The best restaurants in New York City should only be divulged for a true New Yorker, and, luckily, you've got one right here. There are typical 'city' places that everyone seeks out, and then there are the true gems; restaurants that only locals would know where to find and when to hit up. Eating is a full-time activity in the city; whether it's done on the go or during the rare occasions we have to sit down and take a break. No matter what someone is seeking, they can likely find it anywhere, any time of day. After all, that's the beautiful thing about New York City, is it not? Take it from someone who knows.
10 Blue Dog Kitchen Is A Must For Brunch
There aren't too many places that a true New Yorker will take the time to stand in line for—hence why there are so many options—but the Blue Dog Cafe in Hell's Kitchen is one of them. There are several other locations, but a personal favorite is the one found on 56th. Their menu offers upscale comfort food, and a personal favorite is the pumpkin-stuffed french toast. Along with the complimentary banana bread + jam, the personalized brunch drink menu, and mysterious yet boho decor.
9 The Pig 'N Whistle For Comfort And Traditional U.K. Fare
Many of these restaurants are easily accessible from Midtown, which is good news if you've never explored the city before. It's nearly impossible to get lost, especially around the Pig 'N Whistle on 36th, which is just a short walk from Broadway. They advertise themselves as a 'Rugby bar' and we're not really sure how much more U.K. you can get than that. A favorite go-to is the crab cakes with curry aioli, but, of course, you can't go wrong with any of their pub specialties. It's a great hangout to chill, grab some drinks, and kick back.
8 The Keg Room Has A Brie Dip That Everyone Needs In Their Lives
When I say that I have dreams about this Brie-beer dip, I mean it. Not only does this bowl of deliciousness come piping hot to the table, but it comes with some of the best soft pretzels you could imagine. There's something about the way these soft and steamy pretzel sticks just melt into ooey-gooey cheesy goodness that makes up the stuff of dreams. It's a great precursor to their lamb sliders or just about anything with their mashed potatoes. The menu is large enough to please anyone and the old Hollywood, rustic decor will make you forget you're in the middle of the city.
7 Ayza Provides Dessert And Sangria Like You've Never Even Seen
Ayza is a spot that's easy to miss if you're just walking on by, which is surprising considering the fact that the outdoor seating is almost always full. This wine and chocolate bar is a tiny little place that packs quite the punch when it comes to all things decadent. Their special feature is chocolates by Jacques Torres, which are essentially tiny works of art on a plate. If straight chocolate isn't your thing, try their Twenty-Layer Crepes Cake Brulee, specialty cheese and/or charcuterie platter, or one of their many signature drinks.
6 Alice's Tea Cup Features Whimsy Decor And A Short Walk To Central Park
There's nothing bad to say about Alice's Tea Cup, and this is an absolute must for all fans of Alice in Wonderland. The entire cafe—there are several locations, all similar—features wall-to-wall artwork from the classic children's books. Even the tables have surprises waiting, and many contain dolls and accessories from the book descriptions as well. The menu is a teahouse-style menu with proper sandwiches and a list of scones that will utterly blow your mind. You never thought teatime could be so much fun.
5 Halal Guys... Especially at 2 AM
It's absolutely necessary for both city natives as well as newcomers. It's beyond easy to lose track of time when you're wandering around the city, and if you happen to get out of a late show or concert, it's Halal time. These street vendors aren't just there to waft tantalizing smells toward your nose... they're there to serve, and serve they will! Stopping at one of these street carts will suddenly convince you that all those late-night cravings make sense, if only for that one moment when you take a bite out of gyro. Just do it!
4 Katz's Is Worth It, Believe The Hype
If you're not eating pastrami on your lunch break, are you even being a true New Yorker? The one thing we can't dent is pastrami, and the one place we all flock to is Katz's. Aside from the fact that you're getting pastrami roughly the size of your head, just being in this deli is a true New York experience. This was always a fond memory and everything, from the smell of slightly salty meat to the cool smoothness of the deli booths, is ingrained in my brain for the rest of my life.
3 L & W Oyster Co. For Awesome Seafood
The first time ever visiting L & W Oyster Co. was on pride weekend and we were overjoyed to watch the very first of the festivities stroll down the street. It's in a fairly crowded location, but it's easy enough to find, and, if there's an event going on in the city, you've likely got a first-hand view. The atmosphere is New England-meets-NYC and definitely themed for adult cocktail hour, after work drinks, or weekend lunch. Obviously, their oysters are what they're known for, but their entire menu is full of all the best the sea has to offer.
2 Best Bagel And Coffee For On-The-Go Goodness
There's no-frills and nothing fancy when it comes to a good bagel and some coffee. You could spend hours seeking out the perfect coffee shop but when it comes down to it, proximity and speed are the two things New Yorkers are seeking first thing in the morning. A bagel in the city is generally good no matter where it comes from, and Best Bagel and Coffee is known for great bagels with lox if that's your thing. The good news is there's no end to the great bagel places in the city, and finding them is half the fun.
1 Believe It Or Not, Hang Around Penn For Some Rockin' Pizza
The best pizza in the city, to memory, is... believe it or not... right in Penn Station. Travelers won't need to go far in order to be just seconds away from hot, cheesy, and huge slices of pizza. Rose's Pizza & Pasta is a favorite, but Don Pepi and Pizza Suprema are all pretty much on-par when it comes to craving that oil layer with a perfectly browned crust and cheese that seemingly spans for miles. If the smell alone doesn't get you, then visions of massive pizzas lining the display case will.