BreadcrumbsHQ recently teamed up with New York City tour guide and native Adrienne Cooper to get an insider’s look into some amazing NYC restaurants. Adrienne is the founder of Fun Foodie NYC, which arranges walking food tours of the city, primary in areas north of 34th street and in Brooklyn and Queens.
Breadcrumbs blogger Tara Malone spoke with Adrienne to get her input on some lesser known food places in the city. Here are five of the restaurants Adrienne recommends that are definitely worth a visit.
One of Adrienne’s most highly rated Italian restaurants in New York City is Rubirosa. There are over 10,000 Italian restaurants in NYC, so the selection can be really overwhelming. Adrienne recommends staying away from touristy places and the Little Italy restaurants, which also tend to get many tourists.
Located in Lower Manhattan on Mulberry Street, Rubirosa is mainly frequented by locals. The restaurant has an extensive menu, a daily pizza hour from 4pm to 5pm, and a cozy, rustic dining room. There are a wide range of traditional Italian appetizers, handmade pastas and pizza options. Most of the pizzas can be made with either a traditional crust or a gluten free crust.
If you are looking for a delicious slice of pizza or a good plate of pasta, definitely check out Rubirosa!
Another one of Adrienne’s favorite restaurants is Becco, which is located on West 46th Street, in Restaurant Row. Located in the theater district, Becco is a perfect place to have dinner before seeing a Broadway show. It was founded in 1993 by acclaimed chef Lidia Bastianich and her son Joe, and boasts a pasta tasting menu and an impressive $29 wine list.
Becco is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, and if you order an entree you have the option of adding on a $9 mid course featuring the three pastas of the day. There are also plenty of vegetarian options, an extensive dessert menu, and a wide range of espresso, dessert liquors and wines.
If you will be in the theater district, you won’t want to miss the chance to eat at Becco.
Located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, Viv Thai has it all. Great food at reasonable prices, a club vibe, and an awesome happy hour. The restaurant has a lot of neon lighting, dark wood, and a futuristic feel. Some of their popular dishes are the Thai sausage fried rice, lemongrass pork chop, and pad Thai noodles. There is an extensive selection of curries, noodle dishes and appetizers.
If you are in the mood for a drink, check out their happy hour and try one of Viv Thai’s handcrafted cocktails. This restaurant is also the perfect spot if you want to enjoy Manhattan’s nightlife.
Russ and Daughters Cafe
Located at 127 Orchard Street on the Lower East side, Russ and Daughters Cafe is the place to go for classic New York Jewish fare. They have a great selection of bagels, smoked salmon, sliced meats and soups. You can also sample caviar and blini, herring dishes, and delicious desserts. Don’t miss your chance to sample their Halvah ice cream, which Adrienne highly recommends.
Russ and Daughters also has a cocktail menu and plenty of wine and beer selections. You can make reservations at the cafe, but you are always welcome to just walk in.
La Esquina is a delicious Tex-Mex restaurant whose specialty is tacos. There are several locations in the city, but the one Adrienne usually frequents is in Midtown. The Midtown location has several menus: a main menu, breakfast/brunch menu, cocktail menu and a catering menu.
The main menu features tacos, quesadillas and tortas, and a selection of aguas frescas. There are vegetarian and gluten free options, and the staff will help you out if you have other dietary restrictions or allergies. If you are in the mood for tacos, La Esquina is an excellent choice!
Aside from these amazing restaurant recommendations, Adrienne has some other helpful tips for people wanting to explore New York City’s food scene. She recommends checking out the many restaurants west of Times Square, and suggests sticking to Restaurant Row if you are planning to see a Broadway play. Also, if you are planning to go on a food tour, it is best to do one at the beginning of your trip so you can get a sense of what the best food options are in your area. New York really has it all in terms of restaurants and eateries, and many of the best ones aren’t well known or can’t be found on TripAdvisor. When you visit Manhattan, bring a spirit of adventure along with your appetite and give one of these lesser known spots a try.
More About Adrienne
Adrienne Cooper, Funny Female Foodtreprenuer. She wants to make you laugh. She wants to make you eat. She doesn’t wanna make you laugh while you eat, though–that’s dangerous. After this native New Yorker spent a few years working in the hotel catering world, she decided to be bold and take to the streets of her hometown with willing foodies in tow.
After learning the ins and outs of the Food Tour business, she started her own company Fun Foodie NYC Tours, in December of 2012, where she could create and execute the tours to her liking. She realized that a seasonally-inspired food tour business was exactly what the universe had ordered!
She even brought her foodie obsession to the stage when she created a show called The Food Funny, where she’d convince her comedian friends to try to out-cook each other with mystery ingredients in ten minutes! Today she offers 6 different public tours, depending on the season, and she’s always on the hunt for her next favorite bite of food.