Manhattan. This is the best place to grab a bite to eat - In the world! Yes, better than France, Rome and Tokyo. New York's edge can be described in one word - diversity. You can have quality food from all most every culture around the world. Some of my favorite spots are listed below:
1. Lower East Side Tacqueria (LES).
Rational or not - LES Tacqueria may be my favorite restaurant in the city. It doesn't offer a fancy tasting menu or wine pairings but it does offer delicious food. My usual included a margarita, guacamole and two tacos. All of their tacos are awesome. And the service is always attentive despite the huge crowds out front.
2. Blue Ribbon Sushi (South Village).
If you love sushi, you will love blue ribbon. There are tons of options here and all are great.
3. Baohaus (East Village).
Taiwanese Street Buns - pure awesomeness. Full disclosure, I went to baohaus before it became a household name - and it was definitely better in the early days. However, the buns are always tasty - my favorite is the fried chicken.
4. Murray's Cheese Bar (West Village).
Wine and cheese is definitely a match made in heaven. Murray's aims to exploit this partnership by pairing awesome cheese with complex wines. What's not to love?
5. Mighty Quinn's BBQ (East Village).
A casual bbq spot with killer pulled pork sandwiches! A recent addition to the east village community, Quinn's has been an instant success. Definitely worth visiting to satisfy that bbq craving.
6. Crispo (West Village).
Italian. Actually - my favorite Italian in the city! I have visited Crispo several times (and I try to never repeat restaurants in the city). The service is great. The wine list is great. Plus
7. Upstate (East Village).
Cozy little establishment with fantastic seafood. I'll admit, I'm not a big raw bar person, but Upstate offers several delicious seafood dishes. If you have room, they usually serve a whiskey cake - yum!!!
8. ABC Kitchen (Union Square/Flatiron).
A favorite among my NYC friends for brunch.
9. The Toucan and The Lion (East Village).
Asian fusion small plates - yes please! Plus, they have several inventive cocktails.
10. Beecher's Handmade Cheese (Flatiron).
Cheese store upstairs, wine bar downstairs. I recommend the mac & cheese with wine (what kind - all of them!).
11. Hill Country Chicken (Flatiron).
Their chicken and traditional sides are delicious - but I come here for the pies. They come in several flavors and sizes (including a personal size) - my favorite is the cowboy pie.
12. Momofuku - Ramen, Ssam or Ma Peche.
David Chang is a culinary legend. He is the mastermind behind the Momofuku restaurant family. Ma Peche is the fancy fusion restaurant. The Ssam Bar is great for groups and features a huge slap of pork with sides. My favorite is the Ramen bar - offering simple and delicious ramen bowls. If you have room after visiting those three great spots - stop by Momofuku milk bar. They feature crack pie, everything cookies and red velvet milkshakes.
13. Cookshop (Chelsea).
Rustic style food - best for brunch.
14. Num Pang.
Cambodian flavors on perfect french bread - one of my favorite sandwiches in the city. The brisket is always the best. First runner up = shrimp.
15. Otto Enoteca Pizzeria.
When I start a new restaurant list, I try to stay away from the well-known celebrity chefs. But I always had such a good time at Otto that this Mario Batali restaurant had to make the list. The feature here is pizza and wine. I usually stopped by for lunch when I could sit at the bar and talk the the bartenders about the best wines.
Now before my friends in Brooklyn get too upset about the lack of Brooklyn spots (of which there are tons!) a Brooklyn was posted previously!! So check it out.