November 30, 2019

Emma's Favorite NYC Restaurants

Like I said in my round-up of favorite New York spots, I needed separate posts just to list all the food places I loved. I've decided to split it into restaurants where I would (usually) get full meals and then bakeries and coffee shops. And I'm doing a section for desserts at the end of this post because, while I've talked about my favorite pie shops before (and they're going in the bakery post, too) three places aren't what I'd call bakeries and two of them are distinctly sweets only. ANYWAYS. Here's a rundown of some of my favorite New York and Brooklyn restaurants.

Dinner (or Lunch)

1. Petit Poulet (Herald Square/NoMad)
2. Le Grainne Cafe (Chelsea)
This pick and the last one I listed are French restaurants with yummy food. I had coq au vin at Petit Poulet, and chicken risotto at Le Grainne Cafe.

3. S'Mac (East Village)
Customizable macaroni and cheese? Yes, please.

4. Hill Country Chicken (Flatiron)
Some of the best fried chicken north of the Mason-Dixon line.

5. Empanada Mama (Hell's Kitchen, Lower East Side)
I can't rave about these empanadas enough, and the plantain chips and guacamole are AMAZING too. (My favorite empanada is the shredded chicken [in a wheat flour pastry].)

6. River Deli (Brooklyn Heights)
**They are a cash-only place, fyi.**
This is a little neighborhood Italian restaurant that I went to a few times. It's best in the spring/summer because the lighting is a bit dim in the winter, so it can be hard to see your dinner and companions.

7. Bareburger (Theater District; Columbus Circle; Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; and more)
My go-to burger place, especially when I was getting dinner before going to a show. The Columbus Circle location is also where I discovered my favorite rosé cider.

8. Mile End Deli (downtown Brooklyn)
A little taste of Montréal in Brooklyn. It's got a lot of classic Jewish food, plus some of the best poutine I've had outside Québec.

9. Watty & Meg (Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)
Another neighborhood place that puts a lot of emphasis on farm-to-table and seasonal ingredients. They're a teeny bit sophisticated and eclectic, and I loved it.

10. The Bao (East Village)
So I never got an answer from anyone about where I should get my Chinese takeout while in New York, but a friend and I went to this spot this fall, and I really enjoyed it. They have great soup dumplings, and I liked the braised pork belly too. It's a super popular place though, so be prepared to wait and don't bring large bags with you if you can help it.


1. Maman (NoMad, SoHo, Tribeca, Greenpoint)
I'll talk more about Maman in my other restaurant post, but I loved getting brunch here. The waffles they did for most of my time in NY were to die for.

2. Friend of a Farmer (Gramercy Park)
I so wanted to try dinner here sometime, but brunch was all we ever did - because it was that good. I had every kind of pancakes possible. It's my mom's favorite spot too.

3. Bubby's (Tribeca, Highline)
A super popular place on weekends, but their pancakes, too, are to die for. I went on a weekday, which meant we had no wait whatsoever. Definitely something to consider. Plus - they have pie. ;)

4. Buttermilk Channel (Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn)
Quite a hike from Manhattan and most of Brooklyn, and it often has a long wait. But the food is super yummy (and it's located not too far from IKEA so if you're heading out that way to get some major home shopping done...).

5. Sarabeth's (Central Park South, Tribeca, UWS, UES, Park Avenue South)
Another popular brunch spot. But their muffins are amazing, and their omelettes are nothing to sneeze at either.


1. Spot Dessert Bar (East Village, plus a few other locations)
If you're a dessert fiend, surely you've heard of Spot. They do funky treats, and one of my best NY friends and I went there soooo many times. My recommendations: the Harvest, the matcha lava cake, and the golden toast. They also have seasonal offerings, and I loved a coconut monkey bread and a pumpkin cake last fall (and a pear cake this fall).

2. The Chocolate Room (Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)
You walk in and are immediately enthralled by the scent of chocolate. You can order things to-go, but there's also seating in the back where you can spend some time indulging in chocolate and beverages (including tea, coffee, and alcohol).

3. AYZA Wine & Chocolate Bar (NoMad/K-Town)
They have dinner offerings, too, since they're part of a hotel, but their big selling point are their alcoholic beverages and their spread of chocolate desserts. You can even get Jacques Torres truffles.

4. Kaylee's Creamery (NoMad/Flatiron)
It's a cute little ice cream parlor not too far from Madison Square Park. They do traditional flavors with twists, some more unique offerings, and seasonal flavors.

Have you been to any of these places? Or have you added them to your list now? I'm also all ears for recommendations that y'all have. :)

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