For more than a 100 years, this huge cafeteria-style Jewish deli has been delighting New Yorkers with their pastrami and brisket sandwiches alongside their scrumptious "kosher-style" meals. The humble eatery, with Formica tables lined up in rows, may not be the ideal place to take a date (unless you want to remind him or her of eating in a school lunchroom), but if you are craving a giant sandwich served with perfect pickles or a couple of kosher hot dogs, there is perhaps no better place than Katz's in the city. There is table service, but most people take a ticket at the door and give it to the counterman when placing their order; they then pay on the way out.
The name of this restaurant comes from the founder Brian Shebairo trying to say the name of his friend and co-founder Chris, while eating a hotdog. An absolute must for those who love franks, Crif Dogs has upped the ante with its handmade, naturally smoked wieners. They also serve some amazing burgers and shakes, but most come for the dogs. Try the Spicy Redneck, a bacon wrapped masterpiece topped with cole slaw and jalapenos.
Established by brothers Oliver and Leo Kremer, Dos Toros Taqueria brings burritos from the San Francisco Bay Area to Union Square. These Bay Area-born brothers opened this restaurant as a tribute to their favorite haunt, Gordo's Taqueria. At Dos Toros, you can feast on a delicious variety of tacos, burritos and quesadillas. This place has been lauded for serving the best tacos in the city by countless publications, so it's safe to say the secret is out. A recommendation by the brothers themselves and much approved by their regulars is the burrito with guacamole.
Burgers, shakes, sodas and pretty much all the classic fast food staples can be found at this revered burger joint in Madison Square Park. In addition to addictive burgers and shakes, the Shack offers a leafy outdoor setting for its patrons to watch the city go by. The surprise here is that they serve booze with your burger; from beer, to reds and whites available by glass and bottle, grab one and try to find a spot on the grass. What's more, they're dog-friendly and they have a few things on the menu as well for your pooch. During the spring and summer, the line outside can be inexorably long, however there are other locations around Manhattan which are only a cab ride away.
Since 1973, Gray's Papaya has been a New York favorite on the West Side. With two locations, both spots merit an obligatory visit, especially if you're broke. So what if it is just a hot dog joint? Founder Paul Gray (formerly from Papaya King), has fed thousands of New Yorkers, in addition to many celebrities and tourists. The special is two juicy dogs served with your choice of onions, kraut, mustard, ketchup and a foamy papaya drink for some of the lowest prices around. The place is standing room only, but then again these dogs are meant to be eaten on-the-go.
This tiny Israeli restaurant serves some of the best falafel to be found in the city. Limited seating in the restaurant can be an issue, so when the weather is nice, take your food outside to the benches out front. The falafel platter is a favorite, and the sauces are sure to please. Wash it all down with some refreshing iced tea, fresh lemonade or a smoothie.
Located on West 55th Street, The Original Soupman, as its name suggests, is known for its delicious varieties of soups. Headed by Ali Yenageh, this is the first restaurant of the many chains. Must try on the menu includes their signature Lobster Bisque, Clam Chowder and Lobster Roll. The restaurant gained popularity when it featured on NBC's Seinfield. The restaurant has been a participant in many social causes and is a big part of the Hurricane Sandy Relief Help.
Carnegie John’s is a food cart in Midtown West, mainly serving professionals working in the area. As its timings are almost the same as usual office hours, you can see many people heading here for a quick working lunch. It is one of the most popular food stands in the area and a must-visit place if on a tight budget. French fries, hot dogs, cheeseburgers and sandwiches loaded with piquant sauces can all be found at very low to moderate prices. The Chicken Platter with yogurt sauce is a favorite among regular customers. You can also relish Middle Eastern snacks such as Shish Kebab Pita and Lamb Gyros.
Located in Midtown, Tanner Smith is a modern-day speakeasy with the trappings of an era gone by. Seat yourself at the main bar area inspired by a 20th century libation house. The namesake, Tanner Smith was associated with bootleggers from the Prohibition Era, which is where this old-time cocktail bar derives its name. While the ground level bar has elements of taxidermy, is strewn with teapots and carries a saloon-eqsue air, the underground space is where creative cocktails are served, some even in tea-pots and tea-cups. Dig into small plates, cured meats, burgers and flat-breads to soak up the booze.
Don’t be surprised if you forget you are still in New York the moment you step in Souvlaki GR Midtown. Boasting of an entirely blue and white decor, you will certainly feel like you are on the Greek island of Santorini. If the pleasant indoor setting wasn’t good enough, the restaurant also has quite a lovely courtyard outside. Call for dishes like Lamb Chops, Spanakopita and Shrimp Pita or you can also ask the servers for recommendations. If you are still confused, simply go for one of their house specialties. The flavorful delicacies can be complemented with a glass or regional wine. If you having craving Greek food or delectable seafood, then an evening at Souvlaki GR Midtown might just be what you need.
Ever wonder why there's a cue snaking out of that red curtain in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien? It's because in the middle of this swanky hotel, tucked away, is the most basic hole-in-the-wall Burger Joint. This casual no frills restaurant, with scribbles on the walls, pinned up art and it's iconic neon sign attracts an eclectic crowd. Serving only three kinds of burgers, fries and beer in a cup, this cash only joint is extremely popular. Drop by for a delicious burger, and enjoy the fact that you get to wait in an air-conditioned lobby rather than out on the street.
Located in Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, Kashkaval Garden is a deli/restaurant offering appetizing food and amazing wine selection. Cheese lovers will be delighted with Kashkaval's choice of fondues, even chocolate variety is available. The menu has plenty of options for tasty dips from on the tapas menu. Every other dish, such as entrees, like the mustard chicken, or various paninis are hearty and wholesome. Due to its size the place can get crowded during weekend brunch, so you may have to wait.