Let’s get this out of the way – if you have the money and can get a reservation at Per Se, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park,or  Massa, you’re in for world-class dining. But you don’t need us to tell you that. This blog is about hacks – better-than-expected value in less-than-obvious places.

Some of the best food in the city has relocated to the outer boroughs. But Manhattan will always have a gravitational pull for gastronomy, and some of its best restaurants are its institutions – neighborhood joints that have been around for decades. Amongst our selections you’ll find a mixture of old and new, ethnic and traditional.

Click on the Photo to read the review.


Restaurant Address Neighborhood Type of Food Vibe Comments
1. Basta Pasta
37 W 17th St New York, NY 10011 Flatiron Italian Upscale casual Superlative pasta menu. Every dish unique. Lunch pre fixe a good way to save.
2. Xi An Famous Foods
81 St. Mark’s Place
New York, NY 10003
East Village Chinese Casual, pay-at-counter You won’t find General Tso’s Chicken here. This is authentic food from the Xi An region of China.
3. Aburiya Kinosuke
213 E 45th St New York, NY 10017 United Nations/Turtle Bay Japanese Upscale casual Eye-closing, melt-in-your-mouth, memorable tastes.
4. Clinton Street Baking Company
4 Clinton St New York, NY 10002 East Village/Lower East Side Breakfast/Brunch Gastro-diner The waits are substantial. Come on a weekday morning, make an outing of it. Worth it.
5. Corner Bistro
331 W 4th St New York, NY 10014 West Village Old School Burger Joint/Dive Bar Old School Burger Joint/Dive Bar The brush of fame has increased wait times, but it hasn’t decreased quality or authenticity.
6. Nha Trang One
87 Baxter St
New York, NY 10013
Chinatown Vietnamese Casual, table service Authentic Vietnamese food for an amazing price.
7. Shabu Shabu 70
314 E 70th St New York, NY 10021 Upper East Side Janapese, Hot Pot Upscale Casual Authentic Japanese Shabu Shabu. Quality extremely high.
9. Luzzo’s
211-213 First Ave. New York, NY East Village Pizza Casual, table service Awesome and authentic.




Paulie Gee’s



Ki Sushi

Buttermilk Channel

Amber Steak House

Five Leaves

Tortilleria Los Hermanos

Metro Cafe

Nam Nam



Hao Wei

Sik Gaek



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