Since I live in Italy, I obviously don’t eat in 700 restaurants annually in NYC, nor would such a long list be helpful, but when I am in the city (which is typically 4 times a year), I try lots of new places, curse their hype, then end up returning to my old standbys. Occasionally, I file stories on NYC dining like this one on the city’s best Italian restaurants. Here are some more favorites in a range of categories:
My go-to breakfast spot is Jody Williams’ Buvette. For breakfast or dinner, I love the Breslin (tho it is super loud at night). Next door (same owners), the John Dory Oyster Bar is delicious. The NoMad nearby is fun, too, especially for drinks The Library. Gramercy Tavern is a classic.
For bagels, check out Murray’s, Ess-A-Bagel, Sadelle’s and Black Seed. And if you can stand the sticker shock, hit up the very awesome but completely pricey Russ & Daughters Cafe. Visit Runner & Stone in Gowanus for French-style pastries.
I seriously dream about the sliced beef tripe and tendons, duck tongues and ma po tofu at Szechuan Gourmet. Go to there at lunch only and stick to the Szechuan dishes. The pork and chive dumplings at Lam Zhou Hand-pulled Noodles are juicy and insanely cheap and even better if you ignore all the sticky surfaces and dubious hygienic standards.
Brooks Headley’s Superiority Burger is in a class by itself and well worth the potential queue.
For simple Italian/Italian American, try Frankies 457 in Carroll Gardens or Roman’s in Williamsburg. Parm is great for sandwiches like chicken parm. For posh Italy-inspired cuisine, check out Del Posto or choose Lilia for a more down-to-earth meal. When I want to satisfy my carbonara cravings, it’s all about Barbuto. The chicken is legendary, so save room. More Italian dining recommendations over on Thrillist.
For pizza, check out Co. for a sort of Rome-meets-Naples style, Best Pizza for a classic NY slice, and Marta for thin-crusted Roman style pies and an exceptional beverage list. In case you were wondering, Di Fara is garbage. You won’t find a better version of Rome’s traditional flat breads than Sullivan Street Bakery.
Go drink craft beer at Tørst and Proletariat and imbibe natural wines at Ten Bells and The Four Horsemen. For Italian-style cocktails and atmosphere, I love Cafe Dante. And PUNCH has a sensational guide to drinking in Manhattan that must be in every travelers’ bookmarks.