New Yorkers are spoilt for choice when it comes to food. From roadside hotdogs to fresh oysters, and Japanese to Mongolian, New Yorkers can go on a gastronomic tour of the world without ever leaving the comforts of their home city. Having lived in the Big Apple for a while, I’ve developed my own list of favorite restaurants. However, it’s impossible to rank the establishments, as my choice depends on my mood and my budget at the time. Therefore, in no particular order, my top ten favorite New York restaurants are:
John’s Pizza | 260 W 44th Street
When I’m in the mood for pizza, there’s no place I’d rather go than John’s. Located in a deconsecrated church, the large, round building with its stained glass windows make dining there a pleasure. My favorite is their delightfully crispy Bruschetta pizza topped with tomatoes and mushrooms, truly gourmet pizza at its best.
Penang | 41 Elizabeth Street
When I’m feeling homesick, I make a beeline for Penang in Chinatown. An authentic Malaysian restaurant, they serve up the best laksa and rojak in the city. The light and crispy roti canai here is even better than any I’ve had at home!
Jules | 65 St Marks Place
Jules is the perfect place for that New York institution, the relaxed Sunday brunch. Make sure you get there early because their live jazz band is a great crowd-drawer.
Gray’s Papaya | 2090 Broadway
It was a long trek for me to my favorite hot dog stand, but it was absolutely worth it. The set meal includes two hotdogs and a papaya juice. Bliss!
Max Brenner | 841 Broadway
When I’m in need of a chocolate fix, the only place to go is Max Brenner. Conveniently located in Union Square, the chocolate here is truly food for the soul. When I need a pick-me-up, their hot chocolate in a hug mug is indispensable.
Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine | 212 E 34th Street
My Turkish friends brought me here once and I’ve been hooked ever since. If I’m in the mood for an authentic kebab, this is the first place I think of.
Son Cubano | 405 W 14th Street
I come here for the unbeatable Cuban cuisine and the driving beat of the live band’s Latin music. It’s a perfect place for good food and some hot salsa dancing.
Oh! Taisho | 5 St Marks Place
The cramped conditions means you’re sitting elbow to elbow with the people at your table and back to back with the people at the next, but the food here compensates for all discomforts. Located in the NYU hangout area of St Marks Place, the yakitori here is cheap and good.
Oyster Bar | Grand Central Station
Given its large size, the Oyster Bar isn’t the best place for a romantic dinner, but you can get the best selection of fresh oysters in town here.
Sushi Samba | 245 Park Avenue
For creative, Cuban-Japanese fusion food, this is the only place to go. The food may be a bit pricey, but it’s oh-so worth it.