There are so many places to visit in New York that the real challenge is to choose where to go. Whether you like to party hard, eat well, or enjoy seeing art exhibits and performances, the city is full of incredible places for each one.
When it comes to eating, you can enjoy a traditional hot dog in the street, a juicy burger from a dinner, have a full course meal in a fancy place, or even get a taste of the best international food from all around the world. It does not matter what kind of food you like, I assure you will find many options to try.
Being considered the capital of the world, it is not surprising to know that many restaurants in NYC are known worldwide, such as The Rainbow Room, Delmonico’s, Katz’s Delicatessen, or Paulie Gee’s Slice shop.
Each one of these places offers not only mouthwatering food but also a delightful service. However, they are not the only must-visit places in the city. Many other places might not be as popular as these ones, but the experience is definitely worth the visit.
These fantastic places offer an interesting proposal, not only in their menu but the locations are amazing as well, hidden in plain sight all around the city. If you want to visit some non mainstream places, this list will help you choose the best alternatives in the city.
Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien
Any New Yorker will tell you that a visit to The Big Apple is not complete until you have eaten in a burger joint. However, not many will tell you that inside Le Parker Meridien hotel, there is a hidden place where you can order a unique burger with their signature style and some crispy, delicious fries. The place is located behind a theater-like red velvet curtain, and then, of course, the typical neon sign to let you know there is a burger joint right behind it.
It might come as a shock that inside one of Manhattan’s luxury hotels, you can find a secret Burger Joint decorated with wood paneling covered in graffiti, cheap seats made of vinyl, and cluttered space. However, the constant long lines tell you this place serves one of the best burgers in New York.
After spending an afternoon walking around SoHo, you must stop by La Esquina and try some of its tasty Mexican dishes and drinks. The most interesting part? It is hidden in a basement under a taquería located in Nolita. Once it opened back in 2005, it was the place to go if you wanted to see some famous faces in the city. Nowadays, it is not as trendy as it used to be, but the place keeps its charm and flavor.
If you want to give it a try to enjoy the experience, you need to make your reservations online and head to the taqueria. Once inside, let the host know your name, and they will guide you behind an Employees Only door. After heading down a flight of stairs and passing through a kitchen, you will get to a fun place that looks like a renovated dungeon. The prices are somewhat high, compared to other Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood, but La Esquina offers more than just food but a unique experience.
If you like exotic food, then Kuma Inn is the right place to go. This Thai restaurant has an international menu, offering not only Thai food but also Filipino and Southeast Asian cuisine. The place belongs to King Phojanakong, a well-known chef that has experience running places like The Grocery and Daniel.
Chef Phojanakong offers in Kunna Inn some of his signature dishes, like adobo chicken wings, with coconut vinegar, soy, and garlic. The menu has a great variety of seafood, meats, and vegetables, but the dishes are constantly changing according to the season.
Besides, it is tasty and exotic dishes, which makes Kuma Inn so special, is its location. Right in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, behind a tiny disheveled door, there’s a flight of stairs that take you right to this exotic place. I assure you, taking any New Yorker here will be a pleasant surprise since most people are oblivious of the magical place behind the tiny door.
Another hidden treasure of Asian food in NYC is Sakagura. This Japanese oasis located right in the midtown of the city that never sleeps offers traditional mouthwatering Japanese dishes. You can either choose separately each course or get a Sakagura's Signature Prix Fixe Menu. For a single price of $75, you will enjoy a 5-course meal, with Cold & Hot Appetizers, Sushi & Sashimi, Main Dish, and Dessert.
There’s no point in visiting a traditional Japanese place without at least trying a sake drink, and in Sakagura, you can find one of the most extensive sake collections in the city. Like every other place on this list, this amazing restaurant is hidden away in a basement in midtown.
SoHo is one of those boroughs in NYC where interesting places to visit are countless and Bohemian is definetly the perfect place to eat after exploring the neighborhood. However, the only way to get a reservation is by knowing someone that has already eaten there. Part of the charm of this hidden gem is its exclusivity.
It is located in a building that once belonged to Andy Warhol and later became the live-in-studio of Jean-Michel Basquiat. This place is a haven for bohemians, the perfect spot to meet, have a few drinks, and enjoy the varied menu.
If you are a foodie and enjoy eating as much as I do, I know visiting these places will be an exciting and delicious adventure you will enjoy. These hidden gems need to be part of any eating itinerary in NYC.