The NYC Neighborhood Anthony Bourdain Couldn't Stand Eating In

Professional chef, author, and world traveler Anthony Bourdain knew where to get a good meal. With a career that centered on the way food and dining brought people together, the late globetrotter exposed his many fans to some of the best places to eat, from obscure, blink-and-you'll-miss-it eateries to multi-starred Michelin restaurants. He knew the ins and outs of New York City dining particularly well as a long-time citizen of the Big Apple, the Upper East Side being his last known residence. As it turns out, his own neighborhood was the last place he wanted to eat in.

According to Bourdain, while the Upper East Side of Manhattan is known for its museums, architecture, lavish homes, and designer shopping, apparently its food scene doesn't match up with the neighborhood's clout. Indeed, on his many television shows including "No Reservations," "Parts Unknown," "The Layover," and "A Cook's Tour," he was found praising numerous New York City dining spots in all five boroughs and every neighborhood in Manhattan, except his own. Clearly, he loved living on the quiet, clean east side of Central Park but didn't mind letting others know it was a "wasteland for food," per Eater.

Live on the Upper East Side, eat elsewhere

In an interview featured on YouTube, Anthony Bourdain told his fellow chef and author Jacques Pépin that when a Shake Shack opened up on 86th Street in Manhattan, he "fell to his knees and wept with gratitude." In regards to the Upper East Side, Bourdain believed there should be better options for a place so saturated with, well, money. Granted, the neighborhood is home to lauded places like Daniel and Sushi Noz, but it's still a place more noted for its private schools than its pasta joints.

Fortunately, some of his favorite places to eat were only a walk or a subway ride away from his home. They ranged from dive bars to delis to decades-old steakhouses. As much time as he spent on airplanes and in different countries, he considered New York to be the "greatest city in the world," as told by Eater. As seen on YouTube, when it came to advising visitors to New York on what to eat, he suggested foregoing the fancy restaurants and instead sampling the foods that New York does best — a great deli sandwich, a bialy or bagel, pizza, and dirty water hot dogs (a.k.a hot dogs from a street cart). As cliché as it is, it was true in Bourdain's case that you can take the man out of New York, but you can't take New York out of the man.