I have done my best to try every tapas bar I have come across and none that I have ever tried can beat La Paella. This place has everything, amazing food, an extensive menu, great sangria, reasonable prices, and an atmosphere to die for hundreds of dried roses hang from the ceiling. It can get a little tight on busy nights but the food is worth it. A word of advice though: make reservations, this place gets very busy on weekends.
If you have ever visited the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx you know that the selection of Italian bakeries and pastry shops can be overwhelming. If you are looking for the best in the area, this is it. The store dose not look like much from the outside but dont let it fool you, Egidios pastries are to die for. In addition their coffee, espresso, and cappuccino are all very good as well as reasonably priced.
Pam Real Thai may suffer from a painful lack of atmosphere but makes up for it with wonderfully authentic Thai food. This place is so special because they use combinations of taste that generally are not found in the more trendy, less authentic Thai restaurants in Manhattan. Their selection of Thai teas also cannot be beat. And on top of all of that, the prices here are great!
NL boasts the interesting distinction of being New Yorks first Dutch Restaurent in over 200 years (amazing for a city that was once called New Amsterdam). I tried this place after visiting the Netherlands and I was pleasantly surprised. The pancakes here are very good, the atmosphere is fun, and the prices are reasonable. Plus if you have a taste for raw herring, NL has an amazing selection of dishes featuring it.
If you live in the area you already know about Pugsleys Pizza. Its much more famous for its bizarre atmosphere, eccentric owner, and the fact that it is open until 5am than for its pizza. If you find yourself in the area this one might be worth checking out if you are into college hangouts. Pugsleys really picks up between 11pm and 3am every night of the week and if you are really lucky Sal, the owner, will grace you with a Sax solo
Just like Katzs, when you walk into Giovannis the first thing you see are pictures of all of the recent presidents and mayors of New York eating there. Giovannis is another New York institution and is constantly ranked as the best pizza in the city. Dont let the Bronx address scare you, the neighborhood is great and very accessible from the Fordham stop on the Metro North.
Long before Katzs was made famous in When Harry Met Sally it was known throughout the New York area as one of the best Jewish delis in the city. When visiting there today, the numerous pictures of presidents and movie stars eating there attests to this. Katzs Pastrami on rye is out of this world and even at the staggering price of nine bucks a pop, its a deal considering that the sandwiches are so large they are difficult to get in your mouth.
This little hole in the wall on Park Avenue South is a great restaurant for a date. It is dark, small, and intimate with great art and good service. The food while French inspired is very modern and borders on fusion cuisine. I cannot say that I have ever had a bad meal here. I am particularly fond of their calamari and I have never had a seafood dish here that has been less than superb. The downside is the price, however if that is not a concern the Park Bistro night out.
If you are into trying new things, this little ice cream parlor is worth a try. Located on a side street in Chinatown (you may need to mapquest it to find it) this place has so many bizarre flavors you will want to come back again and again. I would recommend the green tea ice cream, the mango sorbet (with huge mango chunks in it) and the best; lychee ice cream. All the ice cream is made on premises and it has that wonderful home made consistency.
After one visit to Rosa Mexicano, it is clear that this restaurants goal is to provide a world class dining experience. While the food is good, Rosa Mexicanos real advantage is the service which is on par with any four-star staff in the city. At a time when finding a good waiter is harder and harder, I have never had a bad host at Rosa. The food is pricey however. A heavy meal for two people was 125 dollars including tip. In my opinion though it was worth every cent.