There are more than 27 000 restaurants in NYC.
More than 27 000!!
Let that sink in for a moment. You can eat 3 times a day for more than 24 years at a different restaurant. I don’t think any of us is that hungry. But just so you know…no excuses for going hangry in the city.
So how not to go hangry in a city that never sleeps where you can always eat…5 tips for you!
TIP 1: Check the ABC rating
The Health Department makes it rather easy to find good restaurants. Or at least hygienic ones ;). Every restaurant is obliged to display their rating in their front window or more correct: ‘where they can easily be seen by people passing by‘. The rating is A, B or C. A being amazingly, first in class while C stands for catastrophically bad and waiting to either upgrade or go out of business.
At least once a year every restaurant gets an unannounced inspection (food handling & temperature, personal hygiene and vermin control are all being checked). Okay, it will not tell you if the chef masters his cooking, but you can be sure whether or not find a cockroach in your salad. That’s a good start, want you say?
Wanna be even more prepared? The ABCeats site includes all 27 000+ restaurants and their grading. You can search on location and neighborhood. The perfect planner friend if you ask me. Happy scrolling!
Tip 2: Become best friends with your concierge
In the Hudson, we had the best concierge! Like ever! Talk to him/ her. Ask for under the radar tips, weekend must do’s, latest news, where to go and what to drink. A good concierge will tell you the insides of the neighborhood. And more!
Store employees, bar tenders, that beautiful girl with a Felix coffee…they all know where to go. A compliment and a big smile might get you the best kept secret from a local New Yorker. Places you otherwise might skip or not even find. Trust me. You’ll thank me later!
Tip 3: Reservation for 2 please!
Imagine the disapointment of dressing up for dinner at Buddakan only to find out they are fully booked! The horror!
Both sites include reviews too. I don’t know about you, but I find reviews hard to read. Some will say it’s heaven. While others claim it’s hell. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. I’m a Libra after all…
Don’t forget that some places only open up reservations 1 month in advance. Set your timers and make sure you are ready!
It took me 2 attempts to get a reservation so I could star in my own version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Only to discover it was overhyped completely… Hopefully the renewed Blue Box Cafe will conquer my heart after all. (Reopening foreseen in 2022).
Tip 4: Google Maps
I know I repeat myself. But Google Maps really is your go-to when planning your trip.
It shows all restaurants in your neighborhood with 1 click. You might discover a hidden gem one block down that becomes your own favorite lunch place. Use it both at home when planning your trip. Or in NYC when standing on the corner of we-need-food-now and google-maps-to-the-rescue.
Fancy the latest it-dessert? open Insta to see which places offer the most grammable food. The waiting line you get for free ;). But some really are worth the wait!
Tip 5: Eat at (your) hotel
Here in Belgium we don’t really have that eat-at-a-hotel-culture. But I always adapt it in NYC.
Many hotels have delicious menu’s with renovating chefs to attract guests. I think it’s the perfect way to enjoy fancy hotels without paying for an expensive room.
Check my post on luxurious hotel experiences without paying for an expensive room.
What’s your favorite restaurant? Let me know in the comments below!
Always in an Empire State of Mind,
PS: I’ll make a complete post with my favorites. But here are a few to satisfy your hunger 😉
Breakfast at Mandarin Oriental, Brunch at Pastis, Lunch at Rosemary’s, Dinner at Bar Pitti and cocktails at Ophelia.
Looking for more ideas? Have a look at my Pinterest board on NYC restaurants. Don’t forget to follow me when you are there!