Alexa Mehraban has over 200,000 Instagram followers and really knows her NYC hidden gems. Now she is part of Postcard team!
Here at Postcard we find best NY spots for you! Enjoy this in-depth guide of NYC Summer Restaurant Week.
Twice a year, New York City’s premier restaurants offer pre-fixe menus at a fraction of the usual cost. This wonderful phenomenon is Restaurant Week, and this year it’s running from July 25th to August 19th. Yes, it lasts longer than a week.
This year there are 372 restaurants participating in the event, with 41 new restaurants added to the roster, including the first Hawaiian restaurant on the list. This New York tradition celebrates its 25th anniversary and can be found in all five boroughs; Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The event has donated to several charities in the past (City-Meals-On Wheels, Share Our Strength aka No Kid Hungry, and City Harvest).
Fun Fact: The creator of Zagat, Tim Zagat, and Rainbow Room owner Jim Baum started Restaurant Week in 1992 for the Democratic National Convention taking place in NYC that year. It was the world’s first restaurant week, which has spread around the country and world to Boston, DC, Chicago, London, and even Paris.
So what is restaurant week?
In winter and summer, some of the city’s finest dining establishments offer a special, lower priced prix-fixe 3 course menu at one price; $29 for Lunch and $42 for Dinner. The menus most give at least 3 options for appetizer, entree, and dessert, though they may include other supplemental additions, a la carte choices, or drink specials at an additional cost. The prix-fixe menu is only for Monday through Friday, although some participating restaurants offer a Sunday Brunch menu.
You can make reservations through Open Table, which helps to sponsor the event, and find all restaurant menus at NYC Go.
1. ABC Kitchen (35 E 18th Street)
Located in the chic ABC Home Store, celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen is one of the city’s best restaurants, serving creative dishes made from locally sourced organic ingredients in an upscale, modern setting. Head over during the week for their pre fixe lunch; you might just find yourself coming back the next day.
2. Ilili (236 5th Avenue)
Ilili serves up high end Lebanese food in a gorgeous space. True to its Mediterranean roots, they specialize in small plates that area ideal for sharing amongst a big group. Stop in for lunch, dinner, or brunch from Sunday-Friday.
3. Bagatelle (1 Little West 12th Street)
This year marks the first time Bagatelle, the trendy Meatpacking French bistro, is participating in Restaurant Week, so you can finally sample their top-notch menu without paying top-notch prices. Whether you go for lunch or dinner, it’s worth the trip.
4. Lure Fishbar (142 Mercer Street)
Lure Fishbar offers some of the freshest fish in Soho in a space that looks and feels like the interior of a luxury yacht. Try their pre fixe menu every day during Restaurant Week except Saturday.
5. Narcissa (25 Cooper Square)
Located in The Standard East Village, Narcissa serves farm-to-table New American cuisine in an elegant setting. Stop in for their pre fixe lunch during the week and sit on their patio, which is decorated with lanterns, hanging plants, and wall-climbing ivy.
6. Miss Lily’s (132 W Houston Street)
One of the best Caribbean restaurants in the city, Miss Lily’s serves up dishes like jerk chicken and curried goat in a fun and colorful atmosphere. At their East Village location, they’re participating in Restaurant week for lunch and dinner.
7. Nobu (105 Hudson Street)
Nobu has been a staple of New York City’s restaurant scene for over twenty years, and it’s still going strong. Stop in for lunch or dinner for some of the best Japanese food you’ve ever had. Even major celebrities like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have stopped by this famous restaurant co-owned by Hollywood star Robert De Niro.
8. Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria (53 Great Jones Street)
Noho’s own Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria serves up Mediterranean-Italian cuisine–including their own house-cured meats, homemade bread, and handmade pasta–in an intimate setting that features communal tables. From Sunday to Friday, their lunch and brunch menus are fair game.
9. Mr. Chow (324 East 57th Street)
A fixture in New York City since 1978, Mr. Chow offers dumplings, noodles, and other high end Chinese fare, served to you by waiters in white jackets. Come see what all the hype is about for dinner from Sunday to Friday.
10. Bar Boulud (1900 Broadway)
Celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s eponymous Bar Boulud is a French bistro highlighted by its excellent charcuterie and top-notch wine list, as well as its famous burger. Transport yourself to Paris on Sunday and weekdays for dinner.
11. Beauty and Essex (146 Essex Street)
Hidden behind a pawn shop, Beauty and Essex features an eclectic American food and a deluxe list of cocktails. On Sunday and weeknights, head over for their pre fixe dinner–you may feel guilty about how many ribs you eat, but not how much money you’ll spend.
12. Tarallucci e Vino (15 E 18th Street)
Serving everything from espresso to wines by the glass and tasty homemade pastry to handmade pasta, Tarallucci e Vino is perfect for whatever you’re in the mood for. And their weekday lunch and dinner menu (as well a Sunday brunch) is included in Restaurant Week, so stop in at your leisure.
13. Reserve Cut (40 Broad Street)
A high-end Kosher steakhouse with an exquisite wine room, Reserve Cut offers a French-Asian menu that includes sushi and Wagyu beef. Head in for a weekday lunch and indulge your inner carnivore.
14. Fig & Olive (420 W 13th Street)
Just like cuisine from the actual Mediterranean, the food is perfectly fresh with edgy, modern flavor combinations. With a gorgeous and lively atmosphere, it’s a great spot for lunch, or for a relaxed dinner.
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, we recommend trying classy steakhouses like American Cut, which would normally come at a very pretty penny, or some major fine dining, like Le Cirque, famous for its 7 course meals. You’ll be getting a different menu, but from the same fantastic kitchen.
You can search for restaurants by cuisine type, location, and other filters, so try them all while you can! For even more Restaurant Week fun in New York City, play along on Instagram by using #NYCRestaurantWeek for a chance to win gift cards to your favorite restaurants in the Big Apple!