My NYC Essentials

Infograph created by Tim Djen

Above are the places in New York City that I couldn’t possibly live without, and below are little descriptions of each/a few of my favorite items! Trust me and stop by at least one of these spots. You won’t regret it 😉

Momofuku Ssam bar (Asian) – 207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

  • Momofuku Ssam Bar is by far my favorite out of David Chang’s establishments. Creative, innovative, and always changing, I have never gone wrong here – and the thing is, I order different things all the time. So be risky, and have a ball ordering things and trying combinations you never would have thought worked together.
  • However, do yourself a favor, and order the steamed pork buns. That’s always on the menu.
Luke’s Lobster (Seafood) – Various Locations
  • Lobster Roll – warm, buttery, and melt in your mouth delicious, you can’t go wrong
  • Taste of Maine – it’s 1/3 lobster roll, 1/3 crab roll, and 1/3 shrimp roll – for you indecisive people
L’Artusi (Italian) – 228 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
  • There are a lot of Italian restaurants in NYC, so choosing one was hard, but L’Artusi is a standout. Their dishes are simultaneously classic and modern, and the price point is very reasonable. I have had almost everything on the menu, and it is all fresh, authentic, and delicious. It’s hard to choose what to get, so my advice is to go with a group and order a bunch of dishes to share.
  • My picks:
    • Escolar
    • Roasted Mushrooms
    • Tagliatelle
    • Roasted Chicken
    • Crispy Potatoes
Bohemian (Japanese) – 57 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012
  • Now, this place is one of NYC’s secret restaurants, and you cannot get in without 1) their unpublished number and 2) a referral. But good thing you’ve got me as a friend who has the number 😉
  • My picks:
    • Wagyu Short Rib Sashimi
    • Foie Gras Sushi
    • Pan Roasted Branzino
    • Favorite Drink: The New Yorker
Jacob’s Pickles (Southern Comfort/Brunch) – 509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
  • You basically cannot go wrong at this southern comfort spot. It is an UWS gem that attracts locals and tourists alike. It’s creative and fresh while remaining down to earth and homey. I love it, and I know you will too.
  • My picks:
    • Mushroom Mac N’ Cheese
    • Croque Madame
    • Steel Cut Organic Oatmeal with Farm Fried Eggs
    • Favorite Drink: Jam Jar
The Boil (Seafood) – 139 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
  • Come to The Boil for a perfectly casual, fun, and somewhat messy experience. You basically go in and order fresh shellfish by the pound, and they serve it to you in plastic bags. It’s so serious that they give you bibs and plastic gloves for when you eat. So go in, get your game face on, and get ready to devour some fingerlicking good stuff. FYI – they’re cash only.
  • My picks:
    • Garlic Butter Shrimp (Mild)
    • theBoil Special Snow Crab Legs (Mild)
    • Mac and Cheese / Corn on the Cob
    • Favorite Drink: Tequila Watermelon Lemonade
Izakaya MEW (Korean/Japanese) – Basement, 53 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
  • I love MEW for a casual, late night spot with friends or family. This place has one of the best vibes with sharing plates, and really great food. So order a bunch and share with everyone you’re with. . . or don’t. 😉 FYI – this place gets really busy on weekend nights, and they don’t take reservations.
  • My picks:
    • Yellow Tail Carpaccio
    • Kakuni Simmered Pork Belly (get with a side of Garlic Fried Rice)
    • Omu Soba
    • MEW Special Roll
    • Aburi Salmon Nigiri
Gotham West Market (Food Hall) – 600 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036
  • What’s better than walking into a place and having a plethora of options to eat? Nothing. This is the dream, especially for big groups. You all can order whatever you want, and come sit together in the center dining hall. From ramen, to burgers, to tacos, to Spanish tapas, to sushi burritos, this place packs some heat.
  • My picks:
    • Miso Butter Ramen (Ivan Ramen)
    • Bone Marrow Brûlée (Cannibal HK)
    • Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream (Ample Hills Creamery)
    • Oyster Happy Hour – 1/2 dozen with a glass of cava for $11 (El Colmado)
Cull & Pistol (Seafood) – 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
  • My favorite oyster happy hour. There are at least 10 types of oysters everyday and you can order however many you want for $1 from 4PM – 6PM. Start slurping.
  • My picks:
    • Fresh Oysters ($1 from 4PM-6PM)
    • Chowder Disco Fries
    • Steamed Mussels
Levain Bakery (Dessert/Pastries) – 167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023
  • Simply the best cookie you will ever eat. That is all.
  • My pick:
    • Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
Ippudo (Japanese Ramen) – various locations
  • NYC is packed with ramen places, Ippudo being one of the most famous options. Well, the hype here is real, and it will be worth the wait. I go the Westside the one because it’s typically less busy than the one downtown.
  • My picks:
    • Westside Mekyabetsu
    • Akamaru Modern
    • Karakamen
Root & Bone (American/Southern Comfort) – 200 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009
  • One of the best chicken and waffle experiences I’ve had. Period. It’s a little on the pricier side, but when you taste it, you’ll stop questioning why.
  • My Picks:
    • Grandma Daisy’s Angel Biscuits
    • Macaroni & Cheese
    • Crispy Bucket of Bird with Cheddar Waffle and Whiskey Maple Syrup
Sushi Yasaka (Japanese) – 251 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023 
  • For straight up fresh, high quality sushi that won’t cost you a boat load, this place is definitely the spot to go. If you’re a fellow sushi lover, definitely order the omakase.
  • My picks:
    • Tempura: any kind of your preference
    • Yasaka Chef Omakase (Regular or Mini)
    • Ebi Tempura Soba
H.K. Wonton Garden (Chinese) – 79 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013
  • When in Chinatown, this is the cheap and authentic spot to go to. All the guys that work here where Hawaiian button down shirts (for what reason I don’t know), and although they’re slightly rude, you’ll get over it when you taste the food. Super comforting and delicious. This place is somewhere I’ve been going to since I was a child, and it speaks to my soul.
  • My picks:
    • DS4: Sui Mai
    • C17: Noodles with Tender Beef Stew
    • A3: Wonton with Noodle Soup
    • P6: Pan Fried Noodle with Sliced Beef
Ice & Vice (Dessert) – 221 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
  • Dare I say it, but Ice & Vice might be my favorite ice cream spot in NYC. And trust me, I’ve been to many of them. I still have deep affections for spots like Davey’s, Van Leeuwen, and Ample Hills, but Ice & Vice is the new underrated kid in the game, and he’s killing it.
  • My picks:
    • Milk Money
    • 9AM
    • Splinters
The Smith (American) – various locations
  • The Smith is so classically New York, and I love it. I’ve tried almost everything on the menu, and for some reason, I just keep going back for more. Actually, I do know the reason: it’s delicious.
  • My picks:
    • Spicy Salmon Tartare Crispy Rice
    • Mac and Cheese
    • Braised Short Ribs
    • Ricotta Gnocchi
Roberta’s (Pizza) – 230 Park Ave, New York, NY 10169
  • If you’re feeling like being a little fancier than the NY $1 slices that are on almost every block in this city, Roberta’s is the spot. These personal pies melt in your mouth, and they’re the perfect amount of chewy, crispy, and flavorful. FYI – this location is in another food hall but their main one is in Brooklyn.
  • My picks:
    • Bee Sting
    • Margherita
Blue Bottle Coffee (Cafe) – various locations
  • This is my favorite caffeine pick me up for the simple fact that it is amazing coffee. Blue Bottle just knows how to do it, and you’ll understand me when you take one sip.
  • My pick:
    • New Orleans Iced Coffee
Bagatelle (French/Boozy Brunch) – 1 Little W 12th St, New York, NY 10014
  • This is definitely something unique to NYC that you have to experience at least once, and for that reason, it’s on my essentials list. During the day, this place goes from a seemingly typical restaurant and turns into a club. You’ll walk out not having any concept of time or knowing what universe you’re on. I had an amazing time, and so will you.
  • My picks:
    • Lobster Mac and Cheese
    • Short Rib Croissant Sandwich with a Fried Egg
    • Lobster Benedict
    • Favorite Drink: anything they offer.
V{IV} Thai (Thai) – 717 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019 
  • Hells Kitchen is filled with a plethora of Thai restaurants, and it can be hard to weed out which ones are good or not. Although I have a couple favorites, V{IV} has never disappointed. The vibe and decor on the inside is also really cool, and it’s a perfect spot for a date night.
  • My picks:
    • Chicken Avocado Masaman Curry
    • Shrimp Pad Thai
    • Pad See Ew

Stay hungry,

BFBH Sig

4 Comments Add yours

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