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My Favorite New York City Restaurants

Unsure where to eat? Check out one of my favorite New York City Restaurants.

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New York City is home to some of the world's greatest restaurants, making choosing where to eat a delicious challenge. Whether you're looking for fancy, expensive fine-dining experiences or just some delicious pizzas, I've put together a list of my favorite restaurants in a wide variety of categories to help you have a great meal in New York City!

More: Must-Eat NYC Foods

1. Babbo

Babbo
Jill M @jm_photos flickr.com Creative Commons License
Great Choice for Celebrity Chef Dining and Outstanding Italian Cuisine
Babbo was opened by Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich in 1998 and has been impressing diners with high-quality Italian wine and food ever since. Peak reservations are tough to get (make sure you call exactly a month in advance!), but they also hold a few tables for walk-ins. Their tasting menus are a great way to experience the creative and delicious offerings at Babbo.
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Address: 110 Waverly Place
  • Phone: 212-777-0303
  • Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
  • Hours: dinner daily
  • Subway: A/C/E, B/D/F to West 4th St
  • Price: entrees $19-29
  • Reservations: Accept reservations up to one month in advance to the numerical date. Parties of no more than six.

2. Balthazar

Best Bet for Bistro Fare and Seafood Towers
Since 1997, diners have been enjoying delicious steak frites and seafood towers at Balthazar. Balthazar has a wonderful vibe -- everyone is welcome from young scene-seekers to middle-aged couples from the mid-west. I love indulging in one of the seafood towers (even the smaller one is lots for four people) and then splitting a bar steak (with amazing frites). This way, I have room for their delicious profiteroles for dessert.
  • Cuisine: French Bistro
  • Address: 80 Spring St
  • Phone: 212-941-0364
  • Neighborhood: SoHo
  • Hours: breakfast, lunch & dinner daily; brunch on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Subway: 6 to Spring Street; R/W to Prince Street
  • Price: dinner entrees $15-38
  • Reservations: 30 days in advance

3. Katz's Deli

Katz's Delicatessen
Heather Cross
Classic Deli Sandwiches and an Only In New York Experience
Katz's Deli has been in business since 1888 and consistently impresses visitors with piled high hand-sliced corned beef and pastrami sandwiches on rye, as well as the chance to visit the location of the orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally. Their hot dogs are also fantastic, and while the sandwiches are pricey, they are easily enough to share.
  • Cuisine: Delicatessen
  • Address: 205 East Houston Street
  • Phone: 212-254-2246
  • Neighborhood: Lower East Side
  • Hours: opens at 8 a.m. daily, closes at 9:45 p.m. Mon/Tues; 10:45 p.m. Sun/Wed/Thur; 2:45 a.m. Fri/Sat
  • Subway: F/V to 2nd Avenue
  • Price: sandwiches $8.45-15.75
  • Reservations: n/a

4. Lombardi's

Lombardi's Coal Oven Pizza
Heather Cross
Classic New York City Pizzeria
Opened in 1905, Lombardi's claims to be America's first pizzeria, and while people may argue whether this is true or not, there's no argument that their pizza is great. Lombardi's has been a hit with every person I've ever brought there -- the biggest problem is deciding whether to have clam pizza or one topped with their delicious meatballs.
  • Cuisine: Pizza
  • Address: 32 Spring St
  • Phone: 212-941-7994
  • Neighborhood: SoHo
  • Hours: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. (midnight on Fridays/Saturdays)
  • Subway: 6 to Spring Street
  • Price: entrees $7-19
  • Reservations: Monday through Thursday only for groups of 8 or more

5. Momofuku Ssam Bar

Momofuku Ssam Bar
Dan Cross
Top Choice for Creative Cuisine and Casual Atmosphere
I'm not quite sure what makes David Chang's East Village restaurants such a hit, but it could be the deliciously addictive flavors that you can't stop thinking about even after you leave -- at least that's what happens to me. The prix-fixe lunch offers a fantastic value with 3 dishes for $25 -- including the famed pork buns.
  • Cuisine: American (with Asian inspiration)
  • Address: 207 2nd Ave. (13th St)
  • Neighborhood: East Village
  • Hours: lunch 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; dinner 5 pm - midnight (2 a.m. Friday/Saturday); late-night cocktails sun - thurs: midnight - 2 a.m.
  • Subway: L to 1st Ave/14th Street
  • Price: small plates $9-15, larger dishes $11-20
  • Reservations: only if you pre-order Bo Ssam ($200)

6. Shake Shack

Shake Shack
Heather Cross
Delicious Hamburgers Enjoyed in the Park
Danny Meyer's hamburger stand in Madison Square Park makes it possible to enjoy a top-quality burger in a wonderful outdoor setting -- if you don't mind waiting in line for a bit. You can even enjoy beer or wine with your burgers if you sit at one of their tables, rather than in the grass. Save room for a concrete -- soft-serve custard blended with a variety of toppings.
  • Cuisine: Hamburgers
  • Address: Madison Square Park on the corner of 23rd Street and Madison Ave
  • Phone: 212-889-6600
  • Neighborhood: Murray Hill
  • Hours: 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.
  • Subway: R/W to 23rd Street
  • Price: burgers $3.75-9.50
  • Reservations: n/a

7. Sripraphai

Sripraphai (Thai Restaurant)
Heather Cross
Best Authentic Thai Food
You'll have to head to Queens to experience New York City's most authentic Thai restaurant, but it's an easy trip and much closer than Bangkok. I've eaten at Sripraphai more than any other restaurant in New York City, and some of my favorite dishes are mango salad, crispy watercress salad, pork leg with chili and basil, crispy whole fish with green mango sauce, red curry with chicken and crispy pork with Chinese broccoli. They have a lovely garden for eating outside and are very accommodating to children.
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Address: 64-13 39th Avenue, Woodside, NY
  • Phone: 718-899-9599
  • Neighborhood: Woodside, Queens
  • Hours: lunch & dinner, closed Wednesdays
  • Subway: 7 to 61st/Woodside
  • Price: entrees $7-19
  • Reservations: n/a

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