As you can imagine, I get tons of requests from non-New Yorkers for restaurant recommendations, so I decided to compile a quick reference guide to my favorite nosh spots in the city. I plan to update this post as necessary, so bookmark it if you’re planning a visit in the near future. New Yorkers, please feel free to add your favorites in the comments section!
You might notice the first round of suggestions is very Hell's Kitchen-focused... what can I say? I like to stay close to home! I promise to branch out on future updates, k?
The Delta Grill
W. 48th & 9th Ave.
Soul food from Louisiana. At brunch, get the biscuits & gravy, cheesy grits and/or smothered potatoes. Wear elastic waist pants.
W. 53nd & 9th Ave.
Inexpensive Mexican in an intimate (read: teeny tiny) setting. Try the Viagra and Hawaiian empanadas and dip in the green tomatillo sauce. Freakishly fresh salsa. The salads are great, too, but don't worry, they couldn’t possibly be healthy. Don’t walk out the door without sharing the caramel flan – even if you don’t like flan.
W. 54th & 9th Ave.
Another delicious Hell’s Kitchen Mexican restaurant. You MUST order the chicken chilaquiles if you come here. MUST. Taste explosion in your mouth. Fabulous loaded nachos are great, too.
Perfectly good spot for cheap Mexican (BBQ chicken tacos are delish but you have to special order them now) and cheap margaritas, but weekend brunch is the best kept secret about Blockheads. Only $10.95 for any item on the brunch menu (Green Eggs & Ham, Juevos Rancheros, Western Omelet, etc.) and unlimited mimosas - and they aren’t stingy with the refills. Huzzah!
E. 55th & 3rd Ave. (Other locations, too!)
Best burgers in town, for real. I hear they also have killer mac n’ cheese & onion straws.
W. 47th & 9th Ave.
A great choice for Italian! RaeRae’s favorite is fettucine alfredo with chicken, mushrooms & peas.
W. 47th & 10th Ave.
Who doesn’t like eating with their hands? Use Injera, a spongy, sourdough flatbread, to scoop up a selection of spiced meats. Not too risky if you want to try something new and different.
Daisy Mae’s Barbeque
W. 46th & 11th Ave.
The pulled pork here is good, but it’s the cheesy creamed corn, burnt tip baked beans and smushy sweet potatoes that make this place worth a visit to 11th Avenue.
W. 48th & 9th Ave.
Super delicious Mediterranean food. For entrees, stick with the basics – chicken, lamb or steak kebabs & rice. Splurge on appetizers – the tabouli is good, the goat cheese spread is AMAZING.
W. 49th & 7th Ave.
For a restaurant in Times Square, Ruby Foo’s is surprisingly delicious and only a teeny bit overpriced. The Snowball Roll is a winner and so are the dumplings. This is a great place to share entrees and apps.
Do not come to NYC without trying Pinkberry. My favorite combination is Passion Fruit & Coconut swirled in a parfait with yogurt chips instead of granola and strawberries, blueberries & pineapple. You can also opt for original or pomegranate, and coming soon: chocolate!