My Favorite Restaurants in New York City

Sometimes I walk around New York City, and it makes me sad that I can never try every single restaurant. As much as I like trying new places, I also like going back to my favorite spots. Below are some of my tried-and-true favorites.

Bagel Works


This is where Evan and I always get our bagels. I really do think it’s one of the best bagel places on the Upper East Side. We used to live really close by, so we would walk here every single weekend. But since we’ve moved, we’ve gone here less because it’s a little bit longer of a walk. But we still do it, because the bagels are so delicious!! This is sort of an old-school New York Place, so it’s tiny and not fancy. But those are the best sorts of places in this city. They have your classic breakfast sandwiches, and a ton of cream cheese options.



Evan and I recently discovered this place. It’s on quiet (or, relatively quiet) York Avenue, but this place still gets too crowded to just walk in — make a reservation. We’ve eaten here a few times, and we always bring friends here when they visit. I am simply addicted to their French Toast, and Evan always gets the Chicken and Waffles. We recently tried it for dinner, and the food was equally as delicious.

Doc Watson’s

Image from Doc Watson’s

My boyfriend and I are obsessed with Doc Watson’s. I would estimate that we go there once a month for brunch, sometimes more. I usually order their Bagel with Cream Cheese and Lox after they removed their amazing Crab Cakes from the menu (but I love them so much that I’m not even mad). They have this absolutely UNREAL salad dressing that I can’t even begin to describe. And they have an adorable little garden outside, so you can sit out there in the warmer months.

Papaya King

Photo from Our BK Social

My boyfriend and I tried Papaya after Anthony Bourdain mentioned it on The Layover. If Anthony Bourdain likes it, and you can walk there from home, you have to try it. Papaya has an amazing selection of loaded hot dogs and smoothies. There is nothing fancy about it — just a bunch of really good hot dogs.


Photo from Pretty in Pistachio

This might be the only downtown restaurant on this list! I’ve only been here twice for work lunches at my old job, but I was totally blown away by their blueberry pancakes. They are hands down the best pancakes I’ve ever tried in my life.

The Smith

Image from The Smith

Evan and I had our third date at The Smith, so it will always have a place in my heart. MAKE A RESERVATION FOR THIS PLACE! It’s extremely popular and everyone loves it. They have a fantastic menu of both brunch and dinner options, so it’s a really great choice if you want a selection.

Thai place near the Fashion Institute of Technology


So, I got my master’s at FIT, and I used to go to this place often enough that the waiter knew me. I don’t know what it’s called, and I don’t know where it is. All I know is that it’s on Seventh Avenue in the 20’s and it has a bright pink awning and the most amazing, campy decor in the world. I actually haven’t been here in a year, so it may have closed, but I want to go back to Chelsea soon for this place. Their peanut dumplings are SO GOOD, and they have yummy inexpensive sangria (a staple of the grad student diet). Also, they put a sauce pentacle on the dumplings. If you can’t handle a good satanic dumpling, then we can’t be friends.


Image from Yelp

I think that Maya has some of the best Mexican food in the city. You can come here for the bottomless brunch, or for dinner. It gets very crowded, so make a reservation. If you get the right waiter here, you can just ask them to surprise you and they will create a series of plates for you. The tacos are amazing, and there are a lot of creative dishes. My favorites include the Mexico City Style Corn on the Cob, Squash Blossom Quesadilla, Queso Fundido, Maya Dog, and Agave Pancake.

Thanks for reading!

T. Louise


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