West Village (my hood!)

  • Red Farm - One of my favorites. We are there almost every other weekend for brunch. They serve beautiful, high-end contemporary Chinese food, including some dim sum. They do not take reservations, so we get there just before they open for brunch at 11am on the weekends to be sure of a table. They do have a wait list you can put your name on. Favorites: Soup dumplings, shishito poppers, spicy crispy beef, steak, snow pea shoots, any rice or noodle dish. Cocktails are great too. They have a second location in the Upper West Side. 
  • Spotted Pig - Cool bar and restaurant with delicious food and a great atmosphere. They do not take reservations and often have a line out the door. We opt for weekend brunch, so we get there just before they open at 11am. Favorites: Burger and fries (the burger and fries are equally amazing), dutch baby, ricotta pancakes. If they have a morning bun special, get it.... amazing! 
  • Takashi - a very special tiny little Japanese BBQ joint. The food is amazing, the service is great and it is just an all round special  experience. Be sure to get the Bakudan rice-bomb with your meat, they are so good! I like the seaweed version so I ask for all seaweed and no pickled sesame leaf, which they are happy to do. Otherwise, you get mix. The homemade softserve is also amazing. 
  • Barbuto - Amazing simple Italian food. Famous for their roast chicken, though I usually opt for pasta or risotto. 
  • Cafe Cluny - Super cute little West Village cafe with good food though mediocre service.
  • Little Owl - Another sweet little spot. Make a reservation ahead of time, otherwise it will be almost impossible to get in without a long wait.
  • The Clam - Tasty clam inspired menu, though they also have non-clam options such as an amazing burger. We used to frequent The Clam after our daughter's Sunday soccer lessons.


  • In Chelsea Market
    • Cull  and Pistol - Amazing fresh seafood prepared in both traditional and new ways. Best to book ahead.
    • Los Tacos - Simple, delicious Mexican small dishes. Strickly take out so you'll need to find a spot to eat, if there is no where in Chelsea Market, you can always try the Highline. 
    • Bar Suzette - The best crepes I have found in NYC, and I have tried a few! I'm a traditionalist when it comes to crepes and always go with just butter and sugar or lemon, butter and sugar. Perfection. They offer many other options, including savory ones. If you are a crepe fan you must go here.
  • Ootoya - Simply amazing Japanese food. Fresh, clean and served beautifully. They have a number of locations, including one in Times Square. It is not your typical Japanese sushi place so the menu can take a minute to understand. Everything is good. If you'd like some suggestions, start with an order of the Potato Croquettes, one order for every 2 people. All of their grilled fish is amazing. I suggest the Shima Hokke (this has bones so watch out) or the Salmon Saikyo (boneless). Their cold Soba is the best I have had. You can order a Soba stand alone (our daughter's favorite) or a combo of Soba with chicken & rice bowls or with sashmi. That way you get a little protein with your noodles too.  
  • Tipsy Parson - The menu here is delightful and the space is cute. 
  • The Standard Grill @ The Standard Hotel, Highline - Dinner is pretty good, brunch is very good. Note, even though they are open earlier, the brunch menu is only available after 11am on weekends. Be sure to get an order of donuts for the table, they are made to order and served still hot with a wonderfully pillowy bite. In the winter there is a sweet little ice-skating rink there where you can skate and order snacks and drinks to enjoy under heaters on the sidelines. 
  • Terroir High Line - Only open in the summer, this is a fun pitstop while exploring the city. Right on the High Line they offer small bites, salads and sandwiches along with a large selection of beer and wine. I recommend the risotto balls - yum! 
  • Del Posto - Special occasion place with a heft price tag but worth it if you feel like splurging. The food is truly amazing and the service refined yet more relaxed than other ultra-high-end establishments. 

Union Square

  • Ippudo - The best ramen ever. If you like ramen you have to stop here. The noodles and broth are like a loving hug. My favorite is the Akamaru Modern. If you want some more protein with it, the Shigureni topping (pulled pork Chashu). For appetizers, the chicken wings are delicious as is the Japanese cucumber dish (Yamitsuki Kyuri). They have a second location in mid-town but this one is my favorite. Check out my detailed write-up: Ippudo NYC.
  • ABC Kitchen - ABC Home is a well-know home furnishings store. It's restauarant, ABc Kitchen, is a treat. The setting is beautful and the food is light and delicious. The desserts, not so light, but also stand out.  


  • MariVanna - Amazing Russian restaurant with great food and ambiance. The decor is super kitschy in the best way. They have many infused vodkas, some are tasty, some not so much but fun to experiment. Favorite dishes: Veal Pelmeni (Russian dumplings - my absolute favorite!), Tapaka chicken, Olivier Salad with chicken and the Vinegret Salad. Desserts: Medovik (Honey cake), Blinis with condiments, Onegin, Napoleon. If you like tea order some with your dessert, it comes in special cups and with jam to sweeten as they do in Russia.