Restaurants in New York
New York's cafÃƒÂ©s and bakeries run the gamut of its population's ethnic and cultural influences. They can be found in every neighborhood, with the usual French, Italian and American favorites probably most visible. The city also has a number of coffeehouses and tearooms , which outside of the obvious also might offer fruit juices, pastries, light snacks and, on occasion, full meals. Most places more suitable for sit-down dinners we've listed under "Restaurants".
New York is a rich port city that can get the best foodstuffs from anywhere in the world, and, as a major immigration gateway, it attracts chefs who know how to cook the world's cuisines properly, even exceptionally. As you stroll through the streets of New York, heavenly odors seem to emanate from every corner; it's not hard to work up an appetite.
Outside of American and continental cuisines (more or less including New American, which can either dazzle with its inventive fusions or fail miserably and pretentiously), be prepared to confront a startling variety of ethnic food . In New York, none has had so dominant an effect as Jewish food , to the extent that many Jewish specialties - bagels, pastrami, lox and cream cheese - are now considered archetypal New York. Others retain more specific identities. Chinese food includes the familiar Cantonese, as well as spicier Szechuan and Hunan dishes - most restaurants specialize in one or the other. Japanese food is widely available and very good; other Asian cuisines include Indian and a broad sprinkling of Thai, Korean, Vietnamese and Indonesian restaurants.
Italian cooking is widespread and not terribly expensive, and typically a fairly safe bet. French restaurants tend to be pricier, although there are an increasing number of bistros and brasseries turning out authentic and reliable French nosh for attractive prices. Somewhat similar in spirit are Belgian brasseries and steak frites joints, a surprising number of which opened in the last half-decade (and many of which subsequently closed).
There is also a whole range of Eastern European restaurants - Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and Hungarian - that serve well-priced, filling fare. Caribbean, Central and South American restaurants are on the rise in New York, and often offer a good deal and a large, satisfying and often spicy meal. Other places include weird hybrids like Chinese-Peruvian, Japanese-Brazilian, and any number of vegetarian and wholefood eateries to cater to any taste or fad.
As for where you'll be going for these foods, we've divided our selections by neighborhood (and then cuisine), and have given very brief descriptions for what you might expect to find in those areas. For the most part you won't have to walk very far to find a good place in almost any district, but many of the ones listed here are worth a trip on the subway or in a cab.
ou can't walk a block along most Manhattan avenues (and many of the side streets) without passing one or two bars. The bar scene in New York City is a varied one, with a broader range of places to drink than in most American cities, and prices to suit most pockets. Bars generally open from mid-morning (around 10am) to the early hours - 4am at the latest, when they have to close by law. Bar kitchens usually stop operating around midnight or a little before.
The best spots are below 14th Street, where the West Village takes in a wide range of taste, budget and purpose, and equally good hunting grounds can be found in the East Village, NoLita, SoHo and the more western reaches of the Lower East Side . There's a decent choice of midtown bars, though bars here tend to be geared to an after-hours office crowd and (with a few notable exceptions) can consequently be pricey and rather dull. The Upper West Side has a small array of bars, some interesting, although most tend to cater to more of a clean-cut and dully yuppie crowd; and the bars of Harlem , while not numerous, offer some of the city's most affordable jazz in a relaxed environment.
While most visitors to New York may not have time or occasion to check out the bar scenes in the outer boroughs, those that venture to Williamsburg, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene in Brooklyn or to Astoria in Queens will find both some of the hippest and also most neighborly spots around.
Whether you wind up sipping a martini in a swank lounge or a downing a pint in a seedy dive, you'll be expected to tip; figure about a buck a drink. Remember too that the legal drinking age is 21.
Many bars have happy hours, typically 5-7pm, when drinks might be two for one, or some bar food is available for free .