You could spend a lifetime in New York City and never eat at the same restaurant twice. However, here are a few nearby favorites so good that you might find yourself visiting them more than once.
When you’re looking for a wood-paneled, clubby kind of steakhouse, head straight to Keen. A New York City landmark since 1885, it still serves enormous steaks and signature mutton chops to legions of die-hard fans. Of note, it houses one of the largest collections of smoking pipes in the world. Babe Ruth and Theodore Roosevelt are among the patrons known to have enjoyed a pipe with Albert Keen.
This historic, 1903 tavern is located right between the Empire State Building and Macy’s, making it a favorite spot for tourists to grab a bite to eat. With everything from very American food (steaks, burgers, pizza) to some Irish offerings (shepherds pie), there’s something on the menu for everyone in your party. The interior architecture, including stained glass windows, creates a beautiful backdrop for the creative cuisine.
Insiders love the craft cocktails and duck fat fries, which are specialties of the house at The Liberty. The American fare is standard yet delicious, and the old New York-styled interior (framed photos of silent film stars, muted televisions playing black and white movies) is inviting and elegant yet relaxing. Regulars of this gem would love to keep it a secret, but the food is just too good to keep quiet!
If you love beer, you will love Gingerman. With a constantly changing selection of at least 70 beers on draft and more than 150 types of bottled beer, you’ll really appreciate the fact that the staff knows the drinks, down to the hops. Tell them what taste you like, and a cold craft beer will appear before your very eyes. You won’t go hungry, either: bar food has been elevated to good food, and no one leaves Gingerman hungry.
Fine Italian dining is at its best at Ai Fiori. Think elegant, understated surroundings, attentive wait staff and gourmet fare from the Italian and French Riviera with accompanying regional wines. Zagat has included Ai Fiori on its list of “Best Hotel Restaurants in NYC” and those who look forward to celebrating special occasions in the swanky restaurant agree.
You’ll feel as though you just stepped into a 1930s Shanghai teahouse when you walk into this midtown Chinese restaurant. Sichuan, Hunan and Shanghai-influenced cuisine is served in an authentic setting with surprisingly moderate prices.
This wood-and-steel Korean barbeque joint delivers on its promise: grills are fired up in the middle of each table, and meat steals the show. The chefs season and marinate each cut differently and then prepare your meal before your eyes. This wildly popular eatery is a favorite in Manhattan.
When you’re dreaming of Madrid but looking at Manhattan, stop by Toledo for some authentic seafood paella or croquettes. The food is delicious, the atmosphere the perfect amount of “clubby” and the martinis are to die for. This is as close as you can get to Spain while in the Big Apple!
A loud, boisterous pub with large-screen televisions broadcasting various sporting events, great bartenders and perfectly prepared fish and chips make this eatery by the Empire State Building a favorite in the City. Stop in, let them pour you a pint of Guinness and decide if it’s one of your favorites, too.
Martinis and chocolate can cure just about any problem, and a trip to Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar has both in abundance. A somewhat-hidden gem of a restaurant, they are lauded for an excellent wine list, delicious menu and, of course, plenty of chocolate.