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100 Blocks, 100 Bites: A Must-Try Dish on Every Street

By James Mulcahy
October 30, 2013
Photo by: Clay Williams

We all know that Manhattan's chock-a-block with restaurants, but with such an array of options, how do you choose? To help you narrow it down a bit, we pounded the pavement to find our favorite bite on each of the numbered streets, from First to 100th (and good thing we walked, 'cause that was a lot of eating). The slide show below reveals our top picks, from high-end sushi to dumplings and pizza, so you're bound to find something that strikes your fancy and fits your price range.

Before you get clicking, a quick note on how we made our selections. We tried to stick to restaurants that had their street address on the numbered block. This worked for the most part, but we had to sneak around the corner a few times, especially as we got further north. Don't worry, those choices are just as delicious.

-James Mulcahy and Jenny Miller

  • Photo by: Cherie Cincilla

    First Street: Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken

    Blue Ribbon's fried chicken became famous at its various locations, and now you can get it to go at this East Village offshoot. The secret ingredient in the batter is matzo meal, which locks in moisture and makes these some of the least greasy drumsticks in town.

    28 E. First St.; 212-228-0404

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    Second Street: Timely Priest Stranglers With Dad's Marinara Sauce at Supper

    Pretty much the only place this dish of strozzapreti (literally, "priest stranglers") wouldn't be welcome at is the rectory - everywhere else, it's pure red-sauce comfort food. Supper hand-makes these rolled strips of pasta, then expertly cooks them al dente and tops the dish generously with the house marinara sauce and plenty of oozing ricotta di pecora.

    156 E. Second St.; 212-477-7600

  • Third Street: Crispy Artichokes at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

    Il Buco's more casual sister restaurant and marketplace is all about the snacking, and the menu contains a slew of small plates to share as you sip your vino. It's hard to choose a favorite, but we always find ourselves with a plate of fried artichokes in the mix. Cooked to a crisp and brightened with preserved lemon, it's a great way to start your meal (after cheese and salumi, natch).

    53 Great Jones St.; 212-837-2622

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    Fourth Street: Negroni at Tremont

    This New American in the West Village is light and airy due to the picture windows that look out onto West Fourth and Bank Streets. We like grabbing a stool at their whitewashed bar and sipping on the house Negroni, made with a spritely Nolet silver gin, Campari and Punt e Mes.

    51 Bank St.; 212-488-1019

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    Fifth Street: Pork Ramen at Minca

    This low-key ramen-ya re-creates the vibe of noodle parlors in Japan with its no-frills dining room and slurping counter - a place for filling the belly, but not for lingering. Pork broth is the way to go, fatty and garlicky and available with shoyu for added salty goodness, or in a spicy version. The Japanese-style chashu pork slices are a treat, blow-torched at the last minute (a process you can watch thanks to the open kitchen), so they arrive ever-so-slightly caramelized.

    536 E. Fifth St.; 212-505-8001

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    Sixth Street: Wild Black Cod With Ginger Soy Sauce at Souen

    New York's most popular macrobiotic stop has several branches around town, but we prefer this tucked-away location in the East Village. While the Japanese-influenced menu is mostly vegan, it does offer some seafood, including our favorite: wild black cod in a glaze made of gluten-free soy sauce, sake, ginger and leeks.

    326 E. Sixth St.; 212-388-1155

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    Seventh Street: De Pabellon Arepa at Caracas

    This perennially packed Venezualan joint specializes in arepas, basically the tacos of that country, featuring a soft corn shell stuffed with fillings. While nouveau mash-ups like grilled eggplant with sun-dried tomato are available, we prefer going autentico with the pabellon arepa. Based on the Venezuelan dish pabellon criollo, it hits the right salty and sweet notes with tender shredded beef, black beans, fried plantains and salty cheese.

    93 1/2 E. Seventh St.; 212-529-2314

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    Eighth Street: Spicy Redneck at Crif Dogs

    This gourmet frank specialist earns the affection of East Village drunkards by deep-frying its dogs. Try the Spicy Redneck, a bacon-wrapped dog doused in chili, coleslaw and jalapeños. Classy it might not be, but it is delicious - even sober.

    113 St. Marks Pl.; 212-614-2728

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    Ninth Street: Uni Soba at Soba-ya

    Soba-ya is one of just a handful of serious buckwheat-noodle games in town. We prefer the strands served brothless here, particularly when topped with uni, which oozes over the noodles like a cream sauce, its richness cut by refreshing tororo (grated mountain yam).

    229 E. Ninth St.; 212-533-6966

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    10th Street: Pasta at Piadina

    You really can't go wrong with the pasta selection at this totally charming West Village spot, whose rustic dishes were called out by our surveyors as being the "real deal." Most of the plates - including this tagliatelle al ragù - are around the $15 mark.

    57 W. 10th St.; 212-460-8017

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    11th Street: The Burger at The Spotted Pig

    April Bloomfield's decadent patty arguably ignited the high-end gastropub craze and made the burger into the must-have dish for basically every NYC restaurant. Why? It's absolutely mind-blowing. Served still mooing with blue cheese and shoestring fries, this dish isn't just the must-have on 11th Street, it's also one of the city's best.

    314 W. 11th St.; 212-620-0393

  • 12th Street: Sunday Supper at Northern Spy Food Co.

    This seasonal specialist is at its best when the kitchen takes free rein - namely, Sunday nights when it serves a three-course meal for $27. Though the lineup changes weekly, the roster generally includes a veggie-based starter (often a salad), then a protein main course such as pork shoulder chili, followed by dessert.

    511 E. 12th St.; 212-228-5100

  • 13th Street: Al Pastor Taco at Sembrado 

    Get down to the basics with this juicy pork taco - just tender Duroc pork with onions and cilantro on a three-bite-size corn tortilla. What sets it apart is the way the meat is grilled - on a rotating spit, as is the custom in Mexico City, where this style of cooking is called al carbon.

    432 E. 13th St.; 212-729-4206

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    14th Street: Tomato-Basil Spaghetti at Scarpetta

    If there's one dish that accounts for Scarpetta's runaway success (chef-owner Scott Conant now has locations in Vegas, Beverly Hills, Miami Beach and Toronto), it's this simple yet unforgettable pasta. It seems simple, anyway, but we happen to know it takes a skilled hand (and a lot of butter) to get the tomato, Parmesan and basil sauce to perfectly coat each strand the way it does.

    355 W. 14th St.; 212-691-0555

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    15th Street: Sashimi at 15 East

    The decor isn't the only thing that's minimalist at this Union Square sushi favorite. Chef Masato Shimizu sends out slices of sashimi that should be enjoyed unadorned. We couldn't pick which fish was our favorite, so order as many pieces as possible - or better yet put yourself in the chef's hands and get the omakase.

    15 E. 15th St.; 212-647-0015

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    16th Street: Ricotta Gnocchi at Union Square Cafe

    This luscious pasta at Danny Meyer's stalwart is served with tomato-basil passata and pecorino Romano cheese. The flavors are comforting - it will only take a few bites to see why this restaurant has so many regulars.

    21 E. 16th St.; 212-243-4020

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    17th Street: Ham at Bar Jamón

    With a few counters and a solid list of Spanish wines, this teeny bar tucked behind Casa Mono keeps things simple, and so should you. Ham is the namesake item, after all, so get a plate of freshly sliced Ibérico and some vino, and let that cozy feeling seep in.

    125 E. 17th St.; 212-253-2773

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    18th Street: Mushroom Pizza at ABC Kitchen

    It's hard to find a bad item at this farm-to-table gem from Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Dan Kluger, but whenever we drop by we find ourselves craving this pizza. A whole-wheat crust is topped off with oregano, Parmesan, mushrooms and the kicker - a farm egg with a yolk that turns into a stream of gooey goodness.

    35 E. 18th St.; 212-475-5829

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    19th Street: Mushrooms at Craft 

    Tom Colicchio's flagship revolutionized the restaurant scene when it first started presenting side dishes that guests could pair with their own mains, a system that is now standard at many restaurants. There are plenty of excellent options on the menu, but look at the mushroom section for some super-fresh choices that set off your umami alarms while showing off the Colicchio magic at work.

    43 E. 19th St.; 212-780-0880

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    20th Street: Smoked Trout at Gramercy Tavern

    The Danny Meyer dining staple is going on two decades, so it's telling that this pared-down appetizer has graced the frequently changing tasting menu for years. It's chef Michael Anthony's handiwork at its finest: trout smoked over wood and served warm, with a jolt from two varieties of onion complementing the fish's plump perfection.

    42 E. 20th St.; 212-477-0777

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    21st Street: Drunk Man Noodles at Rhong-Tiam

    This Thai dish is so-called because it's popularly consumed late at night in the midst of a booze binge. We'd slurp this version any time of day: a mound of wide rice noodles wok-charred with egg, veggies and your choice of protein in a savory-spicy sauce.

    31 E. 21st St.; 212-420-7500

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    22nd Street: Naan at Tamarind

    The fare at this high-end Indian was called out as "exceptional" in our last restaurant survey, and no meal would be complete without an order of its fluffy naan - not necessarily to eat unadorned (though that's good too), but to sop up every last bit of curry and sauce that go into the impressive dishes.

    41-43 E. 22nd St.; 212-674-7400

  • 23rd Street: Burgers at Schnipper's

    Set in the middle of Madison Square Park, Shake Shack missed our cutoff for this street (though you may see it pop up as we go further Uptown). Instead we went with the classic burger at Schnipper's - a satisfying patty topped with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and red onions. It won the second place judge's prize at the 2013 Burger Bash, plus you won't have to wait forever in line.

    23 E. 23rd St.; 212-233-1025

  • 24th Street: Rocket Pig Sandwich 

    In a small courtyard behind Trestle on Tenth, this to-go operation is built on the signature sandwich. Thick-cut smoked pork is loaded onto a ciabatta roll, topped with red-onion jam and mustard sauce, and served with a pickle and hot sauce on the side. The menu might not be extensive, but with a sandwich this good, it doesn't need to be. Bonus points for the cool logo of a pig rocketing to the moon. 

    463 W. 24th St.; 212-645-5660

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    25th Street: Two-Egg Sandwich with Bacon at Johnny's Luncheonette

    As anyone who's ever had a hangover in New York knows, nothing beats an egg on a roll. And while many bodegas do a passable version, the city's favorite morning sandwich is all the better at Johnny's, an old-school greasy spoon of the nearly extinct sort. The best part? Breakfast is served till the diner closes in the late afternoon, seven days a week.

    124 W. 25th St.; 212-243-6230

  • 26th Street: Hay-Roasted Oysters at Maysville

    Don’t just drink your way through the hundreds of rare American whiskeys on the list here, eat your booze too. This aromatic, visually striking dish (which you’ll see on basically every table - always a good sign) spotlights briny oysters that are roasted on a bed of bourbon-soaked hay. And if you need something to pair with it, well, do we really need to tell you that more bourbon is where it’s at?

    17 W. 26th St.; 646-490-8240

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    27th Street: Salt and Pepper Beef Ribs at Blue Smoke

    If there's one must-order at Danny Meyer's BBQ joint, it's these ribs - beef rather than the typical pork, rubbed in salt and pepper and smoked until meltingly soft. Since this preparation is "Texas-style," no sauce is offered, but you won't need any anyway.

    116 E. 27th St.; 212-447-7733

  • 28th Street: Black Pork Curry at Banana Leaf

    Sri Lankan is not a cuisine known well around these parts, and that's a shame. Some dishes and flavors will seem familiar to Indian-food lovers, including the abundance of curries. We love the black pork curry here, a specialty of the island that's heavy on red onion and flavored with warm spices like cinnamon and coriander, with sour notes from the addition of tropical goraka fruit.

    227 W. 28th St.; 212-494-0000

  • Photo by: Jolie Ruben

    29th Street: Whole Roasted Pig at The Breslin

    If you can round up eight or more people, get ready for a meal unlike any other in NYC at the chef's table of April Bloomfield's magnet in the Ace Hotel. The restaurant will set a whole suckling pig in the center of the table, the waiters will slice its side open, and you can go to town grabbing amazingly moist pieces of meat that it yields. It may not be pretty, but it is dramatics, and Bloomfield's expertise in pork makes this some of the best piggy you'll ever have.

    16 W. 29th St.; 212-679-1939

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    30th Street: Miso Salmon Platter at Mooncake Foods

    In an area with a dearth of good lunch options, here's one that's satisfying and healthy. A nice-sized fillet of salmon is glazed lightly in a sweet miso dressing and served over rice with a side salad. All this for 10 bucks - no wonder it's the restaurant's most popular order.

    263 W. 30th St.; 212-268-2888

  • Photo by: Cherie Cincilla

    31st Street: Vegetables at Juni

    It's hard to single out a specific dish at Shaun Hergatt's new high-end eatery in the Hotel Chandler, as the menu frequently rotates based on available ingredients. But, as suggested by the art on the walls, the focus here is on the produce. Get the tasting menu and you'll encounter veggies that are so beautifully presented, you won't even want to eat them. Almost. A few bites, and you'll realize the chef's works of art taste as good as they look.

    12 E. 31st St.; 212-995-8599

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    32nd Street: Cheese Ddeokbokki at Arang

    It's pretty much impossible to choose one best dish on a street that's a veritable trove of Korean delights, so in this instance we'll pick the most gonzo one: a mash-up of Korean and Italian drunk food. At this upstairs late-night haunt, a pile of cylindrical Korean rice cakes is topped with spicy gochujang (red pepper) sauce and blanketed in a thick layer of melted cheese. It's not traditional, but it certainly is tasty.

    9 W. 32nd St.; 212-947-3028

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    33rd Street: Pastrami Sandwich at 2nd Ave Deli 

    This Jewish deli is destined to continually duke it out with Katz's over who has the best pastrami in town (though only Second Avenue is kosher). Fuhgeddabout all the fuss, slather on the mustard, and enjoy the bounty - smoky, peppery pink meat piled between slices of rye that are barely up to the task of containing it.

    162 E. 33rd St.; 212-689-9000

  • 34th Street: Rotisserie Chicken at Pio Pio

    Most cultures seem to have a version of that irresistible classic, roast chicken, and this is Peru's: the birds here are marinated then roasted till the skin crackles. Paired with the accompanying creamy garlic-chile sauce (whose exact recipe is a guarded secret), it's a slam dunk.

    210 E. 34th St.; 212-481-0034

  • 35th Street: Barbecue at Mandangsui

    Korean BBQ is a K-Town must, and few places do it as well as this one, where the banchan (side dishes served at the beginning of the meal) is great and the grills are clean. Pick your protein - we like the marinated short ribs - and watch as it's cooked tableside before your eyes. You're then invited to dip the morsels in sesame sauce and wrap them in lettuce, throwing in some pickles and bean paste for a DIY feast.

    35 W. 35th St.; 212-564-9333

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    36th Street: Mutton Chop at Keen's Steakhouse 

    This institution just south of Times Square is the kind of place that doesn't seem to have changed much in 128 years. There's a room dedicated to onetime regular Teddy Roosevelt (the Bull Moose Room, naturally), and you'd swear you saw the man himself sitting there amid the old-timey surroundings. The thing to order is the mutton chop, a hefty chunk of roasted meat (from sheep rather than cow) that's tender, juicy and ever so slightly gamey. Does it beat your typical chophouse steak? Try it and you might be swayed.

    72 W. 36th St.; 212-947-3636

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    37th Street: Dumplings at Cafe China

    When Cafe China opened a few years ago, it brought Shanghai dumplings to an otherwise dim-sum-less stretch of Midtown. They're a bit petite here, but still juicy and porky, served with black vinegar for dipping. It's no wonder dumpling hounds have been hitting them hard ever since.

    13 E. 37th St.; 212-213-2810

  • 38th Street: Spicy Wings at Bonchon Chicken

    This Korean franchise caused a bit of a sensation when it first landed on these shores a half decade or so ago, and it's easy to see why. Thanks to a special double-cooking technology, chicken wings and drumsticks boast a moist, tender flesh and delightfully crispy exterior. Spicy marinade is the way to go - when your mouth is on fire, cool it down with the accompanying daikon pickles.

    207 W. 38th St.; 212-221-3339

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    39th Street: Mapo Tofu at Szechuan Gourmet

    Mapo tofu is one of the most iconic dishes to emerge from China's Sichuan province (and also one of the spiciest), and this restaurant near Bryant Park might just serve the best in town. It certainly doesn't stint on the heat, as the silky tofu cubes are doused in a fiery-red bath of chile oil and laced with mouth-tingling Sichuan peppercorns, with a few leek slices thrown in for decoration. We dare you to try it without sweating.

    21 W. 39th St.; 212-921-0233

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    40th Street: Crispy Rice With Spicy Tuna at Koi

    Sure, it might not be authentically Japanese by a long shot, but the spicy tuna roll has still become a sushi-house staple. At Koi, the concept is turned inside out, with chunks of chile-mayo-bathed raw tuna sitting atop little logs of rice that are fried until just crisp on the exterior. Call it Spicy Tuna 2.0; whatever you call it, it's hard to resist.

    40 W. 40th St.; 212-842-4550

  • 41st Street: Pulled Pork Sandwich at Num Pang

    Num Pang has long held a spot on our Best Sandwich list - in the 2014 survey, it ranked as the city's third best sammy slinger. Our favorite of the bunch has to be the classic pulled pork, which is served with spiced honey and the same slew of toppings that graces the other varieties: cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro and chile mayo. This is all packed into their crispy baguette-style bread.

    140 E. 41st St.; 212-867-8889

  • 42nd Street: Foie Gras Terrine at Aureole

    Is there any better escape from the madness that is 42nd Street than dinner at Charlie Palmer's upscale gem? You can have a fine but not quite as fancy meal in the bar room, but for a true getaway, check out chef Marcus Gleadow-Ware's fare in the luxe dining room. You can't go wrong with the Hudson Valley foie gras terrine, which comes with Concord grape gelée, pistachio and toasted brioche. The luscious combination won't just take you to a different block, it will knock you out of this world.

    135 W. 42nd St.; 212-319-1660

  • 43rd Street: Omakase at Sushi Yasuda

    Even without chef Naomichi Yasuda himself (who decamped for Japan a few years ago), this legendary sushi restaurant still offers one of the most sublime raw-fish experiences in the city. Given that, the thing to order is the omakase, the parade of traditional, extremely fresh bites that puts you in the sushi master's hands - a very good place to be.

    204 E. 43rd St.; 212-972-1001

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    44th Street: Cheese and Crackers at Sardi's

    Longtime Broadway haunt Sardi's is as tacky and brash, endearing and over-the-top as many of the Great White Way's biggest spectacles, and any excuse to while away part of an evening in its legendary celebrity-caricature-bedecked digs is hard to deny. What a surprise, then, that such an excuse comes in the form of spreadable orange cheese of a most definitively non-artisanal origin, accompanied by ordinary crackers. After the Health Department swooped in, this addictive bar snack is no longer complimentary, but consider the three bucks it costs (plus the price of a drink) your admission to a true New York legend.

    234 W. 44th St.; 212-221-8440

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    45th Street: Lang Pi Cold-Skin Noodles at Xi'an Famous Foods

    The best thing to eat on 45th Street contains no meat or dairy, and it doesn't need it. At Xi'an Famous Foods, hand-pulled noodles are the name of the game, and the first item on the menu, lang pi cold-skin noodles, are as simple and delicious it gets. Jaggedly cut strips of flat wheat noodle swim in a chile-vinegar sauce, with squares of wheat gluten for texture and a fresh zing from cilantro - it's fiery and utterly addictive.

    24 W. 45th St.; 212-786-2068

  • Photo by: Alden Gewirtz

    46th Street: Pernil at Margon

    This garlicky, slow-roasted Cuban pork dish is surely one of the most delicious ways to prepare a pig. Margon rolls theirs out - as a plate with beans and rice - on Wednesdays only. The rest of the week you'll have to content yourself with the almost-as-good pernil sandwich.

    136 W. 46th St.; 212-354-5013

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    47th Street: Chorizo Taco at Guelaguetza

    At this taco shop tucked inside a bodega in the middle of the block, the food is most definitely authentic Mexican. While torta sandwiches are massive and satisfying, opting for tacos lets you sample more, so be sure to get at least one chorizo - juicy meat inside double corn tortillas, topped with cilantro, radishes and (if you're a chile fiend) spicy house salsa.

    526 W. 47th St.; 212-265-2626

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    48th Street: Grilled Sea Bass at Avra Estiatorio 

    Whole fish is priced by the pound at this upscale Greek seafooder, and after the kitchen does its magic, your selection arrives heat-kissed to perfection, with just a drizzle of lemon and olive oil enhancing its fresh flavor. Opt for patio seating in the warmer months for a true Aegean vibe.

    141 E. 48th St.; 212-759-8550

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    49th Street: Yakitori at Sake Bar Hagi

    The time to hit up this subterranean gem off of Times Square is late night, when the wait isn't as long and the pre-theater crowds have moved on. The thing to order is the yakitori skewers. Whether it's chicken, lamb or "pork guts" that strike your fancy, you'll find something to love. Wash down whatever you get with a cold beer, and you're set.

    152 W. 49th St.; 212-764-8549

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    50th Street: Montanara Starita at Don Antonio by Starita

    Like many of the ingredients here, Don Antonio Starita himself was imported from Italy (where he's a Naples pizza legend) to partner with Keste's Roberto Caporuscio on this pizzeria. The Don's teaching his protégé some valuable lessons, if these pies are any indication. The best of the bunch is the Montanara, whose crust gets a brief trip to the deep-fryer before it's topped with fresh tomato sauce and smoked mozz, then baked to oozy deliciousness.

    309 W. 50th St.; 646-719-1043

  • 51st Street: Lunch Deal at Le Bernardin

    Not everyone has hundreds of dollars to drop on chef Eric Ripert's epic creations. So, what should you do if you want to experience the best restaurant in New York (according to our 2014 NYC Restaurants Survey) and still have rent money left over? Hit up the lounge for lunch. You can get a $45 prix fixe menu of Ripert's fare, and $5 of that goes to benefit City Harvest. Dishes rotate, but you're sure to see the restaurant's magic on display.

    155 W. 51st St.; 212-554-1515

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    52nd Street: Bulgogi Sliders at Danji

    Say what you will about slider overkill - you'll want to put all that aside and simply enjoy these mini-sandwiches, which are part-Korean-barbecue and part-Sloppy Joe, dreamed up by Korean chef Hooni Kim. Tender marinated short rib is smeared with sriracha mayo, cradled between pillowy grilled buns and crunched up with cucumber kimchi. It's a winning flavor combination that will never go out of style.

    346 W. 52nd St.; 212-586-2880

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    53rd Street: Sturgeon and Sauerkraut Tart at The Modern

    This light tart is the closest thing to a signature dish that the restaurant in the Museum of Modern Art has, and it's indeed the pièce de résistance. There's a bit of salt courtesy of the American caviar mousseline, a touch of applewood smoke, a bite of pickle from the sauerkraut, and a whole lot of wow from the combo of all of these seemingly disparate flavors.

    9 W. 53rd St.; 212-333-1220

  • Photo by: Gabi Porter

    54th Street: Cocktails at Monkey Bar

    The dining room at Graydon Carter's old-school Midtown eatery has both fans and detractors, but we're always down for a stiff one in the venue's lounge. Whether you're going with one of the creative custom drinks or opting for something tried-and-true, you'll find a cocktail that's as well crafted as the Jazz Age decor.

    60 E. 54th St.; 212-308-2950

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    55th Street: Grand Marnier Prawns at Shun Lee Palace

    Many popular Chinese-American dishes were invented at this glamorous restaurant, which had its heyday in the '70s but is still kicking today, and the Grand Marnier prawns are among these. They're not cheap, but the jumbo prawns - deep-fried, then sautéed in Grand Marnier sauce and piled in a pyramid with steamed broccoli - are delicious and totally classic.

    155 E. 55th St.; 212-371-8844

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    56th Street: Pork Buns at Má Pêche

    Yes, you can get the dish that arguably made David Chang famous above 14th Street. Má Pêche may not get as much buzz as his Downtown haunts, but the dishes are just as distinctive and the vibe is welcoming in this more buttoned-up 'hood. Plus, there are pork buns on the menu for lunch and dinner. 'Nuff said.

    15 W. 56th St.; 212-757-5878

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    57th Street: Fried Pickles at Betony

    Maybe you've tried transplanted Southern fried pickles and found fat chunks of sour cucumber in a breading that turned soggy before you finished chomping. That's not how it goes at Betony, where the delicate pickled peppers in this addictive bar snack are more like an airy fritto misto with a vinegar kick - and all the more savory dunked in the accompanying tzatziki-like dipping sauce.

    41 W. 57th St.; 212-465-2400

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    58th Street: Tableside Crêpes Suzette at Le Cirque

    Dinner at Le Cirque is always a grand affair, full of the kind of old-school drama that characterizes New York fine dining of a certain era. Maybe the best example of this arrives at dessert: opt for the crêpes suzette, and a cart is wheeled over to your table, complete with a burner and small frying pan; the orange-butter pancake in Grand Marnier sauce is prepared tableside, ignited in a burst of flame, and presented to you with a flourish.

    151 E. 58th St.; 212-644-0202

  • 59th Street: Fusilli With Octopus and Bone Marrow at Marea

    Few dishes in the city have achieved the kind of cult status as this irresistible pasta at Michael White's upscale seafood restaurant. Twirls of housemade noodles are topped with octopus, but what really ties the dish together is the addition of bone marrow, which adds a luscious wallop to the mix that makes it one of the best plates of pasta in town.

    240 Central Park S.; 212-582-5100

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    60th Street: Green Tornado Juice at Rouge Tomate

    Haute healthy food is on the menu at this sustainability-conscious Italian, and this attitude extends to the drink list, which highlights fresh-squeezed juices and housemade sodas. While you can, of course, get something alcoholic, the Green Tornado is a nice, virgin change of pace: a green juice made with tarragon, spinach, lettuce and thyme, rounded out by lemon and mint.

    10 E. 60th St.; 646-237-8977

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    61st Street: Lollipop Tree at David Burke Townhouse

    Chef David Burke is known for his playful bursts of whimsy in his creations, and the cheesecake lollipop tree for dessert exemplifies this style. The pops come in various flavors and are served with bubble-gum whipped cream. The whole thing is a bit crazy, but that's why it's such a hit.

    133 E. 61st St.; 212-813-2121

  • 62nd Street: Roasted Turkey Sandwich at 'Wichcraft

    There are plenty of great sandwiches on the menu at Tom Colicchio's lunch shop, which is tucked inside the David Rubenstein Atrium across from Lincoln Center (this locale is great for a pre-show snack on the cheap). When we drop by, we usually stick with a classic: roasted turkey with avocado, bacon, onion relish and aïoli.

    61 W. 62nd St.; 212-780-0577

  • 63rd Street: Burger at P.J. Clarke's

    Sure, there are other things to order at this polished West Side tavern, but why would you get anything other than the burger? Forgoing all the extras available, we prefer ours as described, "simply on a bun" (and as described by our surveyors, "super duper"). 

    44 W. 63rd St.; 212-957-9700

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    64th Street: Octopus at Boulud Sud 

    The octopus with Marcona almond, arugula and Jerez vinegar is the must-try dish at Daniel Boulud's Mediterranean near Lincoln Square, and it's no surprise it's become one of the restaurant's signatures. The tender tentacles are cooked a la plancha, and the consistency is completely on point. The nuttiness of the almonds is a lovely touch, and the acid from some oranges balances the dish.

    20 W. 64th St.; 212-595-1313

  • 65th Street: Dinner at Daniel 

    Brilliance doesn't come cheap, and even though a turn in this dining room might be the most expensive thing on our list, it's worth splashing out for a meal here any time of day. You'll get some of the most attentive service in the city and traditional French fare that's rendered exciting with some nouveau spins, as in the oven-roasted sea bass with syrah sauce and Aleppo pepper. An eight-course tasting menu is $220, but if you don't want to go all out, experience the restaurant's glamour with a cocktail in the lounge.

    60 E. 65th St.; 212-288-0033

  • 66th Street: Branzino at Bistro Chat Noir

    This UES French is something of an oasis in a stretch of town with few dining options. If you go (as many celebrities do), make like Madonna and order the supple fillet of branzino in a pesto sauce, set off nicely by a tomato roasted Provençal-style.

    22 E. 66th St.; 212-794-2428

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    67th Street: Busiate at The Leopard

    The Howard Chandler Christy murals remain intact at this reborn space, which used to house Café des Artistes, but the new Italian menu has become a draw in its own right. This corkscrew pasta is a favorite, prepared with a briny shellfish ragout, pepperoncini and fresh tomatoes.

    1 W. 67th St.; 212-787-8767

  • 68th Street: French Onion Soup at Le Boite en Bois

    When you're in a joint like this, which is about as close to a classic French bistro as you can get, why would you deviate from the classics? The French onion soup is familiar and traditional - it's not meant to blow your mind, it's meant to soothe it.

    75 W. 68th St.; 212-874-2705

  • 69th Street: Lobster Bolognese at Telepan

    Go for one of Bill Telepan's signatures at his UWS namesake. The lobster bolognese is a luxe spaghetti dish accented with light herbs and a shallot-garlic tomato broth, and whether you order it à la carte or as part of the tasting menu, it's worth the visit.

    72 W. 69th St.; 212-580-4300

  • 70th Street: Mussels at Cafe Luxembourg 

    When you drop by this bustling bistro on the UWS, order the standards. There's a reason it's has been in business for so long, and it's not about reinventing the wheel. You can't go wrong with the moules frites - crispy fries served with mussels that are doused in a white wine broth, spiked with shallots, fennel, garlic and thyme.

    200 W. 70th St.; 212-873-7411

  • Photo by: Alden Gewirtz

    71st Street: Baklava at Pasha Turkish

    Baklava is a fairly tempting proposition most of the time: golden layers of phyllo dough, baked and drizzled in syrup or honey. At Pasha, the typical Turkish dessert is sweet but not too sweet, a sticky, delicious end to an upscale Ottoman feast.

    70 W. 71st St.; 212-579-8751

  • Photo by: Alden Gewirtz

    72nd Street: Flatbread at Riposo 72

    In addition to affordable pours of vino, this wine bar offers a solid selection of flatbreads that pair well with the sips. Whether you opt for some soppressata or Serrano ham, or just stick to the sweet combo of tomato, basil and mozzarella, you'll find that these bites hit the spot.

    50 W. 72nd St.; 212-799-4140

  • Photo by: Emily Rothschild

    73rd Street: Pumpking Scone at Alice's Tea Cup 

    It can be hard to choose from the many varieties of scone at this tchotchke-bedecked tea shop, but the pumpkin variety is a favorite for a reason: it's moist and crumbly at the same time, and a little bit decadent thanks to a caramel drizzle on top. You can grab it to go, but it's all the better accompanied by a pot of tea.

    102 W. 73rd St.; 212-799-3006

  • Photo by: Emily Rothschild

    74th Street: Plain Pie at Patsy's Pizzeria

    Yes, this branch is part of a quartet that spun off the true original in East Harlem. But that pizza joint was legendary enough to inspire imitators for a reason, and when you're on the UWS, there's an excellent thin-crust pie to be had here, with just the right amount of fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella, fired in a brick oven and delicately topped off with basil.

    61 W. 74th St.; 212-579-3000

  • 75th Street: J Bird Swizzle Cocktail at J Bird 

    A proper new-school cocktail on the Upper East Side is a reality at this watering hole, with a drink list designed by Jason Littrell of Death & Co. The J Bird Swizzle is a nice example of what you'll find here, a purple-hued crushed-ice affair that's both tart and sweet, with floral jasmine rum, blueberry syrup, lime, orgeat, bitters and a secret spice blend.

    339 E. 75th St.; 212-288-8033

  • 76th Street: Haddock & Chips at Jones Wood Foundry

    This UES haven for well-executed gastropub grub is so authentically British it offers not one, but two varieties of fish 'n' chips: cod or haddock. The one you want is the more flavorful haddock, which emerges moist and meaty beneath its just-crisp breading, accompanied by thick-cut steak fries.

    401 E. 76th St.; 212-249-2700

  • 77th Street: Meatless Monday at Dovetail

    Chef John Fraser has some fun with a variety of tasting menus at his high-end UWS American, and our favorite time to stop by is Monday, when he offers a vegetarian selection showcasing his artistry and the power of well-selected produce. You can order à la carte, but it's worth splurging for three courses plus dessert for $58.

    103 W. 77th St.; 212-362-3800

  • 78th Street: Omakase at Sushi of Gari

    Of all the serious sushi chefs in town, Masatoshi "Gari" Sugio is one of the most playful and least tradition-bound. His top-caliber raw-fish bites provide continuous surprises (amberjack accented with jalapeño, salmon dolloped in tofu sauce), the order of which is best left to the chef himself.

    402 E. 78th St.; 212-517-5340

  • 79th Street: Grilled Fish at FishTag

    Michael Psilakis knows how to honor the fish market's best at this neighborhood favorite, which has recently hit its stride after getting off to a rocky start a couple years ago. You can choose the preparation listed on the menu, or you can order any of the catches grilled and dressed with lemon and olive oil. With that option, the ingredients speak for themselves.

    222 W. 79th St.; 212-362-7470

  • 80th Street: Shrimp Empanada at Cava

    Since this intimate little wine bar offers food inspired by various islands - Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic - it makes sense to order something with seafood. The shrimp empanadas are just the right snack to offset your buzz: crispy pockets filled with meaty crustacean chunks, served with a sweet-sour dipping sauce.

    185 W. 80th St.; 212-724-2282

  • 81st Street: Pork Tenderloin at Crown

    Chef John DeLucie knows how to keep the well-heeled patrons that frequent his swanky UES haunt well fed. Serving classic American fare with understated flourishes, it's the type of joint that's good for any sort of occasion, whether it's special or just a normal night out. For fall, get the Berkshire pork chop plated with Granny Smith apples, baby turnips and mustard-seed jus.

    24 E. 81st St.; 646-559-4880

  • 82nd Street: Guacamole Sampler at Toloache

    Julian Medina's Mexican standout might just have the best guacamole in town - either way, it offers a trio of avocado concoctions so you can make up your mind. There's a traditional tomato- and cilantro-laced version, a spicy "red" variety with chipotle purée, and even a fruity version, with peaches and mangoes tossed into the mix.

    166 E. 82nd St.; 212-861-4505

  • 83rd Street: Udon at Donguri

    You don't have to be big to get a great Food score. Just look at this pint-sized UES Japanese, which earned a 25 in our last restaurants survey. If you can score one of the 24 seats, you'll slurp up a bowl of stellar soba. The buckwheat noodles are amped up with ingredients like shrimp tempura or uni.

    309 E. 83rd St.; 212-737-5656

  • 84th Street: Veal at Elio's

    At a clubby, old-school joint like Elio's, the right thing to order is something classic. Take a cue from the boldface regulars and indulge in the veal, a tender cut that's breaded and smothered in house paillard sauce (a beef version of this dish is also available). 

    1621 Second Ave.; 212-772-2242

  • 85th Street: Sushi at Poke

    Surveyors called out this Yorkville spot for having the "freshest fish" in the neighborhood, and we like it because it's affordable enough to live large without breaking the bank. Order up rolls and sashimi to your heart's desire, and remember to bring a bottle of wine, because this tiny shop doesn't serve booze.

    343 E. 85th St.; 212-249-0569

  • Photo by: Clay Williams

    86th Street: ShackBurger at Shake Shack

    Does this dish need any introduction? Didn't think so. Danny Meyer's patty redefined fast food in New York, and it wasn't a matter of whether it would land on the list, it was a question of which location. There are plenty of higher-end burgers in the city, but there's no denying that in the fast-casual world, the Pat LaFrieda patty with lettuce, tomato, cheese and ShackSauce is the perfect bite. Oh, and this branch was the first to serve hand-cut fries, which we're hoping to see soon at the other Shacks around town.

    154 E. 86th St.; 646-237-5035

  • 87th Street: The Original at Bareburger

    You'll have to sneak around the corner on First Avenue to nab this block's must-try item, which is another of the best burgers in town according to our latest survey. There are plenty of excellent options on the menu, including exotic meats like ostrich and elk, but the Original - a beef patty served with Colby Jack, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, raw red onions and special sauce - is a good place to start.

    1681 First Ave; 212-390-1344

  • 88th Street: Beer at Cafe D'Alsace

    As we get further north, the restaurant selection on the blocks start to thin out. We don't think anyone minds taking a turn onto Second Avenue to taste the brews at this brasserie, which has a list curated by a special beer sommelier. The ever-changing options traverse the world and include some from close to home, like a Bronx Pale Ale brewed just over the Harlem River.

    1695 Second Ave.; 212-722-5133

  • 89th Street: Drinks at Auction House

    This velvet-lined lounge offers a respite from the bro-packed sports bars in this neighborhood. You can pick your poison - the drinks are solid and the romantic vibe makes it a "welcome change" in the area, according to our last survey.

    300 E. 89th St.; 212-427-4458
     

  • 90th Street: Pizza at San Matteo

    The Neapolitan pies at this teeny UES gem are just as they should be: fluffy, charred and topped with goodies ranging from butternut squash to pancetta, so no wonder it makes our list of the city's top pizza places. Take a bite of any of these wood-fired pies to see why.

    1739 Second Ave.; 212-426-6943

  • 91st Street: Family-Style Pasta at Carmine's

    We had to poke around the corner of Broadway to find this street's best chow. While Carmine's Midtown is a bit of a tourist trap, the UWS version of the Italian classic is more subdued. This place was passing around plates, family-style, before that was a cool thing to do in NYC. There's plenty to choose from, but stick to the red-sauce basics.

    2450 Broadway; 212-362-2200

  • 92nd Street: Grilled Meats at Zebu Grill

    It's not the easiest restaurant to get to, but when you do reach this Brazilian in the East 90s, you should reward yourself with some meat. Surveyors call out this spot's churrasco dishes as "fantastic." Oh, and be sure to propel your meat binge with a caipirinha, the signature cocktail. Made with Leblon cachaça, sugar and muddled lime, it's praised by our surveyors (who suggest having more than one).

    305 E. 92nd St.; 212-426-7500

  • 93rd Street: Sushi at Koito

    This hole-in-the-wall Japanese is one of the only restaurants on this street, but neighborhood residents could do a lot worse. It delivers an authentic experience - menus are printed in Japanese and the staff knows its stuff - and even though "cheap" and "sushi" are words you don't normally want to see together, the fish is fresh and you can get out of here spending less than $30 per person.

    310 E. 93rd St.; 212-426-1216

  • Photo by: Alden Gewirtz

    94th Street: Lunch Buffet at Tandoori

    On this sparsely populated street, this North Indian lunch buffet is such a good deal that it's hard to justify ordering anything else. For $8.99, there's an all-you-can-eat lineup that usually includes one or two meats (say, tandoori chicken), some vegetable dishes and dessert.

    210 W. 94th St.; 212-932-7720

  • 95th Street: Pitcher of Sangria at Buceo 95 

    This tapas bar is one of the convivial sidewalk cafes that lends upper Broadway its European feel. Since you'll want to secure a piece of patio real estate and linger, go for the pitcher of sangria, which should buy an hour or two at a table while it sets just the right mood.

    201 W. 95th St.; 212-662-7010

  • Photo by: Alden Gewirtz

    96th Street: Diner Fries at Three Guys

    The crispy fries at this diner are the definition of guilty pleasure. There's nothing fancy about them, but that's the point at a place like this - the type of off-the-radar establishment that NYC is built on, good for dining alone or for bringing the family. Oh, and there's good news for neighbors - they deliver, though the fries are best enjoyed hot out of the oil.

    49 E. 96th St.; 212-348-3800

  • 97th Street: Shrimp Tacos at El Paso Taqueria 

    Any taco is a great bet at this well-loved Mexican (which has two other branches in upper Manhattan), but the shrimp tacos are hard to resist: plump crustaceans marinated in chipotle and lime, and served atop a corn tortilla garnished with cured onions, cabbage and pico de gallo.

    64 E. 97th St.; 212-996-1739

  • 98th Street: Donuts at Dough Loco

    Chef Corey Cova of ABV decided to concentrate on donuts at his new East Harlem shop, and that's a boon for all of us. His cooking background inspired flavors that you won't find at the city's other sweet shops, from maple miso to raspberry Sriracha. The spot is tiny and they do run out fast, especially on the weekends, so drop by early and grab a dozen.

    1261 Park Ave.

  • 99th Street: Carrot Cake at Lloyd's Carrot Cake 

    This bakery has made its signature cake with a family recipe for over 25 years, starting off with a store in the Bronx and recently opening this spin-off that's a hop away from 99th Street. Once you try their housemade cream cheese frosting, all other carrot cakes will pale in comparison.

    1553 Lexington Ave.; 212-831-9156

  • 100th Street: Sauces at Joy Burger Bar 

    The secret's in the sauce this burger bar just north of 100th Street. Start with a conventional patty and then go crazy - the options range from barbecue sauce to more adventurous toppings like spicy mango chutney or sweet chile honey mustard. If you're not all the way Uptown, there's another branch in the West Village at 361 Sixth Avenue.

    1567 Lexington Ave.; 212-289-6222

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