The word on the street is there’s a new taco spot nestled somewhere inside Grand Central Terminal, and we’re going to spill the beans. Dirty Taco slings cabesa, lengua, duck skin tacos, and more from the lower-level dining hall. The spot is upbeat and urban, evoking the stylings of L.A. street tacos. Dirty Taco taqueria is a concept by Armenian and Korean-influenced chefs Tae Woo Lee and Jake Geragos, who infuse their traditions and flavors. Like a food truck, stop by for a quick-to-go option and try out their unique weekly taco offering. This week’s special Taco is their “Add OCL,” made with onions, cilantro, lime mix, and mild or hot salsa. Wash it down with fresh aqua frescas or horchatas. Welcome the holidays with a frosty soft-serve ice cream. We’ll see you there at 89 E 42nd St.
Bubble-shaped donuts in Koreatown? Sure, why not. The chewy and crispy donuts are made with sweet rice flour in a bubble-ring shape dressed with powdered or glazed toppings like powdered sugar, lavender, and pink chocolate glaze. Bear Donuts bakes these irresistible treats twice daily, with the first batch arriving at the counter at 10 am and the next at 2 pm. The shop also features homemade soft serve ice cream with Thai Iced tea flavors just in time for summer and specialty drinks like Bear Draft Milk and Draft Oat Milk in flavors like Black Sesame. Get their popular box of four. We recommend their pink chocolate and toffee coffee flavors but choose away at your own delicious peril. We won’t judge. Try all the flavors at 40 W 31st. St between Broadway and 5th Ave.
Gumption Coffee was born out of a small café in Australia and now is a Midtown coffee shop by Times Square. Gumption serves Ethiopian roast cold brew, espresso, decaf, single-origin, and other specialty coffees. Prepared by an award-winning barista, guests can look forward to a bold and full-bodied cup of joe each morning. They roast the beans onsite, and you can grab a bag of whole beans or grounds to take home. Gumption also offers an array of savory treats such as chocolate chip cookies, almond croissants, sticky buns, and blueberry danishes. Join us at 106 45th St between 7th Ave and Avenue of the Americas.
The speakeasy boom continues. Inconspicuously situated underneath The Mean Fiddler in Midtown, The Woo Woo is serving up 1980’s vibes, craft cocktails, and ‘risque seduction’ according to the official website. Ring the doorbell at the front door to the left of the Mean Fiddler to gain access but be prepared; guests could be asked for a password. Don’t worry. Wait till the end; we’ve got you covered. After traveling down a winding graffiti staircase designed by local artist Brandon Cruz, guests arrive at an adults-only sex shop stocked with authentic 80’s magazines and videos that guarantees a blush or two between friends. Enter through the red curtain and wait to be buzzed through the VCR bookcase portal. We’re not making this stuff up. Once in, expect to be wowed by an inventive cocktail menu inspired by 80s videogames and song references. Locals love the La Bamba made with tequila, lime, agave, mango, and a dash of chipotle. Other standout drinks include the Donkey Kong served with banana chips and Dirty Dancing made with vanilla vodka and passion fruit. The Woo Woo’s food menu features a bevy of small plates, from chicken wings to fish tacos. Turn back time with us at 266 W. 47th St in Times Square. ‘Funk and Kinky’ is the password.
Sister duo So and Mo takes guests on an authentic, tasty journey to Ayutthaya, a central province 50 miles north of Bangkok. So and Mo spent their childhoods in Ayutthaya, where their mother and grandmother ran a popular seafood restaurant revered for its high-quality dishes and 24-hour operating hours. “We grew up watching our grandma and mom run this restaurant, where it was a combination of some street food and some more traditional seafood classics, all served until the late hours of the evening, like many restaurants in Thailand. They also had a karaoke bar, a popular feature in many local restaurants,” So says. Inside the relaxed atmosphere of Lumlum, guests can look forward to house specials like the ‘Crying Tiger,’ an epic Thai-style grilled ribeye steak served with marinated raw egg, garlic rice, and fried shallot. A popular standout among locals is their ‘Khao Soi Gai,’ a northern Thai coconut curry with chicken and egg noodles.
From the owners of Her Name is Han and other casual tapas-style spots, Palpal is a lively space with an open Wok-station separated by glass, allowing diners to see the cooks in action. The menu features a variety of Korean street food dishes such as grilled prk tacos with cilantro and fresh kimchi. Try a side of their sweet potato cheese fondu, which many locals say works great as a drip for galbi and beef belly dishes. Enjoy the chic, minimalist, and industrial look of Palpal with exposed steel beams lining the ceiling and bare walls hugging the corners. Palpal feels modern and sleek, and we love the kitchen's openness. Perfect for a date night or a get-together with friends. Find this gem at 128 Madison Ave between 31st and 30th street in Midtown.
GG Tokyo is a lively Japanese bar and restaurant inspired by six tiny alleys in the Golden Gai district of Tokyo. Guests will find small and large plates intended for sharing. We recommend starting with gochujang rice cakes with caramelized onions; you won’t be disappointed. Try their Kara-age (Japanese fried chicken) with katsuo tartar sauce or their Cold Somen Noodles with Negi. GG Tokyo offers an irresistible miso-maple salmon with potato pancake if you're looking for a bigger bite. Signature cocktails include the golden monkey made with toki whisky, giffard banane du brésil, lemon, pandan leaf, and egg white. GG Tokyo takes cues from the simplicity and comfort of izakaya dining and the seasonality and refinement of kaiseki dining to create a place you can grab a drink, and enjoy a few bites. In addition to the food and beverages, guests can expect an exciting atmosphere that will include late-night programming and special events, from DJs and live entertainment to curated omakase experiences. Find GG Tokyo at 120 East 28th street by Lexington Ave.
Warkop is an Indonesian abbreviation that roughly translates to “small shop or cafe.” The main highlight is their Indomie, Indonesian instant noodles available in chicken bbq, onion, and “og” flavors. Manager Teguh Chandra sees Warkop as a “fast-casual hangout spot that accepts everyone, similar to coffee shops in Indonesia where everyone is welcome no matter their background.” In addition to their noodles, Warkop also offers an array of traditional comfort bites like corn fritters, spring rolls, and an Indonesian twist on the latte called Aren, a signature drink made with coconut palm sugar, coffee, and milk. When asked about the inspiration behind Warkop, Teguh tells us, “Indonesian culture is missing in Manhattan. Sure there is a pocket in Elmhurst, but we want to become a hub for it here in Manhattan and be a safe space for all.” Check out Warkop at 366 W 52nd St between 9th Ave and 8th.
It's hard not to fall in love with All and Sundry’s elegant interior. This buzzy Columbus Circle bar is turning heads from exposed brick walls to the impressive murals created by local artists. We’re big fans of their pumpkin seeds pesto pasta and the juicy ‘Sundry’ burger served on a potato roll and smothered in their “sundry” sauce. Just a short walk across the street from 59th St-Columbus Circle station, All and Sundry is the perfect hangout spot. The kitchen stays open until midnight, and the drinks keep coming until close at 4 am, which is rare for the Columbus Circle area. Stop by for happy hour from 12 pm to 7 pm and enjoy a glass of champagne for $12 and oysters for $2.50. Whether it's a birthday celebration or a date night, make sure you make your way to All and Sundry at 312 W 58th St between 9th Ave and 8th.
After winning over patrons and attracting celebrities at their FiDi location for three years, The Brooklyn Chop House opens its 2nd location in Times Square, doubling down on the size and glamor. With room for over 600 guests over five levels, including six private dining rooms, three bars, a rooftop bar, and an exclusive member’s only NFT lounge due to open sometime in May, the Brooklyn Chop House is already a hot premier spot. Guests can expect the restaurant’s famous “LSD” entree, an epic assortment of lobster, steak, and duck served with lobster-chicken fried rice, french fries, onion rings, wok-fried mushrooms, and onions. Brooklyn Chop House’s menu is quite varied and extensive, their dumpling and homemade noodles list alone is longer than most menus. The atmosphere is festive, upscale, and perfectly suited for dates or birthday parties, no matter if you’re a local or a tourist. Join the fun at 253 W 47th St. between Broadway and 8th Ave.
Jaz gets its name from owner Jaz Rupall who was born and raised as a second-generation British-Indian in Hertfordshire, England. After arriving in the United States, her longing for some home cooking inspired her to open Jaz in Hell’s Kitchen. The menu features delicacies such as shrimp Bachao, pan-fried shrimp in a spicy onion-chili sauce, and the tandoori platter, including chicken tikka masala, ginger chicken, and sheikh kebab. Guests can accompany their main courses with a wide selection of different bread like their Peshawari naan, a sweet naan made with almonds, raisins, and coconut stuffing. Jaz also sports a robust wine list and an assortment of Indian-inspired craft cocktails. Try their spicy chili margarita for a refreshing kick or their Jal Jeera Mojito. Regional bottled beers like Kingfisher and Taj Mahal are available for those looking to immerse themselves in Northern India fully. This spot is excellent for groups, so bring your friends and Jaz it up at 813 9th Ave on W 54th street.
This swanky LA import is turning heads at the Citizens Food Hall in Manhattan West. Katsuya, named after the chef Katsuya Uechi, promises a modern take on Japanese dining and a lengthy cocktail menu. Try their irresistible signature dish, spicy tuna tartare, that arrives on a pile of perfectly grilled sushi rice, lightly peppered with serrano. Need something a little different? Go for one of their many steak options, like their Australian wagyu ribeye. We’re also big fans of the seaweed salad sprinkled with sesame seeds. So many choices, we can’t decide ourselves, but we’ll see you there at 398 10th Ave on 31st Street in Chelsea.
If you’re walking by Bryant Park and need a break, grab a seat and indulge in some authentic Sichuan goodness before you hit the street again. Peppercorn Station, just south of Bryant Park, has a simplistic cafe-style look to it with exposed light bulbs and a fast-casual approach to their dishes. Their standout dish is the crab meat noodles but you can always opt for the classic homestyle dishes like mapo tofu and dan dan noodles. Peppercorn Station also offers a “noodle of the day” which currently features a beef noodle soup. Find this new gem at 66 W 39th Street between Avenue of the Americas and 5th Avenue.
Located in the Penn 1 office building and nestled off the lobby, you’ll find a gourmet grab & go outpost called Office Hours. It features an abundant selection of coffees, teas, soups, sandwiches, salads, and premium office snacks. You can order ahead and pick up or have a look around. If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, find your way up the ‘Social Stairs’ (visibly marked) and find The Landing, a full-service bar and restaurant. Perfectly ideal for gathering, socializing, dining, late cocktails, entertaining, and coworking. Brainstorm over lunch, enjoy a pre-game cocktail, or host a celebratory dinner in one of two private dining rooms available. Find a quick snack or a hearty American meal at 1 Pennsylvania Plaza, just steps from 34th street. Take a break; you deserve it.
Located inside the Le Méridien New York hotel just south of Central Park, Kumi is rapidly climbing the ranks among food bloggers and locals around town. In the ample space that sits 130, you can eat modern Japanese bites like green tea-smoked chicken and miso-glazed black cod, as well as Korean-influenced dishes like gochujang glazed salmon and galbi braised short rib. Kumi is great for groups with an extensive shareable menu featuring wagyu gyoza with wings, kushiyaki, and a scrumptious spicy rock shrimp tempura. Kumi offers a great atmosphere with its upbeat music and upscale architecture, ideal for a date or a running start to the weekend after a busy work week. Find Kumi at 120 West 57th street in Midtown.
What began as a pop-up at Rockefeller Center is now a permanent fixture on 48th Street near 5th Avenue—the first for Other Half in Manhattan. There are two other NYC locations in Brooklyn (Carroll Gardens and Domino Park.) There are various brews on draft and cider and seltzer options. IPAs like their Wavy Frequency and Digital Greens are among the standouts with citrusy notes and amarillo hops. Once the weather warms up a bit, patrons can grab a seat in the outdoor beer garden and enjoy a few beers. Other Half Brewing also offers beer shipping as well as virtual tastings. Find more information on their website.
If you’re walking by a large mural on 38th street and 7th avenue, take a closer look, and you’ll find a hidden door within the mural. This is the entrance to Midtown’s latest hotspot, Sei Less. Nestled near the garment district and Madison Square Garden, Sei Less is the ideal spot for a nightcap. Perfect for birthday parties or get-togethers, the massive space seats about 350 people. Sei Less offers an Asian fusion menu with chicken satay, edamame dumplings, and rock shrimp tempura. There are also private rooms with TVs, in case you need somewhere to eat a meal while watching a Knicks game without the ruckus of the crowd. Find this talked-about gem at 156 W 38 st, between broadway and 7th avenue.
Zou Zou’s is a lively and modern Eastern Mediterranean restaurant from chef Madeline Sperling. She spent years working at some of the most notable restaurants throughout New York City, including Gramercy Tavern and The NoMad. With the recent opening of Ci Siamo and now Zou Zou’s, Manhattan West is looking to be the next foodie paradise. The 75-seat space features an open kitchen centered around a wood-fired hearth. It is inspired by Eastern Mediterranean tones and materiality, featuring dark woods, off-white plasters, vibrant blue and green tiles, highlighting open spaces pleasantly punctuated by arches and domes. Customers can expect a menu inspired by and celebrating the cuisine and flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean region, with influences from Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, among others. Make sure you try the tart raw scallops with dehydrated raspberries and the crispy fried beef manti with garlicky labneh. Zou Zou’s makes for a great family gathering or an important dinner date! Find Zou Zou’s at 385 9th Avenue and 31st Street in Midtown West.
Pebble Bar is a three-floor bar and restaurant from a team of industry veterans. The building was once home to a storied Irish pub frequented by writers, actors, and producers who worked next door at 30 Rock, including Johnny Carson and David Letterman, to name a few. The second floor will be a 50-person cocktail bar; the third floor will house an intimate, 30-seat restaurant; and the fourth will be an events space and private bar. Last July, New Yorkers had the chance to enjoy a sneak preview of Pebble Bar and its seafood menu during a pop-up event. Get ready for the real thing when it opens later this Winter at 67 West 49th street and 6th avenue.NY
The Irish Arts Center in Hell’s Kitchen has a new cafe on the ground level that features all things Irish to the surprise of no one. Dishes like Irish cocktail sausages, potato and leek soup with black pudding, and traditional Irish brown bread scones are available and authentoc, as well as an extensive list of Irish whiskey. The rest of the building is home to an Irish cultural center with a 199-seat theater and an expansive gallery space. Stop by for a show or a traditional Irish coffee at 726 11th Ave on W 51st street.
Come for the dimly lit yet intimate interior and stay for the authentic, fresh Szechuan food. Cafe China is rapidly climbing the list of many locals’ top spots for a night out, and we hear dishes like their mapo tofu and double-cooked pork are big reasons why. The menu is long, and the portions are large, so bring some company. They only take reservations for groups of seven or more at dinner and four or more at lunch, but it is definitely worth the wait if you’re riding solo at the bar. Be sure to try the pickled vegetables doused with chili oil and the shrimp dumplings. Cafe China offers bento boxes as well for takeout and delivery. In the soft opening phase until January 2022, find this gem at 59 W 37th street between 5th Ave and Madison.
The Parlour Room is Midtown’s latest and possibly, swankiest whiskey bar. This new spot looks the part from velvet booths to a wood-burning fireplace. With over 400 craft whiskeys and a dozen different tastings, you’ll feel like you’re back in 1920 rubbing shoulders with Ernest Hemmingway. The Parlour Room is a sight to behold, and we couldn’t stop admiring the grand chandelier that hangs over the bar. If you fancy a bite, this place can whip up some lobster and shrimp wontons or a vegetarian lasagna for two. You can find The Parlour Room at 70 W 36th street on 6th Avenue.
Osteria La Baia’s beautiful exterior is hard to miss. The restaurant’s website claims it is inspired by the ‘glittering coast of Italy and its discreet seaside towns,’ and they’ve nailed it. Enjoy a warm and welcoming plate of mushroom truffle risotto as you take in the beautifully curated aesthetics around you. The dining room is sectioned into two areas with sea blue banquettes, while gorgeously appointed tables draped in linen are accompanied by custom-made club chairs. Flowers and large plants adorn nearly every corner. The menu has sections dedicated to crudos, pastas, pizzas, and mains like Long Island duck and Dover sole. We’ve heard that the service is also top-notch here, so be sure to check them out next time you’re in Rockefeller Center. Osteria La Baia is at 129 W 52nd Street, on 7th Ave and Avenue of the Americas.
While Penn Station isn’t particularly known for its dining options, Random Access looks to fill that void with Thai dishes designed for the quick-moving commuter crowds. Easy and approachable is the name of the game here, but the menu is anything but basic and all delicious. You can find Thai comfort food such as cauliflower steak dipped in red curry and served with your choice of either jasmine rice, purple jasmine rice, or rotti. Not bad for a Penn Station eatery, especially when you’re on the go. The menu also plays with Thai diner food mashups like crab curry mac and cheese and Thai ragu pasta. Chef Pornnipa Nilpugsri said it best when asked by Eater, why the diner food mashup? “What’s easy for New Yorkers? Diner food! so we decided to marry the two ideas.” Random Access also sports a noodle bar for those looking for a fiery bowl of ramen on a cold day. Find Random Access at 138 West 32nd Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues.
New York’s latest gourmet grocery, Gastro Market, promises fresh food and an outlet-like layout for the grab-and-go crowd. Most of it is still shrouded in mystery, but Gastro Market looks to deliver a spacious shopping experience just steps away from Carnegie Hall. From fresh fruit and vegetables to a full-blown deli, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on this gourmet all-natural market as it builds up toward launch. Gastro Market is anticipated to open at 1745 Broadway and West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 in early 2022.
One of the best seafood deals in all of New York City could be found at Grand Central Oyster, intimately tucked away in the lower level of Grand Central Terminal. It wasn’t an easy comeback trail for the Oyster spot after a 17-month closure, but patrons can expect their signature seafood offerings like their broiled flounder and clam chowders that rank among the best in town. Dine-in and take-out are available now, with delivery coming soon. Take a peek at their extensive, award-winning wine list while you’re at it; you won’t be disappointed.