There are about 30,000 restaurants on the island of Manhattan, and Carly and I have tried them all – just kidding (we’ll get there though). But we have tried and loved a few and would be only delighted to share them with you. I’ve also put a little Google Map together so you can find these restaurants easily. You can even download it and use it for when you have no Wifi or 4G – handy or what!
Also, since moving here, we’ve picked up a few tips and tricks about eating in NYC that we’d like to share; these will be helpful for when you next visit.
Top Tips For Eating In New York City
Remember, everything’s bigger in the States; this is especially true when it comes to portion sizes. Often one main (or entrée as it’s known here) would serve 2 people easily. We’ve made the mistake, more than once, of ordering a main each and barely being able to finish one between us. We used the leftovers for lunch the following day, so no biggie, but something to be mindful of.
Food Delivery Services
Unlike Ireland, which has about 3 or 4, there are dozens of food delivery services to choose from in NYC. Uber Eats, Seamless, Caviar, DoorDash, Postmates – the list goes on.
We use Seamless and Uber Eats, but certain restaurants are only available through certain sites, so you’re best off Googling the restaurant you’re ordering from first, to see which delivery service they use.
Also, each delivery service offers promotions. The same restaurant may be available on multiple sites, so take a couple of minutes before ordering to make sure you get the best deal.
Tipping and Taxes
Tipping in the US, and especially New York City, is just part of the culture; there’s really no getting around it. Of course, you can elect not to tip, but the thing is, servers in restaurants (or food delivery drivers) get paid little to nothing, and rely on their tips to make a living. 20% of your bill is considered a standard tip, but if you weren’t overly impressed with the service, 10-15% should make that apparent to the server.
Note: Always check to see if a service charge has been added to your bill. Some restaurant do this if you’re with a couple of people. If a service charge has been added, you don’t have to tip on top of this.
Also, in New York City, there’s a 4% sales tax on your food, so just be aware of that too.
Broadstone Bar & Kitchen
The Broadstone Burger is by far the nicest burger we’ve had in New York and that’s a bold statement because we’ve had a few.
This burger is huge, and comes with cajun fries or a side salad (both are delish). Check out the full menu here.
Another thing New Yorkers love is an egg and cheese sandwich. They’re cheap, hearty and delicious. Add bacon to the mix, and it’s a match made in heaven.
By far, the nicest bacon, egg and cheese sandwich we’ve had is from Daily Provisions. The bacon they use tastes just like home, and anything that tastes like home for us is a major plus. Here’s their entire menu.
If you don’t know, New York Cheesecake is world famous, and Junior’s Cheesecake is by far the best cheesecake in New York, hands down. Seriously, you can’t leave here having not tried it!
This place doesn’t just do cheesecake, oh no! They do burgers, stacked sandwiches, hot dogs – all the American staples. Carly loved their Disco Fries, which are just chips, cheese and gravy, but sure look, what’s not to love. Here’s the full menu.
Katz’s Delicatessen is known around the world for its traditional Jewish cuisine (and that scene from When Harry Met Sally). What they’re most famous for, and the reason why we went, is their stacked (and I mean about 6 inches tall), thinly sliced pastrami sandwiches.
It really is out of this world, and queueing up for about an hour and being screamed at for your order (you better know what you want after waiting in line for an hour), adds to the experience. It’s a little pricey, but when you’re on holidays, it’s not that bad. Check here to see their menu.
Something else New York is known for is bagels – apparently they’ve a reputation for being the best because of the local water used while making them, but that’s highly debated and I’m not getting involved. All I know is they’re delicious and Leo’s Bagels our number 1.
The queues are around the corner every lunchtime, but the wait is well worth it. We’ve had plain bagels with cream cheese, tuna filling and a turkey club. Also, the portions are huge so think about splitting one. See the menu here.
Constantly touted as the best burger in New York City, everything we’ve had in Shake Shack has been absolutely amazing.
Their chips are fried to perfection, their strawberry shakes are hands down the best we’ve ever had, and their cheeseburgers are mouthwateringly good. When you’re in NYC, trying Shake Shack is as critical as trying a New York slice, or a hot dog from a vendor.
Sticky’s Finger Joint
Probably the best named restaurant on this list, and definitely the best chicken tenders (or chicken fingers as they call them) – they’d want to be good, after all, it’s all they do, that and fries. Both are so good!
You can select 2, 3 or 4 chicken tenders with fries with amazing dips for between $10 and $15. Also, they have garlic sauce. Again, the portions are big so consider sharing! Check out the menu.
Aroy Dee Thai
We were craving Thai food one night, and stumbled upon this one. We took a chance because it was highly rated on Seamless and had a lot of the same options you get at home.
We weren’t expecting too much to be honest, because we’d been let down with Asian food in the past, but let me tell you, MY GOD! We get the Thai green curry with a side of edamame and peanut sauce (so good!) – it works out at about $20 including tip and delivery (which is amazing for NYC). Check them out here.
For those of you who don’t know, Chinese is Carly’s favourite type of food – always has been. Salt and chilli chicken with curry sauce out of the Far East, on the Ballyfermot Road, and she’s in heaven. Honestly, it’s one of the things she misses most about home. I’m getting hungry now.
Needless to say, Chinese is not the same in the US; they don’t even have curry sauce ;( However, we did manage to find this really nice US Chinese thanks again to Seamless app ratings. We’ve ordered Kung Pao chicken and shrimp with rice and it was really good. Check it out here.
Ruby’s is our favourite restaurant by far. And no, they’re not serving up kangaroo and crocodile; it’s Aussie-owned is all.
They’ve burgers, salads, and pasta dishes, but Carly’s absolute favourite is their Ricotta Hotcakes with banana, Nutella and honeycomb butter. According to her, the BEST she’s had, and that girl is a pancake aficianado.
Their sweet potatoes are my favourite; worth the trip for these alone. Check out the full menu here, mate.
Another Aussie-owned spot, Bluestone Lane has some of the nicest coffee we’ve had and one of the nicest sandwiches, if not the nicest (Carly’s Edit: Defo the NICEST!).
The B.L.A.T.E (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato and Egg) sandwich is so, so good. It’s got fresh greens and this amazing garlic aioli on it too. It’s the business. If you’ve ever had a Brunch Burger from Bang Bang Cafe in Dublin, it’s similar. Here’s their menu.
The Mean Fiddler
Perhaps one of New York’s most famous Irish bars, The Mean Fiddler is where you go if you’re craving some chips with McDonnells Curry Sauce, a Shepard’s Pie or an Irish Fry (well, the closest thing you’ll get to an Irish Fry here anyway).
They’ve also got live trad music, karaoke and the black stuff pours nicely too 😉 Definitely worth hitting this place up for a night out when you’re here (and it’s safe to do so!). Here’s their menu.
If it’s ooey, gooey, cheesey, greasy New York style pizza you’re looking for, then look no further than Joe’s Pizza. Of course, “the best pizza in New York” is a highly debated topic, but Joe’s is mine and Carly’s absolute favourite.
Plain cheese for me, or Pepperoni for CCB; you will not be disappointed. Wash it down with a Mexican Coke* and thank me later. Menu here.
*Fun Fact, a Mexican Coke (in a glass bottle) is different (and WAY nicer), because it’s made with real sugar cane. Regular Coke is made with fructose and corn syrup instead.
Not your stereotypical New York style pizza, but delicious nonetheless and for $12 per 10 inch pie (yeah, I say pie now ha), where wouldya be going.
The dough has a tangy taste, and is made even better by the fact it’s slightly burnt, but in a good way. Check out their menu.
We’d been going to Vapiano’s for our pasta fix up until when everything closed, and we’d been craving it ever since. Unfortunately, they don’t deliver to our location, so we had to look for an alternative. Thankfully, thanks to the ratings on the Seamless app yet again, we found Rosella’s Pizzeria and we weren’t disappointed.
So far we’ve had Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo and Garlic and Broccoli Linguine and they were both delicious. The price is very reasonable and the portions are huge! Check out their menu here.
Vapiano’s is our favourite pasta place by far, which you’ve probably gathered from reading the Rosella’s Pizzeria section. They have other Italian dishes too, but we’ve only had the pasta up until now.
You queue up and they make the pasta in front of you, using fresh pasta, and all fresh ingredients. They have plant pots on the tables, with fresh herbs so you can add fresh Basil and that you’re into it! Oh and right across the street, there is a Nutella Cafe! We can’t wait to go back. Menu here.
This is our go-to for when we’re feeling a bit healthy, which is more often than you’d think, despite the amount of “durt” in this blog post.
Essentially, it’s like Sprout or Chopped, but with a Mediterranean twist. Kale, Hummus, Harissa, Mediterranean chicken, feta, Tzatziki, and pickled red onion all served in a bowl – it’s absolutely delicious and pretty too. The portions are huge and it’s reasonably priced too. They have vegan and veggie options too. Menu is here.
Another healthy-ish choice of ours is Chipotle. It’s a huge Mexican chain in the States, so you won’t have to look far to find one.
We tend to go for a burrito in a bowl with steak (or chicken), onions, lettuce, brown rice and hot sauce, but we’ve also had a burrito wrap once, but we way prefer Dos Toros for burritos. Menu here. Don’t forget your Mexican Coke!
Carly and I aren’t really burrito people, but the ones in Dos Toros are amazing and they’re huge (we split them between us).
We haven’t been able to get a Dos Toros burrito for a while because our local one temporarily closed down, but we’re looking forward to it reopening.
So there you have it. An exhaustive list of restaurants that Carly and I have tried, loved and want you to try too. I’ll maintain this list as and when we try new places, but this should be more than enough to get you started. After all, we’ve been here a couple of months and haven’t even tried .1% of the restaurants on the island, but as I said at the start of this blog post, we’ll get there :p
Thanks for reading!