It’s a city filled with hole-in-the-wall eateries and taste-bud tantalizing restaurants, but we asked travellers which New York City neighbourhoods are the most delicious.*
Visit Greenwich Village for classic sauces and homemade pasta. Image credit Kate Previte
Forget whatever reputation Greenwich Village may have had for sophistication, glamour, culture or nightlife, we’re here for the carbs. Murray’s Cheese is a village-based deli known for its five-cheese-melts that are so good you’ll order a second halfway through your first. For authentic Chinese food, head over to Hao Noodle and Tea on 6th Avenue – the homely atmosphere and pan-seared dumplings are not to be missed.
Pasta Flyer is a recent addition to 6th Avenue, but their food is old-school in the best possible way, with classic pesto, alfredo and ragu sauces topping homemade pasta. Finally, the Walker Hotel has its own ‘market to table’ restaurant – The Society Cafe, run by award-winning chef Christopher Zabita.
Lower East Side
Start your culinary adventures at Katz’s Delicatessen
The restaurants on the Lower East Side may be tiny, but they are also many and stuffed full of mouth-watering menus. Start your culinary adventures at Katz’s Delicatessen, a NYC institution and the only place to try the local staple of hand-carved pastrami on rye.
Once you’ve upheld tradition, head to the completely non-traditional El Rey Luncheonette for grain bowls, hummus plates and kale everything. On a cold day, pay a visit to the Georgian Oda House to try the khinkali (soup dumplings filled with a choice of meat, herbs and spices) or the khachapuri, a bread dish that comes in a variety of styles, a popular choice being the melted cheese option, topped with butter and a runny egg. In the evening, stop by Dirty French at the Ludlow Hotel, a bistro that combines classic French cooking with Middle-Eastern flavours.
The Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central Station
Despite being one of the busiest neighbourhoods in NYC, Midtown East is full of restaurants that will make you want to linger over lunch. Start at the Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central where you can pick up hearth-baked flatbreads and cinnamon swirls to accompany your people watching.
A few streets from the station you’ll find Sake Bar Hagi, known for its tempura-fried pizza but worth visiting for the extensive sake list and takoyaki dumplings. After that, head to Milk Bar in The Chambers Hotel, an award-winning bakery that puts a playful spin on classic desserts (think cereal milk ice cream and compost cookies).
The Roxy Bar & Lounge in Tribeca
Tribeca may be a favourite among the city’s celebrity residents but there are delicious options for every budget and appetite. Get in line for a leisurely brunch at The Butcher’s Daughter, the neighbourhood’s favourite vegetarian and juice bar.
Try a new twist on an old favourite at specialised restaurants like the Egg Shop, the Doughnut Project (with a ‘seasonal’ doughnut menu) or the Taiyaki NYC which offers speciality ice cream that’s far too pretty to eat.
In the evening, opt for traditional French cuisines at Frenchette, the laid-back 100-seat restaurant recently opened by NYC food gurus Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson. Or if you’re looking for some entertainment with dinner, consider reserving a table at The Roxy Bar & Lounge.
Upper East Side
When it comes to Pizza, in this neighbourhood you won't be stuck for choice
The Upper East Side restaurants are experiencing a surge in popularity – leading to even lengthier waiting lists and a host of new and tempting eateries. Try the lunch menu at the retro Pizza Beach on 3rd Avenue, or their more formal sister restaurant, The East Pole Fish Bar on Lexington Avenue.
The neighbourhood’s museums are also a good bet. Try Russ & Daughters, based in The Jewish Museum, or Flora Bar on Madison Avenue which is attached to the Met Breuer and serves up hearty fare such as lamb ribs and steak tartare. Whatever and wherever you eat, make sure to finish the day with a cocktail at the Art Deco Bar Pleiades.
** The data scientists at Booking.com looked at the top endorsement for each of New York City's neighbourhoods. It turns out most of them were endorsed for food but keep an eye out for the next installment on the best boroughs for urban exploration.