Food is the essence of New York City and I was fortunate enough to grow up amongst the 8.5 million people living here. I don’t want to say that the word foodie was created in NYC but it most likely was.
New Yorkers are picky eaters and why shouldn’t we be? With new restaurants opening every other day and closing after 6 months, you know the market is competitive and the restaurant only survives if it’s consistent, innovative and delicious.
Growing up in NYC, I had the privilege at dining at 5 star Michelin Star restaurants from a young age but what I’ve learned is that you don’t always need to shell out a lot of money for delicious food. Here’s a list of the Best Eats in New York City without putting a dent in your wallet.
Los Tacos – One of the most delicious and affordable Mexican places in Manhattan, the tacos and burritos are seriously to die for! Everything is made right in front of you and you can add as much salsa as you like. This is a must stop when you’re craving good Mexican food.
El Rio Grande – If $5 margaritas and freshly made guacamole is calling your name, come check out this place during Happy hour starting at 5pm everyday. Very popular on Thursdays and Fridays, head over for some good music and delicious margaritas.
Mighty Quinn’s BBQ – If you like a hearty beef rib or brisket, this is the place to go. The meat is juicy, tender and falls right off the bone. I can’t describe to you how delicious every bite is. Just go and you won’t be disappointed.
Dinosaur BBQ – Southern ribs at its best. You should only order the full rack of ribs when you are here. Complete with two sides and cornbread, you will walk out stuffed and happy.
Jacob’s Pickles – Fried chicken, biscuits, gravy, pickles and grits. This probably sums up this Restaurant in a heartbeat although there are many other delicious things to enjoy as well. Arrive early as the wait could be quite horrendous with no reservations during the weekend. Order a beer flight at the bar while you are waiting!
Pies and Thighs – Perfectly fried chicken with a slice of pie. My ideal meal any time of the day! Located in the hip area of Williamsburg, I find that the waiting times are a bit long but oh so worth it and yes the food is fantastic!
Clinton Street Bakery – If you’re a pancake lover and want the true American breakfast experience, you must stop by to try the infamous blueberry pancakes. Some of my other favorites include the Southern Breakfast and the Farmer’s Plate. Add a milkshake for the full experience!
Best Pizza and Pasta
John’s of Bleecker Street – An old school pizza shop established since 1921. You will taste the best of New York style pizza. And yes, add the pepperoni.
Juliana’s – After a nice walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, stop by this delicious pizza joint for the original thin crust pizza experience. My pick? The Margherita Pie.
Little Tong Noodle Shop – If you’re a fan of noodle soups, this place will offer the most beautifully plated bowl of soup that you will ever eat. I am absolutely in love with the Grandma’s Chicken soup and every bite is soothing and comforting.
Ippudo – This is a Japanese staple when it comes to Ramen noodles. Freshly pulled noodles with a hearty broth, try to sit at the bar and watch your food made.
Avocaderia – Newly opened restaurant serving nothing but avocados in all sorts of interesting ways. Think burger buns made out of avocados and avocado toast with a runny egg on top. For avocado lovers only!
Beyond Sushi – Delicious vegetarian sushi rolls are slowly becoming a thing. After all the fatty things we consume on a daily basis, it’s nice to do a cleanse from time to time. They recently opened up a Restaurant near Herald Square if you want more of a sit down experience but personally I like the original location located in Union Square.
Amy’s Bread – This is the go to place to try layered sponge cakes. The buttercream is perfectly sweetened and the cake is moist and soft. Try the carrot cake and Signature pink cake.
Dough – You can smell the sweetness before you walk in the door. Freshly made everyday, there is an assortment of flavors that will blow your mind away. Personally, I like it simple and go with the glazed.
Dessert Bar at Patisserie Chanson – If you’re interested in a Dessert tasting menu at $68 a person, this is the place to wine and dine your loved one. Newly opened since September, this dessert bar has received raving reviews.
Levain – Delicious melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookies, this is the famous cookie place when you’re in the Upper West Side. Conveniently located near Central Park, I always convince myself that this is the perfect treat after a nice walk in the Park. The cookies are warm and goey and make a perfect snack anytime of the day.
Best Food Markets
Chelsea Market – Located in the hip Chelsea area, this is one of the original food markets in Manhattan. Ranging from lobster rolls to freshly made noodles to Vietnamese sandwiches, this is a one stop shop for everyone. The bonus? Plenty of tables to sit at.
Eataly – When this Italian food hall first opened up, I was more than thrilled to be able to buy fresh pasta and ingredients to cook my own Italian fare. Whether you want a coffee from Lavazza or take a seat at the wine bar, this place is cool and you could satisfy your Italian cravings rather easily in this heavenly place.
Le District – Not that there was a shortage of food at Brookfield Place, but this addition of a French market was a great add to the area. Complete with restaurants, take out spots and a supermarket, you have an amazing view of the Hudson River as you dine. I tried some delicious cheese and pate imported from France and even found Choquettes!
Prologue Coffee Room- It’s easy to walk past this cute coffee shop but they make some truly delicious coffee with a variety of milks to pick from. The guys that work there are super friendly and seriously know what they’re doing when it comes to coffee.
Blue Bottle – Blue bottle was one of the first shops in NYC offering Cold-brewed coffee and Pour-Over coffee. If you like super strong and freshly made coffee, this is the coffee bar for you.
Coffee Project NYC – Coffee flight anyone? If you are a serious coffee addict, try the flight and forgetting about sleeping for the next 2 days. Might not be a bad thing when you’re out all night.
La Colombe Coffee Roasters – You might see a lot of coffee shops selling La Colombe coffee beans but this location at Lafayette Street by NYU is the real deal. Beautifully lined benches along the coffee shop, you can spot some very good looking people walking past you.
Hope you enjoyed my list of Best Eats in New York City – 2018, follow more recommendations on the Top 10 Non-Touristy things to do in NYC for 2018, click here.