10 Must-Try Restaurants in the NYC Area

I love food. I love food that is good for you, I love food that is bad for you but tastes good for you. I even love food that is bad for you and makes you feel bad afterwards. I love eating until I’m painfully full and can’t walk and all I can do is complain about how full I am. And I especially love carbs. Carbs are just the best.

Now, I am by no means a New York City food connoisseur. In fact, one of my goals in life is to become said food connoisseur and know all the best places with the best hidden treats (specifically fried mac and cheese balls, which are, for the record, a food that makes you feel bad afterwards).

But for now, I’m just a regular girl who occasionally goes out to eat and takes six or seven almost identical photos of her food from slightly different angles.

Now, it’s time for (you guessed it!) me to show you these photos and talk all about the mouth-watering,  decadent meals I once ate that I wish I could regurgitate and eat all over again. Sorry if that’s too graphic for you, but I 100% mean it. You know you’ve wished it too.

These are in no specific order, just places I would 10/10 recommend.

Banc Cafe, Kips Bay

Banc is a cozy little place in the heart of Kips Bay. I’ve been there quite a few times and although often it is quite dark and I cannot see my food, it’s always very pleasing by the time it meets my mouth. They make a mean quesadilla and I am a sucker for a good ‘dilla. So, Banc makes the list. (Wine did not disappoint either.)

Agave, West Village

Although I’ve only been to Agave once, that time truly filled me with joy in the form of nachos and tacos. Their frozen margaritas (yes, you can bet your bottom dollar I had more than one) were equally as delectable, and the ambiance created was a great way to end my Friday. Not to mention I got to sit outside and watch all the cute little puppies walk by. Nothing quite like tacos, tequila, and puppies to brighten up your day.

Roberta’s Pizza, Broadway Bites, Greeley Square

It’s always an exciting time when Broadway Bites comes to town. Although it makes walking through Herald and Greeley Square even worse (if that’s humanly possible), the wide array of decadent food choices certainly eases the pain. My personal favorite is Roberta’s. There’s just something satisfying about watching someone make your personal pizza (by the way, I believe any pizza is a personal pizza if you believe in yourself) in the middle of New York City in a giant wood burning stove and then scream your (incorrect) name and shove the newborn baby pizza fresh out of the womb into your hands on a paper plate. No but, in all seriousness, it’s really really good.

Margherita’s Cafe, Hoboken

Living in my first apartment in Hoboken was rough at times. It was a good distance away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, which might be good for families but for me it was mostly just a pain. However, I found a hidden gem in Margherita’s; it was the one good thing about 8th Street living. Their penne vodka is definitely to die for, and their portion sizes are big enough to put you in a carbohydrate-induced coma. Indeed my favorite variety of food comas.

Wicked Wolf, Hoboken

Wicked Wolf is great because you can go out there at night, have a wild and crazy time, drag your half-dead zombie body home to pass out, and then reappear there the next day to nurse your (definitely-not-worth-it-for-how-average-your-night-was) hangover. My personal favorite; the buffalo chicken wrap. I find the spiciness of the buffalo sauce does a good job scaring my hangover away by competing with it for the total and absolute 100% dehydration of my body. The fries rock too; crunchy, crispy, and salty. The best.

The Taco Truck, Hoboken

I had yet to discover The Taco Truck in Hoboken until a friend invited me to a private event co-hosted by the restaurant along with Tanteo Tequila. For the record, I had one of the best (and spiciest) margaritas of my life made with the Tanteo Tequila that day. They also follow me on Instagram, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, the Taco Truck tacos were delicious and I would have had at least three more if not for the ever-watching (and judgmental) eyes of the other “instagrammers” attending the event. Actually, they probably wouldn’t have cared but I prioritized getting another margarita instead.

Anthony David’s, Hoboken

I had heard a whole lot of hype about Anthony David’s in Hoboken (and seen the line for brunch wrap halfway around the block) but it took really experiencing it to believe it. I dragged my boyfriend, Matt, there one day for a super late brunch. And when I say dragged I mean he held me up as we trudged through the snow. Our fashionably late desire for breakfast food (approximately 2:30pm on a Sunday) boded in our favor as there was one table with no wait. The food was arguably the best brunch I have ever had. They made that omelette with love and nothing else. Except eggs, cheese, avocado, and some other great stuff. But mostly love, I could taste it.

Emack & Bolio’s, Upper East Side

The first time I went to Emack & Bolio’s was in Millburn near the house I grew up in. Now, I’m not much of a sweets person, but I sure do love ice cream and I SURE do love incorporating rice krispie treats into my life in as many ways possible. And if that means melding them to an ice cream cone and preparing to hate myself for eating the whole thing, then sign me up. So when I realized there were locations in New York as well, I made the trek to the Upper East Side (wishing I was dressed more like Serena and Blair and less like me wearing ripped yoga pants and slippers) to get myself a serious ice cream cone. And that’s just what I did, and every bite reminded me that there are certainly things that taste better than skinny feels.

Amicii II, Little Italy

This restaurant actually holds a special place in my heart because it – this is the moment where you think I’m about to get truly sentimental, but I’m actually just exposing what a degenerate I am – would serve us alcohol when we were sixteen years old. For every birthday celebrated in high school, we would make the trek (via good ole New Jersey Transit) all the way into the city so we could get served underage by kind, old Italian (were they even actually Italian?) men and drink sangria and limoncello and then have no idea how to get home. In any case, the food was great then and just as great when I went back a few weeks ago. Although in high school I didn’t give a second thought when it came to calories, so I think it might have tasted even better now.

Gino’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, Howard Beach, Queens

Shoutout to Matt for introducing me to Gino’s, a delicious Italian restaurant he grew up eating at. I have to take a moment and pay tribute to Gino’s bread; it is unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. You know the free bread that they bring to you when you’re waiting for your meal? Yes, that bread. That bread could have been my meal and I would have thanked them and paid thousands. Well, maybe not thousands. Hundreds maybe. But it was free and that was even better. The pasta was great too but, wow, something about that bread. I should probably write them a Yelp review.

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Millburn Deli, Millburn, NJ

And – bonus item! I couldn’t leave out one of my all time favorite places to eat. While this one is not exactly in the New York area, it’s pretty close despite everyone’s desire to pretend New Jersey doesn’t exist because it doesn’t deserve to. Anyway, the Millburn Deli is truly the deli of all delis. I have dreams about their Griller #8 (pictured above… even the picture makes me drool) and can house the entire thing in five minutes flat. I feel like dying afterwards, but it’s definitely worth it. If you ever happen to be stranded in the hole that is central New Jersey (fully kidding, Jersey girl till I die) make sure you go to Millburn Deli. If the never ending line doesn’t kill you, the immense and unimaginable joy you experience from whatever beautiful sandwich you choose to bless your body with certainly will.