See New York like a tourist, but eat like a local with our picks for restaurants, coffee shops and bars near Manhattan’s must-visit spots.
TIMES SQUARE + MACY'S
STEAK | Keens
Opened in 1885, come here for the history, the wooden bar, and the famous mutton chop.
"It's just delicious, period. I always get the Porterhouse Steak. It's the combination of two favorite cuts of meat, the filet mignon and the New York strip with the bone in the middle. The first time I came here I was struck by the history behind it. Being in Herald Square, they used to be in the old theater district and were known for their mutton chops and there was a period of time, I believe in the '30s or '40s, where no women were allowed. Then what made the mutton chop famous was a female Broadway performer snuck in or got in and she was accepted. That changed the whole game and she ordered the mutton chops and that's how still to this day they're famous."
FED Pro > Chef George Mendes of Aldea, Lupulo
"For their steak, the atmosphere, and the history."
FED Pro > Butcher Jake Dickson of Dickson’s Farmstand Meats
72 West 36th Street, New York, NY 10018
T: 212.947.3636 | www.keens.com
COCKTAILS | Lantern's Keep
Hidden in the back of the Iroquois Hotel, this is a tiny bar devoted to the art of the craft cocktail.
"This is a jewel of a spot with flawless cocktails. Have something regal."
FED Pro > Bartender Tom Richter of Dear Irving
"When I'm in midtown, I always have to stop by Lantern's Keep at the Iroquois Hotel and the bartender make something strong. They are quite the wizes with the stirred stuff."
FED Pro > Bartender Matthew Piacentini of the Up and Up
"It's a great bar and the cocktails are wonderful."
FED Pro > Bartender Tristan Willey of Long Island Bar
49 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
T: 212.453.4287 | www.iroquoisny.com/lanternskeep
More in our 24-Hours in Times Square Guide
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
NYC's Koreatown is just one block south of the Empire State Building on West 32nd Street. Follow the advice of chef Esther Choi of Mokbar to go where the insiders hang out, "The best places are on the second floor in K-town!" Many of the places on this street stay open until the wee hours.
BBQ | Jongro BBQ
This Korean BBQ restaurant first opened in Korea in 2010 and has begun expanding to the States. Their meat is raised without antibiotics and cut to order. Look for the butcher counter in the back.
"This is a famous Korean barbecue chain and really well-priced."
FED Pro > Chef Esther Choi of mokbar
22 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001
BBQ WITH A VIEW | Gaonnuri
Located on the penthouse level with views of Herald Square, this upscale restaurant does tabletop barbecue as well as seafood entrees.
"For a beautiful view of the city and clean, modern Korean food."
FED Pro > Chef Esther Choi of mokbar
1250 Broadway, Penthouse, 39th Floor, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.971.9045 | www.gaonnurinyc.com
DRINK & EAT | Soju Haus
The emphasis here is on Korean soju, the distilled spirit that was originally made with rice, but now uses various things such as potato. They infuse it with lots of flavors ranging from cucumber to pomegranate. They also have beer, Korean wine, and a full menu of food.
"This is a bar/pub with food and soju."
FED Pro > Chef Esther Choi of mokbar
315 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016
T: 212.213.2177 | sojuhaus.com
BAR FOOD | Pocha 32
Take the stairs to the second floor and be prepared to drinks lots of soju and dine on Korean bar food, including the famous Army Stew.
"Come for the night scene, for the soju and the street food, budae jjigae is a must. They have an amazing soju cocktail menu, the best one being watermelon soju. It is served inside a whole watermelon and is fun to drink (definitely a crowd pleaser)."
FED Pro > Chef Esther Choi of mokbar
15 West 32nd Street, Second Floor, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.279.1876 | pocha32nyc.com
WEST SIDE | Caffè Storico
"Nobody knows about it. It's awesome. It is located in the New York Historical Society Museum and it's the most beautiful restaurant. They serve great pastas and everything is good. I love it all here."
FED Pro > Chef Marc Murphy of LandMarc and Ditch Plains
New York Historical Society
170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
T: 212.485.9211 | nyhistory.org/dine
WEST SIDE | Red Farm
"They have the best fried rice. Usually it's something that I would not order, but there's something about theirs that is just perfect."
FED Pro > Pastry Chef Pichet Ong
2170 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
T: 212.724.9700 | redfarmnyc.com
SOUTH SIDE | Auden Bar
Located in the Ritz-Carlton (so it's a bit fancy), visit bartender Norman Bukofzer who has been mixing drinks for over thirty years.
"Norman Bukofzer is a real bartender's bartender. He's not the creative mixologist type. He's the type of guy who really mixes people together. When it comes to making drinks, he's what I call a bartender savant. He's old school."
FED Pro > Bartender Gaz Regan
50 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
T: 212.521.6125 | Website
EAST SIDE | Bemelmens Bar
"For a classic New York City experience. They have maintained great level of service and integrity over time."
FED Pro > Zeb Stewart of Cafe Colette, Hotel Delmano, Union Pool
"For martinis, of course."
FED Pro > Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto
35 East 76th Street, New York, NY 10075
T: 212.744.1600 | Website
MEDITERRANIAN | Boulud Sud
Chef Daniel Boulud's Mediterranean-focused restaurant with a deep wine list.
"I love all of Daniel's restaurants."
FED Pro > Chef Eric Ripert of Le Barnardin
One Lincoln Plaza, 20 West 64th Street, New York, NY 10023
T: 212.595.1313 | bouludsud.com
AMERICAN | P.J. Clarke's
Located directly across from Lincoln Center, featuring the same pub grub menu as across town with a raw bar including their famous burger.
"This is one of my favorite places in the city to sit down and enjoy a burger. I love the Cadillac burger, which is topped with smoked country bacon and American cheese. This is a classic saloon-style restaurant and always lively."
FED Pro > Chef Laurent Tourondel of BLT Burger, BLT Steak, Brasserie Ruhlmann, LT Burger
44 West 63rd Street, New York, NY 10023
T: 212.957.9700 | pjclarkes.com
COCKTAILS WITH A VIEW | MObar
Head up to the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel for upscale drinks with a panoramic view of the city.
"For sake or a cold beer."
FED Pro > Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto
Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023
T: 212.805.8800 | Website
GRAND CENTRAL + ROCK CENTER + MoMA
CHINESE | Wu Liang Ye
A traditional Sichuan Chinese restaurant on the second floor of a Midtown brownstone, known for their spicy dishes that are often braised, roasted, or stir-fried.
"It's a very famous Szechuan restaurant in Midtown, very close to Rockefeller Center."
FED Pro > Restaurateurs Yiming Wang & Xian Zhang of Cafe China
36 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036
T: 212.398.2308 | wuliangyenyc.com
OYSTERS | Grand Central Oyster Bar
They opened their doors in 1913 and have been packed since. Classic, buzzy and historic. There are two rooms, the front is large with counter seating and tables under tiled arches, the back bar (go through the door with the porthole) is more intimate with wood paneling and seafaring art on the walls.
"A New York classic, one of the few remaining. Of course, go for the oysters, but I also love staring at the arched terra cotta tile ceiling. Simply amazing."
FED Pro > Restaurateur Krystof Zizka of Maison Premiere
Grand Central Terminal, 89 East 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
T: 212.490.6650 | www.oysterbarny.com
COFFEE | Blue Bottle Coffee
Located in the lower level of Rockefeller Center, they have two La Marzocco Strada MP espresso machines; two pour-over stations; two types of iced coffees, as well as pastries and liege waffles.
"They really live up to their name."
FED Pro > Pastry Chef Christina Tosi
1 Rockefeller Plaza, Concourse Level, Suite D, New York, NY 10020
CHOCOLATE + COOKIES | Jacques Torres
"I come here for chocolate chip cookies because they are the best. The absolute best."
FED Pro > Baker Renato Poliafito of Baked
"He does such a great job of displaying his chocolates and very seasonally too. He also ages his cookie dough for three days and the cookeis are delicious."
FED Pro > Baker Matt Lewis of Baked
Rockefeller Center, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111
T: 212.664.1804 | mrchocolate.com
THE HIGH LINE + THE WHITNEY
TACOS | Los Tacos No. 1
Pop into Chelsea Market to hit this taco stand opened by three friends from Tijuana, Mexico and California.
"I love to order the Adobada (marinated pork) or the Quesadilla de Asada."
FED Pro > Chef Julian Mediana of Toloache, Coppelia, Yerba Buena
Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011
T: 212.256.0343 | www.lostacos1.com
KOREAN | Mokbar
Chef Esther Choi is making Korean versions of ramen. She recommends ordering the kimchi ramen and hocakes. This version of the crispy pork bun was a big part of her younger years in Korea.
Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave, New York, NY 10011
T: 646.964.5963 | www.mokbar.com
TAPAS | Toro
Chef / owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette brought their popular Boston tapas bar to Chelsea.
"Everything here is really good. The tripe with beans and a smoky sort of tomato sauce with blood sausage is ridiculously good. The paella is also really good and the drinks are awesome. It's really fun."
FED Pro > Matt Lambert of The Musket Room
85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
T: 212.691.2360 | toro-nyc.com
WINE | Terroir at the Porch
In the warm months (until September), you can sit outside on the High Line at this full-service outdoor café overlooking the Hudson River. Come to watch the sunset and drink wine or beer and dine on small plate dishes.
"Easily one of my favorite wine bars."
FED Pro > Sommelier Joe Campanale of Anfora, dell’anima, L’Artusi, L’Apicio
High Line @ 15th Street and 10th Avenue
T: 646.668.1700 | www.wineisterroir.com/highline
ICE CREAM SANDWICHES | Melt Bakery
The Melt ice cream sandwich cart is part of the High Line Food and can be found seasonally on the high Line between 15th and 16th streets. Pastry chef Julian Plyter left working in restaurants to start making artisanal ice cream sandwiches. You'll find unique flavor combinations like Malted Chocolate Rum ice cream with Crackly Chocolate cookie.
High Line @ 15th Street, New York, NY 10011
DIM SUM | Nom Wah Tea Parlor
This is the oldest dim sum parlor in Manhattan and luckily still retains the original decor.
"This is my go-to for dim sum. I love their egg rolls. Basically what they’ve done is take an egg crepe and then they stuff it, lightly bread it and fry it. It’s a traditional, original egg roll. The Har Gow is also fantastic. Their turnip cake is one of my favorites. Come hungry and have everything."
FED Pro > Chef Miguel Trinidad of Jeepney, Maharlika
"One of my favorite things here is Rice Roll with Fried Dough. It's dough with a large sheet of white noodles wrapped around it and then served with a sweet soy sauce."
FED Pro > Chef Jonathan Wu of Fung Tu
13 Doyers Street, New York, NY 10013
T: 212.962.6047 | nomwah.com
CHINESE | Peking Duck House
Opened in 1978, their friendly corkage fee ($0) has made this a beloved destination for chefs and sommeliers.
"I love Peking duck and this is a great place to get... Peking duck."
FED Pro > Chef Harold Dieterle, formerly of Kin Shop, Perilla
28 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013 | T: 212.227.1810 | www.pekingduckhousenyc.com
COCKTAILS | Apotheke
This Chinatown cocktail bar doesn't have any obvious signage. Just look to the left of Nom Wah. The inside is like a luxurious chemistry lab.
"I'm blown away by the cocktails at Apotheke. The lighting, the bartenders in white coats, it all makes you feel like you want a cocktail."
FED Pro > Bartender John Bush of Talde, Pork Slope, Thistle Hill
"For cocktails, you can't go wrong with Apotheke if you want to push the boundaries of sanity on your liver. You go through the Chinatown maze to arrive at a door that has no signage. You're walking in and all of a sudden you're transported to this completely different scenery."
FED Pro > Chef Philippe Massoud of Ilili
"They have beakers on the wall, seven bartenders with mustaches and lab coats, and a back bar that is not even lit, with a bunch of bugs bunny looking bottles. But the cocktails are amazing!"
FED Pro > Bartender Ryan Goodspeed of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
9 Doyers Street, New York, NY 10079
T:212.406.0400 | www.apothekenyc.com
More in our 24-Hours in Chinatown Guide
9/11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM
ASIAN | Khe-Yo
Chef Soulayphet Schwader aka Chef Phet makes Laotian cuisine. One popular item is the 'Bread Service' - which is sticky rice, smoked eggplant and bang bang sauce.
"My favorite thing here is the bread service, which is what they call it. It’s sticky rice that comes with two dipping sauces. One is a chili fish sauce and the other is a charred eggplant spread. It's interactive with scooping the rice with your hands and dipping it into these beautiful sauces."
FED Pro > Chef Jonathan Wu of Fung Tu
157 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013
T: 212.587.1089 | www.kheyo.com
SANDWICHES | Num Pang
Num Pang means bread or a sandwich in Cambodian. The sandwiches are made fresh daily on a toasted semolina flour baguette with their signature chili mayo. Owned by two chefs who met in college, Ratha Chaupoly worked at Blue Water Grill and Ben Daitz at Tabla before opening the tiny take-out shops.
"I love the pork belly sandwich, it’s really good. It’s everything you want in a sandwich - it’s got the balance of acid, heat, fatty, and salty, it’s just perfect. I like my food to have a lot flavor and I find that sandwich just has a lot of flavor."
FED Pro > Chef Floyd Cardoz of Paowalla
Brookfield Place, 225 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281
T: 212.227.1957 | www.numpangnyc.com
COCKTAILS + A PUB | Dead Rabbit
Inspired by the Irish gangs in New York during the 19th Century, with historically accurate cocktails served upstairs in The Parlor at night and craft beer and pints served along with lunch in the saw-dust covered Taproom pub on the first floor. After a hearty lunch on a chilly afternoon, give the Irish Coffee a try. And if lunch drags long into the afternoon, the upstairs cocktail Parlor opens at 5pm.
"It’s a bit of a destination bar, since it’s way downtown. They give you everything you want with a casual pub on the first floor and a sit-down, expert cocktail parlor upstairs."
FED Pro > Bartender Nick Bennett of Porchlight Bar
"It’s one of the best bars in New York."
FED Pro > Bartender Xavier Herit of the Wallflower
30 Water Street, New York, NY 10004
T: 646.422.7906 | www.deadrabbitnyc.com
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