Future Fiance and I looking for unique eats
I plan to get engaged in Manhattan. Shes never seen the city so it will be a great experience. I have a few places in mind but I'm looking for other unique and special places to eat. What I have listed is momofuku ko, katz, shake shack, caracas arepa, and village yokocho. I plan to stay mostly in manhattan and looking for affordable places, nice places and desserts. Nothing cheesy please.
Please help. Thanks.
I'd recommend a backup if you don't get into Momouku Ko.
What about street food? Pretty affordable all around:
For a nicer place, if you can make lunch, I'd recommend Jean Georges especially their 2 course $29 lunch prix fixe. Eleven Madison Park also has a similar deal. Dessert is not included. But it's a steal compared to dinner. EMP serves Mon-Fri and JG serves Mon-Sat in the formal dining room (they also have a 'casual' room called Nougatine).
I definitely also recommend some PIZZA! There are a few distinct styles of round pizza found in NYC: New York style (gas-oven), Neopolitan style, and a hybrid style of the two (usually coal oven). And Di Fara is kind of out there, Dom at Di Fara is definitely doing his own thing with the olive oil drizzle and multiple kinds of cheeses and lots of fresh basil. Then to throw another wrench into things, some places are known more for square pies (like Artichoke). Note that lot of famous places like John's of Bleecker, Grimaldi's, and Lombardi's are pies only. John's, Grimaldi's, and Lombardi's are famous, a bit touristy (and most likely suffer from inconsistent oven temperature and oversaucing), and I think some newcomers are kicking their butts lately.
My favorites in Manhattan are:
Co. aka "Company" (pies only, no takeout). Neopolitan-ish style with nouveau toppings, similar to Mozza in LA but less broad/puffy crust. 7-8 pies to chooses from. Very popular. Lunch and dinner. Lunch is much more chill than dinner. However, my last meal there was only OK, I think they are inconsistent.
Patsy's of East Harlem (117th street location only, pies and slices, there is a dining room and takeout area). Coal oven. A NY classic. Their toppings aren't that great but when the crust is good, it's heavenly.
Artichoke (I recommend the square slice only, takeout only). Tasty, they are from Staten Island, but I feel like they are kind of doing their own thing since the crust is thick for NY pizza. DON'T get the artichoke slice or regular slice. Repeat: DON'T get the artichoke or regular slice. Please. It's a slice joint, really.
Motorino East Village (they also have a Brooklyn branch) - a lighter, fluffier crust than Company, a little bit easier to get into (I guess because they have two locations), loved their spicy sopressata pie and their basil/garlic/olive oil pies. Nice char. Good toppings. Nice price. A little cramped though. Naples style. Excellent but not traditional NY. Sit down.
Keste is a competitor to Motorino, lots of people like it, but I haven't tried it yet.
My favorites outside Manhattan are Di Fara and Totonno's Coney Island but Di Fara is extraordinarily popular/chaotic/there is no line system/also no AC to speak of, and Totonno's suffered from a fire earlier this year and are in the process of fixing the place up. In Brooklyn, Lucali is quite highly (I haven't tried yet). Franny's is good but the crust is a bit too thin (though that bianca is GREAT and I love love love their crostino and pastas), and frankly the apps/pastas are better than the pies there. I wasn't impressed by newcomer Veloce either (too heavy/buttery).
Best breakfast and brunch in NY:
A lot of where you eat for breakfast/brunch depends on whether or not you can stand long lines and what time of day and what day of the week.
Best cheap eats:
Best of the Union Square Greenmarket (M, W, F, S, 8am-6pm, but earlier is better, Saturdays are biggest
Don't Leave NY Without Eating...
Other hounds' itineraries/reports: