Why is it next to impossible to find a decent bite near the city’s biggest tourist attractions? The more famous the attraction, the more of a gastronomic dead zone you find yourself in. But this is New York City, where you’re never far from fantastic bites. Starting uptown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and zigzagging our way down to the 9/11 Memorial, we’ve put together a list of places that will satisfy the most jaded day tripper. Even better, no long treks for the weary—none of our picks are more than a five-minute walk from Manhattan’s most popular sightseeing spots.
① The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Head just a few blocks north up Museum Mile, and you’ll think you’ve stepped back in time to turn-of-the-century Vienna. Indulge in schnitzel, spaetzle and Sacher torte at Kurt Gutenbrunner’s Café Sabarsky, nestled inside the Neue Galerie.
② American Museum of Natural History
Unlike its flagship location in the West Village, RedFarm on the Upper West Side is open for lunch as well as dinner, and there’s no need to wait for the weekend to devour dim sum. The entire magnificent menu from the Kowloon filet mignon tarts to the crispy duck and crab dumplings will delight the hungriest naturalist.
③ Times Square
Ippudo, now in 13 countries, has opened a Hell’s Kitchen location offering its soul-satisfying ramen bowls that are as hearty as they are authentic. Escape the crazy crowds of Times Square and head to ramen heaven with the original tonkotsu pork broth— and don’t forget to order kaedama (extra noodles) to slurp up those last drops.
④ The Intrepid
Gotham West Market lies just one block east of the maritime history museum, and your biggest challenge is going to be deciding which of the 10 vendors to choose from. Or simply take a trip around the world from velvety croquetas at Seamus Mullen’s El Colmado to juicy carnitas at Choza Taqueria and create-your-own sushi hand rolls at Uma Temakeria. Wash it all down with one of the 200 beers on offer at Cannibal and make sure you don’t leave without a scoop of the aptly named Salted Crack Caramel ice cream from Ample Hills.
⑤ The Empire State Building
Arguably more of an institution than the Empire State Building itself, Keens Steakhouse has been satisfying carnivores with dry-aged steak since 1885. Whether prime American beef is for you or not, the warmth and old-world New York charm of this classic (including its collection of 90,000 pipes) is not to be missed.
⑥ The 9/11 Memorial and Museum
After the somber experience of visiting the memorial, you may not feel like braving the crowds at Westfield’s upscale food court. We prefer to head north up West Broadway to Tiny’s. With its pressed-tin ceiling and wood-burning fire, the place is cozy and rustic, and serves an excellent burger and irresistible tater tots.