In his famous essay Goodbye To All That (goodbye to all this), Joan Didion wrote that New York was a city only for the very rich or for the very poor. It was not an opinion of his own; I was playing something I had heard frequently. Fifty years later, the saying continues to contain at least one truth: New York is expensive. Almost all the big cities are. But that does not mean that to have a good time in the Big Apple you have to borrow from the bank or, on the contrary, settle for eating hot dogs in a public park every day. There are really good cheap restaurants in New York.
In this scenario, design food markets have also proliferated, where you can try different cuisines - Mexican, Japanese, Spanish, North American ... - in a pleasant environment. Gotham West Market, for example, opened in Midtown, downtown Manhattan, three years ago with several renowned chef positions, such as Seamus Mullen and Ivan Orkin.
Until recently there were not many reasons to visit the west end of Midtown. This quiet area of residential towers has now been animated with the Gotham West Market, a closed market with several stalls of renowned chefs that are attracting both New Yorkers and tourists to the forgotten 11th Avenue (at number 600). Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, for example, serves excellent Japanese soups, and Blue Bottle, the famous California coffee shop, one of the best cafes in the Big Apple.
New Yorkers have a weakness for steakhouses and their juicy chops of monumental proportions. The problem is that these grills are usually very expensive. Perhaps that is why the recent opening of Quality Eats in the West Village (19, Greenwich Avenue) was enthusiastically received. This young-style restaurant offers quality meats at a good price. For example, Flatiron, a tasty steak, does not reach 20 euros.
This little club hidden in a corner of the Hotel Le Parker Meridien ceased to be a secret long ago. To try their famous cheeseburgers, you have to stand in line until you reach the counter and then cross your fingers so that a seat is released. Luckily, Burger Joint opened a second store in Greenwich Village (33rd Street 8, West; pictured), much wider and better set, with exposed brick walls and reclaimed wood floors.
David Chang has given a great boost to the Asian culinary scene of the Big Apple. His first store, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, where Chang created flavors that integrated tradition and innovation, caused a furor and gave rise to a chain that now includes more than ten restaurants in several cities. One of the most recent is Fuku +, at number 15 on West 56th Street, two steps from Fifth Avenue and Central Park. The specialty is the fried chicken sandwich, which is worth trying for the softness of the meat and the fluffiness of the bread.
A few blocks from the meatpacking district's mess - the Whitney Museum area, the High Line park, two trendy hotels and a squad of luxury boutiques - Malaparte offers a relaxed and warm atmosphere. Since its opening five years ago, this Italian restaurant has become one of the favorite places of West Village residents, who gather there to share carafes of wine at sunset. With the style of an old trattoria, it offers an accessible menu that does not fail: homemade pizzas and pasta always work out well.
Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman are the owners of Russ & Daughters (179, East Houston), a century-old shop in the Lower East Side where any sybarite accelerates the pulse. Therefore, the recent opening of Russ & Daughters Cafe (127, Orchard Street) was more than welcome. Three blocks from the original premises, this restaurant offers the same Jewish specialties. The most requested are the tables, with smoked fish and accompaniments to make a good bagel.
In just one year, Pier A Harbor House (22, Battery Place) has become a classic. With a privileged location on the banks of the Hudson River, in one of the few sectors of Downtown Manhattan ( the lower part of the island ) where you can breathe breadth, this gastronomic center offers typical North American dishes for different occasions and pockets. On the large ground floor of the historic building (built in 1886), fried squid, hamburgers and chicken wings are served at communal tables around a large bar. The first floor includes a formal restaurant and a twenties-style pub with movie views.