COTE

Cote is a place you come to for the experience AND the food. It's a super high-quality Korean steakhouse where everything is grilled in front of you and served with sides. Unlike traditional Korean Steakhouses where you are meant to cook the meat yourself, this place does it for you. So you literally don’t have to lift a finger. The tables are also massive here, you can hardly hear the person across from you- so this is either a great thing or a downfall. They have a tasting menu option for $40 and you get 4 different cuts of meat. Definitely worth it to do this as you get a good range of steaks. The steak is absolutely divine and the atmosphere is fun and feels like a nice night out.  I would recommend coming with a small group, maybe 4-6 people. Hard af to get a res so you better have a restaurant whisperer on the case!


Cuisine: Korean, Steak

Location: Flatiron

Vibe: Modern

Favorites: Wagyu

Money: $$$$

Shuko

 

I’ll start with the fact that I am a huge sushi lover, and I love nothing more than an amazing Omakse. I mean 10+ pieces of sushi presented to me piece by piece on a platter is obviously going to have me feeling things not to mention you don’t even have to look at a menu and decide, you have no choice! It’s truly fantastic to me. While I am still working through a vast must-try Omakase spots in NYC, Shuko takes the cake so far. I say this because of the combination of the food and atmosphere. I opted for the Kaiseki option, meaning there was more than just sushi involved but also non traditional items such as wagyu. I am not a sushi purist by any means so I love when great Omakases add a little fun to the tasting menu. The atmosphere is also really cozy here, when you step through the doors it feels like you are entering some hip speakeasy bar in lower Manhattan, when in reality you are stepping into a 4 star Japanese restaurant. They play a great range of music and there are about 4 tables and then bar seating. This place is great for date night and obviously if you are a sushi lover. Highly suggest. 


Cuisine: Japanese, Omakase

Location: East Village

Vibe: Cozy

Favorites: Omakase

Money: $$$$

Babu Ji

I love Indian food but I never ever go because it’s just too heavy for me most of the time. I have heard amazing things about Babu Ji, and finally managed to snag a reservation during restaurant week! The second I walked into the new location in Union Square, I knew I would be reeking of Tandori the rest of the night. Good job I made plans to go out and wore my tightest pair of jeans and bodysuits- big mistake. We had a choice of an appetizer, entree and a desert. I was with 4 people so we were able to try 1 of everything from the set menu. The entrees were incredibleeeee and the garilc naan and basmati rice were to die for. It’s the perfect meal for a hangover. The space is also very modern and chic, good for a 3 or 4th date when you know you won’t be going out after. Next time I have a craving for Indian, i’ll deff be hitting up Babu Ji, ideally on a hungover date with my stretchy pants on.


Cuisine:Indian

Location: Flatiron

Vibe: Modern

Favorites: Butter Chicken, Spicy Cauliflower, Garlic Naan

Money: $$$$

The Bao

The Bao used to be one of the best places in NYC to get soup dumplings, so much so it’s literally called The Bao. It’s Sunday morning, i’m hungover and the only thing that could possibly cure this is a fantastic soup dumpling, so naturally I find myself in an uber to The Bao. After being seated, I notice there’s something missing from the menu- the bao. They are literally not serving soup dumplings anymore. Ironic to be called The Bao when you literally don't serve the product. Anyway, when I got over my frustration and ordered everything else on the menu, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The dan dan noodles, wontons in chili oil and friend dumplings are great.  The space is cute but pretty brightly lit, go on a date or with another avid soup dumpling fan. There’s also noe massive table in the middle so avoid being sat there.  It’s in the heart of St. Marks so great if you want to walk around after to grab a drink this is a great location.


Cuisine: Chinese

Location: East Village

Vibe: Casual

Favorites: Wontons in Chili oil, Dan Dan noodles, fried pork dumplings in soup

Money: $$$

Omakase Room by Tatsu

This 8 seat traditional Japanese omakase spot in West Village is fantastic. Chef Tatsuya likes to focus on very different fishes, he hails from sushi Yasuda so brings some of his background knowledge from there and adds his own spin on things. There are not a lot of extra flavors- pure fish. The space is very traditional- brightly lit, all wood. Its very small so make sure you don't bring someone who will make a nuisance. Chef Tatsuya is freaking adorable and doesnt stop smiling, also make sure to not move your sushi tray from the top counter and OF COURSE eat your sushi with your hands. he will correct your western technique if you dare attempt.


Cuisine: Omakase, Japanese

Location: West Village

Vibe: Modern

Favorites: Scallop 

Money: $$$$$

Ivan Ramen

Ivan ramen got a lot of hype due to the Netflix show Chef’s table, but I'm a die hard Ippudo fan so I was skeptical to try this place. You know when you'r super hungover and the only thing in the world that will save you is a nice bowl of ramen? Well this isn’t your place. They do a different style ramen, with minced chicken and chicken broth. Not knowing this prior to going I was a little thrown off as all I REALLY wanted was a simple traditional pork based ramen. The waiter had to explain everything to us and how they do things differently. I basically got all the ingredients of a ramen bowl on a plate and a side bowl of broth. While it was good, the next time I have a raging hangover that only ramen can fix- I’ll be in the line at Ippudo.


Cuisine: Ramen, Japanese

Location: Lower East Side

Vibe: Modern, Cozy

Favorites: Chicken and paitan and the shoyu tonkotsu tsukemen

Money: $$

Bond St

Bond St is one of my favorite spots in NYC. It's the perfect combination of sceney, classic, great sushi AND it's located on my favorite street in the city. Bond St has great sushi- you can have a range of things that will please everyone. The tuna pizza is to die for, rolls are great and meats are very good too. They also have one of my favorite spicy tequila drinks, my absolute trigger. Good for celebrations, girls night out or if you are hosting people from out of town. I prefer to sit downstairs by the bar, but upstairs 

Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho wan is an acclaimed Dim Sum restaurant based in Hong Kong. I went to the original location 2 years ago and have been craving it ever since. Naturally when one opened up in East Village I had to go. Every time I tried to go there was a line wrapped around the block, so I’ve been discouraged for months. I finally bit the bullet and went even though the wait was still 45 minutes, it was worth it. While this is not my favorite dim sum spot in NYC, it is pretty great. The pork buns, rice noodles and sticky rice are my favorites. The interior is a typical modern vibe, go here with someone who loves dumplings as much as you do. This is a traditional cantonese style dim sum,  so you went get a huge variety, and sadly no xia long bao.


Cuisine: Dim Sum , Cantonese

Location: East Village

Vibe: Modern  

Favorites: Bake pork Buns

Money: $$

Kanoyama

Kanoyama is great because it’s a very versatile spot. You can go for just a casual sushi dinner or you can go drop $400 on a 15 course Omakase with Nobuson (which I highly recommend). The sushi quality is great here and I like to call this sort of place “clean sushi” meaning they don’t do rolls with stuff like spicy crunch or cream cheese in them. You get sashimi and pretty basic rolls and that’s that. I had originally tried this spot before I knew about their Omakase in the back of the restaurant. My first impression was MEH, it's good but i've definitely had better. The place is very brightly lit so not a great ambiance for a first date. It's great for sushi lovers who want a good Omakase in a somewhat casual setting.


Cuisine: Sushi, Omakase

Location: East Village, NYC

Vibe: Casual, Modern

Favorites: Omakase

Money: $$$$

Ippudo

I’ll start with the fact that nothing cures my hangovers like a big bowl of steamy ramen. I had heard about Ippudo from so many people and doubted that this was as amazing as everyone said, but I was mistaken. This is by far the best Ramen in NYC. In typical NYC fashion they don’t take reservations and while you will no doubt have to wait up to an hour, it’s completely worth it. The place is actually bigger than it appears upon entry. The décor is very cool with wooden tables and shit hanging from the ceiling. Everything about this place is so right. You HAVE to start with the pork buns they are absolutely incredible, the Shishito peppers and cucumbers are pretty good starters as well. They have all your classic Ramens. I always opt for the spicy Karaka Men but the modern is great too. This place is good for any occasion- date night? Cold out? Feeling sad? Hungover? Or just craving ramen? 1000% go here, definitely a repeat in my books.


Cuisine: Ramen, Japanese 

Location: East Village, NYC

Vibe: Casual

Favorites: Pork buns, Karaka Men ramen

Money: $$

Sushi By Bou

Ok I can't rave about this place enough. I am a huge fan of sushi and this has to be one of the best omakase's in the city for its value. 12 courses, 30 minutes $50. They have all the basics; tuna,toro, salmon, scallop and then more non-traditional sushi, like torched Wagyu. They have this special dubbed “the big mac” (pictured below) which is one of the best things I have put in my mouth. Torched Wagyu+Uni+truffle 'nough said. This is one of my go to spots in the city. In typical NYC style you have to text to get a res. They have you in and out of there pretty much 30 min on the dot so don’t be late. Make sure your phone is charged, you’ll want snap them flaming that Wagyu and neon sign.


Cuisine: Sushi, Omakase


Location: Flatiron


Vibe: Fast- casual


Favorites: Wagyu Uni and Scallop


Money: $$

Oiji

Oiji is the definition of a hidden gem in NYC. It’s never too busy, the food is great, service is good and the ambiance is cute. I’m not sure why this place doesn’t have more hype than it does- but glad there isn't a line out the door. It’s a very inconspicuous place in the heart of East Village. Everything on the menu here is fantastic. They do shareable portions- which is also a trigger for me. I love to try everything on a menu so this is the ideal situation. I suggest trying literally as much as you can, the fried chicken, pork belly, baby octopus, scallops and butter rice . This place also happens to have my favorite dessert in NYC. If you told me that I would say one of my favorite desserts included ice cream and potato chips I would say you're crazy. You truly have to try this dish for yourself- vanilla ice cream with potatoes chips that have been deep fried in butter and honey are to die for. It’s one of those things you have once and you wake up months later drooling over. This place is dark so good for dates.


Cuisine: Korean

Location: East Village, NYC

Vibe: Modern, Chic

Favorites: Fried Chicken, Honey butter chips with ice cream 

Money: $$$