manhattan restaurant guide // week 1

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from friends and people traveling to New York (and heck, even people who live here) is, "where should I eat!?".  So when OpenTable asked me to write about some of our favorite restaurants in the city, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to share. In an effort to reduce the monstrous list I could produce (I actually keep an excel list of every restaurant we want to visit and have visited over the past 6 years!), I thought I'd break our favorites down by neighborhoods. 

Get excited as over the next six weeks I will share our favorite spots for all types of occasions in several different neighborhoods. Whether it's pre-theater in Midtown or late night bites in the Lower East Side, you'll get it all. To make reservations, please visit the OpenTable New York City Restaurants page.

To kick off our reviews, we're starting with our home base neighborhood(s):  Chelsea, Flatiron, Gramercy (and a little Murray Hill).  This section of 'hoods stretch from 34th Street to 14th street, from the Hudson River to the East River. It's home to some great shopping, parks, and restaurants (and our home!). 

::: Where to Eat in Chelsea / Flatiron / Gramercy :::

ABC Kitchen :::  I'll be honest, we haven't been here...yet. It's been on my list for awhile and it will definitely happen this summer.

Ayza Wine Bar ::: My go-to for an after-work bite and drinks with girlfriends. Great prices. They also have a good lunch special. 

Cookshop :::  My #1 recommendation for people visiting the High Line. Start here, it's just steps away and really, really good.

Duke's :::  Best wings in the city.

Eleven Madison Park ::: We have reservations here for our anniversary in August. Was just voted one of the best restaurants in the world. Can't wait!

Fonda :::  Real-deal Mexican food in a great location.

Gramercy Tavern :::  For a special occasion dinner, for sure. Beautiful food in a beautiful setting with spectacular service.

Hill Country BBQ :::  Some of the best barbecue in the city. And that's saying something from two Kansas City kids.  Great for groups, as you pay individually (no splitting the check!).

L&W Oyster Co ::: One of our favorites. Open windows when it's warm outside, potted ranunculus out front, and a killer lobster roll. 

Les Halles ::: Parisian bistro meets Park Avenue South. Steak Frites for the win.  Good for groups. 

Red Cat ::: Perfect for a nice date night dinner. Also a great place to take parents. Get the baked fontina appetizer!

Maialino ::: One of Al's favorite restaurants ever. Go for brunch (get the cacio e pepe eggs) or dinner. Across the street from the beautiful (and private) Gramercy Park.

The NoMad ::: Great for brunch, drinks, or dinner. Very impressive ambiance and so many different rooms to enjoy.

Did I miss any of your favorite restaurants in these neighborhoods?  Share in the comments below. Stay tuned to see which neighborhoods I cover next. 

Thanks to OpenTable for reaching out. The OpenTable New York City Restaurants page is always my first stop when planning our dining.

Powered By OpenTable: Restaurant Reservations. Right this way.

P.S. Y'all like those maps? That's some Katie Rose graphic design skills hard at work. (That is I hand traced a map and colored with crayons and scanned it. #nailedit)

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