Good Food: Where I like to eat (and drink) in Manhattan

I have posted here and there about some of my favorite restaurants in NYC but never done a full dining guide, per se.

This also is not a dining guide – too overwhelming. Plus I’m a somewhat picky eater and not what anyone would call a food expert. It is decidedly not a trendy list–look elsewhere for that.

But I do have my favorites so here are some of them.

Best square pie

GG’s in the East Village. I just love this little spot. From its delicious pizza to its charming pressed tin ceiling to the always-fun playlists, GG’s is a go-to. And the cocktail list is terrific.


Best fried chicken

Root & Bone, it’s yours. I have never been disappointed. Plus the service is so thoughtful.

Best quick breakfast in Midtown Manhattan

Little Collins or Ground Central. I wish Little Collins were a bit more spacious, and I wish Ground Central were quieter, but both are gems in an area dominated by chains.

Best indulgent breakfast in Midtown Manhattan

Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien.

Favorite Upper East Side indulgence

A filled-to-order doughnut at Orwasher’s.  They also have an Upper West Side location.

Where to go if you want to pretend you’re dining in Rome

Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel is the ticket. I loved it even before my trip to Italy, but now I get it. Danny Meyer‘s menu is authentic and the food, fantastic. Reservations suggested. Drinks at the adjacent Rose Bar are also recommended.

Best spot for a Manhattan

Bowery Hotel – obviously. It’s especially good during cold weather months – so cozy.

Best Grand Central Station treat

This is tough. Between Shake Shack and Magnolia Bakery on the lower level and Murray’s in the Market, there are solid options for indulging. But I have to go with a cupcake or banana pudding (or both!) from Magnolia. Shake Shack’s line is invariably long. It moves, but it’s long.

Best places to regroup near the Union Square Holiday Market

I have long loved City Bakery for the obvious – pastries! – but they also have a hot food set-up in the back of the shop. Delicious choices. Regional chain Hale & Hearty is another go-to. I love soup.

Best places to eat in Times Square if you absolutely can’t avoid going there.

I like Blue Fin for expense account lunches and Trattoria Trecolori (for decidedly Italian-American food) if I’m paying. 🤓

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Simple dish, wonderfully executed. #chickenparm #italian

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Best spot to eat queso 

I have had better margaritas and better tacos elsewhere, but the best queso I have had in NYC is from Javelina. Try the Mag Mud or the Bob Armstrong or get a sampler.



Best sandwiches in Midtown

Antico Noè is so, so good. Someday I’ll try the salads. Maybe.

Cozy spot for day drinking with a side of food

The Breslin. This spot in the Ace Hotel has atmosphere galore.


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