New York Food and Drink
The good news: there's no shortage of exceptionally good food in NYC. The bad news: so many options, so little time! Mix it up between high/low and across different cuisines and neighbourhoods. Consult local Yelp reviews and the Eater NY website for the latest hotspots. When it comes to quenching your thirst, New York City flaunts an abundance of happy hour specials, hipster bars, rooftop terraces and lively pubs where sporting rivalries are stoked by fans enjoying the latest basketball, football or baseball games with a cold draft beer in hand. Last rounds are called just before 4am; this really is the city that never sleeps.
Hankering for street meat? You can do a lot better than the ubiquitous hot dog vendors. Food trucks can be found all over the city, some in fixed locations (it's worth lining up at 53rd Street & 6th Avenue for the Halal Guys' gyro platter) and some tweeting the location of their moveable feasts. As many as 100 vendors congregate at food fest Smorgasburg in Brooklyn on weekends.
(Very) fine dining
With almost as many Michelin stars as a night sky, New York's fine dining scene is dynamic, innovative and often delightful. It can also be pricey. One way around breaking the bank is lunchtime prix fixe menus. Acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten offers one of the most generous: at his downtown restaurant, Perry Street, pay less than 30 dollars for three delicious courses. His Columbus Circle bistro, Nougatine, is also worth a midday visit.
Taste of the Orient
Asian food is everywhere in NYC, with a proliferation of cheap Chinese restaurants and yum cha joints (they call it dim sum) serving up General Tso's chicken with no-frills service. What a delight then to dine on delicious, authentic Singaporean hawker food at chef / restaurateur Simpson Wong's new downtown spot, Chomp Chomp. Enjoy lamb rendang, crispy prawns, char kuey teow, beef murtabak and much more. The vibe is fun and lively, the prices reasonable and the Tiger beer served icy cold.
Hop on the 7 train (now extended to run from the 34th Street-Hudson Yards station all the way to Main Street, Flushing) for a culinary tour of Queens. Passing through Astoria (fabulous Greek food), Jackson Heights (the flavours of Colombia) and Flushing's Chinatown, the subway line has been referred to as the International Express.
Aussie flavours in NYC
The world's best bring their culinary traditions to NYC – French bistros, Mexican taquerias, Irish pubs - and Aussie chefs have also come to the party, creating an exciting buzz with their fresh Down Under approach. Get your avocado smash fix at Bluestone Lane, a pie floater at Burke & Wills, and Anzac bikky ice cream at Flinders Lane. At Dante, a 100-year-old dining institution in Greenwich Village, the reins have recently been handed to a talented team of Aussie restaurateurs, chefs and front-of-house stars (ex-Tetsuya's and ex-Rockpool alum in abundance). Taste the antipodean know-how approach to rustic Italian cuisine.
Hidden bars are a 'thing' in NYC. Hidden behind storefronts or innocuous diners, these modern speakeasies are open only to those who know where to knock. Some of the best: Bathtub Gin, The Back Room, Angel's Share and Employees Only. At Please Don't Tell, look for an old-fashioned phone booth. Press the buzzer and cross your fingers that the wall of the booth will open, sesame.
During the warmer months, New Yorkers, perhaps anticipating the long, cold winter ahead, make the most of the balmy weather and fill the city's many rooftop bars. From Times Square, where the Hyatt's Bar 54 offers unbeatable views, to the downtown chic of Jimmy at The James hotel, and out to Queens and Brooklyn, rooftop bars flourish from May to September.