1559 2nd Ave
San Matteo serves up authentic Southern Italian food, with many of the staff coming from the city of Salerno, near Naples. Their Neapolitan pizzas are fresh and come with a wide variety of traditional toppings. It’s also not just anywhere in the city that you can get a panuozzo—a huge, filling sandwich made with the same dough used for their excellent pizzas. For appetizers, try the burrata, served with Castelvetrano olives.
1437 1st Ave
Filipina nurses Jude Canela, Joan Calanog, and Maricris Dinopol opened this Upper East Side spot to satisfy their late-night cravings for homestyle Filipino food after working long shifts at nearby Mount Sinai during the pandemic. At Bilao, you’ll find classic, satisfying dishes like lumpiang shanghai (spring rolls), sinigang (a savory stew), and adobo, which may as well be the Filipino national dish.
Bar at the Chelsea Hotel
222 W 23rd St
The Chelsea Hotel is a venerable institution of New York arts and culture. Its guests have included Tennessee Williams, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Mark Twain, Dee Dee Ramone, Allen Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas and the list goes on. Rumor has it that Jack Kerouac wrote part of On The Road from his room in the Chelsea; while that may be apocryphal, William S. Burroughs did write Naked Lunch there. This onetime haven for the bohemian greats once accepted paintings from struggling artists instead of rent. Today, you can still enjoy a well-crafted cocktail in its charming lobby bar, open from 7am until 2am daily. The bar is open to all, though it does not accept reservations for non-guests; only walk-ins.
166 First Ave
A charming neighborhood bar in the East Village, Ferns is notable for its diverse and abundant live music offerings. They feature live music on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; performers draw from genres as diverse as gypsy jazz and 1920s standards. The menu includes vegan/vegetarian/gluten free options, and Check their Instagram page for up-to-date info on performers.
1078 First Ave
(646) 869 4004
While it is a pizzeria, you didn’t misread the name—pazzo is Italian for ‘crazy,’ and crazy, inventive twists are what the team behind Coco Pazzeria are all about. Their thin-crust pizzas don’t adhere precisely to the parameters of either Neapolitan or Roman style, and some include restaurateur Ciro Luongo’s pasta sauces as toppings. Coco Pazzeria also includes a raw bar with oysters and champagne.