Only in New York City can the simple task of ‘eating’ be fraught with head-splitting angst. Where on earth do you start? Well, usually, right outside the front door of your hotel! From hot-dog stands to cawfee-carts, 5* restaurants and hole-in-the-wall kebab and sandwich joints, the city of New York offers as many dining options as diners; and in a city of 9 million that’s saying a lot.
If you’d like to find some order to the madness, follow our guide to New York food and the best NYC eating experiences.
Best Michelin-Starred Restaurants In New York
If you’re in the mood for a taste revolution, then book a table at one of the city’s top-notch eateries. There are currently 66 restaurants in NYC which have been awarded a Michelin star, and a total of seven which have gained God-like status thanks to their triple-star rating. Here’s our pick of the best:
Daniel offers a Manhattan formal dining experience bar none, and has earned its three stars thanks to its more than impeccable service, sublime setting and exceptional food. For a heavenly treat, try the eight-course degustation menu paired with premium local and imported wines ($350), it is said to be life-changing.
Jean Georges is an incredible lunch choice whilst visiting New York, and is located on the south-west corner of Central Park right in the heart of town. Owned by one of the city’s supreme restaurateurs, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, this fine eatery has been going strong since it first opened its doors in 1997. In a city where fads, trends and darlings continually drop in and out of fashion, this accolade is testament to the genius that is behind the stove: Jean Georges himself. Everything about this place is outstanding: elegant grey and white adorn the walls, antique chandeliers frame the dining room and the whole atmosphere is one of old-school romantic charm. Oh…and the food is edible perfection.
Best Steak Houses
The world-famous New York steak is something of a legend, so head to the following places to savour a mouth-watering sirloin, porterhouse or rib-eye steak.
Keens Steakhouse in Manhattan is consistently rated as NYC’s best, and is one of the oldest carnivorous establishments in the city. This place has been grilling filet mignons for well over a century, and serves a mutton chop meal said to be ‘legendary’.
Wolfgang Zwiener earned his steak-grilling stripes with Peter Luger, yet since opening his eponymous restaurant in Park Avenue, he has proven to be a very good student indeed. Renowned for offering the best steak, potatoes and creamed spinach meal in town, this restaurant has even been awarded ‘bucket-list’ status. Dine here and you may well die a happier person.
Best New York Hot-Dogs
While you’ll come across hundreds of hot-dog stands during your New York stay, rest assured that going a little out of your way to reach a hot-dog institution is a thoroughly worthwhile experience.
Gray’s Papaya (402 6th Avenue) may be a rather unusual name for a corner of hot-dog heaven, but that’s exactly what it is. It feeds lean, mean, hot dog-eating machines all day and night long, and is often rated the best, fastest and cheapest hound-hub in town.
Asia Dog is another great New York offering, and somewhat of a revolutionary hot dog joint. It serves tasty franks topped with all your Asian specialties, like fish, satay or curry sauce. Ok, reading that may sound weird but for some mystifying reason, it just works!
Nathan’s very famous hot dog stand on Coney Island is home to the world hotdog eating competition; an almost nauseating show of man’s epitome eating prowess. This is about as authentic as NYC hotdogs get, so come down here and soak up the beach atmosphere and Brooklyn flair. Then gorge on Nathan’s infamous chilli dog.
Best Cookie Monsters
Sugar-lovers of the world unite…and indulge in some of New York’s very best sweet treats: cookies! Whether you like ‘em gooey, crunchy, brittle or flowy, there’s a cookie here with your name on it.
The double-chocolate ecstasy (sorry, we meant cookie) found at Levain may make you want to weep and cry out for your mama; while the bacon, vanilla and chocolate cookies at Baconery in the Books of Wonder Cafe will first disturb you, then puzzle you, and finally tempt you and leave you salivating for more.
Dominique Ansel Bakery offers a great choice of cookies, fudges and cakes which are flour-less and gluten free, so you can still gorge to your heart’s content. Dominique used to be the head pastry chef at Daniel’s (see above), but burst out onto the solo scene when he was named one of the “Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the United States” by Dessert Professional Magazine in 2009.
Pabo76 via Flickr
Adactio via Flickr
Creations by Dominique Ansel