New York Restaurant Recommendations

High-level thoughts on the NYC food scene:

  1. NYC has many restaurants that specialize in one dish, rather than a cuisine. Go for these, e.g. soba (Cocoron), udon (Raku), broth (Brodo), beef noodle soup (Ho Foods)
  2. NYC is strong in: Japanese food of all kinds (especially ramen), Korean food in Ktown, Australian cafes, handpulled noodle shops, Italian pasta, Jewish food, and desserts (especially ice cream)
  3. Haven't found world-class Thai and Vietnamese food here yet. (Somebody feel free to prove me wrong!)
  4. For bars, check out the speakeasies and rooftop bars, then grab late-night food at Halal Guys (Midtown), Prince St Pizza (Soho) or Five Senses in Koreatown.


Raku - best udon ever, even if you don't like udon. If you eat nowhere else, eat here.

Hi-collar - go for japanese vintage pub-style brunch or sake at night

Cocoron - my favorite soba place with fresh noodles and rarely a wait

Soba-ya - another one of the top soba shops - they make the soba in house, usually a wait

Takashi - grill your own meats Japanese-style, meats are beautifully marbled

Ise Restaurant - favorite all-around Japanese restaurant with soba, sushi, bites and more

EN Japanese Brasserie - fancy Japanese fare - great for lunch or dinner. Recommend the black miso cod or sashimi lunch sets and fiji apple / black sesame homemade ice cream for dessert

Ootoya (several locations: Chelsea, Times Square, Greenwich village) - authentic Japanese with dishes like soba, chicken katsu, chawanmushi (egg custard) 


Five Senses - best korean restaurant in Ktown

Baekjong - best Korean BBQ

Jongro - 2nd Best Korean BBQ

Take 31 - really good, homey Korean food, cute decor 

BCD Tofu House - best soondubu (tofu stew) and they give lots of bonchon (side dishes)



Zundo-ya - arguably the best ramen spot without the crazy waits of Totto and Ippudo

Totto Ramen - known for their straight noodles. hole-in-the-wall, almost always a wait

- Ippudo - the most famous ramen shop, but wait times are ridic. Zundo-ya is around the corner and just as good. 

- Takashi's midnight ramen, avail Fri + Sat nights starting at midnight. Email/call to reserve. Very different than your typical pork-broth ramens, worth it if the time works for you

- MEW MEN - another great ramen spot

- Lam Zhou - handpulled noodle soups & pan fried dumplings - cash only, hole in the wall spot

- Wah Fung No 1 Fast Food - the best cha siu fan. grab-and-go

Shanghai Cafe - 8 xiao long bao's for $5, super juicy

- Char Sue - fried duck bao sandwich 

Kopitiam - hole-in-the-wall Malaysian breakfast and brunch, cash only

- Tung Woo Co - fresh soymilk and hot sweet tofu

- Shanghai Asian Manor - good xiao long baos, this enoki mushroom watercress dish, ja jiang mien

- Hot Kitchen - get the "assorted spicy wok" and share it among ~3 people 

- Xi'an Famous Foods - fast casual xi'an style noodle soups, great value and tasty

- Tim Ho Wan - michelin starred dim sum spot, very inexpensive. Go during off-peak hours or expect a crazy wait



- Russ & Daughters - Jewish deli, amazing bagel sandwiches and other jewish comfort food

- Katz Pastrami - famous, good for if you're in the mood for a huge hunk of pastrami on rye


- Eataly's pasta restaurant - get the bucatini amatriciana, appetizers not worth it

Malatesta - homemade Italian pasta, cash only

Casual breakfast cafe

- Merriweather Cafe - breakfast sandwich, turmeric ginger oatmeal with poached pears

- Hole in the wall coffee - get the hanging bacon jerky 


- Jack's Wife Freda

- Maialino - best, fluffiest pancakes

- Midwinter Kitchen

- Jane


By Chloe - tasty vegan place for non-vegans - think vegan mac & cheese, avocado pesto pasta, vegan brunch items. Worth trying once!

- Sweetgreen - It's like chipotle for complex salads, a lot of New Yorkers' go-to for lunch / dinner. Just try it once!


- Lady M - green tea mille crepe cake 

- Morgenstern's - best ice cream in the city

Besfren - Green tea roll cake or salted caramel roll cake 

- Greecologies - best traditional housemade yogurt - favorite toppings are rose petal preserves and figs

- Momofuku Milk Bar - cereal milk ice cream, very sweet but very unique

- Eileen's Cheesecakes - NY style cheesecake

Dough - probably best donut shop in NYC

- Van Leeuwen - unique flavors, also has delicious vegan (!) ice cream

- Takahachi bakery - matcha roll cake 

- Two Little Red Hens - huge cupcakes - key lime is my favorite

- Chobani - same brand as the store-bought yogurt, but their in-store yogurt combos taste way better. Greecologies is still better than Chobani though. 

- Empire Bakery - all kinds of sweets

- Georgetown cupcake - cupcakes!

Coffee Shops

- River Coyote - nitro coffee, kombucha on tap, has wifi, my favorite spot in the city

- Coffee Project - deconstructed latte

- Seven Grams Caffe

- La Colombe - an NYC coffee shop staple

- City of Saints Coffee Roasters

For coffee shops that are good to work from, I'm cataloguing SF and NYC ones at!