Turns out my food-filled trip down to Louisville was full of a lot more than hot chicken, cheeseburgers and biscuits and gravy. In just two days, I felt like I had a second home, a… More
If you’ve ever tried to go out for a birthday dinner or for a girls’ night out, you know that the hardest part of planning is getting a res at a fun, affordable restaurant that will fit everyone’s dietary restrictions. We’ve been to enough birthday dinners to know a thing or two, and we’ve made a list of some of our absolute favorites. You can thank us later!
When you walk into Rubirosa, the first thing that hits you is the smell of roasting cheese and their intoxicating red sauce wafting out of the kitchen. If they bottled scent that as a perfume we’d be the first to buy it. They’ve got eight kinds of thin crust pizza with plenty of ways to customize – you can mix and match half pies, add toppings and even sub in a gluten free crust. Shoot them an e-mail if you need a res for eight or more people, and they’ll set you up.
Head to Lil Frankie’s if you’re feeling more Neopolitan than thin crust, and devour some of their delish pizzas. Lil Frankie’s is done up to look just like a classic Italian trattoria, so naturally they’re dishes are total classics too. They also have a great 3-for-1 brunch special on ~prosecco drinks~ and they serve almost all of their dinner options then, too. So if you’re craving eggplant parm at 11AM on a Sunday, skip the leftovers and head over to Lil Frankie’s with a couple of your favorite gals.
Designed with white washed walls and blue furniture, Souvlaki GR is as close to the Isle of Mykonos you’ll get in the dead of winter here in NYC. This first-gen-family-owned Greek spot is serving up super authentic dishes, made from recipes passed down for generations. After one bite of delicious pitas and tzatziki you’ll be shouting “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”
This is a fun one. Once you ascend that seemingly endless escalator on Elizabeth Street in Chinatown and enter the all-red-and-gold dining room that casually fits 500 people, you’ll be in dim-sum heaven. Complete with a bustling kitchen and trollies stacked with tasty treats, Jing Fong is the perfect spot for your dim sum fix. Whatever you do, don’t skip the char siu buns.
The Meatball Shop
This place has meatballs every way from Sunday – on sandwiches, sliders, pasta, risotto, and even on a salad if you’re feeling virtuous. What started as a literal hole in the wall on 14th and 6th has evolved into a handful of brick and mortar stores dotted all over the city, but it’s still stayed a family run op. They’ve got five kinds of homemade meatballs, and a weekly special too, made with only the finest ingredients (like La Quercia prosciutto and Creekstone Farms beef). Pro tip: Jello shots cost $4.
Need a switch for your usual Italian spot? Try Galli in Soho, where they’re serving up classic Italian comfort foods with a contemporary take on each pasta dish and fabulous cocktails to match. Make your weekend reservation on the earlier because you’ll want to stay here for a few drinks before heading out for the night.
If there’s one thing New York does really well, it’s a bagel with cream cheese and smoked fish; historically known as “appetizing” in Jewish tradition. The semi-recent opening of Russ & Daughters Café has catalyzed a resurgence of this very nostalgic fare and we could not be happier about it. Here are seven of our favorites spots, new and old, in NYC:
This one’s a classic; Barney Greengrass has been serving up Sturgeon and all kinds of other fish specialties on the Upper West Side since 1908. And what’s even better is getting their legendary smoked fish on a fresh, chewy bagel. Just walk up to the counter and place your order with some of the friendliest staff in NYC. Head’s up, it’s cash only here and you’re gonna want to order everything, so come prepared.
Russ & Daughters Café
You’ve probably seen Russ & Daughters Café on Instagram more than once and there’s good reason for that: Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman have totally nailed the smoked salmon brunch game. Watch in awe as chefs in white lab coats expertly slice smoked salmon into perfectly thin layers and dress them up on wooden platters. Enough said.
Need a great brunch on the UES? Give Sable’s a go and try any of their delicious fish or crab salads, smooth, buttery lox, smoked tuna, whitefish, or a little bit of everything. Seriously though, it’s the staff at Sable’s that makes the difference: they’re always happy to greet you, let you try samples, and are ready to answer any and every question that you’ve got about the fish.
Mile End is your classic NY Jewish deli meets Montreal-style cuisine, all with a modern twist. Just this past week they had Poutine Week where they featured Duck Confit Poutine and Corn Dog Poutine amongst many other unique offerings. But, our favorite here is their appetizing platter for two, complete with all the classic accoutrements.
Sadelle’s knows how to make a good bagel, and that’s by hand, and fresh every few hours (using New York tap water of course!) Top it with some fresh-sliced salmon from their tower of bagel fixings and you’re good to go. Enjoy a classy brunch in their super luxe dining room that seamlessly transitions from daytime-brunch to a lovely evening meal (we gave them a nod as a romantic place for Valentine’s day dinner, too). Beyond their bagels, their babka and other pastries are totally drool-worthy, if that’s more your speed.
Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen
Dan and Anat Kirsh, the couple in charge at Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen, are old pros in Israeli cuisine. They first opened Zuni, a beloved 24/7 brasserie in Jerusalem, and have recently brought their talents to the UWS. Come to Kirsh Bakery for your weekly German baked goods, house-smoked lox or their cooked-to-order French toasts – amazing.
Sarge’s is your very reliable, 24/7 Murray Hill shop for smoked fish platters, matzoh ball soup, pastrami and super creamy, dense New York-style cheesecake. Come for brunch or come for a late night meal at 3AM, you’ll leave feeling great every time.
Burgers are an American past time, they’re probably the most quintessentially American food out there, but what’s with the recent rise in veggie burger popularity? They’re just so damned good now, that’s what’s up. Before, veggie burger used to just be an option for the occasional vegetarian or vegan that went to a restaurant – an herbivore in a carnivore’s world – but now the veggie burger has arrived. Chefs all over have begun to play with what goes into their veggie burgers, their textures, and their flavors and the result is some really amazing burger that just happen to be plant-based; these are our five favorites in NYC.
Shake Shack said they
wouldn’t add a vegetarian option to the menu until they found something that vegetarians and carnivores alike would crave and the ‘Shroom Burger is just that. The ‘Shroom burger is two juicy portobello patties stuffed with ooey-gooey cheese, and fried to perfection. It’s a veggie burger like none you’ve ever seen before, and it’s absolutely addictive.
This burger’s made headlines around the globe and it’s totally worth the hype. In 2015, Superiority Burger’s veggie burger was named the best burger, hands down, by GQ magazine, and that sparked a mad rush of vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike to the East Village burger spot. The actual recipe’s top secret, but when the texture’s so authentic and the flavor’s so perfectly balanced, we don’t need the deets. Topped with Munster cheese, iceberg, tomato, and dill pickle, bring us 10 please!
By Chloe is New York’s vegetarian/vegan restaurant right now and their veggie burger(s because they’ve got two) are amazing. Their classic burger is a veggie burger packed with superfoods, specifically tempeh, lentil, chia, and walnut; the guac burger, is a spice-filled, chipotle black bean-sweet potato patty topped with, of course, guacamole and tortilla strips, which give it an extra little bit of crunch. These healthy burgers will fill you up and give you the energy to take on the day, and you’ll hardly miss the meat.
You’ve always known Westville made amazing classic American fare, but have you tried their veggie burger? It’s a perfectly fried patty with a tender inside, topped with savory sautéed mushrooms, melted shredded Gouda, and a creamy tartar sauce, all sandwiched between two toasted Portuguese buns (like an English muffin, but sweeter and fewer crannies). The sweetness of the burger, combined with all the savory, cheesy, and crispy components makes every bite of this burger the perfect bite.
A bleeding veggie burger? You probably think we’re crazy, but we promise if you just try Momofuku Nishi’s Impossible Burger, you’ll see what we mean. The Impossible Burger is 100% plant based, made from potatoes, coconut oil, wheat, and a handful of secret ingredients and spices that make the burger bleed. Its texture is unlike any veggie burger we’ve ever had before, way more like a burger than your standard bean-and-lentil patty, and it even taste like meat (kind of). Get over to Nishi ASAP and give this burger
So excited to announce that I just created some food-themed swag now for sale on Etsy. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without all of you and am so grateful for your support. It would mean so much to me if you could check it out and let me know what you think. Would also LOVE it if you got a shirt 🙂
HERE is the link again!
Ah! It’s Monday and you still haven’t made plans for a Valentine’s Day dinner. You immediately go online to look for a reservation and all that’s left are stuffy tasting menus and places too casual for a day this special. We did some research and found that these five gems still have some tables for two available, and don’t worry, with these places your date will never know the res was last minute.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s amore, or it’s actually pizza from Rossopomodoro. This Valentine’s Day they’ll be offering heart shaped pizza and ravioli, sourced with only the freshest, most authentic Italian ingredients. In sum, this is the perfect spot for a saucy plate of spaghetti and maybe even a Lady and the Tramp moment with your boo. Pro tip: Rossopomodoro was named the best GF pizza in NYC by TimeOut.
Sadelle’s is your spot for a romantic yet trendy Valentine’s Day dinner. This cult-favorite breakfast spot turns into a dreamscape every night when the entire restaurant is lit by candles and chandeliers. You come for the ambiance, but stay for the Jewish deli and Mediterranean influenced food. One of their specialties is their Russian caviar and vodka service – the perfect start to a lovely V-day dinner. Don’t skip out on the fried chicken, either.
The Crosby Bar, on the ground floor of the Crosby Street Hotel, is a hidden gem in SoHo that will leave you wondering why you haven’t been here a dozen times. It’s the kind of place where you plan to just have dinner, which turns into dessert, then coffee, then to after-dinner drinks, and you barely notice the time because of the delicious food, upscale atmosphere, and great company.
For some really fabulous regional Italian cuisine, try L’Artusi’s sister restaurant, L’Apicio, located on 1st between Bowery and 2nd Ave. There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday of love than by eating “from-scratch pasta made with love” as the first ingredient. Cheesy, we know, but so is their burrata antipasti and fresh cheese tortellini. The rustic-yet-refined décor makes this place cozy enough for a romantic dinner, but fancy enough to feel like a special occasion.
Chef David Burke has one of the most recognizable names in the New York culinary scene and out of all his restaurants, David Burke Kitchen at the James Hotel is our favorite. Try the chef’s curated tasting menu or just go a le carte; there’s no way to lose here. Make sure to end your dinner with their signature dessert, the Lollipop Tree. We promise your date will love it!
Poke: a burrito bowl made of sushi. No wonder why the trend has exploded over the past year. With over ten poke spots in New York, it can be tough to know what’s truly great versus what’s just okay. So here you have it, our top three poke-picks in New York City:
Restaurant Week: a bi-yearly event where New Yorkers can experience a discounted, prix-fixe offering for $29 or $42 at nearly 400 restaurants in NYC.
Sounds great, right? Not quite. Without proper research, you may seriously regret the money you just dropped at a mediocre restaurant serving some of their cheapest dishes. To help you get the most bang for your buck, we’ve trolled through the list of participating restaurants and menus and hand-picked some our favorites. Happy Eating!