Staffers Pick Their Top 3 NY Restaurants

To celebrate the launch of City Guides, and because our home base is in New York, Bon Appétit staffers were asked to choose their top three personally favorite restaurants in the city that always eats. And as usual—we replied with a noodle-heavy array, plus a handful of great bars, with many that are both off-the-beaten-path and on the very-well-beaten-path but who doesn't still love Babbo? Organized roughly by neighborhood, here's what we had to say:

  1. Bien Cuit

    Bien Cuit

    New York, New York

    Bien Cuit is a dangerous, dangerous place for bread lovers. It’s located on the main drag in the neighborhood, but there’s no way you’d miss it—the scent of freshly-baked rye baguettes and seedy multi-grain boules will get your taste buds revved from blocks away. —Rochelle Bilow, senior associate web editor

  2. Lucali


    New York, New York

    People from all over the city make a special trip to go to Lucali for pizza, but it happens to be in my neighborhood. The hideous wait times don’t matter much when I can go, put my name on the list, then go home and wait for them to call. It’s BYO and all they have is pizza. And it’s good. Like crazy good. Always worth the time and money (not that it’s expensive anyway). When anyone comes to visit me, we go here. —Claire Saffitz, senior associate food editor

  3. Roberta's


    New York, New York

    Roberta's and I kinda grew up in NYC together. I went when I didn't have kids and I go now that I have kids. There's no better way to waste away a Saturday afternoon with the family than with a few pizzas and a bottle of Gamay. —Andrew Knowlton, deputy editor

  4. Awash


    New York, New York

    The friendly folks at Awash in Cobble Hill know that forks are for chumps and eating way too much injera with your hands is the way to really live. —Carey Polis, editor

  5. Roman's


    New York, New York

    The bar at Roman’s in Fort Greene is Brooklyn’s worst-kept secret. Order everything off the daily-changing menu and keep your eyes peeled for an Isabella Rossellini sighting. —Christina Chaey, associate web editor

  6. Prime Meats

    Prime Meats

    New York, New York

    Prime Meats is my neighborhood joint. It's the restaurant I've been to the most in life. Granted I'm usually just holding up the bar drinking whiskey and talking to the bartenders but they also happen to serve a killer burger and some of the coldest, cleanest oysters in NYC. —Andrew Knowlton

  7. Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop

    Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Sh...

    New York, New York

    I live for the old-fashioned Polish lunch counter vibes (and donuts) at Peter Pan in Greenpoint. —Elyssa Goldberg, associate web editor

  8. The Long Island Bar

    The Long Island Bar

    New York, New York

    Long Island Bar in Brooklyn Heights makes a perfect French 75 with cognac. Note: Goes great with the burger. Almost too great. Get a second round. Maybe a third. —Carey Polis

  9. Chuko Ramen

    Chuko Ramen

    New York, New York

    It would be an embarrassment to my household if I didn’t profess my love for Chuko in this public forum. The menu rarely changes, which means you’ll never not get wings. And eggy, mazeman speckled with so. much. roe. Pro tip: You can buy the garlicky chili oil to take home and put on everything. —Alex Beggs, senior web editor

  10. Wheated


    New York, New York

    Dining out in New York usually means getting exactly what you pay for and no more. Happily this is not the case at Wheated in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Under-the-radar-F-that’s-good pizza, and a serious cocktail bar combine under one roof. —Chris Morocco, senior food editor

  11. Third Rail Coffee

    Third Rail Coffee

    New York, New York

    Third Rail Coffee by Washington Square Park preaches adventurous roasts and roasters out of a warm but seriously anti-twee New York shoebox. —Alex Tatusian, designer

  12. Buvette


    New York, New York

    Buvette for a solo breakfast (damn, those shirred eggs!) and some time with my laptop when I'm late on a story (which is kinda always). Once noon rolls around, it's hard to resist the siren songs of rosé and a croque monsieur. —Andrew Knowlton

  13. Babbo Ristorante

    Babbo Ristorante

    New York, New York

    Simple, straight-up Italian done perfectly. —Cristina Martinez, production director

  14. I Sodi

    I Sodi

    New York, New York

    I love going to I Sodi in the West Village because sometimes you just need to eat artichoke lasagna at the bar, solo. —Carey Polis



    New York, New York

    I have been brought to tears here multiple times–at least once by the fantastic sushi and other times by the check, which was so much lower than it should’ve been for how good the sushi was. Sit at the bar and get omakase and sake. They’ll kindly tailor the omakase to your budget (if you say $75, they won’t go over that). —Elyssa Goldberg

  16. Bareburger


    New York, New York

    We live in a time when chefs can dictate the presence of blue cheese on your burger, so imagine a place that lets you decide what you want on your burger, or even what kind of meat or not-meat is on said burger. One that welcomes families yet is so appealing that even people without kids go? I am talking about bareburger. Blue Marble Ice Cream shakes, burgers any which way, and friendly vibes at all of their locations. —Chris Morocco

  17. Russ & Daughters

    Russ & Daughters

    New York, New York

    You cannot find me in a happier place than on the bench outside the original Russ & Daughters, eating a lox-bagel-cream-cheese. —Julia Kramer

  18. Cocoron


    New York, New York

    95% of the time all I want to eat is a bowl of noodles in broth. Cocoron scratches that itch every time. It’s a small Japanese noodle place and they make amazing soba bowls. My favorite is the hot soba with kimchi and pork, but everything there is great. I also love the toasted buckwheat tea and fresh tofu. It’s sorta-clean eating but is also so, so satisfying. —Claire Saffitz

  19. Minca


    New York, New York

    Authentic cheap comfort food. They get the Chashu right. (Also Kambi, its sister restaurant) —Cristina Martinez

  20. Taverna Kyclades

    Taverna Kyclades

    New York, New York

    Real-deal Greek food, in all of its beautiful simplicity, perfectly executed—from the horiatiki down to the dandelion greens and the whole fish—with prices you won’t balk at. —Elyssa Goldberg

  21. Black Market

    Black Market

    New York, New York

    Black Market bar on 7th and A, the crowd is always cool thanks to owner Johnny T, the lights are low, and they’ll serve you french fries while you drink. A guaranteed fun, cool time. —Matt McGrath, freelance video producer

  22. Zum Schneider NYC

    Zum Schneider NYC

    New York, New York

    Schweinhachse. Beer in all sizes that you can drink all day with nary an issue. Super friendly, can hang out with your kids and old friends. Pretzels, German meats, German beers. —Danylo Berko, senior software engineer

  23. theBoil


    New York, New York

    I’m a Chesapeake Bay Girl and this is the ONLY place in the city that satisfies my crustacean cravings. —Cristina Martinez

  24. Estela


    New York, New York

    Terse menu descriptions rarely live up to their mystery, except at Estela, where everything is even better than you imagined when you ordered it. Crispy black rice with squid. Every time. —Chris Morocco

  25. Neil's Coffee Shop

    New York, New York

    Neil’s Coffee Shop is less of a coffee shop and more of my favorite diner in the city. Just the right amount of subtle dilapidation. Just the right amount of black and white in their black and white shake. Just the right amount of old UES ladies. —Alex Delany, production assistant

  26. Cafe Sabarsky

    Cafe Sabarsky

    New York, New York

    There never was a more elegant museum café than Café Sabarsky, inside the Neue Gallery on 5th Ave. I hike all the way to the Upper East Side just to go to the café and delight in all the Viennese delicacies. I eat some wurst, drink a kaffe (served on a silver tray), and then conclude with a proper slice of sachertorte. It gets me every time. —Claire Saffitz

  27. Sake Bar Hagi

    Sake Bar Hagi

    New York, New York

    I’ve never had a bad time here. Plenty of rough mornings, however. It’s the weird food of an izakaya, but with some stellar dishes (wasabi pork dumplings, smoked/dried skate wing). Oh, and the sake…. And it’s hiding in Times Square —Danylo Berko

  28. As Is NYC

    As Is NYC

    New York, New York

    Drop by As Is, a gorgeous new beer bar in of all places Hell’s Kitchen, for a wild beer with Ben and Brandon. They're the ultimate combo: completely unpretentious meganerds with taste. —Alex Tatusian

  29. Keens Steakhouse

    Keens Steakhouse

    New York, New York

    The best restaurant in New York City is Keens Steakhouse, and don’t let anyone here tell you otherwise. —Julia Kramer

  30. The Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bites

    The Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bi...

    New York, New York

    The 30 taps at The Jeffrey are my favorite beer source in the city. The sunshine stained picnic tables in the backyard are almost as good as the fact that you can get a glass of Hill Farmstead, Russian River, Grimm, and Cantillon all in the same sitting… almost. —Alex Delany


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