Best New Restaurant
1652 Second Avenue
Jeremy Schaller, the man behind butcher shop Schaller & Weber, is behind this new upscale cocktail bar with small plates. Schaller & Weber’s meats and cheeses make their way onto the menu via a sumptuous charcuterie board. Jeremy’s also hosts live jazz on Friday and Saturday nights – check their website for updated listings!
10 Lincoln Center Plaza
Former Top Chef contestant-turned-restaurateur Kwame Onwuachi describes Tatiana as his “love letter to New York,” and it shows. Inspired by his Afro-Caribbean heritage, Tatiana also draws from the diverse food cultures Onwuachi saw around him growing up in the Bronx, with Nigerian and Chinese influences making their way onto the menu. The restaurant is located at Lincoln Center, perfect for a meal before the ballet or opera.
225 Sullivan St
The popular Florentine sandwich shop just opened a second NYC location, and lines are already out the door. The panini are large but not overstuﬀed, and while the menu mostly focuses on traditional flavors from Tuscany (such as prosciutto and truﬄe), a few concessions are made to American tastes, as in the “Venice Beach” sandwich with turkey and avocado. For a rich blend of classic Italian ingredients, try the “La Favolosa,” a salame sandwich with pecorino and artichoke.
1481 York Ave.
Yefsi serves up homestyle Greek cuisine with a focus on seafood in this charming spot on York Avenue. The menu features a wide array of small plates, like grilled octopus and jumbo lump crab cake, but also serves classic entrees such as moussaka and lamb kebabs.
509 Amsterdam Ave
New Yorkers have been flocking to Jacob’s Pickles (and its sister restaurant, Maison Pickle) for years in search of Southern food, and it does not disappoint, serving up fried green tomatoes and pulled pork in generous portions. Drink options are also abundant, with full whiskey, beer, and cocktail lists.
SONG’ E NAPULE
146 West Houston St.
The name — Neapolitan for “I’m from Naples” — says it all. This West Village favorite is arguably the most authentic Neapolitan experience one can get outside of Naples, Italy. Pizzas typical of that city’s cuisine are owner Ciro Iovine’s specialty — characterized by paper-thin crust at the base, a tall, puffy outer crust, and fresh ingredients —but Song’ E Napule also serves pasta and entrees. Though the space is small, its irresistible charm and energy make dining there a joyful experience; it’s decked out with replica Maradona jerseys and images of Mount Vesuvius.
H & H BAGELS
1551 Second Ave.
An NYC classic long before it was featured on “Seinfeld,” H&H is still the ideal takeaway breakfast spot for a simple plain bagel with cream cheese, a bacon-egg-and-cheese on a roll, or a breakfast sandwich loaded with the toppings of your choice. The line is often long, but moves quickly.
FLOR DE MAYO
For 44 years, Flor De Mayo has carried on the proud NYC tradition of Chino-Latino cuisine. Started by Chinese immigrants to New York by way of Peru, the menu mixes in pan-Latin influences as well. The Latin American-focused dishes are some of the best on Flor De Mayo’s menu. Try the ropa vieja or the pollo a la brasa — but you also can’t go wrong with fish or steak kew.
PAUL’S DA BURGER JOINT
131 Second Ave
The topic of “best burger in NYC” tends to come up every now and then among every group of friends, often proving contentious. While I wouldn’t be so bold as to crown any place #1, Paul’s comes pretty close. The burgers are enormous and messy, large enough to share, and cooked to order in diﬀerent variations. The interior is kitschy and styled to resemble a 1950s diner. Try the Saint Mark’s burger, named after the iconic East Village street just around the corner.
Best Outdoor Dining
1411 Second Ave
This Upper East Side Thai spot stands out with authentic dishes, charming decor both in- and outdoors, and fresh, high-quality ingredients. The menu is very vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, with mock duck, tofu and vegetable options. It also boasts a solid cocktail menu, with some surprisingly inventive drinks — one standout is the Ultimate Thai Tea, which adds Mekong rum and mole bitters to the traditional sweet, burnt-orange-colored Thai tea.
380 Amsterdam Ave
A longtime mainstay of NYC’s dim-sum scene, Jing Fong’s first location opened in the 1970s in an unassuming spot in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Today, Jing Fong’s owners have expanded to include this Upper West Side spot with a charming outdoor patio area. They also have a yum cha, or dim sum brunch service, beginning at 11 a.m. – perfect for those Sunday mornings.
44 Bedford St
Self-professed “diner-dive” Bandits succeeds at its goal of emulating both a vintage 1970s New York diner and a dive bar from the same era. Its outdoor dining areas are perfectly on theme (though if you choose to dine indoors, you get to sit under a disco ball.) The place’s standouts are its creative cocktails, but the selection of brunch and dinner options is also thoughtful and includes a few vegan options.
Best Ice Cream
EMACK & BOLIO’S
1564 First Ave.
Emack & Bolio’s is a classic ice cream parlor with a decidedly atypical backstory: its first location was founded by a music lawyer in 1975 to give musicians a place to hang after their gigs. Apart from having served the likes of Dee Snyder and Stevie Van Zandt, the shop serves a wide variety of flavors and oﬀers cones dipped in wacky ingredients like Froot Loops.
414 Amsterdam Ave.
Twenty years after Amorino’s founders opened their first shop in Paris, their UWS location is garnering rave reviews. The shop serves traditional Italian gelato made with real ingredients; it also features crepes and vegan sorbets.
CHINATOWN ICE CREAM FACTORY
65 Bayard St.
This family-run neighborhood ice cream shop specializes in flavors based on East Asian ingredients, such as lychee, taro and green tea. Tip: Try the pandan ice cream, which gets its flavor from the fragrant, tropical pandan plant.