Must-Try Restaurants for First-Timers in New York City
July 23, 2019
New York City is known for many things — from its fast pace and colorful residents, to its skyscrapers, and so much more. But that's not all; when it comes to food, New York City is simply unlike any other place in the world. In the city, chefs from all over the world come here to introduce their own cuisine to the thousands of visitors and locals that roam NYC’s streets. With superb dining options available for any budget, you can easily spend your whole trip just exploring the Big Apple’s food scene. While you should definitely stop by the very first Shake Shack on Madison Square Park, spend your trip venturing out of your comfort zone in order to try new cuisines. Besides, with all the walking you’ll do around the city, you’ll definitely burn off the calories anyway!
Located in the trendy Upper East Side, Imli is an Indian restaurant that offers fusion dishes alongside traditional Indian fare, with vegetarian options also available for those who’d prefer it. The pan-seared duck alone is worthy of a trip, as its served with masala cauliflower and potato mash. Don’t leave without trying one of Imli’s many cocktails, which are infused with Indian spices for a bit of a kick.
This deli has achieved legendary status, with food blogs calling it an unofficial NYC landmark. While you’ve probably heard of Katz’s through films like When Harry Met Sallyand Donnie Brasco, this spot has been in operation since 1888. For years, they've been serving up mile-long sandwiches with an endearing crankiness that you won’t find outside of NYC. Coming here for a bite is like hitting two birds with one stone, since you’ll be getting some good grub while basking in a bit of pop culture history.
Like we mentioned, NYC is pretty much synonymous to its skyscrapers. Yoreevo notes that there are almost 14,000 high rises over six stories in the city, which means that a good meal with breathtaking views is easy to come by. One such place is Arlo Blooms — a rooftop garden restaurant that offers one of the most breathtaking views in the entire city. Take advantage of its lush greenery if you’re visiting in the spring or summer, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures while ordering their healthy, plant-based meals.
So much of NYC’s dining scene revolves around the joy of hanging out at a cool place, making Miss Lily’s unmissable. Its Greenwich Village branch draws young locals in every night, with thumping music being heard from blocks away. The Culture Trip praises the restaurant’s Jamaican ramen, where jerk broth is served with soft chicken cuts, ackee, and bitter greens. This dish is only available in limited quantities, but everything on the menu is a solid option even if you decide to skip on the ramen.
Eater states that this Michelin starred sushi restaurant is located up north in Harlem, not in posh Manhattan as you might expect. Reservations fill up fast, especially for the sushi bar. If you can manage to snag a seat, however, you should definitely take the golden ticket and get ready for the meal of your life. There’s nothing quite like watching a master sushi chef prepare your food right in front of your eyes, as it gives you an even stronger appreciation of the dish you’re about to devour.
We can’t end this list without mentioning a pizza joint. Joe’s Pizza is everything you’d imagine a New York Slice to be: huge, shiny with cheese and sauce, and available at two in the morning. The slick-talking employees in all three of Joe’s branches don’t mess around, so make sure you have your order ready by the time you’re at the till. Remember to fold your pizza in half lengthwise as the New Yorkers do, and munch on your slice on the way to your next food stop.