
This cute little take-out store is in the heart of the East Village. On East 9th Street, Otafuku is one of a handful of Japanese food establishments offering an authentic slice of culture. It is right across the street from the noodle house Sobaya (also in this journal). It was just yesterday that I stopped by Otafuku for a quick lunch/snack. A tiny storefront with a kitchen area behind a counter, the entrance is flanked by traditional Japanese banners in bright colors. The menu is short, offering only five items. The first is Takoyaki, 6 pieces of these fried battered balls in octopus, cheese or plain for between $3 to$5. Then there is my favorite, Okonomiyaki, which is a kind of thic...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 18, 2001

Otafuku
236 East 9th St
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 353 8503

Palacinka

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Palacinka Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Nestled in an area on the edge of Soho and a stone’s throw from nearby Chinatown, this charming creperia/café/bar is a real gem. First, the food is excellent and the atmosphere warm with interesting décor. This area has been dotted with trendy modern furniture stores, boutiques, and galleries, most verging on the cutting edge and futuristic themes. However, once you step into this airy space, you are surrounded by old general store memorabilia, signage, peeling paint, and shelves of kitchen equipment new and old. It is a comfortable break from all the simple lines and sceptic spaces of nearby stores. At the entrance, there is a bar counter with the small kitchen area behind. The small tables are...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 23, 2001

Palacinka
28 Grand St
New York, New York 10013
+1 212 625 0362

Village Yoko Cho

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Village Yokocho"

Quote:
Located in the small triangle of space between 3rd Avenue and 9th Street, Village Yokocho is on a block densely populated with Japanese establishments. It is usually described as the upstairs restaurant next to the popular bar Angel's Share. ("Ahhhh, that's where it is!") This is an interesting place with a diverse menu. On the bulletin board at the entrance, the restaurant is described as a collection of small Japanese sidewalk restaurants. The place has a bar counter, small tables and Korean barbeque grills fitted on each table in the back room. The menu may seem to be all over the map and reflects the sidewalk restaurant philosophy. Yakitori items (grilled food on skewers, with my f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 28, 2001

Village Yoko Cho
8 Stuyvesant St, Second floor
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 598 3041

Nha Trang

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Whenever my husband and I feel the need to eat well on a low budget, we head to Chinatown and stake out a table at Nha Trang. The Vietnamese food here is authentic, good and dirt cheap. Service is efficient and the turnover high. Don’t expect anything fancy in terms of décor. Sometimes, you even have to share a large table with one or two other groups. Not that the food suffers at all. Sit down for a comforting bowl of Pho’, rice noodle soup in clear beef broth. Variations are in the toppings you desire—sliced raw or cooked beef, beef or fish balls, sate beef, seafood or chicken. For $3.75, this is a real deal. Crispy spring rolls and summer rolls with shredded pork or shrimp are great. The ba...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 29, 2001

Nha Trang
87 Baxter St
New York, New York 10013
+1 212 233 5948

Frank Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Frank"

Quote:
When Frank first opened in the East Village a few years ago, it was met with immediate success with its winning formula of Neapolitan cooking and an intimate space. Nestled in a narrow storefront, the furniture and tableware are mismatched in flea market charm with old photos adorning the walls. A waiter (straight from Italy, dressed in trendy grunge) takes your name at the entrance while you wait with the rest of the crowd on the sidewalk. When you finally sit down, the table is so small you literally rub shoulders with your neighbors. The noise and energy level is high, with a good mix of Italian rock music and loud conversations. The menus are all handwritten and drawn, by Frank’s wife, a designer....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 29, 2001

Frank Restaurant
88 Second Ave.
New York, New York 10003
(212) 420-0202

Morgan Court Cafe

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
This little-known sanctuary whips you away from busy Madison Avenue and into a bright, spacious atrium within the beautiful Morgan Library Museum. This is a popular place with book editors from nearby publishing houses, as well as ladies who lunch and the occasional tourist. Primarily open for lunch and afternoon tea, as well as light snacks and drinks on Friday nights, there is usually a wait during prime lunch hours from 12:30 onwards. However, once you sit down in the garden chairs, you can relax in this beautiful indoor garden. There are trees, flowers, and plants around you. The tables are small and not too close together. The glass roof lets in light, whether on bright sunny days or throug...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 24, 2001

Morgan Court Cafe
26 East 36th Street
New York, New York
(212) 685-0610

Tappo

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Tappo has been a hit for a few months now and I’ve heard both good and bad things about it. Either great food, no attitude, intimate décor, OR mediocre food for high prices and maximum attitude. Last Friday, I was able to see for myself when some friends made a reservation for dinner. Located at an unassuming corner in the East Village, Tappo feels like a refined Tuscan farmhouse. Low lighting, faded brick walls, simple flowers and ceramics, a counter displaying artistically arranged meat and fish, I already felt relaxed as we were led to our table. The loft-like space is divided into two main sections to keep it intimate. There is also a basement level and seats at the bar by the open kitchen....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 16, 2001

Tappo
403 East 12th Street
New York, New York
(212) 505-0001

Le Bateau Ivre

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Billed as "New York’s first Bistrot a Vins," this little gem is next to the Pickwick Arms Hotel in Midtown New York. I came upon this restaurant with my husband, whose office has been relocated to Midtown due to the World Trade Center tragedy. While looking for an intimate place for lunch (with reasonable prices, not a popular combination in the neighborhood), we came across this French bistrot with a set lunch menu for $14.95. The décor is very pleasant, like a smaller version of Pastis. A nice young French girl was our waitress and made sure we had a relaxed lunch without hovering over our table. Offered on the menu was a choice of 2 courses, from selections of appetizer, entrée, and dessert....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2001

Le Bateau Ivre
230 East 51st St
New York, New York 10022
+1 212 583 0579

Sweet-n-Tart

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Sweet-n-Tart started out in a small space at 76 Mott Street, at Canal Street. It was an instant hit at the time, as it was the first restaurant to serve the Chinese "tong shui" (sweet dessert soups such as red bean soup, ground almond or sesame paste etc) as well as cold drinks such as juice combinations with tapioca and the likes. Note that this was before the bubble-tea movement even hit New York! Now the restaurant has 3 locations, with two in the city (20 Mott Street is much larger and the upstairs is nicely decorated) and one in Flushing. This is more of a lunch and afternoon snack place although dinner is served and more substantial dinner-type dishes are on the menu. This is also a popula...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2001

Sweet-n-Tart
20 Mott Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 964-0380

Lupa

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Lupa Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Another brainchild of celebrity chef, Mario Batali and his partners, Lupa is described on its business card as an Osteria Romana. Focused on the food of Rome, this restaurant tries to emulate the bustling and casual osterie of Italy. On my first visit there, I tried to make a reservation for 4 but without success. I was told that there is a large area at the front of the restaurant with tables by the bar. Those would be available on a first come first served basis. I arrived at around 6pm to a somewhat quiet restaurant and was greeted by the charming host. Sitting by the bar while waiting for my friends, I noticed that the tables were already half-filled and people were starting to flow in at a ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 28, 2001

Lupa
170 Thompson St
New York, New York 10012
+1 212 982 5089

Pastis

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Pastis Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Situated in the heart of the now trendy Meat Packing district, this picturesque restaurant sits on a cobble-stone street that carries you away from the city and into another European city. OK, so the guy who created this restaurant went all out to get the French bistro look, from the slightly rusty edge of the large mirrors on the walls to the scruffy chairs and tables. But there is always an energy and buzz to this place and a noise level that makes your ears ring. I come here for the food. Either call weeks ahead to get the coveted 7pm reservation (be prepared to wait on the phone and listen to the recordings) or come early and grab a seat on the long communal table in the main dini...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2001

Pastis
9 Ninth Ave
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 929 4844

Hana Sushi

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Sushi Hana"

Quote:
This is located on the Upper East side of Manhattan. Oftentimes, there is a lack of good sushi places here. That is why Sushi Hana is always packed with people looking for consistently good food at reasonable downtown prices. Be prepared to sit elbow-to-elbow with fellow diners as quarters are cramped and tables are placed close together. However, since it is a corner storefront, most tables are next to the windows so you would feel less claustophobic. Both the raw fish (sushi and sashimi) and the cooked dishes are good here. The salad and dressing are especially good here. For me, it is either the chirashi (sashimi over a bowl of rice) or the deluxe sushi platter. The fish here is ver...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2001

Hana Sushi
1501 2nd Avenue
New York, New York 10021
(212) 327-0582

Pearl Oyster Bar

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Cornelia Street seems to have turned into the restaurant row of the West Village. It is a narrow and short street that turns at an angle from the main streets of Bleeker and West 4th. Here, you will find several good restaurants, the most famous of which is Po, the first restaurant of celebrity chef Mario Batali. In the middle of the street, sandwiched between a French and American restaurant is a small space, long and narrow, with a bar and one lone table at the window. This place is called Pearl Oyster, the home of buckets of steamers, raw oysters and the infamous lobster roll. Step in and you'll be transported to the New England coast. Service is very casual, and if you don't get the bar, yo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2001

Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia St
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 691 8211

'Ino

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Tucked in the midst of the West Village, this is a find for those who want a light meal and a cozy atmosphere. I first found this place while getting lost in the myriad of streets in the village (as I often do, something I consider one of the great pleasures of living in the city.) It is a tiny place, barely sitting 20 people, all sitting on little tables. There is a bar and a stack of magazines by the window in case you tire of your company or are dining alone. Since the place is so small, I would recommend smaller groups of people. Two or three is the perfect crowd. The first time I was there, I sat at the window table, tucked away behind the bar and away from the smokers (you feel like you ar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2001

'Ino
21 Bedford Street
New York, New York 10014
(212) 989-5769

Prune

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
This is a gem of a place and a great find. I first discovered this place in 1999 while browsing through the "Recently Opened" section of Time Out NY magazine. I had to find a place for a party of 6, friends getting together for an early Christmas gathering. Prune's description was intriguing, as it was described as inviting, unconventional, quirky and with excellent food. Tucked on a small quiet street in the East Village, you almost are surprised when you find there is a restaurant on the street. It is mostly residential. The space is white, very intimate, and small. The menu is very interesting. The kitchen is small and right at the back and within plain view of the tables. Service is good and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2001

Prune
54 East 1st St
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 677 6221