New York, New York!

New York
Photography by cmiper

Well, it looks like Maxence and I will be spending a few days in New York City this June — my excitement can barely be contained. I have long wanted to return to this city, which I visited just once when I was 15.

Ten years later, I have read a lot more books and articles and restaurant reviews and blogs, I have seen a lot more movies (not to mention episodes of Sex and the City), and I feel I have an infinity of things to discover, see, hear, experience — and more importantly, taste.

So. Plane tickets, check. Hotel room, check. Guidebook, check. I have a few things in mind and a lot of reading up to do in the archives of NYC food bloggers, but I would also like to turn to you, readers of C&Z, for advice!

If you were me — more interested in exploring the streets than visiting museums, thirsty for the quirky and the authentic, and undeniably tastebud-driven — what would you do, where would you go, what would you eat, what would you absolutely not want to miss?


Update: Oh wow, what a response! I knew I could count on you, many thanks for the terrific suggestions. It will probably take me a dozen more trips to cover them all, but I will take your good advice with me and try to make the most of my stay. It certainly seems like I won’t go hungry!

  • may

    heyee i wrote about my recent trip here… maybe it might be useful…


  • Ah, how nice… there is nothing better than NYC in the spring!

    There are so many places to go in NYC… my favorite BBQ place (Blue Smoke), a great outdoor spot to get burgers and ice cream (The Shake Shack), any one of Mario Batali’s restaurants (Lupa and Otto are favorites), The Spotted Pig – a gastropub with a small but delectable menu. My site has lots of NYC food bits which you might enjoy. And we just ate at Craft, which was one of the best restaurant meals I have ever eaten. Craft has a sister restaurant (Craftbar) and a sandwich shop (‘wichcraft), and all of those restaurants are in close proximity to Union Square (Republic is another favorite – pan-asian noodles and the like).

    Chelsea Market, as May mentioned, is a great way to hit a whole bunch of great food shops… from Amy’s Bread to Fat Witch brownies.

    And do make sure you spend some time in Central Park. You could have an Upper West Side day, go to Zabars, Fairway and Citarella (three food meccas all on Broadway btw 74th and 80th). If you were to walk down Broadway from Zabars *80th), you’d pass by Beard Papa’s cream puffs… not to be missed. On the other side of Broadway you could visit Fishs Eddy, they sell some great plates, mugs, glasses (check out the NYC pattern… you can even get a bag or an umbrella in that print). It’s easy to head on over to the park from the Upper West Side as well. Oh, and as far as restaurants go, a nice spot is Kitchen 82 (3 course prix fixe for $25 from restauranteur Charlie Palmer).

    Ok, I’ll leave it at that for now. And my husband and I are in the city much of the time, and would be more than willing to be your tour guide for a few hours. :)

  • Rebecca

    Depending on how much time you have in NY, I think a day of walking and food in Brooklyn would be great! You could start in Park Slope, walk around the boutiques and the park there and eat at Applewood (don’t miss the curried cauliflower), and then head over to the promenade by the water and get a nice view of the manhattan skyline as you make your way to DUMBO. In DUMBO, you could eat at Grimaldi’s (coal oven pizza) and visit Jacques Torres chocolate and Brooklyn Ice Cream. You could even take the water taxi back to the city, or walk over the bridge if you want to work off all that food!
    Let me know if you would like a tour guide, I love showing people around Brooklyn…

  • Luisa

    Yay – Clotilde in New York! How exciting. Definitely make sure to spend an afternoon in Chinatown – go for dim sum, walk around, look at the fish markets and stores with baskets of strange little dried fruits and fruits de mer and other unknowable things in them. Also, take the subway to the Brooklyn Bridge, get out and walk over the bridge (try to get a sunny day to do this) to Brooklyn. Once there, walk to Grimaldi’s and have one of the best pizzas in New York and then get ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and lick the cone standing at the Fulton Ferry Landing, overlooking Lower Manhattan. Alternatively, you can walk over to Jacques Torres’s chocolate store, just a few blocks away, in DUMBO.
    Also, make sure you do a West Village walk – you can’t miss Magnolia Bakery and all the pretty little stores and cafes there, and see if you can try to get lunch at the counter at Mary’s Fish Camp or Pearl Oyster Bar – a great, single girl experience… There’s so much more to do – let me know if you want a walking/eating companion! ;)

  • Jacob Harris

    I’m a 7 year New York resident (used to live in the Village, now residing in Brooklyn)

    Gastronomically speaking (since I know that’s your main interest really), I would recommend using two resources for eating. The wonderful Time Out New York magazine (they have an Eating and Drinking Guide too) will tell you things to do and lists their 100 favorite restaurants and looks more eclectic and excellent offbeat fare. Other people like Zagats, but I “can’t stand” the way the quote “random people” in their reviews. The joy of New York is the way you can chaotically careen between $300 meals at top flight restaurants and cheap dim sum in Chinatown while enjoying both.

    I personally would recommend the following things to do:
    1. Food shopping in either Bleecker Street in the West Village (you can stop by Magnolia Bakery I suppose), Chelsea Market, or the Farmer’s market/Whole Foods in Union Square
    2. Eating at a nice midscale but cutting edge place like Blue Hill, the Spotted Pig, or one of Mario Batali’s mini empire.
    3. Dim sum or other fare in Chinatown.
    4. A visit to Jacques Torres chocolate either in Brooklyn or his new place in the West Village area.
    5. The museums here are quite good (okay, that’s not food-related, but…)
    6. Don’t forget to milk the power of the Euro vs. the Dollar right now.
    7. I suppose if you really want to splurge you could go to Daniel, Bouley (or Danube), or Le Bernardin.

    Okay, that’s a start. Five personal favorite places to eat I can never grow tired of:
    1. Blue Hill (
    2. Caracas Arepa Bar (
    3. Blue Ribbon Bakery (it’s actually a restaurant and boulangeriee, no website)
    4. Wallse (
    5. Alma (in Brooklyn, with rooftop view of lower Manhattan)

  • You’re from Blogdon, you could got eh blog route like this guy:

    “The idea was simple. For 48 hours, I would tour Manhattan using the “blogosphere” as my guide. By tapping the freshly posted thoughts of the city’s (perhaps the world’s) most opinionated insiders – New York bloggers – I’d leave behind the instantly outdated world of guidebooks…”,7450,1478077,00.html

    Other than that and have gotta be worth a sniff for help.

  • kates

    Lucky you! I just visited NYC again a couple of months ago. Here are my highlights:
    – price fixe lunch at Fleur de Sel, near the Flatiron building
    – that perfect American meal — burger, fries & chocolate shake — at Chat ‘n’ Chew, a diner also in the Flatiron district
    – maple sugar & syrup at the Greenmarket in Union Square (there was lots of other great local stuff here too, cheese, produce, you name it)
    – Cricket Cola – a soda made from green tea and kola nut — I found this just in some grocery store and fell in love!
    Can’t wait to hear your report, Clotilde!

  • I live in New York and no comment space could contain the myriad gastronomic experiences you could have in this city. So I’ll stick to some that are uniquely NY, and hard to find in France. First you must have a bagel at Ess-a-bagel, on 3rd Avenue between 50th and 51st. Forget H&H. And while you’re in the neighborhood you can visit the Grand Central Market and have lunch at Sushi Yasuda. Also you shouldn’t miss the Second Ave. Deli, a real Kosher deli. For pizza, the best places are in Brooklyn. My favorite is a small shop in Brooklyn called DiFara’s (1424 Avenue J @ 15th St. Take the Q train to the Avenue J stop.). There’s also Grimaldi’s at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge and Totonno’s in Coney Island. Finally, if you’re into it, the Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown serves amazing vegetarian Dim Sum at all hours of the day. Best time to go, however, is Sunday morning (early), and get the Mashed Taro Treasure Boxes.

  • You know, this is a great way to get NYC tips for those of us in the area. Maybe we should have a NYC-area get together!

  • Bronwen

    i never post here but am an avid reader and have to jump in as i travel, i’d imagine, much like you do (food-driven) and happen to live in NYC! I’ve often tried to map out the perfect day of eating (on the cheap) in NYC but have yet to create the best itinerary. untill i do, here’s some suggestions, listed by restaurant/food shop:
    –danny meyer shake shack in madison sq park: the burgers and custards are WONDERFUL here, although there tends to be a wait. that said, this is one of the most underused beautiful parks in the city. once you get your burger and custard, sit outside and eat it. good people watching, very NYC
    –il laboratoria di gelatto: i love going to this place not only b/c the ricotta (and all other flavors) gelatto is amazing but b/c its in the old lower east side. the LES is sorta a mecca of old NY style food and is fun to window shop about, walk thru the small streets. make this place one of your stops if you head down there.
    –katz deli: i doubt you need explaning on this, but the corned beef and/or pastriami sandwhiches are un-missable. i also like the latkes. yum.
    –prune: the chef if this (sort of expensive) restaurant is super inventive in the best of ways. go for either brunch or dinner to see what she comes up with. the really fun part is the sauce pairings she comes up with…we had a fried oyster omlete that came with a side dish of tabasco and powdered suger. it was incredible. and the place is adorably done.
    –inoteca: i love this place for italian small plates. i also love the atmosphere and the fact that there are huge windows looking out on the street for people watching. this isn’t really cheap, but its a pretty good value. the meat plates are really great as are a bunch of the salads (an asparagus one they have is my fav). dont miss the truffled egg toast either. great (italian) wine list.
    –dumpling place: everyone has their fav, but the one i like is on christie street just south of delancy…its literally a whole in the wall but if you’ve just finished exploring chinatown (which you should) and want a snack, 5 dumplings are a dollar and a scallion pancake is a bit more. quite delicious.
    –wichcraft: samantha mentions this as a good stopping point near union sq…i have to agree and point out that their egg sandwhich is one of the best i’ve ever had. again, great fortifier for sight seeing (quick place to eat, lacks much ambience)
    –kati roll: if your headed to the west village via bleeker st and pass macdougal st and find yourself hungry, head up the street to Kati Roll and get a paneer roll. they’re super cheap and a delicious filling snack. basically indian bread grilled and wrapped around marinated/grilled panner and veggies. so good.
    –pastis: i know its SO touristy but this little corner of the meatpacking district is a fun place to feel like a tourist (and you will…its so over the top sceney). it might be funny for you to see the american take on a paris bistro as well…call it a comparative case study.

    i could go on and on but will stop there as this post is getting too long. feel free to email me if you want any clarification/addresses for any of these spots! have so much fun!!

  • Jacob Harris

    I forgot about Pizza and Bagels true. Contrary to the opinion of the rest of the world, a bagel is not a roll with a hole in it and a perfect slice does not come from Domino’s (as a friend said once, “Domino’s is not worth the paper it’s printed on”). An ideal New York slice should have a thin, firm crust dusted with coal from the oven and solid enough you can put a crease in it and eat it while walking. Others above have covered good options for both, but I think you really need to get a fine example of each while you are here. Other additional options you can try in Manhattan:

    1. Murray’s Bagels
    2. Lombardi’s, Arturo’s or John’s for pizza if you can’t make it to Grimaldi’s or other fine places in Brooklyn.

    One other useful guide (in English only though) is City Secrets New York (written by literati and other residents).

    In terms of bars, I also recommend:
    1. Chumley’s – former speakeasy & literary haunt
    2. The Ear Inn
    3. KGB Bar
    4. The Old King Cole Bar
    5. Siberia

  • I know it’s slightly cliche, but the restaurant Otto is amazing. It’s friendly to the budget, and the food it ridiculously good.
    Also, visiting Pearl River Market in SOHO is also a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s sort of an Asian-goods paradise. We spent a happy couple hours wandering, and ending up with some gorgeous inexpensive dishes.

  • clotilde…
    a real slice of the old immigrant experience on the lower east side…and then you can eat!

  • may

    i forgot to add… if you are in Chinatown, you have to try Joe’s Shanghai and order some of the steamed dumplings — literally known as “Xiao Long Bao”; they are really good.

    Down Mott Street you can find lots of eating choices…

  • Amanda

    hurrah for clotilde over here! I think a NYC get together would be delightful…If you want a really delicious splurge, Union Square Cafe is absolutely wonderful. I also second Chelsea Market, as it is a veritable wealth of shops and restaurants to explore! Let us know what you decide to do!

  • Fantastic! You will love it! I am a part-time NYer and will be moving back there for the summer in a week and I’m very excited.

    Long-shot: If you can manage to swing reservations at Per-Se, I hear it is amazing. I haven’t been able to get in, but I imagine you have better connections than I do.

    Otherwise, for top-notch eating experiences — in random order, I don’t think I could name my favorite (I’ve tried to include websites so you can check them out in advance):
    1. Babbo ( is always a great favorite (also difficult for reservations, but I think more manageable)
    2. Hedeh — (I don’t think they have a website, but it’s at 57 Great Jones Street — which is nearish to Soho, Nolita, etc.) a fantastic sushi place — it was new last summer and was really great
    3. WD50 ( — Wylie Dufrene’s restuarants have all been good (most of them are located on Clinton Street, WD50 is at 50 Clinton) but this one really stands out.
    4. Chinatown — wandering around and checking out the stores and markets is always fun. Plus, there’s the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory ( Also, if you’re up for it, a good spot for late-night karaoke is Winnie’s (104 Bayard Street, off Baxter)
    5. If you have time to make it out to Queens (take the W line out to Astoria Blvd.) the Beer Garden ( is a favorite, though I think the whole beer garden phenomenon — this is the last remaining one in NY, when there were hundreds of them at the turn of the century — has stuck around in Europe more, so maybe this wouldn’t be as exciting for you. But also there’s a great Czech restaurant outside of the 30th Ave. stop (also on the same subway line) called Zlata Praha (
    6. 2 great food stores that you should check out: Kalustyan’s ( and McNulty’s Tea and Coffee (
    7. I’m going to add one last one — Lupa ( — maybe not on par with Babbo (it’s affiliated with the same people — both started by Mario Batali, Lupa was sold…) but still has always left me quite happy

    Good luck, have fun. I’ll post anything else that pops into my mind — this was just the food post, there are so many other things to do too!

  • I just re-read a few other peoples’ posts. How could I forget:
    1. Craft (someone said Witchcraft, which is the lunch place next door, but also check out Craft)
    2. Someone said Joe Shanghai for the soup dumplings — I second that, though I contend that Goodies (#1 E. Broadway) is better
    3. I always love a sandwich at Grilled Cheese NYC (right near Katz’)
    4. Bars: N (33 Crosby Street) is my favorite for mojitos and tapas, but Black and White plays good music, and I’ll second whoever said KGB bar
    5. And I found WD-50’s website (

  • chevre27

    For a quick bite, you must try the best burgers in NYC– they’re buried deep within the super-luxe Le Parker Meridien hotel, in the strangest little unnamed place which is affectionately known as “the burger joint.” It’s truly an experience.

    Here’s a good review:

  • sarah

    Not tips from me, but seeing as Adam over at the Amateur gourmet is always reviewing places in NYC maybe that’s a good place to start

    Enjoy and we want to hear all about it.

  • Patsy

    You will have a wonderful time in New York. I think it’s amusing how many people are recommending French restaurants to you; go, instead, to as many different ethnic places as possible. By this I mean Caribbean, Hispanic, soul food, Kosher delis, et al — the tastes of what this country is supposed to be, a melting pot.

    And may I correct you? Perhaps you should not refer to yourself as “a street-walker” once you arrive in Manhattan!

    Have fun planning your trip.

  • Scott

    You have to go to PRUNE.

  • Beryl

    The ground has been pretty well covered here, so I’ll mention only something I haven’t seen recommended yet. For a great American hot dog go to Papaya King on the Upper East Side, 178 E. 86th St. (at 3rd Avenue).

    I second Katz’s deli for unbelievable pastrami, and you can see the table where Sally had her unusual reaction to her lunch in “When Harry Met Sallly … ”

    Welcome back to America, Clothilde! Have a great trip. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  • suzie

    Freemans (phenomenal brunch – better than Prune – and I love Prune)

    Al Di La (Park Slope Brooklyn)

    Franny’s (Park Slope too, fabulous brick oven pizza)

  • kaira

    Hi Clotilde,

    There are a so many places to recommend that I don’t know where to start, but there are two places that you really don’t want to miss:

    Spice Market in the meat packing district. It is the last restaurant by Jean-George where he takes his try at Asian Street Food. If you love the delicious junk food sold on the street of Mumbai, Bangok, Kuala Lumpur or never got a chance to try it… Jean-George take it to the next level using the finest ingredient making a few substitution here and there (duck instead of pork for instance where its richness is more appropriate). It is delicious and really not expensive. The ambiance is eclectic but more like a seedy bar in Honk-Kong in the 60s… really cool. You should make a reservation as soon as possible as it is hard to get one despite the fact that they serve really late and that they have a lot of tables… the meat packing district being also the new hip night area of NY, you really don’t want to miss it.

    Aquavit is also really worth trying. Not the best restaurant in NY (for me the title goes to Le Bernadin) , but really innovative food. Each time I have been there I would see the description of the dishes and think, there is no way this ingredient goes with that one, or who uses that ingredient in such a dish, and each time the combination is superb…. the food is delicious and really original. The service though is not at the level of the food and I think that’s what keeps it from being a four star one. But if you like innovative cuisine it is definitely worth it. I have never gone there for lunch but believe they have very deals at lunch.

    And even if Le Bernadin is a French restaurant it is superb and well worth going. So far this is the best restaurant I have been too in a tie with l’Auberge de L’ill in Alsace. Given the euro/dollar exchange rate, if you want to splurge this is the place, and if Maxence has a romantic question to ask this is a good place to do so….:-)

    Have fun,

  • cheesy chilaquiles

    Blue Ribbon Bakery and Café (35 Downing St. (West Village) at Bedford St.
    212-337-0404) is a working bakery with a 140-year old brick oven which produces wonderous breads. The popular panini shop – “ino” – has built its reputation on sandwiches made with BRB’s estimable ciabatta. The café portion of the business is a meeting place for the city’s top chefs. They gather there, after hours, for Blue Ribbon’s beef marrow bones, shrimp-and-bacon hash, American caviar, fried-catfish sandwiches, herring and the impressive roasted tomatoes. This is a café for culinarians. There is now also the Blue Ribbon Bakery Market (at 14 Bedford St., nr. Downing St., NYC 212 – 647 – 0408) which is a showcase for the bakery’s breads as well as a gourmet market and baking supplies shop. Here is a blurb from that helps to define some of the delights of BRB:

    “You’re probably going to walk by it the first time. Because from all you’ve already heard, this couldn’t be the place-it looks like one more brick-walled Village joint with first-come-first-served seating (reservations are available for parties of five or more) and a brunch menu. But there’s that quixotically intriguing all-over-the-place menu. And naturally, you’re soon in danger of ordering nothing and spending the evening tearing into the insidiously addictive breads and a bottle of wine. Put the butter knife down! You don’t want to miss the yummy steak tartare, perfectly smoked sable, a butcher’s plate to shame most Italian antipasti, a super rack of lamb splashed with tomato sauce, a funkily stringy barbecued-pork sandwich and coleslaw, and a BLT that really is a meal. And can you pass up a place that can still make a root-beer float? If you can, keep walking, and let someone who truly understands fine dining sit down.”

  • Greetings Clotilde!

    What a fantastic time to visit! I’ll do my best not to write a novel here, but there are TOO MANY amazing places to try! I spent 3 years as a concierge at a luxury hotel and have experienced some of the most fantastic restaurants, but my heart still leans towards smaller neighborhood places that you don’t typically see hyped in magazines and guide books…

    That being said, I suggest taking advantage of some outdoor cafe action! I like the intimacy (not to mention the “forgotten” classic cocktails done to perfection) at 5 Ninth. Although it is in the uber-trendy Meatpacking District, their backyard patio is a charming oasis to rest your aching feet, sample some cocktails and light bites, and drink in the summer air. Chic but still relaxed and somewhat hidden.

    Another great choice for outdoor cocktails is the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yes, it’s touristy, but the view eclipses the pricey drinks and the experience on a whole it’s definitely worth it…plus, you can check out some art while you’re there. I also recommend the pastries and coffee at Terrace 5 in the new Museum of Modern Art for more art/food/outdoor loveliness.

    I agree with so many of the other comments above and must echo some of them. A trip to Brooklyn is a MUST. Grimaldi’s pizza (best in New York, hands down) and the Jacques Torres chocolate shop in DUMBO are two of my absolute favorite places in New York. I’ve taken every member of my family from overseas and they continue to mention this as the highlight of their trip. You can walk off the pizza and chocolate by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge back into Manhattan. A perfect way to spend an afternoon!

    Another restaurant to echo: WD-50. Inventive, whimsical, surprising…always a favorite. I implore you to walk over to the Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery on Rivington St. ( afterwards for delectable cupcakes done right. They’re perfection. The “Bob” cupcake with it’s almond buttercream frosting is the stuff dreams are made of. I’m not kidding. The staff is super nice, and they’re open late. A charming Lower East Side neighborhood favorite!

    I love the brunch at Cafe Mogador in the East Village. Their Moroccan Eggs Benedict with the spicy sauce is sublime…and easy on the wallet. I also love the Spaghetti Carbonara (yes, for breakfast) at Prune paired with a spicy Bloody Mary that comes with a beer chaser. Utterly charming and unpredictably delicious. Go early to get a table.

    OK. I’m going nuts here. I could write about food in New York forever! I will end with this. YOU MUST, I repeat, MUST not leave New York City without getting the chicken sandwich at Ruby’s cafe in Nolita. I’ve got a full blown addiction (which you can read about here if you scroll to the bottom of the page: THE RUBY’S CHICKEN SANDWICH IS MY CRACK, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO ABUSE IT WITH COMPLETE AND UTTER ABANDON! It’s THAT good. I’m not alone in my addiction, either. Please go. And order their lemonade, too. Small, crisp, and run by a staff of feisty Australians, I honestly couldn’t recommend this place more.

    One more before I go! If you’re walking through the West Village or the Union Square area, I suggest grabbing a cup of coffee at Joe ( Not only do they take coffee insanely seriously, their latte art has to be seen to be believed. I’ve simply never had a better cup of coffee. I recently took one of their coffee “classes” (which they do monthly for everything from brewing to frothing to The Perfect Espresso) and not only learned the history of coffee but how to brew the perfect cup. It’s a treat to visit a place that takes such pride in their product and their customers.

    Well, Clotilde, have a stupendous time in New York! I thoroughly enjoy reading Chocolate and Zucchini. I was never really interested in cooking…just eating. After reading your blog and learning more about the simplicity of making delicious food, I’ve since found that I love to cook. It’s new. Exciting. I sometimes feel like a wobbly puppy in the kitchen, but I’m determined to learn and, more importantly, get bold and creative with my new found confidence! Thank you for being such an inspiration…

    Live from New York,


  • Ok, one more thing and then I will stop clogging up your comments section.
    You said late June: I don’t know if you will be around for the Coney Island Mermaid parade, but it is an event you will never forget. Granted Coney Island is sort of a long haul out on the subway (it’s the last stop) but it’s worth it (my husband and I are obsessed with the history of Coney Island, as are many NY’ers and non-NY’ers.) and the mermaid parade is a spectacle. There’s nothing more “quirky and authentic” than that. Ride the rides, eat fair food, and watch the parade — men and women dressed up as mermaids and mermen (or dressed down I should say, there is quite a lot of skin exposed), old drag racing cars, music, and a lot of spirit.

    Here’s the Coney Island website:

    it’s pretty awesome

  • Hi Kate,

    Lupa is still owned by Mario… his first restaurant was sold… the name escapes me at the moment. And I *heart* Lupa. I’ve never been to Babbo… I know, silly me, right? But Lupa has never let me down. Mmmmm, I’m really hungry with all of this food talk!

    Oh, and another NYC spot – The Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side. Doughnut perfection.

  • lots and lots of great advice above — I’d just add that I run a NYC travel website and if you have any specific questions, I’d be happy to help. love your blog — makes me constantly crave a trip to paris :)

  • Dan

    New York City offers a rich buffet of people to watch, sounds to hear, smells to—ahem—process and foods to savor. Here is my list of musts:

    1. Zabar”s at 80th and Broadway. This is the temple of food. It will be less crowded during the week, but if you want the quintessential Zabar”s experience, Saturday afternoon is the most chaotic/entertaining. Don”t forget to check out the mezzanine for kitchen wares. They have a great assortment, and the prices are very competitive. If the weather”s cooperative, buy too much food (not difficult) and head to the park (Central, bien sûr) for an unforgettable picnic.
    2. Kalustyan”s at 28th Street and Lexington Avenue. What Zabar”s might not have, Kalustyan”s definitely will. This is a fantastic spices/grains/exotica shop in Manhattan”s (very little) Little India. The prices aren”t that great, but the selection of hard-to-find items is unparalleled. I”m sure you”ll love this place, so plan at least an hour here!
    3. Eisenberg”s Sandwich Shop at 5th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets. This is a great slice of old New York (established in 1929, I believe) and it”s like stepping back in time. Have a tuna sandwich on rye with an egg cream (no egg, no cream—go figure) and chat with the great old timers behind the counter.
    4. Jing Fong on Elizabeth Street just below Canal Street. Take the long escalator up from the street to a massive, must-be-seen-to-be-believed banquet hall where an infinite number of dim sum delicacies are wheeled around for your selection. Sample everything you desire, and I promise you won”t even pay $15 per person.
    5. Joe at Waverly Place and Gay Street (just west of 6th Avenue); also at 13th Street between University Place and 5th Avenue. This is the best coffee in New York, and the baked goods on offer are divine.

  • Yes, agreed, you must walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and eat pizza at Grimaldi’s.

    I have two suggestions that haven’t been mentioned yet. Both are inexpensive.

    -Veselka in the east village (2nd ave), for your midnight craving of potato pierogies or borscht. It ain’t gourmet but it’s greasy, fun, and classic.

    -Angelica Kitchen, for detoxing after you’ve eaten everywhere else. Great vegetarian food with die-hard fans. (

    Have fun!

  • Ah, you are right, Samantha, I can never get all of the chef/owner politics correct. I usually defer to my husband for remembering things like that. But Babbo — you must go. We endulged with the tasting menu with the wine pairings and stumbled out sort of tipsy, but I think we were more giddy off of the food than the wine.

    And the donut plant is AMAZING. I spent New Year’s Day (or maybe it was the day after?) wandering the Lower East Side on what turned out to be a gastronomic tour — we started at Yonah Schimmel for some knishes, then we went on to the Donut Plant, then Gus’ Pickles (SO GOOD!), and then to Economy Candy, and then I think we actually hit another Jewish bakery. I was so ill from the combination of donuts and pickles and candy that I couldn’t get anything there, though. What a great day… (sigh) I can’t wait to be back in NY.

  • Megan

    I live in New York, and I have to say that the restaurants the above commenter Samantha recommended are dead-on. The only one she mentioned that I wasn’t impressed with was Blue Smoke, but I’ve heard that it’s hit-or-miss, and their key lime pie made up for everything. It was the pie I’ve ever tasted.

    You need to get gelato at il laboratorio del gelato ( Look for honey lavendar, basil, and toasted sesame- they’re my favorite flavors so far.

  • Wow! I’m a native New Yorker, and I found a wealth of ideas here. Can’t wait until I move back to Brooklyn so I can try some of them. I can’t resist adding–if you go to Brooklyn, take a stroll on Smith Street, where there are lots of wonderful cafes, restaurants and boutiques. I especially love the Boerum Hill Food Company, between Bergen and Dean right near the Bergen St. subway. Also, walk over to Court St. (parallel to Smith) in Carroll Gardens and have a slice of pizza at Sal’s or Mola, then continue down Court St. to Caputo’s Italian deli. Tu va te regaler!

  • Thanks Megan. And you know, we’ve gone to Blue Smoke alot and have been really happy with it. It’s a combo of the service, the atmosphere, the deviled eggs, the desserts. Yum. And toasted sesame gelato… that sounds SO good!

    And Kate, I know that drunk on food feeling. We went to Craft on Saturday, and it was so devine that words can barely describe it. Mind you, someone else paid so that made the meal even better. :) (When are you back in NYC? We should have a meal or two!)

    Forgot about Veselka… I second Amylou! And Angelica Kitchen is great too, went once and have been wanting to go back.

    Thanks Clotilde for giving us crazy NYC foodies a place to connect.

  • creampuff

    Well, much of what I was going to tell you to consider has been covered above, but here are a few ideas I didn’t see mentioned.

    A whole meal of desserts — not exactly, but try the very creative Chikaliciouis at 2nd Ave and 10 th Street. Desserts and beverages only. A three-course dessert experience. Amazing sensibilities, very pleasant, very creative and not too sweet or heavy. You order your “main course” from the day’s specials and get the house “starter” and “dessert” to go with it. I ordered a carmelized peach with basil sorbet, got a corn ice cream starter (I was skeptical but it was simply the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten) and the smallest, tenderest cookies in the world to finish. You can order tea, coffee or an appropriate dessert wine to match your dessert.

    Sit at the counter and watch the two women owners interact in what is almost a ballet as they prepare each order.

    MY favorite Jewish deli (for emotional as well as culinary reasons) is the 2nd Ave. Deli, also at 10th st. I’m more of a pastrami person than corn beef.

    For a wonderful salad bar, the most gourmet experience you’ve ever had where you had to pay for what you eat by the pound, try City Bakery on East 18th street. They also have wonderful baked goods. They have a chocolate fountain where you can dip any of their homemade goodies (such as marshmallows) for instant chocolate fix.

    If you go to the lower East Side, please go the the Tenament Museum and take a tour of the buildings they are restoring. It really gives you a good look at the European immigrant experience.

    Do you know about the half price ticket booths (no line at the one at South Street Seaport)?

    If you like swing and big band music, try Swing 46 on West 46th street. Low cover, great sounds.

    If you are exploring Brooklyn, I highly recommend a trip to the Subway Museum.

    Just a thought, but you might start this as a regular forum topic so you can let us eager posters know what your (food and non-food) interests are!!

  • Samantha and everyone else,

    We definately should get together for a meal and I liked the suggestion that someone else had for some sort of get together as a big group — perhaps a pot-luck? (I don’t know if anyone has particularly large apartments, I can tell you that our sublet will not be adequate) or a barbeque? (again, does anyone have any space? We are very much missing our back deck from when we lived in Astoria. If no one has anything, I’m told that Prospect Park has public grills.)

    Clotilde, perhaps we could time it for when you are in town, if you are interested and have time for it in between all of the fantastic suggestions that everyone has posted!


  • the number of comments here speak to our love for you and your blog! you will have a terrific time in nyc, i just know it.

    i wholeheartedly agree with all of the comments/suggestions you have received so far. i am a lifelong new yorker (31 years!), so you can trust me.

    check out my blog for more suggestions.

  • I know there will never be any resolve on the great bagel debate, but I just wanted to put my two cents in for H&H. Plus, it’s a block or two away from Zabar’s, where you should definitely buy a cheese strudel (near the deli foods, not the bakery) because it is very yummy.
    I was a little disappointed by the chinatown in manhattan. What did blow me away though, was the one in Queens. There was even one area there where I swore I was in Korea…

  • Wow – you’re getting quite a response! I will heartily endorse il laboratorio del gelato, the Spotted Pig, Doughnut Plant, Union Square Greenmarket, and of course, Shake Shack, but I need to add my own two cents, too…

    Here’s a fun little walk-and-eat adventure you might enjoy. It’s in and around Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown. Cheap eats and lots to see and do — you’ll spend under $10 each and have some yummy nibbles (my boyfriend and I do this every few months):

    1. Guss’ Pickles (Orchard St. near Broome). You’ll see a guy standing out in front by the big barrels. Choose a pickle or two and he’ll fish ’em out and put ’em in wax-paper pouches for you. I think they’re 50 cents a pickle. (Guss’ is closed Saturday in observance of the Sabbath.)
    2. Turn left on Broome, cross Allen St (it’s a boulevard), and turn right to Fried Dumpling at 99 Allen St. You can’t miss the big sign that says FRIED DUMPLING. A buck will get you five pork-filled dumplings that are juicy and crisp. Another buck will get you four small pork buns. Seating is limited, but you can grab a bench in the Allen St. boulevard area and dine alfresco.
    3. Go back to Broome. Turn right. Walk down Broome. Go through the narrow park, pass Bowery (and more lighting stores than you’ll ever again see in one place), and walk almost to Mott St. Go inside Banh Mi So. 1 (on the left past the firehouse) and order a sandwich. For 3 bucks, you’ll get a yummy Vietnamese sandwich, built on a mini-baguette with pickled veggies and meat. You can easily split one, or go back inside for a second one. They also have the original Red Bull, in the bottle, if you need a pick me up.
    4. If you’re not still hungry, after you leave Bahn Mi So. 1, turn RIGHT on Mott, Elizabeth, or Mulberry streets. Mott and Elizabeth are about all that remain of Little Italy, so soak up the Godfather II flavor. Walk a couple blocks up into the Nolita district for cute clothing boutiques and cafes. It was apparently a setting for Sex and the City, so dodge the Carrie wannabes. Despite that, it’s charming, with cute tenements, interesting graffiti, and lots of 19th-century touches.
    5. Finally, walk up Mott, Elizabeth, or Mulberry streets to Prince St. Turn left. Between Mulberry and Lafayette is one of the cutest and coolest independent bookstores in NYC: McNally Robinson. I love their cookbook selection, and they have a spot for tea, coffee, and pastries inside, too.

    Speaking of cookbooks, don”t miss Bonnie Slotnick at 163 West Tenth St. – a fabulous, charming shop filled with vintage cookbooks and culinary ephemera.

    And finally, for swank cocktails in a lovely and historic setting, I can’t recommend The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal enough. Just gorgeous.

    Have a wonderful visit to our great city!

  • Kiko

    I have one suggestion for you (usually met with a ‘fuhgeddaboutit’ from my fellow NYers) which I reserve for out-of-town visitors only – for no other reason than the view – have *A* drink at the Rainbow Room right around sunset.

    The cocktail is just an excuse (and aren’t they all, really?) to look down from the top of Rockefeller Center.

    If you time it right, you’ll catch the sun setting over New Jersey, its red-orange reflection (the sun’s not NJ’s – NJ’s reflection is a completely different color) on the Hudson river and NY harbor; the lights coming up on the Empire State building, the Chrysler Building (and the rest of Manhattan); and the Verranzano Narrows, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and 59th St. bridges.

    It is a picture that you will carry with you for years to come.

    The stunning view offsets the drop in quality and service since the Cipriani organization took over the room (IMHO). And the prices? You might be carrying THAT memory with you for a while, too.

    Have your one drink and move on to dinner elsewhere.

  • Rachel

    Bonjour Clotilde,
    So glad that you will be visiting NY, I would also suggest a drink at the Rainbow Room, spectacular views.
    I absolutely adore your fabulous newsletter. You have such a way to describe all of your experiences with food, restaurants, shopping etc. It always transports me back to Paris, one of my favorite cities. Thank you! Enjoy your trip to NY.

  • Stacey

    If you want to shop for kitchen equipment, try Bridge Kitchen (52nd Street) or Broadway Panhandler, or upstairs at Zabars. The thrift (second hand) shops on 17th Street between 6th & 7th often have good kitchen stuff (Housing Works and Angel Street).

  • Stacey

    One more thing: The farmers’ market in Union Square is great but Mon-Wed-Friday are better than Sat. Monday has more of the smaller, organic farmers represented.

  • Stacey

    Absolutely the last thing: Kitchen Arts and Letters – a great bookstore devoted to food and cooking. The owner, Nach Waxman, is knowledgeable and generous (great combination). It’s not the most convenient location (92nd and Lex or thereabouts) but once you’re up there, you can go to the Vinegar Factory (way too expensive but fun to browse) another sprawling gourmet food store a few blocks east of the bookstore.

  • Marc

    If you want the best cookies of your life, check out the Levain Bakery, 74th and Amsterdam (West Side).

  • AlexK

    As a native NY’er…All I can say is if you can you should visit NY once a year or every other year…that way you can have a different experience every time…you just can’t believe how much the city is constantly changing!

  • Anna

    I’m an Euro transplant in NYC and have surveyed the food scene for the past two years. I’d frankly skip almost all the European influenced cuisines here – they achieve nice things here but unfortunately rarely something that compares to the original. You’ll just end up wasting your money and feel disappointed. New Yorkers rave about their pizza, for example, but I’ve never seen the point – it is so much better in Italy.

    I’d focus on what New York does best. New American and brunches are fun (cue: Fifth Avenue in Park Slope), Yiddish/kosher cooking indigenous, and Caribbean and Latin American foods easily available (Harlem, Washington Heights, Jackson Heights). I’d survey the less-travelled neighborhoods for cuisines more difficult to get back home. I love Astoria in Queens, it is a great mix of immigrant cuisines, and streets are mind-bogglingly alive. Korean food in Palisades Park, NJ is great fun (although you substitute 32nd street in Manhattan or Flushing).

  • Most of my ideas have already been said, but I’ll throw in a few more:

    Walk around the soho/little italy area. Its a neat little neighborhood full of boutiques, restaurants, shops, interesting buildings, etc. While there, the following may be of interest:
    Rice to Riches – a store that serves nothing but Rice Pudding! Gourmet rice pudding in about 20 different flavors! Its on Spring between Mott and Mulberry. Lombardi’s pizza is right across the street. On Mulberry is an Australian restaurant I’ve heard good things about.

    The Lower East Side is a neat little neighborhood. If you are there on a Monday in June, go to a venue called The Living Room (On Ludlow near Stanton) around 9pm for an artist named Mike Viola. He is absolutely amazing! I will be there for sure. His website is and he has samples of his music. Other great venues are Arlene’s Grocery (cheap dive bar with live music), Pianos (trendy bar with live music) Rockwood Music Hall (free to get in, but drinks are sort of pricy, has love music), Luna Lounge (awesome laid back dive bar with live music), etc. Don’t forget Grill Cheese NYC for your late night post-drinking snack or Katz’s for your pre show dinner! Definately check out the tennement museum.

    If you are in town on a Saturday or Sunday, be sure to do one of the New York traditions – Brunch! I recommend Essex on the Lower East Side for its Latin/Jewish cuisine (many of the immigrants to that area where from Latin America or were Jewish, so it is a neat twist.

    Hit up Central Park. If you don’t mind a pricey lunch or even dinner, The Boathouse has amazing park views and the food is excellent as well. Just walking around Central Park is fantastic. For a real New York Experience, buy a hotdog from a cart.

    Though if you want a truely great hotdog, you go to Nathan’s at Coney Island! The Coney Island experience is not to be missed. Also, there are plans to turn it into a shopping mall sort of area (gentrification in the bad way), so go there now before that bit of americana culture is gone forever.

    For a view of how the Other Half lives, check out Madison Ave and Park Ave on the Upper East Side. Window shopping is fun there, as you will see some legendary stores and beautiful buildings.

    For an off the beaten path trip, head up to Inwood on the upper tip of Manhattan to visit the Park and see the last bit of primordial, undeveloped land in New York City.

    Take a (free) trip on the Staten Island ferry for great views of France’s gift to the USA as well as downtown, or take a ferry to The Statue of Liberty. A trip to Ellis Island might be interesting as well, esp combined with the tenement museum and Lower East Side visit to get a full picture of the immigrant experience.

    Hopefully this gives you some ideas. :) Let me know if you want more ideas, or if you are interested in going to the Mike Viola show as I’d love to say hi! :)

  • AlexK

    For a different experience, check out the Brooklyn Historical Society 128 Pierrepont St Brooklyn, NY in Brooklyn Heights.

    Right now they are having an exhibition about the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team and what life was like in the neighborhood around 1955 when they won the world series.

  • sounds like you’ve got plenty to do, clotilde, but here’s my input –

    i’d agree with anna – GO LOCAL. i can’t vouchsafe for our euro cuisine, but our bagels can’t be beat!

    i think quite a few people have already mentioned taking a tour of the LES, but i’d be sure to visit Russ + Daughters ( while you’re down there. it’s a specialty food shop that has been there since 1914, run by the same family.

    for a pure dose of sugary americana, right around the corner is economy candy ( already mentioned by someone else, but definitely worth the trip. just loads and loads of candy. the LES is peppered with old and new – many old clothing stores, delis, etc, that have been there for years, but also many new chic little boutiques that have one-of-a-kind clothing. just to warn you though, don’t take an early-ish morning trip down there if you want to visit the boutiques – most don’t open until noon.

    and yes, astoria, my dear little home is a bevy of culinary treasures – greek, turkish, and home to a great place to grab a beer – The Bohemian Beer Garden, particularly if the weather is nice.

    enjoy your time in la grande pomme, clotilde!

  • You must spend some time on the Lower East Side. This neighborhood has really come up in the last few years and has so many culinary treats to offer. You can simply wander around the neighborhood and stumble on quite a few gems, either for a drink and a small bite or a full meal. My absolute favorite place is Inoteca on Rivington at Ludlow. It’s a fabulous Italian place serving delicious antipasta, paninis and many wines by the glass and bottle. It prefer it for lunch. Another option in the East Village is Mercadito. A fabulous authentic Mexican restaurant serving many varities of ceviches, tacos and other bonitas. Everything is served to taste and share. You don’t want to miss it. Stop back the Thompkins Square dog park after your meal (if you had lunch). It’s one of the biggest dog parks in the city and is always bustling with activity. Enjoy your trip!

  • Lola

    You are going to have such a great time in NYC. Here are my suggestions.

    Coney Island
    Union Square Farmer’s Market (in full swing Saturdays, but stalls are also up Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
    Central Park

    FOOD SHOPPING (another excellent opportunity for people watching):
    Murray’s Cheese
    Joe’s Dairy (they make their own fresh mozzarella that is sinfully delicious)
    Sullivan Street Bakey
    Amy’s Bread
    Dean & Deluca, Fairway, Zabar’s

    I saw little mention of Latin American food, and considering your recent Colombian food entry, I thought I’d mention these:
    Mexicana Mama – gourmet Mexican
    Itzocan Cafe – creative Mexican, excellent sangria
    Rocking Horse Cafe – superb tamales
    Flor’s Kitchen – excellent Venezuelan arepas
    Cafe Habana – upgrade on standard Cuban fare
    For Brazilian, try Circus or Casa.
    Riconcito Peruano – Peruvian ceviche and “papas a la huancaina” are a must
    Pio Pio – Peruvian roasted chicken

    If you’re looking for food you’re not likely to find back home, you must have some soul/southen food. The Soul Spot in Brooklyn is terrific. They also have Caribbean items like jerk chicken on the menu. It’s worth the trip. You could also try Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too in Harlem. This is the kind of food you can only have in the U.S., and both of these places do it pretty well for not being in the South.

    In addition I’d suggest the Flatiron Lounge for amazing cocktails that are worth every penny. If you happen to be strolling around SoHo, take a break at Bread and taste the strawberry lemonade which is only available in the summer. Or you can swing by Ciao Bella on Mott St and have some of their fine gelatto. When I have friends in town, I always drag them to City Bakery for the hot chocolate. Make sure you share it, as it’s incredibly thick and sweet. It’s literally sinful.

    Have a great time! I can’t wait to read your impressions of my town.

  • me

    Clotilde, I love your site, it inspires me a lot to be creative in the kitchen. And now you have given me the worst 20 something crises. I can’t believe you are only 25! You seem so mature and experienced. I’m 26 and nowhere near where you are. How do you do it?

  • Meg

    Someone said Blue Hill in NYC, which is my second-favorite restaurant, and second only because I love the one at Stone Barns (which is surrounded by the Center for Agriculture, a real working farm). It’s amazingly close to NYC if you can get a reservation and feel like a jaunt out to see the surroundings. . .

  • Luisa

    I’d have to respectfully disagree with Anna on one point: New York pizza is totally different from pizza in Italy, but that’s not the point. It is absolutely wonderful in its own way and shouldn’t, I think, really be compared to Italian pizza. The pizza you can get here at Nick’s in Forest Hills or Grimaldi’s in Dumbo or DiFara’s in Brooklyn is Italian-American pizza and it’s in a world of its own. It’s not trying to imitate pizza napoletana or pizza al taglio or pizza from anywhere else in Italy (I, too, am a European transplant here). But it’s just as special and worth a taste by a European just because of its own unique taste and heritage. I’ll get off my pizza pulpit now… ;)

  • ok, a few more

    I’ll second Miss Mamies – in fact I just wrote about it on my blog a few days ago. The macaroni and cheese and banana pudding are to die for.

    Also, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned this (though there are so many at this point, that I could have overlooked it) but The Tasting Room. I can’t believe I forgot it. I had a fantastic meal there on my birthday this year. While looking for their website, I noticed it got mixed reviews, but I loved it. The website is under construction:

  • lee

    Okay, everytime I thought I had a new one, someone mentioned it first so I’m just going to second my favorites. Don’t forget about Brooklyn- Manhattan isn’t everything. Smith St. is nice- try The Grocery for a place to eat. I would imagine June is the perfect time to sit out back under their fig tree. Union Square market is always fun. Joe’s Shangia for soup dumplings and maybe some bubble tea at a neighboring shop after. I love Prune, never tried the brunch but now wish I had! Okay, one that no one mentioned is the Jackson Diner in Queens. They serve yummy Indian food and you could also pick up a sari or a thousand gold bracelets in this cool neighborhood. I’m jealous. I miss NYC. I grew up in NY state and was lucky enough to live in the city for 7 months. Now I’m back in Madison, WI where the living is cheap and we have the best farmer’s market in the US. Bon Voyage.

  • I think it’s safe to say, you’ll be full.

  • Keith

    Union Square Market on Saturday followed by the market lunch at UNion Square Cafe (book way ahead).

    Dinner, Gramercy Tavern but better try and book now.

  • Carl

    I second the recommendation of Kitchen Arts & Letters. It’s the best cookbook store in the U.S. Not to be missed. The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable, though they suffer no fools. It’s worth a trip up there, and it’s not too far from the Frick and the Neue Galerie (which has a great Austrian cafe in case you feel you need some cake to get you through the rest of the afternoon).

    You would love The Adore (imagine accents aigus on each “e”). 17 E. 13th, just off Fifth, just below Union Square. Walk up the stairs and find the perfect quiet respite from the bustle of the city. Have a cup of tea and a pastry or a sandwich. I think they’re closed on Sundays and perhaps in the evenings.

    New York is a great place to explore on foot. There’s something to see in almost every block. And please don’t refer to yourself as a street-walker! It has only one meaning in English, and it’s nothing like “se balader.”

  • Although you’re probably wanting something a little more “American” during your visit to “The City,” I might recommend

  • Bistro Les Halles
  • In Brooklyn, way-the-heck out in the Bay Ridge district, I strongly recommend

  • Gino’s Pizzaria
  • . I grew up on that pizza.

    Enjoy the Big Apple… (Do they still call it that?)

  • Sheila

    a visit to rice to riches is an absolute must!!!!!!

    they are at 37 Spring St. Between Mott and mulberry.

    super yummy, super stylish, rice pudding taken to a whole new level! totally unique, don’t know anywhere else that has this :)

  • aude

    Veinarde ! profitez-en bien. Je ne te donne pas de conseils sur ce qu’il faut voir car tu as déjà plus de 60 messages plein de bonnes idées ! (et puis je suis partie avec le même guide que toi). bises.

  • Clothilde,

    c une ville que je connais bien et j’ai la chance d’avoir fait un cours séjour en mai. J’ai écrit quelques billets sur mon blog depuis une semaine.

    Je te recommande vivement Spice Market.

    Et puis ma collection de livre c agrandi chez Kitchen Arts and letters et je n’ai pas pu m’empêcher de passer chez Bridge Kitchenware.

    Je ne voyage jamais sans mon Lonely planet et pour NY ils viennent de sortir New York – Citiz (rose et taxi jaune). Pratique, tous les plans (metro, ville).

    Profites c une ville magnifique

  • Maisie100

    Don’t miss La Bergamote, home of the what I think is the best almond croissant in North America: 9th Avenue and 20th St in Chelsea. Also very special: Murray’s Cheese Shop at 254 Bleecker- heaven! Also, I have heard great things about Il Laboratorio del Gelato, on Orchard (Lower East Side):
    Have a marvelous time, we can’t wait to hear of your NYC tasting adventures!

  • Joanne

    You have to check out the truffles at Marie Belle on Broome St. They have wonderful flavors, the citrus ones are my favorite (pineapple, passion fruit, lemon, etc). The earl grey tea truffle is also very specatular. All of their truffles also have amazing cocoa butter paintings on them. They also have a hot chocolate bar in the back which you shouldn’t miss.

  • Clotilde,

    You have a million and one suggestions already, but as a born-and-raised New Yorker who can’t wait to move back, I just thought I’d put my 2-cents in.

    You must spend a lot of time downtown; that’s where the soul of the city is.

    Jefferson market–a wonderful supermarket/prepared foods store on 6th Ave. and 9th Street.
    Chelsea market–one of the most exciting food meccas in NYC (better than Zabar’s).
    A lot of people have mentioned Chinatown, which I second.
    But also check out Little Italy which is fast disappearing, but well worth it. Specifically Di Paola’s cheese shop and Il Cortile (the best Italian food in the city).
    For pizza, if you don’t want to go down to Brooklyn, John’s Pizza on Bleecker Street in the West Village.
    The Union Square Greenmarket has anything you could ever want, including freshly baked goods, wonderful cheese, fresh produce, etc. During June it’s the best.
    While you’re in Union Square, my favorite restaurant is Union Square Cafe–a little pricey but delicious. Aside from the food, the service is really out of this world. I have never had a bad meal.
    Babbo, part of Batali’s empire, is great, as is Esca, a fish restaurant in the 40’s.
    Do try to see a show. Reduced price tickets are at the TKTS booth in Duffy Square or down at South Street Seaport.
    I also have to say that I prefer Katz’s to 2nd Avenue Deli (though my partner whole-hardedly disagrees).
    And if you want really good smoked fish, Russ & Daughters on the upper west side.

    Also, a word of advice about reservations:
    Many many restaurants in NYC are on there and you can make reservations online up to a month in advance.

    Most of all, have fun! And, like everyone else, I love talking about my home city, so please feel free to e-mail me with any further questions.

  • Jay

    hello! you should try the Crispy Pata or Crispy Pig Knuckels at Karihan ni Bino.,sietsema,62263,15.html

  • Rebecca

    I second the marie belle recommendation, I think you would love it.
    And if you do choose to go to brunch in park slope, as one reader suggested, I HIGHLY recommend Cousin John’s Bakery on 7th ave an Lincoln place where they give you chocolate bread to start with berry spread, and their eggs florentine are amazing.
    Another great park slope brunch place is Beso, on 5th ave and President. They cuban food, and their cuban egg sandwich and root vegetable fries that come with a salty cinnamony sugary spice mix on top are great and completely unique. Beso is also great for people-watching, as they remove the whole front wall of the restaurant and it is open to the sidewalk.

  • Anna

    Seconding Lola’s suggestion of Flor’s Kitchen, a tiny Venezuelan restaurant in the East Village…

    Have a great time!

  • Kiki

    I live in Brooklyn Heights, a block from the Promenade- the best view of all of Manhattan (includes the empire state & chrysler buildings both & the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, etc.). Make sure to see it both in the day and when the lights are on.

    Places to indulge in food that I would recommend:
    1. Skip Grimaldi’s, it’s over rated. Go to John’s in the Village or on Bleeker street.
    2. Do get ice cream at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge on the brooklyn side. Or, get it in the lower east side at the Laboratorio di Gelato *something like that*, it’s the best in the city.
    3. Go to Queens and walk down Roosevelt street. There are about 20 blocks of Columbian, Mexican, Indian, and other ethnicities, food shops and restaurants. The area is called Jackson Heights. You can get tacos and tamales from windows, tropical fruit from street vendors, etc. Take the #7 train or the G train. Get off around 74th street.
    4. Go to Babbo and get a tasting menu meal. Either the variety or the all pasta one. The best value is to get it with the accompanying wine! This is not a cheap experience but the euro will take you farther.
    5. Have Korean bbq. There are tons of places on 33rd street. Ask at the hotel. Most places are predominately filled with Koreans. Always fun and delicious with a bottle of soju.
    6. Hit chinatown and get some bbq pork buns, dimsum, dumplings, etc.
    7. Walk north of chinatown and go to little Italy. The restaurants are mediocre but the delis are decent with locally made soprosetta, etc.
    8. Or better yet, go to the Bronx and walk around Arthur street. It’s another little Italy and you can get lots of fresh made items like pasta and cheese, etc.
    9. Upper westside, on Broadway: Zabars, Fairway, etc. Good eats and fun to walk around the isles looking at food stuff. Get some cured salmon or sable with some H&H bagels, the best in the city.
    10. Go to Katz’s deli. Get a pastrami sandwich. Don’t get it ‘lean’, you will like the tasty fat. It’s a totally unique NYC experience.
    11. Union Square farmers market. It’s on Wednesday and Saturday.
    12. Have a Papaya King or Grey’s Papaya hot dog experience. The <$3 resession special is the best. 13. Hit Chelse Market on Saturday after 4pm when the Tango club is there at the west end of the building. Sarabeth's jams and jellies are really good. 14. If your wallet can spare it, try to get into Nobu or Nobu Next Door. The tasting menu (chef's choice) is awesome. You will not regret the experience: quality of the fish is remarkable and the inventiveness of the sushi & kitchen chefs will blow you away. Blue Ribbon Sushi is also very very good (and expensive) if you want more traditional sushi. Honmura An makes really good bowls of noodle soups- they make their own noodles there. 15. The Grocery, in Brooklyn on Smith street is very good. It's in the Zagat. It's a 30 minute walk from the Brooklyn Promenade. You can take the F train to smith street.This city is very like Paris, dense and with lots of eating options. Enjoy.

  • Prune on first street between first and second avenues is very unique. the chef owner is Gabrielle Hamilton and she is very down to earth, real and unfussy.

    City Bakery on 18th street right off fifth avenue–try a pretzel croissant, very New York! Maury Rubin is the chef-owner and he has had that bakery for over 20 years now and it is even more dynamic now! (it is also a fantastic place for lunch)

    Yonah Schimmel’s has real Knishes. Try the KASHA one. They have been in that spot for over 100 years and still speak Yiddish.

    My favorite museum is The Whitney and for a private quiet experience, The Frick. The Cloisters will be lovely this time of year as well.

    Have a delicious and beautiful time in my home-town.

  • Helene

    I sm living vicariously through all of your posts. I am in SC right now, French married to an American, and planning a trip to NY in September and I have now a great number of ideas. Thank you.
    Clothilde: I found that I could look at any menu at The list never ends and you can search by cuisine or neiborhood, etc…very interesting.
    Have fun planning!

  • Your papounet

    I think Clotilde will have to spend a full year (at least…) if she’s to try all the suggestions and tips that keep pouring all over! This will require a special visa…
    But anyhow, all those tips are wonderful. If I ever go back to New York, I’ll make use of this humongous list… Thanks to all contributors, this is wonderful !

  • Sam

    I would supplement your Lonely Planet with the “City Secrets” guidebook for New York City. You will not be disappointed.

  • Jenni

    This might get a big “BOOH” from the group but I don’t think that anyone should miss the opportunity to try Tavern on The Green at least once in their life. Yes I have eaten at all the foodie meccas and all I can say is that the memories of Tavern on the Green have always brought a smile to my face. Not necessarily gastronomic heaven but definently a “New York” experience. Some of the best people watching ever!!! It seems like every table is celebrating a birthday!!!
    And you cannot go to NY without going to The Gramercy Tavern- fantastic room, service,desserts and outstanding North American cheese selection.
    Babbo is a must!!!! Don’t forget to go to Williams Sonoma for cute kitchen stuff!!! Have fun fun fun!!!!

  • Clotilde! I’m so glad you’re coming on over!

    Since I doubt you’ll have time to make it out to MY wine country…you should try to visit Vintage NY when you’re in town. There’s two locations…and they pour/sample wines from all over New York state…and of course you can pick some up if they strike your fancy.

    Their selection is sometimes diverse in a bad way (meaning they offer some of the low-end garbage) but I’d love to hear what you think of some of Long Island’s wines!

  • Wow, places to eat and do in New York. You’ve opened up a huge can of something Clotide!

    Well, this is coming from a lifelong New Yorker, so here goes, I hope my suggestions are worthy of your discerning tastebuds:

    1) One of my absolute favorites is a mexican bodega called “Tehuitzingo”, which I used to live a block away from. In the far back (and the place is TINY), you’ll find a little tiny counter and some stools (usually with lots of mexican workers watching some spanish television) and two women serving some of the best tacos and tortas in Manhattan. a very cool and exciting experience in comparison to eating at such finer NYC idining establishments.

    2) Brooklyn is filled with all sorts of interesting eating places. In Williamsburg, there’s the trendy “Sea” restaurant and there’s “Chai Home Kitchen” (Chai Home Kitchen
    Thai Cuisine/Saki Bar
    124 North 6th Street, Williamsburg Brooklyn 11211), which is smaller, quieter and personally I think has better food

    3) All the boroughs have their special places. One of my favorites is the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden Center in Astoria, Queens. And very convienent to get there from the N,R trains

    It’s such a great time to go there and a few a few beers with friends in an outdoor setting. Such a local thing to do

    4) have you checked out:

    She’s got a great set of listings (including my mexican bodega).

    5) You would not be having the full NYC eating experience without a “Gray’s Papaya hot dog” There’s several in the city, including at 8th and 37th street. Totally the NY thing to eat

    6)As I mentioned above, the boroughs have some of the best ethnic food. Flushing, Queens is the place for Chinese dim sum as well as a small restaurant that is known for is famous amongst the american chinese community (always trust the chinese to know where to go to eat) for it Smoked Tea Duck (and it is GOOD). Unfortunately I don’t know the name, just where it is located. On the Prince Street block between Roosevelt Avenue and 38th Avenue are a row of restaurants in the bottom floor of a large glass office building. The middle restaurant is the Smoked Tea Duck place (and it should be on the menu). Watch out that you don’t go to the noodle shop next door! This restaurant is less than a block from the Flushing stop (last stop) on the “7” line train.

    7) While you can find Korean BBQ on “Korea Street” in Manhattan, the best place to go is also in Flushing (I personally think the 35 min subway trek–with some incredible views of the manahttan skyline) is worth the trip). It is called “Kum Gang San”
    138-28 Northern Blvd.
    (bet. Bowne & Union Sts.)
    Queens, New York 11365

    It is also not far from the subway station (just go to the corner of Northern Blvd and Union Street).

    Flushing is a place lots of Chinese families (including my own) go to buy their fresh chinese vegetables and fruit. Chinatown also has this but, Flushing has better variety and higher quality. There are also tons of fish stand and butchers within these large supermarkets. It is a very interesting experience (not to be done everyday mind you) to be jostling with all the little old chinese ladies trying to grab the freshiest produce. A very ethnic NYC experience.

  • Okay, I have to comment on some of the other comments.

    Tavern on the Green is cool because it’s in Central Park, but the food is horribly bad–no one I’ve ever known who’s been there (around 20 people) has liked the food. Not worth your time.

    Vintage NY isn’t bad, but try Discovery Wines ( in Alphabet City (one of the coolest places in Manhattan) instead. Yes, not always free tastings but an incredible selection

    I really think that the Korean BBQ in Flushing is better than 33rd street in Manhattan. But that’s my opinion.

    For a really interesting FOOD-related experience in a museum, check out the Guided tour of Chinatown eatieries:

    – I volunteer for the museum (which is VERY SMALL and easy to go through for a quick musuem stop) as a guide but unfortunately I’ll be in Asia for the whole summer starting next week–and hopefully bloggin about the food I eat there, too!

  • Rance

    Not a New Yorker, but a frequent visitor from the Midwest, so I may have a slightly different viewpoint.

    Before you leave home, check out
    It givs you directions via subway from anywhere to anywhere.
    It’s a good reason to book a hotel with free internet service in the room and take your lap top.

    Another reason to take your laptop with you:
    It has menus for over 4000 restaurants, on-line. They are not always up-to-date, but they can give you
    an idea of the style and price.

    Get a 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard ($24) and like it says, unlimited rides.

    Take a walking tour from Big Onion Walking Tours ( )
    or The Tenement Museum (

    Get a cone at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory ( )
    Flavors like Green Tea and Lichee.

    Lunch (or coffee) at one of the places on the corner of McDougal & Bleeker and watch the world go by.

    Eat some NYC food:
    A Pastrami Sandwiche (Katz’s) washed down with a celery tonic (Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray)
    An Egg Cream. My sources tell me that Bespeckled Trout at 22 Hudson Street makes a good one.
    A slice of NYC Pizza
    A big pretzel with mustard from a sidewalk cart

    Go to Jacques Torres Chocolate
    The Dark Chocolate Bar with Almonds goes great with some good port

    If you like tapas, try Alta. If you go with a group, you can order “The Whoe Shebang” — one of everything on the menu.

    If you are into more than pastry and coffee for breakfast
    Kitchenette – (
    Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien Hotel

    Check the latest New Yorker ( or
    Village Voice ( to see what’s happening now

    A handy web page — All the museums (

    Stop at the 14th street subway station and look at the Otterness sculptures
    Otterness (

    If you are in town the last week of June, I’ve heard the Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade is fun.

  • Michele

    Hi — I’m a New Yorker who moved to the UK seven years ago. I check this website religiously because I love food and my English boyfriend currently works in Paris. I get to visit your city often & your hints and tips are wonderful.

    I miss so many ‘foodie’ things about New York, but I also miss exploring, people-watching and taking in views. I think walking over the Brooklyn Bridge cannot be over-recommended — I always do it when I go home for visits. Try to leave enough time to sit on a bench on the Promenade park of Bklyn Heights & stare at the view.

    I have fond memories of being taken into
    Sahadi’s middle-eastern store on Atlantic avenue in Bklyn Heights as well. For a kid from Brooklyn, it was a very exotic experience…probably doesn’t
    compare with middle-eastern food/markets in

    [Haven’t been there in years however and it’d be nice to know from others if it’s still worth visiting.]

    Bon voyage!

  • I just came back from 4 days in Manhattan and have to say – my favorite places were:

    1) Grand Central Market – Lexington Avenue side of Grand Central. Used to be empty – nothing there. Now lots of kiosks and other little shops. Yum-O – go to Adriana’s Caravan and buy some great spices.

    2) Kalustyan’s – used to be on 28th and Lexington. Don’t know if it moved or not since then. Fabulous indian spice shop – also carries Thai, British, Japanese and Middle Eastern ingredients including freshly made Naan and Pita breads.

    3) Union Sq Greenmarket – there wasn’t much there when I was there – it was early Spring but Rick’s Pick’s had a table – and they make the most amazing pickles. I bought a jar of the Wasabeans. Wasabi and soy sauce and pickled green beans. Sound weird and taste amazing.

    4) Sik Sak – on 2nd Avenue in the 50’s – excellent Turkish food. Had a great stuffed grape leaf and a great sandwich. Moderately priced. I have to say that there used to be much better Middle Eastern food sold in restaurants in Brooklyn Heights. I wonder if they are still there (it’s been too many years).

    Have a great time Clotilde. It is an amazing city. And keep your hands on your hand bag no matter what you do!

    So much to see, so much to do. Some excellent food.

  • Hi Clotilde! You already have so many good suggestions (83 comments–wow!) What I would suggest is that you pick up copies of Ed Levine’s book “New York Eats” and Jim Leff’s “The Eclectic Gourmet Guide to Greater New York” so that you have all the insider info you need about every single one of these foodie experiences, plus directions to get there, hours, etc.

    Other possibilities:
    Harlem, soul food not at Sylvia’s but at M&G Diner or Charles’ Southern Kitchen;

    a barbecue restaurant (Blue Smoke comes to mind)

    Spanish Harlem (many places for great Latino food);

    Brighton Beach for Russian food and community;

    Sammy’s Roumanian for crazy steak and a wild night of kitsch.

  • Melanie

    Hi Clotilde,
    After reading all the other great comments, I have a few more to add. New York is an ethnic melange so I would stick to the all the wonderful food from so many countries you can find in NYC and stay away from the European experiences which you can easily find at home.
    The Time Warner building is very cool, Per Se is there as well as Whole Foods – definitely merits checking out. Go to Chinatown – Jing Fong is great for a dim sum experience. Have soup dumplings at my favorite New Green Bo 66 Bayard St – they also make excellent fried pork dumplings and a tasty dried tofu and pork dish – so yummy! Go down Canal Street – for the shopper in you or great souvenirs for people at home, there are so many things to see and buy. Since you enjoy the Chinatown in Paris I’m sure you like it there. Go walking down in Soho – lots of cute small shops, two small flea markets on the weekends and many great restarants to choose from. Go to the Lower East Side (I’m going there tomorrow), have some pickles pastrami, lox, bagels, kreplach soup, chopped liver and Dr. Browns Celray soda (not all at the same time of course!). Besides the food and the shops you can see part of immigrant history in NYC. Go to a play in Times Square – eat at Carmine’s, a big bustling Italian restaurant (really good fried calamari and bread pudding). Have a drink at Vintage – 9th Avenue is chocked full of ethnic restaurants, walk down to 47th St. and you’ll find Amy’s Bread. Go to Chelsea Market – alot of food experiences in one place. Angelica Kitchen has great vegetarian food. Go to Brooklyn Heights – walk down the Promenade for a great view of NYC.
    Mostly, enjoy the city – sit in a cafe, people watch…some of the best experiences I’ve found are things I’ve happened upon, not all the addresses I’ve sought out. Stock up on Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and all the things you miss from the States, I did alot of that last month in Paris. Go to Century 21, a shopping mecca across from the World Trade Center site. Since you have special memories of that day perhaps you would like to see it.
    Many thanks for your blog, sometimes when I read it I get teary for Paris and all things French. Your taste and wrting style make me smile.
    Bonne vacance,

  • Thomas Keller’s restaurant ‘Per Se’ accepts reservations on-line at and most say it’s well worth it. As with the French Laundry their book opens 2 months in advance so may be full by now – but the on-line service allows you to poke around and maybe find an empty slot.

    Currently they are showing as fully booked through to at least the end of June.

  • Carrie

    I noticed someone above said Franny’s in Brooklyn — definitely great. We also really love Stone Park Cafe in Park Slope on 5 Av. Their menu avoids the NY-trendy stuff that a lot of other Park Slope restaurants fall prey to. Instead, they serve simple, but beautifully prepared food, and their soft polenta is the best I’ve ever had.

    In fact, 5 Av has far too many excellent places to eat these days. Peperoncino (which is halfway between Stone Park and Franny’s) has one must-eat dish of white beans in peperoncino broth with handmade linguini. Wonderful…

  • Abby

    Bonjour Clotilde!

    One restaurant: Gobo.

    I have spent lots of time in New York and have eaten some of the most amazing food there. Last year, I was walking around with a friend and on the opposite side of the street, a restaurant caught my eye. The walking ended there, and we quickly rushed in to see what this incredible looking place was. Thankfully, it was everything and so much more than I could have ever hoped for.
    I am a vegetarian, so this is a vegetarian restaurant. However, my friend who is an avid meat eater had NO clue this place was entirely vegetarian, and the food was quite honestly some of the most amazing I have ever had.
    The subtitle of the place is: Food for the five senses– so they want you to taste, touch, see, hear, and smell this experience. All I can tell you is this place should not be missed!!!

    Check out thier website, at

    There are two locations: one is at 401 Avenue of the Americas (at 8th St, West Village Manhattan)…..the other is at 1426 3rd Ave (at E 81St, Upper East Manhattan).

    Don’t miss it! And if you do, then you must try it on your next visit! It’s not just a restaurant, it’s an experience that will be absolutely delightful :~)


    Absolutely don’t miss Carnegie Deli. It’s on 7th Street between 54th and 55th in New York (just up from Times Square, just down from Carnegie Hall).

    Same weight as an Olympic gold medal (1.25 lbs) — now that’s a sandwich. Definitely an experience worth having!

  • Oh god, what a great food city, where to begin?… Snacky’s in Williamsburg (Brooklyn), 187 Grand Street for great Asian small plates and sake. My cousin, Sandy, runs it! If you go, ask her advice, love of food runs in the family.

    I heartily agree with Katz’s for pastrami (mouth watering as I type!), Second Avenue Deli for matzo ball soup. Papaya King or Gray’s Papaya for hot dogs. Magnolia Cafe for cupcakes, Korea town, China town (all of it!). All things you can’t get in Paris. Please also let me know if you have another food bloggers get together, I’m based in London, but travel to Paris quite often for work and your last one looked great!
    Have a wondeful time and bring elastic waisted trousers,

  • Jason Adams


    Having just returned from Paris I can heartily recommend that you stay away from the euro poser restaurants and head for some uniquely New York places.
    – For an over-the-top American meal, I recommend Peter Lugar”s Steakhouse in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Forget about a dinner reservation in June, already booked, but go for a late (and long) lunch. Tip: Don”t neggioate with the waiters, just let them bring you “the meal” and bring lots of cash. Spend some time in the neighborhood to the north, Bedford Avenue and its environs, especially after dark.
    – Coney Island, Brooklyn. Go to the original location of Nathan”s and get hotdogs, fries and cheap beer. For a more interesting time go very early in the morning or on a bad weather day. Don”t forget a ride on the Cyclone – get the last seat in the last car.
    – The Red Hook Ball fields, Brooklyn. Saturday and Sunday, all day for feasting on Mexican/Latin American food. Very much the party/family atmosphere with communal picnic tables. For the total immersion experience, first go for a dip in the public pool across the street.
    – As long as you are in Red Hook, you can go for dinner and 360, 360 Van Brunt Street. I k now its sudo French, but the current chef in from Wallse (previously mentioned) but it”s a bargain and it has the best selection of French hippy wines I have found (even in Paris)

    Bon voyage.

  • Wow, this is a great guide even for those of us who live in New York! I have to second the vote for Pio Pio by Lola. It is outstanding Peruvian food (and so cheap!) It’s my favorite restaurant in New York. I also second the recommendation for getting out to Brooklyn if you get a chance. Grimaldi’s pizza in Brooklyn is my favorite, and fun to visit since it right below the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. It’s also right next to the Brooklyn Ice Cream factory with great views of Manhattan. Definitely save room for dessert — NYC has the best variety around. I would recommend Balthazar Bakery (not the main restaurant, the little shop to the side) for a morning scone and coffee and from there you can make a run at all the SoHo chocolate shops — Vosges, MarieBelle, Ceci Cela, Chocolate Garden, etc. The West Village also has several great dessert places including Chocolate Haven, Milk & Cookies, Polka Dot Cake Studio, Magnolia Bakery (which is good but way too crowded in my opinion.) Have fun! I can’t wait to hear about all the places you decided to go.

  • Bienvenue ‘a New York! There’s plenty of great places to eat include all the gourmet rated restaurants to the hole in the wall local joints. Check out my blog for some interesting places that local like to visit:

  • ciara

    i DEFINITELY recommend difara’s pizza in midwood, brooklyn (q train), which someone above mentioned. bar none, the best pizza in the city. runners up are grimaldi’s in dumbo, brooklyn, no.28 in w. village, patsy’s, lombardi’s, etc.
    for indian food, i’d suggest trekking to jackson heights, queens, and eating at jackson diner. the food is good and even better the surrounding area is fun to explore! for other good indian food i suggest angon, in the e. village. great salad bar and macaroni & cheese to be found at city bakery in flatiron. otto has great pizza and AMAZING gelato. superb italian food at locanda vini e olii in fort greene, brooklyn.

    for clothing, i suggest: find outlet in chelsea or nolita. great designer brands at bargain prices. also filene’s basement (union square, chelsea, upper west side). loehmann’s in chelsea for more designer bargains… have to visit barneys if only to browse (and not buy). madison ave in the 60’s and 70’s is a must for window shopping. nolita area is really cool — cute lesser known designers. also lower east side has tg-170, such a great, edgy store.

    not to be missed areas: lower east side, west village, east village, chelsea, park slope, williamsburg, cobble hill, fort greene/clinton hill.

    hope that helped a bit although it was rambling and all over the place!

  • Jenji

    Salut Clotilde,

    What exciting news about your trip! I’m coming late to this posting, so find myself echoing many of the notes above. Prune, Laboratorio, Itzocan, the Burger Joint the Parker Meridien (look for the neon hamburger past the tall curtain)… they’re all firm favorites.

    A couple more ideas for you:

    5 Ninth in the Meatpacking District (212-929-9460). You’ll need to reserve several days in advance, but it’s worth the planning. The chef sources some great organic produce, pork, etc. American, but with a wider world view in terms of seasoning / flavor combination.

    Honmura An on Mercer St. between Houston and Prince (212-334-5253). All about the soba noodles… a hushed, elegant space where you’ll still hear Japanese businesspeople expertly slurping their noodles.

    Both of these are on the semi-expensive side, but they’d be a delicious change from the Parisian pace.

    And if you’d like to take a stroll, I’d recommend the relatively new parkway along the Hudson River. You can cross to this down at Chambers Street and then walk up along the river. You’ll pass a volleyball court, a bike-rental place, a trapeze school… a lovely view and it’s great to have the breeze in your hair. Up by Christopher Street are a couple of converted piers with benches, grass etc. If you go up further into the low 20s, you can cross over to check out some of the galleries.

    Bon voyage! And, of course, I’m happy to answer any other NYC questions (I live here and work for a travel guidebook company, so I have lots at my fingertips).

  • owen

    since you are already overwhelmed, i thought i would also add to the cacophony.

    The 2 best restaurants in NY right now, that are not French, are 1.Blue Hill (mentioned before) and 2.Hearth. Both small and hard to get in, but very worthwhile. At Blue Hill ask for Pam and or Franco and say you know me. At Hearth, ask for Paul and say the same.

    In Brooklyn definetly check out Locanda Vini e Olii (Clinton Hill) as suggested by Ciara. Excellent food and an incredible space. Also check out Al Di La and their wine bar next door (Park Slope).

    Skip the bagels, they are not as good as they used to be, and certainly not as good as in Montreal. Also skip the ice cream. Labaratorio is ok, but you have much better ice cream in Paris (Berthillon and Glace du Bac, and, i am sure many other’s i do not know about. It is true that the gelato is very good at Otto, but skip the food. Go to Lupa instead, where they also have the same gelato.

    The best Pizza by very, very far is Una Pizza Napolitana (12th St just west of 1st Ave–Across the street from Hearth). This is the real deal. Anthony is the owner and chef. He is open Thursday-Saturday 17:00 until the dough runs out and Sunday noon until the dough runs out! He makes 4 pizzas and that’s it. In the same area is Momofuku, a cool ramen place. Not authentic Japanese, but very good and casual.

    For authentic and very interesting japanese go to En Brasserie Hudson St in Greenwich Village (get the fresh tofu), and you absolutely can not miss Yakitori Toto (251 W. 55th, upstairs). It is awesome.

    As Amalthia say’s, you should definetly go to DiPalo (Grand and Mott, NW corner). The owners name is Lou and he will talk to you about parmigiano for hours. He often has 5 kinds in the store (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Vaca Rosa).

    Best Bakery in NY is Sullivan Street Bakery.

    I like the folks at Joe, but the coffee is overroasted. I think the best coffee in NY is at Via Quadronno (73rd just west of Madison). Expensive yes, but … Some good Panini also (Lo Spazinno, on Ciabatta cut in half is enough for two). Also, sometimes the coffee is quite good at Casa Cupcake (9th Ave between 40th and 41st).

    Best Thai is definetly in Queens (Sripraphai).

    Check out Bouley Bakery. It just opened. Could be worth a visit. S

    See some live jazz. If you need tickets to any broadway shows I am a musician for the shows and can sometimes get tickets.

    Bon chance et appetite,


    PS Mario’s 1st restaurant was Po, which is down the street from Murrays Cheese and John’s Pizza (avoid this).

  • Meilina

    Something that’s unique and fun would be to attend a Friday Night Dinner at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School

    The dinner is prepared by the students. I completed the Chef’s Training Program there, and I know this sounds like a plug, but it really is a cool way to enjoy a healthy meal in NYC!

  • Yuj

    The sweet and short recommendations list from those mentioned: for good food – Prune, 360, Babbo, Hearth, Blue Ribbon Bakery; for good ny steak – Peter Luger; for hip noisy atmosphere and good mac and cheese – Freeman’s; ny pizza; and a knish.

    Also, other suggestions: if you are out late at all and in the mood for serious food, Mas in the West Village has French-inspired American-interpreted cuisine until 4 am. And if in the mood for seafood, Mermaid Inn in the East Village might hit the spot for “fishshack elegance”.

    For something completely different and proletariat, one growing trend in NYC is the diversification of Japanese cuisine beyond upscale sushi – I think it was a NY Times article that said it is going through something similiar to what French cuisine was going through in NYC during the 60’s. Unless you plan to go to Tokyo soon and have time, you might want to try an isakaya (a Japanese bar/bistro – Kenka), a yakitori place (Yakitori Taisho), a sake bar (Decibel), a ramen joint (Momofuku, Rai Rai Ken), or the one okonomiyaki (japanese pancake) stand (Otafuku) in the city – all in or near the St. Marks/East 9th Street area of the East Village.

    FYI, if you are budget conscious, seems like your trip might coincide with Restaurant Week (June 20-24) to support NYC’s bid for the Olympics – Lunch for $20.12 and Dinner for $35. Several of the restaurants mentioned by many are listed.

    Might be worthwhile, but I don’t know if you want to betray your fellow Parisians and help support another city’s bid for the Olympics!

    No matter what, hope you enjoy New York!

  • Laren

    I’m just catching up after getting a bit behind on reading C&Z, and was very pleased to see this particular subject, as I just moved to the NYC area a few months ago. I’m looking forward to trying some of the suggestions (as long as I can figure out how to get to them!).

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