As a born and bred New Yorker, I can confidently say that I have a strong understanding of the dining scene in New York City. I have acquired a balanced palate that can appreciate both fine dining establishments as well as rustic and simple cafes and dives that pepper the boroughs. This is an evolving list that will continue to expand exponentially as I continue my ever-growing appreciation of the New York City restaurant scene. Not everything listed is super “crunchy” and healthy; as I do enjoy dining out, even if it does not have health and wellness in mind.
Having worked as a hostess, bartender, and server for over five years in my somewhat formative period, I have acquired an innate understanding of how well-oiled restaurants run. I appreciate the attention to detail from the moment you enter to the time that you leave, the synchronicity of staff, the knowledge of a server, and the coordination from kitchen to table.
Here are my Radish Approved-Radish Recs NYC
Barney Greengrass- Feel transported in time with the best sturgeon scramble from the “Sturgeon King”, with a side of curmudgeon, on the Upper West Side.
541 Amsterdam Avenue at 86th Street New York, NY
Brooklyn Roasting Company- The. Best. Coffee. Dumbo location gives you your jolt with a waterfront view.
Fairway Café- Although located on the second floor of the Upper West Side grocery store, this “market to table” establishment dishes up a fantastic brunch. Interesting and simple omelet combos, soups, salads, and smoked fish platters appeal to most palates. Mitchel London’s silver dollar pancakes are the ideal compliment to any meal and should not be missed!
2127 Broadway New York, NY
Jack's Wife Freda - Picture perfect photos of this trendy spot are splattered across Instagram, but for good reason. Jack's Wife Freda lives up to the delectable pictures. Mediterranean focused, I typically go for a gorgeous bowl of matzoh ball soup or an Mediterranean breakfast which includes two eggs any style, labne, avocado, chopped salad, and pita.
50 Carmine Street New York, NY or 224 Lafayette Street New York, NY
Juice Press - For your juice fix and a quick, healthy, and accessible bite, Juice press is your spot. With multiple locations through out the city and now Brooklyn, you do not have to look too far to fulfill your green juice needs. Organic and mostly gluten free, my go-to juices are the Doctor Earth or O.M.G. The raw oatmeal and collard wrap are also great raw options on the run.
Foragers City Table- Market to table embodied at this Chelsea establishment. Foragers Market in Brooklyn and in Chelsea offers an array of locally sourced and sustainable products geared to the consumers' overall wellness. The same values shine through at the Chelsea restaurant located at the back of the market. The farm to table driven menu lists the food's purveyors and origin, many of which come from the restaurant's nearby farm. Lovely tartines, omelets, ricotta pancakes, and the most delicious rosemary potatoes occupy the brunch menu at this Chelsea pick.
300 West 22nd Street New York, NY
Little Owl- The quintessential West Village restaurant is intimate and quaint with killer sliders (for meat eaters), delicately dressed salads, and perfectly sized kale and potato fritatatti. Dinner is even lovelier when the jewel box sized establishment becomes ensconced with candlelight.
90 Bedford Street New York, NY
Russ and Daughters Café and Russ and Daughters- Grab a “super heebster” which consists of baked salmon and whitefish salad, horseradish dill cream cheese and wasabi roe on an everything bagel and enjoy it in the park. Or opt for a sit-down affair and head over to the beautiful café for a coffee soda, potato pancakes, and smoked fish platters.
Cafe: 127 Orchard Street, New York, NY Store: 172 E. Houston Street, New York, NY
Butchers Daughter- Vegan and avocado toast aficionado’s flock to this NOHO café. My green-centric meal of choice is the spicy kale cesar with 7-grain croutons and tempeh with a green goddess juice.
19 Kenmare Street New York, NY
Dimes - A bowl lovers paradise, with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options to make any veghead happy. Located in the outskirts of Chinatown, Dimes offers a quite and trendy respite from the hustle outside. Acai bowls, veggie bowls, fresh juices, teas, and elixirs make up a majority of the menu.
49 Canal Street New York, NY
Lenny’s- The number 11 is the ultimate veghead sandwich to end all veghead sandwiches. Avocado, lettuce, tomato, carrots, cucumber, sprouts, red cabbage, swap the sweet peppers for hot peppers, add spicy mustard, get it on toasted 7-grain bread, and you are in business.
Melvin's Juice Box- An organic Jamaican themed juice bar puts many unique spins on juices and smoothies. Alongside seaweed and quinoa salads and ginger spiked green juices you can find the tastiest baked callaloo and potato patty bursting with greens. Homemade hot sauces serve as a great compliment to the food, and Brooklyn Roasting Company Blue Mountain coffee is on hand if you need more than a green juice to give you a jolt.
130 W. Houston New York, NY
Nourish Kitchen + Table- Everything I want from a cafe. Local, sustainable, and deliciously simple food presented in a picture perfect manner. Owned by the registered dietitian Marissa Lippert, you know what you're eating is nutritionally minded. Selections change daily, but I typically opt for the daily detox, a combo of three different salads. I hardly ever leave without snagging a few of the perfectly portioned brownies and thumbprint cookies for a consciously delicious indulgence.
95 Greenwich Ave New York, NY
Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market- If only I were cool enough to shop here, luckily no dress code is required. Well, maybe all black at this British import with outposts in Paris, Hong Kong, and London. Ideal for post shopping or Murray Hill meandering, Rose Bakery offers gorgeous pastries (oatmeal raisin cookie is my favorite), fresh ginger lemon tea, and a veg-heavy menu. The offerings consist of daily quiches, picture perfect soft boiled eggs, and the assiette de legumes, an assemblage of up to five roasted vegetables or salads, that has #radishapproved written all over it.
160 Lexington Avenue New York, NY
Sweetgreen- When in dire need of a fresh made to order salad that elevates your lunch crunch game, Sweetgreen is your place. Monthly salad specials highlight seasonal produce, and the spicy sabzi loaded with kale, quinoa, and spicy broccoli topped with carrot chili vinaigrette is always a “go to” staple. I like to add avocado and a hard boiled egg for added protein and stamina.
Taim- Hands down the best hummus and falafel in the city. The hummus is creamy and smooth, za’atar flecked pita is the perfect vehicle for lapping up smoky babaganoush and sandwiching harissa, and green falafel balls. I typically choose the falafel platter with a side of baba…hey the more the merrier.
Westville- A veghead-friendly establishment to the maximus. Casual and unpretentious, Westville’s menu is loaded with a laundry list of vegetable options, soups, salads, burgers, and sandwiches. I typically opt for the market plate, a choice of any four of the daily vegetables, and a soup.
ABC Kitchen- Upscale seasonal cuisine in the most beautiful setting- from roasted carrots to crab toast, the menu is full of veg-centric items that highlight local produce in a uniquely delectable way.
*Radish Rec- Head over early to peruse the multi level home décor store where the restaurant is located.
35 East 18th Street New York, NY
ABC Cocina- Pistachio-flecked guac and the best fish tacos this side of the cost make up this seasonal and market-driven menu.
*Radish Rec- Swap out the crispy chips for fresh jicama and carrots as your guac scooper.
38 East 19th Street New York, NY
Battersby- This quant twenty-eight seater with a little garden out back is run by serious chef alums from Gramercy Tavern and Blue Hill. The food is seasonally focused, incredibly sophisticated- yet approachable. The meal starts with freshly baked rosemary bread and house made ricotta. The spaghetti nero with sea urchin and the Thai style papaya salad with crispy kale and blue prawns are not to be missed. Battersby also features a spontaneous tasting menu that caters to most tastes- 5 courses for $75.
255 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY
Bar Primi - For artisanal house made pasta, look no further than Andrew Carmellini's Italian pasta temple in the East Village. Favorites include the antipasti salad, broccoli rabe, and the frutti di mare pasta.
325 Bowery New York, NY
Buvette- Calling all you francophiles, get your dose of Paris at this picture perfect casual cafe in the heart of the West Village from chef Jody Williams. The gorgeous marble bar, reclaimed woods floors, and candlelight, make this the perfect spot for a romantic date night or brunch with friends.
Radish Rec- ask for the simple green salad (off the menu) dressed with the most perfect mustardly vinaigrette to pair with your crusty bread and rosè.
42 Grove Street New York, NY
Cafe Clover - Cozy, quaint, and super chic - Cafe Clover is a vegheads dream. With a focus on seasonal and organic produce, health, and of course flavor, this West Village hot spot is one of our newest favorites. Delicious and fresh crudite and dips, house made flax seed crackers, vibrant salads, an assortment of fish and meat dishes, and even health-focused dessert. Cafe Clover has radish approved all over it.
10 Downing Street New York, NY
Dirty French - I often times have dreams about the chicken served at Dirty French. The whole bird is served two ways alongside freshly made crepes, sauces, and accompaniments, fusing both Vietnamese and French elements in one incredible dish. Be sure to bring some friends with some extra bucks to spare - portions are generous albeit pricey.
180 Ludlow Street New York, NY
Emily - Pizza perfection at this incredible establishment in Clinton Hill. Diverse, delicious, and inventive toppings offer a range of options for the wood fire cooked pizzas. Ingredients are sourced from local and artisan purveyors with a seasonally rotating menu. Be sure to arrive early or be ready to wait, but it is for sure worth your while. Favorites include the house cured Castelvetrano Olives, the William pizza -tomato sauce, mozzarella, olives, onion, garlic, mixed herbs, and basil, and if you have room for dessert, the S’mores Calzone.
919 Fulton Street Brooklyn, NY
Kajitsu- Although located in one of my least favorite areas of the city, Kajitsu offers a tranquil respite from the frenzy outside. In the style of Zen Buddhists, the restaurant highlights shojin cuisine and utilizes local and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. The multicourse vegetarian menu is beautifully presented, and diners feel momentarily transported to Japan
135 East 39th Street New York, NY
I Sodi - I almost don't want to write about I Sodi because I love it so much and it has remained under the radar for so long. On arrival you feel as if you have stubbled upon a little secret. This intimate Italian restaurant from Rita Sodi is magical. Incredible pasta's, fresh and seasonal rotating salads, and leisurely paced service truly create the most perfect dinning experience. Do not miss the artichoke lasagna.
104 Christopher Street, New York, NY
Marea - For an ultra-splurge worthy celebration, Marea is the best bet for amazing crudo, house made pasta, and a laundry list of fish options. I can never resist the squid ink pasta with rock shrimp, clams, and chili flakes.
240 Central Park South New York, NY
Marlow and Sons - This is my hands down all-time favorite quintessential Brooklyn restaurant. Intimately set in a wood paneled candle lit room, you and your dining companion(s) are transported to a rustic culinary world complete with creamy and rich chicken liver pate, juicy and crisp brick chicken and, if you are there during the summer, a sensational sweet corn ice cream that might make you shed a tear once you’ve lick the bowl clean.
81 Broadway Brooklyn, NY
Mermaid Oyster Bar- Three locations all dishing up oyster happy hour from 5-7 which entails dollar oysters and drink specials. Regardless if you opt for east coast or west coast oysters, The Mermaid Inn’s sustainable seafood focused menu always lives up to expectations.
Narcissa - If you are fortunate to dine at Narcissa during the warmer months, be sure that you snag a table in the grass-covered courtyard hung with colored lanterns. The beautiful setting lends volumes to the seasonally inspired and local cuisine. Crudos are light and flavorful, the Narcissa salad is punctuated with toasted pistachios and aged gouda, and the earthy teas consist of herbs and flowers picked at the restaurants farm located in the Hudson Valley.
21 Cooper Square New York, NY
Peacefood Café- When in dire need of a veghead fix, I select this vegan café. The pan seared shanghai-style dumplings are delicious- loaded with mushrooms and marinated tofu. For a sinless main, the peace bowl with your choice of seasonal vegetables and brown rice is filling as is the creamy lime mustard laced fluffy quinoa salad. Save room for dessert because the macaroons, banana bread, or peanut butter cheesecake will make you feign in disbelief that is 100% vegan.
Roberta’s - Wood fire pizza is served with inventive and seasonal toppings. Yes, basically every New York City list contains this pizza mecca, but for good reason. Despite the hipsterville locale of Bushwich, Roberta’s never fails to disappoint with unique salads, pizzas, and gelato. You will likely have to wait for a table, but the patio/bar out back offers the perfect respite for liquid libations.
261 Moore Street Brooklyn, NY
Roberto’s- Nestled off the main drag of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, Roberto’s is old school Italian at its finest. Tons of daily specials are recited with Italian flare, food is perfectly coursed, and tableside service is exceptional. Portions are large, so bring a few friends along for a delicious excuse to head to this historic part of New York City.
*Radish Rec: Head to dinner an hour or so early to peruse the shops and to pick up some olive bread and rainbow cookies at Madonia and some fresh pasta and mozzarella at the near by shops.
603 Crescent Avenue Bronx, NY
Santina - From the team behind Parm, Carbone, ZZ's clam bar, and Dirty French, Santina offers a bright, energetic, and exciting dinning experience. Situated under the High Line and adjacent to The Whitney Museum, the menu is full of vegetable and fish offerings with a focus on coastal Italian cuisine. Favorites include the cecina (chickpea pancake) with mushrooms, squash carpaccio, and pasta with blue crab.
820 Washington Street New York, NY
Seamores- Sustainable seafood spot from Meatball Shop co-owner Michael Chernow. Bright and airy dinning room located on a bustling corner of Nolita. The predominately seafood filled menu focuses on local, sustainable, and often times, not so commonly known fish. Options include a variety of tacos, salads, sandwiches, and my personal favorite - The Reel Deal, where you select your choice of seafood, sauce, and three sides.
390 Broom Street New York, NY
Via Carota- For seasonally focused, vegetable-centric Italian dishes, look no further than Via Carota. Located in the heart of the West Village and run by the dream team of chefs Rita Sodi (of I Sodi) and Jody Williams (of Buvette). Favorites include radishes with warm anchovy dip, escarole and fava bean salad, and grilled artichokes with delicious house made bread. In the warmer months the patio offers the perfect place to people watch and sip a refreshing Negroni.
51 Grove Street New York, NY
Shops // Food Halls
Bedford Cheese Shop- A cheese and condiment lover’s paradise with two locations- one on Irving Place and the other in Williamsburg. Be sure to grab some Australian Feta, if in stock, and some fresh bread from Amy’s.
Chelsea Market- Another constantly crowded urban food hall- Chelsea Market is one of my happy places. More than thirty-five vendors occupy the former National Biscuit Company factory. Restaurants, markets, clothing stores all make for a delicious but slightly overwhelming experience that should not be missed. My “go to” top spots include incredibly fresh and well priced seafood at Lobster Place, seeded whole grain bread from Amy’s, and olives, fresh pasta, and cheese from Buon Italia. If in need of some shopping fuel, I grab some fresh chowder from Lobster Place or vegan sushi from Beyond Sushi.
*Radish Rec: To provision for a picnic on The High Line, grab some fresh bread at Amy’s, cheese at Lucy’s whey, and oysters from Lobster Place, and enjoy your goods in an urban oasis.
75 Ninth Avenue New York, NY
Eataly- Despite the perpetual mob scene (no pun intended), this Italian food hall is a meca for imported hard to find specialty Italian products, and amazing selection of cheese and charcuterie, delicious gelato, and fantastic focaccia. The beer garden on roof is a mixed bag; I typically like to have a few small plates from the seasonally revolving menu at the veg-centric Le Verdure.
200 Fifth Avenue New York, NY
Gotham West Market- The perfect destination for quick, stress-free pre-theater eats. Slurp some ramen at Ivan Ramen, gobble up some deviled eggs and other tapas at El Colmado and get a jolt of java for the road from Blue Bottle.
600 11th Avenue btw 44th and 45th
Be sure to check back often for continual additionals of Radish Approved-Radish Recs NYC