Sunday, July 10, 2011


East Side/Lower (includes NoHo & NoLiTa)
Doughnut Plant – 379 Grand Street (between 7th & 8th Avenues); 212-505-3700;; even jelly filling is homemade; tres leches doughnuts; other locations.
El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette – 100 Stanton Street (between Ludlow & Orchard Streets); 212-260-3950;; 1st opened as coffee shop; has morphed into luncheonette with open kitchen at back & draft beer; healthy, mostly comfort food, unobtrusively finessed; farm-to-table cooking done with such eye for color.
Juice Press – 70 East 1st Street (off 1st Avenue); 212-777-0034;; raw sandwiches, live produce, hangover-curing juices; no refined sugar or soy; other locations.
Il Laboratorio del Gelato – 188 Ludlow Street (at East Houston Street); 212-343-9922;; try kaffir lime gelato.
Macaron Parlour – 111 St. Marks Place (between 1st Avenue & Avenue A); 212-387-9169;; other locations.
Morgenstern’s – 2 Rivington Street (between Bowery & Chrystie Streets); 212-209-7684;; ice cream.
Smile – 26 Bond Street (between Bowery & 2nd Streets); 646-329-5836;; dimly-lit, stylish, lighted basement restaurant; espresso; also, try cherry tomatoes & ricotta on toast.
Sullivan Street Bakery – 533 West 47th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues); 212-265-5580;; try pane Pugliese (crunchy, dark-brown loaf).
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream – 48 East 7th Street (at 2nd Avenue); 646-476-3865;; artisanal, organic ice creams; other locations.
Yonah Schimmel’s Knishes – 137 East Houston Street (between 2nd Avenue & Chrystie Street); 212-477-2858;

East Side/Midtown
Magnolia Bakery – 107 East 42nd Street (at Grand Central Station, lower concourse); 212-682-3588;; other locations.

East Side/Upper
Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter II – 156 East 64th Street (between Lexington & 3rd Avenues); 212-486-9200;; also serves tea-infused cocktails.
Laduree – 864 Madison Avenue (between East 70th & 71st Streets); 646-558-3157;; macarons; other locations.
Lady M Cake Boutique – 41 East 78th Street (at Madison Avenue); 212-452-2222;; minimalist, all-white cake boutique known for flaky mille-feuille; other locations.
La Maison du Chocolat – 51 West 49th Street (in Rockefeller Center); 212-265-9404;; outstanding macarons; other locations.
Sant’Ambroeus – 1000 Madison Avenue (between East 77th & 78th Streets); 212-570-2211;; coffee; other locations.
Via Quadronno – 25 East 73rd Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-650-9880;; coffee & breakfast at long wooden bar; almond croissants; sandwiches.
Viand Coffee Shop – 673 Madison Avenue (between East 61st & 62nd Streets); 212-751-6622;; for hot open turkey sandwich & egg cream; other locations.

Flatiron & Gramercy
City Bakery – 3 West 18th Street (between Avenue of Americas & 5th Avenue); 212-366-1414;; other locations.
Maialino – 2 Lexington Avenue (at East 21st Street, in Gramercy Park Hotel); 212-777-2410;; Roman-style restaurant with coffee bar (in morning).

Harlem/East (includes Spanish Harlem)
Michelle Deli & Grocery – 231 East 116th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues (East 116th Street also known as Luis Muñoz Marin Boulevard)); 212-828-9097;; Mexican aguas; try with blended cantaloupe.
Uptown Veg Inc. – 52 East 125th Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-987-2660;; looks grungier than it is; drinks named after ailments they cure; try PMS.

Indian Road Café & Market – 600 West 218th Street (at Indian Road); 212-942-7451;; macchiato.

La Esquina Taqueria & Cafe – 114 Kenmare Street (between Lafayette & Mulberry Streets, at Cleveland Place); 646-613-7100;; informal taqueria in SoHo; watermelon agua.
Gimme! Coffee – 228 Mott Street (between Prince & Spring Streets); 212-226-4011;; Ithaca-based; some single-origin cups; other locations.

SoHo & Tribeca
American Two Shot – 135 Grand Street (between Broadway & Lafayette Street); 212-925-3403;; design & vintage store with coffee shop inside.
Arcade – 220 Church Street (between Thomas & Worth Streets); 212-227-7895;; try miche loaf.
La Colombe Torrefaction – 270 Lafayette Street (between Jersey & Prince Streets); 212-625-1717;; Philadelphia company’s outpost; known for darker roasts; other locations.
Dominique Ansel – 189 Spring Street (between Sullivan & Thompson Streets); 212-219-2773;; try kouign-amann (Bretagne croissant).
Ground Support – 399 West Broadway (between West Broadway & Wooster Streets); 212-219-8733;; airy art gallery feeling; rough wood tables; wide range pastries & sandwiches.
Kaffe 1668 – 275 Greenwich Street (between Murray & Warren Streets); 212-693-3750;; single-drip coffees; other locations.
Kee’s Chocolates – 80 Thompson Street (between Broome & Spring Streets); 212-334-3284;; chocolates & macarons (dark chocolate & sesame ganache filling); also, peach-ginger & rose-lychee.
Saturday’s NYC – 31 Crosby Street (at Grand Street); 212-966-7875;; upscale surf shop with coffee bar upfront; deck in back; other locations.

Union Square
Jus – 29 Union Square West (corner of East 16th Street); 212-243-7969;; attached to Coffee Shop; try watermelon-banana-cantaloupe smoothie.

Abraço Espresso & Bakery – 81 East 7th Street (at 1st Avenue); 212-388-9731;; barely enough room for 6 standing adults; cappuccinos & drip coffee (some say NYC’s best iced coffee); small baked good selection.
Big Gay Ice Cream – 125 East 7th Street (between 1st Avenue & Avenue A); 212-533-9333;; try “Choinkwich” (Nutella & bacon ice cream sandwich); other locations.
Everyman Espresso – 136 East 13th Street (between 4th & 3rd Avenues); 212-533-0524;; handful tables & coffee counter in Classic Stage Company’s lobby (off Broadway theater); owner, Sam Penix, revered barista; other locations.
Juicy Lucy – 85 Avenue A (between East 5th & 6th Streets); 212-777-5829;; cheap; try Rio Bowl, acai drink (but better at Jus); other locations.
Milk Bar East Village – 251 East 13th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues); 347-577-9504 or 855-333-6455;; order “Compost Cookie.”
Cafe MUD – 307 East 9th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-529-8766;; coffee & yerba mate.
Spot Dessert Bar – 13 St. Mark’s Place (between Cooper Square & Astor Place); 212-677-5670;; mini-Momofuku in basement; starred restaurant desserts in ordinary setting; mundane ice cream.
Sundaes & Cones – 95 East 10th Street (between 3rd & 4th Avenues); 212-979-9398;; exotic flavors like black sesame, wasabi, taro, & pumpkin.

Cafe Dante – 79-81 Macdougal Sreet (between Bleecker & West Houston Streets); 212-982-5275;; legendary circa-1915 cafe serving small plates & cocktails in updated historic setting.
Caffe Reggio – 119 Macdougal Street (); 212-475-9557;; perhaps no better relic of Greenwich Village’s café society; filled with tiny marble-topped tables, iron-backed chairs, ornately carved wooden benches, gorgeous school of Caravaggio paintings & other art pieces dating back to Renaissance Italy; featured in classic New York movies like Godfather & Serpico; Village’s oldest coffee house (since 1927); has harbored bohemians for decades, most notably beat generation poets like Kerouac & Corso; storied to have introduced cappuccino to New York when original owner spent $1K to import espresso machine (bronze & chrome beauty still on display) from Italy; desserts.
Miss Lily’s Bakeshop & Melvin’s Juice Box – 132 West Houston Street (between Macdougal & Sullivan Streets, enter on Sullivan Street); 646-588-5375;; Jamaican.

Village/West (includes Bowery, Chelsea & Meatpacking District)
Café Grumpy – 224 West 20th Street (between 7th & 8th Avenues); 212-255-5511;; wide coffee variety by cup; other locations.
Joe – 405 West 23rd Street (at 9th Avenue); 212-206-0669;; macchiato is art-work; various locations.
Madeleine Patisserie/La Maison du Macaron – 132 West 23rd Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-243-2757;; try fig, apple, red wine with black pepper &/or cranberry-strawberry macaroons.
9th Street Espresso – 75 9th Avenue (at West 15th Street, at Chelsea Market); 212-228-2930;; other locations.

Francois Payard Bakery – 116 West Houston Street (between Thompson & Sullivan Streets); 212-995-0888;; desserts (try macarons, such as Grand Marnier-based) & tea.

West Side/Lower
Stumptown Coffee Roasters – 18 West 29th Street (at Ace Hotel New York, between 5th & 6th Avenues); 347-414-7805;; legendary, Portland, Oregon chain; travertine floors, walnut bar, & natty staff; cold-brewed ice coffee; mocha; other locations.

West Side/Midtown (includes Hell’s Kitchen)
A Cafe at AKA Central Park – 42 West 58th Street (at AKA Hotel, between 6th Avenue & Grand Army Plaza); 646-744-3100;; for organic coffee & croissants.
Blue Bottle Coffee – 30 Rockefeller Center (between West 49th & 50th Streets, on concourse level); 212-332-6868;
Culture Espresso Bar – 72 West 38th Street (between 5th Avenue & Avenue Of Americas); 212-302-0200;; 1 of few serious coffee bars in mid-town; Australian.

West Side/Upper
Alice’s Tea Cup – 102 West 73rd Street (between West 72nd & 73rd Streets); 212-799-3006;
Bouchon Bakery & Cafe – 10 Columbus Circle (at Time Warner Center, 3rd Floor); 212-823-9366;; try yuzu macarons with dark chocolate ganache.
Elixir Juice Bar – 10 Columbus Circle (at Time Warner Center); 212-823-9456;; try acai with banana & blueberry smoothie; also, try Quick Quencher; other locations.
Épicerie Boulud – 1900 Broadway (at West 63rd & 64th Streets); 212-595-9606;; other locations; gourmet fare to-go; some sit-down space to eat onsite.
Levain Bakery – 167 West 74th Street (between Amsterdam & Columbus Avenues); 212-874-6080;; try oatmeal raisin cookies.

Apothéke – 9 Doyers Street (between Division Street & St. James Place); 212-406-0400;; hidden in pocket alley; Prohibition-Era atmosphere; after-hours bar.

East Side/Lower (includes NoHo & NoLiTa)
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey Street (between Kenmare & Bowery Streets); 212-260-4700;; live music venue.
Box – 189 Chrystie Street (between Delancey & Rivington Streets); 212-982-9301;; theater events during dinner; burlesque, etc.
Dutch – 131 Sullivan Street (between Spring & West Houston Streets); 212-677-6200;; drinks almost all day long.
Freemans – Freeman Alley’s end (off Rivington Street, between Bowery & Chrystie Streets); 212-420-0012;; exceedingly low-profile; taxidermist’s dream; specialty cocktails; deviled eggs; desserts.
Joe’s Pub – 425 Lafayette Street (in Public Theater, between East 4th Street & Astor Place); 212-539-8778;; eclectic & wide range musical performances offered over dinner & drinks in intimate space.
Johnson’s – 123 Rivington Street (between Essex & Norfolk Streets); 212-420-9911;; also known as “Welcome to Johnsons”; ironic-joke; theme bar for kids too cool for theme bars; decked out like rec room circa 1978 (faux-wood-paneled walls, vintage brown refrigerator, sports league trophies, even Ms. PacMan game); drinks are dirt cheap, including (during summer) 1st-rate margaritas.
McSorley’s Old Ale House – 15 East 7th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues); 212-473-9148;; established in 1854; New York City’s oldest bar.
Third Man – 116 Avenue C (Alphabet City, between East 7th & 8th Streets); 212-598-1040;; offers beer, wine & classic cocktails made with artisanal ingredients; space design partly inspired by Orson Welles film & Loos American Bar in Vienna.

East Side/Midtown
Beekman Bar & Books – 889 1st Avenue (between East 50th & 51st Streets); 212-758-6600;; dress code is casual but stylish; cigar bar.
Mad46 – 45 East 45th Street (off Grand Central Station, at Roosevelt Hotel); 212-661-9600 or 212-885-6095 for table reservations in rooftop bar);; seasonal rooftop bar; mediocre view.
Monkey Bar – 60 East 54th Street (at Hotel Elysee, between Madison & Park Avenues); 212-288-1010;; mural by Edward Sorel.
King Cole Bar – 2 East 55th Street (at St. Regis Hotel, between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-339-6857;; where Bloody Mary invented (supposedly); mural by Maxfield Parrish.

East Side/Upper
Bemelman’s Bar – 35 East 76th Street (at Carlyle Hotel, between Madison & Park Avenues); 212-744-1600;; art on walls by Ludwig Bemelman (Madeleine children’s books).
Bar Pleiades – 20 East 76th Street (at Surrey Hotel, between Madison & 3rd Avenues); 212-772-2600;; try La Terre (beet-infused gin, vermouth, Aperol & grapefruit); worth special trip; Daniel Boulud manages.
Daniel – 60 East 65th Street (between 5th & Park Avenues); 212-288-0033;; newly renovated; ask for White Cosmopolitan or selection from secret Mezcal assortment under counter.
Dorrian’s Red Hand – 1616 2nd Avenue (between East 83rd & 84th Streets); 212-772-6660;; jukebox & red-checked tablecloths.
Lexington Bar & Books – 1020 Lexington Avenue (between East 72nd & 73rd Streets); 212-717-3902;; dress code is casual but stylish; cigar bar.
Mark Bar – 25 East 77th Street (at Hotel Mark, (between East 77th & 78th Streets); 212-744-4300;; ask for croque monsieur if hungry.
Sant’Ambroeus – 1000 Madison Avenue (between East 77th & 78th Streets); 212-570-2211;; Italian & lovely; try traditional Milanese risotti and cotoletta alla Milanese; other locations.
Subway Inn – 1140 2nd Ave (between East 60th & 60st Streets); 212-758-0900;; legendary hole-in-wall serving it up since 1937, now at new location; still looks as if some original patrons haven’t left bar stools since it opened; tables sticky, walls battered, lumpy, red-leather booths slope to room center, where it looks as if floor could give way at any moment; incongruous knickknacks (Godzilla doll, wooden ships).

Flat Iron & Gramercy
La Birreria – 200 5th Avenue (between West 23rd & 24th Streets); 212-937-8910;; scenic rooftop setting for elevated Italian cuisine, house-brewed ales & high-end imported beers.
Cosme – 35 East 21st Street (between 5th Avenue & Park Avenue South); 212-913-9659;; tequila & mezcal in sleek digs with big bar.
Flatiron Lounge – 37 West 19th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-727-7741;; serious cocktails, both original & time-honored, at Jazz Age-style watering hole.
Library Bar – 1170 Broadway (at Nomad Hotel, between West 27th & 28th Streets); 347-472-5660;; as if drinking in late-19th Century private library.
Jade Bar & Rose Bar – 2 Lexington Avenue (at Gramercy Park Hotel, between East 22nd Street & North Gramercy Park); 212-920-3300;; modern art & velvet seating lend chic air to petite cocktail spots; Rose Bar is more intimate & sexier of 2 bars.
Pete’s Tavern – 129 East 18th Street (between Park Avenue South & 3rd Avenue); 212-473-7676;; longest continually operating bar-restaurant in New York City.
Rooftop Bar NYC – 230 5th Avenue (between West 26th &27th Streets); 212-725-4300;; staid marble lobby of office building (formerly Victoria Hotel) does little to prepare for scene on 20th floor: if 8K'-square room pimped out in walls of partitioned glass, dark op-art pile carpet & purple fluorescent lights recall Studio 54, it’s because owner, art collector Steven Greenberg, has spared no expense in making it as lavish as his previous projects (Palladium & Roxy); Sue et Mare couch came from Karl Lagerfeld’s collection; other low-to-ground loungers (such as kiss-shaped velour loveseat) similarly flamboyant; skyline twinkles beyond floor-to-ceiling windows framed by white curtains, but scene is even more impressive on massive roof deck where endless wood benches & sturdy garden chairs invite no less than 500 quitting-timers & night owls to take in unobstructed views of Empire State Building (north), Met Life building (east) & Jersey (west).

Minton’s – 206 West 118th Street (between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard & 8th Avenue); 212-243-2222;; reincarnation of 1938 legendary establishment where Charlie Parker & Thelonious Monk were regulars.
Sugar Bar – 254 West 72nd Street (between Amsterdam & West End Avenues); 212-579-0222;; owned by Ashford & Simpson; must see venue; Southern-accented American cooking & live music events in brownstone.

SoHo & Tribeca
Brandy Library – 25 North Moore Street (between Hudson & Yarick Streets); 212-226-5545;; elegant atmosphere with sophisticated drinks.
Jimmy – 23 Grand Street (at James Hotel New York, between 6th Avenue & Thompson Street); 212-201-9119;; tremendous views.
Paul’s Baby Grand – 2 6th Avenue (at Tribeca Grand Hotel, between Church Street & West Broadway); 212-519-6681;; owned by Chloe Sevigny’s brother, Paul.
Pegu Club – 77 West Houston Street (between Bowery & Greene Streets); 212-473-7348;; tony, candlelit, elevated 1 story above traffic; refined; feels like place where 2 lovers conducting illicit affair might rendezvous; named after Rangoon’s British officers’ club; dark woods, velvet seats & Asian accents; try Fitty-Fitty (gin, vermouth, bitters, lemon) or Old Cuban (rum, champagne, bitters, muddled mint); go as close to opening time (5 pm) because fills up.
Temple Bar – 332 Lafayette Street (between Bleecker & Houston Streets); 212-925-4242;; dark & sophisticated lounge serving both new & traditional cocktails plus upscale bar bites.

Union Square
Old Town Bar – 45 East 18th Street (between 5th & Park Avenues); 212-529-6732;; old New York tavern preserved with marble & mahogany bar, tin ceiling & dumbwaiter; true New York classic; ancient mariners sit with frat boys, hip preppies & sports nuts; scene from Last Days of Disco filmed here; post-work mob since 1892; also, city’s best urinal, by some accounts.

Death & Co. – 433 East 6th Street (between Avenue A & 1st Avenue); 212-388-0882;; speakeasy-esque gem; dark, moody cocktail lounge.
KGB Bar & Lit Journal – 85 East 4th Street (between Bowery Street & 2nd Avenue); 347-441-4481;; cozy bar for comedy & poetry slams.
Library – 7 Avenue A (Alphabet City, just off East Houston Street); 212-375-1352;; dive with cheap drinks, hipster following, bookshelf decor & B movies projected on walls.

Small’s Jazz Club – 183 West 10th Street (between 7th & 8th Avenues); 646-476-4346;; tiny, no-frills space delivers live jazz bands & jam sessions at modest prices.

Manitoba’s – 99 Avenue B (at East 7th Street); 212-982-2511;; good place to watch football.
Mayahuel – 304 East 6th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-253-5888;; 50 different cocktails, more than half of which contain mescal; try Black Friars Cobbler.
Otto Enoteca Pizzeria – 1 5th Avenue (between East 8th Street & Waverly Place); 212-995-9559;; Mario Batali’s casual Italian (pizzeria & winebar); literary bar hangout; Italian train station decor.
PDT – 113 St. Marks Place (between Avenue A & 1st Avenue); 212-614-0386;; short for “please don’t tell”; enter through phone booth inside hot-dog joint); must-visit locale.
7B Horseshoe Bar (a/k/a Vazac’s) – 108 Avenue B (between East 6th & 7th Streets); 212-677-6742;; also known as “7B”; dive, punk bar; has played grungy parts in Sex & City, Serpico & Godfather Part II.
Standings – 43 East 7th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues); 212-420-0671;; hole-in-wall, small bar with several televisions showing sports.

Cafe Dante – 79-81 Macdougal Sreet (between Bleecker & West Houston Streets); 212-982-5275;; legendary circa-1915 cafe serving small plates & cocktails in updated historic setting.
Cafe What – 115 MacDougal Street (between Minetta Lane & West 3rd Streets); 212-254-3706;; energetic house bands play at former hangout of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Ginsberg, etc.
Kettle of Fish – 59 Christopher Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-414-2278;; established in 1950; homey bar & poetry venue; Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, etc.

Village/West (includes Bowery, Chelsea & Meatpacking District)
Blue Note – 131 West 3rd Street (between 6th Avenue & Macdougal Street); 212-475-8592;; jazz in intimate club that also serves American food.
Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar – 34 Downing Street (between Bedford & Varick Streets); 212-691-0404;; obsessive carpentry, with white-oak shelving & paneling, plus marble bar & French-limestone floor; sleek holding pen for diners waiting for tables at Blue Ribbon Bakery across street; while waiting, customers enjoy broad selection beers, liquors & wines; bites.
Café Loup – 105 West 13th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-255-4746;; neighborhood bar scene; Junior Mance often performs lie.
City Winery – 155 Varick Street (between Spring & Vandam Streets); 212-608-0555;; wine bar with Mediterranean eats, plus on-site winery, retail shop & acclaimed live music space; country & folk music venue.
Cuba Restaurant & Rum Bar – 222 Thompson Street (between Bleecker & West 3rd Streets); 212-420-7878;; cigar-rolling gentleman sits in corner, plying trade; live band; good mojitos.
Employees Only – 510 Hudson Street (between Christopher & West 10th Streets); 212-242-3021;; retro-looking, Prohibition-style bar with inventive drinks.
Fedora – 239 West 4th Street (between Charles & West 10th Streets); 646-449-9336;; although this is also restaurant, should be viewed as dive-bar restaurant with carefully distressed décor; raffish, casually inventive, modestly priced neighborhood cooking; extended mahogany bar in narrow, subterranean space; walls covered in clubby photos of Muhammad Ali, Basquiat & Mos Def.
Gemma – 335 Bowery Street (at Bowery Hotel, between Bond & East 3rd Streets); 212-505-7300;; strict no-music policy so great place to talk; also lovely, cozy feeling; arts & entertainment industry types abound; outdoor seating, weather permitting.
Hudson Bar & Books – 636 Hudson Street (between Horatio & Jane Streets); 212-229-2642;; cozy cigar bar with spirits, stogies & wines in clubby, book-filled space.
Little Branch – 22 7th Avenue South (between Carmine & Leroy Streets); 212-929-4360;; underground mixology den featuring vast menu handcrafted cocktails in snug space; try Corpse Reviver #2 (gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon & absinthe); call 1st to make sure open; cash only.
1 Oak – 453 West 17th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues); 212-242-1111;; passing through coat-check anteroom with cursive lines engraved on wall, patrons enter expansive room with raw oak slat ceiling & zigzagging black-and-white floor that sets El Morocco tone; room divided by central black lacquered bar; in corner, VIP-type area with roaring fireplace & giant Roy Nachum nude flanked by buffalo; ostrich-leather banquettes line underlit brick walls covered by metallic gold curtains, offsetting bizarre centerpiece (large artwork of young blindfolded boy with 2 horses); strict door policy due to celebrity-heavy clientele.
Rusty Knot – 425 West Street (below Meatpacking District, between Bank & West 11th Streets); 212-645-5668;; ‘70’s vibe, fisherman’s bar with Hudson River aspect; by Spotted Pig guys; high-low hybrid; faux Tiffany lamps & neon beer signs clash with elaborate tiki cocktails (devised by Milk & Honey vet Toby Maloney); try eponymous Rusty Knot (blender-whirred mix of rum, ice & mint) with luxe bacon–chicken liver sandwich.
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Avenue South (off intersection of West 11th Street & Waverly Place); 212-255-4037;; live music venue, especially jazz, worth special trip.

Wall Street
Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog – 30 Water Street (between Broad Street & Coenties Slip); 646-422-7906;; custom cocktails in Gangs of New York setting; topps 2016 installment of World’s 50 Best Bars.
White Horse Tavern – 567 Hudson Street (between Perry & West 11th Streets); 212-989-3956;; circa-1880 bar with storied history as writers’ hangout, serving drinks & bar fare; once favored by Dylan Thomas; poetry landmark.

West Side/Lower
John Dory Oyster Bar – 1196 Broadway (at Ace Hotel, between West 28th & 29th Streets); 212-792-9000;; must for oyster lovers; boisterous seafood spot in bright, hip space; expensive.

West Side/Midtown (includes Hell’s Kitchen)
Blue Bar – 59 West 44th Street (at Algonquin Hotel, between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-840-6800;; Al Hirschfeld art hangs over plush leather banquettes; stiff drink prices that typically range between about $17-22.
Empire Hotel Rooftop – 44 West 63rd Street (between Broadway & Columbus Avenue); 212-265-7400;; sleek & open even in winter; 1 block from Central Park; rooftop pool deck is ultimate oasis.
Hudson New York Library Bar – 358 West 58th Street (at Hudson Hotel, between 8th & 9th Avenues); 212-554-6000;; feels like Old English estate; perfect cozy hangout for relaxing by enormous fireplace.
Keens Steakhouse – 72 West 36th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-947-3636;; enormous steaks & mutton chops served in clubby, wood-paneled rooms.
Lambs Club – 132 West 44th Street (at Chatwal Hotel, between Broadway & 6th Avenue); 212-997-5262;; old-school cocktails in front of gas fireplace; retro glamor in modern setting.
Lantern’s Keep – 49 West 44th Street (at Iroquois Hotel, between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-453-4287; elegant saloon with dark wood paneling & historic decor mixing classic, Prohibition-era cocktails; lantern outside lit when open.
Round Table – 59 West 44th Street (At Algonquin Hotel, between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-840-6800;; after WWI, Vanity Fair writers & Algonquin regulars Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Robert E. Sherwood, Alexander Woollcott, George S. Kaufman, Heywood Broun & Edna Ferber; called themselves “Vicious Circle” when met here; large painting commemorates.
Rum House – 228 West 47th Street (at Edison Hotel, between Broadway & 8th Avenue); 646-490-6924;; leather-swathed, red-walled, wood-paneled drinking den; nightly piano playing by stomping, suspendered gentleman (bowler hat included); classic, candle-lit cocktail lounge.
Salon de Ning – 700 5th Avenue, 23rd Floor (at Peninsula Hotel, between West 54th & 55th Streets); 212-956-2888;; rooftop bar evokes 1930s Shanghai; try to snag MOMA garden view; try Ning Sling.
Sardi’s Restaurant – 234 West 44th Street (between 7th & 8th Avenues); 212-221-8440;; for dry martinis; caricatures of showbiz celebs line walls of this legendary Times Square Continental restaurant.
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar – 151 West 51st Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues) 212-554-1143;; casually chic wine bar from Le Bernardin’s master sommelier with charcuterie, French fare & lunch.

West Side/Upper
Beacon Theater – 2124 Broadway (between West 74th & 75th Streets); 212-465-6500;; live music venue; Radio City Music Hall’s older sibling.
Lobby Cocktail Lounge – 80 Columbus Circle (at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, between Broadway & 9th Avenue); 212-805-8800;; 35th floor view; “bargain,” under circumstances.

Central Park South
Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park – 50 Central Park South (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-308-9100;

East Side/Lower (includes NoHo & NoLiTa)
Hotel on Rivington – 107 Rivington Street (between Delancey & East Houston Streets); 212-475-2600 or 800-915-1537;; very cool & super modern.
Noho Soho – 9 Crosby Street (between Grand & Hester Streets); 646218-6400;; ultra-chic, high-rise hotel 1 mile from Brooklyn Bridge & 3 miles from both Statue of Liberty & MOMA; featuring floor-to-ceiling windows & views over Manhattan; sophisticated rooms provide free Wi-Fi, HDTVs, minibars, high-thread-count sheets, marble bathrooms & designer toiletries; haute, terrarium-style restaurant with bar, glam cocktail lounge & 24/7 fitness center; valet parking & rooftop massages.
SIXTY LES – 190 Allen Street (between East Houston & Stanton Streets); 212-460-5300;; 22-stories of luxurious glass highrise; some rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with stupendous views; pool; have to pay for WiFi.
Standard – 25 Cooper Square (between East 5th & 6th Streets); 212-475-5700;; minimalist rooms come with flat-screen TVs & desks, as well as free Wi-Fi & 24-hour room service; upgraded rooms & suites add floor-to-ceiling windows, New York City views, separate sitting areas &/or bathrooms with heated floors; upscale, American restaurant with open kitchen & garden, plus clubby cafe/bar with roadside patio; bike rentals & access to off-site gym are complimentary.

East Side/Midtown
Affinia 50 – 155 East 50th Street (between Lexington & 3rd Avenues); 646-846-7420;; tranquil retreat; complimentary tea bar; 129 suites offer generous living space, including full kitchens, large vanities with Hollywood lighting & curtains instead of closet doors; 4 neighborhood restaurants provide room service; 1st-floor Private Garden Terrace Suites have furnished patio that opens onto green spaces & fountain; in-room spa treatments; can arrange to sleep outside if have patio/porch.
Andaz 5th Avenue – 485 5th Avenue (between East 41st & 42nd Streets); 212-601-1234;; loft-like rooms with ceiling-to-floor & travertine marble bathrooms.
Avalon Hotel – 16 East 32nd Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-299-7000;; elegant European-style boutique in Murray Hill area.
Carlton Hotel – 88 Madison Avenue (between East 28th & 29th Streets); 212-532-4100;; 1904 hotel, updated.
Iberostar 70 Park Avenue – 70 Park Avenue (between East 38th & 40th Streets); 212-973-2400;; boutique with smallish rooms.
Langham Place Hotel – 400 5th Avenue (between East 36th & 37th Streets); 212-695-4005;; near Empire State Building; dramatic limestone exterior; onyx-clad reception desk; try to book rooms ending in 06 on floors 5-10 (where beds enthroned in front of window & desk behind bed, allowing you to contemplate Empire State Building while in bed).
Library Hotel New York – 299 Madison Avenue (between East 41st & 42nd Streets); 212-983-4500;; chic-geek boutique where rooms arranged on Dewey Decimal System.
Park South Hotel – 124 East 28th Street (between Park & 3rd Avenues); 212-448-0888;; best deal for price in City.

East Side/Upper
Carlyle Hotel – 35 East 76th Street (between East 77th & 78th Streets); 212-744-1600;; try to get Deluxe Tower rooms, especially 2307 & 3307 (for downtown Manhattan & Central Park views, in particular).
Lowell – 28 East 63rd Street (between Madison & Park Avenues); 212-838-1400;; elegant & private; best room is 17B (majority of 17 is penthouse) with charming terrace & generous bathroom.
Mark Hotel – 25 East 77th Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-744-4300;; “intelligent” hotel; perfectly crisp rooms with European-style service & clever art program; King Rooms are best value for money (over suites); floors 7 & 8 put you at tree line.
Pierre Hotel – 2 East 61st Street (between East 60th & 61st Streets); 212-838-8000;; book City View King Room on 10th floor with view over upper East Side rooftops.
Hotel Plaza Athenee – 37 East 64th Street (between 5th & Park Avenues); 212-734-9100;; book Room 1704 (Grand Deluxe Room with balcony & 1 of only 2 non-suites on floor); can book along with room below, 1607, to create duplex.
Surrey Hotel – 20 East 76th Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-288-3700;; ask for corner room and/or Grand Deluxe Salon (09 series) on higher floors for commanding views.
Hotel Wales – 1295 Madison Avenue (between East 92nd & 93rd Streets); 646-846-7413;; upscale, century-old building less than 2 blocks from Central Park, 6-minute walk from Guggenheim Museum & 8-minute walk from subway; sophisticated rooms have Belgian linens, goose-down duvets, flat-screen TVs & free Wi-Fi; perks include storied eatery serving brunch, traditional Italian trattoria, rooftop garden & fitness center.

Flatiron & Gramercy
Gramercy Park Hotel – 2 Lexington Avenue (between East 21st & 22nd Streets); 212-920-3300;; 1925 landmark hotel; 185 guest rooms; 3rd floor lofts have park views; skip 15th floor; 10th floor Park View Lofts are good bet; Room 1005 has “tamest” art.
Inn at Irving Place – 56 Irving Place (between East 18th & 19th Streets); 212-533-4600;; like Wes Anderson set; antiquated townhouse near Union Square; rooms to book are either Irving Junior Suite or Washington Deluxe Room or both (they connect).
Nomad Hotel – 1170 Broadway (between West 27th & 28th Streets); 212-796-1500;; book “Grande Rooms” on 2nd or 3rd floors, which have 13' ceilings, or even corner suites on these floors, where bed encircled by 3 windows; hotel by chefs who operate 3 Michelin starred establishment (Eleven Madison Park); poor room service, though.

Aloft – 2296 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (between West 123rd & 124th Streets); 212-749-4000;; affordable & beautiful; on quiet corner near Apollo Theater (& Columbia University).

SoHo & Tribeca
Crosby Street Hotel – 79 Crosby Street (between Broadway & Lafayette Street); 212-226-6400;; 86 rooms; expensive; British eccentric style; green, pink, purple & yellow plaid & stripes in profusion; genuinely warm coddling; rooms to book are any “deluxe” rooms on floors 5-10; spectacularly wallpapered bathrooms.
James New York – 27 Grand Street (between 6th Avenue & Thompson Street); 212-465-2000;; local artists’ work on every floor; river-to-river views; standard corner rooms are big for Manhattan; small rooftop bar & heated pool; well equipped gym; Treetop Terrace Bar.
Soho House Members Club & Hotel – 29-35 9th Avenue (between West 13th & 14th Streets); 212-627-9800;; luxury boutique; some rooms are sometimes let to non-members; investigate; .2 miles from High Line; high-end rooms come individually styled with designer furnishings & include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, full bars, Nespresso machines & rainfall showerheads; stay grants entry to otherwise members-only amenities including trendy Italian restaurant, vintage style bar, luxury spa & heated rooftop pool.
SIXTY SoHo – 60 Thompson Street (between Broome & Spring Streets); 212-431-0400;; stylish hotel in SoHo shopping neighborhood; also 1.6 miles from Union Square; upscale rooms feature plush furnishings, 400-thread count linens, marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs & minibars with gourmet snacks; suites add balconies, plus separate showers & soaking tubs; elegant, bi-level loft with 4-poster bed offers deck with an 180-degree city view (Empire State Building included); chic lobby lounge & seasonal rooftop bar with city views; restaurant.

Union Square
W New York Union Square – 201 Park Avenue South (between East 17th & 18th Streets); 212-253-9119;; 1911 beaux arts-style building overlooking Union Square Park; contemporary rooms & suites, if upgraded, have park or city views; some suites add whirlpool tubs; room service.

Lafayette House – 38 East 4th Street (between Bowery & Lafayette Streets); 646-306-5010;; 1840s townhouse; no lobby; 15 antique-furnished rooms, each with front door buzzer; ask for King Rooms 1, 4, or 7; affordable for New York.

Village/West (includes Bowery, Chelsea & Meatpacking District)
Bowery Hotel – 335 Bowery Street (between Bond & East 3rd Streets); 212-505-9100;; not for business trips; no slick concierge service but lovely; book King Deluxe, either with patio (#306) or tub (#610).
Greenwich Hotel – 377 Greenwich Street (between Beach & North Moore Streets); 212-941-8900;; owned by Robert De Niro; try to get Superior or Deluxe Room (Moroccan-tile bathroom & deep tub), especially 606 (river view) or 403 (balcony overlooking courtyard).
High Line Hotel – 180 10th Avenue (between West 20th & 21st Streets); 212-929-3888;; urban sanctuary within tranquil, cloistered grounds; on General Theological Seminary grounds, in 1817 building; stained glass windows, elaborate fireplace mantels; 60 rooms decorated with vintage furniture; no restaurant.
Hôtel Americano – 518 West 27th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues); 212-216-0000;; Mexican hotel chain Grupo Habita’s 1st US outpost; just down street from High Line, running between West 20th-30th Streets; minimalist slab designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten, covered with steel mesh turning transparent or opaque depending on sun; style is “urban ryokan”; guests have unchallenged run of place, from diminutive rooftop pool (hot tub in winter) to restaurant & cozy bars in basement.
Hotel Gansevoort – 18 9th Avenue (between Little West 12th & West 13th Streets); 212-206-6700;; views; chic, contemporary rooms & suites come with free Wi-Fi & flat-screen TVs; upgraded units have bay windows or balconies; upper floors offer Manhattan & Hudson river views; some suites add separate living areas; bistro, lobby bar, nightclub & rooftop bar; heated rooftop pool with panoramic views is open year-round.
Maritime Hotel – 363 West 16th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues); 212-242-4300;; nautical-themed hotel with distinctive porthole windows that overlook nearby art galleries, Chelsea Market food shopping & High Line elevated urban park; 1 block from subway & 2 from Hudson River; rooms have teak furnishings, 5-foot-round windows, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs & minibars; top-floor suites have outdoor terraces; Italian trattoria downstairs with bar & patio; on rooftop is trendy lounge.
Marlton – 5 West 8th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-321-0100;; 107-room; previous history as Beat Generation writer enclave in which to hole up & work on literary masterpieces; Jack Kerouac wrote 2 novellas (Subterraneans & Tristessa) here; Neal Cassady wrote here too; Andy Warhol assassin, Valerie Solanas, lived here; original herringbone-wood floors, chicken-wire closet doors, intricate crown molding, marble bathrooms & brass fixtures; 2 penthouse suites with attached terraces; 98-seat restaurant (Café Marlton) on ground level serves breakfast, lunch, & dinner; skylight terrace & coffee bar.
Standard High Line – 848 Washington Street (between Little West 12th & 13th Streets); 212-645-4646;; small rooms with queen-size beds; affordable, clean, comfortable & convenient; restaurant & room service; bathroom so small, steam can fill room.

Wall Street
Andaz Wall Street – 75 Wall Street (between Pearl & Water Streets); 212-590-1234;; excellent choice; everything bad about boutiques not here; affordable; 13 floors in 42-story skyscraper; 253 rooms with 11' ceilings & 7' windows; artsy yet minimalist.
Gild Hall Hotel – 15 Gold Street (between Maiden Lane & Platt Street, with entrance at Platt Street-William Street); 212-232-7700;; upscale hotel that is 3-minute walk to subway & 4 blocks from Wall Street; most guest rooms feature 12' ceilings; high-thread-count linens, leather tufted headboards, marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs & Wi-Fi (surcharge); 24-hour fitness center, bi-level library & champagne bar with dark wood furnishings & worn leather chairs; Tuscan restaurant & candle-lit wine bar with vintage decor.

West Side/Lower
Ace Hotel New York – 20 West 29th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-679-2222;; funky design aesthetic has transformed turn-of-20th-Century office building; less than 6 blocks from both Empire State Building; uniquely decorated rooms with original artwork range from cozy bunk-bed rooms to roomier corner suites; free WiFi & minibars; off large, columned lobby there is art gallery, farm-to-table restaurant, oyster bar & coffee shop.
Kimpton Hotel Eventi – 851 6th Avenue (between West 29th & 30th Streets); 212-564-4567;; 8-minute walk from Empire State Building, .5 mile from Penn Station & .8 mile from Times Square; stylish, modern rooms have Wi-Fi, iPod docks, flat-screens & rainfall showers; suites have varying features like pool tables, private balconies & hot tubs; add-on amenities include in-room hair styling services & 24-hour room service; free happy hour, morning coffee & loaner bikes; fitness center, restaurant & outdoor plaza with multimedia screen.

West Side/Midtown (includes Hell’s Kitchen)
AKA Central Park – 42 West 58th Street (between 6th Avenue & Grand Army Plaza); 646-744-3100;; with 4 extended-stay residences with hotel-like amenities in locations such as Times Square, Sutton Place, UN area & Central Park; combination apartment/hotel accommodations where stay can be as brief as just 1 night; rooms, from spacious studios to 2 bedrooms; full modern kitchens, marble bathrooms, 2 televisions & complimentary weekday breakfast; Central Park location, 1 block from Central Park South, homiest of group.
Chatwal New York – 130 West 44th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-764-6200;; full-on art deco interiors; 88 rooms; Stanford White building; Chopra spa with indoor saltwater pool & 24-hour fitness center.
City Club Hotel – 55 West 44th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-921-5500;; high-end, intimate hotel; Room 303 is among city’s most recommended rooms (duplex with living area downstairs & bedroom upstairs); works well for families & as such, affordable.
Dream Hotel – 210 West 55th Street (between Broadway & 7th Avenue); 212-247-2000;; design-focused, upscale hotel in beaux arts building; neon-light aquariums in lobby; luxe rooms feature flat-screen TVs, DVD players, blue-light desks, designer furniture & Wi-Fi (surcharge); 3 flashy restaurants & bars, including indoor/outdoor, multi-level rooftop lounge, cocktail bar & Fellini-inspired Italian eatery.
Hudson Hotel – 358 West 58th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues); 212-554-6000;; Philippe Starck designed; 4-minute walk from Columbus Circle & 6-minutes from Lincoln Center; sophisticated rooms have rich wood walls & floors, designer toiletries, HDTVs, Wi-Fi (fee) & iPod docks; studios & suites include sitting areas, city & river views & in-room dining options; apartment & penthouse with fireplaces & terraces available; seasonal rooftop bar has lounge areas & views over Hudson River.
Ink48 – 653 11th Avenue (between West 48th & 49th Streets); 212-757-0088;; ick-y location but spacious & well-designed rooms; overlooking Hudson River & 8-minute walk from Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum & 1.2 miles from Museum of Modern Art; sleek rooms & suites feature minibars, high ceilings & free Wi-Fi, along with oversized windows with sunset views; some offer deep soaker tubs; suites add separate living areas & floor-to-ceiling windows; penthouse suite provides dining area & rooftop terrace; room service; restaurant, spa, fitness center & rooftop guest lounge with bar.
London NYC – 151 West 54th Street (between Broadway & 6th Avenue); 212-307-5000;; 54-story hotel; unexpected oasis; larger rooms than usual; ask for north-facing room on 51st floor for Central Park views.
Michelangelo Hotel – 152 West 51st Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-765-1900;; among Travel & Leisure’s most highly rated world hotels (top 500).
Park Hyatt New York – 153 West 57thth Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 646-774-1234;; 25th floor pool has window wall over Carnegie Hall & underwater speakers; Hyatt flagship luxury hotel, .2 miles from Central Park; airy & chic modern rooms decorated with original artworks; showers with rainfall showerheads; some rooms have Central Park or Carnegie Hall views &/or balconies; dining options include American grill & intimate cocktail lounge bar; steam room, hot tub & fitness center.
Le Parker Meridien – 119 West 56th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-245-5000;; among best hotel swimming pools in city.
Peninsula – 700 5th Avenue (between West 54th & 55th Streets); 212-956-2888;; aim for Grand Luxe King Room on corner, preferably 5th (or low) floor to take in city street views; landmark hotel dating back to 1905; 6-minute walk from Central Park; elegant rooms offer marble bathrooms, free WiFi, work desks & flat-screen TVs with DVD players; upgraded rooms include city views, decorative fireplaces & soaking tubs; suites add living areas & complimentary chauffeur service; contemporary American restaurant in lobby; chic rooftop bar & terrace with city views.

West Side/Upper
CassaNY – 70 West 45th Avenue (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-302-8700;; 48-story, pearly white building with skyline views; 3 blocks from Bryant Park & mile from MOMA; stylish, compact rooms with leather armchairs & boldly patterned rugs have flat-screen TVs, minibars & marble bathrooms with rainfall showerheads; American bar & restaurant featuring rustic-yet-modern decor & seasonal menu for breakfast, lunch & dinner.
Mandarin Oriental – 80 Columbus Circle (between West 58th & 60th Streets); Phone: 212-805-8800;; book Premier Hudson River View Room (bathrooms behind bed area with window by tub).

Battery Park
North End Grill – 104 North End Avenue (between Murray & Vesey Streets); 646-747-1600;; seafood; upmarket, New American outpost highlights seafood in modern space.
Rao’s Speciality Foods – 17 Battery Place (between Battery Park Underpass & Washington Street); 212-269-0151;; Italian food; Harlem restaurant branch.

Dimes – 49 Canal Street (between Ludlow & Orchard Streets); 212-925-1300;; eclectic, health-conscious California-style food; minimalist, white-&-blond-wood space; improbably good.
456 Shanghai Cuisine – 69 Mott Street (between Bayard & Canal Streets); 212-964-0003; much-loved Chinatown mainstay opened in 1963 (brought back by original owners’ grandson); Shanghainese standards; busy dining room with red tablecloths, hanging lanterns & typically brusque C-town service; be advised that fetid bathroom is appalling; that said, soup dumplings are highlight; recommended dishes include steamed crab & pork (or just plain pork) buns &/or pork shoulder in honey sauce.
Joe’s Shanghai Chinatown Restaurant – 9 Pell Street (between Bowery & Mott Streets, off intersection with Doyers Street); 212-233-8888;; famous for dumpling soup; other locations.
Nha Trang One – 87 Baxter Street (between Walker & White Streets); 212-233-5948;; under $10; low-atmosphere Vietnamese restaurant; try shrimp grilled on sugarcane (appetizer); then thin pork chops, marinated & grilled until charred, or deep-fried squid on shredded lettuce; if line is long, 2nd location around corner at 148 Center Street; may have to sit with strangers.

East Side/Lower (includes NoHo & NoLiTa)
An Choi – 85 Orchard Street (between Broome & Grand Streets); 212-226-3700;; neighborhood pho & banh mi joint; no frills.
Artichoke Basille’s Pizzeria & Brewery – 328 East 14th Street (south of Stuyvesant Square, between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-228-2004;; open till 4:00 am; numerous locations.
Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria – 53 Great Jones Street (between East 3rd & 4th Streets); 212-837-2622;; bakery, enoteca, market salumeria & restaurant; perennial favorite & highly regarded.
DBGB Kitchen & Bar – 299 Bowery Street (between East 1st & Houston Streets); 212-933-5300;; Daniel Boulud’s downtown outpost; meat-centric French comfort food in sprawling space.
Dutch – 131 Sullivan Street (between Spring & West Houston Streets); 212-677-6200;; seafood; oyster bar; try rabbit pot pie; also try Devil’s Food cake with black pepper boiled icing for dessert.
La Esquina Taqueria & Cafe – 114 Kenmare Street (between Center & Lafayette Streets); 646-613-1333;; informal taqueria.
Estela – 47 East Houston Street (between Mott & Mulberry Streets); 212-219-7693;; looks, on 1st inspection, like all undersize, overcrowded bar-­restaurants; walk-up space, on scruffy East Houston Street stretch; menu (15 Mediterranean-themed items, plus assorted salumi & snacks) designed to complement cocktail or glass of wine; best seats in house are at bar itself, which is topped with white marble, accommodates 14 people comfortably; tends to fill up for good after 7; try small, perfectly crisped croquettes & plum-sweet scallops.
Freemans – Freeman Alley’s end (off Rivington Street, between Bowery & Chrystie Streets); 212-420-0012;; exceedingly low-profile restaurant; taxidermist’s dream; homespun American menu.
Great Jones Café – 54 Great Jones Street A (between East 3rd & 4th Streets); 212-674-9304;; cool vibe; well-known Cajun food & strong drinks.
Katz’s Delicatessen – 205 East Houston Street (between Ludlow & Orchard Streets); 212-254-2246;; no-frills deli with theatrically cranky service serving mile-high sandwiches since 1888.
Kuma Inn – 113 Ludlow Street (between Delancey & Rivington Streets, 2nd level); 212-353-8866;; among NYC’s “best hidden gems”; accessed by LES stair flight; avant-garde, small-plates Filipino-Thai menu; BYOB; cozy.
Macondo East – 157 East Houston Street (between Allen & Eldridge Streets); 212-473-9900;; brunch; Latin street food.
Mile End Delicatessen – 53 Bond Street (between Bowery & 2nd Streets); 212-529-2990;; looks like Helmut Lang boutique; chopped liver made with duck jus; portions run small.
Mission Chinese Food – 171 East Broadway (between Jefferson & Rutgers Streets); 212-529-8800;; worth special visit; 2-level dining room with half-moon booths of brushed red velvet under bistro mirrors; make sure to ask for Josefina’s house special chicken (roasted with stuffing of fresh chorizo, raisins, olives, sweet pickles & butter), carried to table on silver platter, feet splayed out, head tucked in; also intriguing are kung pao pastrami, galvanizing lamb ribs with dates or Chongqing chicken wings so acutely spicy they make Buffalo wings seem as dangerous as animal crackers; also fun is taking clay brick to reveal whole duck confit stuffed with chestnuts & sticky rice.
Parm – 248 Mulberry Street (between Prince & Spring Streets); 212-993-7189;; for NYC’s best meatball parmigiana hero.
Prune – 54 East 1st Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-677-6221;; unpretentious American home-cooking; long lines, especially for brunch.
Public – 210 Elizabeth Street (between Prince & Spring Streets); 212-343-7011;; Michelin-starred.
El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette – 100 Stanton Street (between Ludlow & Orchard Streets); 212-260-3950;; 1st opened as coffee shop; has morphed into luncheonette with open kitchen at back & draft beer; healthy, mostly comfort food, unobtrusively finessed; farm-to-table cooking done with such eye for color.
Saxon + Parole – 316 Bowery Street (between Bleecker & 1st Streets); 212-254-0350;; try eggs Benedict.
Shopsin’s – 120 Essex Street (between Delancey & Rivington Streets); 917-907-4506;; Shopsin’s 1st iteration was as neighborhood grocery at corner of Bedford & Morton Streets (Village); stock & good will, but not building, purchased by Kenny Shopsin for $25K in 1973, who was undergoing intensive Freudian psychoanalysis at time & lived in neighborhood (his father put up money); known for both extensive (900-item) menu (unusual dishes include items such as “Slutty Cakes,” pancakes with peanut butter in middle & “Blisters on My Sisters,” similar to huevos rancheros & for Kenny Shopsin himself, described by Time Out New York as “foul-mouthed middle-aged chef & owner”; among his quirks are very specific rules, such as firm rule that restaurant will not accept parties of more than 4 people; “Pretending to be party of 3 that happened to have come in with party of 2 is very bad idea,” wrote restaurant regular Calvin Trillin.
Smile to Go – 22 Howard Street (between Broadway & Lafayette Streets); 646-863-3893;; small to-go outpost with few tables; aspires to bring “L.A.-style” takeout to New York; daily-changing selection of picnic-appropriate salads, simple sandwiches, soups, rotisserie chicken & baked goods; bacon sandwich is 3-bite affair made with thick-cut pork on sweet challah with frisee crunch; all fresh & healthy.
Strip House – 13 East 12th Street (between 5th Avenue & University Place); 212-328-0000;; steaks; New York Times gives 2 stars.

East Side/Midtown
Ai Fiori – 400 5th Avenue (at Setai 5th Avenue, between East 36th & 37th Streets); 212-613-8660;; seafood; also, try White Label cheeseburger.
Aretsky’s Patroon – 160 East 46th Street (between Lexington & 2nd Avenues); 212-883-7373;; upscale American spot with classic decor, including photo collection, private rooms & roof bar; go on Fried Chicken Fridays.
Cabana Nuevo Latino – 1022 3rd Avenue (between East 60th & 61st Streets); 212-980-5678;; lively restaurant & bar serving Nuevo Latino fare & cocktails in Miami-vibe setting.
Casa Lever – 390 Park Avenue (between East 53rd & 54th Streets); 212-888-2700;; ask for table at back; posh Milanese in iconic Lever House (modernist design gem with original Warhols); busy bar scene extends out into courtyard in summer.
La Fonda del Sol – 200 Park Avenue (Metlife Building, between East 43rd & 44th Streets); 212-867-6767;; restaurant from culinary past (1960) reprised; creative tapas; try toast wedges (tomàquet), spread with crushed tomatoes; also croquettes stuffed with veal terrine; more of these tapas dishes in café area than dining room.
La Grenouille – 3 East 52nd Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues; 212-752-1495;; longtime restaurant serving time-honored French delicacies in flower-arrangement-filled space.
Kajitsu – 125 East 39th Street (between East 9th & 10th Streets); 212-228-4873;; Shojin, or Japanese vegetarian kaiseki, tradition; devised centuries ago by Buddhist monks; vegetables not transformed to mimic meat; Chef Masato Nishihara mastered craft at Kitcho in Kyoto, where also studied affiliated arts of tea ceremony & flower arranging; also feature soba, made daily & fu, protein-packing building block of Shojin cuisine made from gluten & rice flour.
Pampano – 209 East 49th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues); 212-751-4545;; authentic, nuevo Mexicano cuisine; elegant.
Le Relais De Venise L’Entrecôte – 590 Lexington Avenue (between East 51st & 52nd Streets); 212-758-3989;; fries & steaks, with vegetarian option, make up set menu at this simple French spot.

East Side/Upper
Amaranth Restaurant – 21 East 62nd Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-980-6700;; Mediterranean fare & European-style social scene in busy bistro off Madison Avenue.
Arlington Club Steakhouse – 1032 Lexington Avenue (between East 73rd & 74th Streets); 212-249-5700;; stunning, 2-story, glass-roofed extravaganza; steak & sushi = surf & turf.
August – 791 Lexington Avenue (between East 61st & 62nd Streets); 212-935-1433;; wide-ranging European menu (plus brunch) served in cozy candlelit space with ample garden; if you happen to be walking around after museum tour or shopping, check it out; salted caramel creme brûlée.
Bar Boulud – 1900 Broadway (between West 63rd & 64th Streets, near Lincoln Center); 212-595-0303;; relaxed Parisian-style dining via chef Daniel Boulud with standout charcuterie & wines.
Le Bilboquet – 20 East 60th Street (between Madison & Park Avenues); 212-751-3036;; reincarnation of longstanding, beloved institution; dish to order is poulet cajun.
Cafe Sabarsky – 1048 5th Avenue (at Neue Galerie, between East 85th & 86th Streets); 212-288-0665;; sachertorte; art lover pause for Viennese pastries & savory dishes.
Candle Café – 1307 3rd Avenue (between East 74th & 75th Streets); 212-472-0970;; organic vegan food; try tofu club sandwich with tempeh bacon and/or seitan piccata.
Cascabel Taqueria NYC – 1556 2nd Avenue (between East 80th & 81st Streets); 212-717-7800;; authentic tacos, beer & tequila, plus nut- & gluten-free options in bright, modern quarters.
Bohemian Spirit – 321 East 73rd Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-861-1038;; Austrian, Bohemian & Czech food; in 120-year-old Bohemian National Hall, 75' wide palazzo with fluted columns rising from lions’ heads; building, once decrepit hulk, taken over by Czech Republic in 2001 & restored (Czech consulate now upstairs); Chef Lukas Pohl grew up in Cerveny Kostelec, small town near Czech-Polish border; every item on 1st menu page (appetizers, snacks & soups) is $6 & no entree rises above $19.
Daniel | Daniel Boulud – 60 East 65th Street (between 5th & Park Avenues); 212-288-0033;; newly renovated & 4 stars; Daniel Boulud’s elegant French flagship where jackets are required.
Donguri – 309 East 83rd Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-737-5656;; 24 seats; extremely difficult to get into this “closet”; small, simple, sushi-free Japanese restaurant featuring soba, udon & sashimi; must try corn tempura.
Felidia – 243 East 58th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues); 212-758-1479;; Lidia Bastianich’s beloved eatery dishes out old-fashioned Italian fare, including house-made pasta.
Flex Mussels – 174 East 82nd Street (between Park & 3rd Avenues); 212-717-7772;; nautical-blue restaurant; Prince Edward Island mussels imported daily, served in 23 styles, from Acadian to Thai; long wait.
Fred’s – 660 Madison Avenue, 9th floor (at Barney’s, between East 60th & 61st Streets); 212-833-2200;; see & be seen place for lunch; make sure to try robiola with truffle oil pizza.
Harry Cipriani – 781 5th Avenue (at Sherry-Netherland Hotel, between East 59th & 60th Streets); 212-753-5566;; upscale restaurant in Sherry-Netherland known for its Venetian fare & Bellini cocktails.
Luke’s Bar & Grill – 1394 3rd Avenue (between East 79th & 80th Streets); 212-249-7070;; try Mike Wallace Meatloaf and/or chicken Caesar salad.
Mark – 25 East 77th Street (at Mark Hotel, between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-744-4300;; 2 stars; by Jean-Georges Vongerichten; in 1927 building overlooking Madison Avenue; try “simply grilled scallops”.
Mediterraneo – 1260 2nd Avenue (between East 66th & 67th Streets); 212-734-7407;; worth waiting for simple, well-executed Italian fare; wood-burning oven turns out appetizer pizzas; sidewalk seating offers great people-watching, New-York-style.
Nello – 696 Madison Avenue (between East 62nd & 63rd Streets); 212-980-9099;; expensive with just fair food; attracts wannabe socialites & “Eurotrash; absolutely vile bathroom.
Rotisserie Georgette – 14 East 60th Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-390-8060;; rustic but sophisticated French fare.
San Matteo Pizza Espresso Bar – 1739 2nd Avenue (between East 89th & 90th Streets); 212-426-6943;; little pizzeria that serves Neapolitan-style pies straight from wood-burning oven; try prosciutto panuozzo (sandwich).
Sandro’s NYC – 306 East 81st Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-288-7374;; Roman expat Sandro Fioriti opened 1st eponymous restaurant in 1985 & when it closed 8 years later, he ricocheted from Hamptons to St. Martin; in mid-90s, reacquainted New Yorkers with his spaghettini al limone & Roman-style fried artichokes during stints at Noodle Pudding, Il Buco & 2nd Sandro’s; then flitted between half-dozen Upper East Side kitchens; so what is one to make of 3rd Sandro’s to open in 22 years?; “really good” Roman-style cooking courtesy of colorful chef-owner, whose appearances add flair to clubby scene; may seem expensive given dated interior, but regulars are always happy.
Sant’Ambroeus – 1000 Madison Avenue (between East 77th & 78th Streets); 212-570-2211;; Milanese Italian; traditional Sant’Ambroeus gelatos, sugar cookies, fruit tarts & domed chocolate cakes; expensive, at dinner, beef carpaccio (served with flat Parmesan shavings) & good veal Milanese cost close to $70, not including wine or even bubbly water; once over sticker shock, most food (except, oddly, average pastas & risottos) pretty good; at breakfast, when can loiter at espresso bar with all sorts of bewildered Village types & dine on semi-economical focaccia sandwiches & single soft-boiled egg, served on doily, in proper Upper East Side manner, with toast points & silver spoon.
Sasabune – 401 East 73rd Street (between 1st & York Avenues); 212-249-8583;; sushi “masters” craft absurdly delicious artworks by Kenji Takahashi; tiny hideaway known for both à la carte options & incredible omakase experience; decor is very basic; expensive.
Scalinatella – 201 East 61st Street (between 2nd> & 3rd Avenues); 212-207-8280;; high-end Italian dining venue that lures an in-crowd to intimate, downstairs grotto setting; considered by many to be best Italian in city.
Sette Mezzo – 969 Lexington Avenue (between East 70th & 71st Streets); 212-472-0400;; cash only; Hamptons refugees’ meeting place (financial- & social-elite families - you know names if you’ve spent any time reading cornerstone inscriptions at museum & hospital wings: Si & Donald Newhouse, Tom Tisch, Jonathan Tisch, William Lauder, Saul Steinberg, George Soros, Lily Safra, Leon Black, Michael Schulhof, Mike Nichols, Donald Marron [“Donald Marron — I don’t know what he does but he’s always here & everybody says hello to him”]; exactly not special occasion place, just place to go & have good meal; 85% customers have house accounts; there exists single copy of 2nd wine list with more rarefied choices than standard list; starting in November, when fresh black truffles arrive, they can be added to any item at $50 for 1st flurry of shavings.
Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar – 1372 York Avenue (between 73rd & 74th Streets); 917-265-8254;; $47 omakase worth special trip; Holy Grail of NYC sushi restaurants; known as hole-in-wall.
Via Quadronno – 25 East 73rd Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-650-9880;; great sandwiches; classic Italian dishes (as well as espresso, panini, pasta & wine) served all day at this chic spot.

Flatiron & Gramercy
ABC Kitchen – 35 East 18th Street (between Broadway & Park Avenue South); 212-475-5829;; chic New American eatery via Jean-Georges Vongerichten sourcing local, organic ingredients.
La Birreria – 200 5th Avenue (between West 23rd & 24th Streets); 212-937-8910;; scenic rooftop setting for elevated Italian cuisine.
Cosme – 35 East 21st Street (between 5th Avenue & Park Avenue South); 212-913-9659;; dining room offers creative Mexican cuisine in relaxed environment; Mexican share plates made with local ingredients; notable tataki al pastor (taco with cilantro & pineapple); also, “must try” dessert is cornhusk meringue with corn cream inside.
Eleven Madison Park Restaurant – 11 Madison Avenue (at East 24th Street); 212-889-0905;; skyscraper ceiling; discreet, sky-box dining suites; among most alluring & elegant NYC restaurants; French-grounded cooking; New York Times gives 4 stars, Michelin gives 3 stars; must reserve online - very difficult; also: prohibitively expensive.
Gramercy Tavern – 42 East 20th Street (between Broadway & Park Avenue South); 212-477-0777;; wood-burning stove & fresh flowers, colorful murals & open layout; fixed-price-only dining room & bustling bar area.
Gramercy Terrace – 2 Lexington Avenue (at Gramercy Park Hotel, between East 21st & 22nd Streets); 212-920-3300;; rooftop terrace cafe open year-round for breakfast & lunch; comfort food & wake-up cocktails.
Hanjan – 36 West 26th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-206-7226;; recessed entrance easy to miss; menu divided between traditional Korean dishes & new ideas; mostly small dishes; try pajeon (Korean pancake piled with squid tempura) or fresh killed chicken wings (birds slaughtered offsite earlier in day served); also should try pork fat rice cakes & cloudy, oatmeal-colored drink served in frosty mugs (makgeolli, yeasty rice brew sweet like cantaloupe); by 10 pm or so, crowds thin & may be able to get seat at bar (this is good because when ramen broth finally ready, listed on menu as ramyun).
Laut – 15 East 17th Street (between Broadway & 5th Avenue); 212-206-8989;; pan-Asian menu with Malaysian & Singaporean emphasis; that said, try roasted Hainanese chicken.
Maialino – 2 Lexington Avenue (at Gramercy Park Hotel, between East 21st & 22nd Streets); 212-777-2410;; classic Roman-Italian soul food in an casual but elegant setting.
Maysville – 17 West 26th Street (between Broadway & 6th Avenue); 646-490-8240;; named for Kentucky town where Rosemary Clooney & Kentucky bourbon born; understated American style.
Novitá – 102 East 22nd Street (between Lexington Avenue & Park Avenue South); 212-677-2222;; casual Northern Italian restaurant in cozy, warm space with sidewalk seating available; 2 stars; 100 global wines by glass served from state of art wine preservation system.
Old Town Bar – 45 East 18th Street (between Broadway & Park Avenue South); 212-529-6732;; true New York classic; scene from Last Days of Disco filmed here; post-work mob since 1892; also, city’s best burgers & urinal, by some accounts.
La Pizza Fresca Ristorante – 31 East 20th Street (between Broadway & Park Avenue South); 212-598-0141;; laid-back dining on wood-fired pizzas & fresh pastas complemented by all-Italian wine list.
71 Irving Place Coffee & Tea Bar – 71 Irving Place (between East 18th & 19th Streets); 212-995-5252;; breakfast & lunch.

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant – 89 East 42nd Street (at Grand Central Terminal, between Lexington & Vanderbilt Avenues [inside bifurcated Park Avenue]); 212-490-6650;; more for atmosphere than actually good food, though not bad.

Harlem/East (includes Spanish Harlem)
Amor Cubano – 2018 3rd Avenue (between East 111th Street & Tito Puente Way); 212-996-1220;; live music most evenings; mostly Latin crowd; not bad food (if anything, too authentic (example: lechon (suckling pig) is 50% fat)); bad mojitos.
Michelle Deli & Grocery – 231 East 116th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues (East 116th Street also known as Luis Muñoz Marin Boulevard)); 212-828-9097;; lunch; everything from beef tacos to rabbit in creole sauce.
Rao’s Speciality Foods – 455 East 114th Street (between 1st & Pleasant Avenues); 212-722-6709;; 10-table Italian icon, where who you know is key to entry.

Red Rooster – 310 Lenox Avenue (between West 125th & 126th Streets); 212-792-9001;; popular, stylish comfort food eatery with creative cooking from Chef Marcus Samuelsson; Jay-Z fave; try “Fried Yard Bird.”

SoHo & Tribeca
Atera – 77 Worth Street (between Broadway & Church Street); 212-226-1444;; 2 Michelin stars; anonymously located on nondescript commercial building’s ground floor with frosted windows; entire wall covered with potted plants designed to look like foliage in wild forest; diners nibble omakase dinners at slate-colored bar, made from polished concrete & built around gleaming open kitchen; chef apprenticed at Noma & then Mugaritz; several dishes eaten without any implements at all & many served, like found objects, on wood slabs, stone piles, or carefully manicured hay beds; not necessarily concerned with making food delicious in standard, accessible ways; consider starting with rhubarb-tinged Shandy Shrubb cocktail.
Balthazar Restaurant – 80 Spring Street (between Broadway & Crosby Street); 212-965-1414;; breakfast through dinner; towering plateaux de fruits de mer, tobacco-stained walls, Champagne-hued lighting; brunch (pain au chocolate); as for standbys, make sure to have soft-boiled eggs with “soldiers” (toast strips).
Blue Ribbon Brasserie – 97 Sullivan Street (between Prince & Spring Streets); 212-274-0404;; American; where chefs go when their kitchens close.
Bouley – 163 Duane Street (between Greenwich & Hudson Streets); 212-964-2525;; great & romantic; upscale New French fine dining in elegant, jackets-required setting with vaulted ceilings.
Brushstroke Kaiseki Restaurant – 30 Hudson Street (between Duane & Reade Streets); 212-791-3771;; Japanese; elegant; quiet without being hushed; try rice steamed with Dungeness crab or lobster.
Despaña – 408 Broome Street (between Center & Lafayette Streets); 212-219-5050;; tapas & sandwich counter inside chic shop for imported Spanish eats like Serrano ham & chorizo.
Ed’s Lobster Bar – 222 Lafayette Street (between Broome & Spring Streets); 212-343-3236;; $25 lobster rolls from noon to midnight.
Félix Restaurant – 340 West Broadway (between Broome & Grand Streets); 212-431-0021;; French bistro classics draw SoHo shoppers to this spot with huge windows that open onto street.
Jungsik – 2 Harrison Street (between Hudson & Staple Streets); 212-219-0900;; innovative, high-end Korean served in elegant, contemporary setting with extensive wine list.
Marc Forgione – 134 Reade Street (between Greenwich & Hudson Streets); 212-941-9401;; owner’s father (Larry Forgione) sometimes called American cuisine’s “godfather”; bold farm-to-table cuisine in candlelit, rustic-chic environs attracts romance-minded foodies; brunch on Sundays.
Ninja New York – 25 Hudson Street (between Duane & Reade Streets); 212-274-8500;; medieval setting (designed to resemble Ninja village) & roaming magicians delight children at this subterranean Japanese eatery.
Odeon – 145 West Broadway (between Duane & Thomas Streets); 212-233-0507;; hearty no-frills brasserie serving French-American food in inviting, open, Art Deco-ish room; outdoor seating, plus brunch & late-night bites.
Osteria Morini – 218 Lafayette Street (between Kenmare & Spring Streets); 212-965-8777;; Emilia-Romagna cuisine in warm setting accented by pieces from 1700s-era Italian farmhouse; try garganelli with cream, truffle butter & prosciutto; pretty.
Raoul’s – 180 Prince Street (between Sullivan & Thompson Streets); 212-966-3518;; artsy strivers & models & celeb-spotting at bar; Prince Street mainstay since mid-1970s; French cuisine; excellent bread; good dirty martinis.
Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine – 73 New Street (between Beaver Street & Exchange Place); 212-809-7755;

Union Square
Coffee Shop – 29 Union Square West (between East 15th & 16th Streets); 212-243-7969;; Brazilian-American eats & late-night scene, with sidewalk seats for Union Square people-watching; try Brazilian cheese bread.
Dos Toros Taqueria – 137 4th Avenue (between East 12th & 14th Streets, just south of Union Square); 212-677-7300;; other locations; insanely popular breakfast spot with only 12 tables.
15 East – 15 East 15th Street (between 5th Avenue & Union Square West); 212-647-0015;; minimalist Japanese spot preparing creative sushi & fish plus cooked dishes in refined atmosphere.
Gotham Bar & Grill – 12 East 12th Street (between 5th Avenue & University Place); 212-620-4020;; Italian & classical French combined; James Beard award-winning chef; 25-years-old & still relevant; Alfred Portale’s “picture-perfect” New American plates, in “gothamy” setting; no corners cut; $38 greenmarket lunch truly is steal.
Num Pang Sandwich Shop – 28 East 12th Street (just south of Union Square, between 5th Avenue & University Place); 646-791-0439;; other locations; Cambodian sandwich shop; order hoisin veal meatballs on warm mini-baguette.
Shuko – 47 East 12th Street (Union Square, between Broadway & University Place); 212-228-6088;; tiny; limits itself to Tokyo-style omakase, providing either “top-tier” sushi or traditional kaiseki spreads at “transporting” bar; options start at $135; worth it.

Abraço Espresso & Bakery – 81 East 7th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-388-9731;; abraço means “embrace” in Portuguese; baker Elizabeth Quijada’s pastries are as artful & inventive as coffee; olive-oil cake is signature staple; although has tapas, go for breakfast.
Angelica Kitchen – 300 East 12th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-228-2909;; casual vegan restaurant featuring organically grown ingredients; must try organic brittle, which is sold separately; cash only.
Black Ant – 60 2nd Avenue (between 1st Avenue & 4th Street); 212-598-0300;; modern Mexican joint putting creative spin on traditional eats & drinks in dark, funky interior; best Mexican food in city.
Café Cortadito – 210 East 3rd Street (between Avenue B & Loisada Avenue); 212-614-3080;; popular spot serving classic Cuban dishes like in candlelit space; no liquor license; tiny; must have reservations; try ropa vieja (shredded beef in rich, tomato-based sauce) with side dish ripe plantains & bread pudding (with hardened crème brulee-style top).
Café Mogador – 101 St. Marks Place (between East 8th & 9th Streets); 212-677-2226;; classic Moroccan with outdoor seating that draws bohemian crowd; neighborhood standby; notable for tagine; affordable; open for breakfast.
Lil’ Frankie’s – 19 1st Avenue (between East 1st & 2nd Streets); 212-420-0040;; no-frills, cash-only eatery offering wood-fired pizza & other casual Italian dishes; serves late.
Mermaid Inn – 96 2nd Avenue (between East 5th & 6th Streets); 212-674-5870; themermaidnyc; upscale-casual seafood spot with Cape Cod vibe; lobster rolls & cheap oyster deal; uptown location, too.
Momofuku Ko – 8 Extra Place (between East 1st & 2nd Streets); 212-500-0831;; dumpling & noodle haven; tiny & tough-to-reserve; offers multicourse, Asian-accented American meals.
Momofuku Ssäm Bar – 207 2nd Avenue (between East 12th & 13th Streets); 212-254-3500;; loud; open for lunch; notable for pork dishes.
Motorino Pizza – 349 East 12th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-777-2644;; brick-oven pizzas with gourmet toppings like Brussels sprouts; some Italian food.
Otto Enoteca Pizzeria – 1 5th Avenue (between East 8th Street & Waverly Place); 212-995-9559;; Mario Batali’s casual Italian (pizzeria & winebar); literary bar hangout; Italian train station decor.
Shabu-Tatsu – 216 East 10th Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues); 212-477-2972;; shabu-shabu & sukiyaki cooked in hot pots at table at this intimate Japanese restaurant.
Somtum Der – 85 Avenue A (between East 5th & 6th Streets); 212-260-8570;; some of America’s best Thai food (regional Isan cuisine); fried chicken (Sa Poak Kai Tod Der) is not just best dish on menu, among best fried chicken dishes in town (juicy thigh meat encrusted in crisp, craggy, well-seasoned shell sprinkled with fried garlic & served with mildly spicy chili sauce); also good is Moo Ping Kati Sod (thin-sliced pork (or beef) skewers marinated in coconut milk, grilled until marinade caramelizes & chars & served with nests of coconut-scented rice noodle); make sure to order grilled coconut sticky rice that comes stuck on skewers like popsicle.
Supper Restaurant – 156 East 2nd Street (between Avenues A & B); 212-477-7600;; Italian comfort food matched with rustic setting at cash-only trattoria with open kitchen; try pasta with mint.
Village Yokocho – 8 Stuyvesant Street (between East 11th & 12th Streets); 212-598-3041;; cheap; chill 2nd-floor eatery serving homestyle Japanese fare.

Hundred Acres – 38 Macdougal Street (between Prince & West Houston Streets); 212-475-7500; hundredacresnyc; farm-fresh, New American, home-cooking; country-road setting (see garden room); cult following; delicious brunch.
Minetta Tavern – 113 Macdougal Street (between Bleecker & West 3rd Streets); 212-475-3850;; 72-year-old Village standby; tremendous steaks; pommes aligot.
Miss Lily’s Bakeshop & Melvin’s Juice Box – 132 West Houston Street (between Macdougal & Sullivan Streets, enter on Sullivan Street); 646-588-5375;; Jamaican.
Omen Azen – 113 Thompson Street (between Prince & Spring Streets); 212-925-8923;; outstanding Kyoto-style fare, reaching far beyond ramen & sushi; try cranberry crepes with oysters & shrimp; serene setting where celeb sightings frequent; expensive.

Village/West (includes Bowery, Chelsea & Meatpacking District)
Babbo – 110 Waverly Place (at Washington Square Park’s northwest corner, between Washington Place & West 8th Street); 212-777-0303;; buzzing carriage house featuring high-end Italian fare of prestigious chef Mario Batali; try spicy 2-Minute calamari Sicilian-lifeguard-style.
Bar Sardine – 183 West 10th Street (between 4th Street & South 7th Avenue); 646-360-3705;; upscale American pub fare & cocktails in compact space with bar seats & couple of tables.
Blenheim Restaurant – 283 West 12th Street (between Jane & West 12th Street); 212-243-7073;; farm-to-table restaurant using ingredients from owners’ 150-acre farm in Catskill Mountains; draws livestock & vegetables such as guinea hens, black angus beef & heritage pig; try chestnut pappardelle with pork ragout, or braised beef short rib paired with roasted sunchoke & maitake mushrooms; chic, sultry interior, featuring plush upholstery, pearly white bar stools & smoky globes that drop down over tables (effect is sublime); date-night material.
Blue Hill – 75 Washington Place (between Macdougal Street & 6th Avenue); 212-539-1776;; locally sourced, seasonal ingredients abound on American menu served at this townhouse-set spot; ingredients from own farm; beautifully designed.
Bowery Kitchen Supplies – 88 10th Avenue (at Chelsea Market, between West 15th & 16th Streets); 212-376-4982;; wide range of restaurant & kitchen supplies offered at this no-frills store & sandwich shop.
Buon’Italia – 75 9th Avenue (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-633-9090;; serves food in-house as well as selling prepared Italian foods to go.
Buvette – 42 Grove Street (between Bedford & Bleecker Streets); 212-255-3590;; city’s most charming restaurant; pPopular, pint-sized bistro offering French small-plates menu at breakfast, lunch & dinner (till 2 a.m.).
Café Cluny – 284 West 12th Street (between 8th Avenue & West 4th Street); 212-255-6900;; bright neighborhood bistro whose Franco-American offerings include weekend brunch.
Café Loup – 105 West 13th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-255-4746;; understated interior & charm attracts literati; classic French fare; neighborhood bar scene.
Carbone – 181 Thompson Street (between Bleecker & West Houston Streets); 212-254-3000;; American-Italian; high-end takes on red-sauce fare in retro-glam space; described as fancy red-sauce joint directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Co. – 230 9th Avenue (between West 24th & West 25th Streets); 212-243-1105;; pizza; try veal meatball.
Cookshop Restaurant & Bar – 156 10th Avenue (between West 19th & 20th Streets); 212-924-4440;; breakfasts, in particular, are inventive & organic.
Cuba Restaurant & Rum Bar – 222 Thompson Street (between Bleecker & West 3rd Streets); 212-420-7878;; cigar-rolling gentleman sits in corner, plying trade; live band; good mojitos; try masitas de puerco (grilled pork).
Del Posto – 85 10th Avenue (between West 15th & 16th Streets); 212-497-8090;; 4 stars; must try whole wheat tonarelli with spicy cicerchie, rosemary & shaved bonito; for dessert, try sfera di caprino.
Dell’Anima – 38 8th Avenue (between Jane & West 12th Streets); 212-366-6633;; tiny Italian restaurant with upscale crowd; best seating at chef’s counter; extraordinary wine list.
EN Japanese Brasserie – 435 Hudson Street (between Leroy & Morton Streets); 212-647-9196;; sleek Village backdrop for modern, seasonal Japanese cuisine with homemade tofu & large sake list; also serves excellent Japanese breakfast.
Fedora – 239 West 4th Street (between Charles & West 10th Streets); 646-449-9336;; carefully distressed décor; raffish, casually inventive, modestly priced neighborhood cooking; walls covered in clubby photos of Muhammad Ali, Basquiat & Mos Def; deceptively inventive bistro menu has been designed with eye toward comfort & heft; accepts reservations up to 2 weeks in advance, via phone only; ideal meal would be egg-in-hole, big pork chop for 2 or roasted arctic char, madeleines.
Jeffrey’s Grocery – 172 Waverly Place (between Grove & West 10th Streets); 646-398-7630;; homey American eatery notable for oyster bar, creative Caesar salads, Bloody Marys & lobster rolls.
Joseph Leonard – 170 Waverly Place (between Grove & West 10th Streets); 646-429-8383;; thoroughly American, with strip steak, oysters, grits, in tight, bi-level space with central bar.
Kesté Pizza & Vino – 271 Bleecker Street (between Jones & Morton Streets); 212-243-1500;; Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas with vegan & gluten-free options doled out in shoebox-sized space.
Little Owl – 90 Bedford Street (between Barrow & Grove Streets); 212-741-4695;; Mediterranean cooking & comfort food; book at least month in advance; meatball sliders top list.
Locanda Verde – 377 Greenwich Street (between Beach & North Moore Streets, at Greenwich Hotel); 212-925-3797;; Italian food; 2 stars by New York Times; must order dessert.
Lupa – 170 Thompson Street (between Bleecker & West Houston Streets); 212-982-5089;; small Italian eatery serving chef Mario Batali’s Roman fare alongside all-Italian wine list; bavette cacio i pepe; perfect “for share.”
Market Table – 54 Carmine Street (between Bedford & Bleecker Streets); 212-255-2100;; bustling New American eatery with huge windows & emphasis on farm-fresh fare; Little Owl & Mermaid combination.
Perla Cafe – 234 West 4th Street (between Charles & West 10th Streets); 212-933-1824;; hearty Italian fare keeps banquettes filled at snug spot with rustic decor.
Piadina – 57 West 10th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-460-8017;; gem; cellar-like, Italian rustic ristorante, where waiters appear to be having at least as much fun as diners.
La Piscine – 518 West 27th Street (at Hôtel Americano, between 10th & 11th Avenues); 212-525-0000;; Mediterranean bar & grill with panoramic city views; outdoor dining next to small lap-pool on 10th floor setback, overlooking High Line; Greek & Mediterranean, with Mexican influences.
Bar Pitti – 268 6th Avenue (just south of Bleecker Street); 212-982-3300;‎; cosmopolitan types collect at this unpretentious, cash-only locale, as much for celeb spottings as alfresco dining & affordable, to-die-for pastas; absent decor & no reservations; meatballs alone are worth it.
Pommes Frites – 128 Macdougal Street (between Bleecker & West 3rd Streets); 212-674-1234;; busy, old world–style destination for Belgian fries served in paper cones with gourmet sauces; best fries in town.
El Quijote – 226 West 23rd Street (attached to Chelsea Hotel, between 7th & 8th Avenues); 212-929-1855;; El Quijote is like cosmic vacation back to 1964, with Leonard Cohen’s & William Burroughs’ ghosts flitting about; kitschy décor makes place feel decidedly non-Manhattan but not middle-American, either; more like Tim Burton’s idea of mid-century smoker’s-haven restaurant (but, of course, without smoking); huge portions of better than average food make it easy to get stuffed on paella & sangria; always packed.
Rouge Tomate Chelsea – 126 West 18th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 646-395-3978;; sublime American restaurant serving upscale fare driven by local produce, plus deep wine list.
Salumeria Biellese – 378 8th Avenue (at West 29th Street); 212-736-7376;; housemade sausages & imported cured meats sold alongside prepared foods & sandwiches since 1925.
Scarpetta – 355 West 14th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues); 212-691-0555;; New York Times gives 3 stars; baby chicken with liver sauce & peach crostata.
I Sodi – 105 Christopher Street; 212-414-5774;; gem; seasonal menu; try lasagna con carciofi.
Spotted Pig – 314 West 11th Street (between Greenwich & Washington Streets); 212-620-0393;; roast carrot & avocado salad; good burger.
Standard Grill – 848 Washington Street (at Standard Hotel, between Little West 12th & 13th Streets); 212-645-4100;; retro-style breakfasts; warm cinnamon & sugar crusted donuts made onsite.
Sushi Nakazawa – 23 Commerce Street (between Bedford Street & South 7thomakase (multicourse, chef’s choice meals) in spare digs.
Takashi – 456 Hudson Street (Barrow & Morton Streets); 212-414-2929;; diners grill their own beef & offal at minimalist-looking Japanese yakiniku restaurant.
Tia Pol – 205 10th Avenue (between West 22nd & 23rd Streets); 212-675-8805;; tiny, rustic space; traditional Spanish tapas & daily specials.
Trestle on Tenth – 242 10th Avenue (between West 24th & 25th Streets); 212-645-5659;; exposed bricks backdrop Swiss-American fare & wine at bistro near galleries & High Line.
Txikito (Cocina Vasca) – 240 9th Avenue (between West 24th & 25th Streets); 212-242-4730;; small plates from Spain’s Basque country & Spanish wine in tiny space decked with rough-hewn wood.
Via Carota – 51 Grove Street (between Bleecker Street & South 7th Avenue); 212-255-1962;; Italian trattoria serving traditional plates & apéritifs in cozy, rustic space.
Waverly – 16 Bank Street (between West 4th Street & Waverly Place); 917-828-1154;; co-owned by Graydon Carter; high-end American comfort food & cocktails in clubby space.

Wall Street
Megu – 62 Thomas Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues); 646-780-0001;; sushi; expensive Japanese; sprawling venue in Dream Hotel Downtown offering inventive cocktails & cuisine.

West Side/Lower
Empellón Taqueria – 230 West 4th Street (between Christopher & West 10th Streets); 212-367-0999;; “high-minded” Mexicana; imaginative small plates; killer drinks & fashionable following.
Jack Demsey’s Restaurant – 36 West 33rd Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-629-9899;; scenes from Godfather I; tavern beaming international sporting events & offering American grub & Irish breakfast.
Macondo West – 2 Bank Street (between Greenwich Avenue & Waverly Place); 212-463-0090;; casual hangout serving Latin small plates & tropical drinks in cool space.

West Side/Midtown (includes Hell’s Kitchen
Benoit New York – 60 West 55th Street (between 6th & 5th Avenues); 646-943-7373;; Alain Ducasse’s upscale French bistro, modeled after Paris original, serves up classic fare; try bowl of mussels; good lunch stop.
Le Bernardin by Eric Ripert – 155 West 51st Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-554-1515;; Michelin gives 3 stars; no restaurant in city exudes glamour like this; impeccable French service is best in city; wood-paneled room; chef, Eric Ripert, unlike most super-chefs, tends to stay in his kitchen & cook; go at dinner (when room fills with suits at lunchtime, looks like corporate cafeteria).
Breslin – 20 West 29th Street (at Ace Hotel New York, between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-679-1939;; gastropub with English theme.
Burger Joint – 119 West 56th Street (at Le Parker Meridien, in hidden, odd corner, between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-708-7414;; among best-kept secrets in NYC (secret from tourists, that is); entrance is almost completely hidden behind floor-to-ceiling, Oz-like velvet curtains in lobby of upscale Le Parker Meridien hotel; exact opposite of what you’d expect to find in luxury hotel; this no-frills dive features graffiti-covered wood paneling, cheap vinyl seats & cluttered, shack-like environment; tiny, hole-in-wall spot for burger enthusiasts; go for offbeat experience & order signature burger with works & crispy fries & shake; cheap thrill (burgers are about $8) but go off-hours otherwise you’ll stand in line; also, cash only!
DB Bistro Moderne – 55 West 44th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-391-2400;; French; still favorite in Theater District; energetic bistro delivers top-drawer French menu led by foie gras–stuffed burger in sleek setting; assured service that’s mindful of curtain time further helps justify hefty price tag.
Hakkasan – 311 West 43rd Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues); 212-776-1818;; make your way tunnel-like entrance into new, Times Square branch of famous London Chinese restaurant; long passageway’s ceiling & walls covered with polished, white Carrara marble; decorated here & there with guttering candles in little red jars; thick, vaguely unsettling incense smell; hostesses dressed all in black; creates weirdly funereal feel (as does windowless bar area, entombed in marble, too & dining rooms separated into little box maze defined by intricately carved latticework; it’s like you’re dining in loud, not very well-lit, chicken coop; uneven, excessively priced menu; like Ruby Foo’s for really rich people; nevertheless, recommended are scallops, which are tossed with fresh chives in rice-wine sauce; ideal menu would include Hakka steamed dim sum platter, sesame prawn toast, jasmine-tea-smoked pork ribs, stir-fry scallops with Chinese chives, Hakka pork-belly clay pot, apple tarte Tatin.
Han Bat – 53 West 35th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-629-5588;; Korean food staples such as stone-pot bibimbab are available 24/7 in no-frills setting.
Ippudo Japanese Ramen Noodle Brasserie – 321 West 51st Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues); 212-974-2500;; immensely hyped & deservedly so; simple but stylish Theater District location.
Joe’s Shanghai Chinatown Restaurant – 24 West 56th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-333-3868;; dumplings.
Kang Suh – 1250 Broadway (between West 31st & 32nd Streets); 212-564-6845;; delicious, Korean barbecue offering grill-at-table meats; open 24/7.
Keens Steakhouse – 72 West 36th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-947-3636;; try Prime Rib Hash.
Kunjip – 32 West 32nd Street (between Broadway & 5th Avenue); 212-564-8238;; bustling, 24/7 staple doling out seafood pancakes, bibimbop & other Korean items in basic setting.
Lambs Club – 132 West 44th Street (at Chatwal Hotel, between 6th Avenue & Broadway); 212-997-5262;; red leather banquettes in black-walled room, beneath old Broadway & Hollywood legends photographs of Lambs’ original members (group that gathered until 1973 in this building); carefully prepared, wealth-friendly, vaguely internationalized comfort food; foie gras is thick slice paired with country toast, quince marmalade & nutty Concord grapes; restaurant’s executive chef is Alain Ducasse empire veteran & has excellent way with lamb.
Marea – 240 Central Park South (between West 58th & 59th Streets); 212-582-5100;; house-made pasta & Italian seafood; try fusilli with red-wine braised octopus & bone marrow; chic Central Park South setting.
Margon – 136 West 46th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-354-5013;; small Latin counter-service spot serving Cuban sandwiches, American breakfasts & salads.
Michael’s – 24 West 55th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-767-0555;; stylish, art-adorned Californian eatery frequented by high-profile media personalities; breakfast.
Molyvos – 871 7th Avenue (between West 55th & 56th Streets); 212-582-7500;; trailblazing innovative & upscale Greek dining; excellent cold mezes, such as tzatziki, melitzanosalata & taramosalata & hot mezes, such as grilled octopus & spinach pie; ouzo-cured salmon on chickpea fritter or seafood Cretan bread salad; good pre-theater option.
Norma’s – 119 West 56th Street (at Parker Meridien, between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-708-7460;; city’s best breakfast, except for $1K omelet, which I recommend you not order.
Oceana – 120 West 49th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-759-5941;; 3 star seafood; elegant, large upscale restaurant featuring innovative American seafood & extensive wine list.
Sapporo – 152 West 49th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-869-8972;; casual Japanese ramen, curry & rice restaurant with vegetarian options, beer & sake.
Toloache – 251 West 50th Street (between Broadway & 8th Avenue); 212-581-1818;; modern Mexican dishes in festive atmosphere; try guacamole with fruit; other locations.
Totto Ramen – 366 West 52nd Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues); 212-582-0052;; other locations; Ippudo’s more affordable rival; minimalist Hell’s Kitchen counter offering ramen soups in basic setting.
21 Club – 21 West 52nd Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-582-7200;; pommes soufflé outstanding.
Via Brasil – 34 West 46th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-997-1158;; in one block area known as Little Brazil; longtime Brazilian restaurant serving up grilled meats, stews & strong drinks in simple setting; try feijoada completa.

West Side/Upper
Boulud Sud – 20 West 64th Street (1 Lincoln Plaza, between Broadway & Central Park West); 212-595-1313;; refined Mediterranean dining via chef Daniel Boulud.
Ed’s Chowder House – 44 West 63rd Street (at Empire Hotel, between Broadway & Central Park West); 212-956-1288;; chowders, lobster rolls & upscale entrees in sleek, contemporary setting.
Leopard at Des Artistes – 1 West 67th Street (between Columbus Avenue & Central Park West); 212-787-8767;; opened in 1917 as Café des Artistes; still lushly romantic setting (including Howard Chandler Christy’s famous nude paintings); southern Italian cooking.
Café Luxembourg – 200 West 70th Street (between Amsterdam & End Avenues); 212-873-7411;; French comfort food in Parisian atmosphere; A-list types here since 1983.
Dovetail – 103 West 77th Street (between Amsterdam & Columbus Avenues); 212-362-3800;; French Laundry-trained chef; unfussy yet innovative; weekend brunches; sleek, bi-level setting for upscale New American fare with fixed price & tasting menus.
Épicerie Boulud – 1900 Broadway (between West 63rd & 64th Streets); 212-595-9606;; other locations; gourmet fare to-go; some sit-down space to eat onsite.
Good Enough to Eat – 520 Columbus Avenue (at West 85th & 86th Streets); 212-496-0163;; since 1981; brunch; cozy; comfort food; at night, full-service.
Gray’s Papaya – 2090 Broadway (between West 72nd & 73rd Streets); 212-799-0243;; other locations; good late night venue; hotdogs are must.
Barney Greengrass – 541 Amsterdam Avenue (at West 87th Street); 212-724-4707;; Jewish deli institution since 1908, known for smoked fish & not taking credit cards.
Isabella’s – 359 Columbus Avenue (between West 76th & 77th Streets); 212-724-2100;; near Museum of Natural History; bustling Mediterranean-American bistro popular for weekend brunch & sidewalk cafe.
Kefi – 505 Columbus Avenue (between West 84th & 85th Streets); 212-873-0200;; cheerful, rustic decor matches down-home & reasonably priced Greek cuisine; huge lines; souvlaki.
Lincoln Ristorante – 142 West 65th Street (at Lincoln Center, between Amsterdam & Columbus Avenues); 212-359-6500;; glass-walled dining room where chef Jonathan Benno prepares upscale Italian fare in open kitchen; try cavatelli con vongole.
Ma Peche – 15 West 56th Street (at Chambers New York Hotel, between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-757-5878;; subterranean hotel eatery from David Chang serving creative, Asian-tinged New American fare all day.
Masa – 10 Columbus Circle (between West 59th & 60th Streets); 212-823-9800;; high-end Japanese restaurant offering fixed-price sushi menu served in modern, elegant surrounds; sushi; must be seen to be believed.
Mermaid Inn – 568 Amsterdam Avenue (between West 87th & 88th Streets); 212-799-7400; themermaidnyc; upscale-casual seafood spot with Cape Cod atmosphere; lobster rolls & cheap oyster deals.
Nougatine at Jean-Georges – 1 Central Park West (between West 60th & 61st Streets); 212-299-3900;; casual (but upscale) sister of adjoining Jean-Georges, with seasonal fare & fixed-price lunch.
Per Se – 10 Columbus Circle (between West 59th & 60th Streets); 212-823-9335;; considered by some to be most perfect New York city restaurant; Chef Thomas Keller’s New American restaurant; luxe fixed-price menus, with Central Park views.
Rosa Mexicano – 61 Columbus Avenue (between West 62nd & 63rd Streets, across from Lincoln Center); 212-977-7700;; modern Mexican chain eatery known for tableside guacamole, creative margaritas & chic surrounds.
Caffe Storico – 170 Central Park West (at New-York Historical Society Museum, between West 76th & 77th Streets); 212-485-9211;; serious restaurant in museum where can combine love of 19th Century historical documents with fine Italian dining; Venetian-inspired appetizers & hand-crafted pastas.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana – 1955 Central Park Avenue (at Heights Drive); 914-961-8284;; pizza; try clam-topped, white pie.

Circle Line Ferry – 17 Battery Place (at South Street Seaport, Pier 16); 212-269-5755 or 866-925-4631;
Shibui Spa – 377 Greenwich Street (West Village between Franklin & North Moore Streets, at Greenwich Hotel); 212-941-8900;; carries Thuyen Ngyuen’s private label, La Don (meaning “simple leaf”).
Valery Joseph – 1044 Madison Avenue (between East 79th & 80th Streets); 212-517-2333;; salon.
Valery Joseph – 820 Madison Avenue (between East 68th & 69th Streets); 212-517-7377;; salon.
Valery Joseph – 957 Park Avenue (at East 82nd Street); 212-396-2781;; salon.

East Side/Lower (includes NoHo & NoLiTa)
Les Atelier Courbet – 175 Mott Street (between Broome & Kenmare Streets); 212-226-7378;; part gallery & part showcase for master furniture craftsmen.
Dashwood Books – 33 Bond Street (between Bleecker & Great Jones Streets); 212-387-8520;; independent; dedicated solely to photography works.
John Derian’s Dry Goods – 6 East 2nd Street (between Bowery Street & 2nd Avenue); 212-677-5517;; eclectic & fashionable upscale home-decor items & gifts.
Economy Candy – 108 Rivington Street (between Essex & Ludlow Streets); 212-254-1531;; since 1937; all types candy, dried fruit & nuts from floor-to-ceiling; giant Gummi rats, pixie sticks, Mallo cups, etc.
Haus Interior – 250 Elizabeth Street (between East Houston & Prince Streets); 212-741-0455;; imaginative, often hilarious, gifts, from telegram stationary to gilt bows & arrows.
Kalustyan’s – 123 Lexington Avenue (between East 28th & 29th Streets); 212-685-3451 or 800-352-3451;; since 1944; extraordinary fine foods & spice store.
McNally Jackson Books – 52 Prince Street (between Layfayette & Mulberry Streets); 212-274-1160;; has “Espresso Book Machine (“EBM”); produces single, perfect book recreations (copyrights expired); visit just to see machine.
Obscura Antiques & Oddities – 207 Avenue A (between East 12th & 13th Streets; 212-505-9251;; high-end antiques & taxidermy.
Rachel Uffner Gallery – 170 Suffolk Street (between Houston & Stanton Streets; 212-274-0064;; art gallery.
Resurrection Vintage – 217 Mott Street (between Prince & Spring Streets); 212-625-1374;; vintage clothing.
Smile to Go – 22 Howard Street (between Broadway & Lafayette Streets); 646-863-3893;; prepared foods, all fresh & healthy.
Zero + Maria Cornejo – 33 Bleecker Street (between Bond & East Houston Streets); 212-925-3849;; minimalist boutique showcasing house-label women’s fashions in unusual, architectural styles.

East Side/Upper
Amedeo by M+M Scognamiglio – 946 Lexington Avenue (between East 69th & 70th Streets); 212-737-4100;; hand-carved cameos by Amedeo Scognamiglio.
Clyde’s Apothecary – 926 Madison Avenue (between East 73rd & 74th Streets); 212-744-5050;; high-end beauty products.
Creel & Gow – 131 East 70th Street (between Lexington & Park Avenues); 212-327-4281;; rare specimens from nature & artisan objects.
Dylan’s Candy Bar – 1011 3rd Avenue (at East 60th Street); 646-735-0078;; offers everything from sundaes & gum balls to Mary Janes & Charleston Chews.
Fivestory – 18 East 69th Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-288-1338;; high-end, almost cult-ish, labels, mostly from Europe; accessories & apparel from emerging designers, plus decor items, in luxurious townhouse setting.
Roberta Freymann & Roberta Roller Rabbit – 958 Lexington Avenue (between East 69th & 70th Streets); 212-717-7373;; home accessories & women’s clothing.
Kitchen Arts & Letters – 1435 Lexington Avenue (between East 93rd & 94th Streets); 212-876-5550;; books for all things culinary.
Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery – 64 East 77th Street (between Madison & Park Avenues); 212-452-3350;; brought Jeff Koons’ “Made in Heaven Paintings” to USA.
Newel – 306 East 61st Street (between Ed Koch Queensborough Bridge Exit & 2nd Avenue); 212-758-1970;; huge collection spanning Renaissance to 20th Century; nonfurniture finds, from figureheads to bell jars, make for prime conversation pieces; major supplier of antiques for Broadway shows, television & film.
Neue Galerie – 1048 5th Avenue (between East 85th & 86th Streets); 212-994-9493;; bookstore & gift shop.
Seigo Neckwear – 1248 Madison Avenue (between East 89th & 90th Streets); 212-987-0191;; neckwear array.
Mrs. John L. Strong – 699 Madison Avenue (between East 62nd & 63rd Streets), 5th Floor; 212-838-3775 or 877-677-7876;; stationary.
Tender Buttons – 143 East 62nd Street (between Lexington & 3rd Avenues); 212-758-7004;; long-running emporium packed with vast array rare, unique & vintage buttons & fasteners; also, accessories, antiques & vintage wear.
William-Wayne & Co. – 846 Lexington Avenue (between East 64th & 65th Streets); 212-737-8934;; other locations; home furnishings.

Flat Iron & Gramercy
ABC Carpet & Home – 888 Broadway (between East 18th & 19th Streets); 212-473-3000;; home-decor shop where unique, often extravagant wares are displayed on 6 cavernous floors.
L’Atelier du Chocolat – 59 West 22nd Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-243-0033;; chocolatier offering truffles, chocolate bars & other confection, plus jams & spreads.

Demolition Depot & Irreplaceable Artifacts – 216 East 125th Street (between Lexington & 2nd Avenues); 212-860-1138;; 4-floor store selling salvaged windows, doors, plumbing & other architectural artifacts, including some from Audubon Ballroom.

Little Italy
Di Palo’s Fine Foods – 200 Grand Street (between Mott & Mulberry Streets); 212-226-1033;; family-owned Italian shop offering artisanal cheeses & cured meats plus pasta, sauce & pantry items.

SoHo & Tribeca
American Two Shot – 135 Grand Street (between Broadway & Lafayette Street); 212-925-3403;; industrial-chic shop for trendy, designer men’s & women’s clothing & outerwear, with coffee counter inside.
De Vera – 1 Crosby Street (between Grand & Howard Streets); 212-625-0838;; Federico de Vera travels world buying everything from Japanese lacquerware & vintage Venetian glass to 19th Century Philippine Santos figures & European decorative arts; contemporary work interspersed among antiques, as is jewelry created by De Vera from combined new & old materials; rose-cut diamonds are De Vera’s obsession, in rings, earrings, hanging from leather cords, or set in dazzling necklace.
Despaña – 408 Broome Street (between Center & Lafayette Streets); 212-219-5050;; chic shop for imported Spanish eats like Serrano ham & chorizo, plus tapas & sandwich counter.
Espasso – 38 North Moore Street (between Ericsson Place & Franklin Street); 212-219-0017;; airy showroom for midcentury modern & contemporary Brazilian furniture, plus unique home accents.
Flair New York – 88 Grand Street (between Greene & Wooster Streets); 212-274-1750;; home furnishings; must visit.
Housing Works Bookstore – 126 Crosby Street (between Jersey & Prince Streets); 212-334-3324;; bookstore & café; 35K new & used books.
Il Bisonte – 120 Sullivan Street (between Prince & Spring Streets); 212-966-8773;; small American outpost for maker of classic Italian leather handbags, wallets & belts, plus other accessories.
Kee’s Chocolates – 80 Thompson Street (between Broome & Spring Streets); 212-334-3284;; exotic chocolates & macaroons (try dark chocolate & sesame ganache filling); also, peach-ginger & rose-lychee.

Global Table – 107 Sullivan Street (between Prince & Spring Streets); 212-431-5839;; quaint storefront selling chic selection of dishes, glassware & home goods from across globe; kind of housewares shop you wish you could live in.

Village/West (includes Bowery, Chelsea & Meatpacking District)
Aesop – 341 Bleecker Street (between Christopher & West 10th Streets); 212-899-3359;; expensive cosmetics, soaps, etc.
Bowery Kitchen Supplies – 88 10th Avenue (at Chelsea Market, between West 15th & 16th Streets); 212-376-4982;; wide range of restaurant & kitchen supplies offered at this no-frills store & sandwich shop.
Buon’Italia – 75 9th Avenue (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-633-9090;; serves food in-house as well as selling prepared Italian foods to go.
Brunello Cucinelli – 379 Bleecker Street (between Charles & Perry Streets); 212-627-9202;; clothing, especially cashmeres.
Florence Prime Meat Market – 5 Jones Street (between West 14th & Bleecker Streets); 212-242-6531;; sawdust covers floor of this area go-to; specializes in custom-cut aged meats since 1936.
Filling Station – 75 9th Avenue (between West 15th & 16th Streets); 212-989-3868;; Chelsea Market stall for imported & domestic olive oil, vinegar, sea salt & growlers of craft beer.
Ginette NY – 172 West 4th Street (between Cornelia & Jones Streets); 212-627-3763;; boutique offering selection of fine & funky necklaces, earrings & other kinds of jewelry.
Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks – 488 Greenwich Street (between Canal & Spring Streets); 212-226-5731;; cozy bookshop for rare & out-of-print titles, emphasizing antiquarian volumes.
Leffot – 10 Christopher Street (between Greenwich Avenue & Waverly Place); 212-989-4577;; for handcrafted, hard-to-find French wingtips, English Oxfords & Maine docksides.
Posman Books – 75 9th Avenue (between West 15th & 16th Streets); 212-627-0304;; other locations; family-owned mini-chain; notable for cookbooks.
Salumeria Biellese – 378 8th Avenue (at West 29th Street); 212-736-7376;; housemade sausages & imported cured meats sold alongside prepared foods & sandwiches since 1925.
Saturday’s NYC – 31 Crosby Street (at Grand Street); 212-966-7875;; accessories & clothing.

West Side/Lower
Marianne Boesky Gallery – 509 West 24th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues); 212-680-9889;; emerging & established artists exhibit at Chelsea branch of Upper East Side gallery; Ivan Boesky’s daughter’s gallery.

West Side/Midtown (includes Hell’s Kitchen)
Gotham West Market – 600 11th Avenue (between 44th & 45th Streets); 212-582-7940;; fancy ground-floor food-court housing revered vendors, plus mix of counter & communal seating.
Hells Kitchen Flea Market (Chelsea Flea Market) – 519 9th Avenue (between West 38th & 39th Streets); 212-243-5343;; small outdoor market with vendors selling vintage home decor items, electronics, clothing & books.
Magazine Cafe – 15 West 37th Street (between between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-391-2004;; relaxed store specializing in magazines from around world, with focus on fashion periodicals.

West Side/Upper
Épicerie Boulud – 1900 Broadway (at West 63rd & 64th Streets); 212-595-9606;; other locations; gourmet fare to-go; some sit-down space to eat onsite.
192 Books – 192 10th Avenue (between West 21st & 22nd Streets); 212-255-4022;; store offering titles from art & literature to history & kids’ books, plus events & signings.

High Line – access at Gansevoort, West 14th, 16th, 18th & 20th Streets; 212-500-6035;; 1.45-mile-long New York City linear park built in Manhattan on elevated section of disused New York Central Railroad spur called West Side Line; underlying rail structure constructed in 1930s to lift dangerous freight trains above Manhattan; now public park; combines concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings, fixed & movable seating, lighting & special features.
Rubin Museum of Art – 150 West 17th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues); 212-620-5000;; dedicated to collection, display & preservation of art & cultures of Himalayas, India & neighboring regions, with permanent collection focused particularly on Tibetan art.

Chinatown – bounded by Broome Street (north, amalgamating Little Italy), Allen Street (east, bordering Lower East Side), Worth Street (south) & Lafayette Street (West);; home to dense population of Asian immigrants; NYC’s most evocative neighborhoods; busy, narrow streets reveal surprise after surprise: Chatham Square’s statue of Lin Zexu, Qing dynasty official who led fight against Britain’s illegal importation of opium; odd pagoda-style roof & Buddhist temple; & atmospheric Doyers Street, with basement bars & speakeasy; come hungry & work way through dim sum palaces, dumpling dens & inexpensive noodle joints.

East Side/Lower (includes NoHo & NoLiTa)
Brooklyn Bridge – extends from City Hall (Foley Square area) in lower Manhattan to Anchorage (Brooklyn); 347-647-0876 (Brooklyn Bridge Community Liaison);; world’s 1st steel suspension bridge.
New Museum – 235 Bowery Street (between Rivington & Stanton Streets); 212-219-1222;; rises above neighborhood, 7-story stack of off-kilter, white, ethereal boxes designed by Tokyo-based architects Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa & New York–based firm Gensler; museum founded in 1977 by Marcia Tucker & housed in 5 different locations over years; mission statement is simple: new art, new ideas; institution gave gallery space to artists Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Joan Jonas, Mary Kelly & Andres Serrano at their careers’ beginning; continues to show contemporary heavy hitters; city’s sole museum dedicated to contemporary art.
Rockwood Music Hall – 196 Allen Street (between Delancey & East Houston Streets); 212-477-4155;; owner Ken Rockwood opened in 2005 as music venue with small bar; features 3 stages & eponymous record label; come to see Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra (combination story-telling & music).
Standard Ice Rink – 848 Washington Street (between 13th & Little West 12th Streets); 212-645-4646;; seasonal, tiny rink (as in 3K' sq); ice is real, not synthetic & well-maintained & as slick as you would want it to be.
Tenement Museum – 103 Orchard Street (between Broome & Delancey Streets); 212-982-8420;; worth special trip; preserves & interprets immigration history through personal experiences of generations of newcomers who settled in & built lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side; visitors go beyond walls of 97 Orchard Street to explore neighborhood through walking tours that explore how life was for immigrants on Lower East Side & how neighborhood changed.

East Side/Midtown
St. Patrick’s Cathedral – 460 Madison Avenue (between East 50th & 51st Streets); 212-753-2261;; Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral; built during Civil War, building did not originally include 2 front spires, which were added in 1888; inside is Louis Tiffany–designed altar & Charles Connick’s stunning Rose Window, gleaming above 7K-pipe church organ.

East Side/Upper
Central Park – from East 59th-110th and between Central Park West & 5th Avenue; 212-310-6600 (Central Park Conservancy);; among world’s most renowned green spaces; 843 acres of rolling meadows, boulder-studded out-croppings, elm-lined walkways, manicured European-style gardens, lake & reservoir — not to mention outdoor theater, John Lennon memorial, idyllic waterside eatery (Loeb Boathouse) & Alice in Wonderland statue; highlights include Sheep Meadow, Central Park Zoo & Ramble’s forest-like paths; created in 1860-70s by Frederick Law Olmsted & Calvert Vaux on city’s marshy northern fringe (they also created Prospect Park in Brooklyn).
Frick Collection – 1 East 70th Street (between 5th & Madison Avenues); 212-547-6848;; spectacular art collection in lovely, rambling beaux arts mansion (built 1913-14 by Carrère & Hastings) built by steel magnate Henry Clay Frick (among many such residences that made up Millionaires’ Row); over dozen splendid rooms that display masterpieces by Titian, Vermeer, Gilbert Stuart, El Greco & Goya; feels intimate, with trickling indoor courtyard fountain & gardens that can be explored on warmer days; Portico Gallery displays decorative sculpture; worthwhile audio tour (available in several languages) is included in price of admission.
Metropolitan Museum of Art – 1000 5th Avenue (between East 82nd & 83rd Streets); 212-535-7710;; note, see Caravaggio’s Musicians (1595), Lute Player (1596), Holy Family with St. John the Baptist (1603) & Denial of Saint Peter (1610).
Museo del Barrio – 1230 5th Avenue (between East 104th & 105th Streets); 212-831-7272;; city’s leading Latino visual arts cultural institution; represents artistic landscape of Caribbean, Latin American & Latino cultures.
New York Academy of Medicine Library – 1216 5th Avenue (at East 103rd Street); 212-822-7200;; founded in 1847; holds 750K rare volumes, including oldest medical papyri (Edwin Smith Papyrus), dating to 1700 BCE.
Whitney Museum of American Art – 945 Madison Avenue (at East 75th Street); 212-570-3600;; focus on 20th-21st Century American art; permanent collection contains more than 18K works in wide media variety.

Grand Central
Grand Central Station – 71-105 East 42nd Street (at Park Avenue); 212-532-4900 (Metro North Railroad Travel Information) or212-340-2583 (Station Master’s Office);

Studio Museum of Harlem – 144 West 125th Street (between Lenox & 7th Avenues); 212-864-4500;; American contemporary art museum founded in 1968; 1st such US museum devoted to African-American art, specializing in 19th-20th Century work; over 1.6K works; featured in collection are works by Terry Adkins, Romare Bearden, Skunder Boghossian, Robert Colescott, Melvin Edwards, Richard Hunt, Hector Hyppolite, Serge Jolimeau, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Philome Obin, Betye Saar, Nari Ward & Hale Woodruff; also custodian of photographer James VanDerZee’s work (he was quintessential Harlem community chronicler from 1906-1983).

Little Italy
Little Italy – on Mulberry Street, extending south to Canal Street, north to Bleecker Street, west to Lafayette Street & east to Bowery Street (bordering Chinatown);

Morningside Heights (Upper-Upper West Side)
Cathedral of St. John Divine – 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (between West 110th & 113th Streets); 212-316-7540;; cathedral of New York’s Episcopal Diocese; vies with Liverpool Cathedral for largest Anglican cathedral & church title; 4th largest Christian church in world; interior covers 121K' sq, spanning length of 601' & height 232'; nave interior height 124'; designed in 1888 & begun in 1892 as Byzantine Revival-Romanesque Revival styles; plan changed after 1909 to Gothic Revival design; after large fire on December 18, 2001, closed for repairs & reopened in November 2008; remains unfinished, with construction & restoration continuing process; nicknamed St. John Unfinished; size of its interior presents superlative natural acoustics that confer reverb time greater than 8 seconds & organic tone brilliance; also perfect for art exhibitions, which appear regularly.

Bayard–Condict Building – 65 Bleecker Street;; only work of architect Louis Sullivan in New York City.

Roosevelt Island
FDR Four Freedoms Park – 1 FDR Drive (Tramway Car at 59th Street & 2nd Avenue Station; exit at Tramway Station & walk approximately 15 minutes south); 212-204-8831;; designed by Louis Kahn; celebrates famous speech, text of which inscribed on granite wall.

SoHo & Tribeca
Donald Judd Residence & Studio – 101 Spring Street (between Broadway & Greene Street); 212-219-2747;; building where he lived & worked from 1968 until his death in 1994; unchanged since his death.

Union Square
Fuerza Bruta – 101 East 15th Street (between East Union Square & Irving Place); 212-239-6200;; spectacular modern dance; worth special trip.

Nuyorican Poets Cafe – 236 East 3rd Street (between Avenues B & C); 212-780-9386;; 35 years of spoken word, theater, poetry & slam, hip hop, music & film; sounds dreadful to me (except as to hip hop) but (I suppose) reasonable minds can differ.

Comedy Cellar – 117 Macdougal Street (between Minetta Lane & West 3rd Streets); 212-254-3480;; where many top New York comedians perform; founded in 1982 by then standup comedian & current television writer/producer Bill Grundfest.
Macdougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District – between Bleecker & Houston Streets (and abutting Washington Square);; Nos. 74-96 Macdougal Street are MacDougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District houses, built around 1844 in Greek Revival style; houses deteriorated over time until bought by William Sloane Coffin in 1920 & thoroughly renovated by Francis Y. Joannes & Maxwell Hyde in Colonial Revival style in 1921; their rear yards combined with those of houses behind them on Sullivan Street to make common garden; No. 77 is New York Rifle Club clubhouse; Cafe Dante, at No. 81, features giant Florence photo mural; at Bleecker & Macdougal Streets’ intersection, at No. 93, is former San Remo Cafe site, which attracted many bohemians such as James Agee, W. H. Auden, James Baldwin, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Miles Davis, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara, Jack Kerouac, Jackson Pollock, William Styron, Dylan Thomas, Gore Vidal, etc. (cafe is featured on Fred Neil’s debut folk-rock album cover, Bleecker & MacDougal; Bob Dylan bought apartment in 1969 at No. 94; No. 99 was home of 99 Records, progressive fashion & music store owned by Gina Franklin & Ed Bahlman (99 Records released 1980s club hits by Liquid Liquid, ESG & Bush Tetras); Minetta Tavern at No. 113 is trattoria/bar that has seen such regulars as E. E. Cummings, Joe Gould, Ernest Hemingway, Eugene O’Neill, Ezra Pound, etc.; bar Kettle of Fish opened in 1959 at No. 114, moving in 1986 to space previously occupied by Gerde’s Folk City (photo by Jerry Yulsman of Jack Kerouac in front of its neon “Bar” sign used in black-and-white version & with Joyce Johnson removed from image, in advertisement for Gap clothing retailer; Bob Dylan had 1st NYC gig at Cafe Wha? at No. 115 (also where Jimi Hendrix played some early gigs); No. 116 used to be Gaslight Cafe, where Ray Bremser, Gregory Corso, Bob Dylan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones, Jack Kerouac, Dave Van Ronk, etc., read poetry (Dylan lived there for time); Comedy Cellar at No. 117 has featured nearly every notable American comedian; Caffe Reggio, at No. 119, coffeehouse since 1927, has been featured in many movies including Godfather Part II; Nos. 127–131 (between West 3rd & 4th Streets) built about 1828-29 as Federal style residences (designated NYC landmarks in 2004); Louisa May Alcott lived in her uncle’s home at Nos. 130–132; upstairs of No. 137 was Liberal Club headquarters during 1910s (members included such notable intellectuals as Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, Max Eastman, Emma Goldman, Sinclair Lewis, Jack London, Margaret Sanger, Upton Sinclair & Lincoln Steffens); No. 146 was once Caribbean restaurant frequented by James Baldwin, Paul Robeson, Marlon Brando, Eartha Kitt & Henry Miller; 10th Church of Christ, Scientist, at No. 171 (between East 8th Street & Washington Square North) built in 1891 as factory & store, designed by Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell & converted into church in modern style in 1966-67 by Victor Christ-Janer; corner of Macdougal & West 8th Streets, at 32 West 8th Street, is former location of 8th Street Books, where Bob Dylan & Allen Ginsberg 1st met (other notable residents include Francesco Carrozzini, Francesco Clemente, Diego Della Valle, John Hammond Jr., Baz Luhrmann, Pat Steir); Alexander Calder bought townhouse in 1960s for his daughter, Mary; meanwhile, on Washington Square, itself, No. 27 is Matthew Broderick’s & Uta Hagen’s former residence; Eleanor Roosevelt lived at No. 29 after FDR’s death; Eugene O’Neill lived at corner of Macdougal & Washington Square South at No. 38; & on Macdougal Alley, Jackson Pollock lived in apartment No. 9 & Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek rented space at 9 Macdougal Alley from 1914-16.

Wall Street
Ground Zero Museum Workshop – 420 West 14th Street (between 9th Avenue & Washington Street); 212-924-1040 or 212-209-3370;
National September 11 Memorial – 1 Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor (between Broadway & Trinity Place); 212-312-8800;
National September 11 Memorial Museum – 180 Greenwich Street (at Vesey Street) or 1 Albany Street; 212-266-5211;
Statue of Liberty – National Park Services Liberty Island; 212-363-3200; or; take Circle Line Ferry (above).

West Side/Lower
Ellis Island – Jersey City (New Jersey, in Upper New York Bay, east of Liberty State Park & north of Liberty Island); 212-363-3200 or 212-604-2800; or; take Circle Line Ferry (above).

West Side/Midtown (includes Hell’s Kitchen)
Caroline’s School of Comedy – 1626 Broadway (between West 49th & 50th Streets); 212-757-4100;
Empire State Building – 350 5th Avenue (at corner of West 34th Street); 212-736-3100;; viewing platform open until late.
Museum of Modern Art – 11 West 53rd Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues); 212-708-9400;
New York City Public Library – 5th Avenue at East 42nd Street (between East 40th & 42nd Streets; 212/930–0800 (for exhibit information);; beaux arts design masterpiece & great research institute; more than 6M books, 12M manuscripts & 3M pictures; library may close for 2 years, so enjoy beautiful architecture & peaceful escape from bustle while you can, checking website for details; marble staircase at library grand 5th Avenue entrance is excellent people-watching perch; bronze front doors open into Astor Hall, which leads to several special exhibit galleries and, to left, stunning periodicals room with wall paintings of New York publishing houses; sweeping double staircase ascends to 2nd-floor balconied corridor overlooking hall; make sure to continue up to magisterial Rose Main Reading Room 297' long (almost 2 full north–south city blocks), 78' wide & just over 51' high; walk through to best appreciate oak table rows & extraordinary ceiling; several additional 3rd-floor galleries show rotating exhibits on print & photography.
Radio City Music Hall – 1260 6th Avenue (at West 50th Street); 212-247-4777;
Spyscape – 928 8th Avenue (between West 54th & 55th Streets); 212-549-1941;; all things spy-related.
Times Square – at junction of Broadway & 7th Avenue, from West 42nd to 47th Streets; 212-452-5283 (Times Square Alliance);

West Side/Upper
American Museum of Natural History – 200 Central Park West (at West 79th Street); 212-769-5100;
Cloisters – 99 Margaret Corbin Drive (at Fort Tryon Park); 212-923-3700;
Lincoln Center – 10 Lincoln Center Plaza (on Broadway, between West 65th & 66th Streets); 212-875-5456;; drinks at Alice Tully Hall bar.
Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center – Lincoln Center Plaza (off Amsterdam Avenue, between West 62nd & 64th Streets); 212-362-6000;
New York Historical Society Museum – 170 Central Park West (at Richard Gilder Way (West 77th Street)); 212-873-3400;; New York’s oldest museum.

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