We found lots of awesome places to eat in Manhattan, arguably the most vibrant borough of New York City. I am salivating just thinking about all the delicious food we ate! We visited over 50 food joints in Manhattan alone, and below is a list of our top twelve eateries, arranged in alphabetical order.
1. 12 Chairs Cafe
12 Chairs Cafe is probably our favourite cafe in New York City! This cozy cafe serves fusion European / Middle Eastern dishes and is known for using fresh ingredients sourced from local markets. The cafe exudes a quaint New York vibe with its wooden furnishings and brick walls, complete with vintage photographs lining the walls. We ordered a simple French Toast ($11) dish which comprised of challah bread (a type of Jewish bread) served with lots of fresh fruits. We also added eggs ($4.50) and bacon ($3). I loved the savoury-sweet flavours of cinnamon and egg in the french toast, which was punctuated by the warm scent of faintly toasted challah bread. The maple syrup made this an even more delicious and sinful treat, but the fresh fruits provided balance. We completed the satisfying meal with the tasty sunny-side up eggs and crispy bacon. Read our full review of 12 Chairs Cafe.
Directions: The cafe is a four-minute walk from Houston Street Station.
12 Chairs Cafe
Address: 56 MacDougal Street, New York, NY 10012
Opening Hours: | Sun to Thu: 8am – 11pm | Fri to Sat: 8am – 12am |
Phone: +1 212 254 8640
12 Chairs Menu: http://12chairscafe.com/menu.html
2. Breakroom Burgers & Tacos
We almost didn’t include Breakroom Burgers & Tacos in our packed itinerary, but luckily we did manage to check it out late one night! This Mexican fusion joint with a neon-lit facade serves a variety of tacos, burgers and hot dogs in a small rugged space. We ordered the Taco Platter ($10.95) and chose the Tempura Fish, Chipotle Chicken, and Pork Belly. I enjoyed the chipotle chicken and savoury pork belly tacos, which included a mix of Pico de Gallo and Salsa Verde. This tantalizing treat of chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, salt, lime and classic Mexican green sauce combined to form a flavourful party in my mouth. The tempura fish was tender with a smooth texture, and went perfectly with the refreshing coleslaw, avocado and pickled onions. The special “house sauce” served to enhance the experience.
Directions: Breakroom is a short five-minute walk from Canal Street station.
Breakroom Burgers & Tacos
Address: 83 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am to 9.30pm
Phone: +1 212 227 2802
Breakroom Menu: www.eatbreakroomnyc.com/en/microsites/vendors/e/eatbreakroomnyc/menu/
3. Burger & Lobster
This is one of the Manhattan restaurants we miss the most! We visited the Burger & Lobster Flatiron branch. This awesome bistro serves three items at the great price of just USD20 each: Burgers, Lobsters, and Lobster Rolls. All items are served with salad and french fries. We loved The Pounder ($20), a one-pound grilled lobster which tasted very fresh, with the tasty and succulent meat peeling off the shells easily. It was complimented perfectly by the signature garlic butter and lemon sauce. We also enjoyed the The Original Lobster Roll ($20), a lobster roll comprising of lobster tossed in Japanese mayo with chives. The combination of the toasted buttered bun and rich lobster mayo mix tasted great. Read our full review of Burger & Lobster!
Directions: Burger & Lobster (Flatiron) is a five-minute walk from 23rd Street station.
Burger & Lobster (Flatiron)
Address: 39 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011
Opening Hours: | Mon: 11.30am to 10pm | Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat: 11.30am to 11pm | Fri: 11.30am to 12am |
Phone: +1 646 833 7532
Burger & Lobster Menu: www.burgerandlobster.com/en/location/FLATIRON
Burger & Lobster (Bryant Park)
Address: 132 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
Opening Hours: | Mon: 11.30am to 10pm | Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat: 11.30am to 11pm | Fri: 11.30am to 12am |
Phone: +1 917 565 9044
4. Chelsea market
Chelsea Market is a huge indoor food hall located in the Chelsea neighbourhood. We found an amazing variety of delicious food here! It is no wonder that the market attracts about 6 million visitors annually. We enjoyed the tantalizing Lobster Roll from C&P Gallery ($20.95), the sweet Nutella and Banana Crepe from Bar Suzette ($8) and the crispy Chipotle Shrimp Tacos from Takumi ($4.82). However, our favourite tacos was the Marinated Pork Tacos from Los Tacos No.1 ($3.50). At just $3.50, this delicious tacos represented fantastic value. The succulent meat went perfectly with the savoury sauce and Pico de Gallo, and I simply relished the party of flavours in my mouth! But the highlight of our Chelsea Market trip was definitely the AWESOME 1.5 pound Lobster from Lobster’s Place ($23.95)! We had an amazing time indulging in the sweet delicate flavours of the tender and succulent white meat. This huge lobster is a MUST-TRY if you are visiting Chelsea Market!
Directions: Chelsea Market is an eight-minute walk from 14 Street Station.
Address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Opening Hours: Daily 8am to 9pm
Phone: +1 212 652 2110
5. Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant
This homely bistro serves the BEST blueberry pancakes in the world! Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant is a well-known restaurant in Manhattan that serves comfort food such as omelettes, waffles and pancakes. We LOVED the Blueberry Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter ($15). The fluffy pancakes were covered with powdered sugar and had a rich warm scent. And of course, the highlight was the sweet velvety blueberries which went perfectly with the pancakes. I also dipped the pancakes in the luscious maple syrup, and the combination became a sweet pleasant mush in my mouth. Read our full review of Clinton Street Baking Company.
Directions: Clinton Street Baking Co is a six-minute walk from 2nd Avenue Subway Station.
Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant
Address: 4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
Opening Hours: | Sun: 9am – 5pm | Mon to Fri: 8am – 11pm, closed 4pm – 5.30pm | Sat: 9am – 11pm, closed 4pm – 5.30pm |
Phone: +1 646 602 6263
Clinton St Baking Co Menu: https://clintonstreetbaking.com/pages/about-menu-daytime
6. Dominique Ansel Bakery
Dominique Ansel Bakery is a pastry shop in Manhattan famous for inventing the Cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid pastry. It is helmed by the very talented Dominique Ansel, a renowned chef who has received numerous accolades in Time magazine, Business Insider, Vanity Fair, etc. The bakery is known for its other inventions too, such as the Cookie Shot ($3) and the Frozen S’more ($7). The Cookie Shot is essentially a chocolate chip cookie shaped as a shot glass, and filled with cold Vanilla Milk. I found it impressive that the cookie was able to hold the milk. On the whole, this was a very pleasant treat – it’s hard to go wrong with cookies and milk! The Frozen S’more is an intriguing dessert comprising of sweet marshmallow with a caramelized crust. The dessert had a subtle smokey aroma because it was blowtorched. And beneath the crème-brûlée-like crust, I tasted velvety vanilla custard mixed with chunks of sweet chocolate feuilletine. On the whole, the sophistication of the Frozen S’more made it a novel sensory experience that differed completely from the usual desserts. It may be slightly pricey, but for the taste and sophistication I would have gladly paid even more!
Directions: This fine bakery is a three-minute walk from Spring Street Station.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Address: 189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Opening Hours: | Mon to Thur: 8am to 7pm | Fri to Sat: 8am to 8pm | Sun: 9am to 7pm |
Phone: +1 212 219 2773
Dominique Ansel Bakery Menu: http://dominiqueansel.com/our-menu
Eataly is a huge Italian marketplace that comprises a variety of Italian stalls, restaurants, bakery, retail shops, and more. It felt like a mini-Italy. Our favourite joint here was of course the Nutella Bar! The menu features an assortment of desserts and sweet treats all prepared with Nutella. We ordered the Waffle with Gelato E Nutella ($7.80), which is basically a Belgian style waffle spread with Nutella and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And it tasted amazing! The waffle was warm and crispy, and it tasted amazing with the Nutella spread. The cold gelato completed the waffle experience by providing a nice contrast of hot and cold flavours in my mouth. Only Eataly NYC Flatiron has the Nutella Bar.
Directions: Eataly Flatiron is a two-minute walk from 23 Street Station.
Address: 200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
Eataly Opening Hours: | Daily 9am to 11pm |
Nutella Bar Opening Hours: | Daily 10am to 11pm |
Phone: +1 212 229 2560
8. Jongro BBQ
To our pleasant surprise, we found many great Korean BBQ joints in Manhattan, mainly in the vibrant enclave of Koreatown. One night we visited Jongro BBQ, a spacious Korean style joint serving traditional Korean BBQ. We had our favourite Pork Belly ($24.99) and also a Korean Style Seafood Pancake ($9.99). We are big fans of Korean BBQ and so our expectations were pretty high. Luckily, we were not disappointed. The small chunks of glistening pork belly (cut by the restaurant staff) tasted tender and succulent. It felt so good to eat these hot slices of meat in the December cold weather! The seafood pancake tasted good too, and the price was extremely affordable at just $9.99.
Directions: Jongro is a two-minute walk from 33rd Street Station.
Address: 22 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001
Opening Hours: | Sun to Thur: 11.30am – 2am | Fri to Sat: 11.30am – 4am |
Phone: +1 212 473 2233
Jongro BBQ Menu: Click here to check out the digital menu.
9. Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong is another famous Korean BBQ joint in Koreatown. The open timbered space exudes a bustling convivial vibe, making it a great place to dine with family and friends. We ordered the Pork Combo ($59.99), which came with a free Kimchi Stew, Steamed Egg, Corn Cheese, and Korean side dishes. The pork combo comprised of Premium Seared Pork Belly, Premium Pork Jowl, and Thinly Sliced Spicy Pork Belly. The meats were marinated nicely and were very tasty and succulent. We also loved the steamed egg, which had a velvety texture with a strong aroma. The side dishes were on point too!
Directions: The restaurant is a three-minute walk from 33 Street Station.
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
Address: 1 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016
Opening Hours: | Sun to Thur: 11.30am – 2am | Fri to Sat: 11.30am – 7am |
Phone: +1 212 966-9839
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong Menu: http://baekjeongnyc.com/#MENU
10. Luke’s Lobster
Luke’s Lobster is a seafood shack famous for its delicious lobster rolls. It has branches across eight USA states and many other countries too. The signature Luke’s Lobster Roll ($17) tasted amazing! The tender and juicy lobster meat was complimented perfectly by the savoury melted butter. The hot toasted bun completed the experience. You can read our full review of the Luke’s Lobster FiDi branch.
Directions: Luke’s Lobster FiDi is a four-minute walk from Bowling Green Station.
Luke’s Lobster FiDi
Address: 26 S. William St, near Broad, New York, NY 10004
Opening Hours: | Mon to Fri: 11am to 9pm | Sat & Sun: 12pm to 8pm |
Phone: +1 212 747 1700
Luke’s Lobster Menu: Click here to see the menu
Taiyaki offers delicious ice cream served in a fish-shaped waffle. “Taiyaki” is the name for a traditional Japanese fish-shaped pastry, and you can order this original version at the joint too. However, the “ice cream Taiyakis” are a lot more popular. We decided to order the Straight Outta Japan ($7), which comprised of black sesame and matcha ice cream swirl, mochi and wafer toppings, and red bean filling. The result was an instagram-worthy dessert which tasted wonderful too! The black sesame and matcha soft serve were a surprisingly good match, and these sweet ice cream flavours were balanced nicely by the more subtle red bean and waffle.
Directions: The dessert shop is a three-minute walk from Canal Street Station.
Address: 119 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013
Opening Hours: | Mon to Fri: 12pm – 11pm | Sat: 11am – 11pm | Sun: 11am – 10pm |
Phone: +1 212 966 2882
Taiyaki Menu: Click here to see the menu.
12. Momofuku Milk Bar
Last but definitely not least, Momofuku Milk Bar is famous for its cereal-inspired treats, such as cookies, cakes, milkshakes, soft serve, etc. I found it pretty amazing that Christina Tosi (Chef/ Founder of Milk Bar) is able to come up with so many inventions based on cereal. It is no wonder that this acclaimed chef is also a judge on FOX’s MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. We tried the Cereal Milk Soft Serve ($5.50) and added the topping Cornflake Crunch ($1). The soft serve tasted pleasantly sweet and had a really smooth and velvety texture. And of course, we enjoyed the unmistakable flavour of cereal too. With the crunchy cornflake treats, the whole dessert came together nicely. We loved this soft serve so much that we went back to the shop twice during our trip!
Directions: The Milk Bar is a three-minute walk from 57 Street Station.
Momofuku Milk Bar
Address: 15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019
Opening Hours: | Sun to Wed: 8am – 11pm | Thur to Sat: 8am – 12am |
Phone: +1 347 577 9504 ext 5
Momofuku Milk Bar Menu: http://milkbarstore.com/main/menu