NYC Eats-Only Bucket List

3 courses at Bohdi Tree for under $10

I’ve returned to NYC after having only visited once when I was 13. Now that I’m an adult and my taste has refined (one can only hope), I’ve decided to curate a list of recommendations from friends and followers to find out the best eats in The Big Apple! I am going to attempt to eat my way through as many of these recs as possible during my week-long stay here, but that would be impossible to finish. Check back as I’ll also be adding my own recommendations to this list as I taste them.

If you’d like more information about a specific place, tweet the person listed after the recommendation. Also, if you’d like the extended version which includes places to drink and things to do, visit The Aublog. – Enjoy ūüôā


  • Essex¬†@AshleyElisaG
  • Intermezo (all you can drink drag brunch, go with your girlfriends for a good laugh!)¬†@AshleyElisaG
  • Jane (brunch)¬†@JamieDeRosa
  • LAVO¬†@GlennEbert
  • Penelope¬†@AshleyElisaG
  • The Smith (brunch)¬†@JamieDeRosa¬†| I highly DO NOT recommend this place. The food came out in 5 minutes. Most of the food was cold or luke-warm. The only thing that was memorable was the cheesy grits.



  • Brush Stroke (David Bouley) (dinner)¬†@JamieDeRosa
  • Graffiti NYC¬†@GlennEbert
  • Lincoln Ristorante¬†@rafletch
  • Neta¬†@rafletch
  • Nobu 57 (dinner)¬†@JamieDeRosa
  • Rayuela¬†@AubreySwanson¬†| This place reminded me of a Miami restaurant. Very cute and intimate (a little too intimate). The main courses and tapas were decent. The BEST part was dessert –¬†Chocolate Cort√°zar. GET THIS. It will change your life forever.
  • The Dutch (dinner)¬†@JamieDeRosa
  • The Lion (dinner)¬†@JamieDeRosa


  • Bahn Mi Saigon¬†@MarisaScime
  • Balthazar- brunch¬†@KAYENW
  • Baohaus¬†@rafletch¬†|¬†Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm deliciousness! Get the Birdhaus = fried chicken bao. So. Amazingly. Good.
  • Beauty & Essex¬†@GlennEbert¬†@AshleyElisaG
  • Bleaker¬†@JDavidBeatty
  • Bodhi Tree¬†@Alina_Daryab¬†@AubreySwanson¬†| Lunch special includes 2 appetizers and a main. I had the curry puff, veggie dumping, and spicy basil noodles. Very yummy and inexpensive!
  • Buddakan (dinner, drinks, light bite ‚Äď edamame dumplings)¬†@TiffanyBarranco
  • Catch¬†@OleeFowler
  • CaVa Brasserie¬†@IC_TimesSquare
  • Corner Bistro¬†@AshleyElisaG¬†@KAYENW
  • Crif Dogs¬†@AubreySwanson¬†| I got the chihauhau – hot dog wrapped in bacon with avocado and sour cream. It was very tasty! However, the non-toasted $.05 hot dog bun really ruined the experience. They really gotta figure something out w/the buns to complement the dog.
  • Crumbs Bake Shop¬†@K_McGlinchey¬†| The BEST cupcake that‚Äôs ever entered my lips. Seriously. Get. The. Red. Velvet. Sidenote – I like how they label the number of calories for each cupcake… Makes me more conscious of what I’m putting through my lips even though I ate the entire thing… ūüė¶
  • El Centro (Mexican in Hell‚Äôs Kitchen)¬†@MarisaScime
  • Delicatessen¬†@AubreySwanson¬†| I ended my NYC trip with an extremely memorable dinner. They specialize in different types of mac ‚Äėn cheese. Get the burger mac ‚Äėn cheese, truffle fries, and the reuben!
  • Fatty Cue upper west side¬†@JamieDeRosa
  • Gourmet Guild¬†@AubreySwanson¬†| The cutest little market full of locally-sourced goods like infused olive oil, a coffee bar, sandwiches from Whoopie Goldberg’s former chef, kimchi, gluten-free goods, and so much more!
  • Grey Dog Caf√©¬†@MarisaScime¬†@AshleyElisaG
  • Grill 21¬†@AubreySwanson¬†| This was my first time tasting Filipino food. I ordered the pork adobo with garlic fried rice (yes, garlic fried rice)! It was very delicious. The pork was tender and it was extremely flavorful.
  • Ippudo¬†@JamieDeRosa
  • John‚Äôs of Bleeker Street (pizza in Greenwich Village)¬†@TiffanyBarranco
  • Junior’s Cheesecake¬†@K_McGlinchey
  • La Esquina¬†@AshleyElisaG¬†@JamieDeRosa
  • Lombardi‚Äôs (Little Italy)¬†@MarisaScime
  • Macao Trading Co. ‚ÄďTribeca¬†@KAYENW
  • Magnolia Bakery (cupcake)¬†@MarisaScime¬†@K_McGlinchey¬†| BLAHHHHHHHH. Nothing special. Frosting was good, but it‚Äôs ALL hype.
  • Max Brenner¬†@OleeFowler
  • Mercer Kitchen¬†@AshleyElisaG
  • Minetta Tavern¬†@AshleyElisaG
  • Momofuku Milk Bar¬†@GlennEbert¬†| I got the compost cookie. I thought it was good, but I expected better‚Ķ I think too many people hyped it up and my expectations were way too high.
  • Ninja (Chinatown)¬†@TiffanyBarranco
  • Pastise same owner as Balthazar¬†@JamieDeRosa
  • Percy‚Äôs Pizza (village)- Best cheap pizza (like a buck a slice)¬†@KAYENW
  • Pig and Khao (Austin Haight)
  • Republic (noodle bar on Union Square)¬†@MarisaScime
  • Room Service (Thai just west of Times Square)¬†@MarisaScime
  • Rubioso Pizza¬†@GlennEbert
  • Scores (Austin Haight)
  • Shake Shack¬†@AshleyElisaG
  • The Meatball Shop¬†@jtangerine02¬†| OMG. Meatgasm! Ordered beef meatballs with creamy parmesan sauce and a side of butternut squash risotto. Jen ordered chicken meatballs with pesto sauce over spaghetti. We left stuffed for about $13 each. Amaze balls food, and I’m in love with their branding!
  • The National¬†@MarisaScime
  • The Smith¬†@OleeFowler¬†| Yeah‚Ķ About this place‚Ķ See my earlier comment.
  • Tortilla Flats¬†@AshleyElisaG
  • Union Square Market¬†@MarisaScime¬†@OleeFowler¬†| You can find yummy, unique snacks and lunch items at the holiday market. I fell in love!

4 thoughts on “NYC Eats-Only Bucket List

    • I thought it’d be fun to show everyone’s suggestions ūüôā I especially love the ones where more than one people have recommended the same place. Even my friend I’m staying with (who’s lived here over a year) is super excited to try all these places haha. I’ll let ya know how it goes!

  1. Nice list but there are so many more amazing choices in NYC. at the smith east village location try their mac n cheese and check out the peep holes in the basement. If you need more ideas check out my site. Happy eating

    • Hey Ziggy!

      Thanks for checking out my blog! It’s just a curated list from some of my friends and acquaintances – a guide so to speak. I can’t wait to get some free time and blog about the places I experienced because many were not on this list.

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