Chef Bobby Hellen's Favorite NYC Eats

The chef behind GG's shares his favorite haunts
August 1, 2016
·
by Zagat Staff

Staten Island native Bobby Hellen is the chef behind Alphabet City neighborhood favorite GG's, known for their Grandma Pie (which even inspired a beach towel) and killer burger. When he's not working those super-hot pizza ovens, here's where you can find him dining around town.

Mr. Donahue's
NoLita · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.1

The chef-owners of Uncle Boons tap into Americana at this NoLita nook focused on diner-style plates that highlight meats with a choice of two sides. With just a handful of seats in the vintage-style space, it’s geared toward both eat-in and takeout; P.S. cash is not accepted.
Denino's Pizzeria
Elm Park · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

“Always a contender for Staten Island's best” , this circa-1937 Elm Park pizzeria (with a Greenwich Village offshoot) turns out “phenomenal” pies with “the most remarkable” crispy crusts (not to mention “out-of-this-world” fried calamari); it's cash only and the space is “no-frills” to put it mildly, but “bargain” tabs help keep it perennially packed.
Mayfield
American · Crown Heights · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“A real find” in Crown Heights, this “comfortable” New American offers a “creative” lineup of “Southern-influenced” plates in charmingly “rough-and-tumble” digs; staffers who “know what they're doing” suit the happening neighborhood, but the “price point is vintage Brooklyn.”
Takahachi
Sushi · East Village · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.1

“Creative sushi” and “excellent” Japanese home-cooking basics at a favorable “quality-to-price ratio” earn these neighborhood spots “favorite” status; a “helpful” staff adds warmth to the “nothing-fancy” setups, which “bustle” at prime times.
Goodnight Sonny
East Village · $$

Replacing Simone, this East Village hangout comes via the owners of The Wayland and offers market-driven cocktails, a raw bar and sandwiches till the wee hours. Designed with a tile floor, a light-wood bar and lots of vintage framed photos and books, it’s also brightened up by tall, expansive windows and a bar full of seasonal fruits.