The Best Food You’ll Ever Eat In NYC

New York City is the ultimate mecca of diverse, delicious, and over-the-top decadent foods and restaurants, the city easily overwhelming you with its smells and sizzles from the streets. We know it can be a little hard deciding where and what to eat while here, especially with a group, especially with a budget, so we're here to help!

Let us break down the NYC Foodie Scene for you, giving you all the finest in our NYC-chosen categories, from high-end and upscale to down to earth and budget-friendly!

Brunch -

      • Jack’s Wife Freda - Meditarianian meets Jewish with this SoHo breakfast classic, one of the most popular brunch eateries in the whole city. Try the house special of rosewater waffles, or perhaps go for some Lebanese yogurt, duck prosciutto, or duck bacon with your eggs!


      • Russ and Daughters - Regional history, delicious dishes, and quintessential Jewish culture, welcome to Russ and Daughters! This long-time established appetizer shop features highly popular smoked fish plates and lox with scrambled eggs, as well as several popular Easter European cocktails, sodas, and desserts.


Chinese -

        • Mission Chinese Food - When it comes to the best of the best in New York Chinese foods (which trust us, there are a lot of options), we automatically think of Mission Chinese Food. This humble 2-story eatery has it’s own pizza oven and prime rib cart, though many guests come for the raw bar, thrice cooked bacon, and kung pao pastrami.


        • RedFarm - Come to RedFarm to enjoy inventive Chinese dishes and sustainable manners of cooking, two things New Yorkers really love! This place is clean and fresh, serving up fine dishes such as Pac-Man dumplings, the Chicken Hot Pot, and baby Bok Choy.


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Dessert + Ice Cream -

        • Serendipity 3 - This Lower East Side sweet spot serves up two things you’ve just got to try (or at least gawk at), one being the to-die-for Frozen Hot Chocolate, the other being the more expensive Opulence Sundae, topped with gold and reaching the sky-high price of $1,000.


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        • Momofuku Milk Bar- Yes you read that right, Momofuku has a Milk Bar. This highly unusual yet ever-increasingly popular eatery in NYC’s East Village offers dessert-loving guests options such as cookies, truffles, cakes, and shakes. Oh, and of course, don’t forget your glass of milk. Did we mention this place has been named “one of the most exciting bakeries in the country” by bon appétit magazine?


Classic NYC -

        • Katz’s Delicatessen - Talk about a classic, this quintessential Jewish Delicatessen has 127 years of experience here in the Lower East Side, continuously drawing in hungry guests with the smells of rye and pastrami wafting down the streets. The plates here are big, shareable, and delicious!


        • Emilio’s Ballato - Emilio’s makes our Classic NYC list because of one thing: the sauce. A lot of people think of classic Italian/Sicilian food when they think of NYC, and Emilio’s has the very definition of classic red sauce inside. Try the bolognese before you go and enjoy the old-timey Italian feel inside!


        • Shake Shack - When we think of classic NYC, we think of the Shake Shack. This highly famous burger stand is most popular for one thing, and has been since it’s Madison Square food cart beginnings in 2004: the juicy Shackburger served on a potato roll with the secret shack sauce! This burger made it to the Thrillist ‘50 Best Things to Eat in NYC Iconic Foods Bucket List’.


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High-End -

        • Per Se - Put on your finest and head to Per Se for a more classy New York night, this fine-dining eatery booking weeks in advance during its busy season. At Per Se, you will find high-end cuisine and long lines, but trust us, the $325 charge for the signature meal here featuring the salmon tartare cone and lux oysters is beyond worth it if you have the money.


        • Hearth - Marco Canora will not disappoint at this next high-end mention, the 13-year-old European Italian eatery called Hearth. Healthy eating is a big deal to the head chef here at Hearth, so expect all your rich Italian favorites but with slightly healthier alternatives, such as whole-grain pasta and bone broth bases.


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        • NoMad - One of our all-time favorite NYC eateries is also one of the most high-end on our list, this hotel restaurant featuring ‘ultra-luxe’ meals with hearty and fresh vegetables, fresh seafood, and even another one of Thrillist ‘Iconic Foods Bucket List’ members, the NoMad Chicken. One word. Scrumptious.


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        • Gramercy Tavern - This spot can run a little high cost-wise, but the food is definitely worth it, Gramercy serving up some of the tastiest farms to table meals. You can come here to enjoy a relaxed lunch or even a romantic dinner, the atmosphere is electric inside!


        • Bouley - Bouley is one of the most highly respected eateries in the fine city of New York, this classic NYC restaurant boasting some of the finest eatery architecture, service, and food since the late 1980s.