Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)
We all have our top 20 restaurants in the city that we often visit again and again, I have a list of 20 restaurants that I patronize a few times every week/month. They might not be Daniel, JG, Per Se, Masa, Bouley, Del Posto, etc, which I've eaten at but wouldn't be able to put on the my list here. The list is obviously very broad, from hole in the wall, neigborhood restaurants to perhaps considered one of the best culinary institutions in this town. I would love to see everyone's list, I am sure we can learn more from each other and appreciate each person's specific taste bud from this individual list :)
I'm listing my 20 most visited restaurants first (not a ranking) :
2. Peter Luger
3. Bo Ky (best $4 noodlesoup I've been going for 10 years)
4. Pastis (always end up here somehow)
5. Teriyaki Boy (most visited cheap Japanese for my lunch option)
6. Bouchon Bakery (probably a few times a week)
7. Ceci Cela (can't have enough of their chocolate almond croissants)
8. Grand Sichuan International
9. Patsy's Pizzeria
11. Kang Shuh (24 hour Ktown option)
12. Fai Da Dimsum (Flushing - most of my Chinese/Taiwanese friends love this place)
14. Yakitori Totto / Izakaya Hagi (equal time between these two, always there once a week)
15. Chipotle (another bad bad unhealthy lunch option, but always end up eating it)
16. Gramercy Tavern (Bar Dining)
17. Pam's Real Thai
18. Pearl Oyster Bar
19. Casa Mono
20. L'Express/Florent (my 24 hour most visited restaurant)
** Sorry I cheated, not exactly 20
Share us yours !!!! :)
re: manhattan foodie
I like to change it up as often as possible, but these are my repeat venues of choice...
1. Penelope (25 times +)
2. Bouchon Bakery (20 times +)
3. Lunchbox (12 times +)
4. Roomali (12 times)
5. L'Express (12 times)
6. Pump Energy Food (12 times)
7. Blue Smoke (10 times)
8. Curry Leaf (9 times)
9. Eleven Madison Park (8 times)
10. Park Bistro (8 times)
11. Landmarc TWC (8 times)
12. Adrienne's Pizza Bar (8 times)
13. Momofuku Ssam Bar (7 times)
14. Blue Hill @ Stone Barns (7 times)
15. Rickshaw Dumpling Bar (7 times)
16. Jean Georges (6 times)
17. Waterfront Ale House (6 times)
18. Azucar/Guantanamera (6 times)
19. Shake Shack (6 times)
20. Babbo (5 times)
Welcome back! Glad to see your posting again! I read your recent Landmarc reviews, and as always, very informative. Based on your review on L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon (which is my favorite restaurant and is one of my 20 most visited), is it safe to assume that it will be on your top 20 list very soon? ;D
Anyway, glad to hear from you again!
re: manhattan foodie
Nice. Lucky you, I wish Sakagura were on my list...
1. Lin's (formerly David's in Elmhurst)
2. Balthazar (you can get cafe au lait in a bowl!!)
3. Blue Ribbon (mostly post-2am)
4. Yakitori Taisho (only post 2-2am)
4. Blue Ribbon Sushi (for the otoro, the wild mackarel, and the uni in winter)
5. ñ (cheap pitchers of sangria, wish the white asparagus remained on the menu)
6. Penang (hainan chicken, lower half please)
7. Dylan Prime (steak? sure. but the martini with the blue cheese olives is the real gem)
8. The Harrison (sweet corn risotto with blistered cherry tomatoes perfect for summer)
9. Tartine (weekday lunch only, too packed any other time)
10. White Castle (4 am cravings)
11. Village Yokocho (mostly when Taisho is packed out the door)
12. Mermaid Inn (great garden)
13. Aquagrill (oysters at the bar, happy hour special)
14. Jamba Juice (counts as meal in itself)
mengathon, Lin's (David's) used to be on my list when I had a friend who lived around Elmhurst area, but I haven't been to this Taiwanese gem for years, I hope the quality hasn't dropped since the management change. I'd love to visit this restaurant again.
Jamba Juice is definitely a lunch option sometimes, though I'd prefer juicing myself at home whenever I get a chance.
Village Yokocho was my regular place a few years ago, but the smokey smell often prevent me from visiting this place, the same could be said for many establishments in K-town, which often leaves you with the everlasting odor and thus to me, are more suitable a late super option.
Despite the English name change (the Chinese one remains the same), the menu and food at Lin's are still the same, and surprisingly, as are the management and staff. I'm really not sure why they changed it. But the food is as good as always. I cant find the chicken roll anywhere else. mmm... Revisit when you get a chance. You'll see all your old favorites.
Perhaps one of the partners, or family shareholders left which often happens in many restaurant business, and so the name changed to reflect the adjustment.
Another possibility is instead of using the first name (David), perhaps they decided to use the family name instead (Lin). But unlikely, as they've been known as David's for years, so why changed it now, unless the previous happened. I wonder if the restaurant's Chinese name also changed.
This is more a function of geographic proximity than anything else:
Sobre ruedas taco truck
the new Jamaican cart on 51st near 8th
Pair of 8s (before it closed)
Global Kitchen (an overpriced, all-purpose lunch place near my workplace)
Daisy May's lunch cart
Saigon Grill, pre-strike
Cafe con Leche
cimui, sounds like we work around the same area. :)
The Jamaican cart on 51st near 7th Ave (I am sure unless there's another one) is a great option around midtown West/Rockefeller area for lunch ... BUT ... the wait is just horrendeous, I waited in the line for 45 minutes just to get my order from the cart.
Went to Global Kitchen a few times but they screwed up my sandwiches, so no more, prefer Cafe Duke on 51st btwn 6th and 7th (expensive deli but plenty of options)
Us and a few hundred thousand others, right? =)
GK has pretty passable sushi and soft shell tacos for a deli--but mostly I go there out of laziness / lack of time / fear of rain and/or sun and/or snow (since it's inside my building).
Jamaican cart isn't bad around 11 a.m. or before, for their daily breakfast porridge, or after 2 or so. It helps that I eat a late lunch.
I'd love to hear your suggestions for other carts/restos in the area!
I see... well... this is going to be a little bit off topic, but some of my favorite places for lunch options around there are ... (and these don't make it in the top 20 since I'm just too lazy to walk during the winter/cold weather) but I visit these places quite often...
- Men Kui Tei 56th St (used to go here many years ago, and way too crowded around 12-1pm)
- Original Yip's Chinese restaurant 45th close to 5th Ave (super cheap, unhealthy, greasy, often too much MSG, but taste good, they have buffet an these folks are the same guys as the people who used to run Yip's near WTC before 9/11)
- If you know Chiyoda Sushi, there's a Japanese guy who stands with some plastic containers next to the building beside Au Bon Pain on 50th around 11.30-12.30pm, he brings those bentos from their 41st location, most patrons are Japanese who works around there. Normally the bentos are gone by 12.30pm
- Instead of going to Margon, I go to Utopia Cafe on 56th St sometimes, they are a Deli but they also sell Dominican food version of Margon, huge portion.
- Another cart I frequent a few years ago was the KwikMeal cart on 46th and 6th Ave, but I haven't been there for ages
- Sapporo is another option, though I don't prefer to seat near the open kitchen
- Of course if you work late, there's the famous gyros on 52nd and 6th ave with the neverending line, which I thought was way overrated.
- Daisy May's BBQ cart on 50th btwn 6th and 7th
-The crepe/empadanas from the cart in front of MOMA
- I frequent Variety Cafe on 48th St just because the selection was plenty
- Bread and Olive on 45th St for some lamb meswhi
I have to think more ..
Chiyoda's been around for several years (long before they opened their 41st St shop) providing bentos to Japanese companies from their main plant in Long Island City. This plant also makes all the bentos sold at the 41st St shop. The bentos that are sold on the street are the ones that are leftover after the guy makes all the office deliveries. There are other bento companies (not as big as Chiyoda) that also sell their stuff around midtown. There's a smaller operation that sells a more "natural" or organic bento somewhere on 6th Ave near 49th as well. Not sure of the time.
re: E Eto
On any given week, I'll probably visit 3 or 4 of these:
Ali Baba (E 34th St)
Cacio e Pepe
Runners-up: Barney Greengrass, Maroons, Tulcingo del Valle
re: S R
re: S R
Sripraphai would have been on my list, had the restaurant been closer to the Upper West Side... but I'll settle for Pam's Real Thai for now, and Topaz, Wondee is too sweet for me after 2-3 visits. Maybe I should try again sometimes.
Payard used to be my regular destination when I lived in the UES, but now we have Bouchon Bakery
These are in no specific order!
1. David Copperfield's
2. Half King
3. Sa Woy
4. Aki Sushi
5. Slice Pizza
9. Bagel & Co.
10. Karen's on Astor Place
11. Sushi of Gari
12. El Paso
13. Patsy's Pizza
15. Atlantic Grill
16. Bouley's Upstairs
17. Buon Gusto
18. Caravan of Dreams
19. Alice's Teacup
I don't have 20, either, but these are the places I go to most often:
Roll & Dough
Koronet Pizza (convenience only)
Hale & Hearty (ditto - quick healthy lunch)
A few weeks ago, I would have included Bright Food Shop, but alas...
Just top off the top of my head:
Cafe DeVille (French bistro)
Duke's (southern-style food)
Elvie's Turo-Turo (Filipino)
Cafe Habana (Cuba/Mexican)
Katsu-hama (for Japanese tonkatsu)
Ed's Lobster Bar (seafood)
Curry Leaf (Indian)
Les Halles (French bistro)
Gyu-kaku (Japanese BBQ)
Casa Mono (Tapas)
Haru's (Japanese sushi)
Holy Basil (Thai)
Mexico Lindo (Mexican)
Pomme Frites (Belgian)
Momofuku ssam (Korean fusion)
Baluchi's (for Indian delivery)
This is turning out to be harder than I thought it would be! Anyway, here is a list of 20 establishments (though there are probably more) at which I have eaten at least 5 times, if not 25. Some of these I haven't been to in quite some time, but they sure had a good run at one point or another!
1)Carmine 50 (closed, sadly)
2)Daddy-O (sexy ambience, expert bartenders, and bleu cheese burgers with tater tots)
3)El Conde (best churrasco and maduros)
4)Trattoria Malatesta (spaghetti alla chitarra all the way, every time)
5)John's Pizzeria of Bleecker St.
6)Joe's Pizza (Carmine Street)
7)Peasant (can they do anything wrong?)
8)Olives (ate the best short ribs of my life there, more than once, not to mention the vanilla souffle)
9)Big Daddy's Diner
10)SushiSamba (original Park Ave. So. location--who knew a dish called "el topo" could taste so good?).
11)Tse Yang (the most underrated, unhyped upscale Chinese in all of NYC)
14)Mercadito Grove (best margaritas, guacamole and tacos, hands down)
18)Grey Dog (from croissant egg sandwiches to oatmeal to cobb salad to blt to fish tacos to cream of mushroom soup to pumpkin pie...)
20)Cafe Henri (croque monsieur and a sweet buttered crepe at midnight...)
I could actually list many others that I keep going back to, I guess that makes me a loyal customer!
great post idea. thanks! some of these are a matter of convenience, as with many of you, i'm sure. (* indicates i would travel 30+ miles to this place if i did not live in the nabe)
1. earthen oven*
2. noche mexicana*
3. patsy's pizzeria
4. daisy may*
5. burger joint (parker meridian)*
6. five points*
7. otto (sure wish they'd get a hint about the service)*
8. ivy's cafe (only for scallion pancakes)*
9. china fun (only for dumplings and stone forest chow fun)*
10. thai market*
11. blue smoke (not for ribs)
12. blondie's for wings
13. plum pomidoro (they have the best pasta on some days and other days it's bleh)
14. dallas bbq (just for the onion strings)
15. sullivan st. bakery/gand daisy bakery*
16. mill korean
17. el presidente (cubano)
18. bagel store on amsterdam near W77 (just for bagels)
19. Mike's bagel store on Brdwy and W168 (bagels, fresh mozzarella sandwich, turkey on pita)
20. Joe's Ginger Restaurant (Pell St.)
I am sure I am forgetting countless places. before kuhinya closed, i ate there approximately 4X per week. before monsoon closed, i ate there nearly once per week. my heart still aches.
The first 5 of the list is due to my work location but here goes:
1 Cafe Duke
2 Cafe Margon
7 Yama - (good for a cheap sushi fix)
10 Taverna Kyclades
12 NY Noodletown
13 Congee Village
14 Clinton Street Bakery (Brunch)
15 Supper (mostly for brunch)
18 Han Bat
19 Grand Sichuan
princeofpork, i noticed that as well. hmmmm.... i'll bet there are more asian restaurants in any given mile than any other restaurant. but, they thrive b/c, as a nation, we've really bought into that cuisine. i wonder what it is - quick? variety? relatively inexpensive? it's an interesting question. asian food is, by far, my favorite cuisine - korean, indian, chinese, vietnamese, malaysian, thai. i love it all except japanese. noodles, rice, meat, sauce, dumplings, scallion pancakes. it's all good. anyway, this is an interesting topic. i wonder which cuisine falls into a close second. i'd suggest italian but the good places are few and far between.
as a true international foodie for a running 24 years, i can safely say that in NYC, you generally can get a better quality "Asian" food for the price you pay as supposed to "Western/European/American" food.
there are of course, Pizza joints like John's all over Manhattan, and Gray's Papaya or mediocre sandwiches at most Delis, which you'll end up paying a lot more than for any other average Asian restaurants at a similar price point.
1, New Green Bo
3. Shanghai Cuisine
4. Stromboli's Pizza
6. Banh Mi place on Broome St.
7. Pam Real Thai
9. Yum Yum Thai
10. Johnny's Reef Restaurant
11. Central Buffet
12. Gordon Ramsay's Maze
14. Ukrainian National Home
15. Artie's Deli
16. Cafe Azuri
17. Rainbow Cafe
19. Plump Dumpling
20. Opa Opa
My most visited aren't necessarily my 20 favorite, but places I like well enough, are affordable, and are in locations that are or have been convenient to home or work locations. The 3 Sunset Park places are frequent visits because I often take walks down that way from Park Slope on weekends. Places that would easily make my favorites list (in the appropriate category) are marked with asterisk.
Wu Liang Ye (48th St.) *
Szechuan Gourmet *
Minar (46th St.) *
Menchanko-Tei (55th St.)
Olive Vine (2 Park Slope locations)
Nyonya (Sunset Park)
Gia Lam (Sunset Park)
Ali Baba *
El Gran Castillo de Jagua (Flatbush Avenue)
Happy Tortilla Express (not sure I got the name right--one of those Chinese taco places, in Park Slope, but only for chicken fajita and al carbon)
Bereket (amazing $3.50 fried eggplant sandwich)
Ba Xuen (Sunset Park banh mi) *
Mr. Falafel (Park Slope)
A couple of places I used to go frequently but have gone downhill:
Pho Viet Huong
1. mooncake foods
2. kunjip / shilla
3. pearl oyster bar
4. nha trang baxter
6. corner bistro / burger joint
7. king kebab diner
8. flor de sol
9. moon house
10. el poblano / coatzingo
12. westville / westville west
15. stage restaurant
16. 41-28 and 41-82 Main Street (I know, that's cheating)
17. sosa borella / estancia
18. cinderella falafel
all a function of geography, timing and affordability.
This is a fun question! The places I go to most frequently are by no means what I would say are my favorites... well maybe some are. Ok here we go. Keep in mind that I live in Brooklyn Heights and work in Soho. This will explain a lot.
1. Siggy's in Brooklyn Heights
2. Atlantic Chipshop in Brooklyn Heights
3. La Esquina
4. Gourmet Garage in Soho
6. Cafe Luluc in Carroll Gardens
7. Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn Heights
8. Superfine in Dumbo
10. Mooncake Foods in Soho
11. Fatoosh Cafe Brooklyn Heights
12. Pacifico/ Trout Cobble Hill
13. Cafe on Clinton Cobble Hill
14. Joya Carroll Gardens
16. Teresa's Brooklyn Heights
17. Bar Tabac Cobble Hill
18. Congee Village
19. Ruben's Empanadas
20. Puck Fair
Some of these are most visited because of WORK, not because of my dollar being spent, I should note before I begin!
2 West (Ritz Carleton downtown)
Duane Park Cafe
Aquagrill (less these days)
Pink Tea Cup
I'll stop there; the others are for delivery, mostly.
I'll share the "student budget" list, for those of us who still need a restaurant fix despite daunting grad school loans.
1. Basso 56
2. Chennai Garden
3. Pam Real Thai
4. Fatoosh in Brooklyn Heights
5. Alice's Tea Cup
6. Does the dosa man in Washington Square park count? Him.
7. The Ukranian Kitchen. It's in a church basement, so I don't know if it counts either.
8. Pommes Frittes (curry dip, yay!)
9. Uncle Nick's Ouzaria
10. Cafe Katja (liptauer!)
11. Mee Noodle Shop (they deliver!)
In my dreams I would go to Kyotofu weekly, and I would also spend thousands on the best sushi I could get my hands on.
2. Grand Central Oyster Bar
3. Chirping Chicken
4. Joes Shanghai
5. Marys Fish Camp
8. Barney Greengrass
10. Whole Foods prepared food
12. Dinasaur BBQ
14. Cafe Luxembourg
15. Noodle 88
17. '21' Club
20. Lure Fishbar