Where You Need to Eat & Drink in New York City

Should this just become a New York blog? I’ve written about it here, here, and here. And today I want to talk about even more restaurants you need to visit next time you are in the city (but make sure to check out my other posts for some of my other faves).

Daily Provisions (Flatiron/Gramercy): Get a cruller and an iced matcha latte. There’s no better way to start your day than in a sugar rush cloud. Don’t worry sis, you’re gonna walk it off walking to all of your other food destinations! This is basically just a small coffee shop, but it’s one of Danny Meyer’s places and he is basically NYC restaurant royalty, so you know it’s good.

Via Carota (West Village): It’s very likely that if you’ve read any list about places to eat in NYC that Via Carota is on that list. It’s sort of become known (maybe jokingly?) as a place food writers love and it’s easy to see why. It’s located in the ever-charming West Village with a few outdoor tables and a cozy amount of tables inside, with large windows lining the front that allow you to people watch. Via Carota does vegetables and pasta very well. They don’t take reservations and if you try to go at a reasonable dinner time the wait is ungodly. So go during lunch right when they open—ideally on a weekday for an even better chance of no wait. Get a bottle of red wine and share some plates with someone you love and I can almost guarantee a good experience and that indescribable feeling of New York-ness that no other city in the world quite captures.

Mayanoki (East Village): You will definitely need a reservation here as the tiny restaurant only has 8 seats and 2 seatings nightly. They specialize in sustainable omakase with an often-changing menu. It’s very likely you will try some fish you’ve never had before, but everything is delicious. It’s a little pricey, especially when you add the drink pairing, but very worth it. The sake and wines the night I ate here were all delicious with one of my unexpected favorites coming from Long Island. They also served a delicious sake from a woman sake maker.

review of mayanoki

Sadelle’s (SoHo): OK, Sadelle’s is definitely hyped and I’d pick a cruller over here, but if you want a little bit of a show and don’t mind shelling out some big bucks for a bagel, the food here is delicious and it’s a scene on weekends, if you are into that sort of thing. And honestly, who can say no to a bagel tower? But to me, the real star is the French toast. It’s the most decadent breakfast item to ever grace my mouth and way better value than the bagels.

Four Horsemen (Williamsburg): I honestly think this is the best lunch pre-fixe in the city. It was founded my LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and is expectedly cool. It is also minuscule, but somehow that adds to the coolness. If you are in Brooklyn on the weekend, this is where you need to be. The menu changes every weekend, so check their Instagram before you go. It’s $32 and you get a ton of food. All delicious and seasonal. Since it is tiny, I recommend a reservation but they dont’t seem impossible to get for lunch. It’s also a must to get a bottle of wine with your lunch, duh.

Eleven Madison Park (Gramercy) : I’m not kidding when I say it was my dream to go to EMP for a long-ass time. The dream was solidified when I watched the documentary ‘Somm’ and saw that Dustin Wilson was EMP’s somm. It’s been awhile since Dustin has worked there, but my dream never faded. Last October, as I was in the airport flying to NYC I received a call saying I could get a reservation that weekend. It seemed like serendipity and I am not one to pass up fate. This is probably one of the most expensive meals you’ll ever have, so the expectations are understandably high. I’m not sure EMP lived up to all of it’s hype,and some dishes I straight up didn’t enjoy, but it is definitely an experience you won’t soon forget. I always like dinner that feels like theater and you get a little bit of that here. It’s a great place to commemorate an occasion and feel fancy for the night and I think we all deserve that.

review of eleven madison park

Frenchette (Tribeca): I’m not sure if Frenchette has the best PR team of all time or what, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a restaurant with as much hype as this one right after it opened. It’s been open almost exactly a year and the hype has not really died down. So I was worried this was just a hype beast of the resto world, but curiosity convinced me that I had to see if it lived up to its reputation. First off, we went for brunch which I def recommend-it wasn’t super crowded and we could easily hear each other. The food was delicious and interesting. A $4 English muffin may seem absurd, but it and the jam it came with was insane. I also really like the broullaide (basically soupy eggs) with escargot on top. It’s one texture which can be off-putting, but tastes amazing with the complimentary bread. It’s also just well-concepted and aesthetic which I think we can all appreciate.

Atoboy (Flatiron): It’s difficult to put Atoboy in a box, but I’d describe it as a Korean-fusion mini tasting menu. You choose 3 courses and a side of rice for $46 and then an extra $2 for the special rice of the night-it was mushroom our night. It’s very likely you will leave here having tried some new foods; for example, I had never had lotus root before. The ambiance is industrial chic and the service is friendly, but not overbearing. They even gave us a free apple-granita-yogurt for dessert! Many of the dishes I ordered tasted like the sea and the whole place smells vaguely of seaweed, but it’s a people pleasing place that would be perfect for any sort of celebration.

The Nomad Bar (Nomad): To sum this place up in one word, it’s “vibe-y.” You sort of feel like you have walked into a a magician’s dream venue when you enter. It’s from the same restaurant group as EMP, and feels like it’s neo-noir little sister. Sort of like the Chilling Adventures version of Sabrina—classy, velvety and enticing. There is The Library which requires reservations and the restaurant but there are also two bars where you can get a vibe-y, artisanal cocktail to match the atmosphere, sans reservation. But beware: the bars get crowded fast.

Superiority Burger (East Village): looks like a hole in the wall but is pumping out seriously tasty vegetarian and vegan food. It’s not just good for vegetarian food, it’s just good in general. Their ideas also just seem groundbreaking, because they use familiar flavors and ingredients in new and exciting ways. My favorite part: an ever changing gelato/sorbet flavor—they day I went it was Bay leaf; sounds bizarre, but tasted great. This is that sort of craveable food you find yourself wanting more of right after you finish.

Levain Bakery (Upper West): I’m willing to bet you have seen these fat cookies on the internet. They are crispy on the outside, almost raw on the inside and sort of a must if you are anywhere near the Upper West (they also now have a new location downtown, but the Upper West is the original). They are so big you can definitely split one with a friend or bring home your leftovers to heat them up and they taste just as good. (Excuse the poor picture quality of my cookie that I ate in my bed back in Florida)

Ruffian (East Village): I know I constantly use the words “tiny” and “minuscule” when talking about NYC restos, but Ruffian really is Polly Pocket-tiny and only seats 20, does not take reservations and won’t accomodate parties over four. Honestly, if I had known it had so many rules before I went, I probably would have steered clear. But we wandered into this wine bar right after they opened at 3pm on a Sunday and it was perfect. They are known for serving super interesting/niche wines and know their stuff. The food is also inventive and flavorful. Bonus: they even had happy hour going on for bottles, glasses and snacks and it’s a common consensus that they have one of the coolest looking bathrooms in the city.

Please share any of your gems in the city! NYC is the type of place you can go to over and over again and only begin to scratch the surface of the food scene, so I’m always looking for suggestions.

Curiously yours,

Bailey Evin