Aapeli's guide to eating in NYC

Find some decent stuff to eat and do in NYC

All Recommendations

Homemade Taqueria

109th & Columbus, Upper West Side

Phenomenal taste. Good value.

This place has a phenomenal chorizo torta, just go get one of those; or better yet, you can share it with a friend since they're so huge. All the other stuff I've tried has been fine, but not phenomenal, e.g. the steak taco and al pastor quesadilla were both okay,...

Massawa

121st & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Phenomenal taste. Good value.

The food here is really good. They normally have live jazz on Sundays: a bunch of muzos come from the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School and just jam around all evening. They mostly play standards, but they do good solos. I like the beef tebsi....

Milano Market

113th & Broadway, Morningside Heights

Phenomenal taste. Good value.

This place is insane. Not only is the food amazing, but it's amazing at an unbeatable consistency. High expectation, low variance. You want to get the number 52, "Prosciutto Di Parma". It's got a huge chunk of some of the best prosciutto around, a thick slice of mozzarella, and some...

Tamam Falafel

77th & Lexington, Upper East Side

Phenomenal taste. Good value.

Actually surprisingly good falafel and hummus! And it's not like super expensive either given the area (though it is still not cheap by any means). I got the falafel platter which comes with a bunch of things including pickles and hummus. I'd definitely go again if I was in the...

5 Napkin Burger

45th & 9th, Hell's Kitchen

Phenomenal taste. Inoffensive value.

These are very rich burgers, and extremely filling. But it's almost the best burger I've had around here; they have good cheese and juicy patties. I've had both the 5 napking burger as well as the patty melt (note this comes on toast bread, not a bun) and they were...

Bar 314

122nd & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Phenomenal taste. Inoffensive value.

Bar 314, or as we like to call it, the "Pie Bar", is one of my favorite spots. The pizza is exquisite, the atmosphere is nice, and as an extra bonus, is super close to me. My current favorite is the Bari: it features a bunch of proscioutto, mozzarella, burrata...

DeStefano's Steakhouse

593 Lorimer St, Williamsburg

Phenomenal taste. Inoffensive value.

This is a very expensive steakhouse. The steaks are phenomenal though, but the prices are in line with that. We got some steaks... duh.. with the creamed spinach, which were both great....

Miss Ada

DeKalb & Carlton, Brooklyn

Phenomenal taste. Inoffensive value.

This is actually a really good place. Just get a whole bunch of plates to share with your group. The beet hummus, and babaganoush are excellent, the ricotta is fine. The halloumi is nice but it's just a big chunk of halloumi, kinda pricey. Tenderloin was excellent, and the falafel...

Norma

53rd & 9th, Hell's Kitchen

Phenomenal taste. Inoffensive value.

Pretty decent gourmet Italian spot, I've tried a bunch of things here, it's mostly pretty great. The truffle pasta was a bit salty but overall very nice, the lamb pasta one the other hand is undoubtedly excellent....

Spicy Moon Vegan Szechuan

3rd & LaGuardia Pl, West Village

Phenomenal taste. Inoffensive value.

There's some good stuff on the menu and then there's a bunch of stuff that's pretty crap. I really liked the cold sesame noodles, and the scallion pancakes. The other stuff is good too. Get a bunch of plates to share....

All'antico Vinaio

46th & 8th, Midtown

Good taste. Good value.

These folks are known for making some pretty exciting sandwiches. I sampled one with some friends and I must confirm, they're quite good. I'll go back and establish some better comments....

Artichoke

Minetta & MacDougal, West Village

Good taste. Good value.

Good, cheap pizza slices. I quite like it. They have multiple locations too....

Curry King

106th & Columbus, Upper West Side

Good taste. Good value.

Good food, good Lassi, it's cheap. Would go back....

Doaba Deli

106th & Columbus, Upper West Side

Good taste. Good value.

Cheap and good curries....

Dos Toros

114th & Broadway, Morningside Heights

Good taste. Good value.

I'll have to get back to this later......

Dun Huang

123rd & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Good taste. Good value.

This place has decent Chinese food, again it's close so it's one of the regulars....

House of Joy

Pell & Mott, Chinatown

Good taste. Good value.

A proper Chinese dimsum place in the heart of Chinatown. I went with a Chinese friend who said it's dimsum as it's supposed to be....

Jin Ramen

125th & Broadway, Morningside Heights

Good taste. Good value.

This is just a really solid ramen place, with good consistency. I like just the standard tonkotsu ramen, I really like their soft boiled eggs so often I'll ask for extra. Or if you're into the vegan thing, the miso ramen is also pretty decent (though I've had varying consistency)....

Los3charros

113th & Malcolm X, Harlem

Good taste. Good value.

Beware! They do one thing and only one thing well; the quesadillas. I really like the al pastor quesadilla, but basically everything else I've had on the menu is pretty mediocre....

Roti Roll

109th & Amsterdam, Upper West Side

Good taste. Good value.

They have roti rolls, it's like curry in a roti. They're pretty filling, you only need one unless you're super hungry. Also the Lassi is good!...

Saiguette

106th & Columbus, Upper West Side

Good taste. Good value.

They make pretty good bánh mì here, I've only been once and that's what I got, so can't speak for the other dishes. During lunch time you can get it for around $10, so it's pretty darn good value for the price. My friend is obsessed with the place, so...

Scen

27th & Broadway, Midtown

Good taste. Good value.

At first I thought this was going to be the kind of tasteless vegan raw unprocessed food bowls that taste like nothing, but I was positively surprised, it's actually quite good and I'd definitely eat with a friend here again if they had eating restrictions/preferences (it's vegan and gluten free)....

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles II

45th & 9th, Hell's Kitchen

Good taste. Good value.

This place was cheap and good. I can't remember what we ordered, but I remember thinking it was good and I'd like to come back....

Bosino

103rd & Amsterdam, Upper West Side

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

I've been here twice; once for pizza, once for pasta. To get the good stuff out of the way: I had the Cheese Tortellini Panna e Funghi which was really really good. They really aced the mushroom flavour in that. I also tried the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina which was okay...

Dante

Bleecker & MacDougal, West Village

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

These folks are best known for their cocktails, allegedly ranked best in the world in 2019. Their food is qutie good too, a very fun place and not insanely pricey!...

Hou Yi Hot Pot

123rd & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

It's like $50 per person after taxes and tip, but it's all you can eat, and it's decent quality. So overall a pretty decent meal. I went with Alex who reckons that the quality of hot pot is pretty uniform as long as the sauce bar has good selection (in...

Ippudo NY

110th & 4th Av, East Village

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

Very good ramen, they've got an impressively simlar broth across continents! I've had their ramen in Melbourne and even Tokyo and it's markedly similar!...

Jajaja Plantas Mexicana

Carmine & 7th, West Village

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

This was a really good place. The nachos were excellent, just remember to order them without cilantro. We went there on Halloween and the mood was pretty cool....

Las Santas

Fulton & Rockwell Pl, Brooklyn

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

This is a bar-style thing, so the main attraction might be the drinks, but they definitely have great food too....

Le Botaniste

67th & Columbus, Upper West Side

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

This looks so hipster that the food should be crap, but it's actually pretty decent. We tried two different bowls and both were good....

Let's Meat

31st & 5th Av, Koreatown

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

This is an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ place. It's really quite good actually, the meats are decent and the service is nice!...

Los Tacos No. 1

43rd & 7th, Midtown

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

Bit pricey but pretty darn good. You wouldn't expect something this good to be right next to Times Square. It's relatively crowded though and a tad chaotic....

Lucy's Vietnamese

7th & Berry, Williamsburg

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

The pho was definitely good, but I'm not sure if it's very vietnamese pho......

Madison & Vine

41st & Madison, Midtown

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

Okay food but not sure if it was worth it....

Marlow Bistro

110th & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

Fancy decor, strong cocktails, decent food though a tad pricey for what it is. The burrata was excellent and launched me into a protracted search for great burrata around the city, so I guess that's quite something?...

Max Soha

123rd & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

I've been here twice due to its proximity. It's one of those standard "fancy Italian" places that aren't actually that fancy: so you can get decent pastas here but they're a bit pricey. I wasn't particularly impressed the first time I visited, I got the carbonara which they use real...

Soba Totto

43th & 3rd, Midtown

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

They have hot and cold soba, it's decent for what it is. I got the nabeyaki udon which was nice....

Sottocasa

121st & Malcolm X, Harlem

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

So this was recommended (along with Bosino) to me by some Italians as having authentic Italian pizza. Honestly I thought it was pretty good, but it wasn't amazing. You could clearly taste all ingredients but they didn't as such interact in a particularly exciting way, it was just very tasty...

V&T Pizzeria

110th & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

I've been here a couple of times, the pizza is okay; it's not very fancy or anything. I got a calzone which I kinda liked, but I'd eat stupid amounts of cheese and it was actually my first calzone so I have no reference point....

Wu and Nussbaum

113th & Broadway, Morningside Heights

Good taste. Inoffensive value.

They have really good dan dan noodles, it makes your tongue numb, and apparently that tells it's good. They're roughly the same with real meat vs impossible meat, so you can do a good thing and eat vegan....

Falafel on Broadway

124th & Broadway, Morningside Heights

Inoffensive taste. Good value.

This is fine. I go there every now and then because it's close. It's not particularly good, but sometimes you just need that hummus fix. The baba ghanoush is great though, and you can bring a group of friends here and if you skip the meat platters you can eat...

Fast & Fresh Burrito Deli

Atlantic & Hoyt, Brooklyn

Inoffensive taste. Good value.

Nondescript burrito shop, burrito was okay but nothing to write home about....

Freda's

109th & Columbus, Upper West Side

Inoffensive taste. Good value.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this place. It was pretty good but also like a bit too sweet. I'm not sure how "authentic" Caribbean it was, but yeah, I definitely need to come back and give it another shot....

Nikko Hibachi Asian Fusion

123rd & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Inoffensive taste. Good value.

This place is a bit odd. The food is like very filling and kinda greasy, but it fills a certain niche in my palette. You can get stuff like fried rice and Pad Siew which I kinda like, but just beware, it's probably a somewhat "Americanized version"....

Zaad

107th & Amsterdam, Upper West Side

Inoffensive taste. Good value.

This is okay, they have good baklava, and it's a pretty cheap place....

Anytime NYC

32 W 32nd, Midtown

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

Okay Korean food. It was pretty greasy. You can probably find better....

Au Jus

99th & Broadway, Upper West Side

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

The food first smelled delicious here, but once it came out it was merely okay, and it's a pricey place, so not really worth it. That said, I've yet to find a phenomenal Southern barbeque place here....

Charm Thai

126th & Amsterdam, Manhattanville

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

This is a pretty okay Thai place. They only do takeout though. I've been there a few times and it's not been bad, but it hasn't been spectacular either....

Chili 美麗

37th & Madison, Midtown

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

This is a very Chinese place. I think it'd be fine in general but we ordered some more experimental stuff and I ended up not quite liking it so much, so don't listen to what I have to say on this....

Community Food & Juice

113th & Broadway, Morningside Heights

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

I'm not entirely sure of what to make of this place. They do like random American food, burgers, sandwiches, hash brownds, etc. The burger was better than I expected, but my expectations were very low, so it's not saying particularly much. Either way, it exists, you can go there, I...

El Porton

La Salle & Broadway, Morningside Heights

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

The food here is okay, I've had a burrito and a quesadilla, neither of which was particularly spectacular but neither was also really awful. It's a fun place to go chill with friends, and the drinks are strong....

Elysian Fields

120th & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

I've been here a couple of times, the moussaka is pretty decent, the other stuff I've tried wasn't that good. But the place in general is high-variance, it's probably better on a crowded night when the kitchen is in full operation, I've only really been during quiet nights....

Go Go Curry

125th & Broadway, Manhattanville

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

It's rice, Japanese curry, and pork or chicken katsu; pretty straighforward. It's not the best in its class, but it's closeby, and I really quite like Japanese curry. Quite frankly I'm probably here a bit too frequently... You can get a shrimp topping with it, it's got some of that...

Joe's Pizza

40th & Broadway, Midtown

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

We queued up for like half an hour for mediocre pizza? It's not special, just central....

Le Monde

112th & Broadway, Morningside Heights

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

Fancy brunch spot but the food is kind of mediocre....

Presto

125th & Amsterdam, Manhattanville

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

Pretty mediocre stuff and it took forever to get our food....

Silvana

116th and Frederick Douglass Blvd, Harlem

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

Silvana is edible for food, the other stuff was pretty nondescript but the crispy eggplant was good. It's kinda pricey. They have a downstairs venue which is pretty cool and they'll have live jazz every now and then. I went once and it was great....

Suma Sushi

107th & Amsterdam, Upper West Side

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

It tastes like sushi, but it's not like the best stuff out there. I've not really found particularly good sushi in New York though, so compared to that, it was decent. The rainbow roll was good as was the spicy Asian roll. The California roll wasn't worth the seaweed it...

The Buffet

127th & 20th Av, Flushing

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

Chinese Seafood Buffet with quite the selection. I guess it was pretty good? But I generally don't judge the value of food based on how much I got for a given price - a meal is a meal and my enjoyment of it is largely independent of how big it...

WarrenPeace

91st & Broadway, Upper West Side

Inoffensive taste. Inoffensive value.

This is a very new place, it just opened a few weeks before we went there. It's pretty pricey but it's got a nice atmosphere. We got these burgers, they were quite unique. Very rich, quite serious sauce game going on. I mean it was basically a burger patty with...

Birds of a Feather

Grand & Bedford, Williamsburg

Inoffensive taste. Bad value.

We had another place nearby in mind but it was closed. Everything seemed a bit dead but this place was popping, so we decided to go for it. It's strongly westernized Chinese food, really expensive and at best okay....

Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too

110th & Columbus, Morningside Heights

Inoffensive taste. Bad value.

I got the short ribs, they were honestly not that great, but I didn't leave feeling uncomfortably full or anything like you sometimes do from ribs, so the downside was capped too. It would've been okay otherwise, but the place is pretty pricey. The sides were decent and lemonade was...

Serendipity3

60th & 3rd, Upper East Side

Inoffensive taste. Bad value.

Look, this is a silly place. They have like these insanely big and sweet desserts, they place too happy music, and it's all decorated like out of a magical children's movie. There's a ~$18 minimum per person, and they've got these ridiculous dishes you can order that they've submitted to...

Carmine's

91st & Broadway, Upper West Side

Bad taste. Inoffensive value.

This place is way too expensive and the food is bland; so bland in fact that even I could cook a better pasta. Not worth going....

Chapati House

124th & Broadway, Morningside Heights

Bad taste. Inoffensive value.

This place is crap, don't go there. It's here as a warning....

La Salle Dumpling Room

La Salle & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights

Bad taste. Inoffensive value.

You can get mediocre dumplings here. It's not particularly good, so don't go there....