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This East Village classic is a couple of blocks from John’s first New York apartment, and he’s been going there since 2000. We’ve been going there since we started dating (I wonder who else he’s taken there???.) Whatever. It’s amazing. Hearty, homestyle Italian food. We love the Baked Eggs Ragu for brunch. Lasagna Verde Thursdays are practically a holy day when we’re in New York.
88 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Basically under the High Line park between Chelsea Market and the Hudson river, this is elegant Italian with a beautiful tasting menu and old-school tricks like tableside service. The 100-layer lasagna is to die for.
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
A Village classic with some of the best pasta I’ve ever had. Try the Black Spaghetti (squid ink does the job!) with Rock Shrimp and Salami Calabrese.
110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011
We don’t often hang out on the Upper East Side, but it’s worth the trip for Scalinatella, an old-school classic that could play house in a Scorcese film, in that Il Mulino kind of way. It’s down in the basement and you feel super cool and authentic as soon as you walk in. Great homemade pastas, great service.
201 E 61st St, New York, NY 10065
This Brooklyn pizzeria deserves the hype. The brick oven is right there and they make your beautiful pizza from scratch right in front of your eyes, complete with dough-spinning and everything. Mark Iacono rolls the dough with wine bottles and if he’s around, make sure to beg him for the house salad. Dip your crust into the vinegrette when you’re done!
575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Bond Street is so cool. I’ve always wanted an apartment there, but my dream has been denied so far. In the meantime, at least I can eat at il Buco. It’s very classy but still casual enough to pop by for lunch if you’re in the neighborhood. They do everything well, but we always order the Gambas (pan-fired king prawns) to start, peeling and dipping each bite into crunchy salt. Also a kale salad worth traveling for!!
47 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
Another New York classic in the Village. Try the pasta. All of it. And the veal parm. Pro tip: Try lunchtime, when it can be easier to get a res, and you will have more time to digest the…um…hearty dishes. Fun fact: The waiter’s suits were designed by Zac Posen!
181 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012
We’ve been in love with this place since they opened in the East Village. They have a few locations in town. They do BBQ very well despite being in a city not known for it. The brisket is juicy and full of flavor. And they deliver and cater!
This has been an institution in SoHo for decades. They serve the best chicken & pancakes. (Everyone knows chicken & pancakes are better than chicken and waffles, right?). Miles had the bacon here the last time we were in New York and loved it.
73 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014
Blue Ribbon Sushi
If we’re in New York, there’s a good chance you’ll see us here at some point during our trip. So, stalkers, take note: It’s a good place to start. They don’t take reservations, so just show up, drink some sake, and wait for your fantastic sushi. I order the exact same thing every time: the toro (tuna belly) tataki, maguru salad, ebi (shrimp) onigara, dynamite (appetizer), and the kanpachi usuzukuri (thinly sliced amberjack) with extra yuzu paste.
119 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012
Authentic, creamy ramen that will warm your heart and fill your belly. Spicy miso ramen for the win! This is the one ramen that tastes just like the ones imprinted on my taste buds from Japan. I always get the chicken wings, which have this amazing sauce with cabbage in it, and the cucumbers with sesame dressing, the pork buns, and the Karaka-men Ramen with spicy sauce on the side. Bonus: There’s now one in L.A.!
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003
Momofuku Noodle Bar
David Chang’s tasty noodle shop. We’ve spent a lot of time here, including one of my favorite birthday parties where we rented the whole place out and ate all of the chilled spicy pork noodles (made with Sichuan pork and candied nuts and served over greens). These noodles haunt me so much I’ve ordered them to take on the plane back to L.A. so I don’t have to be without them. The smoked chicken wings cannot be duplicated. Get with a side of rice to pour the remaining sauce over!
171 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Authentic Thai with my Thai mom’s seal of Thai approval–so much that we celebrated Pepper’s birthday here. And it’s on Bond Street. Have I mentioned how much I love Bond Street? Order everything, especially the curries, and share everything. You gotta love a restaurant that has a sign declaring itself a “No Pad Thai Zone,” so just know you prob won’t be getting your standard order here. Which is a good thing.
55 Bond St. (Lafayette & Bowery)New York, NY 10012
Another authentic Thai place enthusiastically approved by PepperThai2. Amazing for lunch and takeout, or sit out on the patio and people watch. I also go to their second restaurant, Uncle Boon’s sister, to stock up on bags upon bags of their homemade pork rinds with green chili sauce.
7 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
This is the place I pick whenever I have a work lunch or happy hour drinks with the team. Delicious seafood, tasty cocktail menu. From the brilliant culinary mind of our friend Josh Capon. His famous Lure burger is rightfully loved by all, and the chowder…oh man.
142 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012
Elite Tasting Menus ($$$$)
This place is world-renowned and deserves its reputation. We’re not breaking any news here, but it’s really great and surprisingly unpretentious. Just get the tasting menu and let them please you with their three-Michelin-star excellence.
11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
Eric Ripert is our friend, not to mention a culinary genius. He has a generous soul and a commitment to excellence. Le Bernardin specializes in seafood, and they do absolutely everything with precision and beauty and love. One of our favorite bites of all time is their caramel egg for dessert.
155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
New York isn’t just the concrete jungle of Manhattan. They actually have farms and mountains and lakes in New York State! Make the drive up to Stone Barns to taste fresh food from their beautiful farm from chef Dan Barber. If you take the kids, you can tour the farm and see the animals!
630 Bedford Rd, Tarrytown, NY 10591
Bowery Meat Company
Another gem from our friend Josh Capon. He really knows how to do meat. Everything’s juicy and flavorful and tender and…well…meaty. Get the cavor-topped Deviled Eggs and Eggs (get it?); the meatballs in tomato pan gravy; the duck lasagna; and the herb-crusted Colorado lamb chops with harissa yogurt. A carnivore’s dream!
9 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003
Christina Tosi is now legendary for her creative takes on sweetness. From the cookies, to the crack pie, to the cereal milk (!!) to the birthday cakes, she makes this savory girl actually love dessert.
Jack’s Wife Freda
This place now has three locations in the city, but we’ve been going since the SoHo location opened. it’s near where we live, so we go there a LOT, especially for breakfast and lunch. It’s casual and flavorful and there’s always a long line on the weekend. We love all of the egg dishes and the chicken kebab.
224 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
Our favorite Greek place in the city, we’ve been going to this East Village gem for years. Moussaka–layers of cinnamony, tomatoey meat in creamy bechamel sauce–may be one of the greatest food ideas in the world. It’s a Greek classic and you should definitely try it at Pylos. And you must have the lamb chops!
128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009