New York City’s restaurant roster is amongst the world’s best, with new establishments popping up all over to satiate the ever-growing foodie scene. And foodies themselves are becoming particularly adept at scouring the thousands of streets, avenues and alleyways to lay claim to their favorite joints. Here are a few of NYC’s hidden, often-missed gems that are equally as foodie-worthy and all the more charming.
Written by Arielle Crane
Give in to the ultimate dining experience at Luksus, a Willliamsburg hideout that offers a seasonal tasting menu from Tuesday-Sunday. It’s got a Scandinavian-inspired menu in a really small space that’s tucked behind the Torst beer hall. Bonus points for adding the craft-beer pairing option to your booking to enhance this intimate experience.
615 Manhattan Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389 6034
This hidden Japanese brasserie offers authentic seasonal small plates in intimate semi-private booth tables, offering a complete respite from NYC’s usual restaurant bustle. The cuisine goes beyond typical Japanese cuisine and offers savory Tokyo-inspired fare that changes every 5 months. It’s a no-frills place that serves what it knows, and does it well.
77 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 388 8985
The Garret East
The Garret East bar Avenue A does a great job at concealing this cozy dining spot; just ring the doorbell and enter this homey kitchenette-style room that serves up to 20 people. The menu has an Italian-slant with a rotating list of biodynamic wines and Italian beers to match. The place doesn’t take reservations, but that’s part of its walk-right-in charm.
206 Avenue A, New York, NY 10003
Slip inside this West Village hotspot through it’s psychic reading storefront and enjoy the Golden Age-inspired cocktails and speakeasy vibe. The bar is a top mixology destination for good reason with employees that are equally as dapper.
510 Hudson St. New York
(212) 242 3021
The Back Room
Tucked in an alleyway on Norfolk St., The Back Room is a throwback to the Prohibition-era where it served as one of only two speakeasies that operated during the 20s in NYC. Today, the space still pays homage to its discrete and gangster-ridden past with drinks served solely in tea cups or paper bags and ‘The Lower East Side Toy Company’ as its facade. Come in and sit by the fireplace or on any of their plush Victorian-style couches.
102 Norfolk St.New York, NY 10002
(212) 228 5098
This speakeasy inspired Japanese joint is easy to miss; walk through Village Yokocho and enter perhaps the classiest bar in the East Village overlooking Stuyvesant Square. With tuxedoed bartenders, a well-crafted cocktail list, and beautiful decor that harks back to 1920s Tokyo, no detail in this intimate bar is overlooked.
8 Stuyvesant St. New York, NY 10003
(212) 777 5415
Blurring the line between gallery and bar is Fig. 19, a LES hotspot frequented by those in the know. The real allure is the bars exclusivity and elegant decor; sip on carefully crafted cocktails amongst countless candles, chandeliers and dark wood tables.
131 1/2 Chrystie St. New York, NY 10002
This exclusive basement brassiere and tequila bars for the ultra-insiders; even the people who frequent the taqueria barely know about this dungeon hotspot. If you can get down there, the sleek place offers up some seriously good Mexican fare and drinks to match. Order the Coco Muy Loco and prepare to stay while.
114 Kenmare St. New York, NY 10012
(646) 613 7100
Beauty & Essex
Hidden behind a pawn shop is Beauty & Essex, an uber-chic restaurant/lounge that exudes glamour in every crevice and serves up eclectic globally inspired small plates. Once inside of this two-story sprawling space, don’t be fooled by the luxurious decor; the food is just as drool-worthy.
146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
(212) 614 0146
Only with a referral and access to a secret phone number can you score a spot at this popular NoHo Japanese eatery that’s located behind a butcher shop. If you do get lucky, the low-ceilinged bar welcomes you with a Zen-focused design and beautifully crafted drinks.
57 Great Jones St., New York, NY 10012
Burger Joint @ Le Parker Meridien
Just behind the curtain in the lobby of Le Park Meridien hotel is the buzzy, cash-only Burger Joint, a nice contrast from the hotel’s upscale front. The place is forever-teeming with people lined up to score some seriously good burgers and shakes. This space’s magic is in its simplicity.
119 West 56th St, New York, NY 10019
(212) 708 7414
Sons of Essex
Located behind a deli counter that actually serves food – is known best for its bougie kid comfort food. The vintage atmosphere plays homage to the Lower East Side’s roots and the plates resemble a melting pot of immigrant-influenced flavors as well as local ingredients. Try out the Truffle Grilled Cheese or Mac and Cheese Balls and enjoy the homey vibe replete with 90s jams.
133 Essex St, New York, NY 1002
(212) 674 7100
From the team behind Roberta’s, the popular Bushwick pizzeria, comes their newest venture Blanca, a reservation-only restaurant fit for 12 people. The space is located in an airy loft behind the pizza place and serves a sleek tasting menu of New American fare featuring snow-crab legs from Alaska and delicious Wagyu beef carpaccio.
261 Moore St. Brooklyn, NY 11206
House of Small Wonders
Serving cafe style food for your day time fix, House of Small Wonder is a quaint treehouse-like recluse for people looking to escape for a bit. It’s an easy to miss spot so be sure to look for the giant wood wall. Once inside, enjoy the greenhouse decor and calming ambiance – plus, the croissant french toast is hard to beat.
77 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211