5 Places to Eat in New York City

I have a love-hate relationship with New York City: the overwhelming energy of the concrete jungle both terrifies and excites me. But one thing I know for sure, when it comes to food, I could eat my way through Manhattan and forever be content.

When it comes to restaurant options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are way too many good places to choose from. Here are five of my favorite places for delicious meals—including casual fast-food, one with a stunning view, and dress-to-impress options.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack is the East Coast’s rival to the West Coast’s In-N-Out burger, —and this gourmet burger joint should not be missed. There are numerous locations to choose from and most of them can get busy, especially in Madison Square Park (featured in the movie Something Borrowed), so be prepared to be patient. Regardless of which location you visit, make sure you get a burger, fry, and shake combo.

Lil’ Frankies

If there is a must-go-to place whenever I’m in the city, it’s Lil’ Frankies Italian restaurant in the East Village. Located on 1st and First (Seinfeld lovers may remember this), it’s a cash-only, casual authentic Italian joint with a phenomenal menu. My favorites are the burrata cheese, which is a special and not always available, mozzarella di bufala, whole fire-roasted eggplant, pizza prosciutto di parma, and for dessert, the nutella focaccino

Liberty House Restaurant

For the best views of the city and farm-to-table dining, make dinner reservations at Liberty House Restaurant located across the Hudson in Jersey City. The best time to make a reservation is an hour before sunset so you can enjoy the amazing views while the sun works its magic on the cityscape. If the weather is nice, sit outdoors and enjoy a bonfire while admiring the scenery. If you happen to tour Ground Zero memorial—which can leave you emotionally exhausted—this is a great place to eat at later that day, as it will only further enhance your appreciation for this majestic city.

If you are looking for mouthwatering meals and dress-to-impress options for a date, girls’ night, or business dinner, here are two of my favorite places that offer a wide array of options for meat eaters and vegetarians:

Buddakan

The ambiance of Buddakan is simply stunning and the food and wine menu can please even the most sophisticated pallets. Dishes are prepared beautifully, the sushi and fish seem to melt in your mouth, and desserts are heavenly. Reservations are recommended.

Beauty and Essex

As you look for the Beauty and Essex restaurant, keep your eyes peeled for a swanky pawn shop that acts as a speak-easy-type entrance. And then you’ll be greeted with a cool vibe worthy of a feature on Sex and the City: champagne is served in the women’s restroom. This is the kind of place where you’ll want to try everything on the menu and I can assure you, everything is delicious! Whatever you do, be sure to order the grilled cheese, smoked bacon & tomato soup dumplings, and for dessert, “Les, NYC” doughnuts. Reservations are recommended.

Wishing you peace, love, adventure, and a fully belly,

Jen