2019 has brought Manhattan Digest to places in and out of The Big Apple that have been nothing short of absolutely amazing. From Thai to Italian and everything in between, we have been able to experience some of the tastiest food this city has to offer that has left us feeling full and happy. Which ones tickled our fancies the most though? Check out our list of the 9 best restaurants we’ve been to in 2019 below!
Bluebird London: 10 Columbus Circle
Bluebird London might be one of the chicest places to dine at in NYC. It’s situated inside The Shops at Columbus Circle, which is the definition of a sophisticated shopping experience. Their scrumptious brunch earned them a spot on our best restaurants list as its influences from across the pond are spotted in each dish they present, not to mention the colorful atmosphere that hits you the minute you walk inside. Standout dishes: Prime filet with a sunny side egg, French Toast with maple syrup and bacon and yes… their amazing bread basket with all the fixings. More info here.
Pasta Eater: 9 E. 17th Street
If you want authentic, I mean REALLY authentic Italian food, you go to the newly opened Pasta Eater in Union Square. They go above and beyond to ensure that you have a pasta experience like no other by providing a bevy of dishes that cover all bases in terms of how you can create this wonderful delicacy. The intimate environment inside Pasta Easter plus their yummy dishes were two reasons why we had to include them on our best restaurants list. Standout dishes: Troccolli All’Astice (Lobster) and Quadrotti Al Nero Di Seppia (Squid ink Quadrotti pasta stuffed with codfish and an eggplant, mint & lemon sauce). More info here.
Jonathan’s Ristorante: 15 Wall Street, Huntington
Not every hotspot that made our best restaurants list is in Manhattan. Long Island, particularly Huntington Village, hosts a ton of amazing places to eat at, Jonathan’s Ristorante being one of them. First of all, its situated in an area that’s very reminiscent of Greenwich Village so you still get that city vibe. Secondly, the inviting atmosphere and mouthwatering Italian cuisine makes this a spot worth traveling to if you are headed east for the holidays and beyond. Best dishes: Tuna Tartare (its been on the menu for decades), Formaggi y Salami (meats and cheeses) and their Bucatini Bolognese. More info here.
Prova Pizzabar: Grand Central Terminal, Lower Level & 485 7th Avenue
Donatella Arpaia, one of the best culinary badasses in the business, expertly opened Prova Pizzabar’s first location a couple of years ago to much fanfare and adoration. Her incredible menu of Pizza and Italian-related dishes are worth going to Grand Central, even if you aren’t traveling anywhere. This is a grab and go kind of place for the most part but there is seating in the back in case you want to unwind while dining on her amazing plates. Standout dishes: Garlic Knots smothered in Mozz, Margherita Pizza, Donatella’s Famous Meatballs (get them spicy!). More info here.
Chola: 232 E. 58th Street
Chola’s seasonal Indian cuisine is out of this world good. My friend and I no joke kept giving each other these looks of wonderment as we continued to taste our food. The preparation of these dishes that their chefs make are truly extraordinary as you savor every spice and ingredient that is put it. Standout dishes: Butter Murgh Naan (Stuffed chicken white flour bread), Scallops Caldin (in a Goan yellow coconut curry) and their Crab Butter Pepper Masala (HEAVEN!). More info here.
Aqua Boil: 750 9th Avenue
Cajun food is underrepresented in NYC, which is a shame given how tasty it is. Aqua Boil to the rescue! The Hell’s Kitchen hotspot opened recently and will hopefully stay that way given its authentic take on all things Cajun. Prepare to wear a bib and use a ton of napkins as they present you with some very messy but very, very yummy options to devour throughout your time there. Standout dishes: Honey Garlic Wings, Crab Cake, 1-Pound of Shrimp With The Head On. More info here.
Valerie: 45 W. 45th Street
Valerie to me is a homey type of place you just want to go to. Its sort of the modern day answer to Cheers just in a much more refined environment. The name of the restaurant is inspired by the Amy Winehouse classic, but there isn’t anything British about its cuisine as the focus on that is strictly American done in the best way possible. Standout dishes: Smoked Crispy Duck Wings, Mac & Cheese Gratin, Skillet Roasted 1/2 Organic Chicken. More info here.
Sofia’s Taqueria: 977 Bay Street, Staten Island
Peter Botros has quickly become the king of Staten Island restaurants. His other ventures, including Violette’s Cellar, have revitalized an area that Manhattanites still don’t travel to as often as they should but hopefully that will change soon with his newest addition Sofia’s Taqueria. The menu options are some of the most delicious ones I’ve ever tried as they take Mexican cuisine to a whole new level. Worth the trek to SI folks, trust me on that. Standout dishes: Sofia’s Secret Guacamole, Carne Asada Taco, Beef Empanada. More info here.
Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails: 367 3rd Avenue
The only bar type of place that made our list… and for good reason. Handcraft delivers on their expertly made cocktails and yummy menu items, particularly for brunch on the weekends. They also do late night beer specials from 10pm to close which is great for your thirst and wallet. Standout dishes: Giant Pretzel with cinnamon sugar and coffee butter, French Toast, Lemon Ricotta Pancake. More info here.