Eat Like a New Yorker! This is where the locals go. this is what the locals like.

Value is value whether a meal is $3 or $300 per person.

Most restaurants fail quickly. Restaurants that are expected to last only a few weeks are called “popups”. Value is what keeps me going back to a restaurant. There is an elusive balance of quality, preparation, environment, ambiance and of course price, that keeps me (and other New Yorkers) going back to the same places for more. My father used to say the most difficult thing for a restaurant to do is to keep the food consistent over years. Suppliers change, processes drift, tastes change, but consistency over time is what defines a great eatery. Here in NY I would extend the time from years to decades (and sometimes centuries). Katz’s Deli, The Old Homestead Steak House, Peter Lugers Steakhouse, Lombardi’s pizzeria have all been in continuous operation for over a century. They are somewhat expensive but keep the crowds coming back because they offer VALUE. At the same token one of the cheapest meals in The City, Mamouns Falafel, offers a superior product that has kept me coming back for over 40 years. All offer great value. All represent a quintessential New York sensibility where excellence is ordinary.

Every restaurant listed on my site is exceptional and worth a try. These places provide a consistent experience, quality real food and their excellence is built in.

The Moo Rating System:

Value. 1 Moo

If you’re hungry and in the neighborhood this represents a “local” NYC establishment that has proven itself over time with ordinary excellence. You can’t go wrong.

Unique. 2 Moo’s

In addition to offering great value, 2 Moo’s has something or does something like you’ve never had it before, and it’s a great experience. These places stick in my head and keep me coming back for more. This is the kind of place that i want to take my friends to for a shared experience. “you have to try this place for…..”

Authentic Experience. 3 Moo’s

In addition to a great value, uniqueness and a place I want to share with my friends, 3- Moo’s provides a quintessential authentic food experience. It’s worth a special trip for 3 Moo’s. Think Ethnic, only in New York or in the country of origin.

Not to be missed. 4 Moo’s

Yes, these rare places offer great value, uniqueness, are quintessentially New York, but are SO over the top they offer a world class experience you will never forget (and that’s a good thing).

Other Icons:

>50 = Been in continous operation for over 50 years.

>100 = Been in continuous operation for over 100 years.

Dan’s To Try list:

Recommended Restaurants

  • Lan Zhou Hand Made Noodle and Dumpling
    • Bonefide hole-in-the-wall outside in Chinatown, very comfortable air conditioned interior.
    • rich flavorful beef soup.
    • Outstanding dumplings, every asian in the place was eating them.
    • Succulent brisket, and fried pork.
  • Hand Pulled Noodles 2
    • Midtown west.
    • High Quality homemade noodles, dumplings, meats and broth.
    • Great fresh flavors at a reasonable price. A real manhattan hole in the wall. True ethnic eatery.
    • I love the pork dumpling soup with medium wide noodles! The pan fried duck noodles were exceptional as well.
  • Decoy
    • West Village, Hudson Street, worth a trip from Bejing.
    • The best Peking Duck on the planet with an optional uniquely american twist. Expensive and high value.
    • Wear your favorite T-Shirt.
    • Best service. Community table is fine!
    • One of NY Magazines 1000 best.
  • Streecha Ukrainian Street Kitchen
  • Pesce Pasta
    • West Village, Bleecker Street
    • High quality, delicious, service, they treat you like family.
    • Open late, my goto restaurant for fresh perfectly cooked Italian food. They know the difference between meat sauce and Bolognese and make both.
    • they make their pasta with Italian wheat.
    • If you don’t see what you want on the menu, ask, they’ll probably make it for you.
    • Everyone I take here, goes back with their friends and colleagues.
  • Souvlaki GR
    • Midtown
    • Excellent, Authentic greek food. would hold up in Athens.
  • Joe’s Pizza >50
    • 3 moo’s. value, taste, quality.
    • The Quintessential Street Slice.
    • Village, Bleecker Street, open really late.
  • Johns Pizza >50
    • Bleecker Street, west village Not open late, Great Brick oven pizza, among the best in NYC
  • NY Pizza Supreme
    • 8th avenue and 30th by Penn Station
    • great pizza, great sauce, high volume
  • Prince Street Pizza
    • SOHO
    • as close to Siracusa pizza as you can get outside of Sicily.
  • DiFaro’s Pizza
    • Closed by the revenuers for non-payment of taxes, 8/20/19
    • If pizza is your religion, Dom’s pizzaria is the cathedral.
    • Somewhere out there in Brooklyn. Worth the trip.
    • there is hushed silence everytime a pie comes out of the oven.
    • but get there early and be prepared to watch the whole process several times.
  • L&B Pizza and Spumoni Gardens >50
    • Brooklyn, Near Coney Island, the place itself is configured like it’s on the beach
    • Round or Square Slice – your choice.
    • arguably the best ‘square’ (sicilian) slice this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
    • It’s worth the Subway ride.
    • They also have a sit down restaurant with a full menu. I look forward to trying that.
  • Katz’s Deli>100
    • Lower East Side, DeLancy Street
    • Over a century in business.
    • Newly renovated in 1948. Be prepared for the busy jewish deli (not kosher) experience. Just deal with their mishigos.
    • Over a century in business
    • A New York Institution.
    • Huge sandwiches, pastrami, corned beef and brisket to die for.
    • The frankfurters and steak fries are the best anywhere.
    • Ask the cutter for “Juicy” and give him a tip.
  • Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery >100
    • Lower East Side (should be seen with Katz’s, Russ & Daughters)
    • Over a century in business
    • Newly renovated in 1908
  • Sarges Deli >50
    • Midtown east, 3rd avenue & 36th.
    • open 24x7x365
    • Authentic Jewish Deli (not kosher)
    • Don’t want to deal with the mishigos at katz’s? the food is better at sarges. The best corned beef and brisket.
    • Best Kreplach soup.
  • Ben’s Kosher Deli
    • Midtown – Garment district
    • Authentic Kosher Deli
    • Solid meal if you’re in the neighborhood
  • Shabu Tatsu
    • East village, E10th Street
    • One of my favorite places to take an out of towner first.
    • tabletop shabu shabu. Extensive saki menu.
    • Food and experience is great, 1/2 more Moo for not to be missed.
  • Eva’s Restaurant >50
    • Greenwich Village 11 west 8th Street
    • I was the first customer 50 years ago and still going back.
    • Healthy, reasonably priced quality real food.
    • I love the sirloin burger with Tahini – one of my favorite tahini sauces in the city. But they have great vegan options too!
  • Mamouns Falafel >50
    • Village, MacDougal Street
    • bone fide hole in the wall. Been there over 40 years. cheapest high quality meal or snack you can find.
    • Open very late.
    • THE BEST TAHINI, and the falafel is great too!
  • Hectors Cafe
  • Pies And Thighs
    • Williamsburg Brooklyn, just next to the bridge.
    • Ranked one of the top 30 Fried Chicken (and waffles) in the USA
  • Peter Lugars Steakhouse >100
    • Willamsburg Brooklyn.
    • make sure to ask to see the menu.
  • The Old Homestead Steakhouse >100
    • Meat Packing District, next to the Chelsea Market
    • Over a Century in Business
    • Great Roasted onion soup
    • Oldest steakhouse in NYC and one of the best.
  • Grandchamps Haitian (Wayne (Famous) Swagnon)
    • A singularly unique food experience. true Haitian home cooking. you’ll taste flavors you’ve never tasted before, unless you grew up in Haiti.
    • Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
  • SriPraPhi (Neil Mc-Manus)
    • The Best Thai – Queens
    • wow
  • Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop >50″Raising Cholesterol since 1929″.
    • Across from the Flatiron Building
    • Best Matzoh Ball soup. Freshly renovated in 1929 – good food, inexpensive a trip down the corridors of time.
  • Turco
    • Midtown West
    • try their AMAZING flavorful sauces in the squeeze bottles on the table.
    • As close to Turkey as you can get in NYC.
  • Hahm Ji Bach (Kalvin)
    • East Elmhurst, Queens
    • Great korean bbq
    • Michelin mentioned, open 24 hours
    • reasonable price.
  • Rocco’s Pasticceria
    • Best Cannoli in The City, they make it fresh right in front of you.
    • from tying the boxes with string to the huge pastry assortment, a throwback to the distant past. There are only a few left like this.
    • Try The Profiterols!
    • one of NY Magazines 1000 best.
  • Brodo
    • Chef Marco Canora makes the most fantastic bone broth, with optional organic additions.
    • They have seasonal specialty soups. I discovered authentic Andalusian Gazpacho there (summer only) and it changed my life.
  • Gaonnuri (Aaron Tachibana)
    • Midtown/Koreatown (but it was here before there was a Koreatown)
    • Great food, but it’s a little about it’s hidden in an office building and it’s mostly about the SPECTACULAR view.
    • Upscale and great place if you want an excellent comfortable meal with panoramic STUNNING New York City views before the theater.
  • Frosini’s Garden
    • Chania, Crete, Greece
    • One of the best meals of my life!
    • quick, let’s go to Crete!
    • Butterblogger Review
  • Venchi
    • 861 Broadway / Union Square Park.
    • Great Chocolate – with a molten chocolate Wall
    • Chocolate / Gelato / Ice Cream / truffles – and it’s all

Chefs to watch

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