Manhattan is a one of kind experience when it comes to being a melting pot of food you can try when you are here. Any type of cuisine is available to you, and chances are the food fucking rocks as I have yet to experience a bad place to eat here (outside of TGI Fridays, which was not my choice to go to.) In the two and half years of Manhattan Digest being active, we have reviewed and written about tons of different restaurants with different cuisines, backgrounds, areas and so much more. Question is, what is the best of the best? We now give you what we think is the best in each category. Take a look at who won in what and try not to salivate throughout the course of you reading this.
Best Sushi- Haru Sushi (Multiple Locations)
Sushi is at the top when it comes to the type of foods that Manhattanites like to eat. So with all of the sushi places that we have tried at Manhattan Digest, Haru Sushi sticks out the most in terms of originality, texture and flavor that they put into each sushi roll. Moderately priced in a beautiful setting in each location (I recommend the Times Square one the most), Haru provides top notch quality Sushi such as their Rainbow Roll, consisting of Shrimp, Striped Bass, Yellowtail, Tuna and Salmon wrapped around Kani & Avocado or Perfect Fantasy Roll, which is Avocado-Wrapped Shrimp Tempura and Asparagus with Spicy Mayo. They also have bomb appetizers from Lobster Gyozo to Beef Negimaki, which showcase how great they are with flavor in not only their rolls but in their all encompassing menu. For more info check out our review here.
Best Steakhouse: Morton’s Grille (19th Street and Park Avenue South)
The words “Morton” and “Steakhouse” kind of go together like Peanut Butter & Jelly. Morton’s is obviously known for its steak, and I wanted to choose their sister restaurant called Morton’s Grille as it has a really relaxed vibe to eat with some of the best steak I have ever had in my entire life. Options from New York Strip and Bone-In Filet Mignon are available at your disposal and taste out of this world freaking fantastic. If you want Steak in New York City, you have to choose Morton’s. Sometimes its best to stick to the classics. Check out our review here.
Best Bar-Restaurant: Coopers Craft & Kitchen (8th Avenue between 18th and 19th Street)
Just because you are new to the block doesn’t mean you will be overlooked. Coopers Craft & Kitchen is a great example of that. With its flagship restaurant already a big hit in the LES, they opened a brand new one right in the heart of Chelsea on 8th Avenue and 19th Street which has already brought in quite the clientele in such a short period of time. If you are looking for a great bar setting with all of the amazing craft beers you can choose from on top of some pretty hearty and tasty food (POUTINE PEOPLE!) then this is the place to go to. Check out one of our write up’s here.
Best Italian: Bistango (145 East 50th Street)
Authentic Italian food at its best is what you will find at Bistango. As part of The Kimberly Hotel, Bistango prides itself on delicious and heart Italian cuisine to fill your belly and leave you satisfied. Whether its their Meatballs Al Forno, Fettuccine with Lobster, or Rigatoni with Short Rib, they have you covered in all things Italian. Really a treat visually and taste wise as well. Check out the original review here.
Best Burger: Whitman’s NYC (409 East 9th Street)
The first burger joint that I reviewed for Manhattan Digest remains the best one I have done since that cold, December day. I had heard about Whitman’s through an article Thrillist regarding the best burgers in NYC, so I decided to take a stroll to see what all the fuss was about. This tiny, little space on the LES makes up for it in flavor and punch in each of their burgers they make, and that is evident in their world famous Peanut Butter & Bacon burger and Juicy Lucy (beef short rib, pimento cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, spicy pickles and special sauce). Hands down the best burgers I have tried here in Manhattan, and worth the trip downtown to see what all the fuss is about. Check out our original review here.
Best Bake Shop/Bakery: H Bake Shop (West 57th Between 11th & 12th)
You can trust that when someone wins “Cupcake Wars” on Food Network that chances are their cupcakes and other pastries are gonna taste damn good. When those chances are right to the millionth power, you have H Bake Shop, run by winner of “Cupcake Wars” Huascar Aquino. Why is this the best? There are so many reasons. His imagination when it comes to making cakes, cupcakes and more are endless (see what he did for my nephew’s 3rd birthday here. Mind blown). His cookies, especially the Chocotella, are the best cookies I’ve ever had in my life and some of his cupcake creations like his PB&J and Scarlet Velvet are just fantastic. Definitely worth checking out.
Best Lunch Spot: City Kitchen (8th Avenue Between 44th & 45th Street)
City Kitchen, attached to Row Hotel, is a great lunch spot because it has every different type of cuisine inside of it and reads like an upscale food market with great and affordable prices that anyone can enjoy. If you are looking for a quick bite like a delicious pretzel then try out Sigmund’s Truffle Cheddar Pretzel. Want to try a great taco or sushi roll? Asuki and Gabriela’s Taqueria are the places to go. If its a cold and rainy day and you want to warm up with a hot bowl of ramen then try the classic with Pork Belly at Kuro Obi. Really, its whatever floats your boat. Check out our review here.
Best Restaurant In NYC (Overall)- Jacob’s Pickles (509 Amsterdam Avenue)
There is just something that sticks out to me and the team at Manhattan Digest on why Jacob’s Pickles is the best restaurant in NYC (and one we’ve reviewed). The location itself has such a relaxed and friendly feel to it, but it goes beyond that. The food is just extremely stellar. Known for its comfort food (and amazing line of pickles) Jacob’s is a great place to try out some really hearty items like their Mushroom Mac N Cheese or seasonal Turkey Leg Dinner which really are divine. Their biscuits served with a variety of preserves are a great way to start the meal off as well as they taste incredible together. Also, the best dessert I have had at a restaurant in NYC is their Biscuit Bread Pudding with a side of vanilla ice cream. Not for the faint of heart, but overall gets our award for the best restaurant in NYC.