There's plenty of great food in NYC, here's a list of places that we frequent often:
- Han Dynasty With outlets on 85th and Broadway on the Upper West Side as well as East 12th and 3rd Ave in the East Village you've got two locations to enjoy Dry Pepper Chicken, Dry Fry Pork, and string beans with minced pork. Han is mainly spicy food but has some menu items for wimps as well, and everything is family style so sharing is encouraged! Han also has a rotating selection of craft beer on tap.
- Xi'an Famous Foods A delicious hand-pulled noodle shop with locations scattered throughout the city, Xi'an is a great spot for a quick meal. The cumin lamb is often touted as their best dish, but I'd recommend getting the smaller lamb burger if you want to try it so you can enjoy the much more pure flavor of the N8 hot oil seared noodles. I frequent the one on 102nd and Broadway which tends to be less crowded than their downtown offerings.
- Lucky Pickle Dumpling Co Fast food ordered at a screen to the left, the dumplings at Lucky Pickle Dumpling Co are still reasonable but they're still tweaking the menu. The pickle ice cream gets surprisingly high marks.
- Golden Unicorn As a classic "opulent Chinese" dim sum place, Golden Unicorn offers excellent Dim Sum in Chinatown.
- Nom Wah One of the oldest dim sum places in NYC, Nom Wah eschews the classic dim sum motif for an old-school diner feel but the food seems more authentic than others.
- Jing Fong Reasonable dim sum at UWS pricing, but Jing Fong is close if you're local.
- Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Just off the C stop at 50th and 8th Kung Fu is another excellent example of Shanghai-style soup dumplings but paired with tasty ramen. Try the cold sesame ramen and the shredded beef.
- The Bao On St. Mark's between 2nd and 3rd in the East Village The Bao is one of the best soup dumpling joints in town. The Sauteed Black Beans with Pork and Chives is an excellent complement. The pork and chives are also great, and they've got other tasty menu items.
- Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Also a great soup dumpling place, it does ramen well, too! Just off the C stop at 50th and 8th Kung Fu is another excellent example of Shanghai-style soup dumplings but paired with tasty ramen. Try the cold sesame ramen and the shredded beef.
- Jin Located on Amsterdam and 82nd, Jin has a great Tonkotsu (rich bone broth) but the Shio is also a lighter alternative.
- Orwashers A bread bakery with a rich set of options, Orwashers' sourdough is a favorite and the bagels are delicious. Located on the UWS on Amsterdam and 81st or on the UES on 78th between first and second.
- Bagel Talk On Amsterdam between 77th and 78th, Bagel Talk provides fresh bagels for much of the city. Don't ask for them toasted, they're still warm!
- Salumeria Rosi Right off the 72nd St subway at 73rd and Amsterdam Rosi is a small restaurant specializing in small dishes. Get the meat platter which has a rotating selection of cold cuts including at least on example of their best - prosciutto that doesn't need to be chewed but simply melts against the roof of your mouth.
- Hank's Juicy Beef On Chambers Street near Church and Broadway, Hank's offers a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich. Thinly shaved beef soaked in sauce with pickled veggies. The menu is short, but long on flavor!
- Shake Shack Born in Madison Square Park but expanding globally, Shake Shack serves up great "greaseball burgers." While that may not be the most flattering description, they really are a delicious mix of crisped ground beef, gooey cheese, and toppings (the SmokeStack is particularly delicious with chopped cherry peppers!) alongside freshly made shakes with a weekly rotation of special flavors.
- Gray's Papaya An upgraded "dirty water dog" at the intersection of 72nd and Amsterdam, the Gray's incarnation of the salty meat stick on a bun is seared to provide a unique crispness.
- Maison Pickle A spinoff from Jacob's Pickles, Maison specializes in French Dip sandwiches and is located on Broadway between 83rd and 84th.
- Dive Bar Dive Bar 96 offers a gigantic Muffaletta Pretzeletta (order the half unless you've got friends!) which is a layer of olive giardiniera, several nice Italian meats, topped with provolone cheese on a pretzel bun and served hot and melty.
- Caldonia A great whiskey bar on the UWS, Caldonia not only has an impressive array of whiskies from around the world but also a mean chicken sandwich.
- Beer Culture The Gebhards outpost on 72nd between Broadway and West End Avenue has reasonable bar bites (including brats) but a large selection of beers on tap and a very helpful staff.
- Maison Pickle Maison makes an appearance here as a great cocktail bar specializing in absinthe and uses only small batch booze. The bartenders are also great at going off-menu for bespoke drinks to suit your personal tastes. It is located on Broadway between 83rd and 84th.
- The Polynesian A tiki bar shamefully located on 42nd street, the Polynesian does offer an excellent tiki experience in NYC.
- Aviary Aviary offers a high end cocktail experience near Columbus Circle at the South West corner of Central Park.
- Sarabeth's If you want a decent American brunch experience, try Sarabeth's. The potato waffles are excellent (think potato pancakes, in waffle form) and the lemon ricotta pancakes are also great (honorable mention for Sarafina's which has slightly better lemon ricotta pancakes). Come early, there will be a long line at 10am.
NYC may not be first on the list for BBQ, but that doesn't mean we're completely devoid of tasty slow-cooked dead animals.
- Mighty Quinn's BBQ With many locations around town Mighty Quinn's offers consistently good BBQ (I prefer the burnt ends and pulled pork), large chicken sandwiches, and sides.
- Jacob's Pickles Not really BBQ but great southern fare, Jacob's offers great fried chicken and excellent sides along with a wide selection of American craft brews and a Manhattan that has incredible bourbon-soaked cherries. They also now have an outlet in Brooklyn near the Brooklyn bridge.
I'm not a big sweets fan, but we do have some options.
- Amorino A gelato place on Amsterdam and 80th, Amorino includes macaroons as toppings as well as coffee and affogato.