New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the world and all that diversity does wonders for the food scene. You can sample interesting and hard-to-find flavors from all over the world without buying a lot of rather expensive plane tickets. Instead, all you need is a good pair of walking shoes, an empty stomach, and a sense of adventure. But with a city as big as New York, it helps to have a plan. We’ll break down a few of Manhattan’s more unique neighborhoods to show you where to find some of the best eats in town.
Spanning just two city blocks on a small stretch of 32nd Street, this neighborhood crams more than 100 small businesses into its tiny space. Hit up karaoke joints in between sampling all the kimchi and bulgogi your heart desires.
Find this micro neighborhood in Harlem to discover the finer points of Senegalese cuisine like ceebu yap: tenderized, seasoned beef with rice, green olives, and black-eyed peas.
Here, you’ll find the blend of Spanish, Taíno, and African dishes that the Dominican Republic is known for. Just head to Washington Heights and follow the sound of bachata.
This is the famous Mexican and Puerto Rican section of Harlem so get ready for myriad spices, plenty of heat, and some of the best tacos in New York.
There are thousands of restaurants in New York, but only a handful of them are considered tourist attractions in their own right, and that’s exactly what Tom’s Restaurant is. It might sound like a run-of-the-mill American diner, but its distinctive exterior is what sets it apart from the crowd. Fans of Seinfeld will immediately recognize the bright neon sign as Monk’s, the fictional eatery where Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer ate in countless episodes of the show. It looks much the same today, though fans should know that the interior bares little resemblance to the one featured on the show (that was a set in LA). That said, they can still get fantastic diner fare from BLTs and burgers to omelettes and banana splits.
The only thing better than a glass of wine after a long day of work is a wine tasting. That’s what makes a trip to 1742 Wine Bar on the Upper East Side such a treat. Their wine list has more than 30 different vintages from around the world so you can taste your way across the globe. Sip cabernet sauvignon from Spain, rosato from Italy, or pinot noir from California. But while you imbibe, don’t forget about the food; 1742 Wine Bar serves up delicious bites inspired by the flavors and cuisine of Italy. You can keep it simple with a margherita pizza or class it up with a cheese platter and a plate of gnocchi.
The love affair with Bluepoint oysters began nearly 200 years ago and it’s been going strong ever since. When you’re craving the seasonal delicacy, there’s one spot on the Upper East Side you’ve got to check out: Eats on Lex. A plate of bluepoints and a martini or two is just what the doctor ordered and it’s definitely what longtime fans of this hidden gem recommend. Just check out what some of them had to say:
“The oysters drew me in and I'm so glad I listened....Best oysters and of course delicious martinis...if you're a Mac & cheese fan, I highly recommend the shrimp Mac & cheese app...very filling and so yummy! I'll definitely stop at Eats again when I'm in the city.” – Jane R.
“Oysters and clams come in fresh every day (except Sunday) since they are specialties of the house. Last night the oysters were super fresh and delicious. We had Dirty Russian martini's (with blue cheese and bue cheese stuffed olives)--funky, but delicious.” – Gary R.
“What a pleasure to find a nice, out-of-the-way place (to me) for wonderful oysters and drinks. Friendly staff, good vibe all around. Food looked good too. I'll be back.” – Robin G.
Called one of the most expensive cities to visit in the world by CNN Travel, New York’s rep for high prices is pretty well known. But not all of its world-class cuisine is going to set you back a pretty penny. In fact, you can find some pretty good meals for just $15 or less. Don’t believe us? Check out a few of these spots:
Want even more inspiration? See what else made our list of our top 10 favorite cheap eats in New York.