The best five restaurants in New York – The best places to eat and drink in the Big Apple
With representatives from every country on the planet living and working in New York, it is no wonder that the range of culinary experiences is outstanding. Here are the very best from New York’s eating and drinking scene.
Things change in New York very quickly, so always check with your concierge for the up-to-date hot spots during your stay. The one thing you can say for certain is that New York chefs are always looking for the next foodie treat – innovative and even eco-friendly with the organic gardens and bee-hives created by chefs on their soaring rooftops. Well, where else are they going to put them in a city of skyscrapers?
Eleven Madison Park
The finest eatery on many a list of the best, the incredible restaurant from Swiss genius Daniel Humm tirelessly reinvents his cuisine, so it is no wonder that he has three prized Michelin stars. The restaurant is housed above Madison Square Park with vast ceilings and tree arrangements (rather than just flowers). The seasonal tasting menu is $295 per person – so hardly cheap – but for around 15 courses, all sourced locally and, given Humm’s creativity and service from his incredibly engaging staff, you will definitely not be disappointed. Reservations are essential and should be made months in advance.
The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges
French chef Jean-Georges French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant in the fabulously restored Mark Hotel is the ultimate Manhattan experience: fabulous cuisine teamed with excellent people-watching. In the evening the space is filled with wall-to-wall millionaires, celebrities or models, while during the day the heiresses come out to play – with oysters and foie gras their usual request. Make sure you arrive early and enjoy a drink in the adjacent pink-lit bar with its cowhide chairs and oversized mirrors. It is also one of our favourite New York hotels, so stay here and the reservations for dinner are a lot easier!
The 21 Club
A personal favourite for its historical references, the 21 Club was opened in 1922 as a gin mill before moving to its current midtown location in 1929 at the height of Prohibition. The legendary Bar Room is the restaurant to pick and its decor reveals its Prohibition-era heritage, with even the hidden chute used to dispose of illegal liquor bottles still in use. Dishes such as Speakeasy steak tartare and Moroccan glazed Rohan duck feature on the menu, and there’s a great cocktail selection: the Southside is a 21 classic (made from gin and muddled mint) and the Root Beer Float comprises Coney Island hard root beer, whiskey and Baileys. Be aware that there is a dress code: jackets are necessary for gentlemen, and jeans and trainers are strictly not permitted!
If you know New York and love steak, then head to Peter Luger’s. From its beginnings in 1887, this Brooklyn restaurant is probably the greatest steakhouse in the USA. Using only USDA Prime meat, it is famous for its rare, porterhouse steaks with simple accompaniments of creamed spinach and special German fried potatoes. The interiors are wood-panelled, there are wooden tables and chairs reminiscent of a farmhouse kitchen and some low-level lighting from brass chandeliers. Ensure you make a reservation in advance and also take plenty of cash as this restaurant does not take credit cards.
Part of cult chef David Chang’s New York empire, the two Michelin star Momofuku Ko is also the hardest to get into. It serves a multi-course tasting menu based largely on market availability, and the whole experience will probably take around two-and-a-half hours to complete and cost $195 per person. The downside of this restaurant is that you can only book from 10am on the day of reservation and it is first-come, first-served – but well worth the hassle if you can get in!
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