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New York's bars and restaurants

Take a bite of the Big Apple

Some of New York's favourite places to eat.

1 Beauty and Essex

Secret style

Live like the locals of the Lower East Side and step through the pawn-shop façade of Beauty and Essex into one of New York’s most stylish speakeasies. Chic and funky yet hosted in a large, formal dining room, it boasts a raw bar featuring steak tartare and salmon ceviche as well as ‘jewels on toast’ and mains like baby back ribs and pan-roasted scallops. Finish with the blueberry swirl cheesecake and work your way through the wide-ranging list of wines, cocktails and beers.

146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002        +1 212 614 0146

2 The NoMad

From the grand era of opulence

One of NYC’s hippest hotels takes its cues from the days of the city’s robber-barons: featuring mahogany bars and dining rooms shrouded in velvet. Open morning till night, The NoMad is an opulent reincarnation of days gone by, buzzing with beau monde patrons. Expect a luxurious setting, flawless service and enough caviar to sink the Titanic. And do try the roast chicken – stuffed with foie gras, brioche and black truffle. It’s a dish good enough for any Rockefeller, Carnegie or Vanderbilt.

1170 Broadway        +1 347 472 5660

3 ABC Kitchen

Fine dining with a conscience

Plenty of restaurants these days use local and seasonal ingredients - but none take the future of environmentally friendly cuisine as seriously and artistically as ABC Kitchen. It’s a new world of sustainable gastronomic theatre, with a Michelin Star chef in the kitchen and a breath-taking restaurant front of house. Using only the most delicious ingredients from the East Coast, you can expect the unexpected like clam pizza and other organic gems of the slow food movement.

ABC Carpet & Home, 35 E 18th St        +1 212 475 5829

4 Kesté Pizza & Vino

Big Apple? No, Big Pizza!

New Yorkers love their pizza. And they get very picky about where they eat it. That’s why Kesté is so popular, because the whole city knows this is real Neapolitan pizza, New York style. The owner is even President of the U.S. branch of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, a body dedicated to the training and certification of pizzaioli. And the pizza itself? Tender yet crispy crust, puffed with steaming pockets of air. Kesté IS pizza!

271 Bleecker St        +1 212 243 1500

5 Minetta Tavern

20th century icon is even more popular in the 21st

Around for a century, first as a speakeasy then as an iconic 1950’s restaurant, and now lovingly restored to its past glories, Minetta Tavern is today one of NYC’s most fashionable dining spots. Its time-capsule interior, with photos and knick knacks from the last 100 years, show its heritage but the menu is firmly 21st century. Tuck into such extravagances as roasted bones oozing sea-salted marrow and blackened veal with sweetbread nuggets. The only problem? Book well in advance!

113 MacDougal St        +1 212 475 3850

6 Fette Sau

Pig out in hog heaven

Calling your restaurant Fette Sau, German for “fat pig,” takes guts. Especially when the lightest meal on offer is flamed pork by the pound and the smallest beer comes in a gallon jug. The food is big on taste too, in true Southern BBQ style, featuring finger lickin’ meals like smoky espresso-and-brown-sugar-rubbed ribs. Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without an encyclopaedic bourbon range and a down to earth setting - a cement-floor garage in a former auto body shop.

354 Metropolitan Ave        +1 718 963 3404

7 Santina

High class cuisine

Set at the entrance of High Line Park, on the former coast of Manhattan, Santina is an inventive Italian restaurant that draws on a rich history. Diners sit where the first farmers’ markets once stood, and sample the spectacular flavours of Blue Crab Spaghetti and Lobster Catalan paired with creative cocktails and fine wines. Brunch is an eclectic experience, with Truffle Egg Salad and Frittata on the menu. Open, airy and energetic, this is just the kind of vibrant venue you’d expect from NYC.

820 Washington St        +212 254 3000

8 Eleven Madison Park

New York's finest restaurant reinvents itself

With more Michelin stars and awards to count, one might excuse Eleven Madison Park if it rested on its laurels. Just for a moment. But no, sir! Continually breaking gastronomic ground, NYC’s best restaurant’s latest all-in gamble is a 16-course Gotham-themed meal, marked by whimsy and sleight of hand. Salivate over a succession of dishes, from North Fork oysters to a rib eye steak that’s been aged for an outlandish 140 days! If this isn’t the finest and most fun dining, we don’t know what is.

11 Madison Ave Gramercy & Flatiron        +1 212 889 0905

9 Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Chinatown’s number one spot

New York's original dim sum house opened in 1920 during the havoc of the Tong gang wars, a time of shootings, hatchet murders and the origin of the term ‘hatchet man’. Fortunately for us, dining there today is a much safer proposition. A delicious one, in fact. Lovingly restored by new owners, with art deco tables and posters of old Chinese movie stars, the food is just as seductive, featuring individually prepared dim sum, roasted-pork buns and flaky fried crepe egg rolls. Yum yum!

13 Doyers St        +1 212 962 6047

10 Balthazar

High profile SoHo French brasserie

What happens when you combine America’s Gilded Age and Europe’s Belle Epoque? Balthazar, of course, an iconic and ever trendy French brasserie in the heart of SoHo, The food is suitably magnificent from its revered three-tiered seafood platter to its more-ish skate with brown butter and capers. Add to that friendly service, a heady Parisian vibe and you have the best of both worlds in one restaurant – a true ‘classique’.

80 Spring St        +1 212 965 1414

New York

The coolest bars in New York City

Where to unwind after dark in this cosmopolitan capital.

1 Earl's Beer and Cheese

Neighbourhood bar for Regular Joes

New York may be, in many ways, the centre of the world, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay the earth for a grand night out. The city is packed full of great value haunts populated by regulars, and Earl’s Beer and Cheese is one of them. This craft-beer bar is 100% neighbourly, pulling well-priced pints and, as the name suggests, curdled treats of all description. It’s so homely, you’ll want to be part of the furniture!

1259 Park Ave        +1 212 289 1581

2 Death & Company

Celebrating the demise of Prohibition

What’s in a name? Well, in 1919, the Volstead Act put an end to American drinking and to imbibe was, considered by puritans, to live a life shadowed by death. Bah, humbug! Fortunately that killjoy philosophy has since been buried and the only thing serious about this bar is the passion with which they serve their drinks. Set in a black Gothic Saloon, for that extra after-life atmosphere, our tip is the Sweet Hereafter, a Latin American martini blend.

433 E 6th St        +1 212 388 0882

3 Blind Tiger Ale House

Enough beer to blind a tiger

If it’s beer you’re after, and you’re blind to anything else, may we suggest the Blind Tiger Ale House? With 28 taps, two casks, one gravity keg and more than 80 different bottles from around the world, you’re guaranteed to quench your thirst on the ordinary and the exotic. Add to that some of the city's best bar food, as well as weekly ‘Meet the Brewer’ nights and there’s enough to please everyone, from plain ol’ beer guys to the barley literati.

281 Bleecker St        +1 212 462 4682

4 PDT

That's 'Please Don't Tell' to you and me

This secret speakeasy is one of the most unique bars we’ve come across. Accessed through a vintage phone booth within Crif Dogs, you’ll need to pick up the phone and a hostess will let you in, via the back wall of the booth. Keeping up the craziness, inside you’ll find a taxidermy-strewn saloon and cocktails like the Sixth Street, a guava-spiked ginger beer, with lime cordial and a pungent curry powder! Soak it up with a dawg from next door!

113 St. Marks Pl        +1 212 614 0386

5 The Library Bar

Encyclopaedic cocktails – and Encyclopaedia Britannica too

Don’t worry, there are no stern librarians shushing you over horn-rimmed glasses. What you will find in this bibliophile’s page of bar heaven are two levels of bookshelves, stacked with real books, as well as journals from floor to ceiling. So, if the mood takes, settle into a comfy leather chair or plush couch, order some serious cocktails, soak up the Persian carpeted, spiralling staircase interiors - and get your library on!

NoMad Hotel, 1170 Broadway, Flatiron        +212 796 1500

6 Employees Only

Ever wondered what’s behind the Employees Only door?

You’ve heard of craft beers, now meet craft cocktails. This comfortable prohibition-style speakeasy, and its chef-coat–clad bar staff, serves them up in style. Don’t worry, it’s a populist joint so you won’t find too many varieties of thistle grass on the menu, but instead, mostly easy on the tongue libations like lavender gin or vermouth steeped with herbs de Provence. Best of all, make it to closing time, and they’ll reward you with a free bowl of chicken soup. How’s that for the soul?

510 Hudson St, West Village        +212 242 3021

7 Dead Rabbit Grocery And Grog

Feisty Victorian whiskey hall and cocktail parlour

New York has changed. Back in the day, long before Wall Street bankers, lower Manhattan was a gangland hotbed. One such gang was the Dead Rabbits, led by a vicious Irish pugilist. This is a tip of the cap to that man – and that era. Although, now, you’re in safer hands, enjoying craft beer and sixty Irish whiskeys downstairs, and, upstairs, a parlour of baroque cocktails, that will take you right back to that halcyon time, like cobblers, possets, bishops, nogs, cups and toddies!

30 Water St        +646 422 7906

8 Rum House

A 1970s piano bar in modern NYC

Just because you’re in spitting distance of Times Square doesn’t mean you have to settle for a trap of a tourist bar. Instead, visit the Rum House, once destined for the history books, but fortunately for you, renovated and reinvigorated. Expect an eccentric vibe, quality cocktails, live jazz most evenings, and of course, lashings of dark-spirited rum. Plus, if you need to take a morning break from Times Square madness, pop in for your choice of six Bloody Marys.

Edison Hotel, 228 W 47th St        +212 869 3005

9 Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

Beer, picnic tables and gardens of dappled sun

Queens has long been known as the beer-garden borough. The Bohemian is best of breed in that department, and, on sunny summer days, is a sure-fire hit. The bar traces its roots back to Bohemia (that’s the Czech Republic to you and me - not some hippy bedsit!) No, this is the real deal, dating back to 1910, where you can glug pints and pitchers of European and local beers and fortify yourself with great value traditional sausage platters. All under a huge, tree-canopied garden. Does it get better than this?

29-19 24th Ave        +718 247 4925