ChikaLicious Dessert Bar

The ultra-tiny storefront along East 1oth Street in Manhattan looks like a wisp of a restaurant, but it’s a place highly in demand. Chef Chika Tillman launched this concept in 2003 with a focus on finding some very unusual and experimental dessert pieces. Yes, while a storefront across the street offers street desserts and common dishes, the small, 16-seat corner on the other side is a memorable experience. Expensive, but a worthwhile experience.

Rate this:

La Colombe Coffee Roasters

There are 26 locations of La Colombe Coffee Roasters, but the Philadelphia-based chain has concentrated on the East Coast, with most locations in New York City. Often innocuous — one location is built into an old warehouse near Hudson Yards that looks almost indistinguishable from the outside. But it’s a perfect little dive to grab a cup of coffee with a friend or two and enjoy some pleasant Conversation. Unusually spacious for a coffee shop in New York City, this place has an extra allure in that they roast their own coffee here and serve it with a small menu of baked goods and other things. Easy to overlook, hard to forget.

Rate this:

Melt Bakery

While a husband-and-wife team founded Melt Bakery in a storefront on Orchard Street in Manhattan, you probably recognize the name of this place by its ice cream sandwiches which are sold in little carts located around New York City, as the little shop has grown “one sandwich at a time.” This spot has a ton of charm — it’s hard not to like a shop that has been perfecting ice cream sandwiches since 2010. You also have to credit them for the smart real estate t00 — just when you’re feeling a bit hot or tired, suddenly you come upon one of these trucks in the nick of time.

Rate this:

Otafuku

Otafuku is a pretty simple operation, just a small room with a counter and a few stools along 9th Street in Manhattan. For all intents and purposes and a hole in the wall, you could pass by the store front and miss it. The spot does a simple menu of some very popular Japanese street food dishes near the very hip East Village neighborhood in Manhattan. You can count the items on the menu with one hand, and you’re supposed to be able to take them with you and eat. From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but it’s a great little dive with good food to offer.

Rate this:

Taqueria St. Marks Place

St. Mark’s in Manhattan is home to probably some of the best concentrations of ethnic food in the city and so a lot of people like to come here to try something new. When you step into the Taqueria, there are a few expectations: this is not a Tex-Mex place that uses Americanized ingredients. It goes for something more genuine, and the front of the menu makes it clear. There are no nachos, no seven layer dips, no fajitas, and they say it three times so you’re clear. There are no “cute clay or adobe plates.” There are no “adorable red, white and green uniforms.”

This place is about representing a genuine culture. And it’s delicious.

Rate this:

McSorley’s Old Ale House

Proudly proclaiming that “we were here before you were born,” McSorley’s Old Ale House has been a neighborhood bar in Manhattan since 1854. This Irish bar is very much an experience in the past. Maybe it’s the sawdust floors, or the old newspapers covering the walls. Or maybe it’s the rough charm of the barman who greets you with a brisk “light or dark ale?” before wordlessly setting a load of beer-filled glass mugs on your table. It’s a lot of fun really, this place is about the atmosphere. And it’s a memorable one.

Rate this:

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza

In New York City, Pizza places are extremely common. There are probably a thousand of them. Pizza places that are open late aren’t particularly uncommon either. But it’s not difficult to find a pizza place that is so popular, even late at night, that it has its own bouncer. Such is the case with Artichoke Basille’s Pizza. This spot, both a dining option and a carry out line routinely out the door even as late as four in the morning on weekends, and its success has since meant it expanded to locations around New York and even opened a new spot in California.

Rate this:

Bagels & Schmear

Toward the Flatiron district in New York City, you run into any number of different cafe and deli concepts. Relatively quiet but nonetheless a popular destination, this tiny restaurant does not only sandwiches but baked goodies, cookies cake and cannoli as well. Highly rated on review sites, it tends to be a place people head to for a quick bite between any number of things happening in this part of the city. All together, another good bagel shop that really makes for a straightforward and pleasant meal.

Rate this:

The Lobster Place

The super hip neighborhood of Chelsea in Manhattan has become home to some of the neatest concepts in all of New York City. On a nice day, tourists and locals alike crowds the Highline to grab a nice view with a walk, and the restaurants in the area command ever higher prices. In the midst of it all, at the Chelsea Market touts concepts of all sizes. One of the bigger of these is The Lobster Shop, a seafood place where fish of all kinds cant be bought and the titular is crustacean is prominent in many a good dish.

Rate this:

Green Symphony

While Manhattan is packed to the gills with greasy pizza, fatty junk food and sugary desserts, Green Symphony is a shrine to healthy foods. Featuring a convenience store of Protein bars, organic popcorn, teas and juices, kale chips and nutritional baked goods, this spot is visited by body builders, runners and altogether a fit clientele. You wouldn’t immediately notice it but the place has a menu of food beyond smoothies and chopped fruit.

Rate this: