From Michy-spangled, European kitchens to vibey Asian diners there’s no denying that Gotham City boasts one of the most diverse global food scenes in the country. And while the city’s international flaves are very much a part of its culinary identity, no trip to New York is complete without sampling some homegrown delights. Here’s are our fave restaurants championing all-American eats.
Evergreen crowd pleaser Gramercy Tavern has been setting the gold standard for both modern American fare and attentive hospitality for more than two decades. Skip the formal dining room for a table in the rustic front parlour to sample Chef Michael Anthony’s hearty seasonal spoils, including an array of succulent wood-fired meats, seafood and locally sourced farm-fresh veg. Perfection on a plate.
Combining a verdant garden with top regional produce and Michelin-spangled Chef John Fraser (of Dovetail fame), Narcissa, is a locavore big-hitter. Standouts include the flavour-packed ‘Lacquered Duck Breast’, plus an array of veg-centric dishes for green queens including ‘Carrots Wellington’ and ‘Rotisserie-Crisped Beets’, best enjoyed from the fam-friendly open kitchen or charming outdoor terrace.
Next up is Blue Hill, where you can choose from the four-course ‘Tasting Menu’ or delectable ‘Farmer’s Feast’ (inspired by weekly harvests) at this low-ceilinged epicure’s hideout by leafy Washington Square Park. Culinary wizard Dan Barber’s sought-after plates draw on ingreds that come from nearby properties, such as Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
For an altogether quirkier experience, head to Freemans. Hidden down a teensy alley, this dimunitive joint, crammed with taxidermy and whimsical decor touches plays on old-world Americana – it’s a bit like visiting your eccentric uncle’s country cabin. An equally nostalgic menu spotlights classics like juicy roast pork chops, grilled Edenbrook trout and a New England-riffing lobster bake. Keep peepers peeled for daily market specials, too.
It’s worth the trek uptown for Top Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Sweden-meets-Ethiopia-via-Harlem soul food joint, Red Rooster. You can’t ignore the tasty mac n' cheese and shrimp n' grits, but the ‘Fried Yard Bird’ (served with garlic mash, braised cabbage and dirty gravy) is arguably a top contender for the city's best fried chook. Daily live music sets keep things lively.
Gramercy Tavern / 42 E 20th St / Midtown / +1 212 477 0777 / lunch and dinner daily / gramercytavern.com
Narcissa / 25 Cooper Sq / Lower Manhattan / +1 212 228 3344 / dinner daily, brunch Sat-Sun / standardhotels.com
Freemans / +1 212 420 0012 / dinner daily, lunch Mon-Fri, brunch Sat-Sun / freemansrestaurant.com
Red Rooster / 310 Lenox Ave / Harlem / +1 212 792 9001 / dinner daily, lunch Mon-Fri, brunch Sat-Sun / redroosterharlem.com
Blue Hill / 75 Washington Pl / Washington Square / +1 212 539 1776 / dinner daily / bluehillfarm.com