Joseph Gregory reveals the best places to eat in NYC

Mozza (far) and Tartare (close) set the table at Tartinery. Photo by Joseph Gregory.

Mozza (far) and Tartare (close) set the table at Tartinery. Photo by Joseph Gregory.

Much like registration week, finding the right place to eat in New York City can be a daunting task. What kind of food are you in the mood for? What time are you planning to go? How far are you willing to travel? You have 5 boroughs and over 16,000 restaurants to choose from (yikes, right?).

To attempt at making the whole process a little bit easier, I have compiled a list of some of my favorites, spanning various cuisines and neighborhoods. It is often my inclination when suggesting restaurants to provide an overwhelmingly long list. Yet, since my goal is to make things as simple as possible, I will keep this list as brief as possible.

Along with names, addresses, and short reviews, I have provided some other (hopefully) useful information, such as basic directions, Instagram accounts, my favorite dishes, and price indicators.

Guide in hand, all you need is an open mind and an empty stomach.

Bon appétit!
 

Nom Wah Tea Parlor-
13 Doyers Street
Metro North to Grand Central, 4/5/6 Train to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall or 6 Train to Canal Street
(212) 962-6047
IG: @nomwahteaparlor
$
Easy to miss but worth the search, Nom Wah dishes out delicious dim sum in a unique setting. Renovated to look like a mid-century Chinese tea parlor, this small Chinatown gem is a real bang for your buck. Located on the tiny alley-like Doyers Street, Nom Wah will satisfy all of your cravings in a no-fuss environment. While the service is just above civil, the food is fast and tasty.

Favorites:
House Special Roast Pork Bun
Taro Dumplings
Shrimp Rice Roll
Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

 

Ten Ren Tea Time-
79 Mott Street
Metro North to Grand Central, 4/5/6 Train to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall or 6 Train to Canal Street
(212) 732-7178
IG: @tenrenteatime
$

Save room after Nom Wah or skip it all together and stop by Ten Ren Tea Time. Part of the renowned Ten Ren tea franchise (the tea shop is located right down the block), Tea Time has an expansive menu of teas, slushies, and shredded ice that can (and should) be filled with tapioca pearls. If you are hungry, Ten Ren also offers a small menu of hearty Chinese “tea snacks” to go along with your drink.

Favorites:

Thai Iced Tea with Bubbles
Taro Milk Bubble Tea
Green Tea Shredded Ice with Bubbles
Green Tea Noodles
Ten-Lu Sticky Rice


Mira Sushi & Izakaya-
46 West 22nd Street (between Avenue of the Americas and 5th Avenue)
Metro North to Grand Central, 6 train to 23rd Street
(212) 989-7889
$$

You will find Mira in between Chelsea and the Flatiron District. From the outside, it might seem like a typical NYC sushi joint, but it proves to be so much more. Along with the traditional Japanese sushi bar offerings, Mira serves Izakaya-style bar foods that helped earn the restaurant a 28 out of 30 rating for their food from the esteemed Zagat restaurant guide. Alongside the familiar rolls and dishes, you will find innovative plates such as the Yuzu Chicken Wings, Kyoto Crunchy Sloppy Joe, and the Oyster Tempura Po’ Boys.

Favorites:
Tako Yaki
Pork Buns
Kobe Beef Hot Stone
Crispy Rice Sushi

 

Celeste-
502 Amsterdam Avenue (between 84th and 85th Street)
Metro North to Harlem, 4/5/6 Train to 86th, M86 (in front of Duane Reade on 86th and Lexington)(212) 874-4559
$$

Expect moderate waits and tight quarters at this cash-only Upper West Side institution. The generous portions of homemade pastas and sauces keep customers coming back for more. While you might have to yell across the table to converse with your friends, you won’t be doing much talking after the steaming plates of food are placed in front of you. Savor the food and the conversation at the table next to you that is virtually unavoidable.

Favorites:
Crostini Con Alici Marinate
Ravioli Con Burro E Salvia
Tagliatelle Con Gamberi e Verza
Pennette Mo Mo

 

Tartinery-
209 Mulberry Street
Metro North to Grand Central, 6 Train to Spring Street
(212) 300-5838
@tartinery
$$$

NoLiTa is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. It has all of the appeals of SoHo without all of the foot traffic. A block from the Spring Street subway stop (on the 6 line) you will find Tartinery, a charming French restaurant specializing in tartines, or open-faced sandwiches. While the tab can get a bit pricey, the tartines are large and filling, so I suggest splitting them or opting for the $13.50 Lunch Prix Fixe, which comes with a petit tartine and bowl of soup. Try and snag a table downstairs, especially for dinner, to fully enjoy the beautiful décor.

Favorites:
Ravioles de Royans
Asperges Avocat on Multigrain
Steak Minute on Sourdough (+$1)
Tartare on Country Peasant
Confit de Canard on Country Peasant
 

Rice to Riches-
37 Spring Street
Metro North to Grand Central, 6 Train to Spring Street
(212) 274-0008
$$

*DISCLAIMER* Rice to Riches can supplant a real meal.

It is hard to miss Rice to Riches—just a block from Tartine—with its ultra modern white and orange exterior. Walk inside and feast your eyes upon the largest selection of rice pudding you have probably ever seen in your entire life. Once the initial shock fades, browse the different flavors (ask for samples!) and plethora of toppings (you won’t need ‘em) and amuse yourself by reading the signs plastered all over the shop. “No Skinny Bitches!!!” and “Dozens of Delicious Flavors and 3 Shitty Ones” are two of my favorites.

Favorites:
Man-Made Mascarpone
“Category 5” Caramel
Sex Drugs and Rocky Road

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