I was lucky to live in New York for 2 months last summer (July 2021). We had many adventures and scoured the city to find the best eats. We even did a sandwich tour with this funny and knowledgable guide through East Village who still brings up the question, ‘Is a hot dog, a sandwich?’ We learned some history of the area and had one of the best sandwiches of my life. I’ll mention it below 😉
Since New York is so large and delicious foods can be found anywhere from Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. It’s really hard to choose a select few. You may wonder how I know where to find the best food. Well, I have some native NY foodie friends (that I highly trust) that give AH-MAZING recommendations. In order to get the best restaurant recommendations, Theo and I always pop this question: “where would you go for breakfast, lunch and dinner if your best friend was in town for one day?’ Its hard for them to narrow it down, but it gives us good idea what we NEED to try in New York.
If you go to at least one of the restaurants I mentioned below, I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. I also added my favorite dishes to get at each location. I don’t want you to order the wrong thing and have an underwhelming experience ◡̈
I organized the recommendations by breakfast, lunch and dinner. Keep in mind that breakfast is not one of my favorite meals so the selection is quite limited. Unpopular opinion, I think breakfasts with eggs (omelettes and scrambled eggs) is too expensive for what you get.
- Mei Lai Wah – chinese food –
- Order: BBQ pork buns
- Devoción – coffee shop –
- Order: coffee and pastries
- % Arabica – aesthetic coffee shop –
- Order: spanish latte (if you like your coffee on the sweeter side!)
- May Wah Fast Food – taiwanese food – The dishes are super affordable and delicious meal in chinatown! –
- Order: Chicken leg or pork chop over rice (both options are delicious!)
- Jamrock Jerk – jamaican food – The food is sold in a cute cart outside Brooklyn. You can smell it blocks away! –
- Order: Oxtail and Jerk Chicken with rice combo. The rice and meat packs in so much flavor!
- Joe’s Pizza – NY style pizza! –
- Order: classic pepperoni and white with spinach
- Foxface – gourmet sandwiches with unexpected combinations –
- Order: smoking fox sandwich – perfectly toasted bread with smoked beef and some cole slaw to balance the heaviness
- Take 31 – modern korean food –
- Order: braised pork belly (so tender and flavorful!) and they have complementary tteukbokki!
- Forma Pasta Factory – italian food – homemade pasta at affordable prices –
- Order: all the pastas here are so delicious! My favorite is Mafaldine Scampi because it has nice little kick and flavorful breadcrumbs on top of the pasta. Side note: This is Theo’s favorite italian restaurant EVER! It has great prices and yummy pastas, so its fits all his requirements 😀
- Fish Cheeks – not your usual thai food (no pad thai!) – very spicy and they don’t allow alternations to the spice –
- Order: Oysters! I’m usually not a fan of oysters but I love the oysters here (so fresh and they are on the smaller side)! Its served with shallots and a thai spicy sauce. Also order tiger prawn karee, crab fried rice, and zabb wings! If you are good with spice, the crab curry is amazing (but I warned you, its very spicy!).
- Beat Mazesoba – japanese mazemen –
- Order: beat mazemen. The noodles are mixed with a savory sauce and the onsen egg tops it off! Super flavorful and not your traditional broth ramen.
- Nami Nori – modern japanese (sushi tacos) –
- Order: traditional set for your first time to try everything! If you want to create your own set, my favorite ones are: lobster tempura, XO scallop, spicy sea bass, tuna poke, toro scallion.
- Kitsby – asian desserts –
- Order: Thai Tea Lava Cake (other lava cakes flavor sounds delicious too!), Yuzu Cheesecake
- Mochii – homemade mochi –
- order: mochi ice cream and mochi daifuku (all flavors are good!!!)
- Jell and Chill – asian drinks (fruit and vegan jelly) –
- Order: flavors change depending on season! I had the grapefruit one and it was amazing. Hope you can try that one 😉