1 – PIZZA –
NYC is home to some of the best pizza in the country. Period.
Motorino Pizza – this East Village joint serves up some really great artisanal, Neapolitan-style pizzas with the perfect amount of char.
Roberta’s Pizza – this super popular (and dare I say hipster) pizzeria does some serious wood-fired pizzas within a really cool atmosphere
Lucali – it sure isn’t cheap ($24 for a pie), but this thin-crust pizza Brooklyn pizzeria has a huge following.
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza – with a few locations throughout the city, this is a great place to grab a hearty slice of their artichoke pizza.
Co. – owned by bread and pizza guru Jim Lahey, Co serves up his pizza at communal tables in the heart of Chelsea.
John’s Pizza -the iconic Bleeker Street pizza joint that’s famous for their signature brick-oven pies.
2 – BAGELS –
Russ & Daughters – the bagels are actually just okay, but you are here for their lox sandwiches (with scallion cream cheese).
Absolute Bagels and Murray’s Bagels are both great choices for iconic NYC bagels. The crust is firm and crunchy, and the interior is dense and chewy.
3 – BURGERS / SANDWICHES –
Minetta Tavern – you’re here for the Black Label Burger. Yes, it’s almost $30. Yes, it’s worth it.
The Spotted Pig – Chef April Bloomfield’s crazy popular gastropub has an all-star menu, and her burger doesn’t disappoint.
Umami Burger – the first NYC outpost of the popular California chain, Umami Burger serves up my favorite mid-priced burger in the city. Go for the Truffle Burger.
Burger Joint – two locations and a cult-like following. These classic no-frills burgers will definitely hit the spot.
Bareburger – you feeling a bit adventurous? Wanna try an organic elk, bison, or even ostrich burger? This is your place.
Numpang – these sandwiches will change your life. I’m serious. The mini-baguette is perfect, and the pickled carrots, fresh cucumber, and spicy mayo make for perfect toppings for whatever sandwich you choose.
Taim – home to the best falafel in NYC, Taim has an incredible falafel sandwich. It’s my buddy Tyler’s favorite sandwich in the city.
Katz – an iconic NYC establishment that is popular with tourists and locals alike, Katz Deli serves up monstrous pastrami sandwiches.
Momofuku Ssam Bar – a different type of sandwich, Momofuku Ssam Bar has the most amazing Steamed Pork Buns I’ve ever tasted.
4 – RAMEN –
Ivan Ramen – you wouldn’t think a Jew from Long Island would end up becoming one of the world’s leading experts on ramen.
Ippudo Ramen – a more classic, traditional approach to ramen, Ippudo serves up perfect bowls of the stuff every time.
Chuko Ramen – two of Morimoto’s chefs branched off to create this Brookln ramen spot. And it’s good.
Yuji Ramen – another Brooklyn ramen spot, Yuji Ramen has this phenomenal bacon and egg ramen.
Momofuku Noodle Bar – although not my favorite bowl of ramen in the city, it’s still a great option if you are in the East Village.
Bassanova Ramen – in a little basement space in Chinatown, Bassanova Ramen has an inventive Green Curry Ramen that is quite tasty.
5 – TACOS –
Brooklyn Taco – located inside the Essex Street Market, these guys have a great Chipotle Chicken Taco.
Salvation Taco – although a bit on the pricey side, April Bloomfield’s Midtown taco restaurant (especially the lamb on mini naan “tortillas”) totally hit the spot.
Mission Cantina – Danny Bowien’s lower east side restaurant serves up a great selection of tacos, burritos, and more.
Otto’s Tacos – the East Village taqueria serves up some delicious mini tacos. The corn tortillas are made right in front of you are are quite plump.
Dos Toros – this taqueria has a few locations throughout the city. I’m a fan of their carne asada tacos. They melt a slice of cheese into the tortilla.
Calexico Cart – this place started as a cart and grew into a permanent restaurant location in the lower east side.
Taquitoria – three guys that worked at Iron Chef Marc Forgione’s restaurant branched off to create this lower east side gem. It’s the ultimate comfort food, especially after a few drinks.
Sueños – if you happen upon this Chelsea restaurant, you need to get their appetizer Shredded Mini Tacos. They are awesome.