New York - Food and Drink
New York’s disparate and cosmopolitan communities combine to create more culinary styles per square mile than almost anywhere on earth.
From burgers to borscht, delis to fine dining, there’s something to suit every palate in this city that loves to eat.
Midtown Manhattan’s hotel restaurants, big name chains and tourist-friendly buffets run the gastronomic gauntlet from great to forgettable.
In general, steer away from the ‘all you can eat’ world buffets, and blaring neon-signs of Times Square, Broadway and the main tourist spots and, instead, head to the streets lining the neighbourhoods of Chinatown, Upper Manhattan, the East Village, the Upper West Side, and Brooklyn for meals to remember – and at an affordable price, too.
New York’s not short of great, family-run Italian restaurants – here, a square meal needn’t cost the earth to be enjoyable. Try the restaurants around the Lower East Side, and especially around Little Italy, where your children will be greeted like long lost family members! Italian restaurants in Manhattan are fast, friendly and surprisingly good value: and the ice-cream is heavenly!
Chinatown is the place to head for spicy, flavoursome and authentic Chinese, Asian and ‘fusion’ eastern cooking. And, increasingly, flavours from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are adding even more exotic combinations of tastes. In general, restaurants around Henry and Madison Street are dependable, serving set-price dinners for around $20-$30 - and excellent dim sum!
The Village, SoHo and Tribeca are the NYC ovens right now, creating exciting, and unique new flavours and styles of cooking, and it’s where the city’s rising stars put on nightly bravura displays of inventiveness.
For more earthy, and filling fare, the Meatpacking District, the Lower East Side and Gramercy are the places to eat out without fuss, in a range of great value, honest and sociable diners, restaurants and family-friendly grills.
The West Side’s the place to head for TexMex, Cajun and a range of restaurants championing ‘new American cooking’ blending centuries old ‘peasant food’ with a modern twist!
Elsewhere, the legendary Katz’s Deli (East Houston St) is home to that all-American institution – hot dogs. And their salami specials are meaty and delicious, too. And, film fans, this is the place where they filmed ‘that’ scene in When Harry Met Sally.
For fabulous burgers, you have to head to the somewhat secretive, and worth seeking out Burger Joint, at the Le Parker Meridien, 119 West 56th Street. There are simply two items on the menu – burger, or cheeseburger (oh, and fries, of course!). Well, when you’re this good, why complicate matters?
Finally, for a view to eat on, and a dining experience you’ll not forget, head over the East River to The River Cafe (1 Water Street, Brooklyn) nestling at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge and book a table for twilight. The view across the water and over to Manhattan, as the lights are turned on, is spectacular.