Foodie Finds: The 7 Best Places to Eat in New York City

by Gil Kreiter /
Gil Kreiter's picture
Jun 19, 2008 / 3 comments

My Seven Favorite Restaurants in New York


Advice from a local: 7 Favorite restaurants in New York City

Photo wikimedia commons: Javier Gil, adapted by Wandering Educators



1. B&H Dairy

B&H on the west side of Second Avenue between St. Mark's Place and 7th St. in the East Village is set up like a little luncheonette with a long counter and six tables along the wall.

They serve delicious soups, split pea, mushroom barley, hot borscht, cold borscht, potato leek, all vegetarian with a side of bread and butter.  The Polish woman in the kitchen bakes a challah, an egg bread, in a loaf pan that with butter spread on it is like eating cake.  You can get other dairy dishes there like pirogi, which are Polish dumplings filled with potatoes or cheese; blintzes, a Polish peasant crepe, which are thin dough wrappers around a slightly sweet pot cheese filling or blueberry and cheese filling.


B&H Dairy, East Village, NYC

Photo: Ken Goldstein


B&H Dairy
127 2nd Ave # 2
New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-8065

B & H Dairy on Urbanspoon



2. Metro Diner

Metro Diner is a very busy classic Greek diner on the NW corner of Broadway and 100th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Breakfast is eggs and homefries, lunch or dinner might be spinach pie with a small greek salad.  They have an eight page menu, but it is better to order things that they know how to cook. The Mediterannean (sic?) plate has hummous, a chick pea spread; baba ghannough, an eggplant spread; tabouleh, Bulghar wheat dish; a few stuffed grape leaves and some pita to mop it up.


Metro Diner, NYC

Photo: Melanie Purcell


Metro Diner
2641 Broadway,   New York 10025
At 100th St
Phone: 212-866-0800

Metro Diner on Urbanspoon



3. Flor de Mayo

Just up the street (Broadway between 100th and 101st) is Flor de Mayo, one of the first Chinese Cuban restaurants in NY. They were Chinese that left Cuba after Castro took over.  Recently they added a very good ceviche to the menu. You order each item individually.  So when I was young and poor, I would just have white rice and black beans with sweet fried plantains as a treat.  Now that I am a little more prosperous, I can add shredded beef or beef liver Cuban style. I have never tried their Chinese offerings.


Flor de Mayo - Chinese Cuban restaurant in NYC

Photo: Go Tell Your Mom


Flor de Mayo
2651 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(212) 663-5520
(212) 595-2525

Flor de Mayo on Urbanspoon



4. Souen

Souen at 28 E 13th St, near to NYU, is a very good macrobiotic restaurant. You won't get tomatoes or potatoes there since they have too much Yin or Yang, but the fish and vegetables are fresh and tasty.  Their cornbread is very good too, not dry at all.  The menu changes every day to keep the food fresh.


28 East 13th Street
bet. University Pl and 5th Ave
Tel: 212-627-7150

Souen on Urbanspoon




5. Mexicana Mama

Mexicana Mama in the West Village is a very creative Mexican restaurant.  It has maybe a ten foot storefront with a banquette along the wall and six tables near each other in a row. So you have to get there early if you don't want to wait. They make a different type of guacamole, avocado dip, every day. Typically they have four entree specials each day, interesting dishes with tasty sauces.


Mexicana Mama, NYC

Photo: Single Platform


Mexicana Mama
525 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-4119

Mexicana Mama on Urbanspoon




6. Shun Lee Palace/Shun Lee West/Shun Lee Cafe

Shun Lee Palace 155 E. 55th St down the street from the St. Regis Hotel and its sister restaurant, Shun Lee West and Shun Lee Cafe both at 43 W. 65th St across from Lincoln Center, are the best Chinese restaurants in NY.  They are expensive, main dishes are $30 - $50 but the food is superb.  They serve sea bass several different ways and prawns several different ways, along with a full menu of beef and chicken dishes.


Shun Lee Palace, NYC

Shun Lee Palace. Photo: Single Platform

Shun Lee Palace East
155 E 55th St
New York, NY 10022

Shun Lee Palace on Urbanspoon


Dim Sum Cart, Shun Lee West, NYC

Dim Sum, Shun Lee West. Photo: lilo

Shun Lee Cafe & Shun Lee West
43 W 65th St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 769-3888
(212) 371-8844

Shun Lee West on Urbanspoon



7. Five Points Restaurant

Five Points at 31 Great Jones St. (one block south of West 4th St and just east of Broadway), is a very beautiful room.  There are tables along two long walls with a log running down the middle of the room with a stream running down the center of the log.  There are no windows in the room, but the upward lighting gives an airy feel to the room so that you don't notice that there are no windows.  The food is expensive, but the service is very unpretentious.  The salads are $8 - $10, the heirloom tomato salad is delicious, juicy tasty tomoatoes unlike the store bought inedible beefsteak tomatoes grown to  transport, not to eat.  Main dishes are $18 - $25 pasta at the low end and fish or steak at the high.  The food is always tasty, juicy, never dry. Not large portions, but enough.  You need room for dessert.


5 points restaurant, NYC

Photo: Doug Rogers


5 Points Restaurant
31 Great Jones St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 253-5700

Five Points on Urbanspoon

New York has thousands of restaurants and hundreds of good ones.  Any neighborhood you visit will have an interesting place to eat.  Enjoy!



What are your favorite places to eat in NYC? 


List of more Best Places To Eat



Comments (3)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    15 years 11 months ago

    Gil - these sound fantastic! I think a trip to NYC is in the cards...thanks!


    Jessie Voigts


  • Ed Forteau

    15 years 11 months ago

    No question New York has many great places to eat, and this list offers a great place to start.  Thanks! 

    Ed Forteau


  • monacake

    15 years 1 month ago

    it is so hard to pick a handful of worthy eateries in new york as there are so many, but you've done a masterful job. and i agree that b&h is one not to miss.

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