The Big Apple. The city that never sleeps. In its eight-mile radius, New York houses over 26,000 thousand restaurants. It’s one of the most international cities in the world, and it has always set a high bar for cuisine. It’s a melting pot, famous for its pizza, its bagels, its cheesecake, its dumplings, and, of course, its fine dining. It’s one of our favorite cities in the world.
New York is also where Kaitlin first started her food blog, @carnivorr. She used her college years to study the city’s food scene, to test every dollar pizza slice, to scientifically rank each ramen joint, and to hunt down the best bagels in town. Anders had been to New York a few times on his own, but we took the city by storm together for the first time in 2019, and have been back every year since. Below are the five essential places that, in our opinion, you cannot miss on a trip to New York City – our favorite bagel, our favorite pizza slice, our favorite bakery, our favorite wine bar, and our favorite Italian restaurant.
Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in NYC? Check out our city map of New York!
Maybe it’s something in the water, maybe it’s magic. Whatever it is, it’s undeniable that New York is home to the world’s best bagels. And since Absolute Bagels is the best bagel shop in New York City, it therefore must be the best in the world. These are just facts, folks. Kaitlin’s go-to order is simple: an everything bagel with plain cream cheese. Anders tried a few different variations, and also recommends getting an everything bagel, but he likes his with lox (smoked salmon) and dill and chives cream cheese. If you time it right in the morning, you can snag a fresh, hot one. (A bagel this fresh does not need toasting.) Note: Absolute Bagels is cash only, so come prepared.
ABSOLUTE BAGELS Address & Contact Information 2788 Broadway, New York, New York
Frank Tuttolomondo’s pizza joint, Mama’s Too, stole our hearts with their incredible square pizza slices. The toppings at this Upper West Side hotspot change seasonally – most recently we were obsessed with the elote (corn) pizza, but our other two favorites are the cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) and the vodka slice, with a rich tomato sauce. These squares are almost like focaccia (doughy, crispy, with a caramelized crust) and everything is made fresh and served till it runs out. You don’t wanna miss this spot – it’s our favorite pizza slice in NYC!
MAMA'S TOO Address & Contact Information 2750 Broadway, New York, New York Website Instagram Facebook
Win Son Bakery
One of our favorite bites in NYC is the scallion pancake egg sandwich at Win Son Bakery. It reminds us of a cheesy quesadilla on a flour tortilla, but with the wonderful addition of scallion. (Big fans of alliums here!) This dish was so good that we ordered seconds immediately after finishing our first sandwich. On the side is their signature Ginger Deluxe sauce (a blend of kewpie mayo, ginger, scallion, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic), which was so delicious we bought a bottle to bring home with us. We also adore the Fan Tuan (the rice roll with the fried dough and pork floss inside) and the mochi donut.
WIN SON BAKERY Address & Contact Information 164 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, New York Website Instagram Facebook
The Four Horsemen
A trendy Williamsburg natural wine bar with a Michelin star? Trust us, we were just as skeptical as you, but the food at The Four Horsemen absolutely blew us away. We ordered practically every dish on chef Nick Curtola’s concise à la carte menu, and each bite was so good that we were very close to ordering them all again. From the braised leek toast with whipped ricotta and Cantabrian anchovies, to the crispy potato cubes with crème fraîche, chives and Japanese curry, to the fried chicken with black maitake mushrooms, cipollini onions, and marsala, every bite was a banger, and left us craving more. Added bonus? Their natural wine program is one of the best in the city. The Four Horsemen served us our very best meal of our most recent NYC trip – we can’t wait to go back.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN Address & Contact Information 295 Grand St, Brooklyn, New York Website Instagram Facebook
Chef Missy Robbins’ latest pasta endeavors are happening on the trendy Williamsburg waterfront. (Robbins also owns the extremely popular Italian restaurant Lillia, which is also located in Williamsburg.) Misi serves some of the best handmade pasta we’ve ever had, which is why it became one of our favorite restaurants in NYC. Our two favorite pastas were the occhi, cute little pillows of perfection filled with ricotta and topped with bottarga and lemon, and the brown butter tortelli filled with spinach and mascarpone. Don’t leave without ordering the whipped ricotta crostini and the slow roasted tomatoes topped with hot honey. We washed down our pasta with a bottle of “Orange” – one of our favorite natural wines, from Pantelleria, Italy.
What’s your favorite restaurant in New York? Let us know in a comment below.