Our top picks
80 Spring St, Between Broadway & Crosby
In the heart of SoHo, this French/American bistro is a New York institution – a beautifully decorated space with high ceilings mirrored walls and tiled floors. Enjoy oysters and steak Frites at red-leather booths, and don’t be surprised if you are seated near Hollywood stars, models, and fashion editors such as Vogue’s Anna Wintour (a regular). TIP: Book well in advance.
15 E 7th St
Opened in 1854, McSorley’s is the oldest bar in New York, and it shows. There is sawdust on the floor, antique furnishings and aproned staff serve only two varieties of beer – light or dark ale at US$5 for two. John Lennon and Abraham Lincoln are among the patrons who have passed through its swinging saloon doors.
Eat like a NY local
119 W 56th St, Between 6th & 7th Ave
New York's best-kept burger secret is hard to find but well worth the effort. Located behind a velvet curtain in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien Hotel, this small diner, replete with vinyl booths, does a roaring trade, serving what many believe are the best burgers in NYC.
42 Grove St, Between Bedford & Bleecker St
Be transported to Paris at this stylish wine bar and restaurant in Grove St, West Village. It is a cosy hideaway in winter. In summer nab a table in the garden and enjoy tapas-style French bistro fare. TIP: The cassoulet is delicious but save room for the chocolate mousse, which is rich and luscious.
235 Mulberry St, Near Soho
This rustic Italian restaurant serves some of the best and thinnest pizza in New York as well as plenty of traditional pasta dishes. Located in the trendy Nolita neighbourhood, it is a locals' favourite, so be sure to make a reservation. There is even a gluten-free menu. TIP: Try the vodka pizza.