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New York food guide: The best restaurants in New York

Discover the best restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner in New York

Cruises to New York

Posted on

20 Aug 2021

New York, the city so good they named it twice. With so many iconic sights to see, you’re certain to work up an appetite while exploring this incredible destination. Stop off at one of these breakfast, lunch or dinner spots as you explore:

Breakfast in New York

  • Golden Diner
  • Jack’s Wife Freda
  • Russ & Daughters
Golden Diner, New York

Golden Diner

123 Madison St., New York, NY 10002

Located under the Manhattan Bridge, Golden Diner offers a laidback take on comfort food. Almost everything on the menu has Korean, Japanese, Thair or Chinese influences and is created using the finest local fares.

Breakfast starts at 10 am every day although the restaurant is closed on Mondays. We highly recommend trying the honey butter pancakes served with honey maple butter, the breakfast burrito with soft scrambled eggs, American cheese, refried beans, crispy potatoes and pico de gallo or the Monte Cristo French toast with swiss and parmesan mornay, Broadbent ham and lemony green salad.

Jack’s Wife Freda, New York

Jack’s Wife Freda

Multiple venues

Jack’s Wife Freda is most certainly a great brunch constitution in NYC,” Bejal from BE-LAVIE told us. “With its three locations, you’ll be spoilt for choice at this bistro with dishes having a South African and Israeli influence. It’s a quirky place and you’ll recognise it by its pretty striped awning and friendly and inviting entrance. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed with super hip and cool vibes in keeping with their locations of West Village, Soho and Chelsea.

“My recommendations would be to try the green shakshuka with challah toast, the poached eggs with halloumi and sourdough. Or, for a light option, the rosewater waffles topped with Lebanese yoghurt, mixed berries and syrup. They make a great cappuccino too.” Find Bejal’s other brunch spot suggestions here.

Russ & Daughters, New York

Russ & Daughters

Multiple venues

A breakfast hotspot since 1914, Russ & Daughters is a New York institution. The original landmark shop on East Houston Street has been in the same spot for over 100 years, making Russ & Daughters a New York culinary and cultural icon.

It’s the place to go if you love to share food. The platters are super popular and you’ll see plenty of New York City classics like bagels, salmon and cream cheese. If that’s not your thing, why not try the pickled herring fillet with cream sauce and pickled onions or the wasabi infused flying fish roe?

Lunch in New York

  • Katz’s Delicatessen
  • Olmsted
  • Via Carota
Katz’s Delicatessen, New York

Katz’s Delicatessen

205 E Houston St., New York, NY 10002

“I’ve been fortunate to visit New York many times with different friends ‘n’ family and on every occasion, I make sure we dine out at Katz’s Delicatessen,” Steve from Biggsy Travels told us. “An institution which resides down on Lower East Side in East Houston Street. Ok - it’s now part of the tourist trail but with very good reason.

“Reportedly NYC’s oldest deli it became more well-known after the 1989 movie When Harry Met Sally and THAT scene. The decor looks pretty much untouched and you can still sit at THAT table too, conveniently signposted with a hanging sign above it.

“I always choose the pastrami on rye with mustard option. I’m sure they do other foods but that’s the ‘go to,’ topped off with an optional pickle if you fancy it. I’ve chosen both to go up to the self-serve counter as well as sit down for table service but simply the former feels more authentic. You then simply grab a self-serve table once you’ve got your food.

“The big decision is deciding whether to go halves with someone or have a whole sandwich to yourself, although the latter may leave you in a food coma! On one occasion my lunchtime whole sandwich was the last thing I ate for the rest of the day.

“The whole process is wonderfully unique. From entering the building where you get given a ticket (do NOT lose it!), to grabbing a few tit-bits of pastrami that the cutter puts on a plate at the counter while he’s preparing your sandwich.”

Olmsted, New York

Olmsted

659 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238

In the heart of Prospect Heights lies Olmsted, a neighbourhood restaurant with a seasonal, ingredient-driven menu at its core. Chef Greg Baxtrom understands vegetables but his skills are diverse. Time Out says, “Olmsted’s partiality for hyper-fresh produce isn’t exactly a distinctive quality but its dedication to freshness sets it apart.”

The restaurant has its very own mini-farm which provides the kitchen with herbs. Lunchtime dishes include spelt bread with truffle honey butter, fresh warm ricotta and garden chive oil as well as heirloom tomato schnitzel with pistachio pesto, piperade and olive oil jam.

Via Carota, New York

Via Carota

51 Grove St., New York, NY 10014

Via Carota, a cosy Italian restaurant with simple yet remarkable food. You can spend the day here as an all-day hangout (watching the people of West Village going about their day) but lunch is where things really get interesting.

Start off with Via Carota’s famous antipasti and move on to the wild boar ragu for a truly authentic experience. The restaurant offers very limited reservations but if you can’t book a table, you have the option to wait and watch while one becomes available.

Dinner in New York

  • Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
  • Los Tacos No.1
  • Lucali
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, New York

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

89 E 42nd St., New York, NY 10017

Possibly New York’s most unique restaurant, Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant is an unmissable landmark. Located in Grand Central Station, the intricate tiled arch ceiling was done by Rafael Guastavino, who is also known for his work on Ellis Island.

The restaurant’s menu is filled with the freshest seafood from a local market. On it, you’ll find 20 varieties of oysters, soft-shell crabs, shad roe, bay scallops and abalone, all of which can be paired with properly geared to white wines.

Los Tacos No.1, New York

Los Tacos No.1

Multiple venues

Ok, we understand that eating on the go is not ideal for everyone but as soon as you bite into a taco from Los Tacos No.1 you won’t care. Located in the always-bustling food-centric Chelsea Market, Los Tacos No.1 offers a simple but impactful Mexican menu.

Created after three close friends from Tijuana, Mexico and Brawley, California, decided to bring authentic Mexican cuisine to New York, the authentic taste comes from family recipes and fresh, simple, tasteful ingredients.

Lucali, New York

Lucali

575 Henry St., Brooklyn, NY 11231

If you read our guide to the best pizza in New York, then you’ll know Lucali is a favourite of ours. All the pies here are made from scratch, think thin, crispy crust with a simple sweet homemade tomato base, mozzarella and basil.

Dining here takes patience - every afternoon a line forms outside. The website explains it best, “Show up before 5. Put your name on the list. Go have a drink. We’ll call you when your table is ready.”

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