by Cristina

My Favorite NYC Restaurants (A Tourists Guide)

June 22, 2019

Deciding wether or not to do one huge post about our recent trip to Manhattan, or to break it up into different posts was so difficult. Once I realized how many food recommendations I had this time I knew I had to do a dedicated My Favorite NYC Restaurants guide. That’s really the most important part of any trip, of course. If you want to see my other posts, I did a store review and try-on at the Sézane store in Soho, and I have this one from last year’s Manhattan Trip. I plan on doing one more post on what we saw in Manhattan this time, my travel tips, some anecdotes and some of the other shopping I did.

My Favorite NYC Restaurants (A Tourists Guide)

Sip Sak

Sip Sak

This is the place to go to get the most authentic and delicious Turkish food in Manhattan. I went here with my best friend from highschool who lives in New York and this is her go-to for Turkish food. The humus and cacik where amazing, and there was a never ending bread basket to go along with it. I had the Ali Nazik and it was heavenly.

📍Midtown East | 928 2nd Ave, NYC


The Ribbon

The Ribbon

We stumble upon The Ribbon while exploring the Upper West Side. It’s perfectly situated right across the street from The Dakota Building (a sightseeing destination), and half a block away from Central Park. The food here was really great! Higher end american burger and steaks. I had the fried chicken sandwhich and it was so delicious. I loved the decor of this restaurant and watching the Upper West Side kids celebrating grad with their families.

📍Upper West Side | 20 W 72nd St, NYC

The Ribbon, NYC, Upper West Side, Chicken Burger, My Favorite NYC Restaurants

Julianna’s Pizza

Julianna’s Pizza

If you’ve ever taken a tour bus in NYC (we did on our first trip) you will have been given the spiel about the best pizza in town in Brooklyn. Across the Brooklyn Bridge is Grimaldi’s Pizza which was the BEST pizza around and frequently has huge lineups to get in. Pat Grimaldi, the owner, sold the beloved Grimaldi’s sometime in the past few years. The pizza at Grimaldi’s is still great, but the new Pat Grimaldi location ‘Julianna’s Pizza‘ right next door is even better as it has that special touch. The pizzas are made in a coal fired brick oven. Lineups are so huge to get in that they have a water station at the door. Luckily the lines move quickly and we were able to get in after about 20 minutes since we where a party of two. We had the No. 1 Pizza and it was so good!

📍Brooklyn | 19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn

Julianna's Pizza, My Favorite NYC Restaurants

Jack’s Wife Freda

Jack’s Wife Freda

If you’ve seen brunch selfies on instagram from NYC, it was probably taken here. This is the instagram favourite ‘Go To’ brunch place in Soho amongst the blogger crowd. I was exploring by myself for the day so decided to finally try this place out after a failed attempt the day before. When we tried to have brunch there the first day it was way too busy to get in in a reasonable amount of time so we ended up at Balthazars. I ordered the pouched egg with haloumi and it was really good. Very Mediterranean influenced.

📍SoHo | 224 Lafayette St, NYC


Levain Bakery

Levain Bakery

The Levain cookies are legendary and it’s definitely worth the trek to this tiny whole in the ground bakery for their massive cookies. I am dreaming about that chocolate chip walnut cookie. It took two days to finish that cookie because it was so big and dense and rich. I divided it and snacked on it at the hotel when I was hungry and had a bit on the plane trip home. Typically eating this cookie would be no big deal bit since we where eating out so much, my stomach capacity was not what it usually is. The dough for each cookie weighs 6 oz and the outside is crips, while the inside is chewie. It’s my goal to learn how to bake one of these.

Levain Bakery

📍Upper West Side | 167 West 74th St, NYC

Levain Cookies, Chocolate Chip Walnut, My Favorite NYC Restaurants

Mercado Little Spain

Mercado Little Spain

We wandered around the new Hudson Yards area and although the new mall itself wasn’t really a worthy destination if you are short on time (unless you are luxury shopping), it’s worth going to for the Mercado Little Spain. Since you are here for the food already, check out The Vessel outside the mall.

We avoided Eataly this year in favour of Little Spain and I really loved it a lot better. It’s smaller for sure, and of course I am biased, but I loved seeing the food being cooked. My family is from Spain so it was really interesting seeing all the food stations for different culinary regions. I was especially enthralled by their Paella set up on multiple burners. My family cooks Paella on most Sundays so it was neat to see a ‘fast food’ operation for Paella. We where between meals so we didn’t get to try it but we did sit at the wine bar and had some great people watching while I checked in with my kids back home.

📍Hudson Yards | 10 Hudson Yards, NYC


Alcala

Alcala

This was a restaurant that was close to our hotel at Grand Central Station. My husband picked it out because he was missing our typical family dinner and he was in the mood for authentic Spanish food in the form of paella. This restaurant is very authentically Spanish and it looks almost exactly like the restaurant my mom worked at while I was growing up. The decor is exactly old school spanish restaurant. We enjoyed tapas and selected all the things my mom cooks + a small Paella. Although my moms cooking is better, this restaurant was really good and a bit of a hidden gem. It hit the spot.

📍Midtown East | 246 E 44th St, NYC


La Biblioteca

La Biblioteca

Besides red wine, tequila is my drink of choice when choosing a cocktail. I rarely diverge from red wine but I really wanted to try the margaritas here when we researched lounges in our area. We came here one evening after a late lunch and just had guacamole and margaritas and it was a really lovely place to rest our feet after a long day of walking. I loved the decor and their ‘library’ of tequilas and mezcals If you are looking for a lounge type place, this is a really good one. It was packed with the young professional after work drinks crowd.

📍Midtown East | 622 3rd Ave, NYC


Brasserie Ruhlmann

Brasserie Ruhlmann

We had a huge day of walking from the Cathedral of Saint John The Divine in Morningside Heights (Upper West Side), all the way up to Harlem, across Central Park, and then down Madison Avenue until we got to Rockefeller Centre. I think we walked a good 13 miles that morning. We where starving and done with walking and this restaurant was familiar from last year. We ate on the patio at Brasserie Ruhlmann and I had the lobster roll. So good!!! Impossible to eat without a knife and fork.

📍Midtown | 45 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC

My Favorite NYC Restaurants

Balthazar

Balthazar

We ate at Balthazar last year for our anniversary dinner but this year we ate here for brunch. I’m an eggs benedict lover so that was what I ordered and it did not disappoint. Eggs benedict should always come with fries instead of potato hash. I wish we’d been able to do dinner here again this trip.

📍SoHo | 80 Spring St, NYC

Balthazar Soho NYC, My Favorite NYC Restaurants

Bryant Park Grill

Bryant Park Grill

You can order the best risotto of your life right here. My favorite thing was that the roasted vegetables on the risotto are flame grilled. It is the most intensely flavoured satisfying carb loaded dish you will ever have. Piled high with the most delicious fired roasted vegetables and mushrooms for the mushroom lovers like me. I believe the flavour experience I had was umami, but with vegetables instead of meat.

Bryant Park is one of my favourite spots in NYC. The park is so beautiful with so much going on that you can best enjoy it sitting on a patio overlooking all the action.

📍Midtown East | 25 W 40th St, NYC

Stay tuned for the next New York post!

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2 comments so far.

2 responses to “My Favorite NYC Restaurants (A Tourists Guide)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Have you been to Norma’s for brunch? Best French toast ever!!!!

    • Cristina says:

      I hadn’t and really wanted to. Hopefully we can go back next year and it will be first on my list for breakfast places.

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