NYC Favorites

Best Burger

Bacon Cheeseburger at The Little Owl

Bacon Cheeseburger at The Little Owl

The Little Owl – 90 Bedford Street

Tucked away in a cozy storefront on Bedford Street in the West Village (and the same building that was used for the exterior shots in the TV show Friends), the Little Owl serves our favorite burger in New York.  The burger is made by Pat Lafrieda and is a combination of brisket and shortrib.  It is then topped with aged cheddar and two strips of smokey bacon.  But the real star is the housemade bun which is both light but durable enough to withstand the juicy goodness from the burger.

Other favorites: Minetta Tavern (Black Label Burger), JG Melon (Bacon Cheeseburger),  Shake Shack (Smokestack), The Breslin (Lamb Burger). 

Best Pizza

Margarita pie at Keste

Margarita pie at Keste

Keste – 271 Bleecker Street

New York City is home to many great pizza places.  But our recent favorite is Keste, a small spot in the West Village that makes Neapolitan style pies.  The crust is a little thicker than New York standbys like Grimaldi’s and John’s and  it gives the center of the pizza a nice doughiness to complement the more crispy bites around the edges.  And the sauce on their margarita is delicious – zesty with just enough sweetness.  In addition to their red pies, we are also a fan of the Pistacchio e Salsiccia – a white pizza with sausage and pesto sauce.

Other favorites: Rubirosa, Al Forno (Upper East Side), John’s (West Village).  

Best Pastry

Toffee Glazed Brioche Bun from Mailino

Toffee Glazed Brioche Bun from Mailino

Maialino – 2 Lexington Avenue

I can’t even tell you how hard it is for me to pick just one favorite pastry in NYC.  I love them all.  But if I have to pick, it is the toffee glazed brioche bun at Maialino.  The first time TheBetterHalf and I tried it, we had to order a second one because it was that good!  And every time we have been back, it is consistently amazing.  Rich, moist brioche dough topped with a buttery, toffee glaze – every brunch should start out like that!

Other favorites: Palmier at Maison Kayser, Chocolate Croissant at Balthazar, palmier at Epicerie Boulud.

Best Gelato

Gelato at Cones

Gelato at Cones

Cones Ice Cream Artisans – 272 Bleecker St

There are lots of amazing gelato spots in NYC, but I keep going back to Cones. I have loved cones since I first tried it when I was a summer intern in NYC! They have so many amazing flavors to choose from. I almost always get some combo of chocolate, hazelnut, and pistachio, but their fruit flavors are outstanding too. Make sure to sample the corn – it sounds weird, but it is really tasty!

Other favorites: Sant Ambroues (Upper East Side) and Eataly  



Best Chicken

Barbuto Chicken

Roast Chicken topped with Salsa Verde at Barbuto

Barbuto – 775 Washington Street

Remember the days when the chicken entree on the menu was an afterthought? Well they’re long gone. Now it seems every new restaurant in New York has a “must-try” chicken dish. But as good as these newcomers are, the best chicken dish in the city remains the roast chicken at Barbuto. The chicken is incredibly moist and has a delicious crispy skin. It is simply seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with a salsa verde. It’s excellent with an order of Barbuto’s crispy potatoes!

Other favorites: Charlie Bird (West Village), Chicken Milanese at Antonucci (Upper East Side) , Sfoglia (Upper East Side) and Betony (Midtown)  

One thought on “NYC Favorites

  1. Wow–never heard of The Little Owl and I’ve lived here for ages! In my neighborhood, Mitchell London’s Burgers and Cupcakes has really great burgers, in my opinion, as well as The Mercury Bar on 9th Ave. Haven’t tried Keste, but the same chef runs Don Antonia in Hell’s Kitchen–love it!

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