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Best Places to Eat and Drink in NYC

Here are some of the best places to eat and drink in NYC!

Every year, for our anniversary, my husband and I take a trip to NYC. I’ve always loved the city, the hustle, and bustle, the liveliness. I don’t think you can ever feel lonely in NYC, there are just way too many people, everywhere.

We went for the first time together when I ran in the NYC marathon in November of 2016. My husband has never been to the city so I was a little nervous about how he would take it. He doesn’t do well in really crowded places.

Luckily, he is a foodie just like I am and I think the food scene won him over. One bite of steak from Peter Lugers and he was sold. He fell in love with NYC right there and then.

The last time I looked it up, I read that it would take almost 23 years for someone to eat at every restaurant in NYC assuming they were eating three meals a day. Wow. That is a long time and a lot of money. With that being said, you can see how it would be difficult to choose where to go.

Over the years I have been compiling my NYC “eats’ list. These are places I have seen on the food network shows, read about in magazines, heard mentioned by the locals, or were featured in Bon Appetit. Although it would take multiple trips for me to explore all of the places on my list, this guide is an excellent start if you are going to the city and love food just as much as I do.

After we went the first year, I realized the best way to explore the food scene was to find places closest to where you are staying. Otherwise, you will be spending a lot of time in taxis going from one borough to another.

This year when we went, we stayed near West Village/Manhattan. I’ll try not to go into too much detail about our trip; I’ll share where we stayed, what we did, and what we ate and drank. That is the reason why you are reading this guide after all.

Please share this guide with your friends and family who may be visiting the city for the Holiday season or anytime. Pin it to your Pinterest board, so you have something to refer to when you visit the greatest city on the planet, Ole New York!!

Ok, let’s get to it!

Day 1-

Our Hotel-

The Jane Hotel – 113 Jane St, New York, NY 10014

We stayed at The Jane Hotel during this trip. It was in a great location, very close to West Village and the rates were not too bad. It was a pretty cool hotel also.

The Jane was built in 1908 for sailors, so the rooms are known as “cabins.” One thing to note, it is a very old hotel, so the rooms are vintage looking. Also, the electricity is powered by your room key.

That is something to consider if you are staying here during the heat of the summer or cold winters. Once you leave the room, everything shuts off.

The Jane Hotel room
Here is a picture of our room.

Rebel Coffee -19 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014

Rebel Coffee Shop

Our first stop was getting some caffeine in our system. There are so many coffee shops in the City, but we just went to the nearest one that we could find near the hotel which was Rebel Coffee. It was a cute little shop, and we both had Cappuccinos. Nothing mind-blowing. It did the job.

cappuccino in a white cup - eat and drink in NYC

High Street on Hudson – 637 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

High Street on Hudson

When we finished getting our caffeine on it was almost lunch, but could still be breakfast, so we decided to go for brunch, on a Thursday. Now that is living. We went to High Street on Hudson. I’ve heard of this café, so I wanted to check it out.

High Street on Hudson
The cafe has a cute little coffee/ drink bar just as you walk to the right.
High Street on Hudson
The view of the restaurant

As you can see the restaurant is very quaint and modern. I love the open kitchen. As a former health inspector, I love being able to watch how my food is prepared. It drives my husband crazy and he usually doesn’t let me sit in the view of the kitchen.

High Street on hudson
View of the kitchen

We were pretty hungry. I ordered Ricotta toast which was Cherry Walnut Toast, Black Mission Figs on Fresh Ricotta cheese with a side of bacon. My husband ordered the Bodega which was Eggs, Aged Cheddar, and breakfast sausage on a Sage- black pepper biscuit.

Riccotta Toast and Bodega - eat and drink in NYC
Ricotta Toast on the bottom, Bodega sandwich on the top.

Both were incredible. The Ricotta was so fresh, and you can tell that the bread was baked fresh and not just any old bread from the food supply chain.

Riccotta Toast

The biscuit on my husband’s sandwich was so buttery and flaky. It was the perfect brunch.

Bodega Sandwich, high street on hudson, nyc - eat and drink in NYC

We also had a Bourbon Smash to celebrate our safe arrival in the city. It’s 5′ o’clock somewhere, right? Oh yeah, and a Chai Tea for good measure.

Bourbon Smash, High Street on Hudson - eat and drink in NYC
Chai Tea, High Street on Hudson - eat and drink in NYC

Museum of Illusions –  77 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014

Museum of illusions

With our bellies happy we headed out to explore the city. Since it was a Thursday, we figured it would be the least crowded day to check out a museum. The Museum of Illusions was nearby, and it looked pretty cool from the Yelp pictures I looked at, so we decided to check it out.

It was one of the coolest museums,  here are some photos from our experience.

Museum of illusions
Museum of Illusions
Museum of illusions
Playing poker with himself, his dream come true. He wins all the money no matter what.
Museum of illusions
Museum of illusions
Museum of illusions
museum of illusions

McSorley’s Old Ale House – 15 East 7th Street

mcsorley's old ale house

Established in 1854, McSorley’s is the oldest bar in the city. They serve two types of beer, light or dark, and you order them in pairs.

mcsorley's old ale house

There is sawdust on the floor, and the bar smells of barley and old wood. It’s my husband’s favorite place in the city (next to Peter Luger’s). This is a bar we will visit at each visit to New York. It’s one of those bucket list bars.

mcsorley's old ale house
mcsorley's old ale house

They do serve food here as well, but we just come here for the beer. I prefer the light whereas my husband loves the dark.

mcsorley's old ale house - eat and drink in NYC
mcsorley's old ale house
mcsorley's old ale house - eat and drink in NYC
McSorley's Old Ale House
McSorley's Old Ale House - eat and drink in NYC

Drunken Dumpling – 137 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003

drunken dumpling

All that laughing, walking, and drinking made us hungry again so we hit up the nearest dumpling joint, Drunken Dumpling.

We ordered Pork Dumplings, Shrimp Dumplings, and Pork Steam Buns.

Drunken Dumpling - eat and drink in NYC
From left to right, Pork dumplings, Pork Steam buns.

If you are going to come here, don’t wear anything nice, once you bite into the dumplings, the broth will go everywhere. Or maybe we are just rookies that don’t know how to eat dumplings properly.

Drunken Dumpling - eat and drink in NYC
Shrimp Dumplings
Drunken Dumpling - eat and drink in NYC

Everything was delicious and flavorful. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was how thick the dough was on the steam buns. The workers are the nicest people on the planet though.

Keen’s Steakhouse 72 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018

keen's steakhouse

Our anniversary dinner was at Keen’s Steakhouse. I had called and made reservations months in advance. This is probably a good idea if you want to come here. Keen’s is one of the most famous steakhouses in the city.

Keen's Steakhouse
The view of the dining room.
Keen's Steakhouse
Theodore Roosevelt’s cigar pipe! Isn’t that so cool?

Since this was our anniversary dinner, we splurged.

Keen's Steakhouse - eat and drink in NYC
We started with a nice bottle of Cabernet.
Keen's Steakhouse - eat and drink in NYC
Shishito Peppers for an appetizer.

Now, if you are a fan of lamb, get the Mutton Chop. It was the size of my head, but it is a Keen’s staple.

Keen's Steakhouse - eat and drink in NYC
Mutton Chop
Keen's Steakhouse - eat and drink in NYC
T-bone Steak

My husband does not prefer lamb, so he got the T-bone steak.

For side dishes, we got Mushrooms and Creamed Spinach, and it was all so good. We were so stuffed we did not have any room for dessert.

Keen's Steakhouse - eat and drink in NYC
Mushrooms and creamed spinach
Keen's steakhouse anniversary dinner - eat and drink in NYC

Cheers to 4 years of marriage without killing each other. Buahahahaha.

Overall, it was a wonderful anniversary dinner. I will say though, my husband and I agreed that the steak at Peter Luger’s is much better. I know there are New Yorkers that will only eat steak at Keens and others who are Peter Luger’s loyalists. Sorry Keens, but we are team Luger on the steaks.

Bathtub Gin – 132 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

NYC has a lot of speakeasy bars. The authentic ones usually have a secret door or conspicuous entrance that was used in the prohibition era. I love them. I am a sucker for speakeasies so anytime I am traveling I look for bars that have the speakeasy feel.

Bathtub Gin is a speak-easy style bar with a more club-like atmosphere. We went there after our dinner to get a nightcap. The line was out the door, and they only let in a few people at a time.

Here is the front door. You would never know that was the entrance just by walking past it.

Bathtub Gin front door

Why is it called Bathtub Gin? I think it may have to do with the giant copper bathtub in the middle of the bar. I’m not convinced though…..

Bathtub Gin

Anyway, we both had the Gincup cocktail which was delicious but took forever to get, and then we left. It was a Thursday night, and the place was packed.

Bathtub Gin

Also, it was pretty loud in there, not really what we had in mind for a quiet speakeasy to end the night. Still, it was a pretty cool bar if you are into the louder, clubbier bar scene. I think we are too old for that.

Big Gay Ice Cream – 61 Grove St, New York, NY 10014

Big Gay Ice Cream

Since we spent less time at the bar than we planned on, we decided to get some ice cream after. Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is a very popular ice cream parlor in the city.

Their staple? The Salty Pimp. AMAZING.

the salty pimp
Its vanilla soft-serve, dipped in chocolate and injected with dulce de leche and topped with salt. I wanted like two more. If I weren’t still full from dinner, I probably would have had more.

Day 2-

The Elk 128 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

In the morning, while my husband was at the gym working out, I took a hotel bike and biked to The Elk for a coffee.

Big Gay Ice Cream

The Elk is a charming and modern coffee shop, and the Matcha Latte sounded good to me, so I ordered that. It was delicious.

Big Gay Ice Cream - eat and drink in NYC

The Butcher’s Daughter – 581 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

The Butcher's Daughter

So, funny story about this place. I initially thought it was Russ’s Daughter’s cafe, but it turns out this was a vegetarian restaurant. I had told my husband to meet me here for brunch, and when I got here and looked at the menu, I realized it wasn’t what I thought.

The Butcher's Daughter

I ordered some avocado toast because it sounded pretty good. It wasn’t worth the money though. If you are vegetarian, you will probably love this place because they have a pretty good menu and the ambiance is nice, but we are not vegetarian, so after I ate my toast, we moved on. 

The Spotted Pig – 314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

The Spotted Pig

Since breakfast didn’t work out the way we had planned, we walked over to the Spotted Pig for lunch. It was almost 11 anyway, and that’s when they were opening, so it worked out perfectly.

We had heard of this restaurant from friends who lived in the city and also, they are known for one of the best burgers in NYC. We love burgers, so of course, we had to go try it out.

We ordered the burger (of course) and the deviled eggs.

The Spotted Pig - eat and drink in NYC
Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestring Fries
The Spotted Pig - eat and drink in NYC
The Spotted Pig - eat and drink in NYC
Deviled eggs- I am a sucker for these things.

SO, how was the burger? I would rate it a 7 out of 10; my husband gave it a 6. We are pretty harsh critics when it comes to food.

It was an excellent burger though. I would come here again for the burger, but then again, there are so many more burgers in the city to try!

Donut Plant –  220 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

Donut Plant
Donut plant, NYC

Alton Brown says he comes here every time he visits the city so you know that means they have some pretty good donuts. Boy, he right. I am not a big donut person, but let me tell you, these donuts are incredible.

Donut Plant
Donut Plant
I secretly wanted one of each. There was not any room in my stomach or my backpack, unfortunately.
Donut Plant
Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

I got the Peanut Butter Jelly Donut. Get it. It will change your life.

Donut Plant
And I don’t even like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…but this donut!!!

Times Square New York –

We decided we were going to take our old hotel bikes and bike to Times Square. What an adrenaline rush. I figured we would save time and money by not taking a Taxi. However, it wasn’t the safest thing to do. Biking through Times Square is pretty chaotic. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you love living on the edge.

Times Square, NYC
Times Square New York
Times Square, NYC
Times Square, NYC
My husband was excited to see the naked cowboy in person. He is Times Square-Famous.

Los Tacos No. 1 – Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Los tacos no.1 NYC
Taco stand in Chelsea Market

All that biking to and from Times Square made us hungry.  First, we hit up Los Tacos No.1 in Chelsea Market.

Los tacos no.1 NYC - eat and drink in NYC

Los Taco No. 1 is rated one of the best tacos in the city. We agreed. These were some of the best tacos we have ever had.

Los Tacos no. 1 NYC

This is a place we will be going back to next time we are in New York.

Xi’an Famous Foods – 81 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

Xi'an's Famous Foods

We weren’t even planning to go here, but since we had to be on a waiting list to get into Death and Co. Speakeasy we decided to walk around, and this was on the way.

I had bookmarked this place because they are famous for their cold-skin noodles, so we stopped in. There are lots of these around the city; this one happened to be very tiny. We managed to score some seats after a couple left. Otherwise, you are pretty much left to stand or go.

Xi'an Famous Foods
Spinach Dumplings (left) Cold Skin Noodles (right).

I love Asian food, so I thought these were good. I wish the place were a little more prominent though.

Death & Co. 433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

Death and Co. Bar, NYC
How cool is this front door?

So I am going to spend a little more time talking about this speakeasy because of the experience we had with it. First off, let me say, we wanted to come here the first time we came to NYC together, however by the time we got there the waiting list was 3 hours long, so we didn’t get to go.

This time, we were smart and came pretty early in the evening. We were still the 15th in line, but that equated to about an hour and a half wait which isn’t bad considering it was a Friday night.

They do take reservations so if you want to come here; I recommend you call in advance and book a table. I didn’t know this. Otherwise, I would have done that.

A couple of things to mention if you are going to go here, or any nice bar in NYC, expect to be dropping at least $20 per drink. Also, make sure you turn off your flash if you are going to take pictures. I did ask if I could take pictures inside and they said it’s fine as long as the flash is off.

We ended up sitting at the bar, so we got to see all the action. Let me say, the men behind the bar aren’t just bartenders, they are masters of the art. All the cocktails are crafted so exquisitely. They have a whole menu of cocktails categorized by spirits, or they can make you something based on what your preferred spirit is.

Death and Co. Bar, NYC

We ended up having three drinks each here. The first round was Deemeter and Calamati Jane. After that, I didn’t even get a chance to write the name down. They are pretty quick at taking back the menus. They defiantly run a tight ship over there.

Death & co. Bar, NYC
Deemeter & Calamati Jane
Death & Co. bar

We were sitting next to a couple who were getting pretty drunk, and the girl sitting next to my husband kept backing into him because she was seated facing sideways instead of the bar. He was getting so irritated about it, he mentioned it to me.

Now mind you, it was pretty loud in the bar. People were talking, and there was music on so he didn’t scream it to me.

Anyway, within a few minutes, one of the bartenders asked them to sit correctly at the bar or leave. Whoa. Talk about being observant of body language.

These guys are on a whole different level, you can tell. I’ve never been to a bar with such a class and emphasis on client experience. Next year, I will be making a reservation, and we will be coming back here on a regular.

John’s of Bleeker Street – 278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

Let me preface by saying, if you go to NYC and you don’t have any pizza, what is wrong with you? Are you even human?

John's of Bleecker street pizza
John’s of Bleecker Street

Ok, there are many John’s pizzas in the city, but apparently, everyone says this one is the best one. Why? I have no clue; we didn’t try every John’s Pizza parlor to be able to judge that so we listen to the masses. We ended off the night off right with a slice (ok, my husband had two) of good ole’ New York-style pizza. Greasy, cheesy, salty goodness. It doesn’t get any more New York than this.

John's of Bleeker Street
John's of Bleeker Street - eat and drink in NYC
John's of Bleeker Street - eat and drink in NYC
John's of Bleeker Street - eat and drink in NYC

Day 3-

Russ & Daughters – 179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

As the saying goes, save the best for last!

Russ and Daughters, NYC

Russ and Daughter’s is one of those places that we make sure to visit every time we are in the city. The bagel and lox sandwiches there are out of this world.

Russ and daughters, NYC
The line is always out the door, so try to get here as soon as possible.
Russ and daughters, NYC - eat and drink in NYC
If you love smoked Salmon just as much as I do, this will be heaven for you.
Russ and Daughter's NYC - eat and drink in NYC
The selection of cream cheese options is insane. I could not make up my mind. Scallion is the most popular though.
Russ & Daughters
Making my sandwich, as I’m watching in anticipation.
Russ & Daughters - eat and drink in NYC
Hurry up please, I’m hungry!
Russ & Daughters - eat and drink in NYC
Scottish Salmon, everything bagel, scallion cream cheese, tomato, and capers.
Russ & Daughters  - eat and drink in NYC

Shake Shack -691 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036

Shake Shack, NYC

This was also one of those unplanned trips. My husband was watching the Michigan football game at a local sports bar, and I was so tired from my morning cycle ride at the Peloton studio, so I decided to head back to the hotel for a mid-day nap.

As I was walking back to the hotel, I passed this Shake Shack and realized I was hungry. Also, I heard that this is like the In-and-Out of NYC.

The burger was amazing. I love smash burgers in general, and this one hit the spot. I think it tastes better than the $26 burger we had at the Spotted Pig.

Shake Shack
If I weren’t so nice I probably would have eaten my husband’s burger; he would have never known!
Shake Shack, NYC
That crusty cheese smashed right into the beef….yum!!!
Shake Shack

Eataly – 200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

Eataly, nyc
Eataly, Flat Iron
Eataly, NYC

The rest of that day we spent eating our way through Eataly. Eataly is a giant Italian Market with all things Italian.

Eataly, front entrance

They have all the Italian desserts you can imagine…

Italian desserts at eataly
Italian desserts at eataly
Italian desserts at eataly
Italian desserts at eataly
eataly dessert
Of course, I had to get one that was filled with a hazelnut spread. Isn’t this so pretty?
Wine Cellar
Eataly seafood
Fish, anyone?
Eataly produce
past at Eataly
Pasta heaven.
Eataly produce
Mushrooms at Eataly
Eatlay, meat and cheese
Meat and cheese shop.
Cheese, cheese, and more cheese.
Can you guess how much one of these wheels of cheese costs? Oh, just 2-3K. No big deal.


A pretty wall with flower pots.
I never even knew so much olive oil existed!!
Eatly, NYC
While we were waiting to snag a seat at the pasta bar, we snacked on this Charcuterie Board at a food stand.
Then, we had the best Gnocchi of our lives at Manzo.

The ultimate goal was to get seats at the pasta bar. They make the pasta fresh, right in front of you.


It took a while, but my husband got us seats.

Look at him, making magic.
Making fresh spinach ricotta ravioli.
First, we got the Mafaldine which was terrific.
Eataly - eat and drink in NYC
Egg, Guanciale, Sini Fulvi Pecorino Romano DOP, Black Pepper.

Then, this…

Eataly - eat and drink in NYC
Alciati Agnolotti Del Plin
Eataly - eat and drink in NYC
Pasta stuffed with veal, pork, and greens. This was heavenly as well.
Eataly - eat and drink in NYC
Of course, we had to try the spinach ravioli!
Eataly - eat and drink in NYC
Don’t forget about the Vino!!!

Everything we ate at the pasta bar was beyond amazing. This is probably the best meal we had the entire trip. We are not even big Italian food lovers, but the food was incredible. So fresh and flavorful, just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

eat and drink in NYC
This is our “we just ate our weight in pasta” face. So worth it.

Even though we ate so much food, we had to make room for Gelato!

Gelato, Eataly - eat and drink in NYC
Pistachio and Tiramisu on the left, cherry and pistachio on the right.
Gelato, Eataly - eat and drink in NYC

Now that is a way to end an NYC trip!!! We had so much fun eating our way through the city. I hope you enjoyed this Travel Food Guide and can visit some of these amazing places on your next visit to the city.

So, what did we do after eating ALL that food for three days? Well, if you are curious, my husband and I decided to do a one-week fast based on a bet we made. If you want to read about it, click on this link, “How I did a One Week Fast and Survived”

Happy Travels!!

Keto Recipes to try:

  1. The Best Keto Ice Cream Recipes
  2. Keto Smoked Deviled Eggs

2 thoughts on “Best Places to Eat and Drink in NYC”

  1. Wow what a list! My mouse is worn out for all the scrolling and amazing places to attend. I’ve pinned this and will check out some of these spots for my next trip to NYC.

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