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Chocolate & Zucchini



Union Square Cafe
If you want a really delicious splurge, Union Square Cafe is absolutely wonderful. (Amanda)

One of the best restaurant meals I have ever eaten. Craft has a sister restaurant (Craftbar) and a sandwich shop ('wichcraft), and all of those restaurants are in close proximity to Union Square. (Samantha)
Someone said Witchcraft, which is the lunch place next door, but also check out Craft. (Kate)

(Jacob Harris)

Fleur de Sel
Price fixe lunch at Fleur de Sel, near the Flatiron building. (kates)

Per Se
Long-shot: If you can manage to swing reservations at Per-Se, I hear it is amazing. (Kate)

Always a great favorite (also difficult for reservations, but I think more manageable). (Kate)
Go to Babbo and get a tasting menu meal. Either the variety or the all pasta one. The best value is to get it with the accompanying wine! This is not a cheap experience but the euro will take you farther. (Kiki)
Babbo is a must!!!! (Jenni)
Babbo -- if you can get a reservation -- although I like to sit at the wine bar which is first come first served (nice to do early on a Sunday). (Abby)

Wylie Dufrene's restaurants have all been good (most of them are located on Clinton Street, WD50 is at 50 Clinton) but this one really stands out. (Kate)
Inventive, whimsical, surprising...always a favorite. (Andi)

Spice Market
In the meat packing district. It is the last restaurant by Jean-George where he takes his try at Asian Street Food. If you love the delicious junk food sold on the street of Mumbai, Bangok, Kuala Lumpur or never got a chance to try it... Jean-George takes it to the next level using the finest ingredients making a few substitutions here and there (duck instead of pork for instance where its richness is more appropriate). It is delicious and really not expensive. The ambiance is eclectic but more like a seedy bar in Honk-Kong in the 60s... really cool. You should make a reservation as soon as possible as it is hard to get one despite the fact that they serve really late and that they have a lot of tables... (kaira)

Aquavit is also really worth trying. Not the best restaurant in NY (for me the title goes to Le Bernardin), but really innovative food. Each time I have been there I would see the description of the dishes and think, there is no way this ingredient goes with that one, or who uses that ingredient in such a dish, and each time the combination is superb... The food is delicious and really original. The service though is not at the level of the food and I think that's what keeps it from being a four star one. But if you like innovative cuisine it is definitely worth it. I have never gone there for lunch but believe they have very good deals at lunch. (kaira)

Le Bernardin
Even if Le Bernardin is a French restaurant it is superb and well worth going. So far this is the best restaurant I have been too in a tie with l'Auberge de L'ill in Alsace. Given the euro/dollar exchange rate, if you want to splurge this is the place, and if Maxence has a romantic question to ask this is a good place to do so... :-) (kaira)

The Boathouse
Hit up Central Park. If you don't mind a pricey lunch or even dinner, The Boathouse has amazing park views and the food is excellent as well. (Stacy)

The Tasting Room
I had a fantastic meal there on my birthday this year. While looking for their website, I noticed it got mixed reviews, but I loved it. (Kate)

Bistro Les Halles

River Cafe
In Brooklyn. For a romantic dinner and breath-taking view of the skyline. (Annie)

One of the two best restaurants in NY right now. Small and hard to get in, but very worthwhile. (Owen)

Gramercy Tavern
Better try and book now. (Keith)
You cannot go to NY without going to The Gramercy Tavern -- fantastic room, service, desserts and outstanding North American cheese selection. (Jenni)

The Modern
For a trendy gorgeous resto, I'd say spend a glorious time at the new Museum of Modern Art, and then eat in the spinemeltingly beautiful bar/cafe room at Danny Meyer's new restaurant The Modern, where you can have fabulous drinks and wonderful "small" and "large" plates of fantastic and unusual food. You'll need a reservation. (Julie)


I *heart* Lupa. (Samantha)
Maybe not on par with Babbo (it's affiliated with the same people -- both started by Mario Batali) but still has always left me quite happy. (Kate)

Mario Batali's restaurants: Lupa and Otto are favorites. (Samantha)
I know it's slightly cliché, but the restaurant Otto is amazing. It's friendly to the budget, and the food is ridiculously good. (manogirl)
Great pizza and AMAZING gelato. (ciara)

The Spotted Pig
A gastropub with a small but delectable menu. (Samantha)

Kitchen 82
Oh, and as far as restaurants go, a nice spot is Kitchen 82 (3 course prix fixe for $25 from restauranteur Charlie Palmer). (Samantha)

Blue Hill
My second-favorite restaurant, and second only because I love the one at Stone Barns (which is surrounded by the Center for Agriculture, a real working farm). It's amazingly close to NYC if you can get a reservation and feel like a jaunt out to see the surroundings... (Meg)
A nice midscale but cutting edge place. (Jacob Harris)
One of the two best restaurants in NY right now. Small and hard to get in, but very worthwhile. (Owen)

Union Square Cafe
While you're in Union Square, my favorite restaurant is Union Square Cafe--a little pricey but delicious. Aside from the food, the service is really out of this world. I have never had a bad meal. (Lady Amalthea)
Union Square Market on Saturday followed by the market lunch at Union Square Cafe (book way ahead). (Keith)

Tavern on The Green
This might get a big "BOOH" from the group but I don't think that anyone should miss the opportunity to try Tavern on The Green at least once in their life. Yes I have eaten at all the foodie meccas and all I can say is that the memories of Tavern on the Green have always brought a smile to my face. Not necessarily gastronomic heaven but definently a "New York" experience. Some of the best people watching ever!!! It seems like every table is celebrating a birthday!!! (Jenni)
Tavern on the Green is cool because it's in Central Park, but the food is horribly bad--no one I've ever known who's been there (around 20 people) has liked the food. Not worth your time. (Rose)

A fish restaurant in the 40's. (Lady Amalthea)

The Grocery
In Brooklyn on Smith street. Very good. It's in the Zagat. It's a 30 minute walk from the Brooklyn Promenade. You can take the F train to Smith street. (Kiki)

Stone Park Café
In Park Slope on 5 Av. Their menu avoids the NY-trendy stuff that a lot of other Park Slope restaurants fall prey to. Instead, they serve simple, but beautifully prepared food, and their soft polenta is the best I've ever had. (Carrie)

As long as you are in Red Hook, you can go for dinner at 360, 360 Van Brunt Street. I know its pseudo-French, but the current chef is from Wallse (previously mentioned). It's a bargain and it has the best selection of French hippy wines I have found (even in Paris). (Jason Adams)

Peter Lugar's Steakhouse
For an over-the-top American meal, I recommend Peter Lugar's Steakhouse in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Forget about a dinner reservation in June, already booked, but go for a late (and long) lunch. Tip: Don't negociate with the waiters, just let them bring you "the meal" and bring lots of cash. Spend some time in the neighborhood to the North, Bedford Avenue and its environs, especially after dark. (Jason Adams)

American traditional - 476 Amsterdam Ave - (212) 579-3076

American traditional - 423 Amsterdam Ave Ste 1 - (212) 496-6280

Cafe Lalo
It was featured in the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks' flick "You've Got Mail". (Annie)

West Village.
French-inspired American-interpreted cuisine until 4 am. (Yuj)

Mermaid Inn
East Village
Might hit the spot for "fishshack elegance". (Yuj)

Brunch / Lunch

On first street between first and second ave.
The chef if this (sort of expensive) restaurant is super inventive in the best of ways. Go for either brunch or dinner to see what she comes up with. The really fun part is the sauce pairings she comes up with... We had a fried oyster omelet that came with a side dish of tabasco and powdered sugar. It was incredible, and the place is adorably done. (Bronwen)
You have to go to PRUNE. (Scott)
I also love the Spaghetti Carbonara (yes, for breakfast) at Prune paired with a spicy Bloody Mary that comes with a beer chaser. Utterly charming and unpredictably delicious. Go early to get a table. (Andi)
Very unique. The chef owner is Gabrielle Hamilton and she is very down to earth, real and unfussy. (shuna)

Samantha mentions this as a good stopping point near Union Square... I have to agree and point out that their egg sandwhich is one of the best I've ever had. Again, great fortifier for sight seeing (quick place to eat, lacks much ambience). (Bronwen)

Cafe Mogador
I love the brunch at Cafe Mogador in the East Village. Their Moroccan Eggs Benedict with the spicy sauce is sublime... and easy on the wallet. (Andi)

Phenomenal brunch - better than Prune - and I love Prune. (suzie)

Ruby's cafe
YOU MUST, I repeat, MUST not leave New York City without getting the chicken sandwich at Ruby's cafe in Nolita. I've got a full blown addiction (which you can read about here if you scroll to the bottom of the page). THE RUBY'S CHICKEN SANDWICH IS MY CRACK, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO ABUSE IT WITH COMPLETE AND UTTER ABANDON! It's THAT good. I'm not alone in my addiction, either. Please go. And order their lemonade, too. Small, crisp, and run by a staff of feisty Australians, I honestly couldn't recommend this place more. (Andi)

Blue Ribbon Bakery and Café
35 Downing St. (West Village) at Bedford St. 212-337-0404
A working bakery with a 140-year old brick oven which produces wonderous breads. The popular panini shop - "ino" - has built its reputation on sandwiches made with BRB's estimable ciabatta. The café portion of the business is a meeting place for the city's top chefs. They gather there, after hours, for Blue Ribbon's beef marrow bones, shrimp-and-bacon hash, American caviar, fried-catfish sandwiches, herring and the impressive roasted tomatoes. This is a café for culinarians. There is now also the Blue Ribbon Bakery Market (at 14 Bedford St., nr. Downing St., NYC 212-647-0408) which is a showcase for the bakery's breads as well as a gourmet market and baking supplies shop. Here is a blurb from that helps to define some of the delights of BRB: "You're probably going to walk by it the first time. Because from all you've already heard, this couldn't be the place-it looks like one more brick-walled Village joint with first-come-first-served seating (reservations are available for parties of five or more) and a brunch menu. But there's that quixotically intriguing all-over-the-place menu. And naturally, you're soon in danger of ordering nothing and spending the evening tearing into the insidiously addictive breads and a bottle of wine. Put the butter knife down! You don't want to miss the yummy steak tartare, perfectly smoked sable, a butcher's plate to shame most Italian antipasti, a super rack of lamb splashed with tomato sauce, a funkily stringy barbecued-pork sandwich and coleslaw, and a BLT that really is a meal. And can you pass up a place that can still make a root-beer float? If you can, keep walking, and let someone who truly understands fine dining sit down." (cheesy chilaquiles)
A restaurant and boulangerie. (Jacob Harris)

Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop
At 5th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets. This is a great slice of old New York (established in 1929, I believe) and it's like stepping back in time. Have a tuna sandwich on rye with an egg cream (no egg, no cream -- go figure) and chat with the great old timers behind the counter. (Dan)

City Bakery
In flatiron, on 18th Street right off 5th avenue.
For a wonderful salad bar, the most gourmet experience you've ever had where you had to pay for what you eat by the pound, try City Bakery on East 18th street. They also have wonderful baked goods. They have a chocolate fountain where you can dip any of their homemade goodies (such as marshmallows) for an instant chocolate fix. (creampuff)
Try a pretzel croissant, very New York! Maury Rubin is the chef-owner and he has had that bakery for over 20 years now and it is even more dynamic now! It is also a fantastic place for lunch. (shuna)
Great salad bar and macaroni & cheese. (ciara)

Cousin John's Bakery
On 7th ave and Lincoln place.
And if you do choose to go to brunch in Park Slope, as one reader suggested, I HIGHLY recommend Cousin John's Bakery where they give you chocolate bread to start with berry spread, and their eggs florentine are amazing. (Rebecca)

On 5th ave and President.
Another great Park Slope brunch place. They serve cuban food, and their cuban egg sandwich and root vegetable fries (they come with a salty cinnamony sugary spice mix on top) are great and completely unique. Beso is also great for people-watching, as they remove the whole front wall of the restaurant and it is open to the sidewalk. (Rebecca)

McDougal & Bleeker
Have lunch (or coffee) at one of the places on the corner of McDougal & Bleeker. Watch the world go by. (Rance)

If you are into more than pastry and coffee for breakfast (Rance)

Norma's at Le Parker Meridien Hotel
If you are into more than pastry and coffee for breakfast (Rance)

Mary's Fish Camp or Pearl's Oyster Bar
For steamers and nice white wine or a beer! Also the Lobster Roll is super delicious (Mary and Pearl used to work together at Pearl's then they split, sadly for them it was not amicable but the result is that they work very hard competing with each other to be the best!) Also: hot fudge sundae. (Abby)
A great, single girl experience... (Luisa)

I know its SO touristy but this little corner of the meatpacking district is a fun place to feel like a tourist (and you will... it is so over-the-top sceney). It might be funny for you to see the American take on a Paris bistro as well... Call it a comparative case study. (Bronwen)
In the meatpacking district for brunch -- or better yet, you can stop at Pastis for a drink to check out the scene and then go to the Chelsea Market and have a little of this and a little of that. (Abby)

Live Bait
On 23rd street, for a casual lunch in a funky Key West style place. (Dave)

Cafe Orlin
East Village.
It has a sidewalk patio that is great for the summer weekends. The omelets and eggs benedict are very good as are the organic pancakes and waffles. (Simon Dang)

Burgers, hot dogs, etc.

Grilled Cheese NYC
I always love a sandwich at Grilled Cheese NYC (right near Katz'). (Kate)
For your late night post-drinking snack. (Stacy)

Blue Smoke
My favorite BBQ place. (Samantha)
I wasn't impressed with Blue Smoke, but I've heard that it's hit-or-miss, and their key lime pie made up for everything. It was the best pie I've ever tasted. (Megan)

The Shake Shack
In Madison Square Park.
A great outdoor spot to get burgers and ice cream. (Samantha)
The burgers and custards are WONDERFUL here, although there tends to be a wait. That said, this is one of the most underused beautiful parks in the city. Once you get your burger and custard, sit outside and eat it. Good people watching, very NYC. (Bronwen)

Chat 'n' Chew
For that perfect American meal -- burger, fries & chocolate shake -- a diner also in the Flatiron district (kates)

The burger joint @ The Parker Meridien
For a quick bite, you must try the best burgers in NYC -- they're buried deep within the super-luxe Le Parker Meridien hotel, in the strangest little unnamed place which is affectionately known as "the burger joint." It's truly an experience. Here's a good review. (chevre27)
Look for the neon hamburger past the tall curtain. (Jenji)

If you want a truly great hot dog, you go to Nathan's at Coney Island! The Coney Island experience is not to be missed. Also, there are plans to turn it into a shopping mall sort of area (gentrification in the bad way), so go there now before that bit of americana culture is gone forever. (Stacy)

Papaya King or Grey's Papaya
For a great American hot dog go to Papaya King, on the Upper East Side, 178 E. 86th St. (at 3rd Avenue). (Beryl)
Have a Papaya King or Grey's Papaya hot dog experience. The <$3 recession special is the best. (Kiki)
You would not be having the full NYC eating experience without a "Gray's Papaya hot dog". There's several in the city, including at 8th and 37th street. Totally the NY thing to eat. (Rose)
For hot dogs. (Vivian)
Gray's Papaya Hot Dogs: in Sex and the City, it's the one where the limo driver takes Carrie after her book is published. (Annie)

Corner Bistro
I haven't eaten here but it gets rave reviews for the burgers. (Annie)

The Burger Joint
241 3rd Ave. at about 23rd street- not far from Union Square A true NYC find - tasty, open late and a real bargain. Only sirloin is used and the small and yummy burgers have potato flour buns, the drinks come with unlimited refills. (Andrea)

Soul food

The Soul Spot
If you're looking for food you're not likely to find back home, you must have some soul/southern food. The Soul Spot in Brooklyn is terrific. They also have Caribbean items like jerk chicken on the menu. It's worth the trip. (Lola)

Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too
You could also try Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too in Harlem. This is the kind of food you can only have in the U.S., and both of these places do it pretty well for not being in the South. (Lola)
I'll second Miss Mamie's - in fact I just wrote about it on my blog a few days ago. The macaroni and cheese and banana pudding are to die for. (Kate)

M&G Diner or Charles' Southern Kitchen
In Harlem, soul food. (Julie)

The Pink Tea Cup
It's been there for years and has some of the best soul food EVER! (Annie)


Angelica Kitchen
For detoxing after you've eaten everywhere else. Great vegetarian food with die-hard fans. (amylou)
Great vegetarian food. (Melanie)

I have spent lots of time in New York and have eaten some of the most amazing food there. Last year, I was walking around with a friend and on the opposite side of the street, a restaurant caught my eye. The walking ended there, and we quickly rushed in to see what this incredible looking place was. Thankfully, it was everything and so much more than I could have ever hoped for. I am a vegetarian, so this is a vegetarian restaurant. However, my friend who is an avid meat eater had NO clue this place was entirely vegetarian, and the food was quite honestly some of the most amazing I have ever had. The subtitle of the place is: Food for the five senses-- so they want you to taste, touch, see, hear, and smell this experience. All I can tell you is this place should not be missed!!! There are two locations: one is at 401 Avenue of the Americas (at 8th St, West Village Manhattan).....the other is at 1426 3rd Ave (at E 81St, Upper East Manhattan). (Abby)


On Rivington at Ludlow.
I love this place for italian small plates. I also love the atmosphere and the fact that there are huge windows looking out on the street for people-watching. This isn't really cheap, but it's a pretty good value. The meat plates are really great, as are a bunch of the salads (an asparagus one they have is my fave). Don't miss the truffled egg toast either. Great (Italian) wine list. (Bronwen)
My absolute favorite place. It's a fabulous Italian place serving delicious antipasta, paninis and many wines by the glass and bottle. It prefer it for lunch. (Sarah)

Al Di La
Park Slope Brooklyn. (suzie)
And their wine bar next door. (Owen)

A big bustling Italian restaurant (really good fried calamari and bread pudding). (Melanie)

5th Ave, halfway between Stone Park and Franny's.
In fact, 5th Avenue has far too many excellent places to eat these days. Peperoncino has one must-eat dish of white beans in peperoncino broth with handmade linguini. Wonderful... (Carrie)

Wonderful, unique Italian restaurant in the Little Italy neighborhood in the Bronx. (Julie)

Il Corallo Trattoria
In Soho. 176 Prince St Btwn Thompson & Sullivan St -- 212-941-7119
Excellent food!!!! $8.95 for brunch until 4pm (includes salad or soup & main dish). Soho is one of the "very trendy" areas in nyc. Lots of little shops. As close to a European city as you can get in nyc. Walk around, check out the area, and then have an authentic Italian meal. Fresh ingredients. Everything made from scratch. My familie's favorite place to eat in the city. No reservations needed. (Barbara)

Da Silvano and Bar Pitti
They're right next door to one another and I believe they are owned by the same person. It's a great spot for celeb sightings. (Annie)

Locanda vini e olii
In fort greene, brooklyn. Superb italian food. (ciara)
In Brooklyn (Clinton Hill). Excellent food and an incredible space. (Owen)

Grand and Mott, NW corner.
You should definitely go. The owners name is Lou and he will talk to you about parmigiano for hours. He often has 5 kinds in the store (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Vaca Rosa). (Owen)


For pizza, the best places are in Brooklyn. (Jamie)

My favorite is a small shop in Brooklyn called DiFara's (1424 Avenue J @ 15th St. Take the Q train to the Avenue J stop.). (Jamie)
Bar none, the best pizza in the city. Runners up are Grimaldi's in Dumbo, Brooklyn, No.28 in West Village, Patsy's, Lombardi's, etc. (ciara)

At the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. (Jamie)
Best in New York, hands down. (Andi)
My favorite, and fun to visit since it's right below the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. (Kelli)

In Coney Island. (Jamie)

Lombardi's, Arturo's or John's for pizza
If you can't make it to Grimaldi's or other fine places in Brooklyn. (Jacob Harris)

Park Slope too, fabulous brick oven pizza (suzie)
I noticed someone above said Franny's in Brooklyn -- definitely great. (Carrie)

In Forest Hills. (Luisa)

Gino's Pizzeria
In Brooklyn, way-the-heck out in the Bay Ridge district, I strongly recommend Gino's Pizzaria. I grew up on that pizza. (CookingRock)

Skip Grimaldi's, it's overrated. Go to John's in the Village or on Bleeker street. (Kiki)

Una Pizza Napolitana
12th St just west of 1st Ave -- Across the street from Hearth
The best Pizza by very, very far. This is the real deal. Anthony is the owner and chef. He is open Thursday-Saturday 17:00 until the dough runs out and Sunday noon until the dough runs out! He makes 4 pizzas and that's it. (Owen)


On 3rd Avenue between 50th and 51st.
You must have a bagel at Ess-a-bagel. Forget H&H. And while you're in the neighborhood you can visit the Grand Central Market and have lunch at Sushi Yasuda. (Jamie)

The Second Ave. Deli
On 10th st.
A real Kosher deli. (Jamie)
MY favorite Jewish deli (for emotional as well as culinary reasons) is the 2nd Ave. Deli. I'm more of a pastrami person than corn beef. (creampuff)
For matzo ball soup. (Vivian)

Katz deli
I doubt you need explaning on this, but the corned beef and/or pastrami sandwhiches are un-missable. I also like the latkes. Yum. (Bronwen)
I second Katz's deli for unbelievable pastrami, and you can see the table where Sally had her unusual reaction to her lunch in "When Harry Met Sallly". (Beryl)
Go to Katz's deli. Get a pastrami sandwich. Don't get it 'lean', you will like the tasty fat. It's a totally unique NYC experience. (Kiki)
A Pastrami Sandwich (Katz's) washed down with a celery tonic (Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray). (Rance)
I heartily agree with Katz's for pastrami (mouth watering as I type!). (Vivian)
For your pre-show dinner! (Stacy)

Murray's Bagels
(Jacob Harris)

Yonah Schimmel
For some knishes. (Kate)
Has real Knishes. Try the KASHA one. They have been in that spot for over 100 years and still speak Yiddish. (shuna)

Gus' Pickles
SO GOOD! (Kate)

I know there will never be any resolve on the great bagel debate, but I just wanted to put my two cents in for H&H. Plus, it's a block or two away from Zabar's. (anne)
A Must. (Ken)

Carnegie Deli
Absolutely don't miss Carnegie Deli. It's on 7th Street between 54th and 55th in New York (just up from Times Square, just down from Carnegie Hall). Same weight as an Olympic gold medal (1.25 lbs) -- now that's a sandwich. Definitely an experience worth having! (Nick)
Also a good bet for a pastrami on rye. (Abby)
For a Corned Beef sandwhich on rye with mustard. One is enough for two to share. (Ken)

Kossars Bialystoker Kuchen bakery
On Grand Street.
If you have never had a bialy. Closed for the Jewish sabbath Friday 2pm until sundown Saturday. First bialys would not be out until Sunday morning. Neat neigborhood to walk (daylight only). (Ken)

Barney's Greengrass
On the upper west side, for a pastrami on rye. (Abby)

Eastern European

Zlata Praha
A great Czech restaurant outside of the 30th Ave. stop. (Kate)

In the east village (2nd ave), for your midnight craving of potato pierogies or borscht. It ain't gourmet but it's greasy, fun, and classic. (amylou)

Sammy's Roumanian
For crazy steak and a wild night of kitsch. (Julie)


At 57 Great Jones Street -- nearish Soho, Nolita, etc.
A fantastic sushi place -- it was new last summer and was really great. (Kate)

Nobu / Nobu Next Door
If your wallet can spare it, try to get into Nobu or Nobu Next Door. The tasting menu (chef's choice) is awesome. You will not regret the experience: the quality of the fish is remarkable and the inventiveness of the sushi and kitchen chefs will blow you away. (Kiki)
Because this isn't like sushi you can get in Paris. (Abby)

Blue Ribbon Sushi
Also very very good (and expensive) if you want more traditional sushi. (Kiki)

Honmura An
On Mercer St. between Houston and Prince -- 212-334-5253.
Makes really good bowls of noodle soups- they make their own noodles there. (Kiki)
All about the soba noodles... A hushed, elegant space where you'll still hear Japanese businesspeople expertly slurping their noodles. (Jenji)

In the same area as Una Pizza Napolitana and Hearth, a cool ramen place. Not authentic Japanese, but very good and casual. (Owen)

En Brasserie
Hudson St in Greenwich Village.
For authentic and very interesting japanese (get the fresh tofu). (Owen)

Yakitori Toto
251 W. 55th, upstairs.
You absolutely can not miss this, it is awesome. (Owen)

Diversification of Japanese restaurants
You might want to try an isakaya (a Japanese bar/bistro - Kenka), a yakitori place (Yakitori Taisho), a sake bar (Decibel), a ramen joint (Momofuku, Rai Rai Ken), or the one okonomiyaki (japanese pancake) stand (Otafuku) in the city - all in or near the St. Marks/East 9th Street area of the East Village. (Yuj)


Another favorite -- pan-asian noodles and the like. (Samantha)

Karihan ni Tata Bino
71-34 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens 718.426.6201
Philippine cuisine: you should try the Crispy Pata or Crispy Pig Knuckels. (Jay)

Korean BBQ
There are tons of places on 33rd street. Ask at the hotel. Most places are predominately filled with Koreans. Always fun and delicious with a bottle of soju. (Kiki)

Kum Gang San
Flushing 138-28 Northern Blvd. (bet. Bowne & Union Sts.) Queens, New York 11365
While you can find Korean BBQ on "Korea Street" in Manhattan, the best place to go is also in Flushing. I personally think the 35 min subway trek--with some incredible views of the manahttan skyline) is worth the trip. It is also not far from the subway station (just go to the corner of Northern Blvd and Union Street). (Rose)

In Williamsburg (Brooklyn), 187 Grand Street.
For great Asian small plates and sake. My cousin, Sandy, runs it! If you go, ask her advice, love of food runs in the family. (Vivian)

A Thai restaurant (Annie)

In Queens. Best Thai. (Owen)

In Williamsburg, there's the trendy "Sea" restaurant (Rose)

Chai Home Kitchen
124 North 6th Street, Williamsburg Brooklyn 11211
Thai Cuisine/Saki Bar: smaller, quieter and personally I think has better food [than Sea]. (Rose)


The Vegetarian Dim Sum House
In Chinatown.
Serves amazing vegetarian Dim Sum at all hours of the day. Best time to go, however, is Sunday morning (early), and get the Mashed Taro Treasure Boxes. (Jamie)

Dumpling place: Everyone has their fav, but the one I like is on Christie street just South of Delancy... It's literally a hole in the wall but if you've just finished exploring chinatown (which you should) and want a snack, 5 dumplings are a dollar and a scallion pancake is a bit more. Quite delicious. (Bronwen)

Joe's Shanghai
If you are in Chinatown, you have to try Joe's Shanghai and order some of the steamed dumplings -- literally known as "Xiao Long Bao". They are really good. (may)
For the soup dumplings! (Abby)
Shanghai-style soup buns. (Julie)

Evergreen Shanghai
Shanghai-style soup buns (Julie)

Someone said Joe's Shanghai for the soup dumplings -- I second that, though I contend that Goodies (#1 E. Broadway) is better. (Kate)

Jing Fong
On Elizabeth Street just below Canal Street. Take the long escalator up from the street to a massive, must-be-seen-to-be-believed banquet hall where an infinite number of dim sum delicacies are wheeled around for your selection. Sample everything you desire, and I promise you won't even pay $15 per person. (Dan)

Flushing, Queens
The place for Chinese dim sum as well as a small restaurant that is famous amongst the american chinese community (always trust the Chinese to know where to go to eat) for its Smoked Tea Duck (and it is GOOD). Unfortunately I don't know the name, just where it is located. On the Prince Street block between Roosevelt Avenue and 38th Avenue are a row of restaurants in the bottom floor of a large glass office building. The middle restaurant is the Smoked Tea Duck place (and it should be on the menu). Watch out that you don't go to the noodle shop next door! This restaurant is less than a block from the Flushing stop (last stop) on the "7" line train. (Rose)

Jing Fong
Great for a dim sum experience. (Melanie)

New Green Bo
66 Bayard St.
Have soup dumplings at my favorite - they also make excellent fried pork dumplings and a tasty dried tofu and pork dish - so yummy! (Melanie)

Sweet and Tart
On Mott Street.
They serve very "light" dim sum that is very tasty and not overwhelming. (Simon Dang)

Golden Bridge
On Bowery off of Canal.
You'll get a royal treatment to authentic dim sum. It's where the locals gather and you'll hear plenty of Cantonese chatter here as carts and carts of dim sum roll by your table. (Simon Dang)

Latino / Tapas

Caracas Arepa Bar
(Jacob Harris)

Another option in the East Village. A fabulous authentic Mexican restaurant serving many varities of ceviches, tacos and other bonitas. Everything is served to taste and share. You don't want to miss it. (Sarah)

Mexicana Mama
Gourmet Mexican. (Lola)

Itzocan Cafe
Creative Mexican, excellent sangria. (Lola)

Rocking Horse Café
Superb tamales. (Lola)

Flor's Kitchen
Excellent Venezuelan arepas. (Lola)
Seconding Lola's suggestion of Flor's Kitchen, a tiny Venezuelan restaurant in the East Village... (Anna)

Cafe Habana
Upgrade on standard Cuban fare. (Lola)

Circus or Casa
For Brazilian. (Lola)

Riconcito Peruano
Peruvian ceviche and "papas a la huancaina" are a must. (Lola)

Pio Pio
Peruvian roasted chicken. (Lola)
I have to second the vote for Pio Pio by Lola. It is outstanding Peruvian food -- and so cheap! It's my favorite restaurant in New York. (Kelli)

One of my absolute favorites is a mexican bodega called "Tehuitzingo", which I used to live a block away from. In the far back (and the place is TINY), you'll find a little tiny counter and some stools (usually with lots of Mexican workers watching some Spanish television) and two women serving some of the best tacos and tortas in Manhattan. A very cool and exciting experience in comparison to eating at such finer NYC dining establishments. (Rose)

If you like tapas, try Alta. If you go with a group, you can order "The Whole Shebang" -- one of everything on the menu. (Rance)

Mexican - 187 Columbia St - (718) 643-5400
in Brooklyn, with rooftop view of lower Manhattan (Jacob Harris)


Kati roll
If you're headed to the West village via Bleeker St. and pass Macdougal St and find yourself hungry, head up the street to Kati Roll and get a paneer roll. They're super cheap and a delicious filling snack. Basically indian bread grilled and wrapped around marinated/grilled panner and veggies. So good. (Bronwen)

The Jackson Diner
In Queens.
They serve yummy Indian food and you could also pick up a sari or a thousand gold bracelets in this cool neighborhood. (lee)
For indian food, I'd suggest trekking to Jackson Heights, Queens. The food is good and even better the surrounding area is fun to explore! (ciara)

Indian food
On 6th Street in the East village, there are about 25 Indian restaurants all on one block and the joke is that they all share a kitchen! (Abby)


In the east village, at 2nd Ave and 10 th Street.
A whole meal of desserts -- not exactly, but try the very creative Chikalicious. Desserts and beverages only. A three-course dessert experience. Amazing sensibilities, very pleasant, very creative and not too sweet or heavy. You order your "main course" from the day's specials and get the house "starter" and "dessert" to go with it. I ordered a caramelized peach with basil sorbet, got a corn ice cream starter (I was skeptical but it was simply the best ice cream I've ever eaten) and the smallest, tenderest cookies in the world to finish. You can order tea, coffee or an appropriate dessert wine to match your dessert. Sit at the counter and watch the two women owners interact in what is almost a ballet as they prepare each order. (creampuff)
For a three course meal of just dessert! (Abby)

On the Lower East Side.
I recommend Essex for its Latin/Jewish cuisine: many of the immigrants to that area where from Latin America or were Jewish, so it is a neat twist. (Stacy)

Sik Sak
On 2nd Avenue in the 50's.
Excellent Turkish food. Had a great stuffed grape leaf and a great sandwich. Moderately priced. I have to say that there used to be much better Middle Eastern food sold in restaurants in Brooklyn Heights. I wonder if they are still there (it's been too many years). (RisaG)


Il laboratorio del gelato
95 Orchard St. (Between Broome & Delancey Sts) 212 343 9922
I love going to this place not only because the ricotta (and all other flavors) gelato is amazing but because its in the old Lower East Side. The LES is sorta a mecca of old NY-style food and it's fun to window shop about and walk through the small streets. Make this place one of your stops if you head down there. (Bronwen)
You need to get gelato at Il laboratorio del gelato. Look for honey lavender, basil, and toasted sesame -- they're my favorite flavors so far. (Megan)

The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Get a cone at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Flavors like Green Tea and Lichee. (Rance)

Jacques Torres Chocolate Factory
In Dumbo.
One of my absolute favorite places in New York. I've taken every member of my family from overseas and they continue to mention this as the highlight of their trip. You can walk off the pizza and chocolate by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge back into Manhattan. A perfect way to spend an afternoon! (Andi)
The Dark Chocolate Bar with Almonds goes great with some good port (Rance)
For a little something chocolate that you always need (Abby)

Terrace 5
I also recommend the pastries and coffee at Terrace 5 in the new Museum of Modern Art for more art/food/outdoor loveliness. (Andi)

Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
On Rivington St.
I implore you to walk over to the Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery for delectable cupcakes done right. They're perfection. The "Bob" cupcake with it's almond buttercream frosting is the stuff dreams are made of. I'm not kidding. The staff is super nice, and they're open late. A charming Lower East Side neighborhood favorite! (Andi)

The Doughnut Plant
On the Lower East Side. Doughnut perfection. (Samantha)

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
[Grimaldi's pizza is] also right next to the Brooklyn Ice Cream factory with great views of Manhattan. (Kelli)

Magnolia Bakery
(Jacob Harris)
For cupcakes. (Vivian)
Get a famous cupcake (like in Sex and the City). (Abby)
Good but way too crowded in my opinion. (Kelli)

Economy Candy
For a pure dose of sugary americana, right around the corner from Russ + Daughters. Definitely worth the trip. Just loads and loads of candy. (margaux)

The Levain Bakery
On 74th and Amsterdam (West Side).
If you want the best cookies of your life. (Marc)

Rice to Riches
37 Spring St. between Mott and Mulberry.
A store that serves nothing but Rice Pudding! Gourmet rice pudding in about 20 different flavors! (Stacy)
A visit to rice to riches is an absolute must!!!!!!
Super yummy, super stylish, rice pudding taken to a whole new level! Totally unique, don't know anywhere else that has this. :) (Sheila)

Thé Adoré
17 E. 13th, just off Fifth, just below Union Square.
You would love The Adore (imagine accents aigus on each "e"). Walk up the stairs and find the perfect quiet respite from the bustle of the city. Have a cup of tea and a pastry or a sandwich. I think they're closed on Sundays and perhaps in the evenings. (Carl)

Marie Belle
On Broome St.
You have to check out the truffles at Marie Belle. They have wonderful flavors, the citrus ones are my favorite (pineapple, passion fruit, lemon, etc). The earl grey tea truffle is also very specatular. All of their truffles also have amazing cocoa butter paintings on them. They also have a hot chocolate bar in the back which you shouldn't miss. (Joanne)
I second the Marie Belle recommendation, I think you would love it. (Rebecca)

Sullivan Street Bakey

Amy's Bread
Walk down to 47th St. and you'll find Amy's Bread. (Melanie)
Either in the Chelsea market or about 48th and 9th Avenue. (Ken)

If you walk to about 43rd on 9th there is great old fashioned Greek Bakery. I think it is called Poseidon. (Ken)

Ciao Bella
On Mott St: fine gelatto. (Lola)

City Bakery
On 18th Street.
For the hot chocolate. Make sure you share it, as it's incredibly thick and sweet. (Lola)
Makes the best hot chocolate if they are still making it now that the weather is warmer. (Abby)
Tarts, especially creme brulée and dark chocolate. (Julie)

Serendipity 3
For their famous frozen hot chocolates (you and Maxence might want to split one). (Abby)

Dylan's Candy store
To get candy for all the young children you know! (Abby)

Walk down Bleeker Street and get an ice cream. (Abby)

For one of their chocolate covered toffees because you will need to fortify yourself because you're walking so much. (Abby)

Walk to Little Italy for a cannoli or a sfogiatella and an espresso in Little Italy -- maybe at Ferrara's. (Abby)

Balthazar Bakery
I would recommend Balthazar Bakery (not the main restaurant, the little shop to the side) for a morning scone and coffee and from there you can make a run at all the SoHo chocolate shops -- Vosges, MarieBelle, Ceci Cela, Chocolate Garden, etc. (Kelli)

Milk & Cookies, Polka Dot Cake Studio
Great dessert places. (Kelli)

Beard Papa's Cream Puffs

Sullivan Street Bakery
Best Bakery in NY. (Owen)

Bouley Bakery
It just opened. Could be worth a visit. (Owen)

La Bergamote
9th Avenue and 20th St in Chelsea.
Don't miss La Bergamote, home of what I think is the best almond croissant in North America. (Maisie100)


Chelsea Market
A great way to hit a whole bunch of great food shops, from Amy's Bread to Fat Witch brownies. (Samantha)
I also second Chelsea Market, as it is a veritable wealth of shops and restaurants to explore! (Amanda)
One of the most exciting food meccas in NYC (better than Zabar's). (Lady Amalthea)
Hit Chelsea Market on Saturday after 4pm when the Tango club is there at the west end of the building. Sarabeth's jams and jellies are really good. (Kiki)
A lot of food experiences in one place. (Melanie)
A must. (Ken)

Food shopping in Bleecker Street in the West Village (you can stop by Magnolia Bakery I suppose). (Jacob Harris)

The Greenmarket in Union Square
For maple sugar & syrup (there is lots of other great local stuff here too, cheese, produce, you name it). (kates)
The farmers' market in Union Square is great but Mon-Wed-Friday are better than Sat. Monday has more of the smaller, organic farmers represented. (Stacey)
Has anything you could ever want, including freshly baked goods, wonderful cheese, fresh produce, etc. During June it's the best. (Lady Amalthea)
There wasn't much there when I was there - it was early Spring but Rick's Pick's had a table - and they make the most amazing pickles. I bought a jar of the Wasabeans. Wasabi and soy sauce and pickled green beans. Sounds weird, tastes amazing. (RisaG)

Pearl River Market
In SoHo. Also a great way to spend an afternoon. It's sort of an Asian-goods paradise. We spent a happy couple hours wandering, and ended up with some gorgeous inexpensive dishes. (manogirl)

At 28th Street and Lexington Avenue.
What Zabar's might not have, Kalustyan's definitely will. This is a fantastic spices/grains/exotica shop in Manhattan's (very little) Little India. The prices aren't that great, but the selection of hard-to-find items is unparalleled. I'm sure you'll love this place, so plan at least an hour here! (Dan)
Fabulous indian spice shop - also carries Thai, British, Japanese and Middle Eastern ingredients including freshly made Naan and Pita breads. (RisaG)
For spices, dried fruits and nuts, ethnic foods and unusual items like your beloved pistachio paste (only place I've found it). (Julie)

McNulty's Tea and Coffee
Great food store that you should check out. (Kate)

Zabars, Fairway, etc.
Upper westside, on Broadway. Good eats and fun to walk around the isles looking at food stuff. Get some cured salmon or sable with some H&H bagels, the best in the city. (Kiki)

2245 Broadway (@ 80th Street)
This is the temple of food. It will be less crowded during the week, but if you want the quintessential Zabar's experience, Saturday afternoon is the most chaotic/entertaining. Don't forget to check out the mezzanine for kitchen wares. They have a great assortment, and the prices are very competitive. If the weather's cooperative, buy too much food (not difficult) and head to the park (Central, bien sûr) for an unforgettable picnic. (Dan)
You should definitely buy a cheese strudel (near the deli foods, not the bakery) because it is very yummy. (anne)
A must -- H&H bagel across the street. (Ken)
Not so much for food although you'll find some great things, but upstairs for kitchenware. (Julie)
Ultimate nyc food store (bagels - olives - cheese - coffee - meats - cookware etc.) -- in other words: everything for the food lover! (Barbara)

Russ + Daughters
Lower East Side, 179 E. Houston St.
It's a specialty food shop that has been there since 1914, run by the same family (around the corner from Economy Candy). (margaux)
And if you want really good smoked fish. (Lady Amalthea)
For smoked fish, just down the street from Kossars. (Ken)

Murray's Cheese
Down in Soho, at 254 Bleecker.
Heaven! (Maisie100)
Buy some artisanal American cheeses, nothing to compete with cheese in France but cheddar is very good -- melted on apple pie or with good tart apples! (Abby)

Joe's Dairy
They make their own fresh mozzarella that is sinfully delicious. (Lola)

Jefferson market
A wonderful supermarket/prepared foods store on 6th Ave. and 9th Street. (Lady Amalthea)

Dean & Deluca

If you're only going to do one comprehensive food market, it should be this one. (Julie)

Vintage NY
Since I doubt you'll have time to make it out to MY wine country, you should try to visit Vintage NY when you're in town. There's two locations, and they pour/sample wines from all over New York state. And of course you can pick some up if they strike your fancy. Their selection is sometimes diverse in a bad way (meaning they offer some of the low-end garbage) but I'd love to hear what you think of some of Long Island's wines! (Lenn)

Discovery Wines
Vintage NY isn't bad, but try Discovery Wines in Alphabet City (one of the coolest places in Manhattan) instead. Yes, not always free tastings but an incredible selection. (Rose)

Flushing is a place lots of Chinese families (including my own) go to buy their fresh chinese vegetables and fruit. Chinatown also has this but Flushing has better variety and higher quality. There are also tons of fish stands and butchers within these large supermarkets. It is a very interesting experience (not to be done everyday mind you) to be jostling with all the little old chinese ladies trying to grab the freshest produce. A very ethnic NYC experience. (Rose)

Middle-eastern store on Atlantic avenue in Bklyn Heights. For a kid from Brooklyn, it was a very exotic experience... (Michele)

Grand Central Market
Lexington Avenue side of Grand Central. Used to be empty - nothing there. Now lots of kiosks and other little shops. Yum-O - go to Adriana's Caravan and buy some great spices. (RisaG)

Whole Foods
On Columbus Circle in the new Time Warner building, it is huge, fresh, appetizing and all organic. (Emma)
For the experience of it (Abby)

Bespeckled Trout
(General Store with soda fountain) My sources tell me that Bespeckled Trout at 22 Hudson Street makes a good Egg Cream. (Rance)


Fishs Eddy
On the other side of Broadway you could visit Fishs Eddy, they sell some great plates, mugs, glasses (check out the NYC pattern... you can even get a bag or an umbrella in that print). It's easy to head on over to the park from the Upper West Side as well. (Samantha)

Bonnie Slotnick
At 163 West Tenth St. - a fabulous, charming shop filled with vintage cookbooks and culinary ephemera. (jenblossom)

Kitchen equipment
If you want to shop for kitchen equipment, try Bridge Kitchen (52nd Street) or Broadway Panhandler, or upstairs at Zabars. The thrift (second hand) shops on 17th Street between 6th & 7th often have good kitchen stuff (Housing Works and Angel Street). (Stacey)

Kitchen Arts and Letters
A great bookstore devoted to food and cooking. The owner, Nach Waxman, is knowledgeable and generous (great combination). It's not the most convenient location (92nd and Lex or thereabouts) but once you're up there, you can go to the Vinegar Factory (way too expensive but fun to browse) another sprawling gourmet food store a few blocks east of the bookstore. (Stacey)
I second the recommendation of Kitchen Arts & Letters. It's the best cookbook store in the U.S. Not to be missed. The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable, though they suffer no fools. It's worth a trip up there, and it's not too far from the Frick and the Neue Galerie (which has a great Austrian cafe in case you feel you need some cake to get you through the rest of the afternoon). (Carl)

Century 21
A shopping mecca across from the World Trade Center site. Since you have special memories of that day perhaps you would like to see it. (Melanie)

In Soho, a great drugstore(Abby)

On 6th Avenue, for products you can't get in Paris. (Abby)

Outlets in Chelsea or Nolita: great designer brands at bargain prices. Also Filene's basement (Union Square, Chelsea, Upper West Side). Loehmann's in Chelsea for more designer bargains... Have to visit Barney's if only to browse (and not buy). Madison Ave in the 60's and 70's is a must for window shopping. Nolita area is really cool -- cute lesser known designers. Also Lower East Side has tg-170 -- such a great, edgy store. (ciara)


Central Park
Do make sure you spend some time in Central Park. You could have an Upper West Side day, go to Zabars, Fairway and Citarella (three food meccas all on Broadway btw 74th and 80th). If you were to walk down Broadway from Zabars *80th, you'd pass by Beard Papa's cream puffs... not to be missed. (Samantha)

Depending on how much time you have in NY, I think a day of walking and food in Brooklyn would be great! You could start in Park Slope, walk around the boutiques and the park there and eat at Applewood (don't miss the curried cauliflower), and then head over to the promenade by the water and get a nice view of the manhattan skyline as you make your way to DUMBO. In DUMBO, you could eat at Grimaldi's (coal oven pizza) and visit Jacques Torres chocolate and Brooklyn Ice Cream. You could even take the water taxi back to the city, or walk over the bridge if you want to work off all that food! (Rebecca)
Brooklyn Bridge: take the subway, get out and walk over the bridge (try to get a sunny day to do this) to Brooklyn. Once there, walk to Grimaldi's and have one of the best pizzas in New York and then get ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and lick the cone standing at the Fulton Ferry Landing, overlooking Lower Manhattan. Alternatively, you can walk over to Jacques Torres's chocolate store, just a few blocks away, in DUMBO. (Luisa)
Take a stroll on Smith Street, where there are lots of wonderful cafes, restaurants and boutiques. I especially love the Boerum Hill Food Company, between Bergen and Dean right near the Bergen St. subway. Also, walk over to Court St. (parallel to Smith) in Carroll Gardens and have a slice of pizza at Sal's or Mola, then continue down Court St. to Caputo's Italian deli. Tu vas te régaler! (lisa)
If you are exploring Brooklyn, I highly recommend a trip to the Subway Museum. (creampuff)
Don't forget about Brooklyn - Manhattan isn't everything. Smith St. is nice - try The Grocery for a place to eat. I would imagine June is the perfect time to sit out back under their fig tree. (lee)
Promenade: I live in Brooklyn Heights, a block from the Promenade- the best view of all of Manhattan (includes the Empire State & Chrysler buildings both & the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, etc.). Make sure to see it both in the day and when the lights are on. (Kiki)
Do get ice cream at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge on the brooklyn side. (Kiki)
I think walking over the Brooklyn Bridge cannot be over-recommended -- I always do it when I go home for visits. Try to leave enough time to sit on a bench on the Promenade park of Bklyn Heights & stare at the view. (Michele)
Walk down the Promenade for a great view of NYC. (Melanie)

Go for dim sum, walk around, look at the fish markets and stores with baskets of strange little dried fruits and fruits de mer and other unknowable things in them. (Luisa)
Chinatown -- wandering around and checking out the stores and markets is always fun. Plus, there's the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. (Kate)
Hit chinatown and get some bbq pork buns, dimsum, dumplings, etc. (Kiki)

Walk-and-eat in Lower Manhattan's Chinatown
Here's a fun little walk-and-eat adventure you might enjoy. It's in and around Lower Manhattan's Chinatown. Cheap eats and lots to see and do -- you'll spend under $10 each and have some yummy nibbles (my boyfriend and I do this every few months):
1. Guss' Pickles (Orchard St. near Broome). You'll see a guy standing out in front by the big barrels. Choose a pickle or two and he'll fish 'em out and put 'em in wax-paper pouches for you. I think they're 50 cents a pickle. (Guss' is closed Saturday in observance of the Sabbath.)
2. Turn left on Broome, cross Allen St (it's a boulevard), and turn right to Fried Dumpling at 99 Allen St. You can't miss the big sign that says FRIED DUMPLING. A buck will get you five pork-filled dumplings that are juicy and crisp. Another buck will get you four small pork buns. Seating is limited, but you can grab a bench in the Allen St. boulevard area and dine alfresco.
3. Go back to Broome. Turn right. Walk down Broome. Go through the narrow park, pass Bowery (and more lighting stores than you'll ever again see in one place), and walk almost to Mott St. Go inside Banh Mi So. 1 (on the left past the firehouse) and order a sandwich. For 3 bucks, you'll get a yummy Vietnamese sandwich, built on a mini-baguette with pickled veggies and meat. You can easily split one, or go back inside for a second one. They also have the original Red Bull, in the bottle, if you need a pick me up.
4. If you're not still hungry, after you leave Bahn Mi So. 1, turn RIGHT on Mott, Elizabeth, or Mulberry streets. Mott and Elizabeth are about all that remain of Little Italy, so soak up the Godfather II flavor. Walk a couple blocks up into the Nolita district for cute clothing boutiques and cafes. It was apparently a setting for Sex and the City, so dodge the Carrie wannabes. Despite that, it's charming, with cute tenements, interesting graffiti, and lots of 19th-century touches.
5. Finally, walk up Mott, Elizabeth, or Mulberry streets to Prince St. Turn left. Between Mulberry and Lafayette is one of the cutest and coolest independent bookstores in NYC: McNally Robinson. I love their cookbook selection, and they have a spot for tea, coffee, and pastries inside, too. (jenblossom)

Chinatown - Queens
I was a little disappointed by the chinatown in manhattan. What did blow me away though, was the one in Queens. There was even one area there where I swore I was in Korea... (anne)

West Village
You can't miss Magnolia Bakery and all the pretty little stores and cafes there, and see if you can try to get lunch at the counter at Mary's Fish Camp or Pearl's Oyster Bar - a great, single girl experience... (Luisa)

The meat packing district
The meat packing district being also the new hip night area of NY, you really don't want to miss it. (kaira)

Harlem, Washington Heights, Jackson Heights
Caribbean and Latin American foods easily available. (Anna)

Astoria in Queens
It is a great mix of immigrant cuisines, and streets are mind-bogglingly alive. (Anna)
My dear little home is a bevy of culinary treasures - Greek, Turkish, and home to the Bohemian Beer Garden. (margaux)

It's a neat little neighborhood full of boutiques, restaurants, shops, interesting buildings, etc. (Stacy)
Lots of cute small shops, two small flea markets on the weekends and many great restaurants to choose from. (Melanie)

Little Italy
Check out Little Italy which is fast disappearing, but well worth it. Specifically Di Paola's cheese shop and Il Cortile (the best Italian food in the city). (Lady Amalthea)
Walk north of chinatown and go to little Italy. The restaurants are mediocre but the delis are decent with locally made soprosetta, etc. (Kiki)

The Lower East Side
A neat little neighborhood. If you are there on a Monday in June, go to a venue called The Living Room (On Ludlow near Stanton) around 9pm for an artist named Mike Viola. He is absolutely amazing! I will be there for sure. His website has samples of his music. (Stacy)
The LES is peppered with old and new - many old clothing stores, delis, etc, that have been there for years, but also many new chic little boutiques that have one-of-a-kind clothing. Just to warn you though, don't take an early-ish morning trip down there if you want to visit the boutiques - most don't open until noon. (margaux)
This neighborhood has really come up in the last few years and has so many culinary treats to offer. You can simply wander around the neighborhood and stumble on quite a few gems, either for a drink and a small bite or a full meal. (Sarah)
Have some pickles pastrami, lox, bagels, kreplach soup, chopped liver and Dr. Browns Celray soda (not all at the same time of course!). (Melanie)

The Upper East Side
For a view of how the Other Half lives, check out Madison Ave and Park Ave on the Upper East Side. Window shopping is fun there, as you will see some legendary stores and beautiful buildings. (Stacy)

For an off-the-beaten path trip, head up to Inwood on the upper tip of Manhattan to visit the Park and see the last bit of primordial, undeveloped land in New York City. (Stacy)

Jackson Heights
Go to Queens and walk down Roosevelt street. There are about 20 blocks of Columbian, Mexican, Indian, and other ethnicities, food shops and restaurants. The area is called Jackson Heights. You can get tacos and tamales from windows, tropical fruit from street vendors, etc. Take the #7 train or the G train. Get off around 74th street. (Kiki)

The Bronx
Go to the Bronx and walk around Arthur street. It's another little Italy and you can get lots of fresh made items like pasta and cheese, etc. (Kiki)
Arthur Avenue Italian shopping district: Little Italy in the Bronx is far preferable to Little Italy in Lower Manhattan, although not as convenient. It's far more authentic and far, far more value for your dollar/euro. (Julie)

Spanish Harlem
Many places for great Latino food. (Julie)

Brighton Beach
For funky ethnic dives, if you are going to do a Brooklyn day, go to Brighton Beach's Russian neighborhood. Allow yourself to be stunned by the incredible produce at fantastic prices, and the beautiful prepared foods, baked goods, and imported Russian candies and chocolates. Eat at one of the Russian restaurants, drink lots of vodka, get swept up in the moment, and end up dancing on the tabletop (make sure Maxence has a camera)... (Julie)

The Time Warner building
Very cool, Per Se is there as well as Whole Foods - definitely merits checking out. (Melanie)

Canal Street
Go down Canal Street - for the shopper in you or great souvenirs for people at home, there are so many things to see and buy. Since you enjoy the Chinatown in Paris I'm sure you like it there. (Melanie)

9th Avenue
Chock-full of ethnic restaurants. (Melanie)

Central Park
Mentioned on the comments you received are also Fairway (regular and organic), Citerella, and of course H&H bagels, and Zabar's (all within walking distance). I recommend shopping in any or all of the aforementioned place and shop for a picnic (you will be within walking distance to Central Park from any of these places). Go on a sunny Sunday, buy the NYTimes, bring a blanket, and you will experience a true NYC moment! (Emma)

Coney Island, Brooklyn
Go to the original location of Nathan's and get hotdogs, fries and cheap beer. For a more interesting time go very early in the morning or on a bad weather day. Don't forget a ride on the Cyclone - get the last seat in the last car. (Jason Adams)

The Red Hook Ball fields, Brooklyn
Saturday and Sunday, all day, for feasting on Mexican/Latin American food. Very much the party/family atmosphere with communal picnic tables. For the total immersion experience, first go for a dip in the public pool across the street. (Jason Adams)

Not to be missed areas
Lower east side, West Village, East Village, Chelsea, Park Slope, Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, Fort Greene/Clinton Hill. (ciara)

Parkway along the Hudson River
If you'd like to take a stroll, I'd recommend the relatively new parkway along the Hudson River. You can cross to this down at Chambers Street and then walk up along the river. You'll pass a volleyball court, a bike-rental place, a trapeze school... a lovely view and it's great to have the breeze in your hair. (Jenji)

Christopher Street
Up by Christopher Street are a couple of converted piers with benches, grass etc. If you go up further into the low 20s, you can cross over to check out some of the galleries. (Jenji)


Former speakeasy & literary haunt. (Jacob Harris)

The Ear Inn
(Jacob Harris)

(Jacob Harris)
I'll second whoever said KGB bar. (Kate)

The Old King Cole Bar
(Jacob Harris)

(Jacob Harris)

33 Crosby Street
My favorite for mojitos and tapas. (Kate)

Black and White
Plays good music. (Kate)

5 Ninth
In the Meatpacking District -- 212-929-9460
I suggest taking advantage of some outdoor cafe action! I like the intimacy (not to mention the "forgotten" classic cocktails done to perfection) at 5 Ninth. Although it is in the uber-trendy Meatpacking District, their backyard patio is a charming oasis to rest your aching feet, sample some cocktails and light bites, and drink in the summer air. Chic but still relaxed and somewhat hidden. (Andi)
You'll need to reserve several days in advance, but it's worth the planning. The chef sources some great organic produce, pork, etc. American, but with a wider world view in terms of seasoning / flavor combination. (Jenji)

The roof of the MMA
Another great choice for outdoor cocktails is the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yes, it's touristy, but the view eclipses the pricey drinks and the experience on a whole is definitely worth it... plus, you can check out some art while you're there. (Andi)

Terrace 5
I also recommend the pastries and coffee at Terrace 5 in the new Museum of Modern Art for more art/food/outdoor loveliness. (Andi)

At Waverly Place and Gay Street (just west of 6th Avenue); also at 13th Street between University Place and 5th Avenue.
This is the best coffee in New York, and the baked goods on offer are divine. (Dan)
If you're walking through the West Village or the Union Square area, I suggest grabbing a cup of coffee at Joe. Not only do they take coffee insanely seriously, their latte art has to be seen to be believed. I've simply never had a better cup of coffee. I recently took one of their coffee "classes" (which they do monthly for everything from brewing to frothing to The Perfect Espresso) and not only learned the history of coffee but how to brew the perfect cup. It's a treat to visit a place that takes such pride in their product and their customers. (Andi)
I like the folks at Joe, but the coffee is overroasted. (Owen)

Via Quadronno
73rd just west of Madison.
The best coffee in NY. Expensive yes, but... Some good Panini also (Lo Spazinno, on Ciabatta cut in half, is enough for two). (Owen)

Casa Cupcake
9th Ave between 40th and 41st
The coffee is quite good. (Owen)

104 Bayard Street, off Baxter
If you're up for it, a good spot for late-night karaoke. (Kate)

Swing 46
On West 46th street.
If you like swing and big band music, try Swing 46. Low cover, great sounds. (creampuff)

The Campbell Apartment
In Grand Central Terminal.
For swank cocktails in a lovely and historic setting, I can't recommend The Campbell Apartment enough. Just gorgeous. (jenblossom)

The Rainbow Room
I have one suggestion for you (usually met with a 'fuhgeddaboutit' from my fellow NYers) which I reserve for out-of-town visitors only - for no other reason than the view - have *A* drink at the Rainbow Room right around sunset. The cocktail is just an excuse (and aren't they all, really?) to look down from the top of Rockefeller Center. If you time it right, you'll catch the sun setting over New Jersey, its red-orange reflection (the sun's not NJ's - NJ's reflection is a completely different color) on the Hudson river and NY harbor; the lights coming up on the Empire State building, the Chrysler Building (and the rest of Manhattan); and the Verranzano Narrows, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and 59th St. bridges. It is a picture that you will carry with you for years to come. The stunning view offsets the drop in quality and service since the Cipriani organization took over the room (IMHO). And the prices? You might be carrying THAT memory with you for a while, too. Have your one drink and move on to dinner elsewhere. (Kiko)
I would also suggest a drink at the Rainbow Room, spectacular views. (Rachel)

Arlene's Grocery
Cheap dive bar with live music. (Stacy)

Trendy bar with live music. (Stacy)

Rockwood Music Hall
Free to get in, but drinks are sort of pricy. Has love music. (Stacy)

Luna Lounge
Awesome laid back dive bar with live music. (Stacy)

Bohemian Beer Garden
If you have time to make it out to Queens (take the W line out to Astoria Blvd.) the Beer Garden is a favorite, though I think the whole beer garden phenomenon -- this is the last remaining one in NY, when there were hundreds of them at the turn of the century -- has stuck around in Europe more, so maybe this wouldn't be as exciting for you. (Kate)
A great place to grab a beer, particularly if the weather is nice. (margaux)
One of my favorites is the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden Center in Astoria, Queens. And very convenient to get there from the N,R trains. It's such a great time to go there and get a few beers with friends in an outdoor setting. Such a local thing to do. (Rose)

The Flatiron Lounge
I'd suggest the Flatiron Lounge for amazing cocktails that are worth every penny. (Lola)

If you happen to be strolling around SoHo, take a break at Bread and taste the strawberry lemonade which is only available in the summer. (Lola)

Have a drink at Vintage. (Melanie)


Tenement Museum
A real slice of the old immigrant experience on the lower east side... and then you can eat! (Cara)
If you go to the lower East Side, please go the the Tenement Museum and take a tour of the buildings they are restoring. It really gives you a good look at the European immigrant experience. (creampuff)
Definitely check out the Tenement Museum. (Stacy)

The Coney Island Mermaid parade
If you are in town the last week of June, I've heard the Coney Island's Mermaid Parade is fun. (Rance)
It is an event you will never forget. Granted, Coney Island is sort of a long haul out on the subway (it's the last stop) but it's worth it (my husband and I are obsessed with the history of Coney Island, as are many NY'ers and non-NY'ers) and the mermaid parade is a spectacle. There's nothing more "quirky and authentic" than that. Ride the rides, eat fair food, and watch the parade -- men and women dressed up as mermaids and mermen (or dressed down I should say, there is quite a lot of skin exposed), old drag racing cars, music, and a lot of spirit. Here's the Coney Island website.
It's pretty awesome (Kate)

Half price ticket booths
No line at the one at South Street Seaport! (creampuff)
Reduced price tickets are at the TKTS booth in Duffy Square or down at South Street Seaport. (Lady Amalthea)
Tkts Booth at Duffy square for 1/2 price Broadway shows. See at least one or two if possible. (Ken)

Blue Man Group
A definitely unique ny experience. (Barbara)

Staten Island ferry
Take a (free) trip on the Staten Island ferry for great views of France's gift to the USA as well as downtown, or take a ferry to The Statue of Liberty. A trip to Ellis Island might be interesting as well, especially combined with the Tenement Museum and Lower East Side visit to get a full picture of the immigrant experience. (Stacy)
Subway to South Street Ferry and ride the ferry to Staten Island and back. At night the view on a clear night of Manhatten is to die for. (Ken)

The main NY Public Library
On 5th Avenue. (Ken)

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont St Brooklyn, in Brooklyn Heights.
For a different experience, check out the Brooklyn Historical Society. Right now they are having an exhibition about the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team and what life was like in the neighborhood around 1955 when they won the world series. (AlexK)

The Whitney / The Frick / The Cloisters
My favorite museum is The Whitney and for a private quiet experience, The Frick. The Cloisters will be lovely this time of year as well. (shuna)

Guided tour of Chinatown eateries
For a really interesting FOOD-related experience in a museum, check out the Guided tour of Chinatown eatieries. I volunteer for the museum (which is VERY SMALL and easy to go through for a quick musuem stop) as a guide. (Rose)

Take a walking tour from Big Onion Walking Tours. (Rance)

Stop at the 14th street subway station and look at the Otterness sculptures. (Rance)

Circle line 42
If it is hot (or even if it isn't) take one of the short or long cruises around manhattan. (Barbara)


The wonderful Time Out New York magazine (they have an Eating and Drinking Guide too) will tell you things to do and lists their 100 favorite restaurants. looks more eclectic and excellent offbeat fare. Other people like Zagats, but I "can't stand" the way they quote "random people" in their reviews. (Jacob Harris)

A word of advice about reservations: Many many restaurants in NYC are on there and you can make reservations online up to a month in advance. (Lady Amalthea)

Before you leave home, check out it gives you directions via subway from anywhere to anywhere. It's a good reason to book a hotel with free internet service in the room and take your lap top. (Rance)
I found that I could look at any menu. The list never ends and you can search by cuisine or neiborhood, etc. Very interesting. (Helene)
Another reason to take your laptop with you: It has menus for over 4000 restaurants, on-line. They are not always up-to-date, but they can give you an idea of the style and price. (Rance)

City Secrets
I would supplement your Lonely Planet with the City Secrets guidebook for New York City. You will not be disappointed. (Sam)
Written by literati and other residents. (Jacob Harris)

Have you checked out: Vivi's Guide? She's got a great set of listings (including my mexican bodega). (Rose)

Check the latest New Yorker or Village Voice to see what's happening now (Rance)

A handy web page -- All the museums (Rance)

Get a 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard ($24) and like it says, unlimited rides. (Rance)

What I would suggest is that you pick up copies of Ed Levine's book New York Eats and Jim Leff's The Eclectic Gourmet Guide to Greater New York so that you have all the insider info you need about every single one of these foodie experiences, plus directions to get there, hours, etc. (Julie) -- this is the online home of new york magazine -- with a searchable restaurant database, reliable reviews & even a list of cheap eats under $25! -- little tidbits about new restaurants, new things to do, new places to go, things to buy -- you can subscribe & then they send the tidbits to your e mail. (Abby)