New York City

New York is full of great places to eat, plus things to do at any hour and on any budget. It can get overwhelming if you’re not organized and although I always come with a long list of recommendations, I find that I usually need to be tracking down a specific spot in a specific neighborhood or else I’ll inevitably wind up deviating in favor of popping into a random restaurant because I’m hungry and it’s close by.

My solution? I’ve compiled here recommendations from various sources – friends, family, social media tips, as well as some of my old favorites… With notes on location (roughly listed from north to south) and what to try when you get there. Note: we have some of the best Asian food in Hawaii, so I’m trying to focus on things that we really don’t get easily back home that NYC really gets right. Things like oysters, Italian food, and boozy brunches. All recommendations are welcome, but these are especially appreciated.

And finally – don’t miss the Twitter scroll at the bottom of this page for the very latest from some of my favorite NYC restaurants, chefs & publications. Or save/follow this list on Foursquare here. Enjoy!

Manhattan

Amy Ruth’s (Harlem)
Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken (Harlem)
Levain Bakery – Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (Harlem & UWS)
Lincoln (Upper Westside)
Dovetail (Upper Westside)
Laduree – Macarons (UES or SoHo)
Masa/Bar Masa – sushi (Midtown West)
Marea (Midtown West)
Oceana (Times Square)
HanGawi – Korean Vegetarian (Murray Hill)
Sullivan Street Bakery (Hell’s Kitchen & Chelsea)
The Breslin – charcuterie, lamb burger, go for casual lunch or dinner (Chelsea)
Stumptown Coffee Roasters – next to the Breslin in the ACE hotel (Chelsea)
Cafeteria – late night dining (Chelsea)
La Maison du Macaron (Chelsea)
Buddakan – Daniel Skurnick (Chelsea)
Rocket Pig – (Chelsea)
Delaney BBQ (High Line/Chelsea)
Catch – spicy crab pasta (Meatpacking District)
Spice Market (Meatpacking District)
Shake Shack (Flatiron)
ABC Kitchen – Ross Mendoza (Flatiron)
Eataly (Flatiron)
Eleven Madison Park – *** (Flatiron)
Nomad – same as EMP, go for brunch (NoMad/Flatiron)
Maialino – Danny Myers group, in Gramercy Hotel (Gramercy)
Devi – Indian (Union Sq)
Momofuku Noodle Bar or Saam Bar (East Village)
Mamoun’s Falafel (East Village)
Amor y Amargo – bitters tasting room & cocktail bar, the name means “Love & Bitters” (East Village)
Prune – Brunch or dinner (East Village)
Upstate – Craft Beer & Oyster Bar (East Village)
Viniero’s Italian Bakery – cannolis and mini pastries (East Village)
PDT (Please Don’t Tell) – hidden speakeasy (East Village)
Angel’s Share – hidden speakeasy (East Village)
Ivan Ramen (East Village)
Alder – Wylie Dufresne, casual/pub (East Village)
Empellon Cocina (East Village)
Max Brenner – Chocolate (East Village)
Bianca – Italian (East Village/NoHo)
Babbo (Greenwich village)
Murray’s Bagels (Greenwich Village)
Neta – sushi (West Village)
Empellon Taqueria (West Village)
124 Old Rabbit Club – hidden beer bar (West Village)
Employees Only – speakeasy/cocktails (West Village)
L’Artusi (West Village)
Minetta Tavern (West Village)
Sorella – (LES)
Russ & Daughters Cafe (LES)
Katz’ Delicatessen – pastrami (LES)
Attaboy – former Milk & Honey bartenders Mike McIlroy + Sam Ross (LES)
Nitecap – new cocktail bar (LES)
wd~50 – Wylie Dufresne. $25 for 2 courses at the bar (LES)
Clinton St. Baking Company – brunch (LES)
Jane Restaurant – Brunch (SoHo)
Dominique Ansel Bakery – cronuts, etc (SoHo)
Lure Fishbar – seafood/oysters (SoHo)
Balthazar – brunch (SoHo)
The Mercer Kitchen – Jean-Georges (SoHo)
The Cupping Room Cafe – brunch (SoHo)
Bouley (TriBeCa)

Brooklyn
Roberta’s Pizza (Bushwick)
Blanca (Bushwick)
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare – ***
Fette Sau – bbq (Williamsburg)
Pies-n-Thighs – brunch (Williamsburg)
Champ’s Family Bakery – 50’s themed diner, vegan (Williamsburg)
Maison Premiere – Oysters & Cocktails (Williamsburg)

Eater NY coverage of the 2014 NYC Michelin Guide here.

Things to do in NYC
Live Jazz – Blue Note (West Village), Village Vanguard (West Village), Fat Cat (West Village), Birdland (Hell’s Kitchen), Joe’s Pub (Astor Place)
The High Line – one of my favorite places in the city
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge – on my NYC bucket list
Smorgasburg – Maybe on a Sunday morning, after a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge! Hmmm…


A special mahalo to those who helped with tips:

Chef Kevin Lee of Prima Kailua (formerly at Dovetail in NYC), Greg T., Eric T., Jeanie S., Scott K., Mel S., John A., Erin K.



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