It was just last summer when I was able to take a break from grueling exams and visit New York City again. While technically a “working” vacation (I was completing an internship at the time), I was able to experience NYC for all it has to offer. Food included.
Food and dining is really the heart of NYC (There are over 354 McDonalds in NYC alone!). While most tourist guides boast of great musicals, it is the restaurants that line Broadway street which give NYC it’s flavor.
Eating at the restaurants of NYC is really done best with a group of friends. After all, food is a medium in which to unite those. While we didn’t necessarily agree on all of the hot button topics, we could easily attest to the brilliance of a dish we were trying.
Included in our criteria of the best restaurants in NYC was aesthetic appeal because ‘coolness’, of course, is really the thrill of NYC dining.
Like it’s namesake, American jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie “Bird” Parker, Charlie Bird in NYC is a unique mixture of jazz and hip-hop influences. This Italian-themed eatery serves all things “New York”. It’s hip, it’s polished, and incredibly youthful in it’s feel. Their seafood menu, the Beef Carpaccio along with their personalized wine list give an incredible energy to this place. 5 King Street, New York, NY 10012, 212-235-7133
A sex shop-themed restaurant in the heart of Chelsea, Ricker Restaurants’ (responsible for London’s Eight Over Eight and XO ) latest opening is complete with all the classic Mexican dishes we love. Translating to “Black Winery”, Bodega Negra’s soft-shelled crab tacos and honey ribs are in wonderful contrast to the upscale, trendy nature of Bodega Negra. In addition to various Mexican staples, the agave nectar Margaritas and signature cocktail list gives Bodega Negra it’s authenticity. This place fills up quickly, so reservations are advised. 355 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011, 212-229-2336
For soul-food lovers, Sweet Chicks in Brooklyn needs to be on your list. Their mac and cheese, the much-talked about bacon and cheese waffles are perfect throwbacks to the classic “Chicken and Waffles” dish so prevalent during the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance. Owner, John Seymour says he opened Sweet Chick in Brooklyn (second location on lower east side) as a nod to Harlem jazz musicians who at 4am were conflicted between wanting breakfast and dinner. Sweet Chick’s classic Fried Chicken and Waffle dish solves this dilemma. 178 Ludlow ST, New York, 646-657-0233
Bar Primi on East Second Street and Bowery, self proclaimed as “an Italian pasta shop on the border of NoHo and the East Village” is the best example of what Italian eating should be. Bar Primi is one of restauranteur Andrew Carmellini’s latest openings in NYC. What separates them from other Italian eateries in NYC is the emphasis they place on organic ingredients and non-gmo foods. Not to mention their extensive list of imported wines from Italy. 325 Bowery, New York, NY 10003, 212-220-9100
Tao Downtown is NYC’s version of London pan-asian eateries, most notably London’s E&O. Tao Downtown is simply an extension of the pan-asian craze that has swept NYC within the last decade. Serving as a glowing backdrop to the pan- asian menu is the exquisite statue of the Quan Yin Buddha that rests elegantly over a koi pond in the center of the dining area. Doubling both as a sit-in restaurant and nightclub, the scallop rolls and rock shrimp lettuce cups serve as great company to the trendy atmosphere that is sought in the NYC restaurant industry. 92 Ninth Avenue at 16th Street, New York, NY 1001, 212-888.2724