If you follow any fashion or lifestyle blogger who has ever visited New York and posted about it, you’d deduce that there are only 5 restaurants in the entire city. By Chloe, Jack’s Wife Freda, Mother’s Ruin, The Butcher’s Daughter and Two Hands. Sound familiar? Even if you don’t live in NYC you’ve definitely seen these places on Instagram or read about them in “Cool Places to Go in New York” lists. Let me assure you, there are plenty of other restaurants worth visiting here.
This is not to say those places aren’t great—but you should expect impossible wait times, an uncomfortably crowded space and overpriced food. Going to trendy places is fun, especially if you’re doing it for the ‘gram, but there’s something about being in a spot where thousands of other bloggers are staging flat lays on the tables around you that makes it feel unspecial.
But don’t worry—I’m here to help. I’ve rounded up a list of some of my favourite restaurants in New York City that are never super crowded, but still grammable and cool.
I’m very nervous about posting about Freud because it is THE BEST and I want it to stay my little secret, but let’s be honest, I’m sure not that many people are reading this blog. Freud is an Austrian restaurant that has the best schnitzel I’ve ever had…and I’ve been to Austria. Their burger and spätzle are also amazing. They have an incredible wine list and a pretty great brunch scene too.
The vibe of this place is what takes it to the next level. Candles everywhere, a long wooden bar, modern light fixtures and omg the bathrooms, trust me, they are adorable. I promise you this place is amazing and walk-ins are always possible.
This place is usually busy for the after work crowd since it’s in Midtown, but weekends are usually chill. In the warmer months they have a great sidewalk patio and the bright modern interior is stunning.
Order the meatballs, mac n’ cheese balls and pulled pork sandwich…pretty much anything and everything. You won’t be disappointed.
CASIMIR & CO
I’ve only been here for brunch but it was the best French toast I’ve ever had in my life. It also came with a free glass of champagne. We walked right in and got a beautiful seat outside–the perfect spot to relax on a Sunday and people watch Upper East Siders.
If you’re a Manhattan-only person this place isn’t for you—but it’s definitely worth trekking out to Bed-Stuy for.
It’s Cuban food at it’s finest. Fresh mojitos that I couldn’t resist even when I was violently hungover, orgasmic empanadas and incredible arroz con pollo. It’s set in a cozy, airy space with a beautiful bright bar and friendly service.
GELSO & GRAND
Come for the cheescake, stay for the cheescake. I mean their pizza and pasta is great too but the cheescake is what really does it. It’s on a buzzy street in Little Italy and feels delightfully New York. In warmer months there is fabulous outdoor seating along the sidewalk and all the windows are open making this place feel even more exciting.
THE WAVERLY INN
I think this place is pretty well known but am surprised that I never see it pop up on my feed as much as it should. The Waverly Inn hosts many celebrities (though I’ve still never seen one there…or anywhere in NYC for that matter) so reservations are a little more difficult to snag and it’s probably the most expensive option on this list. That being said, it’s set in an incredibly intimate townhouse tucked on a dreamy street in the West Village which makes it perfect for a romantic dinner. The chicken pot pie is life-changing and just being in this dimly lit, vintage decorated place will make you feel hella fancy.
What are some of your favourite under the radar restaurants in NYC or in other cities?