We all know looking through review after review in a city fool of restaurants can be tedious and frustrating so here is my personal nearly bullet proof guide to lunch,breakfast,brunch,dinner & desserts.
First of you are either the kind of person who wants to go to places like Carnegie Deli & Tavern on the green and waste your money or you want to go to the real deal spots.Leave your fanny packs at home and no need to clutch your purse this is the safest city in the world.
Shake Shack : Quite a long line but this is wonderful cheap eats.One of the few touristy spots that is a must.Yes it is that good.
Paul's Joint : In the East Village
Mexican:Forget about over rated Blue Smoke
Mexican Radio : Worth every penny.Amazing ambiance and even better margaritas.Best in the city
Florencia 13: AS NEW YORK AS THEY COME Located on sullivan street.Owner is Ralph straight out of So-Cal.Great authentic Cal mex & get the flaming Margarita.Service is top notich.
Agave : OK OK ..It is on the pricier size but their fresh fruit margaritas and mexican mac and cheese make it all ok.Solid mexican.
Pizza: Forget Johns on bleecker.There are 3 places much better & I call them the Triumverate
Pastys: Either on 60th or in Union Square (Get the Penne alla vodka as well it is the best you will ever eat
Lombardis : Truly is the original pizzeria in America and it is that good.This is NYC pizza at its finest
Arturos: If you are seeking Amazing downtown pizza with a little more in terms of menu selection and live Jazz this is just as good as the 2 i mentioned above.All cannot go wrong
Cupcakes: You have all heard the legend of Magnolia.Avoid the over rated lines.
Sorry to say they pale in comparison to the greatest cupcake ever made down in the Lower East Side (The neighborhood is being reborn)
Sugar Sweet Sunshine: The best cupcakes you will ever eat in your existence.So sweet you will have cavities by the time you walk out the door.
Abbondanzas: Located on Bleecker Street.These are true NYC Brooklyn,Staten Island ital heros.Salads are great and the pizza is #4 on my all time Manhattan list.
Italian: Never ever ever eat Italian food in Little Italy.It is mediocre at best and they act like carnival barkers trying to get you in.Make your trip through Little Italy in 30 mins.Go to Ferraras get a Cannoli & if you absolutely must eat there go to il Cortile but only if you must eat in Little Italy.
La Foccaceria: Its so good I do not even wanna tell you about it now.Its a great price for Ital food if you are trying to avoid the Upper scales rip offs like Babbo & Del Posto.Get the Veal special.The hole in the wall is beautiful with a wonderful staff and great food.It is on Macdougal.
Trattoria Spaghetto: The best Deal in the City for Italian.Solid food and even better prices.
Bianca: A tad bit more in terms of posh but their menu is superb.
Also on Bleecker Street
Ice Cream :
Cones: also on Bleecker is very good.
Serendipity : It is that popular for a reason sad to say.The desserts will bring you to heaven and back.Do not listen to them when they tell you it is a 3hr wait.It is not.Just stand up front for 45 mins tops and stare at the guy taking names.They always have room but they just want the touristy people to leave and go to Dylans with their brats.They want you to earn their dessert.Last time i went I sat with Joan Allen & Kathy Bates.45 Mins I promise unless you have a party of 73.
Dos Caminos: Located on Houston.This is the best brunch downtown for value to quality.Beautiful setting and great Mexican brunch with out of this world fresh margaritas(Complimentray) and the best Guac you will ever eat on this island.
Pastis: If you must go to a yupster place go here.The food is average but you are essentially buying a ticket to a celebrity zoo.This is very expensive but you will see celebs.My last visit I spent an hr there and ate next ro Demi Mooor & Kutcher,Across from Gwenyth,chris and apple and on the way out say Alec baldwin.
Lunch: If you must eat in SoHo steer clear of Cafe Bari.
Cafe Habana: All about the Corn.This is a hipster yupster paradise full of trust fund babies who have yet to get a job however the Corn and sandwiches are cheap and good.Still has its NYC appeal and not yet too touristy.
Fanelli Cafe: I cannot say enough good things.Great beer,burgers and breakfast.This is a must for a true NYer in training.Everything on the menu is great and it is one of if not thee oldest concurently serving food/drink establishment in the city.It used to be on a swamp thats is how old it is.EAT NO WHERE ELSE
Puck Fair : Excellent GENUINE Irish pub.Average food
Faces & Names : A midtown dream.very near carnegie hall and central park.Excellent appetizers and wonderful drinks with a remarkable ambiance.
8 Mile Creek : Located on Mulberry Street.Head downstairs to watch some Rugby or chat up the local aussies and brits.Sat is live music.
Down the Hatch : BEST CHICKEN WINGS IN THE CITY & THE LORD OF ALL DIVE BARS
Chumley's : my pride and joy.Located on my old block this is an old fashioned speak easy and they have their own brews and old dogs lie in the corner.
Clinton Street Bakery: Just go its that good
Chumleys : Thats right they have good breakfast too.CASH ONLY
Cozys Soup and burger : Located on broadway cannot miss for any diner food.
Dinosaur BBQ : It is the Best.Nuf said.I cannot even explain how good their food is.
Great Jones Cafe : Phenom Cajun food for NYC.Tiny and you will love it.Their menu is on the wall in chalk.
Phillycheesesteak Factory: Open Late for delivery and the cheesesteaks on the Island.
Crif Dogs: You have to go in.They have the most random heart stopping Hotdogs you will ever come across but where else can you play pac man,watch porn on the main screen occasionally and eat a hot dog with bacon,sourcream,avocado?
They call it the Chihuhah
OCCASION DINING FOR THE NIGHT OUT:
Otto: Start out at the inoteca here and have an appetizer and some wine
Olives : At the W Hotel Great place for a special drink and convo.EXPENSIVE
Gramercy Park Tavern : The best around.Do not eat in the main dining room and save a ton of money.
Cafe Lanterna : Fireplaces,jazz,italian & Drinks.
Hope this helped somepeople out.If you have any specific questions feel free to send me a message.