It’s no secret that here at Brazen Woman, we live to eat and not the other way around, and that’s especially true in one of our all-time favourite cities—New York. (For recommendations on Boutique Hotels in NYC, click here.) When we’re in New York City, you can bet we’re craving way more than just a Big Apple. Lucky for us, when it comes to eats, NYC seriously does have it all. Which makes it awfully tough to choose a restaurant. And even if you can settle on a few, good luck snagging a reservation if you don’t start planning well in advance.
Don’t worry. We’ve done the legwork. To help you narrow down the choices, we’re sharing some dining spots we’ve tried and loved, and highly recommend. Take notes.
10 MUST-EAT RESTOS IN NEW YORK CITY
BEST OYSTERS: Crave Fishbar This tiny place has happy written all over it and you’ll be craving it before you even leave. Get there by 5pm for the 2-hour Oyster Happy Hour or you won’t get in the door. Oh, and come hungry because this is an oyster lover’s dream, with platters of East and West Coast selections—each oyster is $1!— coming fast and furious, garnished with all the fixins, including lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. 945 2nd Ave.
RUNNER-UP: Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar. Another hole-in-the-wall oyster joint (no reservations, so get there early) where you can sit at the bar and enjoy a half dozen oysters (20+ varieties) for 12 bucks, with a pint of craft beer thrown in. 95 First Ave.
BEST SEAFOOD: CATCH Located in the trendy Meatpacking District, this contemporary American seafood gem is actually hidden upstairs. Just a quick elevator ride takes you to the bustling dining room where newly minted Executive Chef John is serving up the most delectable seafood and sushi our tongues have ever had the pleasure of tasting. He’s also working on adding creative new steak dishes for the popular seafood establishment. In fact, we can’t stop ordering. Signature dishes you can’t miss: CATCH Roll (get two), Cantonese Lobster (yep, that’s this post’s featured pic!), Tartare Trio, Crispy Shrimp and just about anything else on this menu. PS. After dinner, take the elevator up to the rooftop club for some fancy indoor-outdoor drinks. 21 Ninth Ave.
RUNNER-UP: Aquagrill. If you’ve just spent the day shopping in SoHo, you’ll be oh so happy to kick back in this upscale yet comfortable restaurant that serves only the freshest fish and finest wine selections. 210 Spring St.
BEST PIZZA: OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria This legendary gem in the heart of Greenwich Village makes pizza so thin, hot and authentic, you may need two. Modeled after an Italian train station, it’s a neighbourhood hot spot. Starters like the OTTO chopped salad amaze, and the pasta is about the best you’ve ever had, but the real star is the pizza (and just try to resist the walls of Italian wine everywhere). Corner of 8th & 5th Aves.
RUNNER-UP: John’s of Bleecker Street. If you find yourself in the West Village, it’s worth ducking in here for a thin crust, coal oven old-fashioned pizza pie—one that the iconic John’s has been serving since 1929. 278 Bleecker St.
BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH: Beauty & Essex If you didn’t know better, you’d mistake this upscale resto for just a pawn shop in the Lower East Side. Once past the pawn shop, you’ll be escorted into a cavernous room full of sleek booths well-dressed diners. Sunday’s champagne brunch features so many eclectic and delicious choices to share, including lobster tacos, red velvet waffles and chile relleno empanadas, just to name a few, you won’t be able to stop ordering. 146 Essex St.
RUNNER-UP: ABC Kitchen. You’ll find this cool resto inside ABC Carpet & Home department store on lower Broadway. The menu is as eclectic as it is delicious. Case in point: Scrambled eggs are served with crispy oysters and hot butter sauce. 35 E. 18th St.
BEST CHEESECAKE: Eileen’s Special Cheesecake If you love cheesecake (for a recipe to make it at home, click here!) but are holding up the line deciding on the flavour you absolutely must try, this place is for you. Not only is the cheesecake that perfect balance of light and dense, you can have your cake and eat it too with a sampler of 12 (yes, 12!) different slices, or a box of nine assorted minis. Ah, heaven. 17 Cleveland Place.
RUNNER-UP: Two Little Red Hens. At this Upper East side bakery, the cheesecake is as creamy as they come—atop a deeply baked graham cracker crust. YUM. 1652 2nd Ave.