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new york
brash, a brazen showgirl, paradise for the arts, conventional, yet unconventional…the world’s centre of theatre…the shoppers utopia, the foodies heaven…yes, New York’s got it all!

  • New Yorkthe only list for the food and wine obsessed
  • Boqueria in the Soho district
  • Marc Forgionea sublime dining experience
  • we love Jim Lahey's recipesand the best news is you can attend a class with Jim...click on the image
  • Eleven Madison Parka dining experience never to be forgotten! image copyright © Francesco Tonelli
  • Le Circwhere classic French heals all disappointments!
  • Marie's Crisis Centrestep off the main stream....experience something different!
  • super posh, super good...the MOMA members' dining roomsuch a clever idea a temporary membership is a must do!
  • Molé...a restaurant that posts it's crewhas, we reckon, a big heart!
  • a well kept New York secret PDT (please don't tell)
  • Eataly..a fab food store with multiple restaurants
New York1 Boqueria in the Soho district2 Marc Forgione3 we love Jim Lahey's recipes4 Eleven Madison Park5 Le Circ6 Marie's Crisis Centre7 super posh, super good...the MOMA members' dining room8 Molé...a restaurant that posts it's crew9 a well kept New York secret PDT (please don't tell)10 Eataly..a fab food store with multiple restaurants11

permanent contributor — Helen Stephan
“ As an Australia, living in New York, we get a lot of visitors who want us to show them a great night on the town eating and drinking. It can be a lot of pressure when people have traveled so far to pick just one great place in a city of so many amazing restaurants. A couple of years ago it came to me, why pick just one? In a walking city like New York it is very easy to do a restaurant crawl. We pick a neighborhood and then select about three four places in that area and have a drink and a snack at the bar at each. That way you don’t need a reservation and if you like a place you can stay longer or leave if you don’t. Our guests get to experience a few great places in a single night and we get to explore a neighborhood. Highly recommended adventure for at least a night in New York. Add to that a lot of time can be spent getting reservations, or not, and when short of time our restaurant crawl is a great solution.

As a wine focused Australian I have learned to love the American cocktail phenomena, a whole new area of food and alcohol matching. Whilst my husband and I have a strong wine focus it is important to be open to the American dining experience. This is of course, not forgetting that American restaurants house some of the world’s greatest cellars…there to indulge!

The neighborhood that we often fall back on is our own, the Flatiron District. A vibrant and diverse district, the Flatiron District has a lot of new, fun and exciting restaurants that have opened in the past couple of years. Best of all, we can walk everywhere, including home! Here are some of my suggestions. The first three are in high rotation. Most of them are not super fancy but they are very good.” Helen Stephan…to read the full Flatiron dining crawl please CLICK HERE

FOOD EDITOR’S NOTE…what a list, what a jumble of foodie heaven! From the very high end to the quirky local joints to the iconic historical delis, to walking tours. We all love the range but in our years of travelling, eating and drinking we have learned that with a little research, even on limited budgets, the most expensive can still be enjoyed. Don’t dismiss the world’s greatest restaurant as being too expensive; check out their web sites it might be brunch or lunch or their early evening sitting, or a drink and snack at their bar, but you’ll find there are plenty of ways to experience these amazing restaurants!

The other difficulty with these restaurants is getting a reservation. If all else fails, don’t be afraid to just turn up you never know your luck! AO

Contributor Helen Stephan
  • Rosa Mexicano
    There are multiple locations but I love the one on 18th Street. Great margaritas and solid Mexican food. Helen Stephan
  • One of my particular favourites for Mexican is
  • Molé
    This is NOT a fancy place but it is a real neighbourhood gem. Again there are a couple of locations but we go to the one on Hudson and Jane which is in the hip neighbourhood of the Meatpacking district. Helen Stephan
  • Another cool place which has been open for a while is
  • PDT (Please Don’t Tell)
    It is this very cool speakeasy in the East Village. It is a secret bar which you enter through a hot dog place. You go into the phone booth there and call on the phone and then they open a secret door to let you in. Very Get Smart. However, you can only go if you make a reservation. You have to call at 3pm on the day that you want to go. The cocktails are amazing and very unique and you can snack on food from the hot dog place where they make hot dogs in honour of hot New York Chefs (eg the David Chang dog). Helen Stephan
  • If money is no object I would highly recommend
  • Momofuko Ko
    It only has 12 seats with a set tasting menu. David Chang who is a very it chef here is the owner but it is very had to get a reservation (you have to do it on–line and it books up within a couple of minutes when the reservations go live). It has a bit of an Asian twist and the food is amazing. All of his other restaurants are great but less upscale in terms of food and price. The Milk bar is very popular if you are into desserts they have out there stuff like crack pie and compost cookies. Helen Stephan
  • Other cool places to investigate
  • Eataly An enormous Italian food store with multiple restaurants inside…value!!! Helen Stephan
  • Soho locations and both with really good tapas.
  • Boqueria (Soho) Helen Stephan
  • Nomad
    Somewhere to watch, a new restaurant with the same chef as Eleven Madison Park and situated in a hip new hotel. Helen Stephan
  • No apologies that my recommendations are mostly downtown but that is where I live and uptown can be a bit more stuffy…the other really happening food place I have heard amazing things about is
  • Blanca (located in Brooklyn) and we’ll get there soon…regardless reports are so enthusiastic we think it’s worthwhile mentioning
  • Pok Pok Phat Thai Helen Stephan
  • Here is a great article to check out…please click here
  • Also read Helen’s Flatiron district crawl for a terrific eveing of eclectic New York dining… click here

    Olivia Stratton
    regular international contributor to Galaxy Guides… click here to read Olivia’s profile

  • The Loeb Boathouse Central Park
    The Boat House in Central Park is a lovely spot, cocktail bar and restaurant. Sunday lunch kind of place, we only had a martini so not sure on food but it looked very nice. The restaurant was also featured in episode of Sex in the City.
  • Russian Tea Rooms
    This is quaint, old world like, ballet/arts history. High tea fun and rather extensive menu, from vego, to theatre, kids high tea party. To grasp just how amazing The Russian Tea Rooms really are!
  • Wholefoods
    A great place to wander, lots of interesting and healthy foods, products and plenty of ideas for anyone in the food business. Very comprehensive healthy, foodie heaven supermarket.
  • Per Se impressive dishes, service and view!

    • Eleven Madison Squareat the very high end and worth every cent!
    • junoon...forget everything you have everthought about Indian food
    • Magically old fashioned..the Russian Tea Rooms
    • Smooch coffee
    • Woldgang's old world New Yorkfabulous steaks!
    • Marc Forge..oh so delicious!!!
    • Hill Country Barbecue
    • Egyptioan Rice puddingJunoon...exotic flavours, desserts to die for!
    • Marie's crisis centre....quirky in the very best way!
    • we're still working on thisbut farmers' markets abound in New York!
    • If you buy one book for a memory this is the onestunning from cover to cover....click on the image
    Eleven Madison Square1 junoon...forget everything you have ever2 Magically old fashioned..the Russian Tea Rooms3 Smooch coffee4 Woldgang's old world New York5 Marc Forge..oh so delicious!!!6 Hill Country Barbecue7 Egyptioan Rice pudding8 Marie's crisis centre....quirky in the very best way!9 we're still working on this10 If you buy one book for a memory this is the one11

    Contributors Milton Wordley and Anne Marie Shin
    Milton Wordley has been working on his latest book “A Year in the Life of Grange” to take a look at this project and other photographic works check out Milton’s web site by clicking here

  • Grammercy Park Bar
    Go upstairs to the restaurant on the roof.
  • Marie’s (crisis centre) is a bar on top of Christopher sheridan square subway in the West Village – cheap great fun, daggy piano bar – but amazing singers and musicians pop in to sing corny Broadway tunes…we had a fantastic time there.
  • 187 Sahadi’s Lebanese Grocer on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn Heights. Amazing selection of Lebanese sweets and great atmosphere and nearby many fantastic falafel–type cheap eateries.
  • Gobo’s Vegan Restaurant
    401 6th Avenue
    Fresh, classy vegan offering…mid price range and take–away is also available.
  • Franks Trattoria
    371 1st Avenue
    Great Italian, old style trattoria been there for ever.
  • Dim Sum Go Go
    5 East Broadway
    Interesting yum cha selection, modern setting that suits those who may be coy about getting right into the heart of Chinatown.
  • We love breakfast at
  • Balthazar
    Definitely at the very high end of night time dining there are many ways to negotiate this fabulous restaurant in a way that suits your budget. It is a great inexpensive thing to do mid week as it is not so busy and you can linger in a booth with a bowl of coffee, boiled egg and soldiers and get some of the luxury atmosphere. Balthazar comes highly recommended for any time of the day!
  • For the best coffee
  • Smooch 264 Carlton Ave Brooklyn
  • Contributor Beverly Phillips…Adelaide based traveller, gardener and fantastic cook with a daughter who lives in New York.

  • A Fistful of Lentils
    walking tours for the food culture obsessed these tours cover the well known, the quirky and the obscure…and come highly recommended…particularly their Jewish New York tour. Their web site is comprehensive and bookings system easy! BP
  • Contributor Matthew Muggleton, Southern Rocklobster USA who sells high end Australian and New Zealand seafood into America’s best restaurants.

  • Masa
    10 Columbus Circle, 4th floor
    New York, NY 10019
    Regarded as the world’s best Japanese restaurant their $400 USD fixed price dinner menu is an experience worth the money, but, like all great restaurants Masa is not dismissive of finding a place for all budgets and their lunch menu is not just incredible value for money but allows you to experience Masa. highly recommended! MM
  • Contributor Lily Lane Penfolds Wines in the United States

    Best Pizza in New York…well pizza might have originated in Italy but it is now, the American thing! The classic answer is
  • Lombardis
  • However, right around the corner is
  • L’Asso which many in Nolita will argue is the best.LL
  • Best Dim Sum
  • just two Words Hop Shing LL
  • Best Coffee
  • Birch Café simply because everything is local which makes it very NYC and unique 5 East 27th Street, New York (at the Gershwin Hotel between 5th and Madison Ave).LL
  • Best Restaurant in my humble opinion
  • FORGE…try Chicken under a brick or Street Chili Lobster (only old world wine)…the food here tastes like baby angels!LL
  • Best Steak On Manhattan
  • Wolfgangs on Park and 33rd. Get the double cut bacon for an appetizer and then grab a porterhouse for two. This restaurant is a New York institution! LL
  • Soho, the neighbourhood teems with dining and shopping options click here to read more. LL

  • At the high end recommendations are a compilation supported by many. These are the iconic New York restaurants that have over decades maintained New York’s reputation on the World stage for the finest of complete restaurant experiences. These restaurants are listed in alphabetical order.
  • Daniels
    Is one of those must do New York dining experiences and again there are inclusive levels of dining to suit most budgets, from value for money lunch menus to an early diners fixed–price dinner menu. Of course if you can afford it there is nothing as wonderful as the full dining experience!
  • Jean Georges
    absolutely top notch they also have very good lunch deals. To grasp the food in this restaurant check out their web site. OS
  • Le Circ
    Unashamedly old fashioned this is a restaurant steeped in New York culinary history. Not the place for senseless (and usually tasteless) innovation they boast a classic French menu and a wine list so extensive it can lead to credit card melt down.
  • Per Se
    Another of New York’s iconic dining establishments. More at the experimental end this is a restaurant much admire by many of our contributors. Chef owner, Thomas Keller had maintained a reputation at the pointy end of American dining for several decades and doesn’s appear to be in any danger of losing his coveted position in the top 10 Amerivan restaurants. As with all truly great restaurants, there are dining options to suit all budgets.
  • Contributor Christopher Menz
    Our friend Christopher Menz is an art consultant, who amongst many other skills has international expertise in small objects and Australian indigenous art. Equally important Christopher is one of the finest cooks we know with a knowledge of cooking and culinary skills way beyond most chefs and an incredible knowledge of the history of food and cooking.

  • The bar/restaurant at MOMA was one of the best meals we had in NYC. I had foie gras as it’s now illegal in CA so I could feel like a transgressor. Has a great liquor choice too. Metropolitan Museum dining room is good too and overlooks Central Park. For $60 USD you can become an out of town Member so can use the dining room and also have free access to the Met. A friend took us to a nice lunch at Balthasar, the only one we’ve dined at on your list. In the lavatory the attendant takes the paper out of the dispensing machine and hands it to you when you dry your hands. That was a bit of a shock!
  • Da Silvano Italian quarter 37 years and still going strong old fashioned Italian loved by the coolest of New Yorkers and many Hollywood glitterati!
  • Miscellaneous — Delis and food shops

  • Goes without saying Dean and de Lucca
  • Russ & Daughters (also included in the Jewish walking tour) is another must do. These iconic delis are a great place for lunch especially if you are planning the big late dinner. Packed with history and boundless enthusiasm you’ll be wishing you had a kitchen to cook in!

  • Contributors
    • Helen Stephan
      main contributor, Australian who lives in New York…please click hereto read about Helen’s New York
      to email Helen Stephan please CLICK HERE
    • Olivia Stratton
      Galaxy Guides international contributor…please click here
    • Lily Lane…Public Relations Penfolds and Global Brands, please click here
    • Anne Marie Shin and Milton Wordley…please click here
    • Christopher Menz…please click here
    • Beverly Phillips…please click here
    • Matthew Muggleton…please click here

    We strongly urge you to read all of the recommendations however for a quick find please use the jump–to index below


    Images, unless otherwise stated slider images are © copyright © respective restaurant web sites

    The Galaxy Guides New York was first launched May 10, 2013

    If you are looking for a book that will truly convey the amazing New York food scene, this is the book. To take a close look, food photographer, Francesco Tonelli has generously put this stunning and inspirational book on his web site! Please… CLICK HERE and we know for certain you’ll just have to own it!
    for details about Jim Lahey’s University of Bread click on the image

    The stunning dining room at Eleven Madison Park…image © copyright Francesco Tonelli

    Quirky and over the top is an understatement, but we love The Russian Tea Rooms

    the people behind Galaxy Guidesfood editor and publisher
    Ann Oliver

    champagne editor
    Kaaren Palmer


    Jan Bowman
    Political comentator, briliant photographer…farmers’s market obsessed…Brisbane based.

    Olivia Stratton Makris
    Masters of Gastronomy, NYC, Spain and constant assistance and editorial suggestion…Adelaide based.

    Michael Martin…Northern America 2016.Photographic assistance Kym Martin…Adelaide based.

    restaurant review policy

    employment opportunities


    unless otherwise stated
    copyright © text, recipes and images Ann Oliver & Kaaren Palmer 2016.