Restaurants in New York
No doubt that you will read about before you go but there is (unsurprisingly!) a tipping culture in New York! Whilst some people may regard that as unfair, you know what you sign up for before you visit. Generally, the service was good but sometimes I found myself getting a little grumpy adding a tip every time when the service was very average. When you get the bill, the amount of suggested tip is at the bottom of the receipt and normally ranges from 12.5%-25%.
My choices below are more typical American diner (not v New York I know!):
The Counter Times Square
7 Times Square, New York, NY 10036
The Counter Times Square is unsurprisingly near Times Square, which is a relaxed café offering a few dishes but mainly a “build your own” burger – just tick the bit boxes you want on the list of ingredients and hand it over to the staff. Through the New York Pass, we were also offered complementary fries.
I had a cheeseburger with croutons in, which was a little different and it was tasty! Around $40 for 2 people with a tip.
Peter Luger’s Steak House
178 Broadway Brooklyn, N.Y. 11211
This restaurant was recommended to me by a colleague and I was not disappointed! It is the oldest steak house in New York and has real character to it. I booked the table almost a month in advance for a Sunday and the only availability they had was at 16.45 and 21.30, so make sure you book before you go!
The small menu offers popular dishes, making it easier for me to choose! We obviously opted for the standard t-bone steak accompanied by fries and spinach. It was so flavoursome and really rather filling but I forced myself to finish it!
Expect good service, great food but there is a price to pay – around $160 for a meal for two with a drink each.
Hill Country Barbeque
30 West 26th Street, New York
This restaurant was around a 15 minute walk from our hotel and was a typical American style BBQ joint. The food is cooked and carved in front of you, so you can see what you fancy beforehand. The meat was measured in grams and our server gave us an idea of how much to order. We had ribs, brisket and sausage with refried beans and fries. Decent food, large restaurant and, for once, a tip is not included on the bill!
142 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019
Fairly near Broadway is Pasta Lovers. I was a little skeptical at first that it may be a tourist trap but I was impressed by the food and service. We had the pasta with sausage and the portions were massive! Meal for two with a drink around $60.
Eating out for lunch and dinner wasn’t going to be cheap so we grabbed lunch twice at Pot Belly, an American sandwich shop, like an upmarket subway. Baguette, crisps and drink was around $8.
Ellens Stardust Diner
1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Singing staff? I was intrigued. This place was an absolute guilty pleasure but so worth it. Typical US two tiered diner with booths a few blocks from Times Square serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Expect queues so get there for an early breakfast or dinner.
The waiters/waitresses are either already on Broadway or on the cusp of making it to Broadway so do not expect karaoke – these guys are good. There was such a lively atmosphere with the singing and the food was actually pretty good! We had a burger and the quesadillas and the frozen cocktails were tasty. Dinner and a drink for two people around $60. Recommended!
241 West 42nd Street
You can probably see a theme here that I really wanted some typical US diner grub rather than upmarket restaurants (Peter Luger’s excluded). We had a huge platter of meat – brisket, ribs, wings, chips and coleslaw with two HUGE frozen cocktails (only $10) which actually made us rather tipsy….
Decent enough diner at decent prices.
BARS IN NEW YORK
A general comment to start off with – New York is no London when it comes to bars. There is no heaving Shoreditch or Soho – the bars are spread out and sometimes actually rather hard to find. I will caveat this with the fact I missed out on a Friday and Saturday evening but other people have said the same. Basically, you need to know what you are looking for. I was expecting Times Square to be heaving but sadly it was not! Another observation is that the New Yorkers do not drink as much as the English – the bars were pleasantly calm instead of four five people back queuing for a drink!
128 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
Located on Bedford Avenue in Williamsberg, this bar offers a happy hour earlier in the evening where ‘well’ drinks (essentially house spirits) are only $5, which is a bargain for New York. Nice dimly lit bar with good service from the bartender.
The Knitting Factory
361 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
On Metropolitan Avenue lies The Knitting Factory, a cool two roomed bar in Williamsberg. We visited for a comedy evening (free entry) which was very popular. Fun bar and drinks prices fairly reasonable – wine and a beer was around $12. Live music on some nights.
The Rusty Knot
425 West St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Located by the Hudson in West Village is this small tiki themed bar with a relaxed atmosphere and a pool table. Good cockails.
The Jane Hotel
113 Jane St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Based in the Meatpacking Dsitrcit is The Jane Hotel, offering good cocktails and rooftop views.
125 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003, USA
3 storey large warehouse type club playing (on a Thursday) mainly hip hop – lively atmosphere. Ladies free entry and drinks reasonable priced ($5-8).