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Top 10 Neighborhoods for Dining & Eating Out in NYC: Foodies Rule!
New York City is basically a world-class everything town, but when it comes to being packed with amazing places at which to dine, serving every type of food imaginable, priced from the shockingly cheap to the outlandishly expensive… well, let's just say: hope you're hungry.
Of course, with New York City's excellent public transportation system, you certainly don't have to live in, or even necessarily near, a certain neighborhood in order to eat there, and often. But if you love good food, you might want to consider planting down at least in the general vicinity of the following Top 10 Dining Neighborhoods in NYC.
Any conversation about great East Village restaurants has to start with Chef David Chang and his many Momofukus--Noodle Bar, Milk, Saam, and Ko—but the variety and value of eating-out options in this neighborhood is pretty astonishing, from Prune to Motorino to Ippudo to Vandaag to Kanoyama to Caracas Arepas to Perbacco to on and on…
Just across the East River from the East Village is Williamsburg and it's seemingly never-ending explosion of new, excellent restaurants that are often as much about the party as they are about the food. A short, extremely incomplete list of must-eat spots include the New York City icon Peter Luger, the brilliant smoke-fest Fatty 'Cue, the twin threats Marlowe & Sons and Diner, as well as Dressler, Fette Sau, and Commodore.
West Village & Greenwich Village
The historic, endlessly charming neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and the West Village (adjacent, and thought by some to be one neighborhood) have a vast array of pretty little rooms serving terrific food, from gastropub that started the city-wide trend, the phenomenal Spotted Pig, to the steakhouse Minetta Tavern, the romantic Little Owl, Joseph Leonard, and Recette, the ever-ambitious (and ever-successful) Annisa, to what could be the best slice in Manhattan, Joe's Pizza.
You'll have to spend a lot to eat at Midtown's (East, West and Central) best restaurants, but trust us, it’ll be worth it. The selection of internationally-renowned dining rooms here include Per Se, Jean Georges, Masa, Le Bernadin, and Daniel, four-star spots, all. Add to that list Marea, the Modern, Ma Peche, Insieme, A Voce, Anthos and Gilt, and you've got more brilliant high-end restaurant options within a few blocks of each other than most cities—heck, most countries—can claim.
Eating in this bustling Queens neighborhood is all about the dazzling flavors of authentic Chinese food, whether at a dumpling stand or an over-the-top buffet palace or a quiet, elegant, dim sum restaurant. The options in Flushing are legion: but here's a few suggestions on where to start: Szechuan Gourmet, Spicy and Tasty, Happy Beef Noodle House, and just about every stand in both the Golden and the Flushing Mall.
This North-of-Little-Italy (Nolita) neighborhood has seen a remarkable surge of great new restaurants of late, starting with the almost cultishly adored Torrisi's Italian Specialties, the friendly Rubirosa, Michael White's sceney (and spectacular) Osteria Morini, the Mediterranean winner Balaboosta, as well as the likes of Kenmare, Pulino's, Travertine, and the gimmicky What Happens When.
Carroll Gardens / Cobble Hill
These two adjoining Brooklyn neighborhoods, anchored by the commercial strips of Smith and Court Streets, have recently become a destination dining area for NYC food lovers. Highlights include the outstanding smoked meat (and everything else) at Mile End, the much-loved neighborhood eateries Frankies 457 and Prime Meats, the southern-food Seersucker, the comfort-food Buttermilk Channel, and the small-plates party spot Jake Walk. Foodies in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill will not be disappointed.
This Queens neighborhood is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse in the entire country, so what it might lack in fancy restaurants it more than makes up for in sheer volume, variety and value. Throughout Jackson Heights there are great Indian and Pakistan places, great South American spots, excellent Thai abnd Vietnamese and—pro tip--the best empanadas in the city can be found at La Nueva Bakery, which also has some of the best alfajores.
Union Square / Flatiron
If, for the rest of your life, you could only eat on this mile or so stretch of Manhattan real estate, you'd still be happy every night. The Union Square / Flatiron area features such NYC restaurant royalty as Aldea, Nuela, Shake Shack, Eleven Madison Park, Boqueria, Strip House, Union Square Café, Eataly, Hill Country, Craft, and up just a few blocks, the Breslin and John Dory Oyster Bar. The Urban Edge office is located in this area, and we are fortunate to have such a wide variety of choices just outside our door.
Forget the gorgeous lofts and cobblestone streets and historic buildings for a minute… Tribeca ALSO has some of the best eating in town, a terrific mix of destination and neighborhood spots like the Italian party-place Locanda Verde, the Austrian Blaue Gans, the French duo Bouley and Corton, the '80s mainstay The Odean, the palatial Megu, the world-renowned Nobu, and casual, comfort eateries like Smith & Mills and The Harrison.