Recommended restaurants in NYC, November 2021

I’ve just returned from a two week trip to New York City. I make regular trips from London and always try to eat at as many new places as possible. Here are some highlights from this trip:

Banh
The best “new” restaurant I’ve been to in any city for a very long time. The pastry and barbecue were both perfect. Really high-quality produce, too (I normally hate lettuce but it was good here). And very reasonable prices. Disclosure that I’m not very familiar with Vietnamese food, which probably helped wow me. (Upper West Side — Menu)

Dhamaka
I went somewhat sceptical amid the fawning praise (the Bloomberg review comparing it to London’s “slop” didn’t exactly prime me to love it). But I was pleasantly surprised: it’s a very interesting menu and all of it was pretty good, especially the biryani. Nothing blew me away, but I’d return to try the rabbit. (Lower East Side — Menu)

Peaches HotHouse
Came here in a fairly bad mood, but the food was absolutely restorative. Spicing on the ‘regular’ is flavourful without being overwhelmingly spicy, though I’d like to try the ‘hot’ next time. Great cornbread too. (Bed–Stuy — Menu)

Wu’s Wonton King
Possibly the best salt and pepper squid I’ve had. Great mix of textures with the perfect amount of spice. (Chinatown — Menu)

Katz’s
The food was good, the atmosphere even better. I could sit in that room for hours. (Lower East Side — Menu)

Golden Diner
I’ve got a thing for diner nostalgia, and this fits the bill perfectly. The food is pure comfort — a really good tuna melt (feat. salt and vinegar crisps), with some of the best, crispiest fries I’ve had anywhere. (Two Bridges — Menu)

Peter Pan Donuts
A very, very good donut, and a wonderfully nostalgic room. Can’t wait for indoor dining to resume here. (Greenpoint — Menu)

I also made a return trip to Thai Diner to have their crab fried rice, which was every bit as excellent as on my last visit. One of my favourite restaurants in the world, I think. (Nolita — Menu)

Other places I enjoyed but recommend less strongly: Via Carota; Curry Mania; Peter Luger; Joe’s Pizza; Arepa Lady. And please send recommendations for my next trip.

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